Agent Jordan says "I believe the greatest threat to the region is terrorism..."
On what do you base this belief? I know I do not share this belief. Honestly, security is crappy in this country. I read recently about how easily an investigator was able to gain access to airlines. The reason there have been no 'terrorist attacks' since 911 is because there is little attempt to do so.
40,000 people die each year from car accidents. Approx 20,000 people die from lack of health care. Over 40 million do not have health care. In Oregon. child abuse reports have risen 60% in the past decade. I could go on to talk about global climate change, massive species extinctions and so on.
The federal government is using the fear of terrorism to strip citizens of their rights, to take away peoples control of their own lives. The federal government is wasting lives and money in Iraq. It is supporting the destruction of our environment. It is betraying the heritage of the people of this country by facilitating the corporate takeover of our lives. The people of Portland and Multnomah county should know what is going on, should be deciding how its money, time and resources are used. The federal government has failed us. It is time that we, as a community chart our own course and redefine our relationship to the federal government. I am glad Mayor Potter and the City Council are speaking up about concern for our local control of our own resources and our right to know what is going on. This is a step in the right direction.
Jordan says: "The FBI will not grant top secret clearances to anyone who does not have a legitimate and direct need to know our nations most closely guarded intelligence information. I believe most citizens would be outraged if we were to make it that easy for local elected officials to have access to such sensitive information."
"In addition a top secret clearance requires a lengthy and detailed investigation. It includes polygraphs, both periodic and random. It includes drug testing, urinalysis, it includes background investigations of neighbors, family members and employers going back at least 10 years. I don't think the american public or the FBI, wants to be involved in such detailed and invasive investigation of the private lives of our elected municipal officials."
First, it is contradictory to say people would be outraged if you were to make it so easy to have access, and then say people would not want to be bothered because you do such detailed investigation. If you do such detailed investigation, then you obviously are not making it that easy.
Second, if local elected officials are willing to go through such investigation, then why do you have a problem with it? This is a false argument.
Jordan says: "There is ample evidence to suggest that preventing terrorism should be a priority for all of us here in Oregon."
He gives no examples of this supposedly ample evidence.
Jordan says: "Both the city and Multnomah County have sought and accepted millions of dollars of department of homeland security grants for anti-terrorism programs. I believe that the city is considering a proposal this week for an additional half a million dollars from DHS to combat terrorism. Despite the millions of dollars the county and the city have accepted from the DHS for anti-terrorism efforts, the mayor and the city council are proposing a withdrawal from the primary investigative team to address terrorism in the region. To force the PPB to withdraw from the JTTF runs counter to reason, runs counter to the recommendations of the 911 commission report and seems inconsistent with the city's solicitation and acceptance of millions of dollars for anti-terrorism programs"
First, the mayor and city council are not proposing a withdrawal from the JTTF. They are proposing that a PPB officer not be able to have a higher security clearance than their superiors. This seems like common sense. It is the unwillingness of the FBI to share information that will lead to the withdrawal of the PPB from the JTTF. It is the fanatical climate of secrecy and control in the FBI and other federal agencies, that leads to a local community saying wait a minute. We are not going to just do things on your terms. We want to know what is going on. This is a very reasonable position, particularly in light of the many abuses of power by the FBI that have happened and continue to happen (think Fresno)
Jordan says: "It comes down to trusting the people who serve this community."
What Jordan is saying is that we should trust the portland police officers who are in the JTTF to do a good job. But he is not willing to trust the Mayor and City Council. That is because the FBI does not have complete control over them. There needs to be oversight.
The people who spoke with Agent Jordan ask for sharing info, but it is the FBI that is refusing to share info.
Question: If the chief were granted top secret clearance, what would he be able to know that he doesn't know now?
Jordan: Very little
Question: Are we talking about 2 officers from portland? What would you say to people who think this might be an overblown argument over just two people?
Jordan: We are talking about two officers from the Portland Police who are assigned to the JTTF. The resolution may have an impact on federally directed task forces that include Violent Crimes Task Force, Innocent Images Task Force, Regional Computer Forensic Lab and drug task forces. A year and a half ago the PPB had 8 officers assigned to our JTTF they withdrew them down to 2. So 2 is a nominal perhaps even symbolic move.
Nobody will be at greater risk. I have no doubt that if there is credible evidence that someone is trying to blow up a downtown building, that the Mayor, City Council, the PPB and any other public official or local citizen would do everything they could to stop it.
What this is mostly about is that the FBI does not like it when it does not have control of everything. They want to insinuate themselves into every level of our local government and public institutions. I believe the Federal Government poses more of a threat than international terrorism. They need to hear a big no! I say get a big and oppressive government out of our hair!