Joint Terrorism Task Force; Yes or No?

Randy Leonard

Statute_of_liberty

On November 3, 2004 at 2pm, the Portland City Council will vote to either extend authorization or prohibit the Portland Police Bureau from continuing its participation with the FBI as a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).

As originally envisioned the JTTF allowed for the cooperation of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. The idea was to create a forum wherein these different law enforcement organizations shared information and resources.

While the concept behind the task force is a good one, I have mounting concerns that its original mission has been compromised by the policies of President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

I voted for continuing the JTTF agreement with the FBI in 2003. However, given the various events of the past year, both domestic and international, I have serious doubts regarding Portland’s continued participation in the JTTF.

I would appreciate those who have an opinion on the Portland City Council continuing the Portland Police Bureau’s participation in the JTTF posting a comment here. Your comments will be read and seriously considered by more than just me on the current city council.

I would especially appreciate comments that are as well reasoned as is possible given the subject. This is a serious issue and deserves thoughtful consideration by us all.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Randy, what has this group done, if anything, in Portland? What are we losing if we withdraw?

    And shouldn't we wait until after the election to make a move one way or the other? If we get a new President, things will likely look different, won't they?

  • Randy Leonard (unverified)
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    "...what has this group done, if anything, in Portland?"

    Jack- I am asking the Police Bureau for an answer to exactly that question (amongst others) before the vote.

    As far as waiting, good point BUT the Mayor has placed this issue on the agenda. You may have noticed that in the past I have not been very effective from dissuading her from a course of action.

  • Jesse (unverified)
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    Reading that we have FBI agents infiltrating activist groups and gathering information and building files on the activities of peaceful protesters who have no connection to terrorism or any other criminal activity is disturbing. Would the Portland police be required to assist? Would they instigate such investigation?

    My fear is that having the PPB working alongside the FBI will only misdirect investigations to folks who, although dissenters and perhaps even rousers, never come close to terrorists. Not even a hair close. Why a misdirection? Because police and activists have established a history of conflict. This JTTF has the possibility of enflaming this conflict. Also, the JTTF has to justify it's existence, and I fear it may do so by chasing the small stuff--like acceptable dissent--instead of actively pursuing its actual mission.

    Without a hefty report from the PPB with their assessment, and another from the JTTF citing a clear case for its continuance, I'd be hard pressed to find a reason to renew.

    If so, I'd encourage Foxworth and the Mayor to file for review privileges.

  • (Show?)

    My concerns are also with oversight. Who outside of the Feds and the Police is making sure that this is really about chasing terrorists and not about surveilling people who are simply activists? I guess I've heard one too many horror stories about innocent people swept up in the anti-terrorist net.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)
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    <h1>( BTW, the Oct. 21, 2002 date likely is a typo for 2004.)</h1>

    Half of Americans, (therefore half of City Council?), say they believe Saddam was in on 9/11. So half our people say "Yeah, so what, everybody knows Saddam had WMD, could attack us, and did 9/11," and half our people say "How could people believe this?"

    Surveys show cable TV false news stressed the Iraq lie to infect minds, minds which never double checked facts in other media. People believe TV, whatever its voices say to them, and look no further in assuming it is true life outside their community where they have never been. Faith in worshipping the TV idol means never having to say 'I don't know.'

    Worse, 99% of Americans, (and therefore the City Council?), say they believe nineteen fanatic hijackers did 9/11, (yet half in a New York survey say they believe there was insider help). We believe the nineteen hijackers Legend of 9/11 because we saw it on TV, like you did, Randy. But there is no evidence for it. No DNA in the wreckages. No nineteen box cutters. No tickets bought for them, no names on lists of boarding passengers at the airport gates. No anything. (Disagree? Cite one piece of complicitous evidence that any of them were on the planes.) All there was was photos and names on TV; TV said they did it.

    And IT has been the basis for everything done under Bush since then, right into Council Chambers and including the JTTF. The Task Force, and its charter in Tom Ridge's Homeland Security bureaucracy and John Aschcroft's FBI seem to be more terrifying, when you list all their false arrests and American life of freedom and justice destroyed.

    On the other side, there is much evidence that (hijackers did not do it and) military interests in NORAD, FAA, Secretary of Defense, and Vice-President's Office did do 9/11. ("Crossing the Rubicon" documentary book by Michael Ruppert, at FromTheWilderness.com or Amazon.com.)

    It is now official (Deulfer Report) that Bush and his appointees lied on TV, about Iraq and in result killed over a thousand American soldiers, a hundred thousand Iraqi humans, and misappropriated ('stole') 200 billion taxpayer dollars by using their lie to make TV watchers cringe in fear and be afraid to go out in the world.

