By Charles Pugsley Fincher, A Spin-Off of

The F.B.I. is questioning potential protestors at the Republican convention in New York. The bureau says that it is only interrogating ones who it believes may commit or have information of planned criminal conduct. The F.B.I. states that it's not dragging people to headquarters and that the person being questioned can end the interview at any time (if they know that).

However, one woman reports that six agents visited her -- slightly intimidating. In certain cases the bureau is using grand jury subpoenas. Civil libertarians and dissidents claim the interrogations are meant to intimidate the potential protestors from participating in demonstration and to let them know that they are being watched. For a full report on this story, see Eric Lichtblau's report in today's New York Times.

Incidentally, I like law enforcement people. I was even a state prosecutor for a year and played football for police in a game against the Jaycees. Still, you don't get into law enforcement if your a shrinking violet. These are necessarily aggressive people. So, while I like them, I also know that they're like a guard dog -- they need to be kept on a choke chain so as not to use the aggressiveness in a wrong way. 08.16.04

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