News you may have missed #0052

  • Expert says US Army’s spying on activists was illegal. Eugene R. Fidell, a military law expert at Yale Law School, says the spying by the US Army against two activist groups in Washington state, which was revealed earlier this week, appears to violate the Posse Comitatus Act, a federal law that prohibits the use of the US Army for conventional law enforcement activities against civilians.
  • German court rules spy services withheld information –again. Germany’s highest court has concluded that the government illegally withheld information from investigators probing into alleged spying on parliamentarians by Germany’s intelligence services (BND). Last week the BND was found to have withheld information from a parliamentary inquiry into the BND’s role in the detention of two Muslims from Germany at a US prison in Afghanistan.
  • Nearly 2.5 million have US government security clearances. The US Government Accountability Office estimates that 2.4 persons currently hold security clearances for authorized access to classified information. This number does not include those “with clearances who work in areas of national intelligence”.

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FOIA request reveals US Army spying on activists

Eileen Clancy

Eileen Clancy

US government documents released through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by activists in Washington state have helped unmask a US Army informant operating amidst their ranks. John Towery, a member of the US Army’s Force Protection Service at Fort Lewis in Washington, claimed to be an anarchist named “John Jacob” in order to join Students for a Democratic Society and Port Militarization Resistance. He then spied on the groups on behalf of several regional and federal government agencies, including Immigration Customs Enforcement, Joint Terrorism Task Force, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the US Army. This is the latest in a long line of similar incidents, which inevitably point to a systematic campaign of domestic intelligence gathering against antiwar groups. Read more of this post