Website sues FBI for alleged spying

May 22, 2013

FBIHas the FBI been spying on an online magazine? The editors of San Francisco-based Antiwar.com are suing the federal agency with the help of the ACLU to prove their assertion that government agents have had the website on their investigative radar for years.

The lawsuit seeks FBI records that Antiwar.com officials say “we know they possess.” According to a statement issued Tuesday by Antiwar.com, “A memo from FBI headquarters in Washington speculates Antiwar.com and its principals are possibly ‘a threat to national security’ engaging in a conspiracy ‘on behalf of a foreign power’ and recommends a more thorough investigation.”

That memo was dated 2004, and was discovered only after another online news service published other FBI documents obtained by Freedom of Information Act requests. The memo called for expanded surveillance of Antiwar.com.

Julia Harumi Mass, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said “Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy, whether it’s AP or Antiwar.com. FBI surveillance of news organizations interferes with journalists’ ability to do their jobs as watchdogs that hold the government accountable.”


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22 Comments

  1. The Gimlet Eye says:

    You have bought into the false flag fantasies of the feds hook, line, and sinker. So, you are ok with the police state gig routinely practiced by the feds for many years (not just recently with Obama and Bush). Hmmmmm.

    I don’t think you realize what sort of people you are dealing with in the FBI.

    The BI (Bureau of Investigation, its original name), was founded in 1908. Its history is loaded with abuses of power, and the widest variety of crimes, e.g.,

    >Violations of many people’s civil rights, including:

    >The creation of “enemies lists”
    >Blackmail
    >Illegal wire tapping
    >Burglary
    >Using public office for private gain

    ………the list goes on and on.

    The FBI has been compared by many people, including politicians who debated the merits of it at its formation, as an American “secret police” and “Gestapo.”

    If you have trouble believing this, then I recommend an excellent book by Curt Gentry, “J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets” (1991). This is probably the best book on the subject ever written. Highly recommended.

    The BI, or FBI, went bad long ago, even before Hoover took over. There have been changes in its organization and rules, but in the long run, that all proved to be cosmetic. Nothing essential has changed. It is still the secret police that it morphed into so very long ago. With the psychopath J. Edgar Hoover at its helm, it could hardly have been otherwise.

    (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  2. bobfromsanluis says:

    Wow, do most of you suffer from lack of context when reading? “….A memo from FBI headquarters in Washington speculates Antiwar.com and its principals are possibly ‘a threat to national security’ engaging in a conspiracy ‘on behalf of a foreign power’ and recommends a more thorough investigation.”
    That memo was dated 2004, and was discovered only after another online news service published other FBI documents obtained by Freedom of Information Act requests. The memo called for expanded surveillance of Antiwar.com.

    Um, let’s see, when was the Kenyan Muslim terrorist sympathizer elected? Oh yeah, 2008, not 2004. Seems like a quite a few people have a very short memory of how things were during the administration of George W. Bush; chain linked “freedom zones” for demonstrators, people being questioned and detained for having a certain type of bumper sticker on their car, supporters of President Bush telling the rest of us that they were okay with the government listening to everyone’s cell phone calls since they had “nothing to hide”, and on and on. Do any of you who think President Obama has overstepped his authority really remember how it was ten, eleven or twelve years ago? And by the way, I do agree that the federal government goes overboard many times in looking for threats against our country, but then again, how many think that more could have been done to prevent what happened in Boston? It seems that there has to be a balance and many times that balance seems to most of us to be slightly heavy handed.

    (-3) 11 Total Votes - 4 up - 7 down
    • r0y says:

      Yes, I remember how it was “ten, eleven or twelve years ago” – it was bad, wrong and illegal. I used to say Obama has doubled-down on the crimes Bush and his cronies did, but that is an understatement.

      Thankfully, this current administration got so comfortable with most of the media carrying their water and selectively choosing the “narrative” of stories that they over-played and stepped on their comrades’ toes… now the media is starting to cry foul. Boo hoo.

      Having 1 or even 2 instances of abuse of power is pretty bad. Having a multitude is worse. Simple math.

