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Spy case nears completion

Joint Base officials say investigation submitted to higher headquarters

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The investigation into a civilian worker at Joint Base Lewis-McChord spying on anti-war activists in Olympia is nearly done, according to a report in The Olympian, Wednesday.

Lewis-McChord spokesman Joseph Piek wrote  The Olympian in an e-mail Tuesday that the results of the investigation into JBLM civilian John J. Towery "have been submitted to higher headquarters for review," The Olympian quoted Piek.

The Army may make part of the investigation public.

"When the investigation is complete, we will provide as much information about the finding as possible," base spokesman J.C. Matthews wrote in a September e-mail to The Olympian. "Our goal is transparency."

Last summer, members of Olympia Port Militarization Resistance, or OlyPMR, gave reporters evidence that Towery infiltrated their group under an assumed name in order to conduct surveillance of its members.  The group said Towery posed as an anarchist for roughly two years.

OlyPMR member Brendan Maslauskas Dunn told The Olympian has said he learned of John J. Towery in March 2009, when he discovered a copy of an Olympia city e-mail identifying Towery as a member of Fort Lewis Force Protection.

OlyPMR members tracked Towery at home to confirm the JBLM employee was the same Towery posing as a member of their group.

Dunn told the Olympian that Towery admitted that he was spying on members of the group, using the name John Jacob.

Members of OlyPMR sued Towery, and other Force Protection employees, plus Olympia employees and Olympia police officers, claiming a violation of their rights.

Also this week, A 22-year-old anti-war activist from The Evergreen State College was awarded a $169,000 settlement with the Washington State Patrol and two other law-enforcement agencies for violations of his rights, according to the Seattle Times.

Philip Chinn was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving by state patrol troopers in May 2007, while traveling to an anti-war protest at the Port of Grays Harbor in Aberdeen, The Times reported.

The charges were dropped after tests showed Chinn was free of both alcohol and drugs. Chinn sued last year, claiming false arrest and violations of his right to free speech.

The Times reported that Aberdeen Police Assistant Chief Dave Timmons acknowledged that his detectives had been watching Chinn from the moment he left his house in Olympia.

A State Patrol trooper pulled Chinn over based on a police broadcast to do so.  The Times reported that Chinn passed a field-sobriety tests, but was arrested on suspician of marijuana use.  Tests concluded otherwise.

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