Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

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Just exactly who is Anne Kirkpatrick? Annie Got Her Gun now tries to get out of town

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 4, 2010

[Note by author: For readers who may consider the words that follow in this post to be harsh and unfair, consider that even the elegant, upscale Spokane Couer d’Alene Living Magazine, in the Lilacs and Lemons section of its March 2010 issue, gave Chief Kirkpatrick a lemon and reprimanded her, saying basically that if she is so busy making plans to leave Spokane in the midst of such a crucial period in city and police history, she should darn well hurry up and get the heck out of Dodge, I mean Spokaloo.]

Listening to a recent KYRS Thin Air Community Radio morning news piece by Don Gronning (6/22/10 podcast), one is struck by the most recent persona of the always strutting, full-of-attitude Anne Kirkpatrick. The sassy southern gal, who arrived in Spokane nearly four years ago with her slick little one-girl show from the south, replete with meaningless but media-savvy slogans like “You lie, you die” and a repertoire of song and dance (literally) at the ready for any and all occasions, apparently has at least one more routine up her sleeve as she — like a teenager graduating from high school — desperately seeks a way out of Spokaloo.

So what is that persona? A new and improved Chief Anne Kirkpatrick who, despite previous statements to the contrary, appears to be headed out of town.

And naked. Well, not naked exactly but definitely devoid of her long characteristic Southern accent. (Seriously, listen to Gronning’s 6/22/10 podcast.) Besides, in the south — like Abilene and Shreveport where I used to live, or Memphis, Tennessee where Anne was born and raised — we say “neck-id”.

Apparently the “Ya’ll come back now, here?” phony southern drawl worked as part of the dog and pony show the chief put on to get us Okies in Spokaloo to hire her as chief under a previous mayor and city council. But it appears she decided that it wasn’t going to make her any friends or influence any people in the sophisticated environment of Seattle. So she is suddenly accentless, a sophisticated and independent woman, itinerant again and forced to strike out on her own. Maybe she should take Doug Clark’s advice and take her bopping and jiving back to Memphis. Or how about Mabton, Washington, population 1891.

All of this after a long string of that bad luck: 1) the Guild stabbed her in the back, 2) she still can’t shake Tony Bamonte off that same back, 3) Councilman Jon Snyder could not get his slip-shod, loop-hole filled version of the Ombudsman Ordinance passed in 30 minutes as he proposed he could in the wee hours of the morning of June 22, 2010, after over-whelming public testimony in favor of a more tightly-written, forceful ordinance to move a blatantly out-of-control police force closer to effective citizen oversight and control, 4) the Grand Jury and FBI noose tightened around the necks of her lying officers and administrators, 5) Ombudsman Tim Burns himself finally stood up and said, “Hell yeah, I’ll take some of that independent oversight”, and 6) the people of Spokane, who had made common cause with many a citizen abused or murdered by the police, and in the process made themselves heard over and over and over again for years, combined a powerful community coalition with public participation and turnout that would not succumb to old fashion tactics of “bait and switch” in the writing of legislation nor to agenda-stacking designed to run out the clock on democratic participation.

Unfortunate for Anne, even after giving it that old Tennessee try in the open competitive portion of the Seattle hiring process and after a private “perhaps I still got that old charm” approach via e-mail to Seattle’s Mayor, Seattle didn’t buy the song and dance.

Besides, can you imagine this “Chief” — who okayed tasering Josh Levy off the Monroe Street Bridge to his death yet in Gronning’s podcast defends tasers like a shameless East Sprague used car saleswoman — dealing with the sorts of complicated human dramas and dilemmas that a Seattle would present her? Or how about having Chief Kirkpatrick in charge of the sophisticated political and social environment of one of the most dynamic and liberal cities in the U.S., the same Chief Kirkpatrick whose boys and girls in blue botched every aspect (from initial provocation to evidence suppression) of the July 4, 2007 police riot in Riverfront Park — being in charge of a police department in a world class city like Seattle? Can you imagine how much worse the 1999 WTO police repression would have been or what she would do with officers punching teenaged girls in the face or kicking and stomping an innocent immigrant?

