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FBI Raids and the Criminalization of Dissent

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Posted on Sep 28, 2010

By Amy Goodman

Early in the morning on Friday, Sept. 24, FBI agents in Chicago and Minnesota’s Twin Cities kicked in the doors of anti-war activists, brandishing guns, spending hours rifling through their homes. The FBI took away computers, photos, notebooks and other personal property. Residents were issued subpoenas to appear before a grand jury in Chicago. It was just the latest in the ongoing crackdown on dissent in the U.S., targeting peace organizers as supporters of “foreign terrorist organizations.”

Coleen Rowley knows about the FBI. She was a career special agent with the FBI who blew the whistle on the bureau’s failures in the lead-up to the 9/11 attacks. Time magazine named her Person of the Year in 2002. A few days after the raids in her hometown of Minneapolis, she told me, “This is not the first time that you’ve seen this Orwellian turn of the war on terror onto domestic peace groups and social justice groups ... we had that begin very quickly after 9/11, and there were Office of Legal Counsel opinions that said the First Amendment no longer controls the war on terror.”

Jess Sundin’s home was raided. She was the lead organizer of the St. Paul, Minn., anti-war march on Labor Day 2008 that occurred as the Republican National Convention began. She described the raid: “They spent probably about four hours going through all of our personal belongings, every book, paper, our clothes, and filled several boxes and crates with our computers, our phones, my passport ... with which they left my house.”

They smashed activist Mick Kelly’s fish tank when they barged into his home. The net cast by the FBI that morning included not only anti-war activists, but those who actively support a changed foreign policy toward Israel-Palestine and Colombia. The warrant for Kelly sought all records of his travel, not only to those countries, but also all his domestic U.S. travel since 2000, and all his personal contacts.

No one was arrested. No one was charged with a crime. Days later, hundreds of protesters rallied outside FBI offices nationally.

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The raids happened just days after the U.S. Department of Justice’s inspector general released a report, “A Review of the FBI’s Investigations of Certain Domestic Advocacy Groups.” The IG looked at FBI surveillance and investigation of, among others, the environmental group Greenpeace, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Pittsburgh-based Thomas Merton Center.

Founded in 1972 to support opposition to the war in Vietnam, the Merton Center continues to be a hub of anti-war activism in Pittsburgh. In 2002, the FBI spied on a Merton-organized rally, claiming “persons with links to international terrorism would be present.” As the IG reports, this claim was a fabrication, which was then relayed to FBI Director Robert Mueller, who repeated it, under oath, to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The illegal surveillance trickles down, through “Joint Terrorism Task Forces” that bring together federal, state and local law enforcement, homeland security and military agencies, often under the roof of a “fusion center,” the name given to shadowy trans-jurisdictional intelligence centers. There, it seems, slapping the “domestic terror” tag on activists is standard.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell recently apologized when it was revealed that his state homeland security director, James Powers, had contracted with a private company to research and distribute information about citizen groups engaged in legal activity. Groups opposed to the environmentally destructive extraction of natural gas known as “fracking,” for example, were referred to as “environmental extremists.”

Their crime: holding a screening of the Sundance-winning documentary “Gasland.”

Back in the Twin Cities, the state has been forced to back off eight other activists, dubbed the “RNC 8,” who were part of organizing the protests at the Republican National Convention. They all were pre-emptively arrested, before the convention started, and charged, under Minnesota state law, as terrorists. The prosecution has since dropped all terrorism charges (four of them will go to trial on other charges).

This is all happening while the Obama administration uses fear of terrorism to seek expanded authority to spy on Internet users, and as another scandal is brewing: The Justice Department also revealed this week that FBI agents regularly cheated on an exam testing knowledge of proper rules and procedures governing domestic surveillance. This is more than just a cheating scandal. It’s about basic freedoms at the core of our democracy, the abuse of power and the erosion of civil liberties.

Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 800 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

  © 2010 Amy Goodman

Distributed by King Features Syndicate


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By RossWolfe, October 6, 2010 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

I’m not sure that the Left should be so quick to declare solidarity with the peace activists in the FRSO.  They’re a bunch of Stalinists who adhere to a generally disgusting ideology, praising the “bravery” of Hezbollah and defending the Chinese government’s brutal assault on the students at Tienanmen Square as having been justified.  Even if they haven’t provided material support to the so-called “Marxist” groups of FARC or the PFLP, they’ve been vocally supportive of them for years.  I feel very uncomfortable rushing to the side of these people, and I would imagine that many other leftists would as well.

For this reason, I wrote a leftist critique of the protests against the recent FBI raids:

http://rosswolfe.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/a-leftist-critique-of-the-protests-against-the-recent-fbi-raids-on-peace-activists/#more-542

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By Night-Gaunt, October 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

They don’t say it now. Or ever either.

The USA uses million dollar bombs and satellites and very destructive weapons to perform Crusade. Asymmetrical warfare 24/7—-and the USA’s tally is far higher both in killing people and creating recruits for Al-Qaeada etc. The oligarchs want enemies and they will kill large numbers of people to get it. So far they are succeeding.

