"Leftist" groups a terror threat

Full Text: US Intelligence Findings //english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/96B66353-9F35-4685-B6F9-5DF1F25A1C35.htm

Selective Intelligence
//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092806L.shtml


"Leftist" groups a terror threat

//www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2006/09/27/leftists/

The White House's release of a dire National Intelligence Estimate on global terrorism has illustrated once again how easy it is to publicly misrepresent intelligence-community findings - especially when almost all of the key documents remained shrouded in secrecy.

The intelligence report cites "leftist" groups as a terror threat The now-declassified summary of the National Intelligence Estimate (PDF) on "Trends in Global Terrorism" focuses almost exclusively on Islamic extremists. But inserted at the very end is this one overlooked, though seemingly quite important, passage that identifies other terrorist threats:

"Anti-U.S. and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint." It continues: "We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train and obtain logistical and financial support."

Prior to 9/11, the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil was in Oklahoma City, where Timothy McVeigh blew up a federal building in pursuit of his right-wing, anti-federal-government agenda. But there is nothing in the NIE findings about right-wing or anti-government groups. Instead, there is a rather stark warning about the danger of "leftist" groups using the Internet to engage in terrorist attacks against the United States. Is there any basis at all for that warning?

There have been scattered reports over the last several years that the Bush administration's anti-terrorism programs have targeted domestic political groups solely because such groups espouse views contrary to the administration's. That this claim about "leftist" terrorist groups made it into the NIE summary is particularly significant in light of the torture and detention bill that is likely soon to be enacted into law. That bill defines "enemy combatant" very broadly (and the definition may be even broader by the time it is enacted) and could easily encompass domestic groups perceived by the administration to be supporting a "terrorist agenda."

Similarly, the administration has claimed previously that it eavesdrops on the conversations of Americans only where there is reasonable grounds
(as judged by the administration) to believe that one of the parties is affiliated with a terrorist group. Does that include "leftist" groups that use the Internet to organize? This NIE finding gives rise to this critical question: Are "leftist" groups one of the principal targets on the anti-terrorism agenda of the Bush administration, and if so, aren't the implications rather disturbing?

-- Glenn Greenwald


Bush says they hate us for our freedoms. Bush solution: take away our freedoms Welcome to the fascist Bush police state. Do you feel safer yet?

"Everything we don't believe in"

As he prepared to vote against the Bush administration's detainee legislation Wednesday, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich put it about as well as anybody could. "This bill," he said, "is everything we don't believe in."

That's the short version.

In a letter sent to members of Congress this week, 609 law professors offer the long one:

"Taken together, the bill's provisions rewrite American law to evade the fundamental principles of separation of powers, due process, habeas corpus, fair trials, and the rule of law, principles that, together, prohibit state-sanctioned violence. If there is any fixed point in the historical understandings of constitutional freedom that help to define us as a people, it is that no one may be picked up and locked up by the American state in secret or at an unknown location, or without opportunity to petition an independent court for inspection of the lawfulness of the lockup and of the treatment handed out by the state to the person locked up, under legal standards from time to time defined by Congress. This core principle should apply with full force to all detentions by the American state, regardless of the citizenship of detainees."

The professors cite three specific objections to the legislation: its denial of habeas corpus review for detainees who aren't U.S. citizens; its empowering of the president to "to decide which techniques violate the Geneva Conventions for purposes of criminal sanction under the War Crimes Act, so long as they do not fall within the category of 'grave breaches'"; and its abandonment of "our longstanding constitutional protections against punishing people on the basis of coerced testimony and against denying individuals the opportunity to defend themselves through access to exculpatory evidence known to the government."

-- Tim Grieve Sept. 28, 2006


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