    The government lied to invade Iraq, and did it with American lives and history at stake. Logically, the very same people are suspect of telling other lies -- such as the Legend of 9/11, even if there was no evidence to prove the TV story of 9/11 is false. But there is evidence, and it shows the Legend of 9/11 is a lie, like Santa Claus except that our people died (bad) instead of getting free presents (good).

    Such evidence is publicly available. Beyond TV's mass hypnosis groupthink effect, on the internet, see for examples:

    http://www.pentagonstrike.co.uk/ http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A13059-2004Oct6?language=printer http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/boeing.htm http://911review.org http://0911.site.voila.fr/index.htm

    And, evidence which could prove or disprove what happened on 9/11 -- cockpit voice recorder tapes, air traffic radar data and traffic controller tapes, official photos taken in the Pentagon, Pennsylvania and NYC wreckages, surveillance camera photos of the attacks, Bush and Cheney 9/11 Commission testimony, and more -- is all classified secret, not on TV.

    Secrets make sense to guard lies. Otherwise, secrets do not make sense. Everything the government has done based on 9/11 does not make sense -- Patriot Act, Homeland Security, soldiers inspecting us in airports, intruding in homes, sneaking library records, medical, legal, credit card and political records, not finding anthrax taken out of government labs and who took it, why the NORAD defense planse did not scramble to the hijackings, the president sitting passively in a classroom -- none of it makes sense. If the Legend of 9/11 is a lie, all of it makes sense. The JTTF does not make sense where there are no terrorists for it to 'task' at. We need that money in more important expenses.

    The JTTF has not justified their existence -- with evidence that foreign terrorists have ever attacked us, or even exist!, including using Legend of 9/11 evidence if they want, show it, bring it!, even when our ports' (Portland?) cargo containers are wide open to plots and plans -- when there's no terror strikes where there could be, it means there are no terrorist before it means there is high risk of them spontaneously occurring -- never mind the JTTF justifying City Council spending money with them. Would you pay for a loose tiger capture patrol in Portland? There ARE NO loose tigers in Portland! (Okay, maybe occasionally; 'I remember, sonny, it was the hot summer of '29, or was it '28, a tiger got loose ....') Wouldn't you first make the patrol show there was? Accountability, cost/benefit analysis, has come to teachers and government departments, the JTTF should be, too. What's their terrorist capture track record?

    In reality, the facts are the terrifying events in our lives have been our own American religious fanatics, racists, and incompetents to stand trial -- murdering their families, murdering competing meth dealers, suicide-attacking the KOIN Center with military assault weapons, women's health clinic bombings, a fearsome mob lynching an effigy on the Capitol steps, brainwashed skinheads, riotous police -- none of which is foreign invasion and all of which is our own people who got their mental ability set off-track somewhere along the way in their life.

    Randy, moving these topics into the open like this is such a good thing. Bill Clinton said, and mass media muffled him: "Democracy is what comes out the end of the internet ... uh, and cell phones." Your participation in BlueOregon.com is more deemocracy. (More if it would just webstream video and audio of City meetings.)

    I still have not seen The Oregonian report that the FBI last week seized indymedia server computers for no reason. And without that report, the newspaper probably can't print following installments -- yesterday the International Federation of Journalists called for an investigation, ( http://inn.globalfreepress.com/article.php?storyid=865 ). The newspaper does not have enough space, the TV evening news does not have enough time, but our representatives and commissioners must have information with which to think, make judgments, and decide their votes for us.

    Today a comic (Doonesbury) in the paper cites a website. References to internet sites, (or "internets"), are everywhere. The existence of the internet and its supply of information -- some good, some bad, some ugly, just like 'legitimate' media -- can not be kept hidden by mass media trying to ignore it. Even if it is a competing challenge to those media monopolies.

    Just one small example of non-TV news info people can see right on their doorstep, and suggesting how people can come to understand events in our times, I wanted to point your attention to my 9/11 story right under your 9/11 story, here at BlueOregon, Tears in Heaven. And saying all that, reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks -- 'I improved this message' -- I yield back the balance of the bandwidth and stand keenly interested in what others say.

    Jack Bog said it shorter about JTTF, (and Jesse, and Leslie), and I second his motion to ask for accountability, but not his docile sit-on-our-hands uncertainty questioning "shouldn't we wait" and hope for a valid election to guide us. The question in the very first place is the 9/11 flat earth legend, and until it is settled then elections and issues and candidates' positions and Council commitments are all secondary, perhaps meaningless.

    <h1/>
  • pdxkona (unverified)
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    What are the obligations of the PPB by participating in the Task Force? Are these obligations spelling out in extreme detail or are they arbitrary, and if they are arbitrary who makes the specification decision? A lot of more information is needed to understand the cost/benefit rationale.

  • (Show?)

    Two things right off the bat:

    First, the Mayor and the Chief need to be directly and pointedly questioned as to the status and depth of their oversight permission.

