Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

The People of Spokane vs. Law Enforcement Abuse, Impunity, Corruption, and Cover-up

Archive for August, 2007

Police Surveillance, Intimidation and Suppression of Spokane Dissidents

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 31, 2007

At 4:30 PM on Thursday, August 16, 2007, a group of citizens — taxpayers, voters, war veterans, dissidents, and workers — gathered at the American Legion Building in downtown Spokane. The purpose of the event was to publicize and protest the presence of Spokane-based psychologists working with the CIA and the US Department of Defense to develop ever harsher techniques for torturing other human beings in the many-fronted U.S. wars of aggression, occupation, and subversion around the world.

An hour or so before that protest began, Spokane Police warned union picketers at a construction site a block away in front of the nearby U.S. Bank Building that violence was expected at the American Legion site and therefore suggested people stay away.

A Spokane Police car with officer aboard sat at the corner of Washington and Riverside throughout the protest at the American Legion Building. Later that evening, several hours after the event ended, an unmarked Spokane Police car remained parked in the parking spot of Spokane Coin Exchange behind the American Legion Building.

Of course, the PJALS-organized event went off without incident and certainly without violence. So what were Spokane Police doing issuing a warning to union picketers to be prepared for violence if they attended the anti-torture protest a block away?

If the Spokane Police acted on alleged “information” in issuing this warning to union picketers, did the information come from their own intelligence operations or was it passed to them by the FBI or other law enforcement intel units? Or was it classic law enforcement “cointelpro” tactics at work?

In either case, it was in the end bogus information.

It goes without saying that this protest on August 16, 2007 would draw the attention of agencies beyond just the Spokane Police Department. For one, the SERE/JPRA program is a highly secret U.S. government program which is now the subject of widespread media and congressional scrutiny and will be the subject of international legal actions in the future. For another, the severe and illegal torture techniques reverse engineered by Spokane’s Mitchell Jessen and Associates from SERE resistance training for use in the Bush administration’s “war on terrorism” are the subject of extreme controversy and near universal condemnation. In addition, they have cost the U.S. immeasurably in terms of global credibility.

It is known from the legal work of the ACLU and the reporting of the Spokesman-Review that Spokane organizations such as PJALS (Peace and Justice Action League) have been victims of FBI infiltration and spying. The Spokane Police Department’s warning to union picketers on August 16, 2007 provides further evidence that the surveillance, intimidation and repression of Spokane activists and dissidents goes well beyond just dislike of their politics. (See the very limited portion of surveillance files on PJALS released on April 30, 2007 by the FBI to the ACLU under a freedom of information request).

Law enforcement — local, state and federal — is interested in and more than prepared to monitor, intimidate, infiltrate, provoke, and actively suppress local activists and dissidents. Over the last few years and at an accelerating rate, there have been police actions in Spokane against people involved in protesting and advocating changed policies in regard to several issues: 1) the war in Iraq, 2) disgraced and now-resigned U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, 3) military recruitment, and 4) SERE/JPRA and CIA torture training, as well as those 5) advocating bicycle use and those 6) upholding the tradition of free speech this country loves to flaunt. These groups include PJALS, ASAP, MoveOn.org, and Critical Mass. Individuals not affiliated with organizations have also been the subject of FBI and SPD surveillance and actions.

A wide-ranging conversation about police surveillance of non-violent citizens engaged in legal protest and constitutionally protected free-speech and free-assembly activities is long over due in Spokane and must be part of any future police oversight process.

Not long ago, the only daily publication in the area — The Spokesman-Review — reportedly decided not to publish a photo of an undercover Spokane Police officer at the request of that police officer. The photo reportedly captured an interaction between said undercover police officer and a participant in the July 4, 2007 picnic and protest in Spokane’s Riverfront Park. That event was brutally brought to an end when Spokane Police and Park Security guards attacked participants, arresting 17. (On July 6, 2007, S-R editor Steve Smith wrote on the S-R blog News is a Conversation that the S-R employee who initially reported the officer’s request was mistaken and that no such request occurred and that no such photo existed).

It is always in the hands of the people to push the envelop of protest and freedom. The mainstream media, non-governmental organizations, and the churches are almost always followers.

Likewise, given that it is the people themselves who are on the frontlines, it is always in the hands of the people themselves to assure their own collective self-defense.

And protecting oneself requires knowledge not only of one’s rights and duties as a citizen but also of the history of repressive state action in the United States and the techniques used by the FBI and other police organizations in surveilling, harassing, repressing, and neutralizing individuals and organizations.

Reference: Domestic Surveillance Programs cast wide net (ACLU info on LInX, JTTP, CIFA, TALON, and NCTC)

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Mitchell and Jessen, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

The Man Who Broke the Camel’s Back

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 28, 2007

On June 27, 2007, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales made a brief visit to the West Central Community Center in Spokane, Washington. There Gonzales held a closed meeting with leaders of the Spokane Police Department and the Spokane County Sheriff’s office and other law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, ATF, and DEA.

Clearly Gonzales anticipated sliding into this backwater town in conservative Eastern Washington over the lunch hour to do the Bush Administration’s undemocratic bidding.

Yet, as one might have guessed, a visit by then disgraced and now resigned U.S Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez was the target of a spirited, old-fashion American protest by Spokane area activists of all stripes, from Unitarians and Democrats to anarchists and leftist to civil libertarians and anti-torture activists.

Protesters gathered starting at 12:15 PM at the West Central Community Center. Law enforcement also gathered early. Along with the FBI and Secret Service was SPD Officer Tramell “Mel” Taylor, plain clothed and looking for all the world like a Secret Service agent himself in his tailored suit and ear piece. Taylor told one protester that he would be arrested if he did not get off the sidewalk in front of the Community Center and then ordered him to stand in a “designated protest area” in the park. Thus it was clear from the start that Spokane law enforcement intended to use and abuse its power to restrict freedom of expression and free assembly.

[Plain-clothed SPD Officer Tramell “Mel” Taylor (left) watches as Officer Grenon explains to U.S. citizens the rules and location of designated “free speech” zone at the June 27, 2007 Alberto Gonzalez protest in Spokane, Washington. (Photo by Brian Plonka–Spokesman Review) ]

Later, after a brief conversation with a Spokane Police officer and acting with the righteous indignation and decisiveness that Congress could never muster, Spokane resident Dan Treecraft simply lifted the yellow police ribbon and ducked under it.

Three Spokane Police officers wrenched Treecraft’s arms behind his back, choked him, attempted to trip him, tried to jam his head into the side of a patrol car, and finally took him to the ground between two patrol cars and out of sight of TV cameras.


Video: SPD Officer choking Dan Treecraft

Simultaneously, inside the West Central Community Center Gonzales shared what Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich later called “top secret sensitive information” with law enforcement. And of course, proving my point that the gang issue is being manipulated in Spokane, Gonzales stated that “I don’t know anything about it”.

Among those denied access to the meeting were the local media and three Spokane City Council members.

The Sheriff, the SPD, federal law enforcement and Gonzales want the people of Spokane to believe that Spokane has a significant gang problem. As others have said, Spokane does have a gang problem–an out of control Spokane Police Department and the Guild that runs it.

To this date, it is not known what Gonzales really said to the Spokane law enforcement officials or why he was really here. Some speculate that it was a warning from Gonzales to the FBI and other law enforcement present that the SERE/JPRA/Torture scandal was only just beginning, that Spokane would be a focus, and that it was likely to get quite ugly so be prepared to crack heads as necessary. Others speculate that Gonzales gave his blessing and a go-ahead to the SPD, under seige after years of impunity, corruption, incompetence and unwarranted violence against the citizens of Spokane. One person close to the Spokane Police Department called the event “a fund-raiser” for local law enforcement, providing support for SPD and other agencies’ efforts to acquire federal funds for augmenting their arsenals of AR15, tasers, and other ever more powerful weaponry.

The real question continues to be why the meeting was held in a public location yet closed to the public’s attendance. Certainly Gonzales could have simply flown into Fairchild, or the Spokane International Airport, or Felts Field and taken a police car into the basement of the Public Safety Building to hold a truly secret meeting.

The answer to the question is that we live in police state, under terms of the Patriot Act and due to executive orders, many of them secret, signed by President Bush. The current gang in the White House and their allies in agencies throughout government see no need to act as if they are hiding anything, no need to pretend that their surveillance state is a disgrace and a crime. And throughout it all, Alberto Gonzales has “counseled” the President, politicizing the Justice Department, and undermining democracy.

On August 15, 2007 Gonzales met with tribal leaders of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Center to discuss curbing crime and announced $3 million worth of Department of Justice grants to tribes.

At that time, Gonzeles said, “I think what the American people expect of the Department of Justice is for it to do its job”, and went on to say, “I came here today to make certain my own commitment.”

On June 27, 2007, Dan Treecraft decided “to do his job” as a citizen and “make certain his own commitment”. Turns out — as the last person arrested in the U.S. protesting the lies, coverups, and illegal actions of Alberto Gonzales — Dan Treecraft was the man that broke the camel’s back.

