Ted Rall’s Site Among Targets of Pre-GOP Convention Surveillance

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By: E&P Staff

Editorial cartoonist Ted Rall’s Web site was among the things the New York Police Department looked at when doing surveillance prior to the 2004 Republican National Convention in Manhattan, reported The New York Times.

The extensive surveillance — conducted to head off alleged plans to disrupt the convention — has been decried by the New York Civil Liberties Union and others for targeting Bush-administration opponents with no intention of breaking the law.

According to the Times, police documents included a Nov. 13, 2003, digest indicating that posts on Rall’s site were being watched. And the police documents described Rall as “a nationally known activist figure.”

Rall responded in his blog last night: “I’m no activist. I marched during the 2003 anti-Iraq War demo in New York, but before that it had been many years since I’d been active in any political organization. … Many of my friends are activists, and I admire them for it. Next to them, I’m a mere lump on a log who opines on current events from behind my computer and drafting table.”

And the liberal creator — who said the police might also have looked at his syndicated column, which can be seen on his site — concluded: “Another reason they can’t find bin Laden — they’re so worried about the ‘traitors’ in their midst that they’ve lost sight of America’s real enemies.”

Rall’s editorial cartoons are distributed by Universal Press Syndicate. He also does acquisition and development for United Media, which includes United Feature Syndicate and Newspaper Enterprise Association.

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