Wow…. it's depressing to see our country going this way.
Pentagon may be spying on anti-war activists – NBC
WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has a secret database that indicates the U.S. military may be collecting information on Americans who oppose the Iraq war and may be also monitoring peace demonstrations, NBC reported on Tuesday.
The database, obtained by the network, lists 1,500 “suspicious incidents” across the United States over a 10-month period and includes four dozen anti-war meetings or protests, some aimed at military recruiting, NBC's Nightly News said.
The network said the document was the first inside look at how the Pentagon has stepped up intelligence collection in the United States since the September 11, 2001, attacks.
The report quoted what it said was a secret briefing document as concluding: “We have noted increased communication between protest groups using the Internet,” but not a “significant connection” between incidents.
Americans have been wary of any monitoring of anti-war activities since the Vietnam era when it was learned that the Pentagon spied on anti-war and civil rights groups and individuals. Congress held hearings in the 1970s and recommended strict limits on military spying inside the United States.
A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the NBC report about the database. However, he said: “The Department of Defense uses counterintelligence and law enforcement information properly collected by law enforcement agencies.
“The use of this information is subject to strict limitations, particularly the information must be related to missions relating to protection of DoD installations, interests and personnel,” he added.
The Pentagon has already acknowledged the existence of a counterintelligence program known as the “Threat and Local Observation Notice” (TALON) reporting system.
This system, the Pentagon said, is designed to gather “non-validated threat information and security anomalies indicative of possible terrorist pre-attack activity.”