23 July 2008


A lawsuit brought by the ACLU in Maryland has revealed that the state had been placing informants to spy on a group of anti-death penalty activists. Lefty sportswriter Dave Zirin was among the members of the group who are now on file with Homeland Security.

In classified reports compiled by the Maryland State Police and the Department of Homeland Security, I am "Dave Z." This nickname was given by an undercover agent known to us as "Lucy." She sat in our meetings of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, smiling and engaged, taking copious notes about actions deemed threatening by the then-governor of Maryland, Robert Ehrlich.

Our seditious crimes, as Lucy reported, involved such acts as planning to set up a table at the local farmer's market and writing up a petition. Adding a dash of farce to this outrage, she was monitoring us in the liberal enclave of Takoma Park, Maryland, a place known more for vegans than violence, more for tie-dyeing than terrorism.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act and the ACLU, we now know that "Lucy" was only one part of a vast, insidious project. The Maryland State Police's Department of Homeland Security devoted nearly 300 hours and thousands of taxpayer dollars from 2005 and 2006 to harassing people whose only crime was dissenting on the question of the war in Iraq and Maryland's use of death row.

Green Left Infoasis has more links. Earlier this summer, the Minneapolis City Pages revealed an FBI effort to solicit moles to infiltrate groups planning to protest the Republican convention.