      (12) 14 Total Votes - 13 up - 1 down
      • bobfromsanluis says:

        “Having 1 or even 2 instances of abuse of power is pretty bad. Having a multitude is worse. Simple math.” Please explain that paragraph; it appears that you are trying to excuse the Bush Administration’s trampling of our civil rights as “1 or 2 instances of abuse of power” – is that correct? Doing a simple google search for “bush administration abuses of power”, in .21 seconds, 3,650,000 links came up, including this one from the ACLU on the “Top Ten” abuses by the Bush Administration.
        r0y, open your eyes, although our federal government yields immense power of observation and data collection, it isn’t a “left vs. right” question of who is doing more or doing worse. After 9/11 our government ramped up the intelligence gathering and no matter who gets elected as President, there will not be a move to diminish what the intelligence agencies do in the name of trying to protect us. It would be best if they could all follow our Constitution however, and I’m pretty sure that most would agree that following the Constitution should be the best way to go.

        (-4) 10 Total Votes - 3 up - 7 down
        • r0y says:

          Sorry, I’m long past arguing “Bush” with people who think they’re progressive, yet fail to progress.

          (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
          • bobfromsanluis says:

            In other words, you have no “argument” with the blame for the huge expansion of government and especially government monitoring of all of our communications since 9/11; is that what you are saying? And yes, there has been “progress”; how many rallies have been held since President Obama was elected where there was overzealous police tactics used against the participants? Nothing at all like during the previous eight years, so that is “progress”, right?

            (-5) 7 Total Votes - 1 up - 6 down
            • OnTheOtherHand says:

              I pretty much agree with you on this but I think you are putting words in rOy’s mouth here. It is truly a bipartisan tendency to keep grabbing more power by most officials in DC — elected and appointed. Things were bad under Bush after 9/11 but even that wasn’t all his fault. Take a look at the congressional votes to support the War in Iraq and the role they played in setting up the Patriot Act and the Dept. of Homeland Security. Notice that the Dems were on board as much as the GOP (including that faux Liberal, Feinstein.) While the Bush years may have seen the worst infringements on individual liberties, little has been done recently to correct that and the assaults have expanded in quantity.

              As long as enough American voters can be scared into demanding protection from the “horror of the moment” rather than accepting that complete safety is not possible and that they have some individual responsibility to watch out for themselves, it will only get worse.

              (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
        • BeenThereDoneThat says:

          Bob may I direct you to read paragraphs three and four.

          http://www.rollcall.com/issues/55_45/-39765-1.html

          Get off your high horse and my guy is clean mentality. EVERYBODY was on board right after Sept. 11. (I’m talking generalities not speific) The poles showed it. It was all running about 90%. Then it turned into politics as usual. No one can claim moral high ground. Both sides are just as complicit in the voting of this, no matter how frantically you try to spin it.

          (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
          • bobfromsanluis says:

            Not one politician wants to thought of as “soft” on crime or terrorism (at least those in a national office) and very few in the Senate have the resolve to watch out for our civil liberties- on that I think that most agree, be the Senator a Democrat or Republican. To say “your guy” is “clean mentality” is a cop-out; and not everyone was “onboard”; do you forget so easily that during the original debate on the Patriot Act there was an attack on our governmental leaders by someone using Anthrax? Do you not remember that the only government officials who had the Anthrax directed at them were two Senators only, both of them Democrats? And you wonder why the Patriot Act was voted on with such a high degree of non-partisian support? Did you really forget all of that? I agree with you that no one can claim the moral high ground, but I want everyone who thinks that President Obama has done more to curtail our Constitutional rights to remember who started our federal government down the path of stepping on our Constitution, someone who once referred to our Constitution as “a G*ddamned piece of paper” (allegedly). Here’s a clue, it wasn’t President Obama.

            (-5) 5 Total Votes - 0 up - 5 down
            • BeenThereDoneThat says:

              BUT BUT BUT, Bob it’s like a couple kids going but he started it. Yea you can go back so many presidents and blame this guy. Then I can go back so many more and blame that guy, till the next thing you know it’s all George Washington’s fault.

              WHEN do we as a voting people say ENOUGH?? Yea my guy did wrong, yea your guy did wrong etc etc. WHEN do we say, let’s put the SCREWS to someone?

