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  • Monday, March 13, 2006

    US academic targeted by FBI on Venezuela

    Yahoo News has this report:

    "The intent was to intimidate," the Venezuelan-born American citizen told Reuters.

    He said the agents asked if his opinions about U.S. policy had been influenced by the embassy and told him Venezuelans living in the United States were "of interest" to the task force, whose job is to prevent terrorist attacks.

    Jonathan Knight, who directs a national program to protect academic freedom, said that if the allegations were true, it appeared the FBI wanted to silence a professor using tactics that he had not seen since the persecution of academics perceived as pro-Communist in the 1950s.

    "A faculty member being confronted by two law enforcement agents could have a cautionary effect because what he can expect is that the U.S. government is watching his views," said Knight of the American Association of University Professors. "This is treading very much on his freedom."

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