ACLU Lawsuit Uncovers Records of Boston Police Department’s Intel Efforts Against Peace Orgs

Via CopBlock:

Says the Massachusetts ACLU:

We now have proof of what peace groups and activists have long suspected: Boston Police officers have worked within the local fusion spying center, the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC), to monitor the lawful political activity of local peace groups and track their movements and beliefs. This information has been retained in searchable electronic “intelligence” reports bearing labels such as “Groups – Civil Disturbance,” “Groups–Extremists,” “HomeSec-Domestic” under the heading “Criminal Act.”

Looks like those “fusion centers” are indeed the hotbeds of misinformation and civil rights suppression that most of us – including the Senate – assumed that they were.

Read a complete rundown of what the ACLU discovered here.

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  • Littlemisteramerica

    It seems to me that if Homeland Security wanted to find evidence of criminal conspiracy and terrorist plots, all they’d have to do is put cameras in banks. Oh wait, there already are cameras in banks, they’re just pointed the wrong way.

  • Simiantongue

    Terrorist is the new-speak for dissenter.

    Its interesting here in MA, I know many peace loving liberals. But the interesting thing is that MA is a huge technology development state. A really big chunk of that is defense spending. People here work at and own companies that rely on the military industrial complex for their livelihood. Ironically I see these people at dinners for political candidates that are supposedly very liberal and anti war, and being “advocates for peace” gets a lot of lip service. I mean a lot. But these same people are the underlying industrial/financial structure of that war machine.

    I’ll give you one very vague example. A gentleman whom I’m acquainted with, owns a smallish research and manufacturing facility. The “vague” part here is that they make electronics, I’m not going to say what, but it’s not anything for Radio Shack. You have to have a certain level of government clearances just to be able access the offices. Let me tell you the people who work there are very proud of that fact, it tickles them when clearances come back in the negative for people. (As if it’s a sort “club”, but we’re not going to get into the psychological aspect of this)

    Anyway I was talking about that gentleman. He absolutely hates Romney, and all Republicans in fact. Never turns down an opportunity to badmouth them. (Which is fine in my book). But, one of his biggest contentions with Republicans is that they’re so hawkish on war and “wasting” money on defense spending. Do I have to point out the obvious hypocrisy in this? Here is a gentleman (“gentle” “man” that’s ironic!) that makes his living from being part of that military industrial infrastructure. Yet he hates people who make war. He decries war at every opportunity, it’s one of his more common tropes. I’ve seen him at “peace” benefits that raise money for war torn countries. This person is just one such example of an uncountable number here in MA, the place is running over with people of this sort, including the supposed liberal intelligencia and leadership. They are all well aware where their bread is buttered.

    Bringing this back into the scope of this article and video. Here in MA there is not so much of a huge manufacturing base, most of it is research and development. There is an absolute need, according to those in the industry, for a surveillance state such as the one alluded to in this article, (there are more) because so many of the research technology companies here are critical to the Massachusetts economy. But there is a deep psychological disconnect with the people of Massachusetts who work and own these companies. They don’t see themselves as part of any far flung war machine, there is no connection made between the research and development of weaponry and its actual use. As long as you maintain the public perception that you don’t make any connection between the tech companies in MA and fighting wars, you’re considered to be safe. If you do make that connection then you’re a danger, and worse if you actually dissent the you’re a terrorist. Because what’s at stake here is the economic livelihood of the state of MA, hence those that live and work here. If you fuck with that, if you rock the boat because of your “selfish” sensibilities about some amorphous war machine killing people in some far off place, then you’re considered a nutjob.

    The cognitive dissonance in MA is palpable in the air. It’s so chic to be anti-war. Yet very often people here are intimately involved in developing technologies that enable the war machine to perpetuate. Our entire existence depends on it in fact, the economy in MA is wholly dependent on defense spending. It’s not the entire shebang, but if you were to take those “defense” dollars out of the equation the state economy would atrophy into a death spiral. Those in control in this state are fully aware of that and it’s not going to happen on their watch.

    (I purposely state that in such a way that’s more comfortable for people. If you want to be a real radical and critical of “the system” in MA then you’re allowed to call it “defense” spending. That’s about the extent of dissent that’s allowed. The use of the term “defense” gives one the impression of being in a defensive stance, protecting ones own. How can you be faulted for that? In reality it’s not “defense” spending it’s “aggression” spending. But if we called it that it wouldn’t sit so well with people. Sort of like the way the Department of Defense used to be called the “War Department”. Well “war department” sounds like you’re making war on people. Better to call it the Department of Defense because that gives the impression of protecting ones own, and how can you be faulted for that? It’s all about using the proper terminology so it’s possible for people to maintain some semblance of illusion. But I digress)

    There are people here who dissent, they point out these hypocrisies. These people are the real focus of the Boston Police departments attention. If someone is outspokenly anti-war, then yes, they are likely on some list somewhere for later collating, but it’s those few who are in a position to take a whack at the roots of the system because they are immersed in it, they are a real “threat” and they are the real reason that intelligence systems like this exist in Massachusetts. The people in charge are always fearful of these dissidents. Whenever entrenched systems like this perceive dissent then an overwhelming counterforce, in terms of “counter terrorism” funding, is brought to bear on it.

    Simply because dissidents can disrupt the public’s steady state of cognitive dissonance, these people can disturb the waters and must be watched and perhaps countered in order to maintain business as usual. So that people in Massachusetts can maintain the illusion that it’s some kind of a last bastion, a largely liberal leaning anti-war state. When in fact a good portion of the people in the state maintain their standard of living by enabling war.

  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    I hope eventually everyone comes to hate spooks and its no longer considered cool. Because really it comes down to just being a snitch. Slimy, sneaky people that sell out their brethren and sistren.

    Not James Bond at all.