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War on terror or political purge? (Insider Report).

Jimmy Wynn, self-described commanding officer of the self-styled Militia of Georgia, is by all accounts a law-abiding citizen. However, his political beliefs brought him to the attention of Georgia's state-level Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Last spring, after Wynn was hired by Southeastern Guns in Norcross, Georgia, a police detective issued a classified "intelligence release" warning local police that the militia leader's new job could allow him "to collect intelligence" on law enforcement officers. The memo crossed the desk of John Lang, an agent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) assigned to the Georgia DHS. Lang "called the gun shop owner and told him about the memo concerning his employee," reported the May 2nd Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Wynn was fired."

To the GBI's credit, the agency reprimanded Lang and transferred him to a different post, noting that the agent's actions resulted in "the termination of a subject's job because of his association with a particular group with no evidence of a crime being planned or committed...." In his defense, Lang declared: "This delay and sitting on information is precisely why incidents like Sept. 11 occurred." Former federal prosecutor Laurie Levenson, who now teaches criminal law at Loyola Law School, also defended Lang, citing the Bush administration's newly minted doctrine of "preventive warfare" as justification. "It's not irrational for this officer to do what he did," she told the Journal-Constitution. "He interpreted this information like the president did in Iraq."

Federal law enforcement agencies, invoking the "war on terrorism," have been staging raids on white supremacists nationwide. Some of the victims of these raids have criminal records, while others merely agitate on behalf of repulsive political views. A recent raid on the Leesburg, Virginia, home of white nationalist Byron Calvert Cecchini netted no firearms or evidence of impending criminal activity. However, reported the May 19th Washington Post, the raiders seized a cache of "T-shirts with a Nike swoosh logo that substitutes the word 'Nazi' for Nike." This counter-terrorism triumph may result in prosecution for trademark violations. "You prosecute what you can prosecute," an anonymous law enforcement officer explained to the Post.
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Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 16, 2003
Previous Article:U.S. backs UN anti-tobacco pact. (Insider Report).
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