Law Enforcement Agencies Spy on Innocent Citizens

St. Louis Journalism Review, February 2005 | Go to article overview

Law Enforcement Agencies Spy on Innocent Citizens


With virtually no media coverage or public scrutiny, a major reorganization of the U.S. domestic law enforcement intelligence apparatus is well underway and, in fact, is partially completed. The effort to create a new national intelligence collection, analysis, and sharing system has frightening implications for privacy and other civil liberties.

In the aftermath of 9/11, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) with Department of Justice (DOJ) assistance decided to organize a summit in early 2002; the topic was "Criminal Intelligence Sharing: Overcoming Barriers to Enhance Domestic Security." At the summit, a select group of 100 "criminal intelligence experts" and VIPs from local, state, and federal agencies--including the military--formulated what came to be known as the "National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan" (Money Laundering).

The IACP summit report calls for the creation of a "Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council" (CICC). The Global Intelligence Working Group (GIWG) became operational under the umbrella of John Ashcroft's Department of Justice (DOJ) as the first incarnation of the CICC in the fall of 2002.

While they invoke the terror of 9/11, the "Money Laundering" and related documents offer no argument that 9/11 could have been prevented with better intelligence sharing between federal and state/local law enforcement. The IACP summit report simply asserts, "While September 11 highlighted urgency in improving the capacity of law enforcement agencies ... to share terrorism-relevant intelligence data ... the real need is to share all--not just terrorism-related--criminal intelligence." Information would be shared throughout all channels of enforcement agencies. State and local agencies are to act as partners in the participation of collection, analysis, and dissemination, ultimately resulting in police infiltration collecting criminal intelligence.

Several police departments have increased surveillance and intelligence gathering activity against innocent citizens exercising their constitutional rights to participate in religious assemblies and social protests. The Denver Police were collecting criminal intelligence data on American citizens participating in "political, religious, and social gatherings. The Denver Police Intelligence Bureau has conducted infiltration and observation on groups such as: American Friends Service Committee, Citizens for Peace in Space, and Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission. …

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