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By Rachel Golem, October 4, 2010 at 9:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another example of “White people are not allowed to wear uniforms”.

You people don’t realize, you have already lost.

Right now, Europe is terrified of your fellow, “freedom fighters”.

When an American or European woman puts her children on a bus, train or airplane, she is not worried about overzealous law enforcement officials.

She is worried about one of your “oppressed” friends with exploding underwear. If Amy Goodman or Noami Klein had any children, they would not say, “But Mormons and Eskimos” blow themselves up on airplanes too.

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By Tim, October 2, 2010 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course the FBI has a history of cheating on the most important test for any federal agency: the Constitution.

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By Obbop, October 1, 2010 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Find me any hierarchical structure/system wherein the elites at the top do not reap the rewards of the labor from the commoners at the bottom.
It’s the few utilizing the social tendencies of the human species for personal gain.
Even your beloved idol Obama uses that system. After he reaps his rewards after leaving office, his fellow elites will ensure he becomes even wealthier than he is now… eventually becoming a multi-millionaire via money funneled upwards into elite hands and redistributed.
YOU perform the tasks that enrich your betters.
Yet, the sheep bleat their contentment as they are sheared of the wealth those sheep produce.
Bleat away in dismay at the one example shown via the article while forgetting you are immersed within the same parasitical system.
Bleat, little sheep and wag your little tails in contentment.

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By PatrickHenry, October 1, 2010 at 3:18 am Link to this comment

Peaceful protest is always preferred over armed confrontation.  An unarmed force facing an armed police/military presence is usually at a disadvantage unless it is an overwhelming number.

Once the last remnants of democracy and our bill of rights are gone, then the insurgency will begin.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

That and do we still have time to wrest it away before the oligarchs remove it as they have wanted to for decades. They failed in 1934, but never punished so they took a more circuitous rout this time. They want to win and IMO they want to win at the casino they mostly control. We can still have the other shoe drop in our Depression into a Great Depression. That would be too late. The obvious ones are advocating it now and the DINOS are supporting them. This must not happen. If it should happen then anything could follow. I don’t want that to happen for many reasons. So many will be hurt——more so than are hurting now.

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By REDHORSE, September 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

I wasn’t lumpin’ you N/G—I read your posts—I was just following your discussion w/P.HENRY. If we slip into total darkness the pooch is screwed for everyone. What are the kazillonairs gonna pay the the Xe boys with if a dollar ain’t worth a dime. Everybody loses—big time. (Yes Prez O is a major disappointment!!)

      Most likely some of the filthy rich are as scared as we are and the business as usual boys are just interested in business as usual. Everybody is just trying to get out alive and hold on to their own and we posters at TRUTHDIG find it hard to stay clear and free of total panic when we see the absolute lack of direction and moral vision represented by Washington. Chicago/Twin Cities is sabre rattling by the MIC (they’re scared too).

      The poster who pointed at “Class Warfare” hit a nerve. No question “We the people—” are being reduced financially and limited in opportunity by intention. I saw there were riots in Europe today over that very thing. We’re down but we’re not out. IT HURT when Prez O and the Congress betrayed us. It’s time to get back on our feet but what’s the common denominator. I agree with DIAMOND (and I suspect you do as well) Democracy though shaken, is still standing. How do we regain control?

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By Carl, September 30, 2010 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

1000’s dissenters on the street – with .22 cal rifles and 12 gauge shotguns, no less! What a joke! You’d be mowed down like Crab weed – all in good humor, of course! And for others, there are Gulags ready to house over 3 million – as we speak! With mass crematoriums, guillotines, and other facilities to remind you that “Freedom’s just another word for nothing else to lose”!Here are a few thoughts: THEY have a Plan; We don’t. So devise a plan instead of ‘wingin’ it”! Study the Dusseldorf Manifesto. All tyrants follow the same template. They Divide & Conquer - and have a persuasive media to sway our nation of intellectual paraplegics their way. Keister your petty prejudices and Stand United – FIRMLY! Refuse to fight. VOTE, keeping in mind you’re just voting for yet another stooge. This country will be overrun with foreign troops soon. Pray that our guys will be sympathetic toward us. Bottom Line: Freedom was ALWAYS paid for by the blood and sacrifices of the few; the true patriots, while others sit home and bask in their glory. Be prepared to pay the price. As for the slick-talking politicians, strangle them with their guts – just a thought, mind you. Maybe guillotine might be less messy; a LOT less messy than the mess they put us in!

