WASHINGTON – A House subcommittee will probe circumstances surrounding Maryland State Police's secret monitoring of antiwar activists in 2005 and 2006 using undercover officers.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, chairman of the House Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Friday that he would run an investigation into the allegations.
"I think that most people would be upset to know that police were spying on lawful citizens and infiltrating peaceful organizations, rather than chasing down real criminals," Kucinich said, according to a release from his office.
"At a minimum, such police spying is clearly a waste of taxpayer dollars and a diversion from the mission of protecting and serving the people. I want the subcommittee to determine how widespread these activities are and who ordered them," Kucinich said.
Then-state police superintendent Tim Hutchins said the monitoring, which happened under his watch, was done legally, according to The Washington Post. The reports relate to activities during former Gov. Robert Ehrlich's administration.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland sued the state to obtain documents about the police activities, documents that were released this week.
The Post reported that police, posing as activists, infiltrated organizational meetings, public forums, prison vigils rallies outside the State House in Annapolis and e-mal group lists.
Records showed that agents spent 288 hours on surveillance over 14 months.
ACLU lawyer David Roach said, according to the Post: "To invest in this many hours investigating the most all-American of activities without any scintilla of evidence there is anythig criminal going on is schocking."