WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com) – Anti-war activists revealed a shocking discovery at a press conference in Minneapolis Jan. 12, that beginning a few months before their protests against the Republican National Convention in 2008, a law enforcement officer infiltrated the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee and even rose to a position of leadership among a variety of protest groups.
“There was a law enforcement agent who infiltrated the Anti-War Committee of the Twin Cities, in order to spy on and disrupt the plans for the protests at the Republican National Convention,” Joe Iosbaker one of dozens of activists later targeted by FBI subpoenas based on information generated by the spy told The Final Call.
“That person, who went by the name of Karen Sullivan, stuck around and eventually was in place as a spy for two and a half years,” he said, “causing a number of legal problems and expenses in order for those who had engaged in perfectly legal, Constitutionally protected activities to clear themselves of trumped-up charges,” Mr. Iosbaker said.
“At the Republican National Convention, the local police and joint-terrorism task force, in the days before the convention in August of 2008, raided, arrested and disrupted the activities of one of the coalitions–the RNC Welcoming Committee–and they charged eight persons with domestic terrorism charges. Eventually, those were all dropped, but it took those people involved in that two and a half years to defeat those charges in court,” he continued.
“In hindsight, she was a very good liar. Not only did she become a regular activist in the movement, she actually became a leader. She was speaking at rallies, speaking at educational programs about U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. She was speaking at programs about the U.S. funding for the brutal military and the brutal regime of Colombia, and she even facilitated workshops at the protests and conferences at the School of the Americas and at the U.S. Social Forum,” Mr. Iosbaker said.
“We can only assume that this First Amendment protected organizing was the reason that this agent, Karen Sullivan, infiltrated the AWC,” Misty Rowan, of the Anti-War Committee, told Pacifica Radio’s “Democracy Now!”
“It is the same kind of infiltration criticized in the October 2010 inspector general report and highlighted in the recent release of documents from the Richmond, Va., police, where any sort of assembly is defined as a disturbance and threat,” she continued.
“This professional liar posed as a fellow activist for two and a half years, and acted as if she was our friend,” Jess Sundin, of the Anti-War Committee, said. “She spent time around my child, and even attended a small BBQ to celebrate my release from the hospital after I survived a near-fatal brain hemorrhage in April of last year. This event had no investigative value. By attending personal events like this, she showed how unprincipled she was.”
“No one who has been raided or subpoenaed, no one has engaged in any criminal activity,” said Mr. Iosbaker, “and in fact, one of the ACLU’s experts–Mike German, one of their policy guys in their Washington office–in reviewing the subpoenas and warrants that were used in September, his comment was that it was clear to him that there was no criminal activity that they were investigating.
“What they were seeking was ‘associational materials.’ They were looking for names, and e-mail addresses and phone numbers. They seized address books and cell phones, and their warrants and subpoena said they were looking for information about activists in those different organizations, as well as contacts in Colombia and in Palestine, who had been visited by these human rights delegations,” he said. The FBI wanted to know the names and contacts of people involved in anti-war activities so that they too could be tracked and monitored.
The activists learned that in the summer of 2009, the agent even signed up for and led a delegation to go on a solidarity trip to Palestine. Three members of the delegation were denied entry at the Tel Aviv airport and eventually sent back to the U.S., Sarah Martin, Katrina Plotz and the alleged government agent. “We have now learned that on the word of this agent, these political activists were prevented from witnessing first-hand what is paid for with U.S. tax dollars in Israel and the Occupied Territories,” the AWC said in a statement.
“We’ve exposed this police agent, this law enforcement agent, based on information that we received directly from the U.S. Attorney here in the Midwest, that confirms that she was a law enforcement agent,” Mr. Iosbaker continued.
“People can go to the website www.stopfbi.net and you can see her photo and that of one of her accomplices she called her girlfriend.
“We’re continuing our resistance to the grand jury and the FBI repression. On Jan. 25 there will be a national day of action against the grand jury. That is the date that nine more people who were subpoenaed in December are ordered to appear before the grand jury here in Chicago at the Dirksen Federal Building here in Chicago. There will be protests here in Chicago and in 25 or 30 other cities throughout the country.
“This is a very serious thing. To maintain a paid police agent for two and a half years to gather this much information. In September, they had over 70 agents of the Joint Terrorism Task Force that were involved in those raids. It’s clear to us that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald intends on convicting someone, and putting someone into jail for, quote: ‘material support of foreign terrorist organizations.’”
The Committee to Stop FBI Repression is planning a National Day of Protest for January 25, in cities across the country. This protest is in solidarity with people refusing to testify at the secret grand jury in Chicago on that day.
Government infiltration threatens rights and freedom, warn analysts (FCN, 09-21-2010)
ACLU challenges secret spying law (FCN, 04-27-2010)
Nation of Islam Targeted by Homeland Security (FCN, 12-24-2009)
The FBI, the Muslims and the double-cross (FCN, 04-22-2009)
Cointelpro 2009: FBI up to old dirty tricks? (FCN, 12-18-2009)
Secret ties between CIA, drugs revealed (FCN, 1996)