Gigs up, Lil’ Annie…

(Come to think of it, maybe the gig is not up after all. As I understand it, former Spokane Police Internal Affairs official Jim Faddis is looking for a spoons player for his jugband, the Prairie Flyers. Some will recall that Faddis and the notorious officer Dan Torok used pseudonyms while blogging at Frank Sennett’s Spokesman-Review Hard 7 blog in the summer of 2007. Faddis, under the pseudonym of Kevin, along with Torok and others SPD plants defended the SPD at the height of public outrage over the Firehouse Sex Scandal, the 4th of July “near police riot”, the arrests of protestors Dan Treecraft and Rebecca Lamb, and the killings of Otto Zehm, Jerome Alford and Eagle Michael, as well as the non-fatal shootings of Shonto Pete and Sean Fitzpatrick, not to mention controversial incidents involving SPD officers John Elam, Jonothan Smith, David Freitag, and Jay Mehring. The killings of Otto Zehm and Jerome Alford involved Torok and Faddis’s department was involved in investigating most of the other incidents. The chief would no doubt be a fine addition to Faddis’s band. Come to think of it, if someone could teach Spokane county prosecutor Steve Tucker to play a washboard and city attorney Rocky Trepieddi to play the cowbell…

[See also Educating the Chief – It’s Spokane, not Spokaloo]

____________________________________________________________

[Excerpt below from The Seattle Times article Biographies of the 11 SPD chief candidates: Here are short biographies on the semifinalists for Seattle police chief

Anne Kirkpatrick

Chief of police, Spokane

Anne Kirkpatrick, 50, who previously served as police chief in Ellensburg and Federal Way before joining the Spokane department in 2006, has carved out a reputation as a no-nonsense chief and strong believer in community outreach. She announced her intention to seek the Seattle job in February when she told Spokane officials she had applied for the position.

The Spokesman-Review reported that Kirkpatrick applied last year to be San Francisco’s police chief but downplayed her action by saying that as a woman leading a large department she is often recruited. The job went to another candidate.

The Spokesman-Review reported that, while support for Kirkpatrick has been mixed on the police force, she enjoys broad support from city leaders, who credit her with making officers more accountable and improving ties to the community.

In April, union leaders representing the Spokane Police Department’s officers said a majority of the Spokane Police Guild’s 268 members voted no-confidence in the “office” of the police chief, but didn’t disclose the vote tally, The Spokesman-Review reported.

But the department’s lieutenants and captains gave her a vote of approval after learning of the union’s vote.

The following excerpt from a Spokesman-Review article at the time of Spokane’s search for a new chief reported on the Chief’s 5 “Cardinal Rules” which apparently after the hanky-panky of the Jason Uberagua case and the police lying in the Zehm case must have referred to the Memphis Redbirds, the minor league affilitate of the St. Louis Cardinals —

She landed at Green River Community College, teaching criminal justice for two years. Then a retiring Ellensburg police chief called and asked her if she’d apply for his job.

“God’s timing and God’s hand involved,” Kirkpatrick says of the surprise call. “And I’m glad, because I have to admit I wanted to go back.”

Soon, she was running a 30-member department. And that’s where she launched her five cardinal rules.

“They’re character-based,” she said of the rules. “People are going to make mistakes. But character-based mistakes are not tolerable.”

The rules: No harassing, bullying or discriminatory language, “including zero tolerance of male white-bashing.” No lying. No abuse of authority. No insubordination. And nothing that causes lack of trust in the department, such as sex on duty or failing to take a rape report.

One former officer and her attorney, however, contend Kirkpatrick applies those rules unevenly.

Former Federal Way officer Jessica Nelson was fired for what Kirkpatrick concluded was insubordination and lying about misuse of a department computer. Nelson maintains that it was a miscommunication – and that other officers were lightly disciplined for far worse offenses.

Nelson’s Portland attorney, Beth Allen, said that officers were suspended for a few days, “if that,” for allegedly sexually harassing other officers, discharging a firearm in the station and having a detainee escape from a police car.

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Posted in Educating the Chief, Ethics, FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Spokane LE Personalities, Spokane Police Guild, Spokane taser, Stop it. You're killin' me., Tasers, Yes ma'am Chief | 3 Comments »

Police try to coopt Environmentalist (Audio/Transcript — The Guadrian)

Posted by Arroyoribera on May 20, 2009

From Jim Camden’s May 25, 2007 report in the Spokesman-Review, as well as police actions against protesters at Alberto Gonzales’s June 27, 2007 visit to Spokane, and the Independence day (July 4) 2007 attack by JTTF directed law enforcement on protesting youth, we know that Spokane Police and other law enforcement units engage in espionage, infiltration, provocation, illegal withholding of evidence, and lying in their dealings with citizens in Spokane.