Seven days later, despite Treecraft’s defiant act and courageous defense of our traditions of free speech, free assembly and protest, the Spokane Police brutally suppressed a peaceful 4th of July gathering and protest in Spokane’s Riverfront Park.

Sixty days later, on August 26, 2007, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales passed into the rogues gallery of infamous U.S. politicians. His place is assured next to George Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Nixon, Halderman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, Haig, and Kissinger in the pantheon of near-fascists, war-criminals and anti-democratic elites of this country.

If President Bush is ignorant enough to repeat his own 2004 visit to Spokane, I am bringing my lucky nickel and my friend Dan Treecraft. Maybe he can break another camel’s back.

Lesson: Don’t think you can come to Spokane and meet secretly with taxpayer-paid civil servants and get away with it. As the Gonzales visit makes clear, it may be your last secret visit.

(It should be mentioned that a second protester, Rebecca Lamb, was also arrested. Lamb, in a wheelchair due to a leg injury, had her chair extending just barely across the line set by the SPD. When she refused to roll her wheel chair back, she too was arrested.)

Parting question: Do you think now with Alberto Gonzales gone that the SPD will still get all those millions from the Department of Justice to fight “gangs” in Spokane?

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Photographic Evidence, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

More unanswered questions for Spokane reporters, activists & citizens (Part 2)

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 26, 2007

What is the relationship between Spokane-based CIA-contracted torturer designers and sleep deprivation experts Mitchell Jessen Associates and the researchers at Washington State University’s Sleep and Performance Research Center (SPRC) at the joint WSU/EWU campus in downtown Spokane?

What is the relationship of the Sleep and Performance Research Center (SPRC) in Spokane with the CIA, Fairchild AFB’s SERE/JPRA program, and Mitchell Jessen Associates reverse engineering of SERE/JPRA programs to develop torture and illegal interrogation techniques and procedures?

Among numerous other DOD and US government grants, SPRC researchers Gregory Belenky, M.D., and Hans Van Dongen, Ph.D, received a $725,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense in June 2006. According to the June 1, 2006 publication of the Spokane Economic Development Council, “This grant will allow the research center to acquire the very latest equipment, placing it at the forefront of sleep and performance research labs worldwide”. http://www.spokaneedc.org/developments-view.php?n=78

In addition, “Belenky and Van Dongen will use the grant to acquire an integrated measurement and data management system to conduct long-term residential lab studies into sleep and performance.” In its July 14, 2005 edition, the Spokane Journal of Business reference WSU vice provost of research Jim Petersen in reporting, “Belenky, said to be one of the nation’s leading researchers in the study of sleep, is currently doing studies involving city of Spokane police officers, workers at Hollister-Stier Laboratories here, and pilots at Fairchild Air Force Base”. July 14, 2005 Spokane Journal of Business

Dr. Belenky is a retired US Army Colonel who formerly served as Director of the Division of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research before becoming the Research Professor and Director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at Washington State University/Spokane. He has published studies on sleep and performance and on combat stress. During the 1990-91 Gulf War he was regimental psychiatrist for the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment. Belenky brought US Army and Air Force contracts with him to WSU and other U.S. government military contracts have been in the works. http://stinet.dtic.mil/

Dr. Hans P.A. Van Dongen came to the WSU Sleep and Performance Center from the Department Of Psychiatry at the the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has a particular interest in sleep deprivation, including “why some individuals can resist the effects of sleep deprivation so much better than others.” In 2004 he was a participant in the Department of Defense Human Factors Engineering Technical Advisory Group. http://humanities.sas.upenn.edu/vandongen.htm


Posted in Mitchell and Jessen, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Urgent Call: Spokane Human Rights Commission August 2007 Meeting Aug. 28, 2007 6-9 PM East Central Community Center

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 26, 2007

The following note is found at the top of the agenda for the August 2007 Spokane Human Rights Commission Meeting. Despite the fact that the planned presentations by Mayor Hession and Chief Kirkpatrick to the Spokane Human Rights Commission have been postponed for the second time (and this time apparently indefinitely), it is important that concerned Spokane citizens continue to attend these meetings. The Spokane Human Rights Commission has fallen into disuse and disorganization over the last few years. As a result it is essentially a non-player in the debate and discussion on the issues affecting Spokane’s minority communities and vulnerable populations. This benefits no one in community other than those who do or would violate human rights.


(quote from Spokane HRC August 2007 agenda)

Please Note: Due to public input recieved at the July 2007 HRC Meeting regarding the events of July 4th in Riverfront Park and the Spokane Police Department and the desire for public discussion on that issue in the near future, the conversation with Mayor Hession and Chief Kirkpatrick regarding the HRC Ordinance and role of the HRC in the City of Spoakne has been postponed. Once the public discussion on the July 4th events has taken place (a public forum is being organized for September) we will reschedule the Mayor and Chief Kirkpatrick to attend a meeting for this discussion.

(end quote)

Posted in In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

The Real News

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 26, 2007


Here is a true alternative to the mainstream press, owned as it is by a handful of individuals and corporations.

A new day has dawned. The two terms of President Bush have been the birth pains of that new day.

What is needed now is for people of conscience and commitment to support endeavors which are built on solidarity among the peoples of this planet.

As I have said and written on many occasions for the last few years, the real hope for the world is that there is now not a single person on the planet earth who does not know that the United States is the great obstacle to global peace and development. Here is how I made the case in The Pacific Northwest Inlander on Dec. 2, 2004, one month after the U.S. public in its infinite wisdom and absolute incompetence, elected George Bush president for the second time.

Published in the Pacific Northwest Inlander on December 02, 2004

In the 1970s and 1980s, Americans loved to say that people around the world knew it was the U.S. government, not the U.S. people, that was the enemy of peace and justice around the world and at home. That is no longer true and the recognition is growing daily around the world. This is the hope presented by the Bush re-election — that the people of the world increasingly realize that the U.S. public is not capable of and is not interested in a U.S. government that is good for the rest of the world. The opportunity presented by Bush’s re-election is that the people of the world will realize that they must challenge and defeat the U.S. government (and the people who elect it every four years) in international forums, in the marketplace of ideas and in every other forum of international debate.

All the Democrats and “progressives” asked John Kerry to do (in 2004) was to beat George Bush. Kerry was essentially told by Democrats and so-called progressives, “Go wherever you have to go ideologically and do whatever you have to do politically. Equivocate on abortion, support the war in Iraq, do whatever you have to. Just beat George Bush.” But Kerry and his party couldn’t do even that.

Kerry didn’t beat George Bush. Despite moving as far right as he could and becoming in the end a pro-war, ruling class, conservative Democrat, John Kerry lost. You, my fellow so-called “progressive” Americans, sold out. You — Noam Chomsky, Howard Dean, Spokane Progressives, The Nation magazine, all of you — led first-time voters and young voters to John Kerry and the ideologically bankrupt Democratic Party. Several candidates out there, Ralph Nader and David Cobb among them, could have and in fact did eloquently address every issue that you claim out of one side of your mouth to believe in. But you, yes you, silenced them and their supporters.

Not to worry, right? Your house is warm, your bed is made, there’s food in the fridge and two cats in the yard. Yes, you sold out and the rest of the world knows it.

David Brookbank

Spokane, Wash.

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Know Your Rights: Boy Confronts Police

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 24, 2007

Boy Confronts Police

Adelante muchacho. Eres el futuro del mundo. Defiéndete, cipote, porque los escuadrones de la muerte vienen por ti y tu hermanita. Tus padres ya son viejos y tienen miedo.

El gringo es un hijo de su *&#$%* sin corazón. Vende lo que puede, desde tierras y almas hasta pasaportes y armamentos…..y una bala con tu nombre.

No tengas miedo, cipote. Son cobardes quienes se esconden detrás de escudos, bastones, ametralladoras, nubes, y velocidades súper-sonicas. Invaden, ocupan, destruyen, masacran y nunca se van. Son imperialistas, matadores, cabrones, y no se van. Torturan, violan, difaman, y no se van.

Párate firme y dále duro, igual como los muchachos palestinos con sus piedras contra los tanques israelíes. Diles que no les tienes miedo. Son matamujeres, mataniños, matapobres. Allá se llaman Pérez y Gutiérrez. Aquí se llaman Torok y Olson. Anda, juega, y ponte trucha, mi hijo, porque “the man” tiene un plan y no es nada bueno.


Translation — Be brave, child


Be brave, mi hijo.  You are the future of the world.  Defend yourself, child, because the death squads are coming for you and your little sister.  Your parents are already old and they are afraid.  

The gringo is a son-of-a-*&#$% without a heart.  He sells what he can, from lands and souls to passports and weapons…and a bullet with your name on it.  

Don’t be afraid, cipote.  They are cowards who hide behind shields, and clubs, and machine guns, and clouds, and super-sonic speeds.  They invade, occupy, destroy, and massacre, and they never leave.  They are imperialists, assassins, and bastards, and they never leave.  They torture, rape, and defame, and they never leave.  

