So says IslamOnline (thanks to Sr. Soph). I don’t know at this moment how accurate this is. In any case, it is a perfectly reasonable request given the utter failure of American Muslims to separate jihadists from their ranks.
WASHINGTON, October 8, 2005 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) — The US Defense Department is seeking congressional approval to have massive intelligence powers to spy on US Muslims and foreigners in the US, Pentagon officials have said.
“We believe there are people in the United States who have information of value to us,” Jim Schmidli, deputy general counsel for operations at the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), told Reuters.
“That information is within different ethnic communities in this country — recent additions to our population from distressed areas of the world, primarily the Middle East.”
The Pentagon is seeking to amend the 1974 privacy law that prevents defense intelligence from recruiting informants because they must identify themselves to American citizens and resident aliens at the first contact.
The change would provide Pentagon officials with the same powers already granted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Pentagon officials argue this could help fight “insurgents” in Iraq and Afghanistan more effectively as they could gather key intelligence from potential informants in the US Muslim population….
“What we want is to find a green-card holder who has relatives back in the old country, so that person can get information from a relative who works back in the old country in a nuclear arms development program,” said George Peirce, DIA general counsel.
The Pentagon has already got the backing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to amend the privacy law….
The committee approved the request in its fiscal 2006 intelligence spending authorization bill, which could be taken up by the full Senate later this month, according to Reuters….
Civil liberties advocates say the Pentagon is simply using troubles abroad to reacquire domestic espionage powers that Congress revoked in the wake of Vietnam-era abuses.
They warn that any change in the law would erode privacy protections, especially for American Muslims and resident aliens with personal ties to countries at the forefront of Washington’s so-called war on terrorism.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), said the move would offend US Muslims.
“This has a back-alley, dead-of-night feel to it that I don’t think would be received well by the Muslim community,” he said.
Got to hand it to you, Ibrahim: you are a master a manipulative, hot-button rhetoric. Why don’t you use your immense spin powers to answer my now two-year-old questions?