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By diamond, September 30, 2010 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

And what evil system would that be local hero? Democracy? Parliamentary democracy which Churchill described as the worst system - until you look at the alternatives. The solution to America’s woes is not to vote less but to vote at every opportunity, relentlessly and to the point of exhaustion and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER to vote for the mouthpieces of the people who brought you 9/11, the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Global Financial Crisis. At the head of that list is anyone in the Tea Party, anyone in the Republican Party and, needless to say, Sarah Palin. Not voting only allows these people to get into government and wreak more havoc on the people who pay their wages. Democracy is already on the ropes thanks to the CIA’s plan to establish a global surveillance state and their use of the Pentagon to take control of the earth’s resources wherever they may happen to be situated. They also intend to dismantle Europe and Scandinavia’s successful social-democratic model because they regard it as a threat to their favoured model - a criminal, mafia-style, hypercapitalist form of corporate Fascism. Not voting is the best gift you can possibly give them, second only to voting for their stooges, namely all of the abovementioned.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 30, 2010 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Don’t lump me in with Patrick Henry, armed conflict is a lose/lose situation right now and most of the time. Not a chance. I like the idea of organized citizendry peacefully, and without arms doing it. Its our only chance against the Reich wing grass roots organized and paid for by the few (22), the proud, the fanatical, billionaires here. We do outnumber them but they have the police, military, gov’t and too many other things they have their fingers in. Right now our gov’t could use force on us if it were needed. With the new “crowd control” weapons they don’t even need to fire a shot. Once those devices are used a few times, the few won’t come out again. That comes next if things turn badder than they are right now.

Remember that “Bush light” Obama has open hits on any Americans out side of the country deemed to be “an enemy, aiding and abetting terrorists”. Hits as in to kill orders out globally. Without proof, without trial. Nothing light about that is there?

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By REDHORSE, September 30, 2010 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Arms and weapons manufacturers stroke State law enforcement which demands $$$$$ from Congress which uses your $$$$$ to write a huge check which they give to the “arms and weapons” manufacturers who provide arms, weapons and training to the police who then need someone to use it on or else their budget $$$$$ gets cut. It’s a mercenary riff.

    Crime can’t be eliminated but most modern nations have cut it to the bone with sane laws and humane socio-economics. Crime is a big $$$$$ manufactured industry in America. It’s a shame. It preys on the poor.

    Political activists are red meat to the F.B.I. and other shadow boys. Better pack it down tight if you’re gonna play.  The Chicago/Twin Cities raids happened because Obama allowed it. As I said below,that’s where the “buck stops”. In reality the political nitwits who executed the original pre-emptive raids probably feel they’re in a corner and can’t back down. There are thousands of innocent people in jail across America because it would have cost some D.A. re-election to admit his/her airball mistake. Sadly, it’s about $$$$$. There’s huge war bucks invested in the Patriot Act and it has to be justified or exposed for the sham it is. (And don’t forget: You pay for it.)

      NIGHT-GAUNT/PATRICKHENRY: Question. What would happen if you had a thousand committed citizens willing to show up without guns? Or, show up at the trials? Or, write letters or make phone calls? We can’t even decide on the “vote” here. And, let me tell ya. No American needs to be blowing holes in another American. Wanna fight? Your enemies aren’t the Cops and F.B.I.—it’s the revolving door corporate fascists who have seized control of our Constitution that need removal. Again-MAJOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM is the first step.

    We’re all pissed. Obama and the Congress betrayed us outright and our Federal Judiciary is under corporate fascist control. Don’t be afraid. You are a free citizen of the United States of America. Accept the POWER. (And VOTE!!)

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By JDmysticDJ, September 30, 2010 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

PatrickHenry

To paraphrase your namesake, “I smell a [Rabid, flea infested, bubonic plague spreading] Rat” Get your head out of Lady Ga Ga land.

LocalHero

Collapse into what? History has shown that when Democracies collapse, they collapse into something much less appealing. I can’t restrain myself from commenting that your solution is nothing more than an infantile, poorly thought out, delusional pipe dream, which would lead to chaos, mayhem, and the worst kind of tyranny.

Use it, or lose it!

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By Chuck, September 30, 2010 at 6:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No government gives up it’s throne without the use of force. Since government is basically force anyway.
Agent’s of any government in power over a people will continue using force until such time as it becomes very uncomfortable to do so. Once the citizen’s start resisting by force and the governement agent’s start feeling force on themselve’s, they tend to tread in a less careless manner.
The outcome of any engagement is also dependent on which side hold’s the moral high ground and not always just the power of their weapons. Nam comes to mind and how the VC with nothing more than a bag of rice and a rusty rifle resisted the forces against them by invading nations.
  Until people take to the streets like MLK did and others, nothing will change. Nothing changed much for the african americans in 100 years until riots and protesting and issues of force insisted on change. We could take a lesson from that milestone too.
  I can imagine the look on government agent’s faces if they showed up to do a raid and 500 citizens including Veterans confronted them all with m-15’s, 50 caliber barret rifle’s and said look fella’s, this ain’t gonna happen here today. If it does, there will be a pri ce, and there will continue to be a price for such violations of the Constitution and our rights and liberties.
If things get to that point you can also bet many in the nations military would defect to the citizen’s force’s and bring along any weapons and equipment to get the job done too.

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By PatrickHenry, September 30, 2010 at 3:31 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,

22. caliber rifles, shotguns and an assortment of heavier gauge hunting rifles are the norm for main stream America.  All deadly in the hands of an experienced shooter.