Stand firm and give it your all, just like the Palestinian boys with rocks against Israeli tanks.  Tell them that you are not afraid.  They are killers of women, and children, and the poor. There they are named Perez and Gutierrez.  Here they are named Torok and Olson.  Run, play, live, but be ready, my son, because “the man” has a plan and it is nothing nice.


(Both original Spanish text and English translation by David Brookbank.  Origins of photo are unknown.)

Posted in In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Photographic Evidence, Spokane Police vs. Youth, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Spokane Police Guild Forum Page

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 24, 2007

I decided that I would post this Word version of the Spokane Police Guild Forum Page on my blog site. Though it appears that this page is not available from the web, I have been able to get to it from the “Referring page” statistics page in the WordPress blog platform that I use for this blog.

My site has been accessed at least a couple dozen times from the Spokane Police Guild Forum, meaning that a link to my site is posted on the Guild’s Forum page and that Guild members access my blog from the Guild’s Forum. Here is a copy of the Referrer list for 08/20/07:


Referrer Views
spokanepoliceguild.com/v-web/bulletin… 1
us.f311.mail.yahoo.com/ym/ShowLetter?… 1

My guess is that my blog is being discussed under the Spokane Police Forum headings of either 1) Rumor Mill and the Kitchen Sink: What’s on your mind? Anything goes or 2)LE Friendly / Hostile Businesses: Do you know a business that is pro-Law Enforcement? How about anti-Law Enforcement? Post them here and let everyone know.



FAQ Search Memberlist Usergroups Register

Profile Log in to check your private messages Log in

The time now is Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:51 pm


View unanswered posts

Forum Topics Posts Last Post

Welcome to the Spokane Police Guild Forum

Welcome to the Forum

Please stop by here if it is your first time to the forums.

2 2 Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:19 am

Kevin King

Spokane Police Guild

President Message Forum

Latest updates from the President – Ernie Wuthrich. Post your questions for the President HERE.

Moderator Ernie Wuthrich

13 99 Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:53 pm

Ernie Wuthrich

1st Vice President Message Forum

The latest news from the 1st V.P. – Jeff Harvey. Post your questions for the Vice President HERE.

Moderator Jeff Harvey

2 22 Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:31 am

Kevin King

2nd Vice President Message Forum

The latest news from the 2nd V.P. – Ray Harding. Post your questions for the Vice President HERE.

Moderator Ray Harding

3 8 Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:53 pm

Ty Snider

Secretary Message Forum

The latest news from the Guild’s Secretary – Ty Snider. Post your questions for the Secretary HERE.

Moderator Ty Snider

8 25 Thu Aug 23, 2007 7:25 pm

Ty Snider

Treasurer Message Forum

The latest news from the Guild’s Treasurer – John Griffin. Post your questions for the Treasurer HERE.

Moderator John Griffin

6 34 Mon Oct 16, 2006 3:33 pm

John Griffin

Guild Business

Guild Business

Daily Guild Business, including past and future SPG events.

16 75 Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:32 am


Legislative Announcements

The latest political news from the Guild’s Legislative Reps.

Moderators Paul Carpenter, Craig Bulkley, Jim Christensen

8 14 Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:02 am

Ty Snider


Discussion about upcoming contract negotiations.

7 158 Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:38 am

Mark Burbridge

Old Guild Business Threads

Barring a member request, the following threads will soon be deleted.

39 266 Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:47 am

Kevin King

General Topics

Rumor Mill and the Kitchen Sink

What’s on your mind? Anything goes. These categories were combined.

Moderator Webmaster

27 152 Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:15 pm

Ernie Wuthrich

Funny Police Stories

Have hilarious story to share with everyone? Please use common sense!!

6 27 Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:58 pm

T. J. Lee

For Sale

Got something for sale? Is that hard earned cash burning a whole in your pocket? Take a look inside for a great deal.

Moderator Webmaster

2 5 Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:21 am

Bonnie Sherar

LE Friendly / Hostile Businesses

Do you know a business that is pro-Law Enforcement? How about anti-Law Enforcement? Post them here and let everyone know.

Moderators Webmaster, Bryan Tafoya

9 24 Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:32 pm

Douglas A. Orr

Old General Topics Threads

Barring a member request, the following threads will be deleted in 270 days.

11 103 Thu Aug 17, 2006 5:30 pm

Dan Torok

Forum Talk

Questions and Help

Are you a new forum user and in need of some help? Seek your answers here.

Moderators Webmaster, brad hallock

12 45 Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:11 pm

Kevin King

Mark all forums read

All times are GMT – 9 Hours <>

Who is Online

Our users have posted a total of 1158 articles

We have 231 registered users

The newest registered user is Troy Teigen

<>In total there is 1 user online :: 0 Registered, 0 Hidden and

<>Guest [ Administrator ] [ Moderator ]

<>Most users ever online was 26 on Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:46 am

Registered Users: None

This data is based on users active over the past five minutes

Log in

Username: Password: Log me on automatically each visit

New posts

No new posts

Forum is locked

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group


Posted in Spokane Police Guild | Leave a Comment »

Taser Trouble — The Infamous UCLA Video

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 23, 2007

It just so happens that there are others as troubled as I am by the de-humanization of humanity. This post with a link to the infamous video of a UCLA student being tasered by bone-headed, power-hungry campus cops is found at http://www.intentblog.com


Gotham Chopra – November 19, 2006

Courtesy of youtube, the 6 minute video of an Iranian American student getting repeatedly “tazed” by UCLA campus police is all blazing its way around the globe.

More shocking than the video footage is the audio that accompanies it – the anguished screams of the kid that sound similar to what you might expect coming from Bush’s secret Gitmo layer than a campus library.

In my mind, it’s all connected – the illegal prisons in Guantanamo, Baghdad, Kabul and elsewhere that Bush and his cronies set up to skirt around international law and the egregious abuse you see on the video. It’s no coincidence that kid in question is of Iranian origin. And even if he was asking for it, which the campus police backers are starting to intimate for the inevitable case to follow, the obvious over-use of force is tied to a much larger trend of paranoia that has been purposely embedded into our national consciousness since 9/11.

Where’s it all going? Where’s it going to end? I usually like to blame this sort of ignorance on rednecks from red states but this all took place in a so-called progressive University in a decidedly liberal state and city, just a few miles down the road from where I live. Comparisons to campus unrest over Vietnam are being talked about but I don’t quite see the comparison. There was no resistance here, no protest – just a kid without an I.D. who gave a few security guards some attitude and then got jolted with a taser a half dozen times.

We need to start paying attention to what’s going on in our country – what’s made some helpless University security guards all of a suddenly think they are on the frontline of the war on terrorism. We’re in quite a bit of trouble here.

[ Posted at http://www.intentblog.com/archives/2006/11/taser_trouble.html ]

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Know Your Rights, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

SPD Officer Dan Torok waxes eloquent at Hard 7

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 21, 2007

At Hard 7 over the last several days, SPD Officer Dan Torok–whose knee took the breath out of Otto Zehm before he stopped breathing in March 2006 and whose service weapon took the life from Jerome Alford in March 2007–has engaged the public in a dialogue about and defense of the SPD, its officers, its practices, and himself.

Hard 7 — I call this “hard core blogging” — is written and moderated by Frank Sennett, the most dynamic, clearest speaking, ready-to-challenge-the-status-quo journalist in Spokane.  Frank is an “indy” journalist, though his blog is found in the Spokesman-Review’s print and on-line Spokane 7 magazine.  In addition, Frank is heard on KPBX with his unique The Alternative Source.

I hope a mention at SpokanePoliceAbuses does not spell the end of ‘ya, brother Frank.  Keep hitting ’em hard!

(By the way, Officer Dan Torok is a frequent poster at various Spokesman-Review blogs, invariably under the name “Dan”, minus his last name. Certainly he has a right to post his views but he might do so with his last name so that people are aware of context and history. Whether or not his interventions are appropriate given his role in the death of Otto Zehm and Jerome Alford, is something his superiors will need to address. Certainly a man of his convictions would want his name associated with his posts. Officer Torok is often joined in double teaming posters by Officer Jim Faddis, with Torok writing as “Dan” and Faddis either as “Jim” or — as he finally confessed when he came clean — “Kevin”.  There are several other SPD and SCSO law enforcers lurking around the blogosphere engaging, sometime alone and sometimes in teams, in verbal joisting, linguistic tasering (the barbs most often failing to stick), and online triangulated small arms fire.  Keep your eyes out for them).

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight | Leave a Comment »

Urgent Call: Protest of Spokane’s CIA-contracted torture engineers

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 20, 2007

The Peace and Justice Action League has announced a protest at the office of Spokane psychologists Mitchell and Jessen, whose reverse-engineering of SERE-JPRA practices on behalf of CIA and U.S. military torture teams has been disclosed by Salon Magazine; Vanity Fair; the Spokesman Review; and the KYRS Programmers Collective Wiki site.

The protest will occur at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 23, 2007 at the corner of Washington and Riverside (map). The psychologists’ office is on the second floor of the American Legion Building in downtown Spokane.

(For reasons of collective self-defense, please bring your camera or video camera.)

