Sunday, January 14, 2007
Oh I've got your numbers, I've taken notes, I know the ways your mind works, I've studied:
You are being spied upon by the Pentagon. But you knew that already, thanks to Walter Pincus. Mark Mazzetti fleshes it out, with a dash of CIA domestic surveillance seasoning the mix. For instance:

Usually, the financial documents collected through the letters do not establish any links to espionage or terrorism and have seldom led to criminal charges, military officials say. Instead, the letters often help eliminate suspects.

“We may find out this person has unexplained wealth for reasons that have nothing to do with being a spy, in which case we’re out of it,” said Thomas A. Gandy, a senior Army counterintelligence official.

But even when the initial suspicions are unproven, the documents have intelligence value, military officials say. In the next year, they plan to incorporate the records into a database at the Counterintelligence Field Activity office at the Pentagon to track possible threats against the military, Pentagon officials said.
ACLU Freedom of Information Act disclosures have determined that many of these "possible threats against the military" include antiwar protests. But pay attention to the idea of the database. Usually, federal law mandates minimization requirements for the destruction of information collected in fruitless investigations. Now CIFA, and possibly CIA, will retain all sorts of information on constitutionally-protected activity, all obtained without court-issued warrants. "You don't want to destroy something only to find out that the same guy comes up in another report and you don't know that he was investigated before," a defense official explains to Mazzetti. And why not? This shit works great in Egypt.
--Spencer Ackerman