Bush-Era FBI Put Liberal Activists on Terror List
PETA, Greenpeace, others unfairly targeted
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2010 2:21 PM CDT
Anti-war demonstrators gather for a rally to protest the war in Iraq, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007 at the Boston Common in Boston.   (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

(Newser) – The FBI investigated and monitored a variety of liberal activist groups without proper cause during the Bush Administration, the Justice Department concluded today. Though the Inspector General cleared the FBI of the most serious allegation against it—that it targeted the groups based on how they exercised their First Amendment rights—he found “troubling” practices at the Bureau. Several investigations were started for “factually weak” reasons, the Washington Post reports, and others extended “without adequate basis.”

The FBI also incorrectly classified several nonviolent demonstrations as “Acts of Terrorism,” landing several people affiliated with Greenpeace on the Terror Watch List, Talking Points Memo adds. PETA, Catholic Workers and others were also targeted. In one case, an agent was sent to an anti-war rally in Pittsburgh to look for terrorism suspects as an ill-conceived make-work assignment; there was no evidence any terrorists would be there.