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Posted: 6/28/2002 9:03:20 AM EDT
[url]www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20020626-4917655.htm[/url] FBI targets protest groups By J. Bradley Jansen Nearly all of us know that law enforcement, and specifically the intelligence community, failed in their mission to prevent the tragedies of September 11 last year. Congress and the attorney general were right to respond quickly to that failure. The question remains if the changes we are making are the right ones. Conservatives must be prudent in that whatever tools we give the administration now may be used against us in the future. [b] When Attorney General John Ashcroft announced changes to the Guidelines on General Crimes, Racketeering Enterprise and Terrorism Enterprise Investigations ("Domestic Guidelines") for the Federal Bureau of Investigation on May 30, he lauded its 94-year-old history as "the tireless protector of civil rights and civil liberties for all Americans." That history may have come to an end.[/b] The foreign intelligence guidelines, which cover investigations of international terrorist organizations such as Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda (operating here or abroad), are classified but reportedly have not changed. The Domestic Guidelines govern investigations of domestic groups operating entirely within the United States. Had the Domestic Guidelines changes been in place previously, they would have done nothing to prevent last year's airline highjackings. [b] The general principles of the old Reagan-era Domestic Guidelines for FBI investigations began as follows: "Preliminary inquiries and investigations governed by these guidelines are conducted for the purpose of preventing, detecting, or prosecuting violations of federal law. They shall be conducted with as little intrusion into the privacy of individuals as the needs of the situation permit." The new guidelines struck the second sentence, replacing it with "The FBI shall fully utilize the methods authorized by these guidelines to maximize the realization of these objectives." Translation of the new attitude: Forget about concerns of privacy, and go run roughshod over civil rights and civil liberties of American citizens.[/b] Aside from possible problems related to the specifics of the guidelines changes, the greatest problem appears to be that the attorney general is being mislead. The sooner he can get trusted advisers in place the better. Enough already with the red herrings about FBI agents not being allowed to surf the Internet and the shell game of changing Domestic Guidelines when the FBI failed under the foreign ones.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 9:04:24 AM EDT
(continued) While ostensibly aimed at preventing terrorism, the Domestic Guidelines broadly define "terrorist activity" so that the term appears to cover the use of force to block an abortion mill, thus triggering authority to spy on pro-life demonstrators without evidence of crime. [b]Under the Domestic Guidelines, a terrorist enterprise is a group of at least two persons engaged in an enterprise for the purpose of "furthering political or social goals wholly or in part through activities that involve force or violence and a violation of federal criminal law."[/b] An abortion protest that includes blocking an abortion clinic in violation of the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) of 1994 appears to fall within this definition. The new Domestic Guidelines differ dramatically from the previous ones in place for more than two decades in that any "public" meeting can be the subject of surveillance without any evidence of crime. FBI undercover agents would have the authority to spy at any public meetings of abortion protesters "for the purpose of detecting or preventing terrorist activities" even if the FBI had no evidence whatsoever that a crime would actually be discussed. Moreover, the undercover FBI agent could retain any information that he thinks "relates" to any potential criminal activity, not just to terrorism. Information gathering about who attended and what they said, combined with the new data-mining rules, engender the kind of spying without cause that can chill legitimate exercise of First Amendment freedoms. A better focus would be on analysis and verifying the information used rather than profiling people using dubious data, as the old guidelines permitted. Amazingly, Mr. Ashcroft cites the case of National Organization for Women vs. Scheidler (1994) to justify changing the Domestic Guidelines so that they do not require that these terrorism enterprise investigations be limited to enterprises that have a profit as opposed to a social goal. In that case, the Supreme Court determined that the federal racketeering statute could be used against pro-life demonstrators even though they were motivated by religious and political goals, as opposed to profit. Should we really target pro-life demonstrators under the new FBI Domestic Guidelines with the extreme measures under the USA Patriot Act aimed at Osama bin Laden and company? What might a future Attorney General Hillary Clinton do under the new guidelines? • J. Bradley Jansen is deputy director of the Center for Technology Policy at the Free Congress Foundation.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 10:00:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: [b]Under the Domestic Guidelines, a terrorist enterprise is a group of at least two persons engaged in an enterprise for the purpose of "furthering political or social goals wholly or in part through activities that involve force or violence and a violation of federal criminal law."[/b] An abortion protest that includes blocking an abortion clinic in violation of the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) of 1994 appears to fall within this definition. Should we really target pro-life demonstrators under the new FBI Domestic Guidelines with the extreme measures under the USA Patriot Act aimed at Osama bin Laden and company? What might a future Attorney General Hillary Clinton do under the new guidelines?
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This actually raises an interesting issue. A conundrum, actually. While I KNOW that abortion is murder, reprehensible, destructive to babies (they end up dead) destructive to mothers (they end up murderers) destructive to families, harmful to the fabric of this nation, more barbaric than cannibalism (at least with canniblaism you get a meal out of the deal) selfish, shortsighted (in short, as evil as evil can be) I see NOWHERE from Scripture that I am authorized to use force, intimidation or violence to stop it. Compare that to the gladiator games that used Christians as sport in the Roman Colisseum. This was going on during Bible times. Yet we see no indication from Scripture that they picketed the colisseum, or chained themselves to city hall doors, or staged a sit in or even sang Kumbya. Moral change (and that is what abortion requires, a change in the heart morality) NEEDS to take place to end abortion. And that happens one-on-one, with a Christian showing care and compassion for an unwed mother, and preaching the truth to men and women who seek to get their sexual jollies, using abortion as a safety net to clean up their "mistakes." (After all, abortion is a necessity since man threw away God's laws regarding human sexuality) So, what does all this mean?? Well, let's get it out of our heads that we have some sort of Scriturally- based right to chain ourselves to the aborion clinic doors. Or splash water with red food coloring on people going into abortion clinics. Further, even if you DID feel God commanding you to chant and moan outside some abortion clinic, NOWHERE in Scripture is there any indication you would be exempt from even the most heinous and reprehensible laws man might make against your "Christian witness." Paul preached the Gospel KNOWING he'd prolly die for it. And he appealed to Roman legal channels SPECIFICALLY for the opportunity to preach the Gospel to the Roman hierarchy - NOT to escape the punitive measures the Roamsn were meting out. This is NOT to say we can't petition our legislators to affect outcomes of legislations. its to say that spiritual battles (like the one against abortion) are conducted as follows: 1. Not with a bullhorn, but with a Bible, in a manner where God can do a work on the heart. 2. IF men decide that you are to be prosecuted as a terrorist for that, then you did what you did KNOWING the consequences. Be a man. Face the music. God will settle all accounts in the end.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 10:00:48 AM EDT
(con't.) So my advice would be this - fight like a wildcat to keep this from becoming law. Write your reps, senators, pres, newspaper, whatever. If it does become law, fight the good fight in accordance with 1 and 2 above. God bless. We're headed for some interesting times. Which Christians in generations before us have already been thru. God never promised to save America - only to save His people.
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