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U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland is concerned that federal agencies aren't adequately sharing information on national security and terrorism issues. He's just as concerned that civil liberties aren't violated under the pretense of protecting national security.

While chairing the Senate judiciary subcomittee on terrorism and national security this week, Mr. Cardin was reminded of Maryland's messy little spying scandal that featured a unit of the State Police conducting undercover investigations on peace activists, anti-death penalty groups and others over 14 months. As a result, some Marylanders ended up in national law enforcement databases -- and for no good reason.

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Mr. Cardin later asked: "Why would law enforcement try to enter information about an individual that hasn't violated any laws and there's no credible information that they have?"

He answered his own question, and it was the right response: "You don't label people because you disagree with their views or they do things that are unpopular ... you need credible information." State police investigators need to be reminded of the same.

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