Tag Archives: federal

Infiltration of Political Movements Is the Norm, Not the Exception in the United States

Thursday 15 March 2012
by: Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Occupy Washington, DC | News Analysis

On March 6 members of an off-shoot of Anonymous, Lulzsec, were arrested as a result of an FBI informant, Sabu, who the media describes as a Lulzsec leader. The six arrests were for people allegedly involved with Lulzsec which became known for targeting Sony, the CIA, the U.S. Senate, and FBI, as well as Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal.

Exactly one year ago to the day of the arrests, The Guardian published an article headlined, “One in four US hackers ‘is an FBI informer.’” The article described how the FBI had used the threat of long sentences to turn some members of Anonymous and similar groups into informants.  It also described how the group was open to infiltration. On Democracy Now, Gabriella Coleman, a professor at McGill University who is an expert on digital media, hackers and the law, said:  “There had been rumors of infiltration or informants. At some level, Anonymous is quite easy to infiltrate, because anyone can sort of join and participate. And so, there had been rumors of this sort of activity happening for quite a long time.”

In Part I of this series, Infiltration to Disrupt, Divide and Mis-direct are Widespread in Occupywe described reports of widespread infiltration of the Occupy. In this article we will describe the history of infiltration of political movements in the United States and the goals of infiltration. Part III of this series will describe behavior of infiltrators, how other movements have countered infiltrators and what Occupy can do to minimize the damage from infiltrators.

Infiltration is the Norm, not the Exception, of U.S. Political Movements

When the long history of political infiltration is reviewed, the Occupy Movement should be surprised if it is not infiltrated.  Almost every movement in modern history has been infiltrated by police and others using many of the same tactics we are now seeing in Occupy.

Also Read: Part One – Infiltration to Disrupt, Divide and Misdirect Is Widespread in Occupy

Virtually every movement has been the target of police surveillance and disruption activities.  The most famous surveillance program was the FBI’s COINTELPRO which according to COINTELPRO Documents targeted the women’s rights, Civil Rights, anti-war and peace movements, the New Left, socialists, communists and independence movement for Puerto Rico, among others.  Among the groups infiltrated were the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP, Congress for Racial Equality, the American Indian Movement, Students for a Democratic Society, the National Lawyers Guild, the Black Panthers and Weather Underground. Significant leaders from Albert Einstein to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who are both memorialized in Washington, were monitored. The rule in the United States is to be infiltrated; the exception is not to be.

The Church Committee documented a history of use of the FBI for purposes of political repression. They described infiltration efforts going  back to World War I, including the 1920s, when agents were charged with rounding up “anarchists and revolutionaries” for deportation. The Church Committee found infiltration efforts growing from 1936 through 1976, with COINTELPRO as the major program. While these domestic political spying and disruption programs were supposed to stop in 1976, in fact they have continued. As reported in “The Price of Dissent,” Federal Magistrate Joan Lefkow found in 1991, the record “shows that despite regulations, orders and consent decrees prohibiting such activities, the FBI had continued to collect information concerning only the exercise of free speech.”

How many agents or infiltrators can we expect to see inside a movement? One of the most notorious “police riots” was the 1968 Democratic Party Convention.  Independent journalist Yasha Levine writes: “During the 1968 protests of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, which drew about 10,000 protesters and was brutally crushed by the police, 1 out of 6 protesters was a federal undercover agent. That’s right, 1/6th of the total protesting population was made up of spooks drawn from various federal agencies. That’s roughly 1,600 people! The stat came from an Army document obtained by CBS News in 1978, a full decade after the protest took place. According to CBS, the infiltrators were not passive observers, monitoring and relaying information to central command, but were involved in violent confrontations with the police.” [Emphasis in original.]

Peter Camejo, who ran for Governor of California in 2003 as a Green and as Ralph Nader’s vice president in 2004, often told the story about his 1976 presidential campaign. Camejo able to get the FBI in court after finding their offices broken into and suing them over COINTELPRO activities.  The judge asked the Special Agent in Charge how many FBI agents worked in Camejo’s presidential campaign; the answer was 66 agents.  Camejo estimated he had a campaign staff of about 400 across the country.  Once again that would be an infiltration rate of 1 out of 6 people.  Camejo discovered that among the agents was his campaign co-chair. He also discovered eavesdropping equipment in his campaign office and documents showing the FBI had followed him since he was a student activist at 18 years old.

