Archive for the free speech Category

Free speech at stake in NAF lawsuit against CMP as judge is set to issue opinion

Posted in Aborted Babies for Electricity, Aborted Baby Body Parts, Censorship, Center for Medical Progress, free speech, National Abortion Federation with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2015 by saynsumthn

A federal judge has ruled that secret recordings from a pro-life group who infiltrated a National Abortion Federation meeting to expose a grisly baby parts harvesting operation does not show criminal activity, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Deb Van Derhei NAF Harvesting babies

In July, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) sued the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) accusing CMP of using fake names, infiltration, and hidden cameras to obtain the damning evidence. San Francisco Judge William Orrick granted NAF a temporary restraining order to prevent the release of the tapes. But, while the effort to suppress the videos were making their way through the courts,GotNews.com published them, claiming they were leaked to them by a hacker.

In their lawsuit, NAF claimed that CMP infiltrators “snuck into” their allegedly secure and supposedly private meetings to obtain video evidence that their members were buying fetal tissue. In response to the lawsuit, CMP claimed that their investigators conducted their investigation legally, and that NAF welcomed lead investigator David Daleiden and the other investigators as dealers in fetal tissue believing that Daleiden’s test company, BioMax, would pay abortion providers for fetal specimens. “NAF even provided Daleiden unsolicited information about the meeting’s agenda and location,” attorney’s for CMP stated.

But, according to the AP report, Judge Orrick does not agree. From the story:

Recordings secretly made by an anti-abortion group at meetings of abortion providers do not show criminal activity and could put the providers at risk, a federal judge said Friday, citing the recent shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick made the comments during a hearing over the National Abortion Federation’s request for a preliminary injunction that would continue to block the release of the recordings. Orrick did not immediately issue a ruling. He previously issued a temporary restraining order blocking the recordings pending the outcome of the preliminary injunction hearing.

Pro-lifers who have viewed the leaked tapes say that the NAF lawsuit is equivalent to censorship because NAF does not want the public to know the truth about abortion. The videos show plenty of evidence that NAF members were not only involved in harvesting fetal tissue but were holding presentations about the process during their meetings. A sampling of a few of the recordings show that NAF members:

    Conference attendees applauding horrific late-term abortion procedure
    NAF held presentations on harvesting aborted baby parts
    NAF members and a majority of the women they service know they are killing a baby
    Abortion clinics dispose of preborn children in garbage disposals
    Burning aborted babies for energy fuel may really be happening
    A cold and callous disregard for the dead
    A Planned Parenthood abortionist and NAF attendee admitted being involved in fetal tissue research with, “independent / individual researchers”

Continuing with the AP report:

Orrick made a statement that doctors who appeared in CMP’s videos have received death threats. He also cited suspected arson at abortion clinics and the November shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic that left three people dead and nine wounded.

Catherine Short, an attorney for the Center for Medical Progress, said there was no evidence the Colorado shooter was motivated by the group’s videos or that doctors have been directly threatened. The release of the recordings is vital to furthering public discussion about topics such as whether the country’s abortion laws are too loosely written, she said. The center says in court documents its work is the equivalent of investigative journalism and protected by the First Amendment.

And, Short is correct, investigative journalism is not only protected by the First Amendment but the tactics used by CMP have been used by journalists in all sorts of investigations as Live Action News has detailed here. In fact, free speech issues in this case are so great that the U.S. Reporters’ Committee filed a ‘friend of the Court’ submission before the district court hearing NAF’s case, protesting that ‘any prior restraint on speech that is issued by a court has the potential to significantly affect the First Amendment rights of the news media and the public at large.’

we are compelled to write at this early juncture because any prior restraint on speech that is issued by a court has the potential to significantly affect the First Amendment rights of the news media and the public at large. The ramifications of having such a restraint in place go well beyond the unique facts of this dispute, they wrote.

Tom Brejcha, Thomas More Society President and Chief Counsel which presented arguments against NAF in the case agreed accusing NAF of working with Planned Parenthood to suppress Daleiden’s First Amendment rights.

“Equally as any other investigative journalist working for ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, or your local print or electronic media outlet may regularly resort to undercover journalism tactics to ferret out hidden crime, so too David Daleiden should have the right to penetrate the criminal underworld of America’s abortion providers and report all the evidence he has uncovered of criminal wrongdoing to law enforcement and to members of the public.”

The brief that Thomas More Society and co-counsel have filed on behalf of Daleiden in opposition to NAF’s preliminary injunction includes:

    Information about the precedent set by the recent Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Otter case, where the 9th Circuit ruled definitively that investigative journalism is not “fraud” and fully protected by the First Amendment.

