Justice Dept Blames FBI Plan to Surveil Antiwar Rally on ‘Slow Work Day’

Justice Dept Blames FBI Plan to Surveil Antiwar Rally on ‘Slow Work Day’ | FBI lied to Congress and public to justify domestic spying

According to Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine the FBI lied to Congress and the American public about the need for a domestic spying operation against a 2002 antiwar rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Fine insists there was no reason to expect any terror links to the rally.

The why however is perhaps even more incredible, as Fine attributed to FBI probe and the subsequent cover-up to “an ill-conceived project on a slow work day.” So apparently the FBI was just bored at the time.

The FBI’s actions in this case and several others were under investigation after the agency claimed a “counter-terror” justification for investigating the openly pacfist Thomas Merton Center for Peace and Justice, primarily because the group was handing out leaflets opposing the (then upcoming) US invasion of Iraq.

The FBI’s report into the probe said that agents photographed members of the group handing out the leaflets, and expressed concern that one of the people “appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent.” The investigation was just one of many the FBI opened against opposition groups during the Bush administration.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • JLS

    Land of the free huh?

  • ghouri

    This is normal when state starts lieing other institutions lie too e.g. the agents are also human being have their interest.
    As I always say the war on terror is nothing but the war by agencies who misguided the respective govt. for their interest and they got too much funds and the civil society became dead.
    We are so afraid that we dion,t who is spying for whom. As one of my friend told me from Islam that every ISI agent is a killer and he had good contact and the same is true every where. See Bombay attack no one can accept a man or groupo travels by see and had been never in Bombay and 11 persons killed 178 persons how?

  • Nike

    Isn't baseball player Roger Clemons facing trial at his very moment for lying to Congress? So we can expect to see the FBI charged with the same? Because holding a ball player to a higher standard than the FBI would be…insane, no?

  • War AgainstUSA

    They seem to be at war with the USA.

  • boutet

    The United States Justice Department is clearly in desperate need of a complete reorganization. Everyone having anything to do with this stupidity at an executive level should be fired. The agents should be fired as well. The Nuremberg defense of "we were following orders" didn't work for the German Nazis nor should it work for the neo-Nazis at the absurdly named "Justice Department."

  • marko

    Guess what? It's standard procedure. The FBI needs NOTHING to start a surveillance/investigation file on any person or group. No cause whatsoever is required, so "middle-eastern looking" is good enough.