Monday, August 16, 2004

The Return of J. Edgar Hoover

Just stumbled across this at's War Room:

Perhaps the Bush administration would have better luck hunting down bin Laden if it didn't have so many FBI agents knocking on the doors of those who might plan to protest at the Republican National Convention. As the New York Times reports, the FBI is currently working to trail, interview, subpoena and -- it's hard not to think -- generally harass potential protestors.

"In the last few weeks, beginning before the Democratic convention, F.B.I. counterterrorism agents and other federal and local officers have sought to interview dozens of people in at least six states, including past protesters and their friends and family members, about possible violence at the two conventions," the Times reports. "In addition, three young men in Missouri said they were trailed by federal agents for several days and subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury last month, forcing them to cancel their trip to Boston to take part in a protest there that same day."

The Times says investigators generally cover the same three questions: "were demonstrators planning violence or other disruptions, did they know anyone who was, and did they realize it was a crime to withhold such information."

According to the Times, FBI officials say the inquiries "are focused solely on possible crimes, not dissent, at major political events." At least some of those contacted by the FBI see things differently. "The message I took from it," said Sarah Bardwell, 21, an intern at a Denver antiwar group who was visited by six investigators a few weeks ago, "was that they were trying to intimidate us into not going to any protests and to let us know that, 'hey, we're watching you.' ''

It's good to know some dirty, conniving thuggery never changes.


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