December 20, 2005

Is Your Catholic Church Breeding Bolsheviks?

Apparently the Bush administration thinks so:

One F.B.I. document indicates that agents in Indianapolis planned to conduct surveillance as part of a "Vegan Community Project." Another document talks of the Catholic Workers group's "semi-communistic ideology."

Are you surprised that most of the targeted groups were not GOP approved?

Counterterrorism agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have conducted numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations that involved, at least indirectly, groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief, newly disclosed agency records show.


The latest batch of documents, parts of which the A.C.L.U. plans to release publicly on Tuesday, totals more than 2,300 pages and centers on references in internal files to a handful of groups, including PETA, the environmental group Greenpeace and the Catholic Workers group, which promotes antipoverty efforts and social causes.

You know, when I made up the "J. Edgar Hoover" tag I was joking. Playing up the tinfoil hat angle. Kidding around. Being sarcastic.

"You look at these documents," Ms. Beeson said, "and you think, wow, we have really returned to the days of J. Edgar Hoover, when you see in F.B.I. files that they're talking about a group like the Catholic Workers league as having a communist ideology."

For all the anti-French rhetoric from the right, really, they might have more in common than they think. Remember the Rainbow Warrior?

But the groups mentioned in the newly disclosed F.B.I. files questioned both the propriety of characterizing such investigations as related to "terrorism" and the necessity of diverting counterterrorism personnel from more pressing investigations.

"The fact that we're even mentioned in the F.B.I. files in connection with terrorism is really troubling," said Tom Wetterer, general counsel for Greenpeace. "There's no property damage or physical injury caused in our activities, and under any definition of terrorism, we'd take issue with that."


Posted by binky at December 20, 2005 09:50 AM | TrackBack | Posted to J. Edgar Hoover | Politics | The Ever Shrinking Constitution | You Can't Make This Stuff Up


Ironically, Catholic Workers tend to be anarchists, in the capital C Conservative sense.

Posted by: bmj at December 20, 2005 11:09 AM | PERMALINK
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