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JTTF: Fasten Your Seatbelts

Commissioner Saltzman, despite promises to the contrary, says that he is voting to oppose Portland's pullout from the JTTF. Commissioner Sten, always a weak play, is not answering his phone, and staffers say they "don't know" how he plans to vote tonite. Meanwhile, Bernie Giusto blackmails the city with threats of rampant terror if the Mayor gets his way, and a mysterious and conveniently timed anthrax scare in Salem sets the stage. I'm on the edge of my seat again.
Portland's decision tonite is very important, not only for the people of this city, but for the nation. If we finally sever ties with the JTTF, we will be the first city in the country to do so. Our courage will be contagious. And they know it. It's that domino thing they hate so much.

Don't get me wrong, this is far from the unequivocal in-your-face pullout that I would prefer. Too many loose ends still dangle, too many loopholes remain open. But this, if it happens, is one small stone that starts the landslide.

And so, the pressure is on. Thank God we have a real mayor this time, who might just put the best interests of the people ahead of concerns about what the corporate media will say. In any event, it's been a bumpy ride and it's not over yet. All the commissioners are still tallying public opinion, so if you would like to voice your thoughts, now would be a good time to be calling their offices. And if you want to see an interesting show, come down to the city hall at 6:30 this evening.

Although I'm hesitant to declare a winner, it looks like they might just send the JTTF packing this time. I'm still fearing some kind of last minute shenanigans, or (no!) another milk-toothed monologue (followed by knife attack) by the ever-changeable Erik Sten. But according to the offices of Commissioners Adams and Leonard, and the Mayor, it seems the majority is in favor of the pullout. While I did not speak to Commissioner Adams himself, a staffer told me that he's definitely behind the mayor, and that he has always been very much in support of the proposal. She added that, "the majority of the city, and it looks like also the majority of the council" favors the pullout.

And so, at this time, it is only Commissioner Saltzman, and possibly Commissioner Sten, who would sell us to our oppressors. Perhaps they need to be reminded of Oregon law, which is most assuredly not amenable to allowing the JTTF spies to continue to work in this city. For what it's worth, ORS 181.575 clearly states:

"No law enforcement agency, as defined in ORS 181.010, may collect or maintain information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any individual, group, association, organization, corporation, business or partnership unless such information directly relates to an investigation of criminal activities, and there are reasonable grounds to suspect the subject of the information is or may be involved in criminal conduct."

In addition, ORS 181.850 states:

"(1) No law enforcement agency of the State of Oregon or of any political subdivision of the state shall use agency moneys, equipment or personnel for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship residing in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws."

If that doesn't work, maybe Saltzman and Sten need to be reminded of what they said after the last hearing on this matter. Several people approached to ask why they voted to delay the matter, why they did not just drive a stake through it then and there. Saltzman said that he believed that it would be better to give the Mayor time, and that if the FBI did not bend and give the Mayor the clearance he asked for, then he would vote with Potter. "Promise?" He was asked. "Yes," he said. "I promise." Sten agreed that he, too would vote for the pullout if clearance was not granted. "Promise?" "Promise."

Maybe they've forgotten that, but we have not.

No matter what happens tonite, the SS will still be at our doors. We will still need to be watchful and creative and strong. There is still a storm gathering. But if the city council stands in solidarity with us tonite against the oppressor, then we will be stronger still.
Montana sets example - Portland follows 28.Apr.2005 10:25

playdead

Depsite what the Boregonian and other local media might say, Portland is NOT the only example of legitimate concerns over the JTTF and its powers granted through the Patriot Act.


April 2, 2005

House Condemns Patriot Act
by Jennifer McKee
Gazette State Bureau

HELENA - Montana lawmakers overwhelmingly passed what its sponsor called the nation's most strongly worded criticism of the federal Patriot Act on Friday, uniting politicians of all stripes.

The resolution, which already galloped through the Senate and passed the House 88-12 Friday, must survive a final vote before it officially passes.

