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FBI spying on Merton Center
by TMC Tuesday, Mar. 14, 2006 at 4:05 PM

Info on FBI spying against TMC

Dear Thomas Merton Center Friends and Members,

This morning, the Thomas Merton Center and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released documents obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) showing that the Bush administration has been spying on peace activists since before the Iraq war began. These documents are explosive in that they conclusively show that peace advocates are being spied on primarily because of their political opposition to warfare.

Who would have thought that Peace was an act of terrorism? Well, it apparently is according to the Bush Administration. Documents we obtained from the FBI show that the administration was apparently so worried about dissent to their war plans that they conducted an investigation in 2002 that focused solely on what the anti-war movement was doing – before the Iraq war had even begun. The documents show that the FBI was focusing on our connections to Muslims in Pittsburgh. The administration not only continued with its spying campaign, but in 2004 and 2005 had a confidential source participating within the Thomas Merton Center and reporting back to the FBI.

We realize that these are truly overwhelming revelations. And we encourage folks to take a look at the documents on-line at http://www.aclu.org (to be posted at 10am this morning). It is also important that we urge some caution. It will not do us any good to become overly concerned with this spying. We obviously have nothing to hide and while we should be angry about this spying, we cannot have it effect our work.

This is particularly true of the alleged informant. We, as an organization, should do our best to recognize that it does not matter who this person is or if they are still among us. The worst thing that we could do at a moment like this is to start pointing fingers. So long as that person is willing to fold brochures, hand out flyers, and count as another person against this war, there is little to concern ourselves about. Remember that this administration, and these types of FBI efforts in the past, were conducted largely to intimidate Americans from speaking out and to divide us against one another. We cannot have that happen today.

Do not fear. This spying is obviously a reaction to the good, hard work of Pittsburghers working against the war. And the Thomas Merton Center will not pause for a second in our efforts to wage against warfare and injustice. There are many opportunities to work for peace and to stop this spying. The best thing that we all can do is come out this Saturday and join the thousands of Pittsburghers in our march against the Iraq War or to join us for the many other events happening this weekend.

For information on this weekend’s events including the march go to: http://www.pittsburghendthewar.org

We also want to make sure folks know that this is only the beginning of our efforts to shut down spying programs that target Americans and foreign nationals because of their political beliefs. There is a Spy In to being planned by our Pittsburgh Bill of Rights Defense Campaign for next Tuesday, March 21, at the Federal Building downtown at noon.

We also want to encourage you to join us for a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filing party being sponsored by the Pittsburgh Bill of Rights Defense Campaign and the ACLU. The party will be held at the Thomas Merton Center on March 29 at 7pm. It is entirely possible that there are more spying records that were withheld because they pertained to individuals instead of the organization. Please and come join us while we file our FOIAs and shed some light on the darkness that pervades this administration.

Thank you for all of your support and hard work

For Peace and Justice,

The Thomas Merton Center Board and Staff

agents' identities?
by John Lacny Wednesday, Mar. 15, 2006 at 12:08 PM

What's the FBI's official rationale these days for not releasing the identities of their agents and informants? Am I correct in my reading that the FBI had both an agent who was taking pictures and a "confidential informant" who infiltrated the group? In the COINTELPRO papers the FBI would block out these identities on "national security" grounds, which was bullshit then, but it's even more obviously bullshit now. Since the Merton Center is no violent threat to national security, the FBI ought to be forced to reveal who their informants are. Is there any chance of making this happen? Or do people closer to the action already know who these people are anyway?

They Are Not Spying
by FBI Lover Sunday, Apr. 09, 2006 at 2:34 PM

Hi Yinz,

I'm not so sure what to put for my handle, so I picked
FBI Lover. This does not mean I think FBI is right all
the time no matter what. They can and do sometimes screw
up. And back during Hoover, they sometimes did go too
far.

But this is 2006. And FBI is not "spying" on the Thomas Merton Center - as the ACLU puts it - solely for it's
anti-war activities. And I see no "proof" of "spying" in
the recenly released documents. All I see is bits and pieces of some legitimate investigation(s) of some person(s)
who sometimes have something to do with TMC. And the "source" could very welll be somebody outside TMC - somebody who is part of some non-TMC aspect of the subject's
live. It might even be somebody anonymously mailing in
true or false info about TMC to FBI. Somebody who thinks that Bush can do no wrong and wants to make trouble for
TMC. There are many other possiblities.

People are jumping to conclusions too fast. The released
documents say very little - and certainly they do NOT say that FBI is spying on TMC.

More later.
Bye

Pro-TMC and Pro-FBI Image
by FBI Lover Sunday, Apr. 09, 2006 at 2:40 PM

Pro-TMC and Pro-FBI ...
savingourlives.jpg, image/jpeg, 488x373

try reading
by fbi lover=stockholm syndrome Monday, Apr. 10, 2006 at 4:16 PM

if you actually read the unredacted parts of the documents released by the bumbling, stumbling idiots at the fbi, you'd see only one reference to an individual. the rest of the documents very clearly state that the merton center is the subject of the investigation.

fortunately for people who love freedom, it's only the pathetic wretches at the fbi, you know the ones who ignored all the 9/11 intel, denied the existence of the mafia, and sat on their hands while nukey-lure secrets were being sold like hotcakes.
If you think the fbi can or does protect you, you're either a ceo, an idiot, or a combination of the two.

Nope, Not Stockholm Syndrome
by FBI Lover Thursday, Apr. 13, 2006 at 4:29 PM

Hi,

Wow, this is a very relavant speculation - that I like the FBI due to Stockholm Syndrome.

This is because, "Is this Stockholm Syndrome?" is one of the very first questions I asked myself several months ago -on the day that my long-term "paranoia" of FBI finally ended.

My reply to myself: "No, it is not." And that "no" is not a reflection of ignorance on the topic of SS. And I am aware of what Stockholm Syndrom is and have been for years. I am fairly well-read on it and other psychological and sociological topics. No, there are other explanations for why I like the FBI- and those other explanations that are not bad. I cannot get into detail in this post, but perhaps in the future sometime I can. It is just a time management thing. I have lots of other things I have to get done today and in the next week.

Now, when it came to a certain "Genuine Bad Guy" with whom I had gotten mixed up - I think there could have been some Stockholm Syndrome involved - maybe, I'm not sure. It was this genuine bad guy and me getting mixed up with him THAT is what brought FBI interest onto me - made me the target of a spin-off investigation of "Genuine Bad Guy"

So, as for GBG, perhaps Stockholm. But with FBI itself, definitely not.

Bye For Today
FBI Lover

Some More Stuff For Today
by FBI Lover Thursday, Apr. 13, 2006 at 4:58 PM



try reading
by fbi lover=stockholm syndrome Monday, Apr. 10, 2006 at 4:16 PM


In post "Try Reading", author "fbi lover=stockholm syndrome"
wrote:

"if you actually read the unredacted parts of the documents released by ..."

I think you mean "redacted", don't you?? The UN-redacted version is the original, full version that FBI has not released (unless somebody goofed). The version that has nothing deleted out.

fbi lover=stockholm syndrome continued:

" ... you'd see only one reference to an individual. the rest of the documents very clearly state that the merton center is the subject of the investigation."

Well, that is only in the UN-redacted portion. Most of the document was redacted (blanked out). In that part, references to other individuals can be made. And, you are assuming that "the source" in one doc is the same source in the remaining docs. Maybe so, maybe no. Point is, there are so many unknowns and only seeing the originals would fill in the blanks. At this time in history, FBI cannot supply the full originals. Their own internal rules, statutes enacted by Congress, how the people above FBI (DOJ, the Bush Admin) in the Executive Branch instruct them, how the Courts rule. Also, whether or not the info's release could compromise some ongoing investigation. And an investigation might be "ongoing" but not active. Also, to protect sources. Like, if you witnessed a crime being committed by somebody you are afraid of, but you decide to report it to local, state, or federal law enforcement anyway, wouldn't you be upset if the law enforcement people later "blabbed" to the public that it was YOU who reported so-and-so? Then so-and-so will know, and possibly be after you. So, see, there are lots of reasons for the redactions - and the reasons change depending on conditions.

And if you think FBI is being too restrictive in the info the decide to withhold, then you can contact the people given on http://foia.fbi.gov . And if that fails, then file a FOIA-based civil suit in Federal Court - and let a judge or judge and jury decide whether FBI had good reason to withhold this or that bit of info or not.

As for the docs "clearly stating" that the TMC "is the center of the investigation", I don't see that in my own read of the released docs. Sure, that could be a possibility, but many other things are possible. More likely, the subject or subjects of the investigation is an iindividual or individuals who sometimes come to TMC events. So, what I clearly see is that TMC is a backdrop for this investigation(s), but not "clearly" the subject.

fbi lover=stockholm syndrome continued:

" ... fortunately for people who love freedom, it's only the pathetic wretches at the fbi, you know the ones who ignored all the 9/11 intel, denied the existence of the mafia, and sat on their hands while nukey-lure secrets were being sold like hotcakes."

Most FBI agents and workers are among the many people in this country who love freedom.

As for your very negatively-couched criticisms of FBI, I have to remind you that I did say in my initial post that FBI and FBI agents/workers can and do sometimes screw up.

The mafia stuff and the nuke stuff are from the 1950's, and not relevant to the FBI of today. I do acknowledge that stuff from the past, especially past COINTELPRO abuses, are still bouncing around out there and causeing the FBI lots of public relations and community relations problems. And FBI itself is failing to take this bull by the horns. But FBI is stretched thin right now, so maybe WE can get into this problem sometime.

As for "ignored the 9-11 intel", that is a VERY complex issue and I am doing reseach on that right now. This includes some aspects of it that I have so far not seen published. The pre-9-11 culture in the federal government generally (not just in FBI) was indeed fraught with problems. And I know of multiple individuals who were working hard to reform things pre-9-11 and ran into brick wall after brick wall. However, the shock of 9-11 caused the work those people did to get moved off of the back burner and onto the front burner. Lots of those problems are not corrected - or in the process of getting corrected.

But to speed up the correction process, FBI needs our help, not our bashing. If we criticize (as you have seen me do above), let it be constructive criticism.

fbi lover=stockholm syndrome continued:

If you think the fbi can or does protect you, you're either a ceo, an idiot, or a combination of the two.

Ha ha ha, ROTFLOL. Me, a CEO??? I'm far from it. I am even a critic of "the corporations" running amok. Sure, there are some good CEO's but most of them are in small corporations. I am critical of "Big Oil" or "The World Oil Clan". I'm cricical of agribusiness, and of "corporate greed" and so forth. Most corporations would not want me to be their CEO. Idiot? Well, we all know that I am not an idiot and that you are just saying that in frustration.

Bye for Now,
FBI Lover

this is creepy
by sweden w/o social programs Saturday, Apr. 15, 2006 at 4:19 PM

by 'unredacted' i simply meant the parts of the released documents that weren't blanked out, and unlike the documents regarding the killing of the italian journalist in iraq, you can't just 'copy and paste' the redactions away.

you're either a paid flak, or have read too many tom clancy books

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