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Life as a "Credible Threat"

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August 24, 2007

Kot Hordynski is a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a member of Students Against War, a group that the Pentagon labeled a “credible threat” to national security in its Threat and Local Observation Notice (TALON) report system and database. (Apparently, a rally opposing an on-campus military recruitment event got them on the list.) In February 2006, the Students Against War – along with other plaintiffs, including the ACLU – sued the Pentagon for refusing to release records under the Freedom of Information Act relating to the surveillance of peace groups.

This week, the Department of Defense announced that it’s shutting down TALON and yesterday Kot wrote in The Huffington Post about his life as a “credible threat:”

“It has always been a wonder to me how this happened – how a group of Santa Cruz students, along with Quaker and church groups, found itself on a terrorist monitoring database. This was not only ridiculous, but wrong. I also realized that being on the list had grave implications not only for our organization but for the rest of America: after all, if college students and religious groups were being listed as credible threats, then who was safe from surveillance?”

You can listen to Kot talk about why he got involved in the lawsuit in a podcast from last year’s ACLU Membership Conference.

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