Friday, July 18, 2008

Congressional Investigation of Maryland Spying

Reports of Gov. Ehrlich's spy operation have gotten the attention of Congress. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, chair of the House Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has announced an investigation of the surveillance of Maryland citizens engaged in constitutionally-protected political activities.

According to a press release from Congressman Kucinich's office:

Washington, Jul 18 - “I think that most people would be upset to know that police were spying on lawful citizens and infiltrating peaceful organizations, rather than chasing down real criminals. At a minimum, such police spying is clearly a waste of taxpayer dollars and a diversion from the mission of protecting and serving the people. I want the subcommittee to determine how widespread these activities are and who ordered them,” Kucinich said.

Congressman Kucinich is Chairman of the House Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Yesterday, it was revealed that Maryland State Police officers infiltrated Maryland peace and justice groups engaged in peaceful, non-violent activities. The documents were made public through a lawsuit.

Mother Jones magazine uncovered evidence of surveillance of environmental groups by Beckett Brown International on behalf of several large corporations. The information and documents were provided by a former investor.

While I am glad someone in Congress is looking at this, I would urge the Maryland General Assembly to take action, as well. The legislature should determine the extent of the Free State Stasi's activities under Governor Ehrlich and whether similar activities are continuing today.