Wednesday, October 8, 2008

American Citizens Tracked as Terrorists by U.S. Gov't

I began by reading it in Wired's "Threat Level"

The quick synopsis is this: 53 activists in Maryland (interested in ending the war in Iraq and/or ending the death penalty) were labeled as terrorists by the Maryland State Police and then included on Federal Anti-Terrorist and Drug Trafficking Databases where they were tracked for 14 months.

From Wired I went on to read the articles in the Washington Post

Here's a bit from the Official Letters that the Maryland State Police are sending to these concerned citizens:
"suspected of involvement in terrorism but as to whom [Maryland State Police] has no evidence whatsoever of any involvement in violent crime....You are one of the individuals whose name was placed in the ... system under this designation.... As the Superintendent of the MSP I am looking forward to... moving beyond these issues to continue the necessary work of the Maryland State Police."

There's no apology, there's not even the recognition that this was an error. There's no suggestion that the citizen addressed in this letter has any legal protection from this material being used against them in the future.

Those who have been given the license to conduct these domestic spying should be read the following from Edward R. Murrow (I'm emphasizing throughout):

"We will not walk in fear, one of another.... if we dig deep in our history and doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes which were, for the moment, unpopular. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of the Republic to abdicate his responsibility."

So here we are once again. History is begging for someone to step forward and speak the truth, with compassion, and with the nobility that always accompanies those who work for the betterment of their community.

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