Pentagon spies on US peace groups

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed multiple Freedom of Information Act requests in an attempt to uncover who is being monitored by the Pentagon in response to new evidence revealing surveillance of protest activities and peace groups by the Pentagon.

The ACLU has submitted requests on behalf of the American Friends Service Committee, Veterans for Peace, United for Peace and Justice and Greenpeace, as well as dozens of local groups in Florida, Georgia, Rhode Island, Maine, Pennsylvania and California. It is seeking the disclosure of all documents maintained by the Department of Defense on these groups. Many of the groups involved, such as the Rhode Island-based Community Coalition for Peace, recently discovered that they are listed in the Pentagon’s Threat and Local Observation Notice (TALON) database.

ACLU staff attorney Ben Wizner said, “The Pentagon’s monitoring of anti-war protesters is yet another example of a government agency using its powers to spy on law-abiding Americans who criticize U.S. policies.”

Ann Beeson, Associate Legal Director of the ACLU, commented, “Unchecked government spying has a chilling effect on free speech and causes Americans to think twice before expressing dissent or engaging in lawful protests.”

More details and documents regarding the FOIA requests filed today by the ACLU, including a list of clients, can be found here:

ACLU Seeks Pentagon Files on Peace Groups (ACLU website, 1 February 2006)


Deputy565 said...

answer me this. would the ACLU go to bat if any of those "peace" groups proclaimed to be christian based?

blogger said...

I think the ACLU would uphold the rights of any group that thinks its civil liberties and rights to freedom of expression are being eroded in this way - irrespective of any religious affiliation.