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Time for another Gooberhead Award [Beaniecap Breakdown] – presented periodically to those in the news who have their tongues going a hundred miles an hour… but forgot to put their brains in gear.
Today’s award goes to a whole field of Goobers: “The RNC Intelligence Squad” of the New York police department. This outfit is a gang of snoops who spied on protest groups planning to attend the Republican National Convention in 2004. But these Goobers didn’t have a whole lot of intelligence – in either meaning of that word.
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Their rationale for spying on American citizens who were coming to a political event to exercise their First Amendment rights is that there might be “terrorists” among them – people who were going to engage in criminal violence. But the bulk of the squad’s surveillance was on churches, theater groups, environmentalists, and others with no intentions of breaking the law.
Yet, posing as fellow activists, the squad infiltrated such groups, traveling throughout the country on the taxpayers’ dime to spy on the innocent. They filed hundreds of reports ominously marked “NYPD Secret.” Let’s peek into one of these.
It covers the plans of a group with the dangerous name of Bands Against Bush. The secret report reveals the astonishing news that BAB was planning concerts! Even more damning, these terrorists were scheduling speeches and videos between musical acts. Let me quote directly from the report: “Activists are showing a well-organized network made up of anti-Bush sentiment; the mixing of music and political rhetoric indicates sophisticated organizing skills with a specific agenda.”
Yes, BAB is an obvious threat to national security! We can’t have people mixing music and political rhetoric in America! Haul ’em all off to Gitmo, I say!
This is Jim Hightower saying… Holy Woody Guthrie! These Goobers would be hilarious… if they weren’t so dangerous to America’s liberties.
“New York police spied on protesters,” Austin American Statesman, March 25, 2007.