Author Topic: This is why Nazi's should not be governors of any state... let alone California  (Read 67 times)

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From the Los Angeles Times
Governor's Office Tracked Political, Anti-War Groups
By Peter Nicholas
Times Staff Writer

10:18 PM PDT, June 30, 2006

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office in charge of protecting California against terrorism tracked demonstrations staged by political and anti-war groups, a practice that senior law enforcement officials say is an abuse of civil liberties.

Daily reports prepared for the state Office of Homeland Security in recent months contain details on the whereabouts and purpose of a number of political demonstrations throughout California. The source of the information is listed in some cases as federal law enforcement agencies, including the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, an investigative arm of the U.S. Homeland Security department.

Political activities cited in the reports include:

- An animal-rights rally outside a Canadian consulate office in San Francisco to protest the hunting of seals.

- A demonstration in Walnut Creek at which U.S. Congressman George Miller (D-Martinez) and other officials spoke against the war in Iraq.

- A Women's International League for Peace and Freedom gathering at a courthouse in Santa Barbara in support of an anti-war protester - a 56-year-old Salinas woman - facing federal trespassing charges.

California Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer's office on Friday condemned the office's actions, saying they violated the groups' Constitutional right of free speech.

"When people exercise their First Amendment rights to rally, march and protest, they should not have to worry that intelligence officials are watching them or their activities are in any way being painted with the terrorism brush," Lockyer spokesman Tom Dresslar said in an interview.

"That kind of conduct by anti-terrorism intelligence agencies threatens civil liberties, runs counter to our values and violates this office's policy regarding criminal intelligence gathering,'' Dresslar said.

The Times obtained copies of two reports.The homeland security office declined to release others.

State homeland security officials said details about the rallies were reported by SRA International, a company hired to provide counter-terrorism analysis. The officials said such information made it into only the two reports The Times obtained, out of 60-some daily intelligence reports produced since March.

No reports were produced before March, said Chris Bertelli, spokesman for the Office of Homeland Security. When officials in the agency learned of the practice, he said, they ordered it stopped.

Copies of the reports were shared with the California Highway Patrol and the attorney general's office. Nothing else was done with the information about the demonstrations, Bertelli said.

The reports are on the letterhead of a California anti-terrorism partnership that includes the homeland security office, the attorney general and the highway patrol. Lockyer's office said it learned of them through staff members who saw them and raised concerns with their superiors.

"When we discovered their existence, we informed OHS officials that we had absolutely no use for that kind of information,'' Dresslar said. "… Collecting information on protests has no legitimate anti-terrorism intelligence function. None. No intelligence agency has any need to maintain this kind of information.''

Schwarzenegger must "take steps to remind all OHS officials, contractors and other employees that they cannot engage in this type of activity,'' Dresslar said.

Schwarzenegger's office had "no information and no knowledge that this was happening," said Adam Mendelsohn, the governor's communications director. "The governor feels that this particular information-gathering is totally inappropriate and unacceptable."

The governor's homeland security operation is a 53-person office that grew out of the September 11 attacks and is primarily financed by federal money.

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SALINAS in the house muthafuckkkazzzzz