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Oct 24 2011

ACLU: FBI engaging in wide-scale racial profiling

Over the years since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, tensions between civil liberties organizations and domestic security agencies charged with preventing additional attacks have steadily increased. The same period has included a series of incidents in which alleged Muslim-American terrorists – particularly so-called “lone wolves” – have been thwarted in their attempts through the use of paid informants posing as fellow jihadis.

Meanwhile, the ACLU has filed numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests – some backed up with lawsuits – to find out how the FBI is using racial and ethnic data as part of its investigations.

“The documents we have started to receive confirm our worst fears,” ACLU officials wrote to Attorney General Holder. “Although often heavily redacted, these documents, obtained from a number of different field offices, demonstrate that FBI analysts are using improper and crude racial stereotypes regarding the types of crimes committed by different racial and ethnic groups and then collecting demographic data to map where people of those racial or ethnic groups live.”

The result, charges the ACLU, has been “racial profiling on an industrial scale.”

Read more at Yahoo News.

I am disturbed by the idea that the FBI think that the only people worth watching are the Muslims, but not at all surprised. Meanwhile, white folks shoot Democratic (and pro-gun) politicians like Gabrielle Giffords, and nobody saw it coming.

3 comments

  1. 1
    Michael Fisher

    Not disagreeing with your general point Jason about the abuse of racial & ethnic data. However this claim of yours is incorrect:

    …the FBI think that the only people worth watching are the Muslims…

    The final paragraph from the csmonitor.com article reads:

    In addition to Arab-American and Muslim communities in Michigan, the ACLU also pointed to what it sees as racial profiling as part of FBI investigations of “Black Separatist” groups and recent African American population increases in Georgia, Russian and Chinese organized crime operations in San Francisco, and Hispanic communities in several states faced with threats posed by the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, street gang

  2. 2
    Jason Thibeault

    You’re right, it would be more accurate to write “the FBI think the only people worth watching are non-whites.” But then, they take it upon themselves to monitor liberals fairly frequently too, regardless of their color.

  3. 3
    Ouabache

    And when Homeland Security put out a report about right wing terrorism in the United States Republicans threw such a massive hissy fit that they got the report retracted and the author fired. While the FBI is busy bugging innocent Arab Americans they ignore the violent hate groups, militant separatists, and lone wolves that are a very real threat. Time to readjust our priorities.

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