I have been reading the various on line accounts recently of both Mayor Potter's and my resolution that will cause certain conditions to be met before the City of Portland continues it's participation in the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). For the most part I have been content to not engage in the blog discussions given our hearing this coming Wednesday March, 30, 2005 at 6 PM.
However, a comment over at Indymedia caused me to realize that one more post by me on the topic of the JTTF may inspire some well meaning, but so far silent, citizens to come forth.
The filing of the JTTF resolution by the Mayor and I has initiated heretofore non existent discussions between various federal officials and the city council. Some of those discussions have been positive and constructive. Others, threatening and divisive.
For me, I am more convinced than ever that the JTTF resolution -which will require that any Portland Police Officers assigned to the JTTF not have security clearances greater than that given the Police Chief and Commissioner in Charge of the Portland Police Bureau- is a reasonable and prudent requirement. It flies in the face of a represented democracy to have our Portland Police only be supervised by the FBI. All members of the Portland Police Bureau must have the check and balance of answering to the Mayor at all times...with no exceptions.
Please know that the council is receiving a lot of pressure, both locally and nationally, on this issue. Some of the concerns are legitimate. However, as Thomas Jefferson said, “He who trades liberty for security deserves neither and will lose both.”
If you can, please come to the City Council hearing on this important topic this Wednesday evening at 6pm at City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave.
If you are unable to come, please write thoughtful and succinct emails to all of us on the city council. Each of us on the council appreciate receiving constructive feedback from the citizens we represent.
I have never worked with a group of more thoughtful and dedicated people as are now serving on the city council. However, now more than ever you need to make your position clear to us before and during the hearing this Wednesday evening