Direct action environmentalist Matilda “Tilly” Gifford recorded British police intelligence agents as they attempted to convince her to sell out her convictions, her comrades, her cause, and the planet.

This and remarkable information on the Guardian link listed at the end of this post are very informative and indicative of the critical state of “democracy” in fascist Europe and North America.

Listen to Tilly in her recorded conversation with two British intelligence police and read along with the transcripts.

Tape and transcript 1
‘We don’t discuss money, we don’t talk salaries’ Police try to recruit Matilda ‘Tilly’ Gifford, an environmental campaigner with the direct action group Plane Stupid, as an informant.

Tape and transcript 2
‘UK plc can afford more than 20 quid’

Tape and transcript 3

‘We work for the intelligence community section’


Surveillance
— The Guardian series on surveillance in the United Kingdom.

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Know Your Rights, Protest, Protest and Free Speech, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Surveillance Society | Leave a Comment »

InfraGard — The surveillance society, government/corporate integration, and paranoid FBI wannabees

Posted by Arroyoribera on February 20, 2008

[Note: This is an initial draft on InfraGard. Future drafts will be posted in its place with the date of posting.]

Perhaps you are just hearing about Infragard for the first time from sources such as Democracy Now with Amy Goodman (transcript / audio / video) or The FBI Deputizes Business at CommonDreams.org .

The many InfraGard website representing different states, regions of the country, and sectors of the economy are presented as if public disclosure were one of the organization’s virtues. Therefore it prominently lists its membership as “23,682 members, including FBI”.

However, without a background check and a password don’t expect to be anymore privy and have any more access to the warnings and information sharing between the US government (the FBI, FEMA, and Homeland Security, among many others) and this group of “special citizens” than you will have to the special access chatter about “pro-police” and “anti-police” businesses on the Spokane Police Guild website. Just how special these “special citizens” are, what access they have, and whether or not they have been given “shoot to kill” authority by the U.S. government, is not all entirely clear. Yet.

And all of this raises many other questions such as the connection between programs such as InfraGard and such programs such as state level “fusion centers. It is this entire matter of “private-public collaboration” in surveillance and the growing national security apparatus in the U.S. which is raised by Matthew Rothschild in his article and his interview with Amy Goodman. As he states in his interview with Goodman, “it is another piece of our bill of rights going down the tubes, another aspect of repression that the Bush Administration has built up…it is really frightening what is happening to our democracy here”. And it is another piece of in the increasing extra-constitutional privatization of U.S. military, intelligence, policing, and prisons.

The InfraGard website states in its most simplistic description of the organization:

InfraGard is an information sharing and analysis effort serving the interests and combining the knowledge base of a wide range of members. At its most basic level, InfraGard is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector. InfraGard is an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States. InfraGard Chapters are geographically linked with FBI Field Office territories.

So where to start? If we take the FBI’s word on it, we are talking about an average of about 473 InfraGard members per state. Of course territories — such as Puerto Rico — are no doubt included but let’s go with 23,682 members in 50 states.

A good example of a state InfraGard chapter is the Connecticut chapter, a registered 501(c)3 763 members representing 485 organizations.

So who are likely members in the state of Washington?

Obviously FBI personnel themselves, though not all are specifically assigned. In terms of FBI agents in the state of Washington, FBI guardian angel, U.S. senator Patty Murray recently stated that Washington state has only 133 FBI agents assigned here. She apparently bought the argument of police chiefs in the state (most of whom have intimate relationships with the FBI) as well as the tale by former FBI agent, now Safeway loss prevention officer, that:

…. grocery stores along the Interstate 5 corridor in Washington state have been targeted by organized thieves, many of whom are undocumented immigrants driving cars with California plates. Typically, the items stolen wind up in the Vancouver, Wash., and Portland areas, and they eventually are repackaged and reintroduced into the supply line.

The portrayal of Infragard as “a secret organization” is clearly correct. First of all, without a U.S. government security clearance, you will not be accepted for membership. The many InfraGard sub-organizations, whether they represent states, industries or regional membership, all provide limited access membership areas on the internet.

However, the fact that Infragard is secret does not mean that a half hour on the internet will not turn up a good bit of information about it. The CIA and the NSA are also secret organization and a lot is know about them. We just don’t know exactly which prisoners are being sodomized at Guantanamo or by precisely which branch of the U.S. government. Likewise we do not know the exact extent of Soviet-era spying on U.S. citizens by neighbors, coworkers, and employers by InfraGard and its member network.

