Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 3 (3 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   8 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Profiles of the Targeted: FBI Wanted to Talk to Me About My Trip to Israel and Palestine

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 2 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H2 2/19/11

Become a Fan
  (65 fans)

Suppressing the right of American groups to travel is not new to U.S. government policy. In 1992, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) mounted a case on behalf of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Geo-Vista Global Experiences and Veterans for Peace asserting regulations on group travel to Vietnam and Cambodia were "making it impossible to organize academic study groups, to travel with study groups, to travel with colleagues to assess humanitarian aid and to engage in group fact-finding trips." Secretary of State James Baker eventually lifted the regulations, making it permissible for groups to travel to the two countries.

Presumably, the restrictions had been in place to prevent Americans from seeing the truth of what happened with U.S. military operations in Vietnam or Cambodia decades ago. If the government was willing to restrict access to history then, it is probably not surprising that they are closely monitoring travel to countries like Israel or Palestine, where the U.S. has been helping Israel preserve a situation where Israel maintains dominance over Palestinians.

Smith discusses the reality that the FBI and the Grand Jury is expecting the subpoenaed activists to go in and testify on everyone they know who is involved in nonviolent resistance in Palestine. They want names. The activists don't know what will happen if they share that information. And, those who have relationships with activists in Colombia who are being targeted for their solidarity work don't know what will happen if they give up the names of individuals there.

The most frightening aspect is that the FBI has not been able to build a case. Months into targeting the activists, there is no evidence that any of these activists provided "material support for terrorism," as the subpoenas suggest they are suspected of doing. The FBI is going after Americans, wrecking people's lives, intimidating those who believe in their right to dissent and working to further develop justification for the investigation as it is carried out. And, the FBI intends to continue the investigation even if there is no evidence.

Smith's father, who took her to antiwar actions when she was a child, has provided her with much support. Other family and friends, however, have been frightened. Some wondered initially if some of the activists being investigated actually had provided "material support" to terrorists.

She thinks that the way the U.S. government uses fear as a way to get things done and get citizens to support wars is part of why her friends and family have been afraid. However, she adds many friends and family have begun to express how ludicrous it is that a Jewish woman and her two Palestinian American friends are being criminalized for taking a trip.

The outpouring of support for the activists from unions, colleges, religious groups, etc has been encouraging to Smith. She thinks the wide range of support has taken shape because this investigation demonstrates "anybody that has dissented" against "US political policies here or internationally" can be targeted. She never thought it imaginable that something like this could happen, but unfortunately, the U.S. government is giving a security apparatus, revitalized after 9/11, carte blanche to keep Americans safe by trampling over civil liberties.

Next Page  1  |  2


Kevin Gosztola is a writer and curator of Firedoglake's blog The Dissenter, a blog covering civil liberties in the age of technology. He is an editor for and a former intern and videographer for The Nation Magazine.And, he's the (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

We Do Not Consent to Warrantless "Porno-Scanning" in Airports

Do They Put Lipstick on Pigs at the Funny Farm?

How Private Prison Corporations Hope Arizona's SB1070 Will Lead to Internment Camps for Illegals

Why the Battle Against TSA Groping and Body Scanners is Justified

Give Obama a Chance to Do What?


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
6 people are discussing this page, with 8 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

It is very frightening that this could happen and ... by patricia win on Saturday, Feb 19, 2011 at 11:25:30 AM
I've talked to town, city, and state police office... by Steven G. Erickson on Saturday, Feb 19, 2011 at 2:11:14 PM
My road to prison was for having first advocated ... by Steven G. Erickson on Saturday, Feb 19, 2011 at 2:12:21 PM
"held youths go right"should be "help youths go ri... by Steven G. Erickson on Saturday, Feb 19, 2011 at 6:59:12 PM
Obama & his cabinet are one of THEM...BIG C... by Penel on Saturday, Feb 19, 2011 at 7:27:36 PM
should be told to hit the road. They are not true ... by Archie on Saturday, Feb 19, 2011 at 10:27:59 PM
...this and other Grand Juries.Under no circumstan... by James Hadstate on Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 9:23:00 AM
Thank God, the American Century Empire is falling ... by syed mahdi on Sunday, Feb 20, 2011 at 2:22:03 PM