I'm a former Peace Corps volunteer, an Eagle Scout, church member, youth baseball coach, and dedicated father. I also happen to be director of one of the largest environmental groups in Maryland, a nonprofit that promotes windmills and solar panels in the fight against global warming. So imagine my shock to get a police letter last month saying I was one of 53 Maryland activists on a terrorist watch list that has been discontinued because -- can you believe it? -- there's "no evidence whatsoever of any involvement in violent crime."
Matters turned especially Soviet-esque on Oct. 14 when I called the police requesting a full copy of my surveillance file. A spokeswoman told me I could visually inspect the file, but I couldn't make photocopies, I couldn't bring an attorney, and the police would be destroying the entire file after I read it.