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Anti-War Activists Targeted as ‘Domestic Terrorists’

Shocking new revelations come as activists prepare to sue the U.S. military for unlawful spying

By Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams | June 24, 2013

Anti-war activists who were infiltrated and spied on by the military for years have now been placed on the domestic terrorist list, they announced Monday. The shocking revelation comes as the activists prepare to sue the U.S. military for unlawful spying.

“The fact that a peaceful activist such as myself is on this domestic terrorist list should be cause for concern for other people in the US,” declared Brendan Maslauskas Dunn, plaintiff in the lawsuit. “We’ve seen an increase in the buildup of a mass surveillance state under the Obama and Bush Administrations.”

The discovery is the latest development in a stunning saga that exposes vast post-9/11 spying networks in which military, police, and federal agencies appear to be in cahoots.

Documents declassified in 2009 reveal that military informant John Towery, going by the name ‘John Jacob,’ spent over two years infiltrating and spying on Olympia, Washington anti-war and social justice groups, including Port Militarization Resistance, Students for a Democratic Society, the Industrial Workers of the World, and Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Towery admitted to the spying and revealed that he shared information with not only the military, but also the police and federal agencies. He claimed that he was not the only spy.

The activists, who blast the snooping as a violation of their First and Fourth Amendment rights, levied a lawsuit against the military in 2009.

“The spying resulted in plaintiffs and others being targeted for repeated harassment, preemptive and false arrest, excessive use of force, and malicious prosecution,” reads a statement by the plaintiffs.

The Obama Administration attempted to throw out the litigation, but in December 2012 the 9th Circuit Court ruled that the case could continue.

When the plaintiffs were preparing their deposition for the courts two weeks ago, they were shocked to discover that several Olympia anti-war activists were listed on the domestic terrorist list, including at least two plaintiffs in the case.

The revelations prompted them to amend their lawsuit to include charges that the nonviolent activists were unlawfully targeted as domestic terrorists.

“The breadth and intensity of the spying by U.S. Army officials and other law enforcement agents is staggering,” said Larry Hildes, National Lawyers Guild attorney who filed the lawsuit in 2009. “If nonviolent protest is now labeled and treated as terrorism, then democracy and the First Amendment are in critical danger.”

Plaintiffs say this case takes on a new revelevance as vast NSA dragnet spying sparks widespread outrage.

“I think that there is a huge potential for the case to set precedent,” declared plaintiff Julianne Panagacos. “This could have a big impact on how the U.S. military and police are able to work together.”

She added, “I am hopeful we will win.”

June 26, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Court rules peace activists can sue the U.S. military for infiltration

By Nathan Tempey | NLG | December 18, 2012

In a potentially precedent-setting decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a Guild lawyer’s challenge to military spying on peace activists can proceed. The ruling marks the first time a court has affirmed people’s ability to sue the military for violating their First and Fourth Amendment rights.

“This has never been done before,” said NLG member attorney Larry Hildes, who is handling the case. “The U.S. government has spied on political dissidents throughout history and this particular plot lasted through two presidencies, but never before has a court said that we can challenge it the way we have.”

The ruling is the latest development in the lawsuit, Panagacos v. Towery, first brought by Hildes in 2009 on behalf of a group of Washington state antiwar activists who found themselves infiltrated by John Towery, an employee at a fusion center inside a local Army base. Fusion centers are multi-jurisdictional intelligence facilities which house federal and local law enforcement agencies alongside military units and private security companies. Their operations are largely secret and unregulated. There are currently 77 fusion centers in the United States.

The lawsuit names Towery as well as the Army, Navy, Air Force, FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, and other law enforcement agencies. For at least two years, Towery posed as an activist with the antiwar group Port Militarization Resistance (PMR), a group that sought to oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through civil disobedience. The infiltration came to light when public records requests filed with the City of Olympia unearthed documents detailing an expansive surveillance operation. In addition to PMR, Towery targeted Students for a Democratic Society, the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace, the Industrial Workers of the World, Iraq Veterans Against the War, an anarchist bookstore in Tacoma, and other activist groups.

The latest ruling denies the government’s appeal on the basis that the allegations of First and Fourth Amendment violations carried out by Towery are “plausible.” His lawyers have until December 31 to appeal the decision. If they do not appeal, the case will return to district court and the discovery phase will begin.

The National Lawyers Guild is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York and it has members in every state.

9th Circuit Deicsion affirming denial of 12(b)(6)-Iqbal.pdf

December 29, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, False Flag Terrorism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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