    Admissions from NAF and Planned Parenthood abortion providers about their criminal participation in trafficking in aborted baby body parts documented at NAF meetings, redacted from the public filing and prevented from release by court order.

    The blatantly unconstitutional character of prior restraints on speech.

If NAF wins this case, criminals will rejoice and journalists will weep,” Brejcha said.

Both sides are watching for the decision to be released.

Pro-life group says High School violated student’s free speech rights in censorship case

Posted in free speech, Students for Life with tags , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2015 by saynsumthn

Son of PP Director: Pro-choice activists would rather destroy pro-life property than abide by constitution

Posted in free speech, pro-choice violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2015 by saynsumthn

A video recorded by University of Oregon Young Americans for Liberty President Thomas Tullis and Vice President Brandon Clements shows pro-choice advocates verbally and physically assaulting pro-life protesters.

Thomas Tullis 9_2458613631776024782_n

Tullis explains on his Facebook page, “On Tuesday, I got this video of our campus reaction to free speech. I dont agree with this campus protester/preacher and I don’t think it is cool to hold a sign with a baby fetus on it in a protest effort, but I am even more upset that the student body is incapable of engaging in rational dialogue- instead, students thought it was necessary to call the police and to steal the mans property and try to destroy his sign. Brandon and I are trying to get an opinion piece in the Emerald published that outlines our concerns with the campus community’s childish reaction.”

Most of the news reports so far are centered around the campuses free speech policy and the way campus police attempted to censor the pro-life protesters.

See here , here , here.

Police corrected the officer and rightfully allowed protesters to stay.

Sadly, arguments made by abortion advocates show a real lack of education.

Examples:

Pro-choicer #1

prochoice dick lady

“You’re a man – you have no say what happens in my body…you have nothing to say about it because you have a dick.”

______________________________________

Pro-choicer #2:

Capture

This is obscene, this is not part of your first amendment rights.”

Really? Don’t they teach the Constitution at this University?

____________________________________________

Pro-choicer #3:

prochoice vagina

“Can you get an abortion- do you have a vagina?”

______________________________________________________

Pro-choicer #4

“Do you have a vagina?”

Prochoice vagina 2

_____________________________________________________

These arguments are really dumb. It would be like saying you have no right to speak out on slavery unless you are black, on Rape or Human Trafficking unless you are a woman, and animals rights unless you are an animal.

Not to mention that they each fail to chastise the pro-choice “vagina-less” men that support their position including the one that destroys the pro-life signs (below).

They also seem rather ignorant to the fact that it was male justices on the Supreme Court which legalized abortion to begin with.

Of course, because of their ignorance, instead of intelligently arguing the issue- they resorted to violence.

First- by stepping on the sign:

Prochoice prolife oregon

Prochoice prolife oregon 2

Prochoice prolife oregon 3

___________________________________

Then- by attacking it:

prochioce destroys prolife sign oregon

prochioce destroys prolife sign oregon 2

prochioce destroys prolife sign oregon 3

prochioce destroys prolife sign oregon 4

______________________________________________

But, I was not the only one that caught this, even pro-choice advocates agreed that the conduct of these pro-choice students was appalling.

A comment on Tullis’ FB page suggests the campus police officer should have addressed the yelling pro-choicers first:

Jim Beard to Tullis

Son of Planned Parenthood Director:

Another comment left by Sam Dotters-Katz reads, “This is shameful by the students. My mother was the medical director at planned parenthood and I am as pro choice as they come, but that has nothing to do with this mans free speech rights. Or generation can be so weak, they would rather steal and destroy this guys property than abide by the constitution and afford him his obvious free speech rights, because they don’t like what he is saying or those images. I think what he is advocating for is abhorrent, and holding up pictures of fetuses is disgusting and distorts the issue, but it is his right. Where the hell are student leaders and why aren’t they educating people, so sad.

Planned Parenthood son

Thomas Tullis praised the conduct of the anti-abortion demonstrator, “it’s truly a sad day when the campus preacher can remain composed and try to discuss things intelligently and the university educated students are only interested in a shouting match. I stood by and watched as this man calmly tried to encourage rational discussion and debate like asking students when they think life starts, etc. Instead the students thought it would be a better idea to harass him with profanity and insults. I wish I got more of it on video. One girl literally went up and yelled “Fuck you, fuck your god, fuck your sign” and that wasnt even the worst of it.

Another girl told him that she just came out of a first amendment law class and that his sign is obscene and not protected by the constitution.”

It is good to know that in the face of violence and censorship there are still some who will speak out in favor of free speech.