The image

The Ultimate Makeover-From Spokane Club (1900) to CIA-Contracted Mitchell Jessen Assoc (2005-2007)

Posted in Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

The FBI in Peace and War

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 19, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The FBI in Peace and War

Still the Same


When I read a news story about the FBI “taking cues from the CIA to recruit thousands of covert informants in the United States as part of a sprawling effort to boost its intelligence capabilities,” (ABCNews.com July 25) I had a déjà vu experience.

As a kid, I listened to the radio show “The FBI in Peace and War,” in which the Bureau always got its man and whose Agents operated under strict codes of decency. In the 1960s, “The FBI” morphed to television. Toward the end of each episode, Inspector Erskine, the heroic FBI Agent, played by Efrem Zimbalist Jr., would show photos of “the most wanted criminals” and ask the TV public to become informers to help capture them ­ like America’s Most Wanted today. Coincidentally, the TV FBI agents and the bad guys drove new Fords. Coincidentally, Ford sponsored the show. J. Edgar Hoover, who directed the FBI for 48 years until he died in 1972, approved the script for every episode.

My father corroborated the real messages of both programs: “Don’t screw around with the FBI. They’re powerful and hate Bolsheviks.” (He referred to his own childhood in Kiev when the Tsarist secret police went after the Reds. His experiences in “the old country” led him to try to scare me away from activities that might bring me into conflict with any form of police.)

He was generally correct in his assessment. As a kid growing up in the Bronx, I recall the patrol car screeching to a halt during stickball games. The cops would jump from the car, grab our stick and break it in half. This proved more of a deterrent to continuing our game than the droppings of the fruit and vegetable man’s horse, which inevitably fell on third base (a manhole cover).

In eighth grade I went into Manhattan to sell pennants and flags during a Thanksgiving Day parade. An oversized cop threw me into the paddy wagon along with two other hopeful vendors and my board full of supplies — until the parade ended. I had neglected ­ I subsequently discovered ­ to pay the proper toll to the police that vendors had to cough up before the cops granted you their “license” to sell at the parade.

In 1952, we Stuyvesant high school students marched in sympathy with striking teachers. As we arrived at City Hall the Cossacks charged. The cops on horses swung clubs at students. One cop grabbed the school newspaper’s photographer camera and tossed the Leica under his horse, which trod on it.

In 1954, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Daily Cardinal, the University of Wisconsin Student Newspaper. I argued the campus left youth group deserved the right to bring Communist speakers to campus. It got published and the Bureau opened a file on me. From then on, the FBI collected my public and private correspondence, tapped my phone and had informants writing reports about my activity. A typical phone intercept reported that “subject spoke with father” and detailed my plans to travel with my family from San Francisco to Santa Monica. Then, “subject appeared at father’s house and was seen talking with father through window. Topic of conversation unknown.”

How depressing to receive in 1974 1000 plus pages of my file after making a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Hundreds of blacked out pages stared at me along with public statements I’d made and articles I’d written ­ including transcripts from informants and telephone intercepts.

The CIA also collected files. In 1982, in response to an FOIA request, the Agency sent me copies of letters I had written to and received from friends in the Soviet Union and Cuba. From the 1950s on, the CIA spied on thousands of US citizens. In June 1970, President Nixon brought together Hoover, CIA Director Richard Helms and other intelligence heavies to expand and “coordinate efforts against domestic dissenters,” (Verne Lyon, former CIA undercover operative, Covert Action Information Bulletin, Summer 1990.)

The FBI’s COINTELPRO (1956-1971) became public thanks to a mysterious group that in August 1971 stole the files from the FBI Media, Pennsylvania office and circulated them. The archives provided a context for the Bureau’s and its obsessed director’s intentions: disrupting opposition within the United States. Proven non-violent civil rights leaders like Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. along with thousands of others became targets of FBI surveillance and harassment. Indeed, the COINTELPRO order directed FBI agents to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” actions of certain key leaders of anti-war and civil rights movements.

In 1971, I co-produced with Paul Jacobs a ten minute segment for “The Great American Dream Machine,” a Public TV magazine show in which three former FBI informants spoke on camera that they had followed orders by their Special Agent handlers to commit crimes: burn down University of Alabama dormitories and bomb a Post Office and bridge in Seattle. The stolen documents verified our claim that FBI “informants” often served as “agent provocateurs.”

We invited an FBI spokesperson to rebut our charges. The Bureau refused. Instead, a high FBI official visited the head of Public Broadcasting and told him our segment was communist inspired. The brave head of public television cut it from the show, which ran ten minutes shorter that week. Other producers, in solidarity with us, refused to offer a segment to fill it up. Subsequently, the New York public TV station aired the segment wrapped inside of a panel. (The Bureau got our show cut, but never found the burglars who stole the incriminating files.)

In a similar case, “The Camden 28,” Catholic activists broke into a draft board in Camden, New Jersey in August, 1971 to destroy draft records. A recent film about the case showed the ineptitude of the Bureau to garner sufficient evidence ­ and sympathy from a jury ­ to convict the accused even though they were caught in the act.

After the Soviet Union collapsed, the Bureau turned to radical environmentalists and botched a California case against Judy Bari. The government paid millions of dollars to compensate victims of the FBI’s unconstitutional acts.

In 1971, Robert Wall, an FBI Special Agent, quit. In a filmed interview, he told me that in the late 1960s his supervisor in the Washington DC Field Office ordered him to spy on the Institute for Policy Studies ­ where I have been a fellow for thirty plus years ­ and on Stokely Carmichael of SNCC and the Black Panthers. “Stokely hadn’t committed a crime, nor did we have any evidence that he planned to commit any. But he couldn’t take a shit without us looking in on him.”

The late FBI Special Agent Robert Scherrer told me how humiliating it was in the late 1960s to visit elderly Jewish grandmothers. “They always served me tea and cookies. “I hoped my face didn’t turn red from embarrassment.” Scherrer, who played a key role in solving the 1976 Letelier-Moffitt assassinations, said “I joined to become part of a professional police organization, not to spy on old ladies. They may have believed in Marxism. Big Deal. They also invited me to their grandson’s Bar Mitzvahs.”

After years of scandals involving infringement on people’s constitutional rights and unsolved high profile cases ­ remember the anthrax scare?” — has the Bureau changed?

In its recent unclassified report to Congress, the FBI anticipates a new national ring of informants that will provide secrets about terrorists. Like COINTELPRO, this effort will aid in “intelligence and counterterrorism efforts.”

Bureau officials also propose expanding the already massive collection of data on U.S. citizens, keeping old wire tape transcriptions, and doing more “black bag” jobs ­ break-ins. We know from news stories that the FBI failed to integrate its data about plans of the 9-11 fiends. It has no disclosed whether existing telephone taps have led to countering any terrorist plots. Why would Congress believe that more FBI intrusion into citizens’ lives and more rat finks among the public would make us safer?

According to ABC’s “The Blotter,” a recent unclassified report told Congress that the FBI, driven by a 2004 directive from President Bush, wants to recruit more than 15,000 informants in the US, entailing a complete overhaul of its database systems at a cost of around $22 million. The FBI apparently wants to maximize the information provided by “more than 15,000” informants. Many of the new and old informants will apparently be U.S. citizens and residents, but the FBI also wants to go overseas.

As Yogi Berra would say: “it’s déjà vu all over again.” Bush’s “new” initiatives under the guise of fighting terrorism repeat the Palmer Raids of 1920 ­ against Bolsheviks ­ and the Cold War COINTELPRO. The anti-Bolsheviks are at it again in the very post Bolshevik era. Hey, it’s safer doing surveillance on law abiding citizens than it is trying to catch hardened criminals!

Saul Landau writes a regular column for CounterPunch and progreso-weekly.com. His new Counterpunch Press book is A BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD. His new film, WE DON’T PLAY GOLF HERE (on globalization in Mexico) is available through roundworldproductions@gmail.com

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, Know Your Rights | 1 Comment »

Spokane cops to spin their own story on COPS TV

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 18, 2007

What did it take for the Spokane Police Department to get Fox Network’s COPS TV show to return to Spokane at this moment?

I have no idea, but what a public relations coup for the SPD.

According to an Associate Press report, “A Spokane police spokeswoman, Officer Jennifer DeRuwe (deh-ROO’), says the show is positive to law enforcement and shows how exciting and dangerous the job can be.”

Well, no doubt that is true, especially since “police preview segments and control what airs”.

Damn right it will positive to law enforcement!

Now if Spokane citizens could just write their own police reports when they are arrested…


COPS show to film Spokane police

The Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. — The COPS TV show will be filming over the next two months with the men and women in law enforcement in Spokane.

This is the third time the COPS crews will be riding with officers in and around the city.

A Spokane police spokeswoman, Officer Jennifer DeRuwe (deh-ROO’), says the show is positive to law enforcement and shows how exciting and dangerous the job can be.

Police preview segments and control what airs.

