With great fanfare, the Bush administration has pledged to fortify the nation’s "anti-terrorism" protections by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on new computer systems to keep tabs on foreign students and visitors. The nation’s approximately 600,000 foreign students have come under particular scrutiny since the September 11 attacks.
But visitors on foreign visas are not the only targets of the war at home. Activists and civil liberties lawyers point out that the so-called "war on terrorism" is an open door to surveillance of activist communities. We turn now to Ward Churchill, Cherokee scholar and long-time activist with the American Indian Movement, who has first hand knowledge of government surveillance and infiltration of organized activism. He is co-author of Agents of Repression: The FBI’s Secret War Against the Black Panther Party and The COINTELPRO Papers, and professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado.