Thursday, May 25, 2006

[Spies]

Potter Vs. the FBI.

There's a major story a'brewin' in my hometown (Porltand, Oregon) with major national implications. According to Tom Potter, Portland's mayor, two weeks ago an FBI agent tried to encourage a city employee to spy on the city--including on city council members--even though no one in the city was under suspicions of wrongdoing:
On Thursday, May 11, 2006, a Special Agent of the Portland Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation stopped a City employee and showed her a badge and ID. He asked if she knew any City Council members. He asked if she would be willing to pass information to him relating to people who work for the City of Portland. He said that while he had duties in other areas, the agency was always interested in information relating to white collar crime and other things.
(On a sort of unrelated note, check out the bizarre comments on the BlueOregon thread about the story.)

Hard to say what this means, but there is a long and bad history of relations between the feds and the city. Portland is one of the most liberal cities in the country (according to Google, only Madison, WI searched more often for "impeach Bush" than Stumptowners), was dubbed "Little Beirut" by Bush's dad, who found the reception less than adoring, and most tellingly, last year Mayor Potter pulled out of the FBI's joint terrorism task force. It's possible that the FBI is conducting a similar nationwide practice in major US cities, and it's possible that the FBI attention is unrelated to the politics of the city's citizens, and it's possible that this has nothing to do with the joint terrorism task force.

And it's possible I'll win the Nobel Prize for literature.

Far more plausibly, the FBI, has regressed to the bad old days when a secretive, paranoid autocrat directed his intelligence agencies to spy on political enemies. After all, the secretive, paranoid autocrat in office now has already broken the law and spied on citizens. No doubt this isn't the last story on this point.

1 comment:

Joe said...

This is indeed retribution for Mayor Potter's withdrawal from the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Why the hell else? Al Qaeda operatives in the Portland City Hall? Right. We've been on the Bush Crime Family blacklist for years and that's how these crooks operate. Kudos for those who have had the guts to reveal this shitty business to the press and the public. They're the real Americans. Jefferson, Franklin, and Paine would be proud.