The FBI Awakens Unpleasant Memories

F.B.I. Scrutinizes Antiwar Rallies. It's of course legal for the FBI to gather intelligence on groups it thinks are dangerous. On the evidence to date, however, whether that assessment is correct in the case of anti-Iraq-war rallies is dubious. And the FBI's activities vividly awaken memories of the FBI's of civil rights violations the last time a paranoid Republican administration was in the White House and demonstrators were massing to protest a war.

Meanwhile, someone please explain to me how the FBI's large-scale, organized campaign of assembling dossiers on the polticial beliefs of citizens exercising their constitutional rights to demonstrate peacefully — even the FBI admits that it “possesses no information indicating that violent or terrorist activities are being planned as part of these protests” and that “most protests are peaceful events.” — is not intimidation but, “demonstrators' 'innovative strategies,' like the videotaping of arrests” is “'intimidation' against the police”?

Think of that — the police are being intimidated by the threat that the demonstrators' accounts might be corroberated by a video camera. Offhand, I think I approve of the sort of intimdation that records exactly what is happening and leaves no room for testilying.

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