              Oh and for all your smuggness of wanting to believe the evils of past presidents why not try this. Sorry don’t mean to confuse you with FACTS!!

              http://www.factcheck.org/2007/12/bush-the-constitution-a-goddamned-piece-of-paper/

              (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
              • bobfromsanluis says:

                Did you not read the word I put into parenthesis A L L E G E D L Y? I understand that you still need to cling to the notion that W was (is) a good man put into a difficult situation, but my feelings about him have always been that he was in way over his head and was manipulated by those who had a specific and clear agenda that did not have the best interests of the United States as their motivation.
                I have not ever stated that I believe President Obama is “innocent” of abusing the power of his office, I just strongly disagree with those of you who think he is the most corrupt, power hungry President we have ever had. When you all go off on a perception of his alleged Constitution trampling however, most of you seem to forget exactly how much damage was done during the previous administration regarding a deliberate march towards a totalitarian/ fascist state. For all of the bluster about President Obama “taking away our rights”, there has been nothing done by him or his administration that has diminished anyone’s rights regarding federal law that wasn’t already in place when he took office. If you have specific, detailed evidence to the contrary, I would be interested in seeing anything you might have, as long as it is either a credited news site or government publication, not some loopy blog site.

                (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
                • BeenThereDoneThat says:

                  So as long as something is alleged and it fits in your parameters of WANTING TO BELIEVE, then let’s continue to spread the rumor in hopes it will take traction?

                  As for Obama I haven’t said anything as to him being the most corrupt or corrupt at all. I DO believe that clouds are forming on the horizon, that if they continue to develop like they are, then they may need some looking into and TIME AND FACTS will decide what Obama’s legacy will be.

                  (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • Rambunctious says:

      This current administration has no respect for the rule of law, our constitution or the bill of rights. The media sings the Obama administration praises and ignores the wrong doing. The main stream media has created this monster and now they and us have to live with it.

      (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
      • bobfromsanluis says:

        And did all of the previous administrations respect the rule of law? Nixon, Reagan, Bush senior, even President Clinton had a few instances of trampling on the rights of US citizens; are you suggesting that President Obama is somehow the worst offender? If that is your assertion, I would request that you offer a list or a link to a site that has documented evidence to back up your assertion.

        (-7) 7 Total Votes - 0 up - 7 down
        • Rambunctious says:

          Post a link? Are you serious? Open your eyes and ears bob…Frankly I don’t care what happened 40 years ago. I’m concerned about what is happening today and you should be too. The IRS scandal alone should outrage the Bush syndrome right out of you. lol

          (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  3. LAH says:

    No surprise they are under surveillance with a name like”Antiwar”. Been common knowledge the FBI scours the internet looking for key words. IF they didn’t then when some attack happens they are criticized for NOT watching. So where is the appropriate balance here?

    What damage has Antiwar.com incurred because of the surveillance? The site should be able to voice as they see fit, but really so what if the FBI is watching? How do they determine who can read the propaganda and who can’t?
    And BTW, who isn’t Anti-war? Except maybe Haliburton and the US Government?

    (2) 10 Total Votes - 6 up - 4 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      My apologies, LAH. The above comment was directed to you.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  4. Citizen says:

    I’m glad the ACLU is suing the Feds. Meanwhile, the Obama government is pitting the Christians, Republicans, the Tea Party, Libertarians, registered gun owners and the NRA, and Boy Scouts against the Muslim terrorists, illegal immigrant rights and the open borders crowd, LGBT agenda people, New Black Panthers, the UN, and La Raza (the Race).

    We just have to remember that most Americans want freedom, justice, and liberty for all citizens. We want to live in peace without fear of criminals, government overreach, or excessive taxation. Don’t let this administration divide and conquer, or we all lose.

    (5) 23 Total Votes - 14 up - 9 down
    • tomsquawk says:

      a good job of division is being done

      (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
    • zaphod says:

      “The idea of being governed by a black president? To many of these people even today, that is itself the essence of tyranny.”

      (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  5. tomsquawk says:

    oh my gosh! what did they do? read it?

    (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down

Comments are closed.