Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Feds admit FBI has big files on rights and enviro groups

New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
Feds admit FBI has big files on rights and enviro groups

WASHINGTON - The FBI has thousands of pages of records in its files relating to the monitoring of civil rights, environmental and similar advocacy groups, the Justice Department acknowledges.

The organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and Greenpeace, are suing for the release of the documents. The groups say the material will show they have been subjected to scrutiny by FBI task forces set up to combat terrorism.

The FBI has identified 1,173 pages related to the ACLU and 2,383 pages about Greenpeace, but it needs at least until February to process the ACLU files and until next June to review the Greenpeace documents, the feds said in a filing in U.S. District Court in Washington.

The ACLU's executive director, Anthony Romero, said the disclosure shows the FBI is monitoring law-abiding organizations.

"I know for an absolute fact that we have not been involved in anything related to promoting terrorism," Romero said.