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December 20, 2005

Pentagon Deems Gay Groups Protesting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Potentially Violent and a "Credible Terrorist Threat"?

This comes from Americablog, and the less-credible NBCNews, so perhaps it should be tasted with a nice sprinkling of salt.

Still, if it's correct, I have to admit it does seem to be a case of overreaching by the Pentagon:

A secret Pentagon document obtained by NBC News reveals that the military has been spying on what they call "suspicious" civilian meetings - including many "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" protests.

Only eight pages from the four-hundred page document have been released so far. But on those eight pages, Sirius OutQ News discovered that the Defense Department has been keeping tabs NOT just on anti-war protests, but also on seemingly non-threatening protests against the military's ban on gay servicemembers. According to those first eight pages, Pentagon investigators kept tabs on April protests at UC-Santa Cruz, State University of New York at Albany, and William Patterson College in New Jersey. A February protest at NYU was also listed, along with the law school's gay advocacy group "OUTlaw," and was classified as "possibly violent."

All of these protests were against the military's policy excluding gay personnel, and against the presence of military recruiters on campus. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network says the Pentagon needs to explain why "don't ask, don't tell" protesters are considered a threat.

I suppose most of these groups are possibly violent. Passionate people of a left-wing stripe are given to vandalism, harassment, and even personal violence from time to time.

I do wonder what genuine evidence the Pentagon might have to deem them so dangerous as to be considered possibly terrorist.

Note that that particular charge -- that the Pentagon deemed them to be a "credible threat" for terrorism -- does not come from the NBCNews report but rather is just a claim of an advocacy group. So there's a good chance it's utter bullshit.


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posted by Ace at 02:36 PM

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