The federal infiltration is buttressed by local and state police.  Local police infiltrators have a long tradition dating back to the Haymarket riots of 1886 and the 1904 “Italian Squad in New York City. In addition to political activity they were also involved in infiltrations of unions especially around strikes. Common throughout the United States were the so-called “Red Squads” a 1963 report estimated 300,000 officers were involved in surveillance of political activities. These were local police focused on the same types of people as the FBI.  Some of their activities included assassinations of political activists.

In fact, a predecessor to the modern Occupy, the Bonus March of 1932 was infiltrated by federal agents.  Their focus was on radicals, anarchists and Communists who might be in the movement.  The infiltration resulted in greatly exaggerated reports about radicals inside the Bonus encampments, which were primarily made up of veterans and their families that were used to help justify their removal by President Herbert Hoover with military troops acting against veterans under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, assisted by then-colonels Eisenhower and Patton.

Another predecessor to the Occupy, Resurrection City of 1968, a “community of love and brotherhood,” that occupied the Washington, DC mall for four months was organized by the Poor People’s Campaign fulfilling a plan made prior to the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Resurrection City was heavily infiltrated by layers of police including the FBI, military, Park Police, Secret Service and Metropolitan DC police.  FBI director Hoover had agents go to press conferences with false media identification, stationed FBI agents around the perimeter of the encampment and authorized an expensive informant program.  After the FBI, the most expensive infiltration of Resurrection City was military intelligence which conducted an unlawful surveillance program, intercepting radio transmissions, monitoring radio traffic and intercepting all communications which were then passed on to the FBI, Secret Service, DC police and Park Police. The military also sent fictitious media to press conferences. The Metropolitan DC police “red squad” sent undercover officers into the camp and took mug shots of its members.

Infiltration tactics continue, perhaps have even escalated today. In a recent report the ACLU writes: “Today the government is spying on Americans in ways the founders of our country never could have imagined. The FBI, federal intelligence agencies, the militarystate and local policeprivate companies, and even firemen and emergency medical technicians are gathering incredible amounts of personal information about ordinary Americans that can be used to construct vast dossiers that can be widely shared with a simple mouse-click through new institutions like Joint Terrorism Task Forcesfusion centers, and public-private partnerships. The fear of terrorism has led to a new era of overzealous police intelligence activity directed, as in the past, against political activists, racial and religious minorities, and immigrants.” There have also multiple reports of the CIA working with New York City police for years, an activity that is almost certainly illegal.

Not only have budgets increased in the post-911 world, but restrictions on spying have been weakened and court review has become rarer.  The government, often with corporate interests, are gathering huge amounts of data on Americans and targeting a wide range of groups and individuals for intelligence gathering and infiltration. The extent of spying is so widespread that it is more than this brief article can examine, but the ACLU provides a state-by-state review.

We will not know the extent of current infiltration and the activities of government agents for quite some time, but in the post-911 world, with record intelligence budgets and a massive new homeland security bureaucracy, spying is very likely more extensive than ever.  Add to that the private security of corporations and political organizations tied to the two political parties and the extent of Occupy infiltration is very likely quite extensive.

What Have Been the Goals, Strategies and Tactics of Past Infiltration?

The most common purpose of infiltration is the intelligence function of gathering information, but the goals are commonly more aggressive. Herbert Hoover ordered FBI agents to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” the activities of these movements and their leaders according to COINTELPRO Documents.

According to, Surveillance and Governance: Crime Control and Beyond, the goal of COINTELPRO was also to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, or otherwise neutralize” groups.  FBI field operatives were directed to:

1. Create a negative public image for target groups by surveiling activists and then releasing negative personal information to the public.

2. Break down internal organization by creating conflicts by having agents exacerbate racial tensions, or send anonymous letters to try to create conflicts.

3. Create dissension between groups by spreading rumors that other groups were stealing money.

4. Restrict access to public resources by pressuring non-profit organizations to cut off funding or material support.

5. Restrict the ability to organize protests through agents promoting violence against police during planning and at protests.