Let’s start with the likely e-mail address for Spokane’s Infragard FBI agent — infragard.spokane@fbi.gov This comes from extrapolating from other Infragard FBI email’s such as that of the Atlanta office.

And who would be my guess of the primary Spokane InfraGard FBI contact? Andy Castor. And then there is Erin Klunder from the FBI’s Seattle office and listed in 2007 as “Infragard Coordinator” (whatever the hell that is) for Washington state’s Evergreen Chapter of InfraGard.

Wondering what the benefits of Infragard membership are or how to apply? It is all right here on the Infragard website at http://www.infragard.net/member.php?mn=2

Want to know who was elected Vice President of the Evergreen Chapter of Infragard in 2006? Pacific Northwest National Laboratory counterintelligence officer Greg Chartrand. (PNNL is located in Richland, Washington, and is no doubt a veritable spider’s nest of Infragard membership and domestic intelligence gathering activities.)

Chartrand Elected Vice President of InfraGard’s Evergreen Chapter in Washington State

Chartrand Elected Vice President of InfraGard’s Evergreen Chapter in Washington State

Greg Chartrand, a counterintelligence officer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has been elected Vice President of InfraGard’s Evergreen Chapter in Washington State. InfraGard is a partnership between the FBI and the private sector that was established to share information and intelligence regarding critical infrastructures. Chartrand specializes in information sciences and special technologies. He is the first PNNL employee to serve in the role of vice president of InfraGard’s Evergreen chapter. (announced 4/1/2006)

Now guess, who is the Infragard Evergreen Chapter President?

From the Washington state InfraGard website at http://www.infragard-wa.org/ here is a list of the 2007 Board of Directors of the Evergreen Chapter:

2007 Board of Directors
President:Todd Plesco
Vice President: Raymond Pompon
Coordinator: Erin Klunder, Infragard Coordinator, FBI Seattle

So who is Todd Plesco? Todd it turns out is not only Compliance Security Officer for King County Public Health, one of the largest health departments in the U.S, where access to medical records is part of his job, an access that is probably pretty useful to the FBI as part of Todd’s role as an Infragard secret agent man. Not always looking happy, Todd has a resume that probably is not too different from a lot of the techie’s involved in Infragard — military experience, lots of information security background, and training at Homeland Security’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glencoe, Georgia. From Todd’s personal blog (Todd Plesco’s Desert Storm Gallery), here is a trophy photo from his days in the U.S. Marine Corps during Gulf War 1. Todd describes the shot by writing, “Since the Middle East forbade alcohol, we found it a task to obtain one frosty cold beer. Here I am, having a celebratory beer on news that Pres Bush has determined “mission accomplished”. My guess it that it was not much of a task to find that cold one, in reality, was it Todd? Nor to find that medical record that the FBI asked you for on a King County resident of interest for their involvement in protesting phase two of the Bush families wars in Iraq and the Gulf.

InfraGard provides us a look at social networking in the age of the surveillance society and the recruitment of a domestic intelligence organization. Thus it is no surprise that Todd Plesco participates in every on line social networking circle imaginable from FaceBook to PeekYou to MeetUp to Friendster and in most all of them makes reference, even in Friendster, to his InfraGard affiliation.

Closer to home, who are two prominent Spokane participant in InfraGard? Nolan Garrett and Jeff Jones, co-founders of Intrinium Security in the Spokane Valley (see bios at crosstechmedia.com) As their company website shows, Garrett and Jones are InfraGard recruiters. From the Intrinium website, you can go directly to the InfraGard website and watch a video of FBI director Robert Mueller extolling the virtues of paranoia and domestic spying/surveillance (remember it was on Mueller’s incompetent watch that this country lost the Twin Towers.

The cachet of Infragard membership is such that some members use it as a tag added to their names when they sign blog entries.

And don’t worry, if you are looking for membership in this “club” and have the following documents, your application will be expedited:

InfraGard Qualified Substitutes for Records Check

The following United States Government-issued Security Clearances are Qualified Substitutes for the records check required for InfraGard Membership:

  1. Confidential
  2. Secret
  3. Top Secret

An InfraGard Applicant/Member may submit evidence of their possession of one of the above clearances to expedite the initial processing and periodic renewal of their InfraGard Membership.

Just remember to send your completed application to:

FBI Seattle
InfraGard Program Coordinator
Federal Office Building
1110 Third Ave
Seattle, Washington 98101-2904

And please remember: All applications should be typed and placed in a sealed envelope.

