The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Attention all seditious hippies! Oh, and Quakers.

Demonstrating that what was good enough for Nixon is good enough for Bush, 'The Man' is apparently taking us back to the good ol' days of spying on peaceful, law-abiding citizens. This is the sort of information that makes love-it-or-leave-it reactionaries cheer, and causes my conservative friends and family members to go all quiet and take a sudden interest in the ceiling.

A year ago, at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Fla., a small group of activists met to plan a protest of military recruiting at local high schools. What they didn't know was that their meeting had come to the attention of the U.S. military.

A secret 400-page Defense Department document obtained by NBC News lists the Lake Worth meeting as a “threat” and one of more than 1,500 “suspicious incidents” across the country over a recent 10-month period.

“This peaceful, educationally oriented group being a threat is incredible,” says Evy Grachow, a member of the Florida group called The Truth Project.

“This is incredible,” adds group member Rich Hersh. “It's an example of paranoia by our government,” he says. “We're not doing anything illegal.”

The Defense Department document is the first inside look at how the U.S. military has stepped up intelligence collection inside this country since 9/11, which now includes the monitoring of peaceful anti-war and counter-military recruitment groups.

You've gotta feel some sympathy for those Quakers. They can't seem to catch a break in this country, from the Puritans to the Bushies. Highly recommended reading and viewing.