Another Domestic Spying Case

Here’s what appears to be another example of domestic spying abuse. From In These Times:

Thomas Nelson knew someone had been going through his northeast Portland law office. He didn’t know who, or why, but several times””from January to July 2005″”he noticed that papers on his desk had been moved and his computer rebooted. Yet, he says, “as far as I [could] tell, nothing was taken.”

Then he got an e-mail from Jon Norling, another lawyer in the same suite, alerting him that twice on a previous night someone posing as a member of the cleaning crew had tried to enter the office. “I know the cleaning crew,” Norling says. “For a while they were all Hispanic, and women. “¦ [This was] a middle-aged white guy speaking perfect English.” A few weeks later, on July 5, it happened again.

Because of this, Nelson moved his files to his house in the mountians.

Still, within a few weeks he noticed more disturbing signs. Mulitple times, he came home to find that the electricity had been out and the alarm deactivated. The alarm company failed to follow protocol and notify him of the lapse in service. When he called to inquire, they were uncharacteristically circumspect.

At that point, Nelson started to suspect federal involvement. “When the FBI wants to go to a place, they put out what’s called a “˜National Security Letter,'” he explains. “That letter tells, for example, the landlord, or another person who might have to facilitate the entry, that it is illegal to ever say anything about the assistance that is provided. My guess is that those letters went out to the building management, including the security company, and to the alarm company.”

At least he’s fighting it:

On Feb. 28, Nelson became the first attorney to file a suit alleging specific damages from the NSA spy program. The complaint””Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation v. Bush“”accuses the NSA of monitoring communications between Al-Buthe and two of Al-Haramain’s lawyers, Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor. It also alleges that the NSA then shared its information with the Treasury Department, who used it to freeze Al-Haramain’s assets.

Perhaps this case can be used to shed a bit more public light on our domestic eavesdropping programs.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

1 Comment
  1. Sadly Stephen I’m afraid most Americans will just see the Islamic name and think the feds just nabbed a bad guy.