Senate Joint Resolution 19, sponsored by Sen. Jim Elliott, D-Trout Creek, says that while the 2005 Legislature supports the federal government's fight against terrorism, the so-called Patriot Act of 2001 granted authorities sweeping powers that violate citizens' rights enshrined in both the U.S. and Montanan constitutions.

The resolution, which does not carry the weight of a law but expresses the Legislature's opinion, encourages Montana law enforcement agencies not to participate in investigations authorized under the Patriot Act that violate Montanans' constitutional rights. It requests all libraries in the state to post a sign warning citizens that under the Patriot Act, federal agents may force librarians to turn over a record of books a person has checked out and never inform that citizen of the request.

The resolution asks Montana's attorney general to review any state intelligence information and destroy it if is not tied directly to suspected criminals. It also asks the attorney general to find out how many Montanans have been arrested under the Patriot Act and how many people have been subject to so-called "sneak and peaks," or government searches of a person's property without the person's knowledge.

Elliott, a Democrat and rancher from northwestern Montana, sponsored the resolution, but it garnered support from Republicans on the far right of the political spectrum.

"Sometimes we just take liberty for granted in the country," said Rep. Roger Koopman, R-Bozeman, who keeps a plant called "the Liberty Tree" on his legislative desk.

Koopman said his Liberty Tree was "blooming for this bill."

"Frankly, what it says to me is that civil liberties are a bipartisan issue in Montana," said Rep. Rick Maejde, R-Trout Creek, who led the House debate for the resolution.

Elliott said he was "very, very pleased" the resolution had such support.

"Montana isn't the first state that passed a resolution, but this resolution is the strongest statement against the constitutional violations of the Patriot Act of any state and almost every city or county," he said.

Twelve representatives - all Republicans - voted against the measure, including Rep. Bob Lake, R-Hamilton.

"I don't like resolutions because they do absolutely nothing," he said in an interview after the vote. He also said the resolution was too vague. Is it a sacrifice of personal liberty to not be able to take a gun on an airplane? he asked. Is that the kind of thing this resolution objects to?

Contact Info 28.Apr.2005 10:47

for city commissioners

Commissioner Leonard: 503-823-4682

Commissioner Saltzman (the shmuck): 503-823-4151

Commissioner Sten: 503-823-3589

Commissioner Adams: 503-823-3008

And last but least, Mayor Potter: 503-823-4120

Catwoman...who the hell takes Bernie Giusto seriously? 28.Apr.2005 11:42

I sure don't

Catwoman you write "Meanwhile, Bernie Giusto blackmails the city with threats of rampant
terror if the Mayor gets his way." and I chuckled as just who out here is there that take's Bernie Giusto all that seriously in first place? The guy is a real LOSER of the first order magnitude, and he covered up for a known child-molester all the while he's
a porking the guy's wife behind his back...not the kind of thing HONORABLE people do!
Yet, this joke of human-being manages to get his butt into politics and elected (I'm so
sure it's due to our collective indifference to POLITICS and such ilkish politicians in
first place...how else could such a person as he get elected?)and now is using his silly
self as a lightening rod for whatever cause the so-called looney elites ask of him--it's
so funny and so silly, I think and I'm enjoying the farce that's the result of it all.
So, let's keep Bernie cranked up and spewing forth his silliness...even the sheepeople
will finally wake up and wonder "what's going on here?" if Bernie's so into the middle
of it all! Go Bernie Go! Don't ya just love all these silly vote-grabbing politicians?

JTTF in Helena? 28.Apr.2005 12:15

tt01

playdead,

does that really have anything to do with the JTTF? is it even active in Helena? the only even remote reference is:

"...encourages Montana law enforcement agencies not to participate in investigations authorized under the Patriot Act that violate Montanans' constitutional rights."

that doesnt seem to be specifically related to the JTTF and the authority of it operate, if it does, in Montana.

Some consequences of pull-out from JTTF 28.Apr.2005 14:02

JR

Here's a jump start on what the national media and/or White House spin doctors will do with the story once they get a hold of it:

They will call Portland: kooky, quirky, disillusioned, naive, a haven for terrorist sympathizers and card-carrying al-Qaeda

They will ask what's in the water and/or air in this region

They will say that Portland is going to "fight terror" with: salmon, yoga, lattes, volvos, trees, water, poetry, contrarianism, etc...