What sort of people are members of Infragard? Well, given that it started out in 1996 under the pretext of “guarding the infrastructure” of the cybernetic world, many members were and are computer techs, ITs, techie-types.

In the case of Mr. Chartrand, mentioned above for his role as Vice President of InfraGard’s Evergreen Chapter in Washington State, he is a counterintelligence officer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. This despite serious intel shortcomings at the labs.

Intel Shortcomings at Two Labs: IG. An inspector general inquiry at the Lawrence Livermore and Pacific Northwest national laboratories has found that while federal and contractor employees were generally in compliance with Energy Department policies and procedures for intelligence activities, only four of 29 intelligence and counterintelligence analysts at the labs interviewed could define a “U.S. person.” In a new report, the IG said it also found that the labs’ reviews to assess adherence to guidelines on retention of information on U.S. persons were incomplete and that none of the 29 analysts interviewed could correctly describe the process for reporting conduct that would violate a 1981 executive order aimed at ensuring the effectiveness of intelligence and counterintelligence activities. In conducting the review, the IG interviewed DOE and National Nuclear Security Administration officials at the Richland (Wash.) Operations and the Livermore (Calif.) Site offices, and contractor officials at LLNL and PNNL. To remedy the problems, the IG recommended that DOE and NNSA ensure employees receive training familiarizing them with the Executive Order and DOE Procedures for Intelligence Activities. The directors of the DOE and NNSA intelligence officers agreed with the recommendations, and told the IG in an Aug. 6 letter they would “will make a renewed effort to ensure” all pertinent employees “achieve the requisite familiarity” with the department’s procedures and the executive order. The report is available at http://www.ig.doe.gov.

http://regionaloutreach.pnl.gov/speakers-bureau/events_archive.aspx

The focus on technology infrastructure is evident in the many InfraGard meetings like this held by the MidTennessee chapter of Infragard — * (Oct. 19) InfraGard Middle Tennessee meeting, 11:30 a.m., speaker FBI liaison Victor Rodriguez on new FBI CyberCrime unit in Nashville, Cisco offices, 700 Executive Center. Details.

The InfoSecNews website provides an interesting running compendium of news articles.

http://www.infosecnews.org/hypermail/thread.html

And of course, as one would expect, a major government project to infiltrate civic society will produce many offspring. Take this for example, Agrigard.

What is Agrigard? According to the InfraGard website, The food and agriculture section of the program, dubbed AgriGard, is where farmers and other rural residents have a role to play. Food and agriculture was designated a special interest group because it’s physically impossible for local law enforcement or any government agency to secure every head of livestock, field and tanker truck across the nation.

Members of AgriGard use a secure Internet portal to provide the FBI “on-the-ground” information about their local communities that may be helpful in preventing terrorism and other crimes. They are able to access current information about local threats, advisories, alerts and warnings, many of which are not available to the public. Members also may share information with each other and the FBI through the secure portal, in addition to learning about ongoing research on critical infrastructure protection.

And as Infragard and its FBI bosses indicate repeatedly, “You may not be an FBI agent, but you can do your part to protect America by joining today.” They appeal to the “secret agent man” and Soviet bloc neighborhood informant in every American, for example stating,

The proliferation in recent years of popular television programs and movies featuring FBI agents might lead one to believe entry into that profession is open to virtually anyone with a yearning for adventure and a belief in the agency’s motto – “Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity.” The truth, however, is that rigorous academic, fitness and security standards preclude most Americans from ever becoming FBI agents. But farmers, ranchers and other rural residents do have a unique opportunity to help the FBI protect America’s food supply, through membership in local chapters of the FBI’s InfraGard program.

Infragard members now have their own website and “alliance” at http://www.infragardmembers.org/ and their own Infragard National Members Alliance Quarterly Newsletter, subscription to which is of course reserved for your neighbors, friends, coworkers and employers who have passed an FBI background check.

Or perhaps you want to become a Weapons of Mass Destruction First Responder . (As an example of the fact that anyone in our communities might be part of this secret FBI organized organization, the author of this first responer article is Freeman Mendell, Infragard National Members Alliance Board of Directors member and an Audit Manager for the Galveston County Auditor’s Office in Galveston County, Texas. The language used in the documents and websites of and related to Infragard is troubling to some and has been from the start, especially the use of the term “homeland”. From the 2007 National Strategy for Homeland Security comes this:

As we sustain the evolution underway in these areas, success in securing the Homeland
requires that we prioritize the continued transformation of our law enforcement and military
instruments of national power.

