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PJTTF Hearing Delayed Again by the FBI

According to the office of the city auditor, the hearing is being held up by the FBI. Apparently, the FBI has not signed the contract, and it cannot go before the council until it receives their signature. It has been tentatively proposed for either November 24th (that's right, the day before Thanksgiving), or else December 29th (yes, that would be the week between Christmas and New Year when many people are on vacation). Obviously, the FBI does not want citizen involvement with this very important issue.

For those who do not know, the Portland Joint terrorism Task Force (PJTTF) hearing is an extremely important battle in the struggle for civil liberties and constitutional protections in Portland. The PJTTF is the agreement between Portland business interests, the corporate police state, and the FBI, allowing the collaboration between Portland police and the FBI. In short, they are spying on us. While their mission has been to prevent the specter of terrorism, the reality is that the only people who have been targeted (and there have been many!) have been political and environmental activists and people of color.

More Background on PJTTF
On May 30, 2002, US Attorney General John Ashcroft released new Guidelines on General Crimes, Racketeering Enterprise and Terrorism Enterprise Investigations (RICO). In doing so, he swept away protections that have been in place since the 1970s (which were a result of all the uncovering of FBI Counter-Intelligence, or COINTELPRO, abuses).

The new Guidelines allow the government to spy on US citizens and groups even when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing. Once launched, these investigations can continue longer, with more intrusive investigative techniques and with less oversight, even when investigations produce no evidence of criminal activity. These investigative techniques can include having undercover agents or informants infiltrate organizations and attend meetings, physical or photographic surveillance, examination of records, trolling the Internet, and commercial data mining services. Under state law, Portland police officers should have no connection to these policies, powers, and investigative techniques, but as members of the JTTF, they do because the deputized police officers are under the direction of the FBI officers.

Indymedia Summaries of 2003 PJTTF Hearings | Facts About PJTTF