Information from: KXLY-TV, http://www.kxly.com/

Perspective from Japan– My Favorite TV Show: COPS by Mike Rogers

Posted in Independent Oversight | Leave a Comment »

Spokane Police Guild to Chief & Public: We’ll investigate ourselves

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 18, 2007

Chief Kirkpatrick and Sheriff Knezovich defied the Spokane Police Guild earlier this year by calling for an end to the absurd and un-American practice of the Spokane Police Department investigating its own alleged crimes and misconduct. Kirkpatrick and Knezovich’s intentions are vehemently opposed by the Guild, of course.

Composed of 270 members who have been involved in repeated homicides, amateurish pranks, brutal attacks on citizens, civil rights violations, and corrupt practices, the Guild is on the defensive and taking the offensive. Per the Spokesman-Review, Guild Vice President Jeff Harvey recently stated, “This decision is taking work away from the police department.” Harvey continued, “We want the best investigators to do the job. We want the best outcome for both the officer and the public.”

Earth to Spokane Police Guild: “You work for us, the citizens who pay your salary, and we want the best non-Spokane Police Department investigator determining whether or not our dead fellow citizens were murdered by cops or whether or not the cops were actually protecting us in killing alleged criminals.” Comprende?

Even under Kirkpatrick and Knezovich’s plan, there are significant problems. Kirkpatrick has stated that while the SPD would not be the lead agency in investigating itself, the SPD would be part of the investigative team and the Guild and the city would agree on the investigators who would be involved.

Let’s see, Chief, does mean that if I am accused of a crime I can chose the investigators and perhaps even suggest that my mother be part of the investigative team? To quote Officer Harvey, not only do I want but I am entitled to “the best investigator to do the job” and want the “best outcome” for both myself and in terms of our increasingly perverted sense of truth and justice.


Spokane union balks at outside investigations of officer-involved shootings


SPOKANE, Wash. — The union representing Spokane police officers says a rule requiring an outside agency to investigate officer-involved shootings is an unfair labor practice.

After a series of on- and off-duty shootings by officers, Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich last year agreed to the “fatal incident protocol” that requires investigations led by another law enforcement agency.

“This decision is taking work away from the police department,” Spokane Police Guild Vice President Jeff Harvey told The Spokesman-Review in an article published Thursday. “We want the best investigators to do the job. We want the best outcome for both the officer and the public.”

The guild, which represents about 270 police department employees, filed an unfair labor practices complaint against the city.

The protocol was changed after high-profile incidents involving both agencies. It replaced a system in which city detectives would take the lead role in the investigation when a Spokane police officer was involved in a shooting, with the sheriff’s office assisting.

Kirkpatrick and Knezovich said transferring investigations to the other agency shows transparency and avoids potential conflicts of interest and accusations of an agency unfairly protecting its own officers.

“We will not investigate our own,” Kirkpatrick said Wednesday. “I’ve always taken the position that if an officer is involved in a critical incident that we would not investigate our own.”

The protocol requiring independent investigations is routinely used by other law enforcement agencies, she said.

The police union is arguing that the change should have been negotiated before going into effect and is asking that the protocol be suspended during negotiations.

Kirkpatrick said she won’t budge unless a judge forces the issue.

The police chief said the complaint, filed in April while a new labor contract was being negotiated, forces both sides to try to find a resolution.

It comes in the wake of discussions about independent oversight of the department.

Kirkpatrick said her aim is to have critical incidents investigated by a team of detectives from Spokane police, the sheriff’s office and possibly the Washington State Patrol. The agency being investigated wouldn’t take the lead on the case, but investigators would be agreed upon by the guild and the city, she said.

Harvey said he is concerned that an officer’s career can be destroyed by a sloppy investigation.

“Why would I want someone who has never had the experience of investigating a shooting to come in and take the lead?” he asked.

Three incidents this year involving Spokane police officers “overtaxed the sheriff’s office,” Harvey said.

Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesmanreview.com

Posted in Spokane Police Guild | Leave a Comment »

Most frequently accessed posts on SpokanePoliceAbuses

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 17, 2007

[Remember, you can subscribe to an RSS feed of this blog to receive automatic updates. Go to https://spokanepoliceabuses.wordpress.com/feed/ ]

Per the WordPress blog publishing software, the most popularly read posts at SpokanePoliceAbuses during its less than one month of existence are:

Laying out the case…  
Suicide by Cop — I’d have jumped too    
Guidance on How to Cook the Police Oversight Process  
Who is Jason Oakley?  
FBI in Spokane — Informant posed as Journalist  
Police Harassing Spokane Youth?  
Latino Spokane  
Intimidation–It’s job one for Spokane Policeman  
All-White Spokane Police Department?  
Spokane Police Brutality on Camera  
Riddle me this, Batman!  
Boys in Blue at the Ballot  
Civilian Oversight Boise Style — Coverage  
License to Kill — per Spokane County Prosecutor  
Training Spokane Law Enforcement in Intel  
Guns and Policing: Standards to Prevent  
Arming Ourselves Against State Repression  
Reflections on Blogging Down the SPD  
ACLU: Know Your Rights  

Total hits by readers to date at SpokanePoliceAbuses.wordpress.org: 1466 in 28 days

Posted in History of SPD Abuses | Leave a Comment »

School of the Americas: U.S. Foreign Policy

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 16, 2007

Where does Spokane, Washington fit into the School of the Americas story?

And why include it on a blog dealing with abuses committed by the Spokane Police Department?

Recent revelations in Salon.org, Vanity Fair, the Spokesman-Review, and elsewhere begin to lead us to an answer to that question.

Both Spokane’s SERE/JPRA Program and Spokane psychologists James E. Mitchell and John Bruce Jessen are deeply involved in torture around the world at CIA “black sites” and at US run “detention facilities”–sites and facilities declared “Soviet-style gulags” by Amnesty International and other human rights groups.

We also know that Spokane’s SERE/JPRA Program is known for bringing in foreign nationals for training in resistance training and torture training. So the natural question: How many of the tens of thousands of Latin Americans who have been brought to the U.S. for School of the Americas “counter-insurgency” and other trainings have also received “special” training in Spokane?

The School of the Americas (SOA) is a U.S. Army training school that trains soldiers and military personnel from Latin American countries in subjects like counter-insurgency, military intelligence and counter-narcotics operations. Under Department of Defense jurisdiction, this school is funded by U.S. taxpayer money, all of the training is conducted in Spanish, and most of the classes are taught by Latin American instructors. According to the SOA itself, more than 60,000 members of Latin American militaries have attended the SOA since its inception in 1946.

SOA/ WHINSEC graduates have included some of the worst and most notorious human rights abusers in Latin American history, and for much of the world, the school, under any name, is synonymous with torture and impunity. SOA graduates have led military coups and are responsible for massacres of hundreds of people. Among the SOA’s more than 60,000 alumni are notorious dictators Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador and Hugo Banzar Suarez of Bolivia. SOA graduates were responsible for the Uraba massacre in Colombia, the El Mozote massacre of 900 civilians in El Salvador, the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the massacre of 14-year-old Celina Ramos, her mother Elba Ramos and six Jesuit priests in El Salvador and hundreds of other human rights abuses. Closing the school would send a strong human rights message to Latin America and the world.

( http://soaw.org/faq.php )

Oh, yes. And that last question? Why include a story about the School of Americas and its relationship to SERE/JPRA on a website about police abuses committed by the Spokane Police Department?

Because numerous local law enforcement officials are SERE trained and othewise connected with this dark Spokane underworld of CIA torturers and international enforcers.

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Ethical Lapse by Chief Kirkpatrick?

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 15, 2007

(Update — September 10, 2007 — The website for Mike Worley’s business, Police Practices Consulting, was changed on September 5, 2007 . The “testimonial” page was removed and replaced with a client’s page. Chief Kirkpatrick’s testimonial was removed and replaced with a red dot representing the $8,800 tax-payer financed report contracted with Worley and his company by Spokane Mayor Hession. Under the column labeled DISPOSITION, it reads “settled”. Does that mean that the portion of Worley’s report dealing with the Otto Zehm killing has been revisited by Worley and completed. According to the October 26, 2006 edition of the Spokesman-Review, Worley’s report summary states, “A subsequent report will be released addressing the Zehm case when all investigative materials have been completed and reviewed.” In the Zehm case, a Spokane Police officer was the lead investigator of his seven Spokane Police colleagues. Worley recommended that practice end and that an outside agency always have the lead in such investigations.)

Is it ethically acceptable for Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick to provide a testimonial on the business website of police consultant Mike Worley?

Worley — Kirkpatrick testimonial

I doubt that Mayor Hession expected the Chief to do such a thing when he hired Worley and his consulting firm, Police Practices Consulting LLC, in July 2006 to review the SPD/Firehouse sex photo scandal, the Otto Zehm homicide, and the Civilian Advisory Commission.

And I am sure the public will consider it highly questionable.

Worley promotes himself as a national expert on police matters and conducts “independent reviews” for police departments, attorneys and journalists.

In October 2006–in the wake of years of scandal and controversy surrounding the conduct of Spokane police officers and administrators–Worley submitted his report on the Spokane Police Department. Subsequently, scandal has continued with further killings of citizens by Spokane Police officers, acts of brutality against citizens practicing free speech and civil liberties, officer misconduct on and off the job, and the recent botched tasering of a suicidal man who jumped to his death from the Monroe Street Bridge.

