Some of the estimated 500,000 protesters to the Republican National Convention in New York City, August 29, 2004 (AP)
I just read a disturbing article in the New York Times about teams of undercover New York City police officers who conducted covert observations of protesters at the 2004 Republican National Convention.
Known as the "R.N.C. Intelligence Squad," the New York officers traveled to Europe, Canada, and at least 14 states to infiltrate groups that were believed to be participating in the mass protests in New York.
Christopher Dunn, the associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said the NYPD overstepped its authority in the covert surveillance program.
"The police have no authority to spy on lawful political activity, and this wide-ranging N.Y.P.D. program was wrong and illegal," he said. "In the coming weeks, the city will be required to disclose to us many more details about its preconvention surveillance of groups and activists, and many will be shocked by the breadth of the Police Department’s political surveillance operation."
I think that police surveillance of lawful political groups infringes upon freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of association, and sets a frightening precedent for other governmental bodies. That being said, too many Americans are content to sit back allow government entities to usurp their civil liberties.
Just make sure that nothing preempts their American Idol episodes, because nothing is more important than keeping up with the mindless inanity of the likes of Melinda, Lakishia, and Sanjaya, as we have become a nation of drooling imbeciles who can really get fired up only when our favorite manufactured AI star gets axed.