View Full Version : Pentagon Admits Spying On "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Protesters

04-11-2006, 03:06 PM
Pentagon admits spying on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' protests


John Byrne
Published: Tuesday April 11, 2006

The Pentagon confirmed Tuesday that the Defense Department surveilled groups opposed to the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law banning openly lesbian, gay and bisexual service members, RAW STORY has learned. The confirmation came in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network in January.

The Pentagon's release -- which includes declassified reports showing that the agency spied on such protests at three U.S. universities -- is available here.

The revelation comes amidst a rash of reports that the Defense Department has spied on anti-war groups. It confirms that surveillance of protests at New York University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of California at Santa Cruz was conducted by US agents.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that colleges are required to allow military recruiters on campus; many large universities have sought to bar recruiters, saying the policy is discriminatory.

According to SLDN, "The release of the documents follows media reports indicating government surveillance of civilian groups at several universities across the country. The Department of Defense acknowledged that it had 'inappropriately' collected information on protestors in a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to a February report by United Press International."

"The Department of Defense has now confirmed the existence of a surveillance program monitoring LGBT groups," said C. Dixon Osburn, SLDN's executive director. "Pentagon leaders have also acknowledged inappropriately collecting some of the information in the TALON database. That information should be destroyed and no similar surveillance should be authorized in the future. Free expression is not a threat to our national security."

In February, SLDN filed a lawsuit as part of its efforts to obtain information related to the government's domestic spy program. The documents, complete information on the lawsuit and the domestic surveillance program are available online at www.sldn.org (http://www.sldn.org).

04-11-2006, 03:10 PM
Anybody who supported the NSA tapping phone convos and read this must feel real stupid.