    Second, someone on the inside needs to state in no uncertain terms whether or not PPB officers were involved in the wrongful persecution of Brandon Mayfield.

    (Also, kudos to Commissioner Leonard for turning to the readers of BO to solicit opinion on this issue.)

  • MarkMein (unverified)
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    The October 13, 2004 issue of the Portland Mercury has an article about reauthorization of the JTTF.

    A major concern seems to be the almost complete lack of local political/civilian oversight of JTTF activities, particularly those with Portland Police participation. According to the Mercury, neither council members nor the Police Chief can obtain information about JTTF activities without having Federal government "clearance." The requirement for clearance implies that any local political/civilian oversight could not include public disclosure. So much for the Open Meetings Law.

    If the Mercury article is correct, and Randy might be able to shed some light on the parts that refer to him, the operational effect of the JTTF seems to give Federal agencies control over Portland Police officers with no local public oversight of the officers. That's too much control. Coordination of information and investigative activities is one thing, but handing over control of local officers to a Federal agency is too steep a price to pay.

  • Mitchell Santine Gould (unverified)
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    I believe that in principle, all law enforcement agencies should stop their turf wars and cooperate with each other. However, the FBI has violated the trust of the American people and does not deserve local cooperation until it reforms. Furthermore, dangerous provisions of the Patriot Act must be repealed before our police are allowed to cooperate.

    Thanks for your concern.

  • Randy (unverified)
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    My perception is -- the JTTF enlists locals, who end up being the FBI's Step-N-Fetchits. Maybe an oversimplification, but that's my perception.

    I'd be wondering how many police hours we lose to JTTF's "investigations"... with budgets as tight as they are, can we afford to lose the equivalent of 10 - 50 or 100 officers who otherwise would be focusing on Portland's community needs.

    Over the past 15 months my faith in the FBI and CIA has plummented.. I really don't want those people diverting local resources to more of their "investigations".

    I'd also be interested in how many hours PPB logged in the Mayfield debacle.

  • Scott Jensen (unverified)
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    Dear Commish, I'm always surprised by what an amazing person you are. This is an extraordinary effort for you to actually engage citizens in a public electronic forum to assist in giving you direction. My hats off to you!

    I'm saddened that America has the administration it currently does. The entire Patriot Act is nothing but anti-patriotism if you ask me. The administration has used fear to terrorize Americans. I'm concerned that the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) has no oversight or would like to see more oversight I guess. However I believe as Mitch does that law enforcement should be given the tools they need to do their job. Let's just make sure this is right and just!

    I emailed a link to this blog issue to the entire board of The Community Association of Portsmouth (TCAP). I think this is a wonderful opportunity to give direct feedback. I hope you find it useful and that you use this kind of tool again in the future!

    Your friend in Portsmouth, Scott Jensen

  • Ken Spice (unverified)
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    I don't live in Oregon at the moment, but I've been in council hearings several times about this issue... there have been dozens and dozens of well-reasoned objections to Portland's participation in this task force. The League of Women Voters, numerous unions, neighborhood organizations, and community groups have expressed their very valid concerns. I hope this history of public opposition to the PJTTF, while blatantly ignored at the time, won't be lost completely. If you still have access to the video, please check the hearing that occurred shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001 - even at such a time, Portlanders from all walks of life made it clear to City Council that this task force was not acceptable. The bottom line was that Ashcroft's Justice Department was not to be trusted. History has shown the truth of that matter.

  • John Bartley K7AAY (unverified)
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    Apparent abuses of power by JTTF are referenced here:

    http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1330758&nav=168XGVQf

    http://www.aclu-co.org/spyfiles/fbifiles.htm

    http://www.keepandbeararms.com/newsarchives/XcNewsPlus.asp?cmd=view&articleid=2126

    I would ask the City to confirm there was no JTTF participation in the Brandon Mayfield incident, and that city oversight be established to review all JTTF activity, before I could support renewing this agreement.

    I do not believe it would be impractical to establish a city oversight panel with the adequate level of clearance, given the number of retired and former military, federal and law enforcement personnel, plus former defense contractors, which reside in the City.

    Several of the VOADs (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) I participate in require a background check of their volunteers, so this is not at all out of the question. The City may have to bear the expense of the investigation, but that is a necessary cost of doing business with the JTTF.

    Sincerely yours,

    John Bartley K7AAY

  • Bob Hart. (unverified)
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    From reading all the preceeding liberal comments, I hope you all remember your ideal when we are living day to day like the people of Isreal. That would be lots of fun huh?

  • (Show?)

    Nice try with the liberal smear, but there's a rather strong contingent of conservatives in this country who are seriously concerned about unaccountable abridgement of civil liberties, too.

  • Jesse (unverified)
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    Did Bob Hart really just say that?! Anyway...

    From what I remember, only those with direct oversight--as in the chief and the commissioner in charge (the Mayor)--may apply for review clearance. That may make the idea of a city oversight panel that John suggested moot--if I'm even right.

