busting it loose

and gore – in an absolutely amazing speech – reminds us of one of the many reasons illegal wiretaps matter:

On this particular Martin Luther King Day, it is especially important to recall that for the last several years of his life, Dr. King was illegally wiretapped-one of hundreds of thousands of Americans whose private communications were intercepted by the U.S. government during this period.

The FBI privately called King the “most dangerous and effective negro leader in the country” and vowed to “take him off his pedestal.” The government even attempted to destroy his marriage and blackmail him into committing suicide. [here]

these and other abuses were part of the rationale for FISA. it made me think: the history of the act is probably something conservative pundits would shout down, and even call the other person un-american, if reminded of it.

in that spirit, some links to make the pundis cry:
COINTELPRO: a systematic attempt by the FBI and the CIA to undermine the american left, including civil rights leaders and the peace movement. they even had a coloring book. for other highlights [here]
Church committee: the senate committee charged with investigating the abuses of the CIA and the FBI after the watergate affair. named after senator church, committee chair.
Church committee reports: their records, which are fairly bonechilling, including this general overview of their findings:
the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, on the theory that preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propogation of dangerous ideas would protect the national security and deter violence
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