6. Restrict the ability of individuals to participate in group activities by character assassinations, false arrests, surveillance.

The COINTELPRO documents disclose numerous cases of the FBI’s intentions to stop the mass protest against the Vietnam War. Many techniques were used to accomplish the assignment. The documents state: “These included promoting splits among antiwar forces, encouraging red-baiting of socialists, and pushing violent confrontations as an alternative to massive, peaceful demonstrations.”

Infiltration to gather intelligence and intentionally disrupt and break up social movements is common in the United States. At this point in history when the degree of wealth inequality has reached such staggering proportions that the richest 400 people have the same wealth as the bottom 154,000,000 people, when unemployment and foreclosures rates are high, when tens of millions can’t afford health care and students can’t afford to go to college, those in power are fearful that the people will rise up. Events of the past year, particularly the Occupy, reveal that this uprising has begun. It is likely that the powerful will use the tools available to stop Occupy, including infiltration to disrupt, divide and misdirect.

In Part III, we will describe common behaviors of infiltrators and how other social movements have tried to minimize the impact of infiltration. We will then examine the basic structure of the Occupy and analyze its strengths and weaknesses in the context of infiltration. Our hope is that this series will lead to a broader discussion within the movement so that efforts can be made to balance the strengths of Occupy with actions necessary to protect the movement from disruption and division.


Sacramento Judge Tells Pot Advocates To Shove It

A federal judge in Sacramento has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a marijuana dispensary up there that argued that the federal government broke its promise in launching its recent crackdown on the medical marijuana industry across the state. Citing the 2009 Ogden memo, in which the Obama administration instructed federal prosecutors not to focus energy on marijuana enforcement, the lawsuit was one of four filed in each of CA’s federal districts trying to state the same case about feds being overly mean to the pot trade. In this case, as in two others already decided in Oakland and San Diego courts, the judge was basically like, “Guys, that was just a memo.”
Judge Garland Burrell said that the memo “does not contain a promise not to enforce” federal law, and the Justice Department is free to do what they want to enforce the law.
Pot advocates, for their part, seem to just want to make a stink for the sake of it in the hope that Obama or someone will listen. But the crackdown has already shuttered a number of dispensaries in Northern California, including the famed Marin Medical Alliance, citing too little distance between the operations and parks or schools. (In Southern California, the reasoning and tactics for shutdowns have been a little different.)
Also, an appeal to the CA Supreme Court regarding the ongoing conflict between state and federal laws around pot is still pending.
In any event, the worst may be over as far as this crackdown is concerned, and we can’t see Obama really making this a second-term priority when he wins his second term — ahem — but look for more headlines as pot advocates continue to rage against the machine, and bring more lawsuits.
[Chron]
[HuffPo]


Vets feel abandoned after secret drug experiments

By David S. Martin, CNN
updated 8:56 AM EST, Thu March 1, 2012

(CNN) – The moment 18-year-old Army Pvt. Tim Josephs arrived at Edgewood Arsenal in 1968, he knew there was something different about the place.

“It just did not look like a military base, more like a hospital,” recalled Josephs, a Pittsburgh native. Josephs had volunteered for a two-month assignment at Edgewood, in Maryland, lured by three-day weekends closer to home.

“It was like a plum assignment,” Josephs said. “The idea was they would test new Army field jackets, clothing, weapons and things of that nature, but no mention of drugs or chemicals.”

But when he went to fill out paperwork the morning after his arrival, the base personnel were wearing white lab coats, and Josephs said he had second thoughts. An officer took him aside.

“He said, ‘You volunteered for this. You’re going to do it. If you don’t, you’re going to jail. You’re going to Vietnam either way — before or after,’” Josephs said recently.

Soldier drug ‘guinea pigs’ sue the V.A.

From 1955 to 1975, military researchers at Edgewood were using not only animals but human subjects to test a witches’ brew of drugs and chemicals. They ranged from potentially lethal nerve gases like VX and sarin to incapacitating agents like BZ.

Read the secret (now unclassified) Army document revealing BZ tests on soldiers (PDF)

The military also tested tear gas, barbiturates, tranquilizers, narcotics and hallucinogens like LSD.

