I read the recent article in the New York Times about the Department of Defense developing and maintaining a database of anti-war protest(er)s. According to their own internal documentation and policies, they only maintain the information for 90 days, but a search reveled they have data going back to 2004 on many anti-war protests and protesters, whom they consider a threat to their recruiting activities. Shades of the 1960-70's anti-war protests?
The difference then was that the FBI did the monitoring then and it was all by field work and on paper. This time it's the DOD and it's an on-going database of "suspicious incidents", which their own review showed to have labeled as peaceful and not a threat. So, why do they do this? And why have they not removed the information according to their own policies? All the while denying it. It's called lying.
Our government lied to us during the Vietnam-era and they're lying to us now, and have been lying since the preparation to the war in Iraq, and especially afterward. They're targeting people expressing their first Amendent rights to free speech and assembly. They have even kept track of the Quakers. Talk about extremes at both ends of the perspective. And the DOD has shared their database with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.
In short, our military and our government doesn't trust the people of this country to express their views about them, so they'll keep track of them and share their suspicions with other agencies. And who else have they shared this with? Companies, the IRS, State governments? Will you find yourself under review or denied something because the DOD or another agency said they "think" you're a suspicious during our war on terror?
Unfortunately it's clear they don't plan to discontinue this practice. They lied about it, lied about following their own policy on it, and they will continue to lie about it and how it's used. And unfortunately, Dylan was right, "The times, they are achangin'", and history will repeat itself down the road as we have another period of anti-military voters who felt the reality of the times.
It's sad because when they need the people of this country to support them, we won't be there, as they're seeing about Iraq now. We're stuck in an endless war the military won't tell us the truth or a place we'll never leave. And the anti-military view will come back to face them some day, and we will tell them, "Remember when you didn't trust us."
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