Return To The Days Of Hoover's Enemy List? FBI Raiding Activists As Terrorists

from the shameful dept

Back in the days of J. Edgar Hoover running the FBI and Senator Joseph McCarthy accusing all sorts of people of various "un-American" activities, you ran the risk of being accused of all sorts of things just for disagreeing with the government. It seemed like those days were over, and I'd love to believe those days really are over, but Pickle Monger points us to the unfortunate news that the FBI has been raiding homes of various political activists, claiming that it's part of a terrorism investigation. Many of the targets of the raids seem like unlikely "terrorists," as they include peace/anti-war activists and union organizers. Whatever you think of their politics, we should certainly be worried when there's any sense that political viewpoints are getting wrapped up in any claims of a "terrorism" investigation. It seems like it's so easy to abuse that word to go after anyone who law enforcement doesn't like. You would hope that America would have learned from its past to avoid moves like this, so it's a shame to hear that it may still be ongoing.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 1:20am

    Terrorist is the new communist.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 1:30am

      Re:

      At least communism was a revolutionary threat. Terrorism is just rare, indiscriminate acts of violence.

       

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        The eejit (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 2:10am

        Re: Re:

        Does that mean the US administraion circa 1984 will be arrested, for inciting terrorism in Afghanistan?

        What about supplying FARC with munitions from the DoD?

        OR supplying the IRA with Semtex?

        No?

        Odd, that. "It's Terorism aginst us, but we LOVE supplying freedom-fighters!"

         

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        identicon
        Anonymous Poster, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 5:20am

        Re: Re:

        Oh, come on. Everyone knows communism is just a red herring.

         

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        anymouse (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 7:47am

        Re: Re:

        At least communism was a revolutionary threat. Terrorism is just seemingly random, indiscriminate acts of violence by our government against our own people.

        FTFY....

         

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    mike allen (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 1:48am

    If this is the way the world is going I expect a knock on the door any day now or the door kicked in. The same thing appears to be happening in Europe. Mike I hope you have reinforced the entry to your office.

     

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    Future Agent, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 1:51am

    It hurts to read this because I love this country and I want to be FBI to serve this country....

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 4:52am

      Re:

      That's exactly what you'll do if you join any US governing policing agency - you SERVE. You don't think, you don't question, you don't investigate, you SERVE the will of the government and nothing else.

       

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    Difster, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 2:05am

    Terrorist Sympathizer

    Don't you know that law enforcement is NOT to be criticized? Just by stating that too many people are being investigated under the auspices of terrorism makes you a terrorist sympathizer.

    You will not go on the no-fly list just yet but you will be subject to extra groping by the TSA next time you fly.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 3:01am

    peace wackos and anti war losers are some very violent people, what they do is terrorism

     

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    Benjamin Tucker II, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 3:08am

    Enemies List Returns, Grows

    C’mon. Political activists are the good guys. If that’s all the farther Techdirt can stretch in defense against surveillance or other state action, then we’ve had it.

    Only unlimited transgression satisfies the KGB, the Gestapo, or the FBI. And only an unyielding defense of today’s bogeyman--the accused terrorist--will stop the real bastards.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 3:11am

    Goodbye Democracy and Freedom. You two had a good run.

    Time to put on our wretched peasant uniforms and go serve our lords.

     

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      Greevar (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 8:30am

      Re:

      Democracy? Freedom? I hate to tell you, but we've never had either of these for as long as we've been a country. We've had slavery, corrupt government, civil war, banks controlling our money system, constant breaching of out civil rights, segregation, gender inequality, religious persecution, racial prejudice, and mass poverty across the entirety of this nation's existence. What democracy? What freedom?

       

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    paperbag (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 3:53am

    New word, same treatment

    Terrorist. Communist. Witch.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 5:14am

    terroists, peados, pirates(the internet kind, not the real ones) if you disagree with the government then clearly you fall into one of the above categories of people who no longer have rights.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 5:36am

    Is anyone in the government going to get punished for this nonsense? Of course not, the government has no laws it has to follow.

     

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    Thomas (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 6:06am

    We are in far more..

    danger from the spooks in our own country than from real terrorists. McCarthy and Himmler would be proud of the FBI and the other government spooks that spy on U.S. citizens who are simply expressing views that the government does not like. At least the people who's homes were raided were not dragged off and tortured (yet).

    People should realize that in the wake of 9/11 the government has a perfect opportunity to crack down on all forms of protest and is going right ahead and doing it. Anyone who criticizes the government should watch their backs.