    I think we've seen that democracy works best when equipped with strong checks and balances.(Note the lack we have today, when we have a lop-sided legislature and executive branch--and, surprise, a judicial system labeled as activist no less!)

    I think we'd get more done if the FBI and PPB are mutually exclusive, yet collaborative. Pursuance of cases with no common interest should remain exclusive.

    Portland's common interest should not be the investigation of liberals--or conservatives--with an attitude or big mouth. If the FBI wants to investigate those folks, well, that's a different arena, but I don't think the PPB ought to divert its (our) resources to do so.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)
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    <h1/>

    (The comment immediately preceding has your fear-pill for this hour. Swallow it and be afraid, be very afraid.)

    It is a slight dismay that, something like the Mayfield pattern, in the arrest of the local imam (was he?) at the airport, when? spring of 2003?, the very first headline was "FBI finds explosive powder on briefcase," and then, mincemouthed, days later, in the back of the newspaper, "...oopsnotheydidn't.." BUT HE IS WANTED ANYWAY, for credit card default, wasn't it?

    It's hard to remember when there are charges with the arrest and when there are not, and what the charges are from day to day as they shift and re-file.

    I just was reminding all of the earlier false arrest. Like Mayfield's.

    P.S. Lawsuits against NYC police have been filed charging riotous extreme behavior and unnecessary arrest false charges by the police during the Repugnant Convention.
    This matches the on-going lawsuit against Portland police under federal command getting assaultive against demonstraters waiting when Bush came to town, Aug. 2002, to campaign for Gordon Smith. Memo to Smith: You owe Portland a few million bucks for the damage to this city that you arrogantly heavy-handed.

    <h1/>
  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)
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    <h1/>

    The comment immediately preceding was about the comment preceding the one immediately preceding it.

    <h1/>
  • (Show?)

    Jesse is correct that only the Chief and Commissioner of a police department are allowed to apply for clearance.

  • Tiffany (unverified)
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    If We the People can't have some oversight on this thing, I don't see why We the People should pay for it. Portland is strapped for cash. We can barely keep our schools in session. I agree that we should reserve our police force for local use, not for being the Feds' go-fers.

    Like all Americans, we are saddling our children with an enormous deficit, much of which is allegedly going into Homeland Security. If this Administration wants to sink everything into Homeland Security, it may as well give the FBI some pocket change for snooping around the homes (and libraries) of Portland. Maybe they can even contract Halliburton to do it. Har, har.

    We deserve to have access to any information on the Mayfield case that the police chief, mayor, or city council possess. This egregious treatment of a member of our local community affects all Portlanders who care about civil liberties.

  • Nader (unverified)
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    This may be a hopelessly naive question, but why do we need a special task force for the police and the FBI to cooperate?

    And even assuming that these law enforcement agencies are somehow structurally unable to work together without this type of task force, I think we need to take a reality check and look critically at the threat terrorism poses to average citizens. Statistically I am far more likely to be killed by a drunk driver, than by a terrorist. In fact, even in the same year as 9/11 - we were still more likely to die from violent crime than from terrorism.

    What this illustrates, is what we have known all along - the real threat of terrorism is that it causes terror. That terror, irrational though it may be, causes us to abandon values and reverse positions on fundamental principles like our civil liberties. In the grip of this irrational fear, we over estimate the threat of terror, and ultimately can end up misallocating resources that could be more effectively used in other areas.

    My gut feeling is that the JTTF is not a priority.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)
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    <h1/>

    If you build it, BlueOregon, they will come, the wise.

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    <h1/>
  • (Show?)

    A lot of good commentary here so I won't add any general thoughts. But here's a political consideration. If John Kerry wins the election, you'll presumably be confronted with the prospect of renewing an agreement without knowing all the facts. Significantly--who will be heading federal bureaus you'll be working with?; what will the new US AG's approach be?; are there plans to completely overhaul domestic intelligence under a new federal agency?

    Until you have the answers to those questions, voting on the question seems premature. Even in the case of a Bush re-election, two of those questions are relevant. Because Bush has been reticent to discuss changes (installing Porter Goss without any discussion of whether his job will be there in three months), it's also worth considering whether you're dealing in blind faith with the feds.

  • allehseya (unverified)
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    I am hereby adding my voice to the “postpone the vote” crowd. November 3rd is simply just too soon. On both a local and national level -- I can’t imagine a worse date to vote on such an issue. The transition on the local level (and most especially the transition on the National level) has to occur (and unfortunately, it occurs incrementally) Prior to those Critical Transitions Between Local and National governments.

    Is it too naïve to say: Lets just take time to see how those transitions take place and how they affect us on a National as well as Local level --- as a city – and as citizens?

    I’m wary of any government body moving ahead too rashly and/or without the ethical safeguards that assure collective accountability and individual civil liberties.