A plethora of rifles can be had at the local Walmart or sporting goods stores with nothing more than a drivers license, a hand gun requires a 5 day wait.

Get them while you can.

It is only the open availibility of these weapons which give police and federal agents pause when they encounter a group of vigilant citizens.

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By Chuck, September 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One day the people of this nation will realize this is a war on freedom. That every attack by the FBI or HLS on innocent American’s merely voicing their opinion deserve’s an attack in kind. Someone once said the best defense is a good offense. Those who deliver death and pain, understand death and pain when they too experience it. Someday one of these group’s will read the declaration of independence and see the paragraph “have not only a right, but a duty to throw off such chains” and provide new guard’s for their freedoms.
Never kid yourself. We have Vet’s and former Leo’s that possess many skill’s. The tory’s once laughed about how mere colonist would ever be able to overcome the mighty british military machine. They laugh no more. The most battle hardened army in those day’s was ground into dust by our founding father’s and their neighbor’s.
The british clearly understood it then when digging graves for their own soldier’s and weeping.
One day the tipping point will come and the blood of Jefferson and Patrick Henry will once agin reap the harvest. That blood still courses thru the veins of Americans and merely needs to be awakened.

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By LocalHero, September 29, 2010 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

Eventually, all these threads get hijacked by the do-gooders-of-all-do-gooders: voters. When will people learn?

Go ahead, fill the halls of power with another batch of “progressives, indies and disaffected Dems,” Tea-baggers or just your garden-variety, Republican warmongers and see what happens. Not to spoil the fun but here’s what would happen. You now have a brand new crew of corruptible idiots at the other end of the bayonet. That’s all. Nothing’s changed. Same system - new faces. Same bayonet.

Government is force. Force is evil. Government is evil. In fact, to vote at all is to use force against your neighbor.

The only possible (and sane) solution is to withdraw your consent to be governed. This evil system requires your consent and your attention. Withdraw both and very soon a tipping point is reached and the whole pointless, evil system collapses.

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By Leefeller, September 29, 2010 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

How come this is in italics?

Even if I vote democrat this November, it won’t make no difference, because all the ass holes around here are Republicans, even the dog catcher!

Rico, just because you say something is defining and not stereotyping does not mean it isn’t. If your lame argument holds water, then my enlightening conservative comments must also be definitions?

Lady Gaga for president, at least she is more pleasant to look at then Nader and she has read more than one book and a magazines, which is a whole bunch more than Palin!

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By Night-Gaunt, September 29, 2010 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

I’m just going from your own scenario. But it would have helped me if you would have fleshed it out a bit. Why would there be a 1,000 armed Americans in the street of small town USA (or larger town or city) in the first place? No doubt all those machine guns, M-16’s, 20mm LRK’s, grenades of all kinds, etc. in most people’s residences are normal for us? Well no. Not since the first Federal anti-gun ownership law in 1934, as a direct result of the war against liquor and beer, was put into enforcement. It went down hill since then. You must have a special license and be investigated by the FBI etc. We stopped being like Switzerland in 1789. Switzerland became like we know it now in 1848! Without the slavery for 300 years either helped them. (They didn’t copy anything we were doing in 1848, but the corrected the errors we didn’t do for our Articles of Confederation, which is also ironic. [Damn those Federalists!!!]

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By PatrickHenry, September 29, 2010 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt

Your head is apparently in Afghanistan and not in the neighborhoods of America. Don’t mistake the hubris of the federal government and its actions abroad with those illegal actions here in the U.S.

The 1000 you would have the feds assassinate would be my neighbors, former veterans, lawyers, retired police and fire fighters and yes former FBI agents.

Why don’t you think Americans are not well armed already?  If we weren’t our freedoms would have been far more restricted than they are now.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 29, 2010 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

What “parity” do you mean? Raid the local national guard armory for cannon, gun ships, tanks and what not to better even the odds against others that may be called out? Or maybe one Reaper drone will hit you and your 1,000 armed angry citizens with a Hell fire missile. What parity do you mean? Also being armed not just implies violence, it is expected. So killing is likely to follow any natural course I am aware of.

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By PatrickHenry, September 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt,

I don’t advocate killing anyone as you imply. 

A parity in force of arms typically ensures a just resolution.

