The American Civil Liberties Union today released a new report revealing that the Pentagon monitored at least 186 anti-military protests in the United States and collected more than 2,800 reports involving Americans in an anti-terrorist threat database.
“It cannot be an accident or coincidence that nearly 200 anti-war protests ended up in a Pentagon threat database,” said Ann Beeson, Associate Legal Director of the ACLU. “This unchecked surveillance is part of a broad pattern of the Bush administration using ‘national security’ as an excuse to run roughshod over the privacy and free speech rights of Americans.”
The ACLU report reviews hundreds of pages of Defense Department documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed last year. The documents revealed that the surveillance of peace groups and anti-war activists was more widespread than previously known.
The memo also states that “personnel from 28 organizations were authorized to use TALON” and 3,589 users have been authorized to submit TALON reports or access the database. Because of such wide access to the database, even deleted reports may still appear in the files of other government agencies, the ACLU said.SourceSource 2