Sunday, December 7, 2008

Enemies of the State

To friends in the protest movement, Lucy was an eager 20-something who attended their events and sent encouraging e-mails to support their causes.

Only one thing seemed strange.

"At one demonstration, I remember her showing up with a laptop computer and typing away," said Mike Stark, who helped lead the anti-death-penalty march in Baltimore that day. "We all thought that was odd." Not really. The woman was an undercover Maryland State Police trooper who between 2005 and 2007 infiltrated more than two dozen rallies and meetings of nonviolent groups.

The above quote is from a story from today's LA Times. According to recently released reports, officials in Maryland admit to using figures such as "Lucy" to spy on environmentalists, peace activists and even nuns. The article states that this information led state police to wrongly list "at least 53 Americans as terrorists in a criminal intelligence database."

Worse still, some of this information was shared "with half a dozen state and federal agencies, including the National Security Agency."In the Bush era, where rendition and secret torture sites are the norm, domestic spying has reached absurd heights--unfortunately sanctioned by even legislators who should know better. As with any such abuse of power, be it the McCarthy witch-hunts or COINTELPRO, the contrived "enemies of the state" tend to be those who dare issue dissent. While it may seem some bizarre lapse in judgment, understand that this all serves a purpose. Because every time some incredible story is released about Quakers being spied upon or someone being thrown from an airplane for wearing the wrong t-shirt, we all conform a bit more, and become just that more quiet.

Full article here.

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