Reports of local police standing up for our rights against the FBI are encouraging until you reach the end of the story. As always, the "meat" lies well-covered under a good deal of starch. The moral? Start at the bottom and read UP:
Hundreds of nasty e-mails have flooded the Portland mayor's office this week. City leaders continue to be criticized for not interviewing foreign visitors as part of the national terrorism investigation. The city says certain questions violate state law.
Upset by negative press and what they call misinformation, Portland city leaders went on the defensive. Mayor Vera Katz says, "We have gotten close to one thousand e-mails. Do you think I feel good about being called all kinds of names about people saying we've embarrassed the city and we've embarrassed Oregon?" City officials reiterated their belief that the questions the U.S. Justice Dept. wanted asked in the non-criminal interviews would violate state law and open the city to lawsuits. Katz, "There are 23 people in question. They are not suspected of any criminal wrongdoing. City officials say asking personal questions, like about a persons views or associations, is unlawful."
"We reached out to them to see if they could re-tool some of the questions objectionable and found with legal problems that unfortunately was not possible." Like Mayor Katz, Chief Mark Kroeker has faced national criticism. Yesterday, November 29th, he was grilled by former senator Al D'amato on the Fox News Channel. Today, Kroeker reminded people his bureau has spent years working with the feds to prevent terrorism. He wants the issue put to rest. Kroeker says, "People have said 'well, aren't you being unamerican or less than patriotic?' You absorb this in a personal way. What can be more American than giving deep allegiance to the law? I have been embarrassed, if you will, at the tremendous perception problem that this now poses." A perception problem the city of Portland wants to go away.
Portland isn't the only large city not to conduct the interviews. The San Francisco Police Department has also decided not to take part.
Meanwhile, Oregon House Speaker Mark Simmons is pursuing possible legislative changes to ensure the justice department's requests are carried out by local cities.
To register your approval of our city's resistance to violating the laws of Oregon, email:
Mayor Katz: email@example.com
Chief Kroeker: firstname.lastname@example.org
To register your outrage at legislative nullification of aforesaid Oregon state-protected rights, email:
Mark Simmons: email@example.com