A letter writer in today's Strib asks: "Who is the National Security Agency spying on? Names chosen from a phone book? Political opponents? From what I gather from limited news reports, the numbers and e-accounts that were monitored were discovered in places like the hard drives and phone books of captured Al-Qaida operatives. It seems to me the only people in 'danger' are those who cooperate with terrorists."
Think again. FBI documents released by the ACLU yesterday outline numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations targeting lawfully assembling groups like the Catholic Worker Movement and Greenpeace. The Catholic Workers, founded by Dorothy Day on the radical "belief in the God-given dignity of every human person," were targeted because of their "semi-communistic ideology." The documents reveal that the FBI's counterterrorism agents monitored the activities of groups dealing with the environment, poverty reduction, peace activism, and animal cruelty. The ACLU suspects that as many as 150 protest and social justice groups may have been improperly monitored by the feds.