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A list of 182 people believed to have been subjects of background checks from a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer includes the Tennessean reporter who revealed the Highway Patrol's probe into the officer's unauthorized activities.
Brad Schrade, who has reported on the Highway Patrol for years and first reported the probe earlier this month, received a call Saturday morning from a Highway Patrol special agent who said that Lt. Ronnie Shirley, the subject of the probe, had accessed Schrade's background information.
"For a state police agency or one of its agents to investigate a reporter who has produced legitimate and critically important coverage of the agency smacks of the intimidation and retribution you would expect to find in a totalitarian state," Silverman said.
I have been heavily involved with the anti-NAIS movement since March of 2005. I have done literally thousands of hours of research - including obtaining hundreds of pages of government documents via the Freedom of Information Act.....I wrote several articles on the subject of NAIS and horses, which have been published in a variety of places...And so, my name became *known* to the USDA and my State Dept of Agriculture. And here is where you will see just how far they will go to prevent the 'other side' from being heard...
...I purchased vendor space at a recent Horse Expo in my state....All was fine until my State Dept of Agriculture found out that I would be there as they had purchased vendor space as well. They succeeded in having me banned from the expo because I would be a 'negative influence'!
The ACLU took my case - the first one in the USA involving NAIS - and went after my State Dept of Ag...My State Dept of Ag vehemently denied any wrongdoing. They turfed it all on the shoulders of the expo organizers, claiming that they simply asked that they be moved to another location in the expo away from me.
Technically it should have stopped there,... But the ACLU believed the whole story 'stunk of censorship' ..They then had conversations with the expo organizers and a very interesting story emerged in where even names were named from my State Dept of Ag. They informed the expo organizers that I had been at a huge Farm Expo last August (Untrue as I working). They claimed that I harassed people, was rude and obnoxious and had even caused a riot to break out over NAIS! They also stated that they were 'in fear of being on the same grounds' as me for fear that I would cause another riot. Of course the expo organizers made the decision to ban me. Who wouldn't after hearing such a story from a govt agency? My first reaction was to laugh over this absolutely ridiculous 'story' then I really got angry. I was NOT at said Farm Expo but I did know people who attended. NO riot broke out!
My State Dept of Ag also provided the expo organizers with numerous e-mails that I had written about NAIS - going back an entire year. I saw these e-mails from our State Dept of Ag with my own eyes. It was then that I realized they are actually tracking me on the internet....
...The first day I was literally watched like a hawk by the expo organizers. By the end of the first day, the show manager realized that they had been 'had' by our State Dept of Ag. They observed for themselves that ALL I did was provide printed material to those who wished to take it and I answered many, many questions - particularly from people who had been to our State Dept of Ag's Animal ID booth first
Neil Hammerschmit worked on animal id both internationally, then for the NIAA 1994 and developed the NIAA National Animal ID System until 2003 when he went to the USDA to carry on the NIAA work as an employee of the USDA in present position www.ncsl.org...