BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Feel Safer?

Happy Thursday.

New York Police Covertly Join In at Protest Rallies

NY's finest have been gettin' jiggy with us commiepinkofaggots:
Undercover New York City police officers have conducted covert surveillance in the last 16 months of people protesting the Iraq war, bicycle riders taking part in mass rallies and even mourners at a street vigil for a cyclist killed in an accident, a series of videotapes show.

In glimpses and in glaring detail, the videotape images reveal the robust presence of disguised officers or others working with them at seven public gatherings since August 2004.

The officers hoist protest signs. They hold flowers with mourners. They ride in bicycle events. At the vigil for the cyclist, an officer in biking gear wore a button that said, "I am a shameless agitator."
Lame.

What, their "wardrobe dept" couldn't put together a decent, jet-black "WTO-protester/smelly anarchist" outfit? And what lefty-org is selling the "I am a shameless agitator" button?!

Cop humour.
She also carried a camera and videotaped the roughly 15 people present.

Beyond collecting information, some of the undercover officers or their associates are seen on the tape having influence on events.
That's old school.

So Nixon.
At a demonstration last year during the Republican National Convention, the sham arrest of a man secretly working with the police led to a bruising confrontation between officers in riot gear and bystanders.

*

Provided with images from the tape, the Police Department's chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, did not dispute that they showed officers at work but said that disguised officers had always attended such gatherings - not to investigate political activities but to keep order and protect free speech.

Activists, however, say that police officers masquerading as protesters and bicycle riders distort their messages and provoke trouble.

The pictures of the undercover officers were culled from an unofficial archive of civilian and police videotapes by Eileen Clancy, a forensic video analyst who is critical of the tactics. She gave the tapes to The New York Times. Based on what the individuals said, the equipment they carried and their almost immediate release after they had been arrested amid protesters or bicycle riders, The Times concluded that at least 10 officers were incognito at the events.

*

After the 2001 terrorist attacks, officials at all levels of government considered major changes in various police powers. President Bush acknowledged last Saturday that he has secretly permitted the National Security Agency to eavesdrop without a warrant on international telephone calls and e-mail messages in terror investigations.

In New York, the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg persuaded a federal judge in 2003 to enlarge the Police Department's authority to conduct investigations of political, social and religious groups.

"We live in a more dangerous, constantly changing world," Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said.
So you say.

Big babies.

Remember when the "bicycle riders" sacked Williamsburg?

God, that was horrible.

Thank god for Superman.
In a tape made at the April 29 Critical Mass ride, a man in a football jersey is seen riding along West 19th Street with a group of bicycle riders to a police blockade at 10th Avenue.

As the police begin to handcuff the bicyclists, the man in the jersey drops to one knee. He tells a uniformed officer, "I'm on the job." The officer in uniform calls to a colleague, "Louie - he's under."

A second officer arrives and leads the man in the jersey - hands clasped behind his back - one block away, where the man gets back on his bicycle and rides off.

That videotape was made by a police officer and was recently turned over by prosecutors to Gideon Oliver, a lawyer representing bicycle riders arrested that night.

Another arrest that appeared to be a sham changed the dynamics of a demonstration. On Aug. 30, 2004, during the Republican National Convention, a man with vivid blond hair was filmed as he stood on 23rd Street, holding a sign at a march of homeless and poor people. A police lieutenant suddenly moved to arrest him. Onlookers protested, shouting, "Let him go." In response, police officers in helmets and with batons pushed against the crowd, and at least two other people were arrested.

The videotape shows the blond-haired man speaking calmly with the lieutenant. When the lieutenant unzipped the man's backpack, a two-way radio could be seen. Then the man was briskly escorted away, unlike others who were put on the ground, plastic restraints around their wrists. And while the blond-haired man kept his hands clasped behind his back, the tape shows that he was not handcuffed or restrained.