    So in the meantime, I propose: postponing the vote – in addition to --- revisiting the Public Involvement Task Force Recommendations. Replace one for the other on the same date. The rationale being that the city first needs to address the process by which citywide issues become accessible to its citizens – and -- allow for those concerned to be active agents in addressing them (thank you for taking such an initiative in this forum, Commissioner Leonard).

    If it is indeed the mandate of city council to do so -- then First develop the process in which dissemination of information that is pertinent to key city issues becomes accessible to us.

    Then, allow for our involvement through a series of hearings that allow for Public Testimony. Public Testimony that may even extend to and from forums of communication such as this one.

    THEN have city council cast their Citizen Informed Votes on whether or not to continue the Portland Police Bureau’s participation in the JTTF.

  • (Show?)

    For what it's worth, the PITF recommendations aren't yet ready to come before Council, as far as I know. They were put on hold until the other ONI-related committee (reviewing ONI guideliens) was finished with its work first.

  • Randy (unverified)
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    My only other comment is "thanks" to Randy Leonard for asking the question.

    I've never attended a "public hearing" on any local issue when I wasn't a member of the public board involved. I've never written a letter to any local official about a local decision.

    I'm grateful you asked for my thoughts.

  • David M. (unverified)
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    If the JTTF was going to be working to stop terrorists, it might be a better plan, however, like so much of the current law enforcementhas done and continues to do, it will be used primarily for intimidating and harassing people with good intentions. Forcing complacency among people is a terrible crime, and the JTTF is simply one the tools reactionaries use to stop change on any level, be it social, economic or political. I have kids who get harassed at bus stops by police for standing on the sidewalk. We need less of this mentality, not more. Even most conservatives would agree the status of our civil liberties are in a bad spot. With the advance of such groups who have little or no accountability and almost unlimited power comes the stifling of free speech and liberty in general. We want security in Portland, not harassment. Vote no on the JTTF.

  • David (unverified)
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    The following is an open letter to the entire city council, from me, a Portland resident and former police officer:

    "People of the city council, you are elected and salaried to run this city. You are responsible for the disposition of all city property and the conduct of its employees. The JTTF uses city-owned equipment (firearms and other gear) and city-employed civil servants. It is never excusable for employees and equipment of this city to be outside the scrutiny of this council.

    "Unless council, including the mayor, has complete oversight of the Portland Police officers assigned to the JTTF, they must be removed from that task force and returned to city duties. Any failure of the U.S. Government, even temporary, to provide the necessary security clearances to oversee this city's officers MUST result in suspension of officer assignment. If only a simple majority of the council is granted access to the task force, then all decisions of officer oversight in these matters must be approved by unanimous votes of the cleared council members."

    "Please do not vote yourself voteless, we did not elect you to this office so you could shirk your duty and let unelected federal bureaucrats oversee our police. Do your job, run this city's police bureau or step down so we may replace you with councilmembers who will."

  • Michael b (unverified)
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    Michael b

    Rather than investing in a KGB esqe beurocracy that infringes on our civil liberties by spying on lawyers, proponants of change, and foriegners wouldn't this money be better spent invested in comunities affected by civil and enviromental damage?
    The PJTTF takes a radical stand on the criminalization of property crime, advocating that crimes against property should be dealt with on par with crimes like murder. In what respect does this stand serve the public good? If this nation is to be percieved both inside and outside it's borders as bieng capable of delivering on it's promise of equal liberty, and EQUAL justice for all then this radical stand must end. It is not just to hold some people's earnings above others. To say that if a person owns land for example they have MORE of a right to vote or be defended by the law. That thier "net" contribution to society over thier life will be greater. That 20% of a timber corperation, suv dealer, or pharmacutical giants income is more legitamit than 20% of mine. That THEY ARE PEOPLE AND WE ARE NOT! That Enron exec's can get off with what amounts to slaps on the hand while Tre Arrow spends the predominance of his life in jail. Such stands ignore the very inequalities that make us targetable, that make us devided in favor of advocacy twards monopolies. Weither it's monopolies of Public land, Public contracts, or public brodcasting licenses the PJTTF is a stand twards an ownership society. A society where money and property is valued above life. I have no doubt that "threatened" corperations have more access to this group than the public, or it's representitives do. I work with people that say things like "Damn strait, we need to kill thim sand Niggers and take thier oil! They're not using it anyway." Sentaments like this exist because of the turmoil at the heart of an ownership society, they exist because 99% of the media that does focus on muslim people presents them as evil. Evil is a strong word. The people of Portland are not evil. An ownership society, and the PJTTF's secret and unaccountable advocacy of it is. The CIA torturing people in Iraq and Egypt is evil. Locking Brandon Mayfield up to legitamize this organization is evil.

    I've got to go to work. Thank you for asking us what we think.