( H/T to the Stanek Report for catching the original story)

BREAKING: FCC suspends CIN study that would intrude on freedom of the press

Posted in Fairness Doctrine, FCC, free speech, freedom with tags , , , , , , on February 21, 2014 by saynsumthn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

From the FCC:

February 21, 2014
Matthew Berry, 202-418-2005
Email: Matthew.Berry@fcc.gov
STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI

ON THE SUSPENSION OF THE CRITICAL INFORMATION NEEDS STUDY

I welcome today’s announcement that the FCC has suspended its “Multi-Market Study of
Critical Information Needs,” or CIN study. This study would have thrust the federal government
into newsrooms across the country, somewhere it just doesn’t belong. The Commission has now
recognized that no study by the federal government, now or in the future, should involve asking
questions to media owners, news directors, or reporters about their practices. This is an
important victory for the First Amendment. And it would not have been possible without the
American people making their voices heard. I will remain vigilant that any future initiatives not
infringe on our constitutional freedoms.

Shocking Tape catches IRS agent scolding pro-life group not to protest abortion clinics and keep religion to themselves

Posted in free speech, IRS with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2013 by saynsumthn

In an audiotape released today, an IRS agent is heard lecturing the head of a pro-life group at length, telling her that her group cannot “force” their religion and beliefs on others, and that they shouldn’t reach out to women or protest against abortion clinics.

The agent told the group that while they have their “right of belief” they have “no right to go against other people’s beliefs.”

The conversation took place on March 8, 2012, between IRS Exempt Organization Specialist Sherry Wan and Ania Joseph, the president of Pro-Life Revolution, a group that ministers to women in crisis pregnancies.

During the conversation Agent Wan said that the group’s protests against an abortion facility are motivated by “blind, emotional feelings.”

“You can’t take all kinds of confrontation activities and also put something on a website and ask people to take action against the abortion clinic,” she said. “That’s not, that’s not really educational.”

“You reach out to woman, [sic] you can’t do that,” Wan says at another point, adding, “You cannot force your religion or force your beliefs on somebody else.”

Read more

Alliance Defending Freedom released audio today of a phone conversation that an IRS agent had with Ania Joseph, President of Pro-Life Revolution. In this recorded conversation an IRS agent, Sherry Wan, lectured Joseph about forcing its religious beliefs on others and then explains, inaccurately, that the group must remain neutral on issues like abortion.

Pro-Life Revolution, whom Alliance Defending Freedom represents, applied for tax-exempt status in January of 2011. The IRS regularly grants exemptions to religious, educational, and/or charitable organizations. The Texas-based organization operates under all three purposes.

After four months, Joseph received a letter from the IRS that requested more information and asked for an explanation of how her organization’s activities are educational or charitable. IRS rules specify that an organization only needs to operate under “one or more” of the tax exempt purpose. Joseph replied anyway and answered the IRS’s questions.

Then in March 2012, Joseph received a call from IRS Exempt Organization Specialist Sherry Wan, who told her that, in order to obtain a tax exemption, “You cannot force your religion or force your beliefs on somebody else…. You have to know your boundaries. You have to know your limits. You have to respect other people’s beliefs.” The IRS has approved applications for tax exemption for pro-abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood and Life and Liberty for Women.

Here is the entire transcript in full (you can listen to the audio here):

(:00-:05) – [Unintelligible]

Agent Sherry Wan (:06-:41) – “…so you have your right. You have your freedom. You have your religious rights. You have a right to believe what you believe. You have the right to think about what you should do, what is right for you to do. OK. And, but, however, this freedom also [unintelligible] to other people. Other people also have the freedom. You know, for the personal view, maybe I go with you. However, I have to [unintelligible] the Internal Revenue Service. I have to stick with the law. Because, you know, we have to keep it neutral.

Client Ania Joseph (:41-:44) – I understand that you have to stick with the law.

Agent (:44-1:17) – Yeah, you have the religious freedom; the freedom of speech. And other people also have the civil rights; human rights. You cannot, you know, use your religious belief to tell other people you don’t have a belief, so I don’t believe you need the right to do this, start confrontation, protesting, uh, prot, uh, protest. [unintelligible] You don’t apply for tax exemption.

Crosstalk (1:17-1:18)

Agent (1:18-1:38) – Nobody will go after you as long as you don’t violate the law. But when you come to apply for tax exemption, you have to keep your action to, you know, exactly what is educational or religious, you know you [unintelligible].

Crosstalk (1:38-1:41)

Agent (1:41-1:56) – And like I said, you can’t, you have, your right to believe. You have your right of belief to do what you’re supposed to do. But you have no right to, against, other people’s beliefs.

Client (1:56-1:57) – I understand your concerns, but…

Agent (1:57-2:29) – There are really complicated, really subtle, you know, issues here. And they are also very complicated. This not you, you know, you and I, can’t solve it. This is a court. They decide, you know, whether it is right or not. So, but, as I said, we both, everybody, has the right to believe, have the right to do what is supposed to do. You believe your religion told you this is evil; that not supposed to do. [unintelligible]

Client (2:29-2:39) – My religion says that, you know, we have to reach out to women who are hurting, who are considering killing their own babies.