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By William Tell, September 29, 2010 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think it was Warren Beatty who said: “We don’t need a 3rd party, we need a 2nd party”. Well, isn’t it time for it to appear? Call it “Power to the People” which was motto of every revolution before and after John Lennon’s song. I’m writing from outside USA and some things are seen clearer this way: American Democracy is kidnapped by the lobbies in the Congress. Voting is not enough. You have to make sure the politicians you vote for fulfill their promises. You have to do your job of citizens every day and to have legal means within reach to empower it constantly. Market works actually like this: it’s composed by income strata and it’s not “progress for all”, but EVERY STRATUM SOLVING ITS OWN PROBLEMS AT EXPENSES OF PUSHING THE NEXT INFERIOR ONE DOWNWARDS. This how underdevelopment is FABRICATED and it’s already happened in the USA. It’s not “private vs. public”, but PRIVATE INTERESTS WHICH BOUGHT UP AMERICAN STATE AND USE IT FOR THEIR OWN PURPOSES. Conquering the State (and especially THE BUDGET) back is Revolution and it should be the Program of “Power to the People” Party. Remember John Quincy Adams in “Amistad”? “If abolition brings Civil War, let it come then. Let’s hope it’s gonna be the last war for American Liberation”. Well, unfortunately, in the long-term it was lost. Whether the new American Revolution is going to be peaceful or destructive depends not upon people, but upon American oligarchs’ will to kill their own people. Will they stop? Ask the question to all these fanatics in the FBI, CIA, Pentagon, etc.

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By JDmysticDJ, September 29, 2010 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

Gerard

If Samson isn’t a clandestine right-wing disinformation agent, he’s clearly serving the interests of the same.

Rico Suave on the other hand must be the off-spring of a right-wing Cuban exile, who was a former supporter of Batista and the American Mafia, If Rico is an agent, he could only have been chosen because of his Aryan features, seeing as how his intellect clearly lacks the intelligence necessary for intelligence work. Either that or he is just another selfish, rich guy.

Samson

Nixon directed the illegal actions of the intelligence community, while Obama has been saddled with the policies, Department of Justice, and intelligence officers, grandfathered in by previous administrations. FBI agents and Department of Justice employees are Civil Servants, very difficult to remove from office, unless you happen to be Karl Rove.  Robert Mueller, current FBI director was nominated by George W. Bush and approved by Congress in 2001. Unless you have evidence that Obama personally ordered, authorized, or had prior knowledge of the incidents in question, your hysterical attribution to Obama is nothing more than what it appears to be on face value, a venomous and unfounded accusation that stems only from a dislike of Obama.

This seemingly glaring infringement of civil liberties, drawing legal justification from a gross misinterpretation of the Bush Administration Patriot Act/ Homeland Security creation, can only be attributed to over zealous FBI agents until more details are made available. Unfortunately, political activists who advocate for peace and define themselves as being Marxist/Leninist are going to be the targets of over zealous Law enforcement and FBI agents. At the present time, this incident is in the investigation stage only, the coming Grand Jury deliberations will determine if charges are warranted. If the Grand Jury serves justice and the Law, the prosecution will have to provide evidence of material support for designated terrorist organizations. The defining issues may well be the legitimacy of terrorist group designations, and the definition of material support. Obama, as President, is bound by the Law, and the only option available to him regarding this case, other than public comment, would be the pardoning of those who may be convicted.

Obama’s Justice Department recommended re-authorization of sun setting provisions of the Patriot Act, and Obama signed the re-authorization Act into Law, much to the outrage of the Left and many Democrats. An understanding of the history of the Patriot Act shows that nearly all the opposition to the Patriot Act, and its provisions came from Democrats. House and Senate votes are a matter of public record.

Clearly re-authorization of these provisions of the Patriot Act, along with re-authorization of modified rendition, the escalation in Afghanistan, and the misunderstanding about the Health Care Bill’s politically attainable possibilities, was seen as a betrayal by the left, and the ensuing outcry did much to diminish support for Obama and the Democrats. This outcry and criticism did more than just diminish support for Obama and the Democrats from the Left, along with an onslaught of disingenuous and absurd propaganda from the Right, these actions had the affect of disaffecting and discouraging former independent supporters, resulting in a precipitous fall in Obama’s popularity, and a political resurgence of the Right’s potential to once again achieve political dominance.

Does anyone think that the Republicans will repeal the Patriot Act or any of its provisions, or recognize the deadlines for withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan? The Republicans have made it clear that if given the opportunity they intend to repeal the modest achievements of the Democrats, return to their failed policies, and continue gridlock and obstruction throughout the remainder of the Obama Presidency.

VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS! Or deal with the consequences of not doing so.

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By Night-Gaunt, September 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

I doubt such a thing would happen and if so 1,000 armed people will be identified as enemies and bombed out. Such is done routinely in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. So doing it here isn’t a stretch, anymore. Just wait to give them a chance, and a reason, to go American Empire on you. [You do know they have planned for such eventualities, don’t you PatrickHenry? Listed as a domestic enemy against our present gov’t.] The corporate owned gov’t, corporate owned military* and corporate owned MSM will report it that way too.

Killing a federal agent is considered a capital offense. So be ready for the Death Penalty or Life in one of our gulags (many privately owned and unregulated) normally used for the Drug War patriots who get nabbed for being black, Hispanic, poor or a black marketeer in wanted chemical compounds.

*Housing many in the special forces who are Nazis and theocrats of the militant kind.