According to Worley’s report, “A subsequent report will be released addressing the Zehm case when all investigative materials have been completed and reviewed.”

As of today, to my knowledge, that subsequent report by Worley is still pending. Is Worley still under contract to the city of Spokane?

In either case, what is Chief Kirkpatrick doing scratching Worley’s back with her testimonial on his website?

Quoting the Worley’s Police Practices Consulting, LLC, website:

“[Mike Worley’s] review, I think, has been thorough, it has been independent, it has been complete, and it has been fair.”
— Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, Spokane Police Department

As a matter of fact, Worley’s review is NOT complete. He stated that he would not proceed to investigate the Otto Zehm matter until the FBI investigation and other investigations of the matter were completed and that a subsequent report would be forthcoming following the closure of those investigations.

Will Worley be able to be thorough, independent, complete, fair, ethical and honest after Chief Kirkpatrick has lent herself and her obligation to the people of Spokane to promoting Mr. Worley’s business interest?

Another curious twist is that Spokane seems headed towards a Boise-type police oversight system involving an Ombudsman and staff. Interestingly, Worley worked 32 years for the Boise PD, including as head of internal investigations and of criminal investigations, and was there when the Boise Ombudsman system was developed.

Mike Worley, of course, is part of the Thin Blue Line. Like Chief Kirkpatrick, he too was a chief, for two years in Meridian, Idaho.

And now he’s down in Blue Grass country, Louisville, Kentucky with his consulting business. Meanwhile Chief Kirkpatrick came out of Memphis, the home of the Blues. Law enforcement is a tight group and everywhere you look in this one it just all keeps coming up blue.

This entire proposition requires a whole lot more trust than the Chief or any employee of the Spokane Police Department deserves.

So one has to ask: Has the pending Worley report on the Zehm debacle been suspended indefinitely or canceled permanently? Will Worley essentially become an informal consultant to the Chief regarding how to manage a meddlesome, independent Ombudsman, if that is the model Spokane adopts?

Clearly as far as the Spokane Police Department, the Prosecutor’s Office and City Hall go, Otto Zehm is dead. Dead and buried and never to be exhumed. Case closed.

However, that is not the desire of the people of Spokane who intend to commemorate his death next year with the type of protest and commemoration which he has not received to date.

In any civilized city in the country, no, in the world, a wall of flowers, candles, and sympathy cards would have lined the street where he was beaten, tasered, hog-tied, suffocated, and killed by Spokane’s finest on March 18, 2004.

We owe it to Otto Zehm and the list of those killed by the SPD under questionable circumstances and those criminally killed by the SPD to demand the following:

1) A clear conclusion to the Otto Zehm investigation and all reports and analysis of that matter;

2) The implementation of a legitimate and independent police oversight mechanism and NOT the current moribund and fraudulent Citizens Advisory Commission;

3) An end to investigations of the Spokane Police Department by the Spokane Sheriff’s Office; and

4) Independent investigation, prosecutions, autopsies and inquests in all cases of killings by Spokane Police personnel or misconduct by Spokane Police personnel where it is determined appropriate by a legitimate independent oversight mechanism.

And with that, we return to where we started:

Is it ethically acceptable for Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick to provide a testimonial on the website of Police Consultant Mike Worley’s business?

Posted in Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »

Urgent call from U.S. Comptroller General

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 15, 2007

Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned

The Financial Times

By Jeremy Grant in Washington

August 14 2007

The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country’s top government inspector has warned.

David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s future in a report that lays out what he called “chilling long-term simulations”.

These include “dramatic” tax rises, slashed government services and the large-scale dumping by foreign governments of holdings of US debt.

Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.

“Sound familiar?” Mr Walker said. “In my view, it’s time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time.”

Mr Walker’s views carry weight because he is a non-partisan figure in charge of the Government Accountability Office, often described as the investigative arm of the US Congress.

While most of its studies are commissioned by legislators, about 10 per cent – such as the one containing his latest warnings – are initiated by the comptroller general himself.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Walker said he had mentioned some of the issues before but now wanted to “turn up the volume”. Some of them were too sensitive for others in government to “have their name associated with”.

“I’m trying to sound an alarm and issue a wake-up call,” he said. “As comptroller general I’ve got an ability to look longer-range and take on issues that others may be hesitant, and in many cases may not be in a position, to take on.

“One of the concerns is obviously we are a great country but we face major sustainability challenges that we are not taking seriously enough,” said Mr Walker, who was appointed during the Clinton administration to the post, which carries a 15-year term.

The fiscal imbalance meant the US was “on a path toward an explosion of debt”.

“With the looming retirement of baby boomers, spiralling healthcare costs, plummeting savings rates and increasing reliance on foreign lenders, we face unprecedented fiscal risks,” said Mr Walker, a former senior executive at PwC auditing firm.

Current US policy on education, energy, the environment, immigration and Iraq also was on an “unsustainable path”.

“Our very prosperity is placing greater demands on our physical infrastructure. Billions of dollars will be needed to modernise everything from highways and airports to water and sewage systems. The recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis was a sobering wake-up call.”

Mr Walker said he would offer to brief the would-be presidential candidates next spring.

“They need to make fiscal responsibility and inter-generational equity one of their top priorities. If they do, I think we have a chance to turn this around but if they don’t, I think the risk of a serious crisis rises considerably”.




[excerpt] America is a great nation, probably the greatest in history. But if we want to keep America great, we have to recognize reality and make needed changes. As I mentioned earlier, there are striking similarities between America’s current situation and that of another great power from the past: Rome. The Roman Empire lasted 1,000 years, but only about half that time as a republic. The Roman Republic fell for many reasons, but three reasons are worth remembering: declining moral values and political civility at home, an overconfident and overextended military in foreign lands, and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government. Sound familiar? In my view, it’s time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time. [end excerpt]

Posted in Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

“Irreparable Damage” — Spokane Police Guild v. Liquor Control Board

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 15, 2007

A very frequently cited case and one of substantial significance and precedence in regard to disclosure of public records by a public agency is the matter of Spokane Police Guild v. Liquor Control Board.

The link highlighted below leads to the full Supreme Court decision on the matter. In addition, I have included the following brief excerpt by way of explaining the context. And finally, I conclude with a quote from the Spokane City Prosecutor on the “irreparable” nature of the damage to the Spokane Police Guild and Spokane Police Department.

In the end, the court sided with the public’s right to know over any broad claim by government to non-disclosure based on a claim to protection of personal privacy of the officials involved.


CITE: 112 Wn.2d 30, 769 P.2d 283



FILE DATE: February 16, 1989

CASE TITLE: Spokane Police Guild, et al, Appellants, v.
The Liquor Control Board, et al, Respondents, The
City of Spokane, Appellant.


This is an appeal from an order of the Superior Court for Spokane County wherein the court declined to enjoin the Washington State Liquor Control Board from releasing an investigative report to the public and news media. We affirm.

On or about March 19, 1986, a party was held on the Spokane Police Guild Club premises. These were premises licensed by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (Liquor Board). The party has been variously referred to as a bachelor party, stag show and strip show. The party was, in any event, given for a prospective bridegroom by his brother. A dancer performed at the party in a manner which, as it was subsequently determined, violated Liquor Board regulations. Forty or more people were in attendance. Following an investigation by an investigator for the Liquor Board, the club’s liquor license was suspended for 21 days.

A reporter for the Spokesman Review and Spokane Chronicle newspapers requested a copy of the Liquor Board’s investigative report. The Liquor Board ultimately determined that it would release its full report on the incident. This suit was thereupon commenced by the Spokane Police Guild to enjoin the release of the records. The publisher of the newspapers, Cowles Publishing Company, and the City of Spokane were permitted to intervene in the suit.

Following consideration of affidavits, briefs and arguments, and after reviewing the investigative report in camera, the trial court filed its memorandum decision stating in part as follows:

“Nothing this court can do will ever erase the fact that this regrettable incident occurred. And probably nothing the news media can do from here on out will really be considered a benefit to this community. But it seems obvious to this court that the full story must be made public, including the names of persons involved.

The trial court then entered an order denying the injunction and ordering that a complete and unedited copy of the investigative report be disclosed. An appeal was taken to the Court of Appeals and the trial court stayed disclosure pending appeal. The Court of Appeals, in turn, certified the appeal to this court and we accepted review.

The appeal presents one primary issue.


Should the Liquor Board’s report of its investigation of liquor law violations at a party held on the premises of one of its licensees be exempt from disclosure under the state freedom of information act?


CONCLUSION. We hold that the trial court properly concluded that the records in question were not exempt from disclosure and that a complete and unedited copy of the Liquor Board’s report should be made available to the public and news media.

This suit was brought under the state freedom of information act, RCW (the act). The parties concede that the Liquor Board’s investigative report of the event in question is a public record.



