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Tales from Stasiland: NYPD Spied on “Anti-GOP” Groups

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In the on-going investigation of the federally coordinated and driven security operations for the Republican National Convention of 2004, in which the New York Police Department were principal actors, NYPD and FBI spokesmen have consistently stated that the surveillance operations targeted only “potentially violent or disruptive organizations.” My own sources have consistently told me that those statements are conscious lies, and that when records come out it will be revealed that organizations were targeted because they were raising money to oppose the Republican party without regard to concerns for violence of any sort.

A federal judge has now ordered the unsealing of documents produced in a litigation, and they are proving acutely embarrassing to the police unit involved. The Associated Press reports:

They were among the more colorful protesters at the 2004 Republican National Convention – a tuxedo-wearing performance art troupe called Billionaires for Bush. The New York Police Department wasn’t amused.

Once-confidential documents prepared as the NYPD readied for the convention cautioned the group was “forged as a mockery of the current presidency and political policies,” and they noted that “preliminary intelligence indicates that this group is raising funds for expansion and support of anti-RNC organizations.”

For two years, New York City representatives have derided groups involved in the legal action saying that their claims of being monitored and stalked were “paranoid delusions.” But it turns out they weren’t delusional at all. They were targeted and harassed and the criteria used was whether they were loyal to Bush and the Republican Party. By most recent polls, that group of disloyal would include roughly 90% of the people of New York City, and 76% of Americans nationwide.

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