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By PatrickHenry, September 29, 2010 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt,

“YesPatrickHenry, how would that raid have turned out differently if a gun battled had ensued? Such subversive talk is playing into their hands and is stupid. Yes stupid, deadly stupid and helps them over us. Just try it and see how far you get if your not on their side. [Hint: The “tea partiers” are on their side. Why the cops never hassle them even if they are toting fire arms”.

If 50 FBI agents were unconstitutionally invading anothers domicile and encountered 1000 armed citizens of that community, warrants would be scrutinized and perhaps the door wouldn’t needlessly be “kicked in”.

Local cops are responsible to the local government, The FBI and the whole host of federal acronyms are part of an out of control federal government and don’t give a shit for local politics.

In my opinion, the federal agents are in many cases violating the 10th amendment and are the ones we should be collectively protecting each other from.

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By coleen Rowley, September 29, 2010 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s a good video that touches on some of the legal issues that was taken at the rally of aprox. 300 peace activists outside the Minneapolis FBI on Monday, Sept 27, 2010:  http://theuptake.org/2010/09/29/lawyers-say-fbi-raid-raises-civil-liberty-issues/

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By Night-Gaunt, September 29, 2010 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

The illegal surveillance trickles down, through “Joint Terrorism Task Forces” that bring together federal, state and local law enforcement, homeland security and military agencies, often under the roof of a “fusion center,” the name given to shadowy trans-jurisdictional intelligence centers. There, it seems, slapping the “domestic terror” tag on activists is standard.

Curiously none of these “fusion centers” which started operations in the early 2000’s have yet to be depicted on TV. You would think it would be a natural. But the less who knows the better—-for them, not us. In at least 12 major cities yet little is reported on them. An open secret so to speak. The Nation reported on it in I think 2002 or 2003.

This is why the second amendment is so important.

Someday soon the public will experience a galvanizing event in which they take up arms against an oppressive government…...again.

YesPatrickHenry, how would that raid have turned out differently if a gun battled had ensued? Such subversive talk is playing into their hands and is stupid. Yes stupid, deadly stupid and helps them over us. Just try it and see how far you get if your not on their side. [Hint: The “tea partiers” are on their side. Why the cops never hassle them even if they are toting fire arms.]

Why weren’t these raids widely publicized? I suppose they aren’t ready to scare us yet. They want to remove the active members. Arm-chair ones are safe for now. All that they have learned overseas they will use to “clean house” here eventually. See the recent ruling on the “Alien Torts Act” (1789) that ruled that corporations are immune from anyone bringing them to court over terrorism, piracy, torture, rape, murder etc done overseas by any of them. Immune from being brought to court over it by aggrieved survivors and family members.]

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By NYCartist, September 29, 2010 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

Anyone old enough to remember the Church Committee (in Congress)?  Read.

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By Gmonst, September 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

There is no other way to define this action other than as a totalitarian-style fear campaign.  Truly shameful actions by the FBI.  What strange world we live in that those who struggle for peace are terrorists, but those who drop bombs are peace-makers.

Unfortunately, I think it speaks more to the type of country the republicans want than the type most democrats want.  Not voting democrat is unlikely to have any positive impact.  Especially if one votes republican or neglects to vote altogether.  Things being bad is not a good reason for apathy. 

Whatever you do, make sure to vote, and make sure not to vote republican.

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By Mordecai Specktor, September 29, 2010 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Amy wrote: “Back in the Twin Cities, the state has been forced to back off eight
other activists, dubbed the “RNC 8,” who were part of organizing the protests
at the Republican National Convention. They all were pre-emptively arrested,
before the convention started, and charged, under Minnesota state law, as
terrorists. The prosecution has since dropped all terrorism charges (four of
them will go to trial on other charges).”

The RNC 8, the remaining 4 defendants, go on trial Oct. 25 in Ramsey County
(St. Paul, Minn.) court. They each face two felony conspiracy charges. This
travesty of justice been going on for more than two years.

The FBI raids last Friday in Minneapolis were deja vu, all over again. Most of the
RNC 8 defendants were preemptively arrested by heavily armed SWAT teams on
the morning of Aug. 30, 2008, on the weekend before the RNC began. The
infiltration and surveillance of the anarchist protest group, the RNC Welcoming
Committee, was initiated by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, in concert with
Homeland Security and FBI agents.

The RNC 8 face a lengthy and expensive trial, which could run from 4 to 6
weeks. The Ramsey County attorney seems determined to convict someone in
the aftermath of the debacle that was the National Special Security Event
around the anointing of McCain-Palin.

Information and updates at: http://rnc8.org/

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By felicity, September 29, 2010 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

REDHORSE’S last paragraph is probably more important
than anything else said here today. 

And, gerard, fear not.  Until Republicans can make the
case that a return to Bush and company leadership would
be good for this country and us, their words may as
well be written on the wind - and they are a ‘windy’
bunch, aren’t they.