  • Randy Leonard (unverified)
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    Thank you all for your thoughtful comments.

  • Edith C. (unverified)
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    Thank you, Randy Leonard, for giving this topic serious thought.

    As you know, Portlanders including myself have good reason to be fearful of police stomping on our civil liberties, even outside of the JTTF. The JTTF adds to the mistrust, making it harder than it already is for the police and community to get along. If I’m afraid that my non-violent, legal activism will make me a target, how am I going to feel comfortable calling on the police when they are needed? And if I didn’t have such pasty skin, I’d be even more wary of mistreatment, to say the least. The FBI can do their job just as well (or as poorly) without infecting our police force.

  • Amy N. (unverified)
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    Howdy -

    I think my sentiments have been well-expressed elsewhere on this page, so let me just add a vote for "cut the ties to the JTFF". The lack of local oversight and control and possible impingement of citizen's civil liberties (as evidenced in the Mayfield case) make me wonder what the return on investment is in the partnership with the FBI?

    Anyway, thanks for soliciting our comments, Mr. Leonard. Your openness is much appreciated.

  • Stephanie D. Stephens (unverified)
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    Dear Commissioner Leonard,

    Thank you for posting this very important question to the public. My name is Stephanie D. Stephens, and I am a member of the Community Language and Culture Bank (CLCB) http://www.clcbank.org, which I helped to co-found with my husband, Kayse Jama, a refugee from Somalia. I am an American citizen, but many of our organization's leadership and members are not.

    A wrongful arrest by the PJTTF is how Community Language and Culture Bank began.

    On September 8, 2002, authorities arrested well-known Portland area Muslim cleric Sheik Mohamed Abdirahman Kariye at the airport, claiming his brother's luggage contained traces of TNT. Imam Kariye was the spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Portland—or Masjed As-Saber—which the media quickly labled "one of the most radical mosques in the country." This is the mosque Kayse and I attend, as well as countless others in our area.

    The arrest mobilized Portland’s Muslim community to protest what they saw as a witch hunt. During the Kariye trial, those who attended Masjed As-Saber (such as ourselves) were shocked and disturbed to learn that an informant for the FBI had attended our mosque in June 2002, for the purpose of secretly recording conversations with individuals in search of information regarding the "Portland Seven" defendants. For many Muslim immigrants, this secrecy and intrusive questioning was unsettling. Many left countries where people were guilty until proven innocent.

    The FBI later admitted the TNT test had been faulty and there were not, in fact, any explosives present. Even then, it took vocal protests and strenuous work by attorneys to get Kariye released on bail.

    Most recently, Portland Attorney Brandon Mayfield—-a Muslim convert—-was arrested and detained in secret under the FBI’s claim of "one hundred percent" certainty that his fingerprints matched those on a plastic bag containing detonators used in the Madrid, Spain train bombings (which they, in fact, did not match). Documents supporting Mayfield’s indictment point to his having been observed "repeatedly driving to a mosque."

    Although I am unaware of any direct connection between the Mayfield arrest and the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force, the PJTTF brings our Portland Police force in direct collaboration with the FBI on U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act issues. Attorney General John Ashcroft has held Portland up as an example of the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act’s success, even though its history of use in Portland has consisted of far more wrongful incarcerations than convictions.

    Community Language and Culture Bank is an organization dedicated to countering the mistrust and fear among our community’s diverse citizenry. We work very closely with Portland's immigrant and refugee communities, many of which feel under attack. These residents are much more likely to be invovled in civic structures and activities if they trust their government, and those charged with upholding its laws.

    I strongly encourage you NOT to renew the PJTTF. Please take a stand for Portland's immigrant and refugee communities -- for all of us -- in these days of fear and paranoia.

    Stephanie D. Stephens Community Language and Culture Bank [email protected] www.clcbank.org

  • wg (unverified)
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    Their methods in Mayfield's case were unacceptable see (unable to include url)

    I agree with Leonard the city has no way to ensure that their current and future activities will have any integrity to them. Split from them, unless you want the police to pick up and institutionalize a few more dirty tricks from feds. Not worth it imo, under that ne black guy they seem to be making nice progress. Who know maybe one day we could be proud of them.

    Set a liaison officer with them in the PB, so they can ask for assistance when they really need it, and have city attorney review each assistance request on case by case basis.

  • wg (unverified)
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    I see people are able to include url's here. I wasn't - rejected on spam comment basis. What gives?

  • (Show?)

    FYI, we've been able to debug the URL issue. Turns out that TypePad.com (our blog provider) maintains a master list of domains that provide safe haven for comment spammers. While the site that wg wanted to link to was perfectly legit, the domain host isn't. Learn more here.

  • JACK PEEK (unverified)
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    My thoughts on Randy Leonard and Eric Sten........my real thoughts I will keep to myself........But, I write this letter to ask for common sense not election year politics on the subject of what the real first job of any elected official is, that being security.

    These officials are showing some of the folks in Portland, they would rather play "games" than do the job they are well paid for.
    
    The "joint terror task force," Leonard is against, isn't a video game where you press "play" and "stop" and rewind...it's a deadly game with real deaths and real blood on the playing field.
    

    I'm ashamed and angry at most of the demographics of who these people are playing too, because the terror cells we have or have potential to have don't give a damn who Randy Leonard thinks he is impressing by the ridiculous statements he was quoted on in the article.

       Randy Leonard needs an "attitude adjustment" ... people like him who do not get the idea that the freedoms he claims we are risking mean nothing if we are dead!
    
                                                                                         Jack Peek
    
  • Michael b (unverified)
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    Dear Facist, These men are representing and safeguarding the publics security by standing up to your "ownership" society. As for "attitude adjustments," you speak like a terrorist. What is this supposed to imply? Because it sure as hell sounds like a threat to me. I honestly never thought I'd defend a public official. I never thought that public officials would ever make a truly moral position that represented me. It is US economic domination that is to blame for threats to our security. I am not alone in feeling this. I've met the elderly that took the brunt of enronomics. My friends are reeling from the loss of the oregon health plan. I know people that cannot afford thier medication. I know Natives that are struggling to defend thier land from us corperations, and thier pet government. Yet privitization spells out more and more divertion of public work, goods, and money into the hands of fewer people, at the expense of us all. I do not blame those who would fight. Both sides of isle ingage in this conspiracy, it will stop or people will fight.

    Those who would make a non-violent revolution impossible, would make a violent revolution inevitable.

    Martin Luther King.

  • JACK PEEK (unverified)
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    Dear Infidel M.B Hey...you have not seen the light!

      What are you blind? Can you see the direction a lack of security for the city or the nation can bring?
    
       Here is an excerpt from a letter I got from a security analyst that used to live in Portland
    
          Quote: "Yes, I believe that Portland is a "hotbed" for sleeper cell activity, it maybe one of the hottest in the nation and that fact is well documented!"
    
          While you call me names ...........My son, my daughter, and her husband defend your worthless ass.
    
           The stupid "bird droppings" of your post to me showed me why I DESPISE people like you and Randy Leonard so much.
    
             You refuse too get it, that no matter who is in the White House, these people want us dead.  You cannot appease, not run from that fact!
    
              I can only hope you see the light ......but as most LIBS I have met at this point in this election year.......ALL OF YOU ARE INSANE! :
    
  • Michael b (unverified)
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    See the light? You remind me of Dick Cheny, when he voted against the release of Nelson Mandela. A warrior against aparthied, freedom fighter, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Your values are so disconnected to most of the worlds expierence that you promote terorism through your actions. You cannot see that terrorism is born in a nest of social, political, and capital inequality. In fact you would attack anyone that is truly willing to do what it takes to stop terrorism. I've read history and I know somthing of those masters who would blame those that resist. Who would kill them and lock them up if they could. I've lived in NE portland and been told to get off my own porch by swat members who didn't want me to see them attacking a drug dealers house. I've seen the local police make black people crawl on thier bellies for driving infractions, and parole violations. Seen twelve blocks of NE portland co-ordined off becuase the police wanted to stop some black kids party. I've listened to facist apologists like you blame the victims of social inequality one too many times.

    Unlike you I do not equate property damage with murder. I do not elevate property above life. Am I some spineless leech that collects his stamps so that he only has to work for booze? NO! I work on average 45 hours a week. Don't do drugs, and hardly drink. I am a tradesman. I am one of the hardist working people I know. I am a young man, starting a family, and about to buy my first home. Yet I do not feel that people that work for economic equality, prison reform, enviromental change, community control, and civil rights are terrorists. Yes social justice struggles are at war with the current economic system, because in a very real way it is at war with them. That does not mean that there is not hope. Rather than creating markets through imperialism, proponants of social justice can and are creating markets through local democracy, community control, and empowerment. As a kid I could not get help for my abusive drug dependant father because I grew up in the hour of Reagan. I asked school counselors to help me get help for my father. A terrorist policy of criminalization would not alow them to help my father, and they didn't have enough evedince to bust him. They blamed his problems on me, and refused to seek help for my family. So what they did was put me in a testing program for ritalin. They experimented with higher doses of ritalin on me and my classmates. The principal told my mother that if her 10 year old boy didn't continue to take these 500 miligram pills of ritalin 4 times a day at 50$ a bottle he would force me to go to a school for troubled youth fourty miles from my home. I was not alone in this expierence. There were long lines around the lunch hall for the meds. Kids would sell them at lunch. We couldn't afford it. The testing program laced my meds with lactose because I told them I was alergic. I was sick and strung out all the time. Mean while we were forced to sing the "DARE" anthem twice a week, and our cirriculem was shaped around the dare message. I litterally grew up with TERROR of the FBI trying to bust my family up, punished for trying to get help for my father. Later when I tried to get my ged I called my middle shcool for transcripts they told me that the only reason they still had my transcripts was because there had been a massive class action lawsuit against schools across the intire western united states for illigally refering kids to programs that tested drugs on us (I'd missed the deadline.) As a child I've seen the results of your war on drugs, and am not about to give you, or people like you, my support as a man.