Agent (2:39-3:02) – You reach out to woman, you can’t do that. You can, you know, to educate the woman, to do, you know, you don’t do that. However, you can’t just like say, you know, the [unintelligible] woman, you fear the woman. You have to get the woman the opportunity to listen to you. You cannot force your religion or force your beliefs on somebody else.

Client (3:02-3:14) – Now can I ask you a question? [Crosstalk] I just have a question. I just have a question, Sherry. Is handing a brochure to somebody forcing somebody to do something they don’t want to do?

Agent (3:14-3:25) – No, handing a brochure [unintelligible] you can’t just leave and [unintelligible] brochure. You send the brochure to somebody, that’s right, that’s because you’ve just given them the opportunity to learn your belief.

Client (3:25-3:27) – Yeah, and that’s not forcing them…let me tell you what…

Agent (3:27-3:53) – You convince them. But when you take a lot of action, [unintelligible] other people. For example, when you, you know, go to, you know, the abortion clinic, and you found them [unintelligible], we don’t want, you know, to come against them. You can’t take all kinds of confrontation activities and also put something on a website and ask people to take action against the abortion clinic. That’s not, that’s not really educational.

Agent (3:53-4:01) – [unintelligible]

Agent (4:01-4:06) – So here, your action is based on more blind, emotional feelings.

Client (4:06-4:08) – It’s based on what?

Agent (4:08-4:10) – …an objective, factually a violation.

Client (4:10-4:12) –It’s a violation of what?

Agent (4:13-4:15) – [unintelligible]

Agent (4:15-4:46) – …we have a seminar. We have a workshop. We have materials [unintelligible]. Nobody will say you really forced your religion on them. But when you go to the door, go to the front of the abortion clinic, and [unintelligible] come for protesting activity, and then go up to the woman and tell the woman they should not do that, that is the kind of activity…

Crosstalk (4:46-4:48)

Client (4:48-4:51) – Actually, actually, a peaceful prayer vigil is not…

Agent (4:51-5:46) – You could speak to your value. OK. So that’s why, that’s why this is kind of like you know, kind of, you started from the beginning, I feel that when you’re talking to the [unintelligible] my religion, my religion [unintelligible]. And like I said, you have the right to believe. You have the right to do, your religion told you what’s right. You have a right to, you know, outreach to other people. But meanwhile, you have to know your boundaries. You have to know your limits. You have to respect other people’s beliefs. You have somebody else come to your door and know you don’t like them. When they come to you, how do you feel? [unintelligible]

Client (5:47-6:20) – OK, I understand what you’re saying and I think that we’re going to take it from here in a different manner. I’m going to have to seek some legal counsel in this case. So, I’m going to be contacting you through writing again through regular mail and we’ll take it from there. But I appreciate your phone call and your concerns and I understand your position. [Pause] Hello?

Agent (6:20-6:29) – Oh, OK, I’m trying yeah, you know, I’m just trying to say, OK, so you’re saying your claim to counsel, talking to your counsel, consulting legal counsel, right?

Client (6:30-6:51) – Yeah, I’m going to have to consult somebody because you know I understand your point, but I also understand as a ministry we have certain rights as well and I want to consult somebody and just take it from there and to get more information and…

Agent (6:51-7:32) – Yeah I can hear, yeah that’s good. I think, like I said, you know, you understand my point now? That means we have to, you know, we, we, everybody has their religious rights and religious belief. [unintelligible] But you have to respect other people’s beliefs, other people’s rights and not, you know, use some kind of confrontation, you know, practice, against, or court action against another group.

Client (7:33-7:36) – I understand your concerns and I will be in touch.

Agent (7:36-8:20) – That’s why I say, you know, I think this was, and if you wanted to send me something[unintelligible], you know, you are welcome to do so. OK? And if you, after you, you talk to your lawyer, or talk to your legal consultant, and if you say, OK, here we understand the position, I feel that you know, you know, we understand your position, understand your point and that we wanted to, wanted to, you know, get this kicked down quickly and we are willing to take those, no longer can do the activities, [unintelligible]. OK?

Client (8:20-8:23) – OK, so I will talk to somebody and I will be in touch from there, so.

Agent (8:23-8:48) – Yeah, I’ll just call you within one week, and then you know, I’ll just come back from my other project so then I can try to get everything done. And then you’ll be sending me something, you know, I’ll make a follow-up call within one week, and then we’ll see how we handle this situation. OK?

Client (8:48-8:52) – OK, great. I appreciate you getting back with me though.

