Wednesday, December 14, 2005

If You Ever Attend A Protest Or Meeting---Read This!

A secret 400-page Defense Department document obtained by NBC News reveals how the U.S. military has stepped up it's intelligence collection inside the country since 9/11, to include the monitoring of peaceful anti-war & counter-military recruitment groups.
A year ago, at a Quaker Meeting House in Florida, a small group of activists met to plan a protest of military recruiting at local high schools. What they didn't know was that their little meeting had the attention of the U.S. military. The Defense Department document lists the Florida meeting as a "threat", and one of more than 1,500 "suspicious incidents" across the country over a 10 month period.
Evy Grachow, a member of the Florida group called The Truth Project said, " This peaceful, educationally oriented group being a threat is incredible." Another member, Rich Hersh said, " This is incredible. It's an example of paranoia by our goverment. We're not doing anything illegal!"
The Department of Defense database obtained by NBC News includes about 48 anti-war meetings or protests, including some that have taken place far away from any military installation, post, or recruitment center. One "incident" in the database was a large anti-war protest here in Los Angeles at Hollywood & Vine streets last March. Another incident mentioned a planned protest against military recruiters last December in Boston, as well as a planned protest last April at 'McDonald's National Salute To America's Heroe's--a military air & sea show in Florida. This protest was deemed not to be a credible threat & a column in the database concludes: " U.S. group exercising constitutional rights". 243 other incidents in the database were discounted because they had no connection to the DOD--yet they all still remain in the database.
The DOD has strict guidlines adopted in Dec '82, that limit the extent to which they can collect data & retain information on U.S. citizens. Still, the DOD database includes at least 20 references to U.S. citizens or U.S. people. One DOD briefing document stamped "Secret" says: " We have noticed increased communication and encouragement between protest groups using the internet, but no "significant connection" between incidents, such as "reoccuring instigators at protests" or " vehicle descriptions".
NBC News military analyst Bill Arkin said, " It means that they're actually collecting information about who's at these protests, the descriptions of vehicles at those protests. On the domestic level, this is unprecedented. I think it's the beginning of enormous problems and enormous mischief for the military."
George Lotz, a 30 yr career DOD official & former U.S. Air Force Colonol said, " Somebody needs to be monitoring to make sure they are just not going crazy and reporting things on U.S. citizens without any kind of reasoning or rationale."
Some Pentagon observers worry that in the effort to thwart another 9/11, the military is collecting too much data, undermining it's own analysis efforts by forcing analysts to wade through mountains of rubble to obtain potentially key little nuggets of intell.
Bert Tussing, director of Homeland Defense & Security Issues at the U.S. Army War College & former Marine says, " there is very little that could justify the collection of domestic intelligence by the U.S. military. If we start going down this slippery slope it would be too easy to go back to a place we never want to see again!"
The Defense Dept. refused to comment.
This is so scary on so many different levels. Not only is the Defense Dept. wasting valuable time and resources on "watching" peaceful protests/people, but this severely compromises the Constitution and the right to free speech & to protest against the goverment. It's very important to spread this information to all your friends/family who attend protests/meetings. The goverment is watching you & your vehicles at these protests. Take appropriate measures to protect yourself. For the 'Police State' has begun. And I would like to take this opprotunity to tell the Defense Department (cuz' I'm sure they're watching) to FUCK OFF! :)