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F.B.I. Spying On A.C.L.U., Greenpeace

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In a story today, the New York Times reports that the F.B.I. has reports on the A.C.L.U., Greenpeace, the American Indian Movement of Colorado, and United for Peace and Justice. There are a reported 2,400 pages of information on Greenpeace which has protested the Bush administration’s environmental policies and the war in Iraq. There are 1,200 pages on the A.C.L.U.


Isn’t freedom wonderful? You know they hate us for our freedom. Freedom like Judith Miller has. Freedom like 150 groups who were critics of the war in Iraq who apparently have thousands of pages in F.B.I. files.

It turns my stomach. The hypocrisy, the myth of land of the free, the lies which justified the war in Iraq. This administration is right out of Kafka, or Brazil.

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About Neal Gardner

  • bhw

    You know they hate us for our freedom.

    I wonder if any right-wing activist groups are on the FBI watch list or if it’s just the lefties.

  • bhw – I would guess the answer to that question would be yes…I mean…why else was there a ruby ridge or a waco incident with the FBI?

  • bhw

    Those aren’t activist groups. The ACLU is a group of lawyers, for pete’s sake.

  • Nancy

    Not to worry; they spy on everyone. Rumor has it they even have files on Star Trek & other fan groups. You also have a file if you’re any sort of ex-federal security agency employee. My phone line occasionally emits little clicks & squeaks. My take on it is, that FBI agents being severely disciplined are forced to listen by way of penance to the incredibly boring, inane babble. Heh, serves them right. 😉

  • Yes there are Nancy. Say pro-lifers, for instance.

    You know what would be a fun project, now that I think about it. All of us should FOIA our FBI files. I’d be interested to see how many have them.

  • Nancy

    ‘Yes there are, Nancy’ what? Disconnect? What are you referring to, John?

  • I guess bhw posed the question, my bad… there are files on “right-wingers”

  • and somehow because the aclu is full of lawyers that makes them what??? over-educated idiots???

  • I think any organization full of lawyers is suspect…

    That’s why I don’t like Congress either.

  • bhw – the us congress is a bunch of lawyers and somebody outta be watching them too!

  • I concur

  • bhw

    bhw – the us congress is a bunch of lawyers and somebody outta be watching them too!

    That’s our job.

  • John writes: “now that I think about it. All of us should FOIA our FBI files. I’d be interested to see how many have them

    Reply: Now, that is a most excellent idea! It would be kinda fun to see if my college activism is still lurking in some FBI file 30 years later. Lordy, I would hope they have better things to archive, but, it is the government!



  • I have heard that if you do a FOIA for your records and there are none…there soon will be…

  • bhw

    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean nobody’s watching you.

  • bhw – I think we’re doing a terrible job!

  • Andy,

    Maybe, but who cares… I mean really. I know the FBI has a file on me, but that’s because I had clearance and did the whole background check.

    Do you really care if the FBI knows what your favorite breakfast cereal is?

  • The FBI has a file on me originating when I worked against the draft registration, but I doubt it’s been updated, and if it has it’s probably awfully boring.

    The problem is not necessarily their information gathering, but what they do with it.


  • well…honestly…I don’t eat breakfast…but I’m sure they have one on me…I still hold a security clearance…and I really don’t care about any files they have on me…they can’t be that bad…I’ve had my clearance for almost 30 years!

  • balletshooz

    Truly scary, namely because the ACLU is a peaceful organization that, as far as I can tell, has never fire-bombed an abortion clinic. While these other “right-wing” groups that have records have them for valid reasons. I would like to find out in hte future exactly why the FBI is spying on the ACLU?

  • 99+% of pro-lifers don’t firebomb clinics. As I’m sure that 99+% of protestors don’t bomb government offices. Point?

  • I imagine the FBI keeps tabs on the ACLU because it’s a good way to spot certain types of criminals who are looking for a lawyer – for example child pornographers.


  • Heh

  • Nancy

    That would be kind of after the fact, tho, wouldn’t it? I mean, no one would need a lawyer if they weren’t already in trouble…altho I have to admit the ACLU would probably be screwy enough to defend a child porn maggot, or one of those ghastly man-boy-love slimebags. I think, tho, they’re missing the boat in spending so much time keeping files on people who dont’ matter, while the ones who do all seem (from recent reports on the FBI) to somehow get under their sights.

  • bob

    That’s interesting about files on organized fan groups such as Star Trek …wonder if they also have files on Whovians?

  • Nancy

    Probably. Especially if they’re not sure ‘who’ (yuk yuk) they are, or they sound even vaguely threatening, or the lead character is somehow a non-conforming, antiauthoritarian type they’re afraid someone could rally round or make a ‘hero’ of. I kid you not, you wouldn’t believe what they keep files on. Someone dressed as a Klingon could, after all, be antigovernment.

  • RJ

    GreenPeace has engaged in what could be described as eco-terrorist actions in the past. Same with some Native American radicals.

  • RJ

    Didn’t the ACLU defend NAMBLA, which is an organization dedicated to teaching its members how to procure pre-teen boys for anal sex?

  • That they did, RJ. That’s what I was referencing in my original comment.


  • Nancy

    The ACLU is so screwed up. One would think they’d exercise a LITTLE judgement in who or what they defend. Do they have any criteria?

  • ClubhouseCancer

    The ACLU’s criteria is quite clear: They defend the Constitution.

    They have defended the free-speech and other rights of members of organizations like the Nazis, NAMBLA, the Santeria church, Nike, and even some Christian churches.

    They are non-partisan and post their agenda publicly on the Internet at ACLU.org.

    One of their founding principles in defending free speech rights is the obvious fact that nice, happy speech needs little Constitutional protection. It is speech we disagree with that most needs protection.

    CC (proud to be card-carryin’)

  • Nancy

    But speech advocating criminal activity is not protected in the constitution, let alone activity that is criminal, so why are do they work for people like the man-boy love group, etc?

  • ClubhouseCancer

    You’re misinformed re: the Constitution and its free-speech protections.

    Of course the idea of child sex is repulsive to me, but so is the restriction of free speech. People can’t be punished for advocating criminal activity unless the court has said their speech is intended and likely to incite imminent lawless actions. This is the “fire in a crowded theater” argument, and is perfectly sensible standard.

    If you examine the facts of the case (it was in 2000, in Mass.), you’ll see the ACLU is right.

  • Nancy

    So…I can go out & advocate online that people should sell their kids into prostitution, & it’s protected?

  • RJ

    The ACLU will gladly support (pro bono) a group whose entire purpose is to anally rape little boys. But they ATTACK the Boy Scouts because they won’t allow open homosexuals to take little kids into the woods alone at night.