On September 24, the FBI raided the homes and offices of seven prominent anti-war activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. The bureau also subpoenaed eleven others to testify before a grand jury, reportedly to find evidence the activists provided "material support" to terrorist organizations. But the activists' embrace of non-violence and the FBI's own sordid history suggest that it is free speech, not terrorism, which spurred the raids.
A recent report from the Department of Justice's own Inspector General detailed how the FBI had for years improperly spied on non-violent political activists under the Bush administration -- and lied about it to Congress. The report also found that, despite some changes in policy, the same sorts of abuse could happen just as easily today.
Given the FBI's poor record on respecting Americans' civil liberties and the fact that these activists exclusively embraced peaceful civil disobedience, the Justice Department should drop its investigation. Americans shouldn't have to fear that exercising their free speech rights could land them in prison.