Secret documents reveal government spy-and-smear campaign
by Justin Raimondo
It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and it was my day off. Sitting in my rather neglected garden, as the late afternoon light sparkled golden on the tops of the plum trees, I put down my book ? the 1995 edition of The Year?s Best Science Fiction, edited by Gardner Dozois ? with more than a little annoyance. I was smack dab in the middle of a short story, ?Asylum,? by Katharine Kerr, a tale about a future military coup in the US, written from the point of view of a particularly earnest liberal with faintly radical leanings. The main character is a woman writer who is abroad when the generals take over, and is marked as an enemy of the state on account of her book, Christian Fascism: Its Roots and Rise. Her San Francisco office is raided and her files carted away. She gets a call from a friend before the coup plotters cut off all communications with the outside world: ?It?s seven days in May ? stay where you are!? She stays, but is tortured by the prospect of her daughter being in harm?s way: when communications with America are finally restored, she wrestles with the question of whether to pick up the phone and make a call that might endanger her daughter. After all, what if the Christian Fascists are listening?
The phone kept ringing. I picked it up with annoyance: it was our webmaster, Eric Garris, telling me about this ? FBI documents recovered through the Freedom of Information Act that detail surveillance of Antiwar.com, the staff, and specifically yours truly.
A word about the authenticity of the documents and their provenance: they were posted on a public website, Scribd.com: their form, including the extensive redactions, the acronymic bureaucratese, and the lunk-headed cluelessness which dominates the FBI?s corporate culture, so to speak, combine to verify their authenticity.
As to the content of these documents, one word describes them: bizarre.
According to a memo stamped ?Secret,? marked as ?routine,? and dated April 30, 2004, we apparently drew the attention of the feds when we posted a copy of a ?terrorist suspect list? [.pdf] which had been supplied by the US government to various corporate and governmental agencies, both here and abroad. These documents ? including one posted on the web site of an Italian banking association ? contained the names of those on a ?watch list,? the product of an FBI operation dubbed ?Operation Lookout.? The memo acknowledges the list ?was posted on the internet? in ?different versions,? but says the FBI ?assessment was conducted on the findings discovered on www.antiwar.com.?
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"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened..." - Winston Churchill