Thursday, October 9, 2008

MARYLAND POLICE CONTINUE TO ABUSE ACTIVISTS IT SPIED ON

Washington Post - The 53 peaceful political activists wrongly classified by the Maryland State Police as terrorists will not be allowed to keep paper copies of their files or review them with their attorneys, the agency said yesterday. State police spokesman Greg Shipley declined to say why the activists will be allowed only to read the details of the intelligence that undercover agents gathered on them for 14 months in 2005 and 2006. "We feel this is an appropriate method of having this information reviewed, purged and destroyed," Shipley said.

He said the department is making the files available only "to the individuals who are named" in state and federal databases that track terrorism suspects. Superintendent Terrence B. Sheridan publicly revealed the existence of the files Tuesday at a legislative hearing in Annapolis.

The rules for reviewing the files were denounced by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, which is representing many of the activists. They were wrongly classified in a state police surveillance operation targeting opponents of the death penalty and Iraq war that was far more extensive than previously disclosed.

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