Thursday, January 27, 2005

Time To Declare the ACLU AS A Terrorist Organization

It's time to recognize CAIR, the ADC and the ACLU for what they are--organizations which aid terrorists---when we have the next catastrophic strike--and we will--here are three organizations that should be sued and held criminally liable for their actions

Washington, DC – Citing evidence that the FBI and local police are illegally spying on political, environmental and faith-based groups, today the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in filing multiple Freedom of Information Act requests around the country to uncover who is being investigated and why.

ADC President Mary Rose Oakar said, “ADC supports all efforts to keep our country safe and we want law enforcement to protect us from real terrorists and criminals. However, targeting Arabs and Muslims on the basis of national origin and religion, sending undercover agents to anti-war meetings, and infiltrating student groups is not making us any safer. The FBI should not be wasting its time and our tax dollars spying on groups that are critical of certain government actions.”

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests were filed today in 10 states and the District of Columbia seeking information about the FBI’s use of Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) and local police to engage in political surveillance. JTTFs are legal partnerships between the FBI and local police, in which local officers are “deputized” as federal agents and work in coordination with the FBI to identify and monitor individuals and groups. The FOIAs seek two kinds of information: 1) the actual FBI files of groups and individuals targeted for speaking out or practicing their faith; 2) information about how the practices and funding structure of the task forces, known as JTTFs, are encouraging rampant and unwarranted spying.


The FOIA requests point to many documented examples of JTTF involvement in the investigation of environmental activists, anti-war protesters, and others who are clearly neither terrorists nor involved in terrorist activities, including:
> aggressively questioning Muslims and Arabs on the basis of religion or national origin rather than suspicion of wrongdoing
> tracking down parents of student peace activists
> downloading anti-war action alerts from Catholic Peace Ministries
> infiltrating student groups
> sending undercover agents to National Lawyers Guild meetings

These activities are not the only evidence that the FBI is building files on activists. It should be noted that ADC has documented multiple incidents where JTTF members have inappropriately questioned, pursued, and, in some instances, harassed individuals for no reasons other than their political views and/or their national origin. A classified FBI intelligence memorandum disclosed publicly last November revealed that the FBI has actually directed police to target and monitor lawful political demonstrations under the rubric of fighting terrorism. See the ACLU website at: http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=14452&c=207

Included in these FOIA filings are national and local advocates for well-known causes, including the environment, animal rights, labor, religion, Native American rights, fair trade, grassroots politics, peace, social justice, nuclear disarmament, human rights and civil liberties. Requests were also filed on behalf of numerous individuals, including an organizer for Service Employees International Union, a former Catholic priest, and student activists.

The FOIA requests were filed by the national ACLU as well as its affiliates in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Oregon. The national ACLU FOIA names the central FBI agency as well as bureaus in New York, Washington, D.C., California, Michigan, Virginia, and Massachusetts with other filings expected in early 2005.

Additionally, the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU of New Jersey have both filed lawsuits on related FBI spying issues. For details and legal papers regarding the FOIA requests filed today around the country, including a list of clients, see the ACLU website at: www.aclu.org/spyfiles


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