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POLICE STATE / MILITARY -
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The Job of the FBI is to enforce laws, not to investigate critics

Posted in the database on Sunday, March 26th, 2006 @ 15:21:51 MST (1152 views)
by Eric Jaffa    speakspeak.org  

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FBI Intimidation?

For example, if the president of Common Cause attends a meeting of the League of Women Voters and criticizes the Patriot Act, that shouldn’t be investigated by the FBI:

On March 14, [Common Cause President Chellie] Pingree participated on a panel on open government sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties, Michigan that received news coverage in the local newspaper on March 17.

A week after the panel, an FBI agent contacted the local League president, Susan Gilbert, to raise questions about Pingree’s published remarks at the panel. In her brief comments addressing the law, Pingree raised some privacy and secrecy concerns about the USA PATRIOT Act, and praised Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for their leadership on Freedom of Information issue.

According to Gilbert, FBI agent Al Dibrito said that Pingree’s comments on the USA PATRIOT Act were “way off base,” and that the League should have invited someone from the federal government to be on the panel and to respond. DiBrito then told Gilbert that she would be contacted by someone from the assistant U.S. attorney’s office in Grand Rapids to give her the real story on the Patriot Act.

…”Citizens can be intimidated when an FBI agent calls and questions their activities,” said Pingree.

The FBI is so powerful that Congress has continued the PATRIOT Act which lets FBI agents violate our civil liberties.

A meeting of citizens on the PATRIOT Act doesn’t need to include an apologist for this awful law; the FBI has enough power on its own to get its message to Congress.

Nor is it the proper role of the FBI to tell the League of Women Voters whom they should invite to speak at a meeting.

___________________________

Common Cause, League of Women Voters Decry FBI "Intimidation"

Common Cause

In a joint statement released on March 22, Common Cause President Chellie Pingee and League of Women Voters President Kay Maxwell said that the action of an FBI agent in Michigan concerning a recent speech by Pingree at a League event "smacks of intimidation."

"Our country faces many serious threats to our security, but surely none of those threats come from Common Cause or the League of Women Voters," Pingree said. "It is troubling to think that the FBI would scrutinize my remarks about the Patriot Act at a public meeting organized by the League of Women Voters. Surely the FBI's resources could be put to better use."

On March 14, Pingree participated on a panel on open government sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties, Michigan that received news coverage in the local newspaper on March 17. A week after the panel, an FBI agent contacted the local League president, Susan Gilbert, to raise questions about Pingree's published remarks at the panel. In her brief comments addressing the law, Pingree raised some privacy and secrecy concerns about the USA PATRIOT Act, and praised Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for their leadership on Freedom of Information issue.

According to Gilbert, FBI agent Al Dibrito said that Pingree's comments on the USA PATRIOT Act were "way off base," and that the League should have invited someone from the federal government to be on the panel and to respond. DiBrito then told Gilbert that she would be contacted by someone from the assistant U.S. attorney's office in Grand Rapids to give her the real story on the Patriot Act.

The local League of Women Voters and Common Cause raised their concerns in a letter sent on March 21 to FBI Director Robert Mueller.

"Free speech and the right to assemble are fundamental American values," Pingree said. "Citizens can be intimidated when an FBI agent calls and questions their activities," said Pingree. "Why should a citizen meeting on open government merit the attention of the FBI?"



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