Antiwar.com Sues FBI for ‘Threat Assessment’

     (CN) – Editors of the Antiwar.com news site claim in court that they learned from a FOIA request that the FBI conducted a “Threat Assessment” of them, but won’t tell them any more about it.
     Editors Dennis Joseph Raimondo aka Justin Raimondo and Eric Anthony Garris sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the San Francisco Federal Court.
     The editors describe their site as an “an anti-interventionist website that publishes news and opinion articles about U.S. foreign and military policy.”
     Garris says he founded the online magazine in 1995 to oppose U.S. intervention in the Balkans.
     The editors learned in August 2011 that they were under federal surveillance, when another FOIA requester posted documents about them on Scribd.com.
     “Included in the posting was a FBI memorandum that names both plaintiffs, states their positions of employment at Antiwar.com, describes their First Amendment activities, and recommends opening a preliminary investigation,” the complaint states.
     In this post, one FBI analyst suggested that the investigation should probe whether the editors “are engaging in, or have engaged in, activities which constitute a threat to National Security on behalf of a foreign power,” according to the complaint.
     “Two news articles by plaintiff Raimondo were listed as attachments to the FBI memorandum and also posted on the website Scribd.com,” the complaint states. “Following publication of the FBI memo by Antiwar.com and others, Antiwar.com lost significant financial support.”
     The editors say that they submitted their own FOIA requests in response, but the FBI gave them the brush-off.
     “After an administrative appeals process, plaintiffs perfected their requests in May 2012 to include a clear request for records referring or relating to Antiwar.com,” the complaint states. “A year later, plaintiffs have not received a substantive response for records relating to themselves or Antiwar.com.”
     They seek declaratory judgment that the FBI violated the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, and an injunction forcing the agency to cough up documents.
     They are represented by Julia Harumi Mass and Linda Lye of the ACLU Foundation of Northern California and Laura Hurtado with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.
     Antiwar.com describes itself as Libertarian. Readers of the site may conclude that it leans toward the left rather than the right side of that amalgamated political philosophy.

%d bloggers like this: