PROTECT 1ST AMENDMENT ACTIVITIES FROM FBI INVESTIGATION In January of 1991, just before th
PROTECT 1ST AMENDMENT ACTIVITIES FROM FBI INVESTIGATION
In January of 1991, just before the Persian Gulf War the FBI
made unannounced visits to the homes and office of prominent Arab
Americans, having no reason other than ethnic background to believe
that any of those interviewed had any knowledge of terrorism.
Similarly, in the CISPES case of the mid-1980s, the FBI put
Americans who opposed U.S. government policy toward El Salvador
under investigation for allegedly supporting international
terrorism. In these and other cases the FBI continues to
investigate lawful activities -- taking pictures at demonstrations,
conducting surveillance of religious services, monitoring
conferences -- of citizens who come into contact with foreign
nationals, who peacefully oppose U.S. foreign policy or who come
from a certain background.
The FBI First Amendment Protection Act (H.R. 50) would
establish by federal statute what ought to be self-evident, that
the FBI should only investigate Americans whom it suspects of being
involved in criminal activity. It would preserve politician and
religious liberty by requiring that the FBI follow a criminal
standard when opening and conducting investigations that may
involve the collection of information on First Amendment
activities. Currently there are no statutory guidelines for FBI
Write or call your Representative. Urge you Representative to co-
sponsor the FBI First Amendment Protection Act (HR 50) and ask
Senator to consider introducing similar legislation in the Senate.
Congress ought to do all it can to ensure that the FBI does not
improperly conduct surveillance of Americans engaged in lawful
expression of views.
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