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ACLU releases 'first concrete evidence' of domestic spying for anti-war views

RAW STORY
Published: Tuesday March 14, 2006

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Documents released today by the American Civil Liberties Union reveal that the Federal Bureau of Investigations has indeed monitored political groups solely on the basis that they opposed a U.S.-led war.

According to a memo written in 2002, the FBI launched a classified investigation into the activities of Pittsburgh's Thomas Merton Center after becoming concerned that the group held "daily leaflet distribution activities in downtown Pittsburgh and [was] currently focused on its opposition to the potential war on Iraq." The memo aimed to summarize the investigation's results.

It identifies the group as "a left-wing organization advocating, among many political causes, pacifism."

The ACLU has filed Freedom of Information Act requests on behalf of over 150 organizations and individuals. The documents released as a result have revealed monitoring and infiltration of political, environmental, anti-war and faith-based groups by the FBI and local law enforcement agencies.

"Something is seriously wrong in how our government determines who and what constitutes terrorism when peace activists find themselves targeted," remarked Jim Kleissler, Executive Director of the Thomas Merton Center for Peace & Justice.