In 1968, Tim Josephs was told he would be testing gas masks, boots and other clothing, he said.
In 1968, Tim Josephs was told he would be testing gas masks, boots and other clothing, he said.

Read the confidential (now unclassified) Army document uncovering LSD tests on volunteers (PDF)

This top secret Cold War research program initially looked for ways to defend against a chemical or biological attack by the Soviet Union, thought to be far ahead of the United States in “psycho-chemical” warfare. But the research expanded into offensive chemical weapons, including one that could, according to one Army film obtained by CNN, deliver a “veritable chemical ambush” against an enemy.

“This incapacitating agent would be dispersed by standard munitions, and the agent would enter the building through all nonprotected openings,” the film’s narrator boasts.

President Nixon ended research into offensive chemical weapons in 1969, and the military no longer uses human subjects in research on chemical agents, said a spokesman for Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, as the facility is known now.

[read more]


Utah asks for repeal of NDAA’s indefinite detention provisions

Utah is now the latest state to draft legislation specifically condemning the provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act that allow the president to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge.

The Utah House is currently considering legislation that would publically put down Congress for drafting the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, or the NDAA. The United States House and Senate passed the NDAA late last year before sending it to the White House for President Barack Obama to approve on December 31, 2011. Although the legislation legitimizes the use of funds for the US military to spend throughout 2012, it also includes some controversial provisions that grant the Executive Branch the power to indefinitely detain Americans considered terrorists in the eyes of the government.

Unfortunately, how the government goes about defining a terrorist is vaguely explained, which has many Americans concerned that they could someday find themselves forever behind bars in a military prison for expressing discontent with their country.

“Our concern is in the definition of ‘terrorist,’ ” Dalane England of the Utah Eagle Forum tells the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Should the government deem an American a terrorist and apply the punishments permitted through the NDAA, alleged criminals could be condemned to a shadow prison, such as the one at Guantanamo Bay, until their death.

Todd Weilier, a Republican senator representing the Woods Cross district of Utah, adds to the paper that other legislation with good intentions have been used in the pass to implement harsh punishments on Americans that are otherwise undeserving of such. “I have a legitimate fear this National Defense Authorization law will do the same thing,” says the senator, who is sponsoring the bill, formally called the ‘Concurrent Resolution on the National Defense Authorization Act.’

“It is indisputable that the threat of terrorism is real and that the full force of appropriation and constitutional law must be used to defeat this threat,” reads the bill proposed in the Utah House. “However,” it continues, “winning the war against terror cannot come at the great expense of mitigating basic, fundamental, constitutional rights.”

Other state’s lawmakers have drafted legislation since the creation of the NDAA that aims to cancel out those provisions as well, and Utah is the latest to follow suit. Earlier this month, lawmakers in the lower house of the VirginiaGeneral Assembly voted 96-to-4 to approve HB 1160, a bill that will ban state officials from abiding by some elements of the NDAA. Should the act see similar support in the state’s Senate, Virginia will be spared from the detainment provisions that have garnered opposition against Congress and the Obama White House over the NDAA’s passing.


Five Key Facts About the Obama Administration’s Corporate Tax Overhaul

Wednesday 22 February 2012
by: Pat Garofalo , ThinkProgress | Report

The Obama administration today is unveiling an overhaul of the corporate tax code, proposing to lower the top corporate income tax rate while eliminating a host of deductions and loopholes. The plan will be formally unveiled later today, but here are some of the important facts released already:

– The administration is proposing a top corporate income tax rate of 28 percent, lowered from its current 35 percent.

– The top tax rate for domestic manufacturers would be 25 percent.

– The plan would implement a minimum tax on overseas profits, as President Obama proposed in his most recent State of the Union address. The minimum tax would limit the ability of corporationsto exploit low-tax havens like the Cayman Islands. The U.S. currently loses more to corporate profit shifting than it spends on several federal agencies.

– The plan would pay for the rate reduction by eliminating credits, loopholes, and deductions, including those for the oil and gas industries. Obama’s budget already proposed eliminating 12 tax breaks to oil, gas, and coal companies, saving $41 billion over 10 years.

