Street Theatre Catches Eye of Pentagon Spooks

In May 2003, then-deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz gave the go-ahead for a domestic intelligence gathering operation by the Defense Department, code-named TALON, under which "raw information" on "suspicious incidents" was given to U.S. Army analysts at the Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA). One apparently "suspicious incident" consisted of street theatre, organized by peace activist Scott Parkin, outside the Houston headquarters of Halliburton. (In late 2005 Parkin was deported from Australia without explanation). A Pentagon memo, Michael Isikioff wrote, "shows that the deputy Defense secretary now acknowledges that some TALON reports may have contained information on U.S. citizens and groups that never should have been retained." A Pentagon official told Isikoff that the number of U.S. citizens spied on could be in the thousands.