It's bad enough that ANY dollars are being spent for this, but the FBI is funded by Americans who maybe would like to protest and demonstrate against this horrible administration on a stage where they'll get some recognition. But in explaining this off, officials are lumping dissent with terrorism. This is just draconian, and should outrage anyone who believes in the basic tenets of American rights.
That we're footing the bill to harass possible dissenters because BushCo is afraid they might spoil their party is beyond reprehensible. Not that he would - but if Clinton was caught doing this during the 1996 election, he would have been drawn, quartered, reassembled, hanged, resuscitated, shot, treated, released, kidnapped and thrown into a wood chipper.
Forget Bush Republicans - they're beyond hope. But what about Republicans and anyone else concerned with how government is spending your money? I'm not HEARING THEM...
Me? I want my money back. Oh, wait...I have to make over 200k for that to happen...
FBI Tracks Potential GOP Protesters
FBI, New York Police Track People They Say Might Cause Trouble at the Republican Convention
NEW YORK Aug. 16, 2004 - With the Republican National Convention less than two weeks away, federal agents and city police are keeping tabs on activists and others they believe might try to cause trouble. They are making unannounced visits to people's homes, conducting interviews and monitoring Web sites and meetings.
The effort has been overshadowed by far-reaching counterterrorism measures planned for the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 event. Officials will not discuss it on the record, other than to say investigators always act within the law.
"We're not engaging in surveillance of groups or individuals without legal predication," said Jim Margolin, a spokesman for the FBI's New York office. [...]
Officials deny the operation threatens civil rights. They note that the FBI interviews are voluntary, and that protest meetings and Internet postings being monitored are public forums.
The Justice Department, through its office of legal counsel, concluded in an April 2004 memo that two FBI bulletins were proper in alerting law enforcement officers last year about expected protests in Washington, San Francisco and Miami.
Recent FBI bulletins about anti-war protests have urged local police to "be alert" and report "potentially illegal acts" to federal terrorism task forces. Illegal activity such as bombings, vandalism or trespass "falls outside the scope of the First Amendment," the Justice Department concluded.