The Defense Department tightened its procedures earlier this year to ensure that only material related to actual terrorist threats—and not peaceable First Amendment activity—was included in the database.
The head of the office that runs the military database, which is known as Talon, said Monday that material on antiwar protests should not have been collected in the first place.
‘I don’t want it, we shouldn’t have had it, not interested in it,’ said Daniel J. Baur, the acting director of the counterintelligence field activity unit, which runs the Talon program at the Defense Department. ‘I don’t want to deal with it.’
Mr. Baur said that those operating the database had misinterpreted their mandate and that what was intended as an antiterrorist database became, in some respects, a catch-all for leads on possible disruptions and threats against military installations in the United States, including protests against the military presence in Iraq.