What type of weapons might the U.S. government arm members of Infragard with? One example from this network news video is this LED Incapacitator, a new weapon for which U.S. Homeland Security paid almost $1 million dollars. It is expected to be put in the hands of local and state police forces, the US Coast Guard, Secret Service, Border Patrol and U.S. Air Marshalls. The film footage in the video link had to be modified by KOVR CBS Channel 13 in Sacramento, California to prevent it from causing TV viewers to become dizzy. The video photo starts with protesters being attacked by police, suggesting that this is the type of scenario in which the weapon would be used.

So at what type of meeting might there be a prominent presence of InfraGard? The Secure World Expo for one. Without much more brains than the FBI team tracking Osama Bin Laden, one can conclude that all the sponsor organizations listed down the left side of that web page are deeply InfraGard involved. And they are only the tip of the iceberg. Of course the model is to integrate all government and corporate entities in this neo-fascist, national security state project.

Peter H. Gregory is an information security expert. On his blog “Securitas Operandi“, he has placed a logo for InfraGard on his blog and states that he is on the Board of Directors of the Evergreen Chapter (Washington State) of Infragard. He is also on the board of advisors and a frequent lecturer for the National Security Agency (NSA) certified University of Washington Certificate Program in Information Assurance & Cybersecurity (Press Release). In fact, Gregory’s list of his involvement in Advisory Boards and Memberships serves as a good starting point in exploring organizations in the Northwest, some of them U.S. domestic intelligence-related organizations such as the FBI Tip Line at NW Warn . For whatever reasons — to reassure the reader or himself — Gregory also posts the InfraGard Code of Ethics.

Here is just one example of the type of information one would find on the Infragard website —

If It Breaks, It Doesn’t Matter How
By Ira Winkler

Too many companies separate different security disciplines into different departments. This espionage case study, demonstrates that you need holistic protection to truly protect your information.

The Attack
An accomplice and I tested this organization’s susceptibility to social engineering. Getting started, we reconnoitered the main entrance to our client’s building and found that the reception/security desk, staffed by a single female receptionist, was in the middle of a very large lobby. The next day, we walked into the building during the morning rush pretending to be on cell phones. We stayed at least 15 feet from the woman at the security desk and simply ignored her as we walked by.

Once inside the facility, we found a conference room, setup shop and sat down to plan the rest of the day, deciding that a facility badge would be a great way to get things rolling. I picked up the phone, called the main information number and asked for the office that makes up the badges. I was forwarded to the reception/security desk and, pretending to be the CIO, told the person on the other end of the line that he wanted a couple of subcontractors to get badges. The person told me to “send them down to the main lobby.”

A uniformed guard greeted us in the lobby and took us back to a room where they made up the badges. The guard asked us what we were working on, and we mentioned computers, so he asked us if we needed access to the computer room. Of course I said, “That would help.”

Within minutes my accomplice and I both had badges with access to all office areas and the Computer Operations Center. An hour later, we went to the basement and used my badge to open up the main computer room door. Everyone was in one room of the facility. Through a window we saw what appeared to be the server room and used my badge to walk right in. There was one monitor turned on and it appeared to be a Windows Primary Domain Controller (PDC). We brought up the user administration tool, added a new user to the domain, and made the user a member of the administrators group, then quickly left.

With in two hours we had full control of and access to the entire corporate network, for all practical purposes. As part of this test, we also used the badges to perform some after-hours walkthroughs of the building focusing on the executive suites. In doing this, we found the key to the CEO’s office and were able to plant a mock bug in there. Can you imagine the ramifications of that?

The Outcome
Nobody outside the team knew what we did until they were told. After they were informed, the guard supervisor called me and wanted the name of the guard who issued the badges. I told him that the fact that he didn’t know who did it was a problem in and of itself and refused to disclose this information. If he wanted it, he would have to contact the CIO.

Clearly, this focuses on one attack vector of the espionage simulation. There were weaknesses in the organization’s computers, as well as their overall physical security, providing multiple ways to compromise the same information. The compromised information could have resulted in tremendous loss of intellectual property, and in some cases, placed the corporate executives at great risk. Since the company’s line of business involves critical infrastructure components, the information could enable successful terrorist attacks.