(quote from Supreme Court decision) By affidavit, the City Attorney stated that: “Release of this information, under the circumstances presented by this case, will cause substantial and irreparable damage to the Spokane Police Department’s ability to operate as a law enforcement agency, which is a vital governmental function.” (end quote)

Posted in Spokane Police Guild | Leave a Comment »

We the people…..

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 13, 2007

The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created. The public records subdivision of this chapter shall be liberally construed and its exemptions narrowly construed to promote this public policy. (RCW 42.17.251 — Washington State Public Disclosure Act)

see http://www.appeal-law.com/appeals/gullen.html

First, we examine whether Guillen’s disclosure claims pertaining to accident reports are resolvable under Washington law.(4) In November 1972, Washington voters approved Initiative Measure No. 276, a ‘strongly worded mandate for broad disclosure of public records.’ Spokane Police Guild v. Liquor Control Bd., 112 Wn.2d 30, 33-36, 769 P.2d 283 (1989). See Laws of 1973, ch.1.

‘Public record’ includes ‘any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics.’ RCW 42.17.020(36).

While ‘mindful of the right of individuals to privacy and of the desirability of the efficient administration of government, full access to information concerning the conduct of government on every level must be assured as a fundamental and necessary precondition to the sound governance of a free society.’ RCW 42.17.010(11). In 1992, the following public policy statement was added to the PDA’s ‘Public Records’ section:

The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them.

The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created. The public records subdivision of this chapter shall be liberally construed and its exemptions narrowly construed to promote this public policy. RCW 42.17.251.

Thus, as we have previously noted, the PDA’s intent was nothing less than the preservation of the most central tenets of representative government, namely, the sovereignty of the people and the accountability to the people of public officials and institutions. RCW 42.17.251. Without tools such as the Public Records Act, government of the people, by the people, for the people, risks becoming government of the people, by the bureaucrats, for the special interests. In the famous words of James Madison, ‘A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both.’ Letter to W.T. Barry, Aug. 4, 1822, 9 The Writings of James Madison 103 (Gaillard Hunt, ed. 1910). Progressive Animal Welfare Soc’y v. Univ. of Wash., 125 Wn.2d 243, 251, 884 P.2d 592 (1994).

In any public disclosure dispute, the government bears the burden ‘to establish that refusal to permit public inspection and copying is in accordance with a statute that exempts or prohibits disclosure in whole or in part of specific information or records.’ RCW 42.17.340(1).



Cases and Research on Public Disclosure in Washington State

Posted in Know Your Rights | Leave a Comment »

Police Batons

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 12, 2007

Police Baton

(quote) Present day law enforcement standards require that a minimum of force be used to subdue criminals and scofflaws. “Police brutality” is a very sensitive issue with police departments and minority and disadvantaged groups alike. It is not uncommon to observe apprehended criminals with massive injuries caused by insensitive and overly zealous police officers wielding nightsticks in an indiscriminate and callous manner. Therefore, modern day batons should be somewhat flexible, so that they may render miscreants helpless without inflicting serious injury. (end quote)

(From U.S. Patent # 5180164, filed 1991)

Tonfa Police Baton

Posted in License to Kill, Trained to Kill, Videos | Leave a Comment »

Girl vs. Police Baton

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 12, 2007

Girl vs. Police Baton

It is curious to talk to people about their recollection of events.

I had the opportunity to talk to the young woman in the photo below. The context is the July 4, 2007 picnic and protest in Riverfront Park. She said that she had not noticed at the time that the Spokane Police officer standing in front of her had his baton in a battle ready position, ready to attack her with it if he deemed it necessary.

Girl vs. Police Baton — Photo from the Spokesman-Review

(Photo from the Spokesman Review)

Neither did a friend of mine remember that a Spokane Police officer had a hand around his throat shoving him back several feet until I showed him the KREM 2 photo and video (click on link below the photo) of the event.

Police Officers manhandle and choke Dan Treecraft

KREM 2 Video: Spokane Police officer choking protester at Alberto Gonzales visit – Spokane June 27, 2007

Posted in Photographic Evidence, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Remember, remember, the 11th of September

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 11, 2007

From the March 2007 Idaho Observer:

Remember, remember, the 11th of September

Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I’ll begin.

Right now, I imagine there are hundreds of soldiers rushing here to kill me because someone does not want us to talk.

They are afraid that I am going to say the things that are not supposed to be said. They are afraid that I am going to say the truth. The truth is that there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? If you look about, you witness cruelty, injustice and despotism. But what do you do about it? What can you do?

You are but a single individual. How can you possibly make any difference? Individuals have no power in this modern world.

That is what you’ve been taught because that is what they need you to believe. But it is not true. This is why they are afraid and the reason that I am here; to remind you that it is individuals who always hold the power. The real power. Individuals like me. And individuals like you.

I have come to offer you a deal. If you accept, I will give you a different world. A world without curfews, without soldiers and surveillance systems. A world that is not run by other men, but that is run by you. I am offering you a second chance.

Four hundred years ago, a great citizen made a most significant contribution to our common culture. It was a contribution forged in secrecy and stealth although it is best remembered in noise and bright light.

To commemorate that glorious night at precisely the stroke of midnight, the edifice of their world will erupt with enough sound and fury to shake the earth. All I ask is that you join me at the gates to watch as the past is erased, the pathway cleared so that together we can start toward a new day.

But, you ask, who am I to make such promises? A fair question but hardly necessary, as you know me already. To know me any more, you need only look to a mirror.

Truth be told, this wasn’t even my idea, was it? If you think back, you’ll remember that night, whispering in your lover’s arms. I became a part of your plan just as you have now become part of mine…


The “story” above graces the top half of the frontpage on the hardcopy edition of the Idaho Observer for March 14, 2007 and is wrapped around the “V” mask. The concept, inspired by Meria Heller, was taken from the extraordinary film ‘V for Vendetta‘ by the Wachowski brothers. It strikes to the heart of who we are and why we are allowing ourselves to be poisoned and controlled by the petty minions of the horrible men and women who perpetuate global war and human misery for profit. This unjust era will come to an end. The only question is if it will happen on our schedule or “theirs.” Take the time to see the film. Put yourself in it. If so inspired, obtain the accoutrements and become a V.

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

Wil Elder on July 4, 2007 Police Riot in Spokane’s Riverfront Park

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 10, 2007

This is a 5 1/2 minute video taped interview of Wil Elder interviewed on July 9, 2007 at a rally near the headquarters of the Spokane Police Department. At the rally, some 150 Spokane citizens of all ages called for independent oversight of the Spokane Police Department and protested the police assault on July 4th picnickers and protesters at Riverfront Park which resulted in the arrest of 17 young people.

In this video, Spokane activist and organizer Elder vividly describes the events of July 4th. Brother Wil also hosts two very popular locally-produced radio programs — On the Clock and The Breakdown Train — both heard exclusively on KYRS 89.9 and 92.3 FM Thin Air Community Radio.

Posted in Photographic Evidence, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Testimonies, Videos | Leave a Comment »

Reflections on Blogging Down the SPD

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 10, 2007

WordPress is the blogging platform I have chosen for two of my blogs — SpokanePoliceAbuses and SpankingTheSpokesman. One of the WordPress features I like most is the BlogStats feature. From the BlogStats page, I am able to learn a number of things.

For one, I am able to see that in the 23 days since I began SpokanePoliceAbuses, it has been viewed 1116 times or an average of just under 50 views per day. The best day registered 162 views.

I can also see that the four most frequently selected posts on SpokanePoliceAbuses are “Laying Out the Case“; “Suicide by Cop: I’d Have Jumped Too“; “The Role of Spokane, Fairchild, and the SERE/JPRA Programs in U.S. Torture and Geneva Convention Violations“; and “Color of Law Matters–Spokane FBI Chief Egon ‘Dez’ Dezihan“.

Additionally, I am able to see the combinations of key words that people used in search engines to arrive at my Blog. Some of them include: “taser model ml18”, “40 CALIBRE”, “Spokane JPRA John Bruce Jessen”, “spokane police misconduct attorneys”, “restraint chair”, “how do I know if it is a police officer”, “what is sere resistance training like”, “Otto Zehm”, and “Jay Mehring”.

But the BlogStats data that I have found the most interesting is the Referrer information. This allows me to see from what sites people arrived at my site. In otherwords, someone placed a link for SpokanePoliceAbuse on a website and then someone else clicked on that link to get to SpokanePoliceAbuses.

The most interesting Referrer site so far? The forums section of the Spokane Police Guild website at http://spokanepoliceguild.com/v-web/bulletin/bb/viewtopic.php?t=730 and a similar address http://spokanepoliceguild.com/ipw-web/bulletin/bb/viewtopic.php?t=730. Of course, if you or I click on these links we will not get to the forums but rather we will be redirected to the Spokane Police Guild sign-in page and be unable to go any further. Hits from the Spokane Police Guild forums have now risen to four, including a third Guild site address ending in 730&highlight=

So what does this mean? It means that a police officer or police administrator or police attorney or someone else with password access to the SpokanePoliceGuild website posted my Blog address on one of their forums and others have clicked on that link to get to my Blog.

Would love to see their posts!