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By Aarky, September 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A couple months ago my son and I were driving up the Interstate early on a Saturday morning. I happened to look in my rear view mirror and jokingly said, “Hey look, it’s the men in black”. There was a large oversized black van following about 100 yards back. Pretty soon it pulled up beside us and stayed there for about 10 seconds and then passed. I noticed the four antenna on the roof and a US Government plate on the rear. It went up the road about 1/4 mile and pulled to the side of the road and stopped. We went on our way and all I could think was, “What the Hell was that all about, it was certainly meant to be obvious”. The following Monday, I called the local FBI office and asked them if they owned an oversize black van with four antenna and a G plate. The man refused to answer my question, so I told him that he should call up DC and ask for money for a new van because that one was looking pretty ratty. If they are following me for my anti war attitudes they are going to find me very boring. I actually worked in Federal law enforcement for 30 years. The times that the FBI showed up at US Customs, they seemed to have a superiority complex that placed them above Texans and Jews as God’s chosen ones. That attitude lead them to make mistakes that had us shaking our heads in disbelief. The only way to make the needed changes is to have some overly zealous Special Agents in Charge reduced in rank, or forced into retirement and the threat of firing for the Agents who willfully lie on the affidavit that supports the granting of search warrants.

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By Jim W. W., September 29, 2010 at 11:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m perpetually amused at Conservative’s “definition” of what Progressives are…or are not. Not only to the feel the necessity to define the other (for purposes of demonetization) but do so in a way that is so far away from the real definition and function that it is literally laughable.

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By Booley, September 29, 2010 at 11:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s not that the Dems are as bad as the GOP in alll areas. In many areas they are
better.

But where they are just as bad, they are really bad.

And lets face it, this has been going long before Obama or even Bush.  Did not
the FBI use to harass and spy on civil rights workers and peace activists in the
60s during Kennedy? Nixon wasn’t any better.  The “War on Terror” seems just
the latest excuse to do what the FBI and others PTB wanted to do anyway.

Which is the catch 22 this November.  IF the GOP wins things will get worse. 
But if the Dems stay in control, things will still be bad in many ways.

BTW, a progressive is NOT someone who thinks government is the primary
answer to all problems (especially given how often progressives are at odds
with the gov)

That’s like saying a carpenter is someone who only uses a hammer.

Government is a tool. It’s either used by you or against you.

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By gerard, September 29, 2010 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Are Republicans trying to take over this site?

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By Samson, September 29, 2010 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Are people really so naive as to thing a postcard to their congress critter is going to change this?  Wake-up and realize that unless there’s a $10k check attached to the post card, then they won’t listen.

This is Obama declaring war on the anti-war movement, and the response from the Democrat spin machine is that we should send our congress-critters a postcard of complaint.

DO NOT VOTE DEMOCRAT.

Voting Democrat is a vote in support of having your own front door kicked in by the FBI. 

Obama has declared open war on the antiwar movement.  If the antiwar movement then turns around and votes for Obama and the Democrats, then its even dumber than its appeared so far.  Which is saying something.

Do not vote Democrat.

No matter who wins, the message that the Democrats lost after failing to deliver the change they promised will come through loud and clear. 

If the Democrats win this election, they’ll believe they can do anything to the left and the anti-war movement.

Currently, the Democrats think they can openly lie to the left. They can pretend to be against these wars, while actually voting for and funding and running these wars.  If you vote Democrat, you are telling them that this is just what you want.

Obama and the Democrats think they can kick in your front door for daring to oppose Obama’s wars.  Are you going to let them get away with that?

DO NOT VOTE DEMOCRAT this Nov.

The most powerful message we can send to our government this year is an across the board defeat of the Democrats.  They’ve lied to us. They’ve conned us. Now they are openly attacking us with the FBI.

Now they are waiting for our response.  There’s only one good response.  And its not a freaking post-card.

DO NOT VOTE DEMOCRAT this Nov.  Not even for freaking dog-catcher.

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By REDHORSE, September 29, 2010 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Because Ms.Goodman wrote the article-and because Ms.Goodman is no doubt surveilled you can be certain these comments will be likewise monitored.

      Many within the F.B.I./C.I.A.(etc) have paid serious dues in defense of America. I suspect that like most caught in the front line chaos of these very troubled times their first priority is order. They’re not the problem. Corporate “special interest greed” is. Where were the prosecutions of the political perps who created this mess. The call was our Presidents. He demured—and the perps walked. That’s where the “buck stops”.

      I cannot imagine that any Intelligence Officer worth his/her salt can’t see that visionless financial and political machinations for personal gain has created American social and financial disintegration. Our fear is, (and if it’s true, God help us, both they and we are lost) that the American Intelligence Community has been privatized and compromised to such an extent it no longer serves the American best interest.

      The core problem is those who set policy. They tell the shadow boys to suit up, and they do, they’re sworn to do so. Citizen action for Major Campaign Finance Reform to stop corporate for profit revolving door politics is probably more important than who is President right now. That’s where the fight should be.

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By purplewolf, September 29, 2010 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

This abuse was started long before Obama, unfortunately it is still continuing.