    I do not feel that anyone should do 30 years for destroying some property while murderers and rapists do average 6-10. While the biggist killers on our planet are promoted to and abuse thier positions of leadership.

    My expierence and the expierence of most of the working class and poor people I literally talk to on the streets is that the real terrorists are the "owners" of our communities, our country, and this world.

    When the pharmacutical research and manufacturers association spent 36 million dallors trying to kill the Oregon Health Plan, I was not alone in asking "Wouldn't that money be better spent provinding health care to the working poor?"

    http://www.wweek.com/story.php?story=2305

    When enron bilked us out of billions in electricity costs, and sick grandmothers were on the news in the dead of winter saying "I'm bieng forced to choose between my drugs and the heat!" I was not alone in asking "Wouldn't that money be better spent binging heat to our sick grandmothers?"

    You call entitlement, what I call democracy. You call social justice struggle terrorism! As far as you're concerned my friends and our families that are organizing against the PJTTF are terrorist sleaper cells. Let me tell you this. This sleaper has awakened, and the hour of your rule will end.

  • Jack Peek (unverified)
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    As far as you're concerned my friends and our families that are organizing against the PJTTF are terrorist sleaper cells. Let me tell you this. This sleaper has awakened, and the hour of your rule will end.

    WOW! "SLEAPER CELLS" sounds scary!

    Dear MB,

         Take a deep breath, ALL WILL BE OK, trust me!
    
    The "out of control diatribe you posted is about what I expected from the so-called "progressive's here in PDX.
    
     But guess what? ITS NOT WORTH THE TIME YOU TOOK TO DO IT, If you, your house, your car, your kids school,your kids, your wife, your cat, your dog,(OK)not your dog, but your damn dna for sure is blown up by a radical group of Muslims bent on one thing worldwide..that being killing you.
    
    Lets spell it out, Its not BUSH,KERRY, ENRON, OIL, CORPORATE GREED, DEMOCRATS, LEFT, RIGHT....IT'S W-A-R!
    
     I know you operate on "feelings and emotion" but reality is a bitch.
    
      Wakeup....any measure of loss of so-called freedoom, means NOTHING IF YOUR DEAD.
    
     I know this all will not sit well, I KNOW better then too say that if we all don't fight...none of what I READ FROM YOU..OR YOU FROM ME, will not matter if we are dead.
    
      Lastly...Its no use, I should no better then to try too debate when one side has already lost it.......and I DON'T MEAN THE ELECTION.
    
  • Anonymous Coward (unverified)
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    Certainly, there seems to be plenty of Googling to be done about Jack Peek

  • Jack Peek (unverified)
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    Dear Jack Bogdanski,

    I have enough faith in you to post the truth about me ....for if I were "NUTS" with all the work I HAVE DONE against the placement of the "criminally insane" grouphome next to Marysville grade school ,you'd think by this time I WOULD BE IN IT.

    I have faith and trust in you as a person of great honesty. Thanks,

                              Jack Peek
    
  • JACK PEEK (unverified)
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    From Jack Peek on November 08, 2004 |
    If the Federal Government wants our officers assigned to the JTTF the Feds should reimburse the city for those costs. Currently, we are only reimbursed for overtime and we are allowed the use of a federal vehicle for those officers assigned to the JTTF.(Sayeth Mr.Leonard)

    Dear Randy.Since you refuse to debate me on the other issue( you know the one) maybe on this forum you can set me up for the kill.

    Word is we got a bunch of money from JTTF ,( HOW MUCH?) Will you provide some details what the money was used for? And the biggest question,was a dime of it spent on other mission work outside of the JTTF scope of interest? I hear you did spend some of it..

                                                                                   Jack Peek
    
  • JACK PEEK (unverified)
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    Dear Randy.Since you refuse to debate me on the other issue( you know the one) maybe on this forum you can set me up for the kill.

    Word is we got a bunch of money from JTTF ,( HOW MUCH?) Will you provide some details what the money was used for? And the biggest question,was a dime of it spent on other mission work outside of the JTTF scope of interest? I hear you did spend some of it..

    Jack Peek

    Did anybody notice Randy didn't respond??

    The "taxing" of his brain to find ways to tax us is and must be tiring.

    Oh, by the way Randy, that 3 million dollar law suit against Cascadia and the county.YOU NAMED IT THAT YET?

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