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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

September, 2005

 

Greens Question National Guard Spying Charges

SACRAMENTO (August 16, 2005) - The Green Party of California said it has major questions about the objectivity of an US Army Inspector General report that reportedly "cleared" the California National Guard Monday of charges it illegally spied on demonstrators opposed to the war in Iraq.
Despite the report, Greens continued their call for a thorough, and unbiased investigation by the California Legislature, as proposed by Sen. Joseph Dunn, D-Garden Grove.
"We need an unbiased investigation. No rational Californian should give any credibility to a so-called 'investigation' by the Army of itself. It cannot be objective," said Tom Bolema of the GPCA. "The existence of this special unit of the Guard is known, and its own emails and actions confirm that spying did occur."
In a published report in the San Jose Mercury-News, emails by Guard upper-echelon noted that it had tracked at least one anti-war rally held on Mother's Day in May at the State Capitol that included Gold Star Families for Peace, Raging Grannies and CodePink.
In those emails, the Guard said its "folks" continued to "monitor" the rally, which included parents of American soldiers killed in Iraq. That activity by the military - tracking civilians' constitutionally-protected activities - is illegal under the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, which prevents the military from participating in law enforcement.
Greens noted that the Guard exists to protect Californians in times of natural disasters, and that the Guard is already being misused because it is sending large numbers of its personnel to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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