Friday, June 28, 2013

WA State case of intelligence agencies vs. activists enters further discovery

Firedoglake has updated coverage of the amended complaint filed by the members of Port Militarization Resistance group against government agencies in WA state for violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.  This suit, which protests harm done to political activists allegedly deterred, harassed and surveilled by  U.S. Army and other government agencies in WA state has received lots of press for a number of reasons[1,2]. Most recently, the ninth circuit court ruled that  the suit against the Army could proceed.  Information dumps from both Wikileaks and Scribd provide a fascinating look at the "fusion center" uses of private security contractors and WA state law enforcement agencies allegedly preventing and denying activism. The Washington state chapter of the ACLU has further information on court cases and awards [1,2,3] involving police and military surveillance of protected activities.[1].

Most of us with historical knowledge of the the Palmer Raids, the McCarthy era, and 'Cointelpro' can hardly be surprised at the existence of such activities.  However, when juxtaposed against the recent surveillance allegations against the NSA, joint federal and local surveillance of local activism takes on an entirely new significance.