Having long been a liberal and a citizen, I certainly have been bitterly disappointed by the Democratic Party’s countless capitulations to the Republicans over the last eight long years. The specific reasons for this, I’m sure, would be fascinating to learn and someday I hope to read all about the dossiers and bribes and taps and threats, but the bottom line is they can’t be trusted and I’m not voting. Having said that, I reject the argument that they’re all (dems and reps) equally complicit in our current dismal state of advanced rotting decay. Complicit? Yes. Equally complicit? No. If they were all equally to blame, then why do things like this keep happening only to people on the left?
Carroll, who requested that his real name not be used, showed up early and waited anxiously for Swansonâ€™s arrival. Ten minutes later, he says, a casually dressed Swanson showed up, flanked by a woman whom he introduced as FBI Special Agent Maureen E. Mazzola. For the next 20 minutes, Mazzola would do most of the talking.â€œShe told me that I had the perfect â€˜look,â€™â€ recalls Carroll. â€œAnd that I had the perfect personalityâ€”they kept saying I was friendly and personableâ€”for what they were looking for.â€
What they were looking for, Carroll says, was an informantâ€”someone to show up at â€œvegan potlucksâ€ throughout the Twin Cities and rub shoulders with RNC protestors, schmoozing his way into their inner circles, then reporting back to the FBIâ€™s Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership between multiple federal agencies and state and local law enforcement. The effortâ€™s primary mission, according to the Minneapolis divisionâ€™s website, is to â€œinvestigate terrorist acts carried out by groups or organizations which fall within the definition of terrorist groups as set forth in the current United States Attorney General Guidelines.â€
Carroll would be compensated for his efforts, but only if his involvement yielded an arrest. No exact dollar figure was offered.
Carrollâ€™s story echoes a familiar theme. During the lead-up the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, the NYPDâ€™s Intelligence Division infiltrated and spied on protest groups across the country, as well as in Canada and Europe. The programâ€™s scope extended to explicitly nonviolent groups, including street theater troupes and church organizations.
There were also two reported instances of police officers, dressed as protestors, purposefully instigating clashes. At the 2004 Republican National Convention, the NYPD orchestrated a fake arrest to incite protestors. When a blond man was â€œarrested,â€ nearby protestors began shouting, â€œLet him go!â€ The helmeted police proceeded to push back against the crowd with batons and arrested at least two. In a similar instance, during an April 29, 2005, Critical Mass bike ride in New York, video footage captured a â€œprotestorâ€â€”in reality an undercover copâ€”telling his captor, â€œIâ€™m on the job,â€ and being subsequently let go.
Citing “Denver’s unjustified penchant for secrecy,” the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado filed a new lawsuit today in Denver District Court demanding disclosure of security-related equipment purchases connected to the Democratic National Convention this summer.
The suit comes hot on the heels of The Colorado Independent’s Riot Toyz series that last week detailed the panoply of high-tech security vehicles, non-lethal crowd control devices and just plain weird personal restraint devices available for purchase by the Denver Police Department, which has an $18 million equipment budget in its total $50 million federal earmark for convention-related security expenses.
…Responding to ACLU media inquiries that the Denver Police Department has purchased a “sonic ray gun” to subdue unruly crowds, Silverstein said: â€œIf Denver is buying such a device, or any other new-fangled so-called â€˜less lethalâ€™ weapons,â€ Silverstein continued, â€œthe public is certainly entitled to know. And the public is entitled to ask whether Denver has adequately evaluated the manufacturersâ€™ self-serving claims of safety, has established appropriate policies to regulate how and when officers may use such weapons, and has adequately trained its officers.â€
‘Non-lethal’ and ‘less lethal’ weapons - these euphemisms apply to the weapons discussed here.
People can say what they want about the weak and mewling democrats, and they may be totally justified, but how convenient for the republicans to have the police power of our nation arrayed in their service to intimidate and entrap their opposition. It indicates that the powerful still want to manage events in a certain direction, does it not?
So as long as things like this keep happening to the left end of the political spectrum and not to the right end, it seems very obvious to me that there is still a difference between democrats and republicans in power. Some people do the wrong things out of coercion and desperation, and others do them out of sheer enjoyment and a lust for power.