Cointelpro Ressurected For GOP National Convention
Another Accomplishment In Bush's War On Terrorism
By Mark G. Levey
Mr. Bush's war on terrorism has now gone domestic. It shows every sign of becoming the same sort of fiasco as his global counterterrorism strategy.
The New York Times on August 16 reports that the FBI and Secret Service have been questioning US citizens who have dared to publicly criticize Bush or who plan to protest at the Republican National Convention. [ http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/16/politics/campaign/16fbi.html or http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/081704V.shtml - extract posted below]
This follows a long line of previous "successes" in Bush's war on terrorism -- stopping the 9/11 attacks before they occurred, wisely rejecting bogus evidence that Saddam was planning to build nukes to give to Osama Bin Laden, and the quiet, stealthy way that Al-Qaeda operatives have been recently rounded up in Pakistan. According to the NYT, we can now add revival of a proud American institution, the FBI Cointelpro program, just in time for the Republican National Convention.
Americans can now breath easy, knowing that the Bush men are in charge, reliable guardians of the democratic process and the cradle of liberty. Democracy in the USA is now safe from 20 year old college kids and grandmothers in Denver who were planning on travel to New York to protest, but decided not to after FBI agents told them they would become the target of domestic counterterrorism investigations of they left home on August 30th. The roads and airports leading to the Big Apple will no doubt be far safer. Thank you Director Mueller.
Note also the report of a nefarious peacenik plot to blow up news vans the FBI broke up. Gee, who might want network broadcasters feel nervous about anti-Bush protestors? We should be grateful to John Ashcroft, as well, for devoting Justice Department counterterrorism resources to root out such threats.
Finally, re: the Secret Service interrogation of the Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights after a neighbor complained he was making disparaging remarks about President Bush. A stroke of investigative genius, that. He's obviously hiding something sinister.
We'll all sleep better tonight knowing the great job you fellas in Washington are doing.
F.B.I. Goes Knocking for Political TroublemakersBy ERIC LICHTBLAU NYT - August 16, 2004
WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 - The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been questioning political demonstrators across the country, and in rare cases even subpoenaing them, in an aggressive effort to forestall what officials say could be violent and disruptive protests at the Republican National Convention in New York.
F.B.I. officials are urging agents to canvass their communities for information about planned disruptions aimed at the convention and other coming political events, and they say they have developed a list of people who they think may have information about possible violence.
They say the inquiries, which began last month before the Democratic convention in Boston, are focused solely on possible crimes, not dissent, at major political events. But some people contacted by the F.B.I. say they are mystified by the bureau's interest and felt harassed by questions about their political plans. "The message I took from it," said Sarah Bardwell, 21, an intern at a Denver antiwar group who was visited by six investigators a few weeks ago, "was that they were trying to intimidate us into not going to any protests and to let us know that, 'hey, we're watching you.' ''
The unusual initiative comes after the Justice Department, in a previously undisclosed legal opinion, gave its blessing to controversial tactics used last year by the F.B.I like urging local police departments to report suspicious activity at political and antiwar demonstrations. In an internal complaint, an F.B.I. employee charged that bulletins that relayed that request for help improperly blurred the line between lawfully protected speech and illegal activity by suggesting suspicious activity included everything from violent resistance to Internet fund-raising and recruitment.