– The plan would raise $200-$300 billion, depending on which baseline is used, as it would pay for the extension of a host of tax credits — such as the R&D tax credit — that are usually extended without pay-fors. As the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein explained, “their definition of revenue neutral is closer to what the corporate tax code actually says, but it’s about $200 billion above the Joint Tax Committee’s baseline.”

The U.S. already has the second lowest effective corporate tax rate in the world, and is raising historically low amounts of revenue from the corporate income tax. In fact, corporate tax revenue is at a 40 year low, according to the Congressional Budget Office, even though corporate profits have rebounded to their pre-recession heights. And the U.S. effective corporate tax rate is low compared to other developed economies, while U.S. corporations are taxed less than their foreign rivals, as these charts show:

However, despite these numbers, the plan does not aim for an increase in revenue, above that which would allow for the extension of some credits to be paid for. “Everyone agrees on the basic principle of lowering rates in exchange for eliminating loopholes,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. “However, I think it is important that the target be some increase in tax revenue.” Otherwise, the burden of deficit reduction will fall upon middle-class and low-income Americans and the services upon which they depend.

Originally published on ThinkProgress

Court OKs Taking DNA From Felony Arrestees


Photo: AP/Thomas KienzleA federal appeals court Thursday upheld a voter-approved measure requiring California authorities to take a DNA sample from every adult arrested on felony accusations in the Golden State.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the challenge in hopes of striking down the measure, argued that DNA sampling of arrestees was an unconstitutional Fourth Amendment search and privacy breach. A lower court had refused to stop the program that has resulted in California securing a DNA database of more than 1.5 million people.

“DNA analysis is an extraordinarily effective tool for law enforcement officials to identify arrestees, solve past crimes, and exonerate innocent suspects. After weighing these factors, we conclude that the government’s compelling interests far outweigh arrestees’ privacy concerns,” Judge Milan Smith Jr. wrote (.pdf) for the 2-1 appeals panel.

He added that DNA collection “is substantially indistinguishable from traditional fingerprinting as a means of identifying arrestees and, incidentally, tying arrestees to criminal investigations.”

At least 21 states have regulations requiring suspects to give a DNA sample upon an arrest. President Barack Obama supports taking DNA when a suspect is arrested.

Proposition 69, adopted in 2004 and fully implemented in 2009, requires adult detainees to provide a saliva, or sometimes a blood sample, upon felony arrest. The sample is stored in state and FBI databases, even if the arrested adult is never charged or convicted of a crime.

About 100,000 persons arrested for felonies in California are ultimately cleared every year.

In dissent, Judge William Fletcher disputed Smith’s reasoning.

I would conclude that Proposition 69 is unconstitutional. My reasoning is straightforward. Fingerprints may be taken from an arrestee in order to identify him — that is, to determine whether he is who he claims to be. But fingerprints may not be taken from an arrestee solely for an investigative purpose, absent a warrant or reasonable suspicion that the fingerprints would help solve the crime for which he was taken into custody. DNA samples are not taken from felony arrestees under Proposition 69 in order to identify them. Rather, they are taken solely for an investigative purpose, without a warrant or reasonable suspicion.


2 Dead, 1 Hurt in Calif. Federal Building Shooting

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: February 16, 2012

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Two people were fatally shot and one was wounded Thursday at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Long Beach, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

The Long Beach police official said the shooter killed one person, wounded another with a shot to the stomach, and then was killed. It was not immediately clear if the shooter died from a self-inflicted wound.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement Thursday night saying two agents of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations were shot inside the agency’s offices at the federal building in Long Beach.

“One of the agents died at the scene. The second agent was transported to a local hospital where he is listed in stable condition,” the statement said.

The shooting was being investigated by ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility, the Long Beach Police Department and the FBI, according to the agency.


Government ‘may sanction nerve-agent use on rioters’, scientists fear

Leading neuroscientists believe that the UK Government may be about to sanction the development of nerve agents for British police that would be banned in warfare under an international treaty on chemical weapons.

A high-level group of experts has asked the Government to clarify its position on whether it intends to develop “incapacitating chemical agents” for a range of domestic uses that go beyond the limited use of chemical irritants such as CS gas for riot control.

