There is a misleading article at Wonkette.com.
The article by DCEIVER on spying by the military describes the Pentagon as “even going so far as to label a ‘kiss-in’ at the University of California at Santa Cruz (home of the Fighting Banana Slugs!) as a ‘credible threat of terrorism.’”
This story originated with an article by “Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.”
There were protests at UC Santa Cruz on April 5, 2005, led by “Students Against War.”
Protesters objected to military recruiting based on the “racist, sexist, classist and heterosexist biases of the military.”
Click here for excerpt from Defense Dept. document obtained by NBC News which calls UCSC protest a “credible” “threat.” (Full PDF linked at article on domestic military spying by Lisa Myers, Douglas Pasternak, Rich Gardella and the NBC Investigative Unit of NBC News.)
The protests as a whole were labelled a “credible” “threat” by the military.
But the SLDN article says,
A UC-Santa Cruz ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell‘ protest, which included a gay kiss-in, was labeled as a ‘credible threat’ of terrorism.”
SLDN misleadingly implies that was the only protest there that day which could have interested the military.
None of the contemporaneous reports I’ve found on the April 5, 2005 protest even mentions a Gay Kiss-In. Did SDLN confuse that April event with an October 18, 2005 protest? (Update: in the Comments section below, “josh” identifies himself as a member of Students Against War at UCSC and says that SLDN did confuse the dates.)
« In Summary »
The military did label protests as a whole at the University of California at Santa Cruz on April 5, 2005 a “threat.” It did not single out a protest of “‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” with a gay kiss-in.
« What Difference Does It Make? »
There should be NO spying in the US by the military.
But opponents of such military spying help their case with accurate stories, not misleading ones.
« Update of December 22, 2005 »
This morning, I received the following via email from Steve Ralls, the Communications Director of “Servicemembers Legal Defense Network:”
Based on reports that we have received from UC-Santa Cruz and members of the media, it appears there may be some contradictory information.
There was an October protest, which included the kiss-in, at UC-Santa Cruz. There was also, apparently, an April protest as well, though that one did not include the kiss-in. Student organizers at UC-Santa Cruz tell us that, in fact, they believe both events were monitored.
In our FOIA request, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network will request more specific information, including exact dates, activities and protests that were monitored. Once we have received a response to our FOIA, that information will be posted to our web site.
Did the military spy on the gay kiss-in October? Did it label the gay kiss-in a “threat?” We don’t have proof at this time that the military did these things. We will have more information if the military complies with SLDN’s Freedom-of-Information Act request.