     

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    MAC, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 6:46am

    Our friends, the Government

    That's what happens to sheep. The get sheared, slaughtered, raped...
    When the freedom act was passed nary a very few people spoke up about its dubious at best, non-existent at worst, constitutionality.
    So, those in power now have a new 'tool' to remain entrenched in power.
    When they decided to send the wealth of this country to Asia and specifically china, did anyone speak up? Anyone?
    Why do you think no said a word.
    Fear, they have now instilled fear into the average US citizen and fear is the most powerful weapon that they have.
    Fear couple with complacency will spell the end of our freedoms. All it's going to take is the wrong guy in the right place at the wrong time...
    Remember, the road to hell is paved with the souls of those that had ‘good intentions’.

     

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    tuscolablue (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 6:48am

    Good

    union organizers should be raided. What a bunch of crooked Liberal jerks they are. Unions brainwash factory workers.

     

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      Gwiz (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 8:52am

      Re: Good

      union organizers should be raided. What a bunch of crooked Liberal jerks they are. Unions brainwash factory workers.

      Wow. Maybe you should brush up on your history there a bit.

      It's possible that labor unions are coming near the end of their usefulness, but there was a time during the Industrial Revolution that they were extremely useful in gaining some rights for the factory workers.

      That is unless you would really like to go back to the days when that machine ripped your arm off at the factory, you lost your job immediately and then had to pay for cleaning up the blood and fixing the machine your arm broke.

       

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      julie, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 10:33pm

      Re: Good

      Unions are the reason you don't work in a factory fdor $2 a day or 90 hours per week....The stupidity of this comment obviously comes from someone having no idea what its like to work 4 a living.OR BETTER YET MAYBE A FACTORY OWNER

       

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    Revelati, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 7:59am

    We have been on this terrorism kick for a solid decade, can't we get some new bad guys to use for propping up our political agenda? I mean really, Al-Queada has been beaten like a red headed stepchild for so long the could barely mount an attack on a retirement home across the street let alone on a super-power across the world. Almost every plot they have tried on US soil in the last ten years has been infiltrated by US agents before it even got out of the planning stages, and the few attempts that did slip under the radar were incompetent, ill-conceived, and doomed to failure. (shoe bomber, underwear bomber, idiot who set his car on fire in times square, etc...)

    Lets face it, they just aren't that scary any more, and it is making the American people wonder why we still need the bloated budgets, and restricted civil liberties for the MASSIVE security infrastructure constructed on the cries of Remember Nine Eleven! A phrase that has lost its ability to honor those we lost in a great American tragedy because it has been used for so long to bludgeon political opponents of the military/intelligence/enforcement industrial complex. (poor Ike is crying in his grave)

    So you better support your patriot act and eat your freedom fries like a good little citizen because the FuBaI has more money to fight terrorism than terrorists to fight and they have to make up the difference by arresting somebody...

     

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    known coward, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 8:12am

    Think of the children

    y'all forgot that.

    commie pinko lesbian terroristic pirating, pedophiles.

    Thank the gods for Mr. Hoover and his ilk, keeping us safe from democracy.

    Next thing you will be telling me that homeland security has no business fighting interweb piracy.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 8:13am

    This is, of course, exactly what the 9/11 terrorists were trying to accomplish. Not even a decade later, and the US government has degenerated into a widely hated association of fear-mongering tyrants.
    The next step would be for the US to be weakened by infighting, possibly some sort of popular uprising. Hopefully that won't happen. Perhaps the next president will actually follow through on his promises of transparency, revealing (and ending) widespread FBI/CIA/etc. corruption. That'd stop the current McCarthyism, and all that "warrantless" business, among other things. With people actually able to trust their government again, disaster would be averted.

    I know nothing that ideal could happen, but hopefully whatever does happen next year will be close enough.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 8:50am

    This is just another case of the government being too incompetent and unskillful to go after real criminals so they try to look useful by wasting resources going after non-criminals instead.

     

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      Secular Mennonite, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 10:17am

      Re:

      I think that's true. The history of COINTEL and so forth shows that the Feds always try to infiltrate the Quakers first. Which is ridiculous, as the Quakers do everything out in public, and announce what they're going to do out in public.

      It's probably just really easy to send some FBI pinhead to sit in on a Friend's anti-war discussion. It's got to be much harder to infiltrate groups where you have to get tatoos and not bathe regularly, and harder still to infiltrate groups with a non-english language.

       

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    Jesse (profile), Jun 21st, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    My favourite part

    "Those who have been subpoenaed, most of them non-Muslim..."

    For the record, it's not a big deal to violate the rights of Muslims.

     

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    Truth_Hurts, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 6:15pm

    If youre reading this article, you just might be a terrorist.

     

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    Parkway Cozy, Jun 21st, 2011 @ 6:42pm

    "It seems like it's so easy to abuse that word to go after anyone who law enforcement doesn't like."

    Seems like? "Communism" was never a threat to this country. Look what they did with that word. It was used to harass and threaten little old black ladies, among other things.

    Whoever the "external enemy of the day" is, its always only a ploy to take away domestic rights.

     

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