Samson:Bush declared war on all Americas during his reign of terror. His comment was “either you are for us or you are against us, referring to his fight on terrorism, he never used the word this in place of us as you stated, gives a different meaning to your statement.Bush slipped into law during recessed and in the wee hours of the morning, laws the majority of Americans never ever heard or know of. Voting Rep. will be the return of an even faster decline of peoples rights and freedoms until we have nothing left. That is how the Repugs want it and top a lesser degree the Dems. Both are the same, Repugs are more aggressive at stripping our right from use in the false name of security.Especially if you are a female.

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By NYCartist, September 29, 2010 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

When the gov’t erases the Constitution, civil liberties be darned (like socks).

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, September 29, 2010 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

Lee:

I didn’t say, “All of you out there are progressives” now did I? You criticize me for stereotyping, which I didn’t, then go on to stereotype Conservatives.

But what is a “progressive” if not one who looks to gevernment as the primary solver of problems? That’s not a stereotype, it’s not even a criticism. It’s just a definition.

My warning was that if you give government the power to solve all our problems and the government one day decides that YOU are part of the problem, don’t be surprised if the FBI redecorates your living room.

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By Leefeller, September 29, 2010 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

Rico, saying “all you progressives out there”........ sounds like stereotyping with a broad pen and stereotyping does not seem nice. For instance, I would never say “all you anything” , unless I was absolutely sure about something.  Abolitionisms seem cavalier and pretentious, this is why I do not believe in absolutisms and distance myself from them.

One of my few exception may be in the case of Conservatives…..  one can say with absolute lumping certainty…... “all you conservatives”,  Only because it has been well documented by mental institutions around the world, Conservatives are cloned from birth to be exactly alike or to be that way.  In a sense research has proven Conservatives are born that way, just like gays, only difference is, gays may on occasion be conservatives, but not the other way around.

It seems stereotyping is a most common conservative quality inherited from birth exceeded only by hypocrisy, both which seem not so nice.

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By rico, suave, September 29, 2010 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

This is what you get when you ask government to solve all your problems for you and take over control of your lives. Government will be more than happy to do so. It doesn’t need your opinion, because they are experts on everything. And if you have an opinion they don’t like, well, it’s off to Home Depot for a new front door.

Be careful what you wish for, all you progressives out there.

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By raykeith7, September 29, 2010 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

We must all hush up & get used to becoming a third world democracy.
Obama good- dissenters bad!

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, September 29, 2010 at 3:05 am Link to this comment

Yep, Obama is our most progressive president even more so than that German guy Adolf!

Freedom and Liberty have a new meaning. The trend seems to be trending toward demanded compliance?

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By gerard, September 28, 2010 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Coleen Rowley!

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By k. G, September 28, 2010 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not voting Democratic simply supports Republicans at this stage of the game. Support Democrats, write lots of postcards to your representatives and the president, and letters to the editor, phone your representatives. But vote Democratic.

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By Coleen Rowley, September 28, 2010 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just posted some video from the rally outside the FBI in Minneapolis:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/coleen-rowley/update-about-the-governme_b_742718.html.  Also here’s an easy way to click to send an e-mail to Attorney General Eric Holder:  http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/826/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=4912

“No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” —James Madison

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By Samson, September 28, 2010 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

Obama has declared war on the left.  Its as simple as that.  Obama is sending the FBI to kick in the front doors of his political opponents.  Obama isn’t Bush continued.  Obama is Nixon.

We can not vote Democrat this year.

A vote for a Democrat this year is a vote for kicking in the doors of peaceful activists. 

Bush was right about one thing.  You are either for this or against this.  If you vote Democrat, that means you are giving your vote of approval for Obama’s bigger and better, expanded and everlasting wars.  If you vote Democrat, that means you’re giving your approval for having the FBI kick in the doors of peaceful activists.

Please do not vote Democrat.  Obama has declared war on us.  A vote for the Democrats is a vote against us.  Please do not vote Democrat.

If you want an answer to this that Obama will truly hear, don’t vote Democrat.  Don’t let your friends vote Democrat.  If you support constitutional rights in this country, don’t vote Democrat this year.

Spread that message.  Send that message on election day.  That’s the way to make sure Obama knows just how much you oppose having the FBI kick in the doors of peaceful activists.

But hey, if you like having your front door kicked in by the state police just because you express views on the issues of the day, then by all means, go vote Democrat.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, September 28, 2010 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

This is why the second amendment is so important.

Someday soon the public will experience a galvanizing event in which they take up arms against an oppressive government…...again.

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poonckie's avatar

By poonckie, September 28, 2010 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

As our “Intelligence” Agencies become more and more privatized and Corporate prisons and security companies flourish the total collapse of our Democracy is the real threat.

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By gerard, September 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

None of this is surprising, in view of previous experience with McCarthyism.  A government that is pursuing policies that are grossly divergent from democratic procedures has to go on the defensive and start strong-arming people who protest or insist upon the value of more just ways of doing things. Power that has the backing of the majority feels secure in doing the right thing and therefore values citizen input. “Surveillance” and instilling fear are the marks of weakness in goveernment, not strength.

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