How this Could Have Been Prevented
This espionage simulation highlighted how physical and technical vulnerabilities combine to cause great damage, and security programs must be holistic in response. The security desk should have been closer to the entrance, and there should have been a formal process for issuing badges. Access to special areas, like the computer room, should require approval from a known entity and once granted, a confirmation should have been sent to the approver. The password feature of the screensaver for the PDC should have been activated, the account should not have been logged on in the first place, and the addition of an administrator-level account should have been audited and alerted.


Ira Winkler CISSP, CISM is well known for his social engineering skills. More of his case studies appear in his books, Corporate Espionage and Spies Among Us.

 

Posted in Corruption, FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, InfraGard, Know Your Rights, Surveillance Society, Unanswered Questions | 1 Comment »

Up 40% year-to-date

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 20, 2008

Usage statistics for this blog show readership up 40% year-to-date. On-line just 6 months, SpokanePoliceAbuses will go over 20,000 hits in the next couple days and reached a single week high with a day remaining in the week.

Whether it is satellite imagery of the CIA’s SERE Torture Training facility outside Spokane, video of police brutality and arbitrary exercise of repressive powers by the Spokane Police Department, or links to SPD officers such as bodybuilding undercover SPD cop Mel Tramell or recently fired SPD cop and deputized federal drug task force member Jason Uberuaga (alleged rapist), you will find information on it here.

Want to see pictures of weaponry in the militarized arsenal of the Spokane area law enforcement? You will find it here.

Concerned about Spokane Police officers blogging under pseudonyms and phony names on Spokesman-Review blogs? Get the story and analysis at SpokanePoliceAbuses.

Not aware that Spokane was the site of mass civil action and brutal repression against the likes of Elizabeth Gurley-Flynn in 1909?

Did not know that martial law was declared in Spokane by the federal government in 1917? Click here.

Concerned about possible ethical issues involving Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick? Read more.

Information on those matters and more can be found here at SpokanePoliceAbuses.wordpress.com

Want to know more about Spokane area law enforcement “personalities of note” such as Ron “Rocketsbrain” Wright, Mark Fuhrman, Alan Chertok, and Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak?

Looking for statistics, reports and information for your own investigations and efforts to bring to Spokane Police Department under civilian oversight?

Concerned about the unresolved homicide-by-cops of Otto Zehm?

Disturbed by the involvement of FBI agent Jason Oakley in the spying on and infiltrating of local activist organizations? See also FBI Watchlist — Spokane Edition.

There are also numerous videos, some related to the Spokane Police Department such as “You Honkey, We Drinkey — or Officer Brownlee’s Excellent Adventures” and those related to the Police Riot against Youth in Riverfront Park on 7/4/07.

However, there are many other videos. Want to see the infamous UCLA tasering video, or the tasering of the University of Florida student who attempted to address Sen. John Kerry, or the Polish man tasered and killed in the Vancouver International Airport?

These videos are evidence of the danger of misuse of tasers by poorly trained, unskilled, and out-of-control police officers. They are also evidence of the lie of freedom and democracy in North American which rapidly being disclosed to the people of the world by citizen journalists armed with cameras, cell phones, and recording devices.

David Brookbank — owner, administrator and author of the SpokanePoliceAbuses blog — believes that there is an intimate and demonstrable connection between abuses of police power in Spokane, Washington, and the unrelenting imperialist brutalization of the globe by the government of the United States. As a result, this blog also hosts a number of articles, commentaries, photographs, links, and videos related directly to fascism, imperialism, Iraq, Vietnam, Nixon, Bush, anti-war protest, U.S. government spying and lying, and numerous other subjects.

Thus one will find here music videos, some with commentary, such as Call it Democracy, Welcome to 1984, Ohio, and La Coartada.

A favorite video of mine is “What it’s like” by Everlast, presented in the context of a Spokane Police Officer’s statement to a community health worker: “I have a job to do. I have to get these shit bags out of the park”.

There are documentary clips such as Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, U.S. government waterboarding training videos, and Ward Churchill on Perpetual War: State Sponsored Terrorism.

Please visit this site frequently. Send the link to those you know looking to bring accountability to the Spokane Police Department and those abusing power around the world.

And finally, please send your suggestions, leads, and comments to me at spokanepoliceabuses@gmail.com

Posted in All-white SPD?, Educating the Chief, FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Jason Oakley and the FBI, License to Kill, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Spokane LE Personalities, Statistics, Unanswered Questions, Videos, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Here Come’s The Thought Police — Baltimore Sun

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 20, 2007

baltimoresun.com

The Center for Constitutional Rights

Democracy NOW interview on Thought Police legislation (or watch Video Format)

———————————-

Here come the thought police

By Ralph E. Shaffer and R. William Robinson

November 19, 2007

 

With overwhelming bipartisan support, Rep. Jane Harman’s “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” passed the House 404-6 late last month and now rests in Sen. Joe Lieberman’s Homeland Security Committee. Swift Senate passage appears certain.

