Quarantining Dissent — Fascism on our Doorsteps
Posted by Arroyoribera on September 3, 2007
On January 4, 2004, James Bovard of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an article entitled, “Quarantining Dissent” regarding FBI surveillance and harassment of anti-war activists. Bovard refers to a U.S. Senate report which concludes that FBI harassment of citizens is carried out due to the FBI’s “belief that dissident speech and association should be prevented because they were incipient steps toward the possible ultimate commission of acts which might be criminal”. In an internal newsletter the FBI urged agents to harass citizens to provoke paranoia.
Spokane activists continue to demonstrate their intent and capacity to dog the Bush administration — and its war — until its dying day. Barring impeachment, Bush’s last day will be 01/20/2009 — the day the new U.S. president will be sworn in.
In the face of such tenacious opposition to the criminal, militarist Bush regime, the FBI and the Spokane Police Department have resorted to an assortment of tactics including 1) harassment of young Spokane activists by FBI agents, including FBI terrorism agent Jason Oakley, 2) the use of “designated protest zones” by the Spokane Police, including undercover Spokane Police officer Tramell “Mel” Taylor, and 3) the feeding of false information to sew distrust among activist groups.
Such acts are a clear sign of desperation by a federal law enforcement establishment marked by its own leadership incompetence and tarnished by internal spy scandals. The once vaunted FBI failed to detect the 9/11 conspiracy and watched impotently as the World Trade Towers tumbled to the ground. One supposes that they must now be awarding notches on their sunglasses to those agents who manage to harass a citizen activist.
The close collaboration of the Spokane Police Department with the FBI is not at all surprising. Among the links between the two agencies are former SPD Chief Terry Mangan who left the SPD for the FBI and a high ranking SPD official, Major Gil Moberly, is a former FBI agent. In addition, current Spokane Police Chief Ann Kirkpatrick has been a frequent lecturer at the FBI Academy.
by James Bovard, San Francisco Chronicle (Jan. 4, 2004)
(Excerpt) On May 30, 2002, then U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft effectively abolished restrictions on FBI surveillance of Americans’ everyday lives first imposed in 1976. One FBI internal newsletter encouraged FBI agents to conduct more interviews with antiwar activists “for plenty of reasons, chief of which it will enhance the paranoia endemic in such circles and will further service to get the point across that there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox.” The FBI took a shotgun approach toward protesters partly because of the FBI’s “belief that dissident speech and association should be prevented because they were incipient steps toward the possible ultimate commission of act which might be criminal,” according to a Senate report.
On Nov. 23, 2003 news broke that the FBI is actively conducting surveillance of antiwar demonstrators, supposedly to “blunt potential violence by extremist elements,” according to a Reuters interview with a federal law enforcement official.
Given the FBI’s expansive definition of “potential violence” in the past, this is a net that could catch almost any group or individual who falls into official disfavor. (End excerpt)