President Barack Obama rang in the new year by signing into law the National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA of 2013 despite his previous threats of vetoing the measure because of several controversial sections. The most contentious part of the law is the one which would allow the military to indefinitely arrest and detain American citizens without charging them with any crime.
Critics point out that the current NDAA could be used to detain and imprison activists and government dissenters. New findings confirm that the government has been consistently monitoring activists, most notably those involved with Occupy Wall Street since 2011. Freedom of Information Act requests filed by various groups have confirmed that the FBI was monitoring Occupy activists through a program called “Operation Tripwire”. “Operation Tripwire” was initially founded to gather intelligence on terrorist sleeper cells in the US.
A shocking August 2011 report from New York indicates that the FBI had been aware of the Occupy Wall Street Movement a month before Occupiers had even set up their first protest in Zucotti Park on September 17, 2011. An FBI officer met with a representative from the New York Stock Exchange to inform them of planned protest activities and records also indicate that the FBI was monitoring the activities of Anonymous the hacktivist collective, in the month leading up to the start of protests.
While more documents are still surfacing around the country, a series of FBI reports from Florida in 2011 also showed that the Federal Government used covert informants, including mall security employees, to observe and monitor Occupiers who they felt were “indicating violent tendencies.”
Guest: Beau Hodai, a freelance reporter, who works at the Center for Media and Democracy – he also publishes of DBA Press
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