George Bush is afraid of Quakers

An urgent message from
the American Friends Service Committee

Dear AFSC Friend,

What I'm about to tell you is an outrage. This is an important update for the peace and justice community.

Please share this message with all of your friends.

You may have been following the breaking scandal that the Department of Defense has admitted spying on the American Friends Service Committee, our coalition partners, and thousands of people like you.

Take action now to tell your Congressional representatives that you want the government to stop spying on the people of this country.

Two years ago, the Defense Department directed its Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA) to establish a domestic law enforcement database that included information related to "potential terrorist threats directed against the Department of Defense." Earlier this week, NBC broke the story that the Pentagon was using the system to collect information on peaceful gatherings and counter-recruiting activities.

NBC obtained a 400 page printout from the database of which 8 pages have been released. In those few pages, we have found four events sponsored by AFSC. The threatening events in the database included handing out literature in front of military recruiting stations and commemorating the second anniversary of the Iraq War.

We knew that our staff had already been under surveillance by the FBI and local police in Colorado, Illinois, and Iowa for their work to end this war. The courts agreed with us then that spying, not free speech, is a threat, as they did during the Vietnam War, when we helped win the guarantees that we are all supposed to enjoy today that our military will not spy on Americans.

Take action now to see that history doesn't repeat itself.

Tell Congress that you support our fundamental right to speak our mind and organize on the issues of the day. This new wave of spying can only be seen as a threat to our rights to free speech and the freedom of assembly. For decades, Cold Warriors criticized foreign governments for exactly these types of activities. With the help of friends like you, AFSC stood firm against the pressures of the McCarthy era and we won't stop speaking truth to power today.

Tell your representatives in Washington that this isn't our America.

Please, take action now.

In Peace,

Mary Ellen McNish,
General Secretary, AFSC