What the Heck is Going On?

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Dear Troublemakers,

What the heck is going on?

If you don’t applaud for the president, you are accused of treason?

Meanwhile, across the aisle, critics of the president are latching onto the FBI and CIA as the saviors of democracy, and casting anyone who criticizes them as unpatriotic?

Earlier this month, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the Ranking Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee used Russiagate as a bludgeon to silence any critics of the FBI or DOJ, and impune their patriotism:

“There have been some, aided and abetted by Russian internet bots and trolls, who’ve attacked the basic integrity of the FBI and Justice Department, this is a dangerous trend.”

As an organization that has for decades sounded the alarm about the FBI’s abuse of First Amendment rights –and has even been the victim of such abuses–we find this remark jarring. We understand there are legitimate concerns about foreign meddling or partisan stonewalling of important investigations. Yet, a broad bush smear like this tars any and everyone who criticizes the FBI or DOJ.

And there’s plenty to criticize about both agencies. We weren’t browbeaten into silence during the McCarthy era or in the post-9/11 climate of fear. We won’t be silent now.

In dark times like these, when dissent is under attack, our work is of the utmost importance.

Can you help us Defend Rights & Dissent with a donation of $5 per month?

The FBI continues to spy on and harass activists. Last week, FBI agents paid a visit to at least one student activist to ask them about their Palestine solidarity work, and FBI visits to environmental activists are dismayingly common. An FBI intelligence assessment on “Black Identity Extremists,” implies that African-Americans who speak out against police racism are one step away from becoming police killers. And we recently learned the FBI tasked a paid informant to infiltrate the Standing Rock encampment.

The FBI has 15,000 paid informants, who else are they spying on?

Definitely the Muslim community. When Trump issued his second Muslim Ban he cited as its justification two terror plots manufactured by FBI paid informants. And current Director FBI Christopher Wray has declined to say whether he’d refuse to spy on mosques if ordered to do so by Trump.

Putting an end to the FBI’s abuses has never been more urgent.

Yet, instead of being held up to scrutiny, the FBI is being valorized and made immune from criticism.

Help us speak truth to power. Please donate today.

This situation is simply intolerable. We know that stopping Trump’s attacks on the Bill of Rights doesn’t mean supporting the FBI’s attacks on the Bill of Rights. We must oppose both. And so can you by becoming a monthly sustainer.

Stay Loud, Stay Strong,

Sue and Chip

Monthly sustainers are the heart and soul of DRAD. Their support allows us to spend our time educating, advocating, and agitating (instead of asking for money). It is vital, now more than ever, to increase the ranks of our monthly sustainers so we can focus on our important mission.

Can you do just $5 or $10 per month?