Bush will have to think of something different than his father's "Little Beirut" as a nickname for Portland. This will be hard, as the only other city names he knows are Austin, Africa, Toyota, and Talla-somethin'

Cheney will say that pulling out of the JTTF was the "wrong choice"

Dan Saltzman gives his "reasons" 28.Apr.2005 15:00

CatWoman

Asked how he could sell out the people of Portland after personally promising to support the proposal, Mr. Saltzman referred me to his op-ed piece, which can be found here:  http://www.oregonlive.com/commentary/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/editorial/1114682389276130.xml&coll=7.

I read it to see if I could understand why he would willingly support the people who illegally imprisoned Brandon Mayfield, the people who are keeping tabs on what we read, the people who are tapping our telephones, the people who are buying footage of our political demonstrations from the corporate media, the people who are monitoring our private conversations. I found no understanding, just the most sickening hyperbole. This paragraph, given after stating that he had visited the WTC site recently, is my favorite:

"Among New Yorkers there is a silent, palpable sense of apprehension, a post-traumatic stress for many who were there. It's difficult to imagine looking a New Yorker in the eye and explaining our rationale for withdrawing from the terror task force. It would feel disrespectful to even attempt to do so. They, more than anyone, understand that barriers to cooperation among law enforcement agencies anywhere place all of us at risk."

Laying aside the absolute revulsion I feel toward his use of the victims of tragedy to further his own political agenda, I feel compelled to remind him that New York HAD, at the time, a Joint terrorism Task Force. And it did not save anyone from that attack.

In point of fact, had he actually spoken to any of the people there, rather than just posing for a photo op, he might have learned that many of them feel that it's far more disrespectful to pretend to care about the people who burned to death in that building in order to score political points than it would be to support a withdrawal from the JTTF. And if he had done even a little bit of research into how the people of New York really feel about their own JTTF, he would never have written those sappy words. Like the people of Portland, the people of New York have been trying to break out of the grasp of the JTTF for some time. Yes, even before 9/11.

Watching in Vancouver, WA 28.Apr.2005 15:38

gk

I am watching Portland's JTTF hearings with much interest. My city, Vancouver, WA, has one police officer on Portland's Task Force. Seems nobody but me gives a rip at this point. Certainly not Mayor Pollard and his red-necked, corporate-imaged council members.

I'm rooting for Portland's pull-out and have sent Mayor Potter a message on his courageous stands. He is a fine people's mayor. May the pullout happen. It will set an example to the nation! (and Vancouver)

can't decide whether it's 1968 28.Apr.2005 17:59

or 1938?

> the people who are buying footage of our political
> demonstrations from the corporate media

I'm not saying identifying yourself publicly as a dissident is necessarily a good idea.

On the other hand, that's WHAT a "demonstration" IS.

What do you think you're "demonstrating," and to whom do you think you're demonstrating it?

to "1938" 28.Apr.2005 21:25

Blackout

I'm not sure what you're getting at, but just to make this clear to you: Agents of Homeland Security have been buying footage of all Portland demonstrations from the corporate media. They want to get a good look at the faces of political dissidents who have committed no crimes. Are you saying that doesn't concern you?

Do the righties get it.........or are they just knee jerks? 29.Apr.2005 07:27

playdead

tt01 ,

my inclusion of the story from Montana legislature was to highlight that the concerns we have about constitutional rights should be bipartisan as Montana demonstrates. Here in PDX, there seems to be this argument all over the place that PDX is pulling out of the JTTF because of the liberals here. But really, it does not matter where on the political spectrum you lie, as an American you should be concerned about the erosion of our civil rights since 9/11. Montana highlights this idea for all the righties who just bash PDX for supposed "liberal views" a.k.a civil rights.

Other things to watch out for 30.Apr.2005 09:03

JR make some good points

The Bush regime could also stage an attack on the city and then say you shouldn't of kicked us out. Sounds paranoid? They have done it before.

