Statement - Debbie Clark, Target of Illegal Spying

February 15, 2006

I served eight years on active duty in the US Army between 1976 and 1984 - five years in the Military Police and Military Police Investigations and three years as a Special Agent in the US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID). I was honorably discharged from active duty just prior to the birth of my first child in order to be a full-time mother at home while my then-husband remained in the military. I have been engaged in antiwar activities as a member of Veterans For Peace since before the Iraq war began.

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When I first read the news about the Pentagon spying on our antiwar activities – two of which were protests that I had personally engaged in (one outside of Fort Bragg, NC in March 2005 led by veterans and military families, and the other one near an Army Recruiting Station in Atlanta, GA on Ponce de Leon Avenue), my reaction was basically one of no surprise. I have always pretty much assumed that the government had our activities under surveillance and monitoring to at least some degree or another, but always felt it was important to continue on in our opposition to the war. We have been doing nothing wrong, but rather have been acting as vigilant Americans should act in a time when government officials are suspected of high crimes and treason and misusing our intelligence agencies and military troops for a war of aggression rather than for defense of the nation.

It was interesting to me to see my suspicions of government monitoring of our activities validated and in the news and refreshing to my jaded eyes to see the strong reaction against the Pentagon spying by organizers and activists, both locally and nationwide.

I consider the Pentagon spying on our activities to be a massive waste of taxpayer money and intelligence manpower and resources that could be better spent doing something that would be more beneficial to the nation. I can only assume that the agents who have been involved in this are not competent to discern the difference between real terrorists (like the ones that were ignored by the FBI prior to 9/11) and honorable, law-abiding American citizens who are dedicated to the cause of peace and justice.

America as a nation has some shameful things in its history, but there are also many good things about it, not the least of which is that it was founded by rebels like Thomas Jefferson and has a historical record reflecting a significant degree of respect and honor for the principle of free speech and dissent against government. Even in these repressive times with criminals in Washington running the government, it is good to see that there are still people who honor the principle of free speech and dissent against government and truly understand the importance of these things in the attempted recovery and maintenance of a free and peaceful nation.

I salute the ACLU and Bob Barr of Georgia for their continued vigilance in this eternal struggle for liberty.

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