Skip to Content

The FBI Loosens Up

 

Some years ago, I was photographing a constitutional law professor for a magazine article on his book, and while I composed my shots I employed the usual half-minded topical banter to keep things on course. The professor was pretty progressive and knew I was a veteran antiwar activist. I was muttering something about constitutional rights.

In the lens, I noticed him chuckling at something, so I pulled my eye away from the camera and looked at him. He was grinning now.

“John, you know they abrogated the Constitution long ago,” he said, his tone a bit patronizing but also mixed with camaraderie and humor.

“Oh, yeh!” I said. “I forgot about that.” We both laughed, and I went on with the shoot.

I couldn’t help thinking about that conversation as I read the story in The New York Times about the new powers being given to individual FBI agents to snoop on citizens they subjectively deem dangerous.

Is the FBI giving its agents too much rope to follow their inner Harry Callahan?Is the FBI giving its agents too much rope to follow their inner Harry Callahan?

As a veteran anti-war activist and blogster critical of my government, I took this news somewhat personally, since, according to the Times report, without getting permission or making a report, FBI agents could sneak around the back of my house at night and fish through my garbage cans. They could do this if they thought there might be information in those cans useful to intimidate me to snitch on someone. (For the record, I’m not uncomfortable with an FBI agent going through the rancid chicken parts and feces from our cat’s litter box. I have nothing to hide.)

Apparently, individual FBI agents are also now empowered to meddle with me and other writers on this blog in ways I can only imagine — if they deem that necessary. It has to do with the blogosphere and the First Amendment. According to the Times, the new rules clarify for agents just who is a “legitimate member of the news media” on the internet and who is not. The Times reports that “prominent bloggers would count, but not people who have low-profile blogs.” I presume “count” means that a blog is deemed to have First Amendment rights.

While we writers here at This Can't Be Happening are quite serious and ambitious, we are not (yet) The Huffington Post. So I imagine the average FBI agent would relegate us to the realm of “low-profile blog” and, thus, to the list of fair game blogs for whatever harassment or intimidation said agent might deem necessary.

Loading

Find more artists like Dave Lindorff at Myspace Music

This is the video tape of Davis in Lahore police custody


___________________________

___________________________


Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

Live Stream of the Occupation of Wall Street! The Revolution will be filmed after all! (Courtesy of Globalrevolution)
________________________

Fightin' Cock FlyerFightin' Cock Flyer

Listen as Chuck, John, Dave and Linn Join Prairie Radical Mike Caddell of the Fightin' Cock Flyer on Radio Free Kansas

Here's the link to prairie radio radical Mike Caddell's Radio Free Kansas program, where you can hear the podcast of the whole group interview that was conducted on Saturday, May 8.

Also, listen to Dave Lindorff on Chris Cook's Gorilla Radio on CFEV Radio in Victoria, Canada.

Donate $50 to ThisCantBeHappening.net and get a free signed copy, postage paid, of Dave's classic tome The Case for Impeachment (St. Martin's Press, 2006). Just click on the cover image to go to the Paypal payment page, make your payment, and send a note to Dave calling his attention to the payment, and giving your mail address and the name you want the inscription addressed to.

---------------

Have a comment to make?

You can write us at ThisCantBeHappeningMail@yahoo.com
We may not answer you, but we'll probably read it.



about seo | story