Meanwhile, I want to extend a warm welcome to the members of the Spokane Police Guild. Please make yourselves at home here at Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present. Look around, take your shoes off, light up a stogy, and stay a while. No warrant required.

And remember: without you this Blog would not be possible.

Posted in Spokane Police Guild | Leave a Comment »

Guns and Policing: Standards to Prevent Misuse — Amnesty International

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 10, 2007

To read this entire report, go to http://web.amnesty.org/library/print/ENGACT300012004

Amnesty International

[Excerpt] The UN Code of Conduct states that every law enforcement agency should be representative of and responsive and accountable to the community as a whole.” [End excerpt]

[Excerpt] Agreed international standards do exist to control the use of force and firearms by the police. They include the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Basic Principles for the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. At their heart is the question of what constitutes legitimate force. Police must sometimes be permitted to use force or lethal force, in order to do their job of keeping communities safe and protecting people from life-threatening attacks. But the force used must not be arbitrary; it must be proportionate, necessary and lawful. And it must only be used in self defense or against the imminent threat of death or serious injury.

In order to comply with this essential principle, police must know how to assess rapidly when a threat to life is being made. They need to be extremely well trained in tactical threat assessment so that they can judge in each different context whether a use of force, including lethal force, will be proportionate, necessary and lawful. Too many police forces around the world are trained how to fire a gun but not how to decide whether it should be fired, or when. And too few governments have incorporated the UN standards in their national legislation, or show any respect for them in practice. [End excerpt]

Posted in Independent Oversight | Leave a Comment »

Welcome to 1984

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 10, 2007

(stop video at 0:38) December 1983 meeting between Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein in Baghdad


Lyrics to “War Story”

You thought uncle sam wanted you
But you were used, you were just abused
I try to tell you time and time again
The only war worth winning is the war that’s within

You played right into uncle sam’s hands
Where is the glory in complying with demands
You were used to defend world domination
Where is the honor in being an abomination?

And I don’t see the glory in your war stories
It was just your turn to burn and get burned

You thought that you had something to prove
But yer just seeing colors, not red & white just blue
Your whole life has always been the same
First you were tamed then you were ashamed

You played right into uncle sam’s hands
Where is the glory in complying with demands
You were used to defend world domination
Where is the honor in being an abomination?

And i don’t see the glory in your war stories
It was just your turn to burn and get burned



Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Photographic Evidence, Videos | Leave a Comment »

War coming home to roost — just the beginning…

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 10, 2007

On October 26, 2005, NBC reported an armed Gulf War veteran in Spokane’s VA hospital. Armed with an M16 and a hand gun, the vet was reportedly behaving as if he wanted security guards to kill him. He eventually gave up his guns and was arrested.

Two facts are inevitable as the war in Iraq drags into its 16th* year:

1) More and more returned veterans will experience mental health crises and communities will be forced to deal with their tormented violence and acting out, and

2) More and more returned vets and private contractors will enter employment in law enforcement where their military training and war-time experiences will translate into abusive conduct and excessive use of force against citizens of the U.S.

(Daily we are witnessing the sad reality across the country of Vietnam-era vets in law enforcement beating, tasering, hog-tying, and killing other Vietnam-era who have fallen into lives of mental illness, homelessness, drug abuse, desperation, and crime.  The next 40 years will see a repeat of this cycle with Iraq-era vets in law enforcement acting against their fellow former comadres.)

[* You read correctly.  I include the 1991 Gulf War and President Clinton’s air war and policy of starvation-by-embargo against the Iraqi people as part of the ongoing war against Iraq.]

In the news story below about this distraught vet at the Spokane VA Hospital, please note that “a pair of doctors and a security officer talked the man into putting down the assault rifle and handgun”.

One thing which can be said with certainty based on history is that had the Spokane Police Department arrived first, this man would have had been shot dead by the SPD.


October 26, 2005

Man Arrested Near Spokane VA Hospital With Guns

SPOKANE, Wash. — A man armed with three firearms was arrested this morning near the Spokane Veterans Administration hospital.

No one was injured when a pair of doctors and a security officer talked the man into putting down the assault rifle and handgun. Police later found another handgun on the man, who is in his 40s.

He faces a federal charge of bringing a firearm onto federal property.

Police say a doctor first encountered the man in a breezeway at the back of the hospital, near an emergency room. Another doctor and the security officer arrived and the policeman drew his weapon.

The man had previously been treated at the center and reportedly told police he wanted to commit suicide.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press)

Posted in War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

SCSO–Pistols, Submachine guns, and Battle Rifles

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 9, 2007

Police Weaponry

Spokane County Sheriff’s Department
Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT)


For other information on Spokane area law enforcement and their weaponry, go to Battle Ready — The SPD’s Military Arsenal and the “Equipment” section of Spokane para-military SWAT team, police propaganda, and Pavlischak.

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Battle Ready — The SPD’s Military Arsenal

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 8, 2007

The Spokane Police Department is arming up.

Recently Spokane’s KREM TV and KREM.COM reported on the increasing firepower of Spokane Police officers.

Per KREM’s Kara Kostanich, 60 Spokane Police Department personnel–mostly members of SWAT and other specialized police groups–were using the Colt AR-15 assault rifle at the time of the March 29, 2007 broadcast. An additional 34 AR-15s had been ordered but had not yet arrived.

Sgt. John Roys of the SPD claimed on-air that the rationale for the arms purchase is to be able to “defeat” the increasingly armed Spokane populace. The plan is for each patrol team to carry two AR-15 rifles.

Given that at the time of the March 2007 KREM 2 broadcast, the 34 additional weapons were expected to arrive within two months, one can sleep better now knowing that your Spokane Police Department is now ready for battle with nearly 100 assault weapons.

Spokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police Arsenal

The AR-15 is the civilian version of the military’s M-16 assault rifle.

Spokane’s Militarized Law Enforcement

Spokane area law enforcement preparing for the end times

(Photo from the Spokane County Sheriff’s website)

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, Videos, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Know Your Rights — Tin Soldiers and Nixon’s Coming

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 6, 2007

What is the theme unifying abuses by increasingly militarized police departments, pervasive media lies and ruling class complicity, military brutality abroad, corporate war profiteering, stunning cowardice by the U.S. Congress, and near total passivity by the overall U.S. population? It is our dishonesty and complicity in the face of U.S. imperialism, manifested by illegal invasions, brutal military occupations, and gross human rights abuses, as well as saber-rattling in many parts of the world.

Over the years I have been very clear about one thing with anyone who has asked me about my activism. What drives my beliefs and actions is anti-imperialism.

What is imperialism?

Imperialism is best known by its fruits.

Imperialism is a Vietnamese girl running down a highway in 1972, her naked body burning with napalm.

Imperialism is the naked bodies of Iraqi boys and girls and men and women at Abu Ghraib sodomized by U.S. troops and intelligence personnel in 2004.

Imperialism is the naked bodies of young children all over the world year after year being washed before they are buried after starving in a world of plenty, a world where the U.S. dominates all major international institutions and routinely blocks actions desired by the rest of the planet.

Imperialism is a disgraced United States of America, unable to justify its actions to its own citizens or to the peoples and nations of the world, a U.S. resorting to spying on its own citizens and torturing the citizens of the rest of the world.

When Alberto Gonzales comes to Spokane to share “sensitive, top secret” information with the Spokane Police and other law enforcement agencies, it is Nixon and John Mitchell all over again.

When it is revealed that Spokane is a key link in human rights abuses and torture being committed by the U.S. around the world, it is My Lai all over again.

When young people march to Riverfront Park and in the midst of peaceful protest are attacked by Spokane Police , it is Kent State all over again.

In my opinion, when people begin to defy authority on the streets all over the U.S., it signals a coming confrontation. As Oliver Tambo said, “The people’s patience is not eternal”.

Hear it coming?

1970 is in the air again.

Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming. Remembering Ohio.

“Ohio” — Neil Young Lyrics Analysis

[To the individual who wrote stating that it is hyperbole on my part to suggest that 4th of July in Riverfront Park is comparable to Kent State, I have the following comments…

1) I stand by that.

2) The global capitalist/imperialist system run from Langley, Wall Street, the Pentagon, and the White House reaches periodic moments of minor and of severe crisis. We are currently at a moment of such severe crisis.

3) What happened on the 4th of July 2007 in Riverfront Park was just one of many police state actions around the country against free speech, protest, and activism.

Here is the equation for the mathematically challenged:

Combine 4th of July 2007 Spokane with FBI spying on Spokane activists, torture masters operating out of the American Legion Building on Washington Street in downtown Spokane, Alberto Gonzales meeting secretly with Spokane law enforcement, the arming of the Spokane Police with 100 AR-15s and other military weaponry, and the majority Democrats caving in to a Republican president on pro-war and civil-liberties-curtailing legislation. Now multiply that by a hundred U.S. cities the size of Spokane or larger and…voila!

Tin Soldiers and Nixon’s Coming.

So the writer does not buy my analysis. No problem.

It’s not for sale anyways.

Hasta la victoria siempre! ]

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Know Your Rights, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »