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Tuesday, December 20, 2005
 
NY Times Piles It Higher and Deeper

Michelle Malkin links to this article in the NY Times that tries mightily to stir up more indignation over the federal government spying on US citizens.

Counterterrorism agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have conducted numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations that involved, at least indirectly, groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief, newly disclosed agency records show.

Obvious question: what do they mean by "involved, at least indirectly"?

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, John Ashcroft, who was then attorney general, loosened restrictions on the F.B.I.'s investigative powers, giving the bureau greater ability to visit and monitor Web sites, mosques and other public entities in developing terrorism leads. The bureau has used that authority to investigate not only groups with suspected ties to foreign terrorists, but also protest groups suspected of having links to violent or disruptive activities.

Ohmigosh, they're monitoring websites? And protest groups suspected of having links to violent activities? The horror!

The latest batch of documents, parts of which the A.C.L.U. plans to release publicly on Tuesday, totals more than 2,300 pages and centers on references in internal files to a handful of groups, including PETA, the environmental group Greenpeace and the Catholic Workers group, which promotes antipoverty efforts and social causes.

PETA, of course, has donated to terrorist groups like the North American Earth Liberation Front (ELF), which is an FBI-declared terrorist organization. ELF caused some $54 million in damage during August and September alone in a series of arson attacks. Greenpeace has also donated to groups with terrorist ties.

The Times and the ACLU attempt to laugh at the spying on the Catholic Workers' group:

"You look at these documents," Ms. Beeson said, "and you think, wow, we have really returned to the days of J. Edgar Hoover, when you see in F.B.I. files that they're talking about a group like the Catholic Workers league as having a communist ideology."

Yes, how silly of us to think that the Catholic Workers has a communist ideology just because they say:

In economics, private and state capitalism bring about an unjust distribution of wealth, for the profit motive guides decisions. Those in power live off the sweat of others' brows, while those without power are robbed of a just return for their work. Usury (the charging of interest above administrative costs) is a major contributor to the wrongdoing intrinsic to this system. We note, especially, how the world debt crisis leads poor countries into greater deprivation and a dependency from which there is no foreseeable escape. Here at home, the number of hungry and homeless and unemployed people rises in the midst of increasing affluence.

They advocate:

A "green revolution," so that it is possible to rediscover the proper meaning of our labor and/or true bonds with the land; a distributist communitarianism, self-sufficient through farming, crafting and appropriate technology; a radically new society where people will rely on the fruits of their own toil and labor; associations of mutuality, and a sense of fairness to resolve conflicts.

Of course, you know the Times' article is really just intended to do one thing: stop President Bush's poll numbers from rising.

See also Ankle-Biting Pundit's take on this story.
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