Marked By "Big Brother".....

John A. Quayle blueoval at SGI.NET
Tue Jan 25 15:13:53 MST 2000

                 Falwell sues White House
                 Secret, illegal database allegedly
                 targets religious, anti-abortion leaders

                 By Jon E. Dougherty
                 © 2000

                 Rev. Jerry Falwell and Judicial Watch have filed
                 a Privacy Act lawsuit against the White House
                 and the Department of Justice in an attempt to
                 uncover the contents of a secret database
                 allegedly being kept by administration officials
                 on anti-abortion and pro-life religious activists.

                 According to Falwell, a national religious figure
                 and exclusive WorldNetDaily columnist, the
                 database contains personal private information
                 on a number of figures hostile to Clinton
                 administration policies dealing with abortion.

                 Judicial Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based legal
                 watchdog organization that has several pending
                 lawsuits against the Clinton administration, is
                 handling Falwell's suit. The organization's
                 founder, Larry Klayman, will be working
                 closely with Jerry Falwell, Jr. -- Rev. Falwell's
                 son, who is also an attorney.

                                           The database,
                                           was discovered
                                           when Judicial
                                           Watch received
                                           an anonymous
                                           tip, which was
                                           confirmed when
                                           the group filed a
                                           Freedom of
                 Information Act request asking the White House
                 and Justice Department to reveal any details
                 about Rev. Falwell that may have been included
                 in the database.

                 The lawsuit alleges that administration and
                 Justice officials violated Jerry Falwell's privacy,
                 along with scores of others, by surreptitiously
                 collecting and maintaining personal information
                 on them.

                 "Over the years, my ministries and I have been
                 subjected to a number of attempts to not only
                 inhibit our free speech, but to subvert our
                 pro-life advocacy," Falwell said. "When I
                 learned of this illegal VAAPCON database, I felt
                 obliged to take action to stand up for the rights
                 of all Americans to be free to express their
                 religious beliefs, as people of faith should not
                 be intimidated by a corrupt and immoral
                 Clinton administration."

                 Falwell, who is also the chancellor of Liberty
                 University and founder of "The Moral Majority,"
                 filed a Privacy Act request to determine whether
                 or not the White House and Clinton Justice
                 Department had files on him and his ministries.
                 Both entities stonewalled, according to Falwell.

                 Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told
                 WorldNetDaily that the concept of keeping
                 databases on political enemies or potential
                 financial contributors is nothing new. He said
                 the organization is also representing Sheryl
                 Hall, a former White House employee, who is
                 suing first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton for
                 allegedly keeping similar private information in
                 a White House Database.

                 In fact, said Fitton, "that has also come up in the
                 context of our Filegate suit." He said Linda
                 Tripp, the primary figure who broke the Monica
                 Lewinsky scandal, "has said that she
                 understood that FBI files were being uploaded
                 into computers at the orders of Hillary Clinton."

                 Privacy rules not only may prohibit this kind of
                 government collection and retention of personal
                 and private information, the federal Privacy Act
                 itself states that there must be a lawful reason
                 for maintaining such files. If government
                 agencies assemble such files, persons contained
                 therein must be notified of the existence of the
                 file to attest to the accuracy of information
                 contained there, and must be provided the
                 contents of the file on demand. If the
                 government intends to release any information
                 contained in such files, it must obtain
                 permission from the person the file represents.

                 Fitton would not say who initially provided
                 Judicial Watch with information about the
                 VAAPCON database, nor whether or not the
                 person was employed in the White House or in
                 any government position, in order to protect the
                 integrity of the investigation and suit.

                 Though he said he isn't sure what might be
                 contained in such a file, Rev. Falwell told
                 WorldNetDaily, "When I consider that my
                 Christian friend and colleague Chuck Colson [of
                 the Nixon era] went to prison for violating one
                 file, it is appalling to me that this president has
                 violated at least 900 files with no repercussions

                 Falwell added that he believes such an alleged
                 theft of files and the resultant databases those
                 files may have fed were the result of "a
                 spineless Congress and a national media that is
                 in virtual agreement with every good and bad
                 thing this president stands for."

                 Jon E. Dougherty is a staff reporter for

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