Agent (8:52-9:57) – Yeah. I apologize for this because it is a holiday and everything and I’m off and on another project, so I apologize for the delay, but I think we’re talking about more time to discuss and think about your application and want to give you more time to think about this, too. So, I just want you to know that, you know, we understand your position, we know where you’re coming from, and we want to respect your religion, and we think that you think your intentions are good, OK? You want to do something good for the society, your religion, and we understand that. But meanwhile, we want you to be aware that, you know, when you conduct religious activities, meanwhile you have to respect other people’s beliefs, other people’s religion. You cannot use any kind of, you know, confrontation way, or to, or against other groups or devalue other groups, other people’s beliefs. OK?

Client (9:57-10:03) – I understand and we’ll be in touch. Thank you, though, for calling.

Agent (10:03-10:09) – OK, you’re welcome anytime. Thank you very much for your time.

Client (10:09-10:11) – Great, no problem. Have a great day.

Agent (10:11-10:12) – Oh, you, too.

In February of this year, the IRS requested yet more information in another letter and attempted to apply a standard for tax exemption to Pro-Life Revolution that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held to be unconstitutional in 1980. Alliance Defending Freedom pointed this out in a letter responding to the IRS, which finally granted tax-exempt status to the organization in a letter received Thursday.

“The IRS is a tax collector; it shouldn’t be allowed to be the speech and belief police,” said Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “The current scandal isn’t new but has merely exposed the abuse of power that characterizes this agency and threatens our fundamental freedoms.”

“The power to tax is the power to destroy. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We cannot allow the IRS to ruthlessly dictate against legitimate non-profits simply because it does not approve of the organization’s mission. It must be held accountable,” Stanley added.

Pro-choice Cop fired for calling anti-abortion protester a “Fat F-ing Cow”

Posted in free speech, Police Bias, pro-choice violence with tags , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2012 by saynsumthn

H/T Opposing Views

An off-duty police officer cannot get his job back after insulting an anti-abortion demonstrator’s weight to show that “the truth sometimes hurts,” a federal judge ruled.

Dick Lalowski worked as a police officer in Des Plaines, Ill., from 1994 until 2008, when he was fired after a hostile off-duty interaction with anti-abortion protesters.

In May 2006, Lalowski was on duty and in uniform when he drove by an abortion clinic and told a group of anti-abortion demonstrators not to impede traffic or stop anyone from entering the clinic. He admits that the interaction was adversarial.

Approximately 15 minutes later, Lalowski returned his equipment to the police station and went off duty. He testified that he was upset at the demonstrators’ display of images of aborted fetuses.

“At that time I was thinking about why would somebody put those signs out there, why would anybody who was trying to help people do that [?] I had to know,” Lalowski said in his deposition (brackets in original).

Lalowski then returned to the abortion clinic in plainclothes and in his personal vehicle. He approached a demonstrator, Paula Emmerth, asked her if she remembered him from earlier. He then told the woman that he was off duty and “not here representing anybody.”

When Lalowski asked “why she had to show those signs,” Emmerth replied that she wanted to tell the truth about abortion.

Lalowski responded: “OK. Let’s talk about the truth then. You’re fat.” He told the demonstrators that they should not display the signs because “the truth sometimes hurts,” and that such images could upset a woman who had miscarried.

When Emmerth refused to take down the signs, Lalowski called her a “fat fucking cow” and a “sinner of gluttony.” He then got down on his hands and knees to show her some exercises she could do to lose weight.

Lalowski told Emmerth she would be a beautiful woman if she was not so fat, and asked her sarcastically if she was hiding food somewhere.

During the one hour and 20 minutes he spent at the demonstration, Lalowski also compared the activists to the Taliban and compared the aborted fetus displays to an image of a Catholic priest leaning over a small boy.

Two demonstrators called 911 to request assistance, but it is unclear if the police acted upon these calls.

Based on this incident, the Board of Fire & Police Commissioners fired Lalowski for conduct unbecoming a police officer. Lalowski challenged the decision, arguing that he was exercising his right to free speech while off duty.

On review, U.S. District Judge James Zagel found that Lalowski’s conduct undermined the public’s confidence in the police force, a matter of far greater concern than his unprofessional comments.

“Although I think it a serious stretch, at this stage I am willing to accept plaintiff’s argument that when he called Emmerth a ‘fat fucking cow’ he intended it as a pointed example of how the truth can hurt, as part of his broader argument that sometimes the starkest forms of truth – i.e. graphic images of aborted fetuses – must be softened to facilitate constructive discourse,” Zagel wrote.

