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U.S. military
appears to be spying on "don't ask, don't tell"
protests

U.S. military
appears to be spying on "don't ask, don't tell"
protests

A secret Pentagon document shows that the U.S. military has been spying on what they call "suspicious" civilian meetings--including protests over "don't ask, don't tell" held at various college campuses across the country. NBC News was able to obtain only eight pages of the 400-page report, but that small portion showed that Pentagon investigators kept tabs on April protests at the University of California, Santa Cruz; State University of New York at Albany; and William Patterson College in New Jersey. A February protest at NYU was also listed, along with the law school's gay advocacy group OUTlaw, and was classified as "possibly violent." All of these protests were against the military's policy excluding gay personnel as well as against the presence of military recruiters on campus. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network says the Pentagon needs to explain why "don't ask, don't tell" protesters are considered a threat. SLDN communications director Steve Ralls called the surveillance a dangerous threat. "The military has a long history of spying into the personal lives of their service members, including gay and lesbian service members, but they crossed yet another line, and an inappropriate one at that, when they began spying on private citizens," he said. The database indicates that the Pentagon has been collecting information about protesters and their vehicles, looking for what they call a "significant connection" between incidents. Of the four "don't ask, don't tell" protests listed, only one--the University of California, Santa Cruz, where students staged a "gay kissing" demonstration--is classified as a "credible" threat. (Aaron McQuade, Sirius OutQ News)

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