The report that the FBI is keeping tabs on anti-war protesters casts a chilling shadow, even giving the damages already inflicted on freedom of association by the PATRIOT Act. The FBI says it’s only looking for “anarchists and ‘extremist elements’ plotting violence.”
But by Singin’ John Ashcroft’s actions last year, the agency is already using political and religious profiling to conduct surveillance without evidence of criminal activity.
Taken together, the measures suggest that anyone involved in protesting the war, “extremist” or not, could be subject to FBI surveillance as long as they meet the right political and religious profile.
I used to scoff at the tin hat brigades. Now I wonder. Maybe it’s time for that FOIA request.