Friday, December 30, 2005 - COLCHESTER (AP) -- Sen. Patrick Leahy wants the Defense Department to give him the details about two Vermont anti-war protests that were monitored by government officials.I'm certain I've been to one of the protests they're talking about here. I know our local Brattleboro police had a guy at one protest with video camera, pretending (badly) to be a film student. A local reporter got his numer real fast and followed the lead, getting to the truth (remember when that was what reporters do?).
Leahy, a Democrat, said Vermont had a long tradition of peaceful political protest.
"I want to know the extent of it. I want to know under what conceivable, conceivable legal justification they are doing it," Leahy told Vermont Public Radio.
"And even if they could legally justify it, what dunderhead policy reason (is there) for doing it," he said. "And again, I'd like to know how much it cost. The Department of Defense says we don't have enough money to get the kind of armor and protection our troops need in Iraq, but we've got money to go around and spy on Quaker meetings?"
Pentagon policy allows it to take the legal steps necessary to protect military installations and personnel from violence.
Earlier this month, NBC News reported that the Pentagon has monitored anti-war protests as part of a stepped up intelligence collection effort. The efforts included monitoring two Vermont protests.
Friday, December 30
I *heart* my Senator
From the Brattleboro Reformer: