FBI Probe Of U.S. Foreign Policy Critics A Problem For Obama
Those with unpopular political views say the government is using 9/11 as a pretext to target them unfairly.
Investigators, according to search warrants, documents and interviews, are examining possible “material support” for Colombian and Palestinian groups designated by the U.S. government as terrorists.
The apparent targets, all vocal and visible critics of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and South America, deny any ties to terrorism. They say the government, using its post-9/11 focus on terrorism as a pretext, is targeting them for their political views.
They are “public non-violent activists with long, distinguished careers in public service, including teachers, union organizers and antiwar and community leaders,” said Michael Deutsch, a Chicago lawyer and part of a legal team defending those who believe they are being targeted by the investigation.
Several activists and their lawyers said they believe indictments could come anytime, so they have turned their organizing skills toward a counteroffensive, decrying the inquiry as a threat to their First Amendment rights.
Those who have been subpoenaed, most of them non-Muslim, include clerical workers, educators and in one case a stay-at-home dad. Some are lesbian couples with young children — a point apparently noted by investigators, who infiltrated the activists’ circle with an undercover officer presenting herself as a lesbian mother.
Groups on the left like Stephanie Weiner’s Revolutionary Lemonade Stand (pictured) are the primary targets.
It’s unclear whether President Obama is aware of the investigation of 23 targeted Americans,, a probe that began with a focus on anti-war demonstrators at the 2008 Republican convention.Click here for reuse options!
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