War: February 2004 Archives

Via Talk Left, I learn that the government seems to be backing down a bit on the whole peace activism = terrorism thing. I'm sure it's because of the post James did.

If this isn't police state behavior, I don't know what is. Lifted from Kos, go there for more info. The FBI-Joint Terrorism Task Force is asserting a right to compel peace activists (including the Catholic Peace Ministry in Des Moines) to appear before a secret grand jury without a lawyer.

Yesterday, February 3, Detective Jeff Warford of the Polk County Sheriff's Office-FBI-Joint Terrorism Task Force came to Catholic Peace Ministry's office here in Des Moines with a subpoena for me to testify before a Federal Grand Jury next Tuesday, February 10. Mr. Warford also served papers on Elton Davis at the Catholic Worker House and Patti McKee, who was coordinator of Iowa Peace Network until last month. The Grand Jury process is shrouded in secrecy. We do not know who or what the object of this investigation may be, beyond "possible violations of federal criminal law in the Southern District of Iowa."

The proceeding will be behind closed doors. We may not have an attorney present. We have the right to plead the Fifth Amendment, refusing the answer questions that might incriminate us. The government, then, can offer us immunity from prosecution, in which case we will obliged to answer under threat of contempt of court and could be imprisoned for the length of the Grand Jury session, 18 months, should we continue to refuse to answer. This immunity would be limited to our own testimony and anything any of us say could be used against the others.

Whatever is going on, this is definitely an escalation on the part of the government's war on dissent and clamp down on civil liberties. The fact that anything that we three and the peacemaking communities we represent could possibly attract the notice of a "Terrorism Task Force" is reprehensible. Please spread the word, express concerns you have with Federal and Polk County authorities. Keep us in mind and prayer.

Brian Terrell
Executive Director
Catholic Peace Ministry

Salon has a goood article by Eric Boehlert on where the evidence stands on Bush's "disappearance" from the Texas National Guard. Click on the day pass, and watch an ad, to see the whole thing, It's worth it.

As an antidote to the "liberal media" like the New York Times that just refer to the panel's co-chair, David Niewert has compiled some useful information.

Some highlights:

-- Overturning the Iran-Contra conviction of Oliver North on specious grounds.

-- Blocking the Clinton legal team's attempts to track down the leaks emanating from Starr's office and blocking any attempts at discovery in the matter.

-- Accusing Clinton of "declaring war on the United States" by trying to shield Secret Service agents from being forced to testify against Clinton.

This page is an archive of entries in the War category from February 2004.

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