Tuesday, July 17, 2012
By: J. D. Heyes
[NaturalNews] If you need any measure of just how statist and paranoid our Leviathan government has become, look no further than recent revelations that one of its own agencies has been caught spying on some of its own employees, just because they had differences of opinion regarding its operation.
The New York Times said previously undisclosed documents revealed recently indicate the Food and Drug Administration had conducted a “wide-ranging surveillance operation” against a group of disgruntled FDA scientists who had privately sent thousands of emails to Congress, attorneys, labor officials, journalists and, on occasion, even President Obama.
The report said initially the FDA had launched a narrow investigation into possible leaks of confidential agency data by five scientists, but that its scope grew quickly in mid-2010 into a far broader effort aimed at countering outside critics of the agency’s medical review process, as a cache of some 80,000 pages of computer documents indicated.
FDA officials who ordered the surveillance operation were seeking to squash what one memo called the “collaboration” of agency opponents comprised of 21 people, including FDA employees, congressional officials, outside medical researchers and journalists presumed to be working in unison to produce “defamatory” information about the agency.
A ‘specific danger to public safety’
As expected, agency officials defended the massive spying effort, using the excuse that agency computer monitoring was limited to just the five scientists who the FDA believed were leaking confidential information about the design and safety of some medical devices. Agency officials admitted the goal of the surveillance was to track the scientists’ communications, but they said the goal was never to impede those communications – only to see if the scientists were improperly sharing information.