Tuesday, March 16, 2004

From today's San Francisco Chronicle: Army counterintelligence agents improperly tried to gather information on civilian participants at a University of Texas conference on Islam, the Army acknowledged on Monday. Two agents of the Army's Intelligence and Security Command from Fort Hood went to the law school on Feb. 9, seeking information on people who attended a conference titled "Islam and the Law: The Question of Sexism." Conference organizers and civil rights activists accused the Army of spying on the conference and using tactics meant to stifle free speech. The Army is prohibited from investigating civilians unless the FBI waives its jurisdiction or requests assistance, and that was not done, said Deborah Parker, a spokeswoman for the Army Intelligence and Security Command, based at Fort Belvoir, Va.