Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Who Is Watching You?

Today's (2.22.06) Post Intelligencer headline covers the surveillance of peaceful activist groups here in the Seattle area. These groups include the Raging Grannies and the Quakers, known for their pledge of non-violence.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the article: if you read it carefully, there is one reference to the Pentagon's "Counterintelligence Field Office," and numerous references to "certain federal and local law enforcement agencies." The Penatagon did not return the PI's calls. Who are these anonymous federal and local law enforcement agencies?

Apparently, "unnamed" law enforcement agencies are working with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to gather information and perform surveillance on local peace groups.

We would like to know: who are these "agencies"? The FBI actually responded to questions from the PI, citing that they counseled against disturbing peaceful activism. However, the article cites:

"A law enforcement agency"
"An unknown local police agency"
The FBI's "domestic terrorism squad."
"...various federal and local agencies..."
And FBI report: "Yesterday (REDACTED) conducted surveillance at the boat launch on Alki Beach."

If you put together the chain of counterintellligence, you can see that the Pentagon's secret intelligence agency shares some, but not all of its informatiom with the FBI. "Local and federal" enforcement agencies send memos to the Pentagon's unit.

However, there is a missing link in the chain: who is supplying the information to the Penatgon and the FBI? The Navy has its own counterintelligence wing that investigates potential violations of Naval law. This has to do with protecting their vessels in Puget Sound. But they clearly are getting help. The Seattle Post Intelligencer should follow up and find out exactly who is doing the watching, and what their legal parameters are.

Connect this alarming situation with the Bush administrations adamant desire to sell six U.S. ports to the United Arab Emirates. What conclusions can we draw?

We now have secret police among us, preparing memos for the Pentagon on groups who are advocating peace.

We have a President who is threatening to veto legislation preventing sale of U.S. ports to a country that has ties to terrorist organizations.

Study the situation in your own locality, and make your own decisions. Paranoia? Maybe. Maybe not.

<< Home