The experts were commissioned by the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of sciences, to investigate new developments in neuroscience that could be of use to the military. They concluded that the Government may be preparing to exploit a loophole in the Chemical Weapons Convention allowing the use of incapacitating chemical agents for domestic law enforcement.

The 1993 convention bans the development, stockpiling and use of nerve agents and other toxic chemicals by the military but there is an exemption for certain chemical agents that could be used for “peaceful” domestic purposes such as policing and riot control.

The British Government has traditionally taken the view that only a relatively mild class of irritant chemical agents that affect the eyes and respiratory tissues, such as CS gas, are exempt from the treaty, and then only strictly for use in riot control.

But the Royal Society working group says the Government shifted its position to allow the development of more severe chemical agents, such as the type of potentially dangerous nerve gases used by Russian security forces to end hostage sieges. “The development of incapacitating chemical agents, ostensibly for law-enforcement purposes, raises a number of concerns in the context of humanitarian and human-rights law, as well as the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC),” the report says.

 


Jailing Americans becomes a profitable business

An empty jail cell awaits a new prisoner

An empty jail cell awaits a new prisoner

TAGS: CrimeLawUSAGovernment Spending,EconomyPolice

 

The privatization of America’s prison system is well on its way to complete.

Corrections Corporation of America, the largest operator of for-profit prisons in the US, is appealing to 48 states across the country with an offer to buy out their detention facilities.

The Huffington Post has obtained a letter sent out by Corrections Corporation of America Chief Corrections Officer Harley G. Lappin, in which he explains to state officials across the country the benefits of being bought out. According to Lappin, the CCA has earmarked $250 million for purchasing and managing government-owned corrections facilities, and describes the effort as an “opportunity for federal, state or local government that are considering the benefits of partnership corrections.”

Founded in the early 1980s, the CCA currently manages over 60 correctional facilities across the US. With profits skyrocketing for the private company in recent years — while states are continuously stuck the red — they are insisting to these governments that selling off their cells would be beneficial to both.

The CCA says that by selling off prisons, state governments can remediate the “challenging corrections budgets.”While it could come as a saving grace for taxpayers, it also conjured up questions over the motives of a for-profit corporation that makes bank off of putting men and women behind bars.

While seeing their revenues increase quintuple over the last 20 years, the CCA has used those profits for more than just maintaining prisons. For one thing, they’ve forked over a fair share on lobbying Congress. While netting $133 million in come between 2006 and 2008, the CCA spent nearly $3 million lobbying; during that decade, the number of dollars spent in Washington amounted to around $17.6 million.

And what were they asking for? Stricter laws that will see to it that their prison cells are more easily.


Obama’s Crackdown On Military Whistleblowers


Free Bradley billboard

On January 23rd, the Obama administration charged former CIA officer John Kiriakou under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified information to journalists about the waterboarding of al-Qaeda suspects. His is just the latest prosecution in an unprecedented assault on government whistleblowers and leakers of every sort.

The Obama administration has already charged more people—six—under the Espionage Act for alleged mishandling of classified information than all past presidencies combined. (Prior to Obama, there were only three such cases in American history.)

By now, there can be little doubt that government retaliation against whistleblowers is not an isolated event, nor even an agency-by-agency practice. The number of cases in play suggests an organized strategy to deprive Americans of knowledge of the more disreputable things that their government does. How it plays out in court and elsewhere will significantly affect our democracy.

Kiriakou, in particular, is accused of giving information about the CIA’s torture programs to reporters two years ago. Like the other five whistleblowers, he has been charged under the draconian World War I-era Espionage Act.

That Act has a sordid history, having once been used against the government’s political opponents. Targets included labor leaders and radicals like Eugene V. Debs, Bill Haywood, Philip Randolph, Victor Berger, John Reed, Max Eastman, and Emma Goldman. Debs, a union leader and socialist candidate for the presidency, was, in fact, sentenced to 10 years in jail for a speech attacking the Espionage Act itself. The Nixon administration infamously (and unsuccessfully) invoked the Act to bar the New York Times from continuing to publish the classified Pentagon Papers.

Read the rest at TomDispatch