Skip to comments.ACLU seeking FBI files on activist probes
Posted on 12/01/2004 10:27:54 PM PST by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking information from the FBI on why bureau task forces set up to combat terrorism also looked into anti-war, animal rights and environmental groups.
Dozens of organizations have been subjected to scrutiny, according to the ACLU, which was filing Freedom of Information Act requests with the FBI on Thursday to try to find out why.
"We think it's clear that the public is interested in the possible return of FBI spying on political and religious groups," said Ann Beeson, the ACLU's associate legal counsel.
The FBI denies singling out individuals or groups for surveillance or investigation based solely on activities protected by the Constitution's guarantees of free speech.
Officials say agents adhere strictly to Justice Department guidelines requiring evidence of criminal activity or indications that a person may know something about a crime.
"Any investigation conducted by the FBI is done under the attorney general's guidelines and in full compliance with the guidelines," FBI spokesman Bill Carter said.
There are terrorism task forces in 100 cities and with more than 3,700 members, including at least 2,000 FBI agents, state and local police, and other federal law enforcement officials. More than half of the task forces were formed after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The ACLU was seeking FBI files on a broad range of individuals and groups that have been interviewed, investigated or subjected to searches by the task forces. The requests also seek information on how the task forces are funded, to determine if they are rewarded with government money by labeling high numbers of cases as related to terrorism, Beeson said.
"What we're afraid is happening is that these cities and towns can get federal anti-terrorism money by identifying local groups as threats in their areas," Beeson said.
The ACLU provided a list of examples, including the Quaker-affiliated American Friends Service Committee that had been monitored by Denver police and was listed as an "active case" by a local terrorism task force.
Others who contend they were improperly monitored or investigated include Rocky Mountain Animal Defense, the Washington-based Campaign for Labor Rights and a number of peace and environmental activists.
The information requests were being filed with FBI headquarters in Washington as well as field offices in Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon, New York, Virginia and Massachusetts, Beeson said. ACLU affiliates in California and New Jersey have previously filed lawsuits seeking similar information.
If the FBI declines to turn over the information, the ACLU can sue in federal court.
ON THE NET
American Civil Liberties Union: http://www.aclu.org
Read David Horowitz' "Unholy Alliance." The leftists are terorists. The FBI will be on the ACLU PDQ.
Gee, I dunno, could it have something to do with the fact that the so-called environmental movement is filled to the brim with the violent and with those who advocate violence, and support groups like the (for now) anonymous cowards of the ELF?
Birds of a feather, etc.; to coin the common phrase.
For the same reason that Hillary's FBI did (and will) look into all components of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. They did it because they could.
The ACLU is a front for a well-organized attack against all institutions of Western Civilization.
While it may claim that it has done much good in protecting the rights of the down trodden and the disadvantaged, it has not been so quick to claim credit for all the despicable acts and orgs it has also gone to bat for in the name of fairness and human and civil rights, and in so doing, sought to erode the foundations of the very same society it says it is seeking to preserve said freedoms of.
I think ACLU lawyers should be shipped off to Gitmo. Or to a secret base in Jordan, for that matter.
The ACLU is going to cause a backlash akin to that of SF mayor Gavi Newsome's gay marriages.
Some of those groups have either planned to, or have committed, acts of violence which probably fit the definition of terrorism.
That said, FBI is notorious for politicizing its responsibilities and overstepping its bounds. I submit Ruby Ridge as Exhibit A.
Then, they howl when their hands get tied. They're not going to get it both ways.
The ACLU should be probed with a hot poker..
If a group of domestic "eco-terrorists" were planning to spike trees, I would want my law enforcement forces to infiltrate, investigate, and prosecute them.
If a suspect group was planning civil disobedience, it would help law enforcement to know the nature and extent of such activities.
Similarly, if an international operation was planning terror, the same would apply.
We have plenty of laws and restrictions on law enforcement, and I don't want their hands tied up in knots, as has been the case going back to Sen. Frank Church.
I hope the Feds looked into the ACLU while they were at it.
98% of these "groups" are commie fronts. (Including the ACLU!) Clear?
That's how it should be.
How else can be prosecute the terrorist in our midst.
This nut heads then will complain that the government did not do enough.
That means "values voters" have been footing the bill for the ACLU's launching a juggernaut to remove Ten Commandments images, Christmas creches and Christmas carols, taking God out of the Pledge of Allegiance, and because they claim they have a civil right not to see the Ten Commandments, a civil right not to hear the word God in the Pledge of Allegiance, not to see a creche of the Baby Jesus, not to hear Christmas carols. The ACLU has collected a huge amount of our tax dollars in this left-handed fundraiser for the ACLU.
FReepers can silence the ACLU with a bit of activism. We need to insist our Congressmen repeal this abusive law that allows the ACLU to get rich on harassing Christian America. Congress must repeal laws enabling the ACLU's Christian-hating activities. Cut off the ACLU's funds and watch them disappear. Here's what we can do.
The IRS should determine whether the ACLU is properly accounting for all its tax-funded activities, whether it is inflating legal costs, and whether it is using tax dollars for the purposes stated. We need to know whether the ACLU is engaged in Enron-style accounting and spending practices.
REFERENCE SOURCE FOR ARGUING REPEAL TO CONGRESS
Apparently, when Congress contemplated the fee-shifting bill three decades ago, it never conceived that 42 U.S.C. §1988 would be used to secure fees in esoteric battles over the meaning of the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
The statute gives a court "discretion" to award attorneys' fees to the prevailing party in civil rights cases.
Study of the legislative history of the statute reveals that Congress intended this statute to apply to civil rights abuses, including certain race and sex discrimination cases, but not to arguments about whether Judge Roy Moore is allowed to display the Ten Commandments in the Alabama courthouse.
During the deliberations on the bill, the Senate penned that "in many cases arising under our civil rights laws, the citizen who must sue to enforce the law has little or no money with which to hire a lawyer." In the recent First Amendment lawsuits filed by the ACLU, the tables are turned.
Small school districts and municipalities can either defend lawsuits and risk paying the ACLU's attorneys' fees if they lose, or they can voluntarily submit to the ACLU's view of the Constitution.
Even if lawsuits over the establishment clause somehow fall within 42 U.S.C. §1988, the statute empowers courts with nothing more than "discretion" to award fees.
In these cases, one would expect courts to withhold awarding fees. Since this is not happening, Congress must take immediate action to clarify 42 U.S.C. §1988 to explicitly exclude lawsuits related to the acknowledgement of God.
But IF the FBI is doing this .. could it be that these clients of the ACLU have terrorist ties and funding????
You know .. the terrorists that want to destroy America
Well for starters, spiking trees, torching SUVs, consorting with supporters of suicide bombers in Israel, trashing immigration offices, vandalizing banks...
"We think it's clear that the public is interested in the possible return of FBI spying on political and religious groups," said Ann Beeson, the ACLU's associate legal counsel.The "political groups" are anarchist-socialist types who have avowed that they will eventually overthrow our constitutional form of government (and parade with banners that say "I support our troops when they shoot their officers").
The "religious groups" that the ACLU refers to are muslims (the ACLU has scarcely met a Christian group they EVER liked). The ACLU needs to fess up that there ARE mosques operating in America that sponsor, recruit, and train terrorists.