Monday, January 13, 2020

Indication That Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty and Cato Institute Were Spied on By the FBI

Power does not like competition or an anti-power bias.

Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul has issued a statement regarding recent revelations that the FBI has potentially been spying on domestic organizations, including Campaign for Liberty.

CATO Institute scholar Patrick Eddington submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, asking whether the bureau had ever conducted warrantless surveillance on a number of pro-civil liberties groups, including Campaign for Liberty. The FBI's response was that it could “neither confirm nor deny” that they have been spying on Campaign for Liberty. In Eddington's professional experience, such a denial from the government typically means the affirmative.

Dr. Paul stated:
The idea that the FBI would target Campaign for Liberty for surveillance should outrage every American. Our work to educate, train, and mobilize grassroots activists for the cause of limited government and individual liberty is precisely the type of activity the Founders were most interested in protecting when they added the First Amendment to the Constitution.
The FBI has so little regard for American’s constitutional rights that they refuse to even give a straight answer when asked if they are, or have ever, subjected Campaign of Liberty to any form of surveillance.
Campaign for Liberty will continue to work to pressure Congress to do their duty and uncover the truth about FBI spying on us and other organizations and rein in all rogue federal agencies that violate our liberties in the name of keeping us safe.
Cato Institute believes it may have also been spied upon.

The institute issued a statement that said:
The Cato Institute is among the 23 organizations that may have been targeted for surveillance or other data collection. Others include Kids in Need of Defense, the Transgender Law Center, the Reason Foundation, the Campaign for Liberty, and Restore the Fourth...
Federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies have used the “neither confirm nor deny” response — known as a “Glomar” — in the past to conceal surveillance, intelligence gathering, or even combat activities. Courts have generally supported agency use of such responses when the issues involve a foreign intelligence or foreign policy activity....
“A Glomar response is particularly offensive to the spirit of FOIA, as it asserts a privilege of secrecy not only covering the substance of a federal agency’s activities, but even the fact of those activities,” said Eddington. “In light of other recent revelations about federal surveillance activities targeting various domestic groups, the need for aggressive congressional investigation of these matters is more urgent than ever.”

(ht Felix Bronstein)

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