Two documents released today reveal that the FBI investigated gatherings of the Thomas Merton Center for Peace & Justice just because the organization opposed the war in Iraq. Although previously disclosed documents show that the FBI is retaining files on anti-war groups, these documents are the first to show conclusively that the rationale for FBI targeting is the group’s opposition to the war.â€œIt makes no sense that the FBI would be spying on peace activists handing out flyers,â€ said Jim Kleissler, Executive Director of the Thomas Merton Center for Peace & Justice. â€œOur members were simply offering leaflets to passersby, legally and peacefully, and now theyâ€™re being investigated by a counterâ€“terrorism unit. Something is seriously wrong in how our government determines who and what constitutes terrorism when peace activists find themselves targeted.â€
And the departed shade of J. Edgar Hoover smiles.