The same man was videotaped a day earlier, observing the actress Rosario Dawson as she and others were arrested on 35th Street and Eighth Avenue as they filmed "This Revolution," a movie that used actual street demonstrations as a backdrop. At one point, the blond-haired man seemed to try to rile bystanders.

After Ms. Dawson and another actress were placed into a police van, the blond-haired man can be seen peering in the window. According to Charles Maol, who was working on the film, the blond-haired man is the source of a voice that is heard calling: "Hey, that's my brother in there. What do you got my brother in there for?"

After Mr. Browne was sent photographs of the people involved in the convention incidents and the bicycle arrests, he said, "I am not commenting on descriptions of purported or imagined officers."

The federal courts have long held that undercover officers can monitor political activities for a "legitimate law enforcement purpose." While the police routinely conduct undercover operations in plainly criminal circumstances - the illegal sale of weapons, for example - surveillance at political events is laden with ambiguity. To retain cover in those settings, officers might take part in public dialogue, debate and demonstration, at the risk of influencing others to alter opinions or behavior.

The authority of the police to conduct surveillance of First Amendment activities has been shaped over the years not only by the law but also by the politics of the moment and the perception of public safety needs.
Feel safer?

What's happening in your town?

"On September the 11th, the world...blah blah f*cking blah."

I'm sorry, but I'm sick of that mantra.

When it's my time, it's my time. Period: I'm gonna live my life like it's Septemeber 10th.

"Socialist."

Whatever.

*

Here's your "Whatthefuckareyoutalkingabout" moment from yesterday's WH press conference. The topic? Senate Dems and Reps who've been messing with the Patriot Act.

(McClellan addressed the corp before the 6-month extension.):
Q: You have been critical of Democrats in the Senate, but now eight Republicans have joined them in wanting this extension, and it was only four a couple of days ago.

There's clearly movement to more Republicans standing in opposition to the President on this. Why not --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I think -- let's make it clear. Almost all Republicans in the Senate support this. This legislation was passed 251 to I think it's 174, or something like that, in the House. You had some 44 Democrats support it in the House. It was worked out in conference committee. It's a good piece of legislation, and it's a -- the Senate Democrats are the ones who are pushing -- or playing politics with this issue.

Q: And the Republicans are also saying they would support an extension.

MR. McCLELLAN: I haven't seen the comments from those Republicans.

But a majority of the United States Senate supports getting this legislation passed. And I think it's clear what Democrats are up to.
God, is he good: He won't criticize the "pesky" Senate Republicans in front of the press corp.
Q: Isn't it a false premise to say that America would be less safe after December 31st if lawmakers say, we're happy to extend it?

MR. McCLELLAN: It would be taking away vital tools. Well, I just talked to you about that. The House has completed their work, they're out. And this legislation was thoroughly debated in the Congress over the course of the last year, one of the most thoroughly debated pieces of legislation.

It's nothing but politics the Democrats are playing right now.

Q: What political goal do they get by "weakening" the Patriot Act?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?

Q: What goal --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, they've talked about some of the civil liberties in there. This law has found the right balance. It has saved lives and it has protected people's civil liberties. And there are some Democrats who are playing to certain special interests within their party that want to see authorities within this legislation killed. That's clearly what's happening here.

Q: And those Republicans, the eight that Kelly mentioned, they're playing the same politics?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, again, I'm not sure about the number eight; I know that there are few --

Q There are eight.

MR. McCLELLAN: I mean, I know that there are a few that had expressed their reservations about the bill.

But, no, I wouldn't say that.
Unbelievable.

Translation: Democrats, always bad; Republicans, never wrong.
Q You suggested that those who are seeking an extension are putting politics above security. That now includes eight Republicans. Are you including them in that accusation?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, it's the Senate Democrats. Most Republicans -- almost all Republicans support reauthorizing this legislation. And, again, I don't think you can lump those eight in. I think there are an additional few that were talking about an extension, but those are ones that have also supported this legislation.

So let's be clear on that.
You are.

Who's playing politics?

More later...

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