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FBI Expands Probe into Antiwar Activists

Democracy Now! speaks with two of the antiwar activists being targeted and two former FBI agents.

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JUAN GONZALEZ: And did they attempt to seize any of your possessions or records or computers?

MAUREEN CLARE MURPHY: No, they did not come into my home. And none of the activists who had been subpoenaed since the September 24th raids, as far as I know, have had their property seized or their houses raided. So, you know, I don’t think that they really need to come into my home and find out what I do, because I’ve always been working within the mass movement, you know, calling for the U.S. government to end U.S. aid to Israel.

And, you know, it’s kind of ironic that we are being subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury, when oftentimes we’re protesting outside of federal buildings, and we’re calling on our legislators and we’re being very vocal and public in our calls for a more just U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. So, I don’t think the government needs to subpoena us to find out what we believe in and what we do. And so, that’s why we think this is really about intimidating our movement and trying to silence our movement, because, you know, they know what we do, and we know what we do is just and peaceful. And what it’s really about is basically trying to silence our very strong and successful movement.

AMY GOODMAN: We want to turn right now to go back to two activists who we spoke to earlier this year. And as we cover this widening net that is ensnaring a number of people, we wanted to remind you of who these people are. Their homes were raided. They told their stories on Democracy Now! We spoke to Joe Iosbaker in Chicago and Jess Sundin in Minneapolis.

JESS SUNDIN: Friday morning, I awoke to a bang at the door, and by the time I was downstairs, there were six or seven federal agents already in my home, where my partner and my six-year-old daughter had already been awake. We were given the search warrant, and they went through the entire house. They spent probably about four hours going through all of our personal belongings, every book, paper, our clothes, and filled several boxes and crates with our computers, our phones, my passport. And when they were done, as I said, they had many crates full of my personal belongings, with which they left my house.

JOE IOSBAKER: It was a nationally coordinated assault on all of these homes. Seven a.m., the pound on the door. I was getting ready for work, came down the stairs, and there were, I think, in the area of 10 agents, you know, of the—they identified themselves as FBI, showed me the search warrant. And I turned to my wife and said, "Stephanie, it’s the Thought Police."

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Joe Iosbaker and Jess Sundin, who—Jess in Minneapolis. Like them, Tracy Molm’s home was raided by FBI agents in September, some of her belongings seized, one of three activists whose subpoenas now have been reactivated. Tell us what has happened now, Tracy.

TRACY MOLM: Right now, our individual lawyers are being called into meetings with the District Attorney, Fox, in Chicago. They’re essentially trying to scare us into talking, to naming names and giving them a case against the movement and against the people that we have worked with historically to fight for justice for the people of Palestine and the people of Colombia.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, we’re also joined on the phone by Coleen Rowley, a former FBI agent who was named by Time Magazine Woman of the Year for her exposure of the problems in intelligence by the FBI pre-9/11. Your reaction to these raids, especially since they all seem to be focused around people who are involved in Palestinian solidarity work and there’s certainly no indication that there’s any terrorist threat to the United States here from the Palestinian movement?

 
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