He added: “However, I find that defendants had a legitimate overriding interest in prohibiting their officers from using such profane and insulting language toward members of the public. Public trust in the police is critical to effective law enforcement and it is seriously eroded when police officers are perceived as abusing their authority or behaving unprofessionally. The public is far less likely to cooperate with law enforcement if they anticipate they will not be treated with respect – or worse, subject to verbal abuse. It is difficult to imagine more abusive language than calling someone a ‘fat fucking cow.'”

A number of demonstrators testified that they felt scared and intimidated by Lalowski’s presence and felt helpless in the face of a police officer “out of control.”

“It is difficult to imagine anything more damaging to Defendants’ legitimate interests (or basic social order) than a citizenry that fears its own police force,” Zagel wrote (parentheses in original).

“Plaintiff’s behavior was not only embarrassing for the police department, it undermined public confidence that its officers could be trusted to act within the boundaries of the laws they are charged with enforcing,” he added.

“Given its attenuated connection to any issue of public concern, its profane and insulting nature, and defendants’ overwhelming legitimate interests in prohibiting such speech, I find that Plaintiff’s repeated use of the phrase ‘fat fucking cow’ is not protected and served as a legitimate basis for his discharge,” the judge concluded.

Are you on the FBI’s domestic terrorist watch list just because you are pro-life?

Posted in FBI, free speech, Homeland Security, Pro-Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 25, 2012 by saynsumthn

Are you on the FBI’s domestic terrorist watch list just because you are pro-life? Two prolific pro-life activists are asking this very question. The Life Legal Defense Foundation has filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the FBI on behalf of Jill Stanek and Andy Moore. As you may recall, the FBI recently appeared at Mr. Moore’s residence and subjected him to hours of questioning about his peaceful pro-life activities, his citizenship status, and his family, including his mother-in-law, renowned blogger Jill Stanek. Now, Ms. Stanek and Mr. Moore are asking the FBI for any government records that label them as domestic terrorists. Copies of the FOIA requests sent to the FBI are available on LLDF web site. (Here)

the case stems from this event detailed by Jill Stanek on her blog:

On July 13 FBI agents Conrad Rodriguez and William Sivley paid a visit to Jill Stanek’s son-in-law, Andy Moore, at his home.

Andy is a pro-life activist who prays and protests outside the Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center abortion mill in Dallas, where late-term abortionist Curtis Boyd freely acknowledges he “kill[s]” children.

Agents Rodriguez and Sivley told Andy three red flags prompted their visit:

His use of a megaphone outside the mill, a one-time event on March 31, which he stopped and never repeated after police told him he was violating a noise ordinance.

A complaint by the clinic manager that Andy trespassed, which he did not. There was no evidence, yet police gave Andy a warning: “I asked the officer multiple times, ‘Why are you giving me this warning, as I did not trespass?’ All he would tell me was, ‘I’m giving you this warning.’ He did not answer my question.”

Unsubstantiated complaints that Andy may be too aggressive. “One of the agents told me it is acceptable to be aggressive, however there is a line. He gave examples of things which would cross the line, such as making threats of violence, or obstructing vehicle access – violations of the FACE act. I told him in no uncertain terms that I had never done anything like this and had not considered anything like this either.”

Andy videotaped his one and only foray into megaphoning, which was clearly tame and polite

But the FBI used these as an excuse to knock on the door, nerve-wracking to begin with, and followed by asking totally inappropriate questions clearly aimed at intimidating Andy, while also launching into a fishing expedition about me. Per Andy and my daughter, who was home at the time, here were questions the agents asked:

What affiliations do you have including church groups?
How long have you known your wife?
What belief system makes you believe in your cause?
What is your goal in protesting?
Do you know why people would make complaints against you?
Are there friends of yours or people you’re connected with that you could confidentially tell us are aggressive or abrasive? “Don’t be afraid to tell us.”
Are you involved in activism in Austin, since we noticed some entries on abortionwiki?

They were REALLY interested in the connection to Jill Stanek – details of internship, New Zealand speaking tour visit, did you get your activist and pro-life ideas from her? Did she train or teach you? Did you meet Jill before or after you became involved in the movement? Was it Jill who “fired you up” to become so active in the movement?

They were overly nice saying he wasn’t in trouble and feel free to tell us anything. Encouraged him to keep going back out there, that they represent both sides. ++they are protecting his freedom of speech++ is what they kept saying.

They said their task force that deals with these abortion cases also handles Hate Crimes and White Supremacy. Odd grouping with pro-lifers.

They knew he was an immigrant. They said a felony on his record could/would get him deported. “You wouldn’t want to be apart from your wife and newborn.”

Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, told LifesiteNews.com that during the Clinton-era Violence Against Abortion Providers Conspiracy (VAAPCON) program, federal agents harassed pro-lifers in an attempt to uncover a conspiracy to kill abortionists. “Our mail was rifled through. Our phone lines were tapped. We were followed. I have an FBI file,” Newman told LifeSiteNews. “At the end of the day, they could not find any instance of conspiracy to commit violence against abortion providers. If anything we saw the exact opposite: there’s a conspiracy to commit violence against pro-lifers. That’s never talked about.”

Under Obama, he said the pressure is beginning again.

“I think it’s a lot more subversive with the advent of…warrantless wiretapping of our phones, and our cell phones can be cloned so easily,” he said.

Newman said a source has given him reason to believe the Obama administration is engaging in surveillance of pro-life leaders and organizations.

“It would not be a stretch to believe that every single pro-life leader has his unique ID code for their cell phone tapped into a government computer, and they know where we are and who we’re talking to at every moment,” Newman told LifeSiteNews.

A spate of federal studies have painted pro-life, pro-family leaders as potential “domestic terrorism” threats.

The most recent, “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008”written by Gary LaFree and Bianca Bersani, concluded that organizations dedicated to a single issue – such as “anti-abortion groups” – posed the most enduring threat to American safety and well-being.

An April 2009 DHS report on “Rightwing [sic.] Extremism” identified “groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration” and opposition to same-sex “marriage” as “the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.” The DHS laterpulled the report.

Abortion Extremism” has a slide that is frightening:

“Many tactics standing alone constitute protected activity under the First Amendment. However, when considered in the context of the abortion extremism movement, these tactics may indicate a resurgence of extremist activity.”

Yet DHS and FBI agents subsequently attended a terrorism training seminar on alleged pro-life terrorism, hosted by Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation, and the Feminist Majority Foundation. After equating free speech with violence, organizers distributed a resource guide listing three pages of purportedly extremist websites such as Priests for Life, the American Center for Law and Justice, and the Christian Broadcasting Network.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES:

Homeland Security Improperly Collected Intelligence on Pro-Lifers and other U.S. Citizens

12-17-2009- New York Times Reporting:

WASHINGTON — In February, a Department of Homeland Security intelligence official wrote a “threat assessment” for the police in Wisconsin about a demonstration involving local pro- and anti-abortion rights groups.

That report soon drew internal criticism because the groups “posed no threat to homeland security,” according to a department memorandum released on Wednesday in connection with a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The agency destroyed all its copies of the report and gave the author remedial training.

The documents were released by the Justice Department in connection with a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation. It had sought reports to the Intelligence Oversight Board, a watchdog panel appointed by the president, by various agencies documenting violations of law, executive orders or presidential directives.

Marcia Hofmann, a staff lawyer with the foundation, praised agency officials for destroying the reports but said the public needed to know about such incidents.

“I think it’s a positive sign that these agencies responded to this and took steps to correct the situation,” Ms. Hofmann said, adding, “We would never have known that this happened had we not seen these internal reports.”

Matt Chandler, a spokesman for the Homeland Security Department, said, “We take very seriously our responsibility to protect the civil rights and liberties of the American people while” protecting the country.

Click Here to Read

Rest of New York Times Article – Here

Additional Reading: Intelligence Agencies Release Docs Describing Misconduct in Response to EFF Lawsuit

According to a report by World Net Daily: In April an unclassified Department of Homeland Security report warned against the possibility of violence by unnamed “right-wing extremists” concerned about illegal immigration, increasing federal power, restrictions on firearms, abortion and the loss of U.S. sovereignty and singles out returning war veterans as particular threats.

The report, titled “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” dated April 7, states that “threats from white supremacist and violent anti-government groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts.”

However, the document, first reported by talk-radio host and WND columnist Roger Hedgecock, goes on to suggest worsening economic woes, potential new legislative restrictions on firearms and “the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”

The report from DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines right-wing extremism in the U.S. as “divided into those groups, movements and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups) and those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

“[T]he consequences of a prolonged economic downturn – including real estate foreclosures, unemployment and an inability to obtain credit – could create a fertile recruiting environment for right-wing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past,” the report says.

It adds that “growth in these groups subsided in reaction to increased government scrutiny as a result of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and disrupted plots, improvements in the economy and the continued U.S. standing as the pre-eminent world power.”

“Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of right-wing extremist groups as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for violence against the government,” the report continues. “The high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by right-wing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement.”

Most notable is the report’s focus on the impact of returning war veterans.

“Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to right-wing extremists,” it says. “DHS/I&A is concerned that right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize veterans in order to boost their violent capacities.”

The report cites the April 4 shooting deaths of three police officers in Pittsburgh as an example of what may be coming, claiming the alleged gunman holds a racist ideology and believes in anti-government conspiracy theories about gun confiscations, citizen detention camps and “a Jewish-controlled ‘one-world government.'”

