Homeland Security assessed threat of pro-life rally in Wisconsin
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducted a “threat assessment” of a pro-life and pro-abortion activists before a planned Wisconsin rally last year, yet later admitted that the groups in no way threatened national security.

Although the DHS has since destroyed its copies of the assessment, a local Wisconsin pro-life leader is criticizing the DHS effort as “an attempt by the Obama administration to silence pro-lifers.”

The “threat assessment” was issued by the DHS in Feb. of 2009 when Pro-Life Wisconsin planned a rally to protest the University of Wisconsin's proposition to build a late-term abortion clinic in Madison.

An internal review of the assessment found, however, that it violated intelligence-gathering guidelines. Since the protest groups on both sides of the abortion debate “posed no threat to homeland security,” collecting and sharing information regarding group participants was a breach of protocol, said a 2009 department memo obtained by the Associated Press.

Although the DHS has since deleted its assessment, the Middleton Police Department still has a copy of the report and has refused to release it, says Pro-Life Wisconsin.

According to a letter sent to Pro-Life Wisconsin by Capt. Noel Kakuske of the Middleton Police Department, the Wisconsin Dept. of Justice similarly refused to give the local police permission to release the assessment. Capt. Kakuske cited the possibility that individuals named in the report on both sides of the issue could be endangered by “opposing radical extremists” as another reason for not releasing the report.

According to the Associated Press, the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinic authority board voted 11-3 to approve the plan for an abortion clinic at the Madison Surgery Center in Feb. of 2009. Though board members participating in the meeting went through police checkpoints, both sides of protests groups at the meeting site acted peacefully and did not cause any disturbances.

The state director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, Peggy Hamill, has condemned the DHS's actions and said that her group is considering appealing to the district attorney or suing for the release of the documents.

“This move by DHS illustrates the Obama administration’s goal of silencing pro-lifers,” Hamill charged on Feb. 8 in a Pro-Life Wisconsin press release. “It is disturbing that a local police department has apparently tapped into the security apparatus of the federal government to potentially obstruct free speech.”

Hamill also spoke out against what she believes to be a violation of free speech rights.“The majority of Americans identify themselves as pro-life, and the Middleton Police Department has shown they are out of touch with this peaceful majority,” stated Hamill. “Pro-lifers are not a minority of the population, nor are they second-class citizens. We refuse to let our First Amendment rights be silenced.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 27, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30