Skip to main content

View Diary: Justice Scalia: Democracy's Not For Babies (234 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  The Socialist Workers case was gov't harassment (0+ / 0-)

    and the FBI didn't bother with warrants, instead they took such measures as contacting employers with suggestions of firings. a tactic I wouldn't put beyond an agency as rotten as today's DEA.

    Alternately, they might, in some offices, use signing to trigger the sorts of surveillance (poking through your trash, harvesting call data) which don't require warrants.


    When Sheriff Arpaio asks for my papers, I'll hand him a pack of ZigZags.

    by ben masel on Thu Apr 29, 2010 at 08:09:00 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  you're right; my bad. (0+ / 0-)

      Appellees introduced proof of specific incidents of private and government hostility toward the SWP and its members within the four years preceding the trial. These incidents, many of which occurred in Ohio and neighboring States, included threatening phone calls and hate mail, the burning of SWP literature, the destruction of SWP members' property, police harassment of a party candidate, and the firing of shots at an SWP office. There was also evidence that in the 12-month period before trial 22 SWP members, including 4 in Ohio, were fired because of their party membership. Although appellants contend that two of the Ohio firings were not politically motivated, the evidence amply supports the District Court's conclusion that "private hostility and harassment toward SWP members make it difficult for them to maintain employment."

      The District Court also found a past history of Government harassment of the SWP. FBI surveillance of the SWP was "massive" and continued until at least 1976. The FBI also conducted a counterintelligence program against the SWP and the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA), the SWP's youth organization. One of the aims of the "SWP Disruption Program" was the dissemination of information designed to impair the ability of the SWP and YSA to function. This program included "disclosing to the press the criminal records of SWP candidates, and sending anonymous letters to SWP members, supporters, spouses, and employers." Until at least 1976, the FBI employed various covert techniques to obtain information about the SWP, including information concerning the sources of its funds and the nature of its expenditures. The District Court specifically found that the FBI had conducted surveillance of the Ohio SWP and had interfered with its activities within the State. 18 Government surveillance was not limited to the FBI. The United States Civil Service Commission also gathered information on the SWP, the YSA, and their supporters, and the FBI routinely distributed its reports to Army, Navy and Air Force Intelligence, the United States Secret Service, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

      The District Court properly concluded that the evidence of private and Government hostility toward the SWP and its members establishes a reasonable probability that disclosing the names of contributors and recipients will subject them to threats, harassment, and reprisals.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site