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The unPATRIOTic Act & COINTELPRO 2.0 (you think you still have rights?)

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Government cyber-bullying: David House on political harassment 2.0

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 11:37 am by Philip Leggiere                                         People’s Blog for the Constitution

First a couple of government agents come to your apartment, offering cash rewards for you if you’ll only “keep your ear to the ground” and feed them juicy tidbits of information about any acquaintances or professional colleagues you think they might be interested in.

After you refuse the “carrot” is quickly replaced by a stick.  Everywhere you go the same black sedan lurks nearby. Friends and family receive visits from government agents during which they are asked probing questions about you and your acquaintances.

When you and your girlfriend go the airport you’re pulled aside and questioned at length about the books you’re reading and your opinions about all sorts of political topics. Then your property (in this case computers, phone, notes, information storage devices) are confiscated for further study by the authorities. Then you’re called before a secret “grand jury” where you’re compelled on threat of imprisonment to testify about any potentially juicy tidbits of information that might help the government at some future time to build an unspecified criminal case against someone, or some group, or, perhaps, you.

No criminal warrant has ever been produced to justify all this surveillance and harassment.

The preceding description is neither fiction nor an account from another place or era (East Germany, 1970s?). It’s an outline of the life of David House (co-founder of The Bradley Manning Support Network) over the past year as recounted in an engaging hour-long video to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!

It was unconscionable to cooperate with this grand jury. The grand jury is obviously politically motivated, and it’s—I can’t imagine a principled activist for Bradley Manning or for WikiLeaks cooperating with this investigation in any way. And it’s been said by others in the Boston area that they will not cooperate, even if they are compelled to testify before the grand jury. So it seems to be this is like a commonly held belief in the Boston area.

In fact, the day that I was actually called to testify, there was a protest happening outside the Alexandria court house and also in Boston against the grand jury and the politically motivated investigation of WikiLeaks currently happening in the States. And in my mind, this kind of reeks of the Pentagon Papers investigation. I mean, Richard Nixon’s DOJ 40 years ago attempted to kind of curtail the freedoms of the press and politically regulate the press through the use of policy created around the espionage investigation of the New York Times. I feel the WikiLeaks case we have going on now provides Obama’s DOJ ample opportunity to kind of continue this attempt to politically regulate the U.S. media, and so I’m very worried about this happening. And I think this grand jury is a step in the process.

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