Plan B 30.Apr.2005 13:46

Deep Thought

No, it doesn't sound paranoid at all. I think everyone is kind of expecting that. After all, wasn't there an anthrax scare at a Salem post office on the very day that the JTTF vote was delayed? No, I think we can almost certainly expect some kind of mock "terror" attack. It's scary, but we must stick together.

as far as the FBI is concerned 01.May.2005 10:08

let us recall

their involvement in:
(1) the killing of Vicky Weaver w/babe in arms at Ruby Ridge, Idaho by slant-eyed
special sniper Ron whathisname.
(2) their lying involved with the massacare at Waco, Texas in which innocent babes,
old people, children, and religious non-combatiants were wantonly killed.
(3) their botched efforts at undercovering the TRUTH insofar as the Oklahoma City
Bombing was concerned, and in fact, strong evidence exists that they, along
with their fellow Fed-Bro's the idiots at Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms were in
on the botched game they'd mutually set-up for sting that went array.
(4) they walked all over the Ward Weaver compound for months with special dogs and
yet couldn't smell the decomposing bodies of the young girls that lay within
eyesight...had they bothered to actually look and do their job...not just say
they had and rest on reputations too easily given them as being "superior law-
enforcement" services (WHEN THEY ARE NOT).
(5) their reprehensible involvement in the false accusations against Dr. Lee at the
Los Alamos Laboratory in which he was prominent Chinese-American scientist that
was involved with nyclear research and somehow the local-yokel FBI & fellow
DOE investigators (all known members of a sect that in notorious in their grab
for POWER in the Western USA and cultish male-dominated structured set-up) and
once it was seen they'd made "mistake" they refused to admit same and dug-in to
cover-up and nit-pick to force him to admit to "anything" so they'd get any
conviction...not matter how meaningless and minor, as what eventually he did
plea bargain to. The Federal Judge that heard the case was repulsed by the
actions of the USDOJ, FBI and USDOE investigators and so eloquently castigated
the whole ilkish crowd of meanspirited assholes.
(6) we here in Portland have the Brandon Mayfield case to inform us as to the true
nature of the FBI and there is no need to rehash that case for it's details
are well known.

The POINT being...we, as citizens of Portland, are FOOLS if we believe and have any
trust in clowns like Jordan (with his checkered past before he was "assigned" here
let us not forget, he didn't seek us out...he was sent here for some infraction on
his part...so he not too happy to be here I'd imagine)and the rest of the arrogant
assholes that leech onto these federal positions and suck all they can out of it
for themselves. I TRUST NO FBI or FEDERAL AGENTS and you're a fool if you do, and
as for them setting Portland up to be the next 9-11 venue, such in way would be at
all surprising to me...in fact, I'm betting on it to happen...only question is the
WHEN will it come to pass: it'll happen, just WHEN is all that's in question.

People, don't be lulled into complacency by the sweet talk of that woman attorney
with US Attorney's Office, any bullshit from Foxworth(his own damned bro is an FBI
agent) or that goulish-looking Jordan...don't trust them at all, for remind your=
selves of this organizations PAST...so goth the past, so goth the present and the
future (this is NOT rocket science people--it's common sense) Enough of my rant...

you are so right there 'let us recall' 02.May.2005 06:26

I TOO REMEMBER

as we do tend to forgot these horrible incidents these federal scumbags did.
Thanks for reminding the rest of us just what kind of sorry people there are with FBI.

those are darn good points you bring up for our collective rememberance 02.May.2005 09:45

one who'd almost forgotten

about the FBI's dark side. They certainly have it and we shouldn't forget that FACT!
I wonder what connection there is with them and the BROTHERHOOD OF THE STRONG, as there
is "word on the street" that it was a few BOTS boy's that were behind the silly Anthrax
scare down in Salem on the day this was coming up for vote at Council, with these so silly white-trash fellows thinking they could sway public opinion with such so obviously
a maudlin tactic...get real, shall we...these people are NOT playing with a full deck!
Rather than fear them, I think we all are amused to barely controlled giggles at them!