It also suggests the election of an African-American president and the prospect of his policy changes “are proving to be a driving force for right-wing extremist recruitment and radicalization.”

The report also mentions “‘end times’ prophecies could motivate extremist individuals and groups to stockpile food, ammunition and weapons. These teachings also have been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist individuals and groups in the past, such as the violent Christian Identity organizations and extremist members of the militia movement.”

“DHS/I&A assesses that right-wing extremist groups’ frustration over a perceived lack of government action on illegal immigration has the potential to incite individuals or small groups toward violence,” the report continues.

The report states the DHS will be working with state and local partners over the next several months to determine the levels of right-wing extremist activity in the U.S.

Last month, the chief of the Missouri highway patrol blasted a report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center that linked conservative groups to domestic terrorism, assuring that such reports no longer will be issued. The report had been compiled with the assistance of DHS.

The report warned law enforcement agencies to watch for suspicious individuals who may have bumper stickers for third-party political candidates such as Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin.

It further warned law enforcement to watch out for individuals with “radical” ideologies based on Christian views, such as opposing illegal immigration, abortion and federal taxes.

Chief James Keathley of the Missouri State Patrol issued a statement that the release of the report, which outraged conservatives nationwide, prompted him to “take a hard look” at the procedures through which the report was released by the MIAC.

“My review of the procedures used by the MIAC in the three years since its inception indicates that the mechanism in place for oversight of reports needs improvement,” he wrote. “Until two weeks ago, the process for release of reports from the MIAC to law enforcement officers around the state required no review by leaders of the Missouri State Highway Patrol or the Department of Public Safety.”

“For that reason, I have ordered the MIAC to permanently cease distribution of the militia report,” he said. “Further, I am creating a new process for oversight of reports drafted by the MIAC that will require leaders of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety to review the content of these reports before they are shared with law enforcement. My office will also undertake a review of the origin of the report by MIAC.”

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UPDATED 2/8/2010

Homeland Security Collected Information on Wisconsin Abortion, Pro-Life Activists
Monday, February 08, 2010
By Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press

Madison, Wis. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducted a threat assessment of local pro- and anti-abortion rights activists before an expected rally last year, even though they did not pose a threat to national security.

The DHS destroyed or deleted its copies of the assessment after an internal review found it violated intelligence-gathering guidelines by collecting and sharing information about “protest groups which posed no threat to homeland security,” according to a department memo written last year.

The report was only shared with police in Middleton and with the director of the Wisconsin Statewide Information Center, an intelligence-gathering hub, according to the memo, which was signed by general counsel Ivan Fong and inspector general Richard Skinner.

It concluded the report was unlikely to “have any impact on civil liberties or civil rights” given its limited dissemination. But anti-abortion groups and the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin on Monday both criticized the federal government’s collection of information on law-abiding protesters.

The report was compiled prior to a February 2009 meeting in Middleton by the University of Wisconsin Hospital board to decide whether to open a clinic that would offer late-term abortions.

The analyst who compiled the report – the agency’s representative to Wisconsin’s intelligence center – received improper guidance that he could perform the assessment “to support local police and public safety efforts,” according to the memo. The analyst was given remedial training and department lawyers counseled supervisors who were involved, it said.

The memo was made public as part of a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which was seeking reports from an intelligence oversight panel. After The New York Times reported on its contents in December, a lawyer representing anti-abortion activists who attended the rally asked Middleton police to release a copy of the assessment under Wisconsin’s open records law.

In the department’s Feb. 4 response, Capt. Noel Kakuske confirmed the department kept a copy of the report but declined to release it. He said the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which runs the intelligence center, and the Department of Homeland Security agreed the report should be withheld because it contains sensitive law enforcement information.

“Disclosure would result in the identification and public disclosure of individuals affiliated with groups on both sides of the issue, which would place them in danger from opposing radical extremists,” he wrote.

On Monday, Kakuske told The Associated Press that the assessment was prepared after his department asked state officials for help identifying potential risks associated with the hospital board meeting. He said it’s unusual for the department to handle a large protest, and “we wanted to make sure we had the best information we could get.”

He said the department had received no specific threat in connection with the meeting, but was worried about the potential for violence.

The UW Hospital and Clinic Authority Board voted 11-3 to approve the plan to start the clinic at the Madison Surgery Center. Those attending the meeting at a suburban office building went through police checkpoints. No problems were reported, and protesters on both sides acted peacefully.

Peggy Hamill, state director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, said her group was considering other options to try to get the report, including appealing to the district attorney or suing.

“It’s very disturbing that a local police department has tapped into the security apparatus of the federal government to potentially obstruct free speech,” she said. “It’s additionally disconcerting they will not release the documents in order for we the public to examine them.”