Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Domestic surveillance - the proof is in the FOIAs

Still thinking about the WSJ's ill-informed editorial, one needs to look no further than today's news to refute their contention there's no proof the White House spys on its political enemies.
An FBI agent in Pittsburgh photographed members of an antiwar activist group in 2002, according to documents released yesterday by the American Civil Liberties Union, which said the disclosure marks the latest incident in which the FBI has monitored left-leaning groups.
The agency says it was done appropriately and within the context of an active investigation. They claimed to have destroyed the photos "once the agent determined that a person under investigation was not in attendance at the event." Yet the FOIA request turned up a memo from February 2003 noting the center was "opposed to the United States' war with Iraq" and analyzed its Web site and activities. The FBI claims it was a draft that was never included in an investigative file. Well of course not. They supposedly destroyed the file in 2002.

Even more curiously,
Heavily censored documents from 2005 also refer to information about the center from an unidentified source. An FBI official said those reports were from a separate probe that did not involve terrorism.
What are they being probed for then? Darned if I know but I would bet it's for something like calling Bush an incompetent liar and demanding an end to his dunderheaded policies. Guess we'll never know for sure since neither the WaPo, nor apparently the FBI, had anything more to say on the subject. You would have thought Dan Eggen might have asked them that question himself.

I mean the FBI is spying on a group of innocent Americans for at least three years and Dan is not even a teensy bit curious about why they are continuing to monitor the group? Isn't that the sort of thing "real" journalists are supposed to ask? Or isn't "why" part of the 4 Ws anymore? It's not only sad, it's a big part of the problem. We need responsible reporting not some robotic repetition of inadequate explanations proferred by the White House.

Forget Murrow, at this point I'd settle for a Jimmy Olsen.
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Blogger Comandante AgĂ­ said...

Thomas Merton was a terrorist if there ever was one. Can't trust those Catholic monks...

12:17:00 AM  
Blogger Left of Center said...

Lazy, apathetic, constrained by gun shy editors and ownership that profits on the corruption thats not being reported. We have come to a point here. A point at which either people will demand honesty and start fighting for it. Or we just succumb to it and gradually slip into an open Corporofascist society that is supplicated with cheap TV's and nationwide cell phone service.

10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Libby said...

It felt much easier in the 60s when we still had a functioning press but nothing to do but keep fighting. Visualize victory. It couldn't hurt.

12:17:00 PM  

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