Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, just spy

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The Pentagon has been conducting surveillance of groups who protest the U.S. military’s ridiculous Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, which has done nothing but make it as difficult as usual for gay soldiers to remain in the military. This revelation came out in a Freedom of Information request made by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

The surveillance, which was done on a more extensive level than previously reported, may have been part of an undercover operation. Emails sent by student groups in California, New Jersey and Connecticut, protesting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell have been intercepted and monitored by the government, and at least one undercover agent attended a student protest (held at Southern Connecticut State University).

Says SLDN executive director C. Dixon Osborn:

Americans are guaranteed a fundamental right to free speech and free expression, and our country’s leaders should never be allowed to undermine those freedoms. Surveillance of private citizens must stop. It is the suppression of our constitutional rights, and not the practice of them, that undermines our national security. It is patently absurd that this administration has linked sexual orientation with terrorism.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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