Not since the “Patriot Act” of 2001 has any bill so threatened our constitutionally guaranteed rights.

The historian Henry Steele Commager, denouncing President John Adams’ suppression of free speech in the 1790s, argued that the Bill of Rights was not written to protect government from dissenters but to provide a legal means for citizens to oppose a government they didn’t trust. Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence not only proclaimed the right to dissent but declared it a people’s duty, under certain conditions, to alter or abolish their government.

In that vein, diverse groups vigorously oppose Ms. Harman’s effort to stifle dissent. Unfortunately, the mainstream press and leading presidential candidates remain silent.

Ms. Harman, a California Democrat, thinks it likely that the United States will face a native brand of terrorism in the immediate future and offers a plan to deal with ideologically based violence.

But her plan is a greater danger to us than the threats she fears. Her bill tramples constitutional rights by creating a commission with sweeping investigative power and a mandate to propose laws prohibiting whatever the commission labels “homegrown terrorism.”

The proposed commission is a menace through its power to hold hearings, take testimony and administer oaths, an authority granted to even individual members of the commission – little Joe McCarthys – who will tour the country to hold their own private hearings. An aura of authority will automatically accompany this congressionally authorized mandate to expose native terrorism.

Ms. Harman’s proposal includes an absurd attack on the Internet, criticizing it for providing Americans with “access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda,” and legalizes an insidious infiltration of targeted organizations. The misnamed “Center of Excellence,” which would function after the commission is disbanded in 18 months, gives the semblance of intellectual research to what is otherwise the suppression of dissent.

While its purpose is to prevent terrorism, the bill doesn’t criminalize any specific conduct or contain penalties. But the commission’s findings will be cited by those who see a terrorist under every bed and who will demand enactment of criminal penalties that further restrict free speech and other civil liberties. Action contrary to the commission’s findings will be interpreted as a sign of treason at worst or a lack of patriotism at the least.

While Ms. Harman denies that her proposal creates “thought police,” it defines “homegrown terrorism” as “planned” or “threatened” use of force to coerce the government or the people in the promotion of “political or social objectives.” That means that no force need actually have occurred as long as the government charges that the individual or group thought about doing it.

Any social or economic reform is fair game. Have a march of 100 or 100,000 people to demand a reform – amnesty for illegal immigrants or overturning Roe v. Wade – and someone can perceive that to be a use of force to intimidate the people, courts or government.

The bill defines “violent radicalization” as promoting an “extremist belief system.” But American governments, state and national, have a long history of interpreting radical “belief systems” as inevitably leading to violence to facilitate change.

Examples of the resulting crackdowns on such protests include the conviction and execution of anarchists tied to Chicago’s 1886 Haymarket Riot. Hearings conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee for several decades during the Cold War and the solo hearings by a member of that committee’s Senate counterpart, Joseph McCarthy, demonstrate the dangers inherent in Ms. Harman’s legislation.

Ms. Harman denies that her bill is a threat to the First Amendment. It clearly states that no measure to prevent homegrown terrorism should violate “constitutional rights, civil rights or civil liberties.”

But the present administration has demonstrated, in its response to criticism regarding torture, that it can’t be trusted to honor those rights.

——————————————

Posted in Censorship, FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Know Your Rights, Protest, Protest and Free Speech, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

FBI — Fabricating Bogus Information — False Ballistic Information

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 20, 2007

(quote) Hundreds of defendants sitting in prisons nationwide have been convicted with the help of an FBI forensic tool that was discarded more than two years ago. But the FBI lab has yet to take steps to alert the affected defendants or courts, even as the window for appealing convictions is closing, a joint investigation by The Washington Post and “60 Minutes” has found. (end quote)This is the breaking news from the Washington Post and 60 Minutes. The same FBI which — through its incompetence and arrogance — brought you the 911 disaster now brings you another in a series of on-going scandals and failures.

Based on faulty science, years of FBI and DOJ stonewalling, and arrogant disregard for standards of justice, the FBI has certified decades worth of ‘forensic’ testing on bullets, the results of which now prove to be worthless. And while hundreds sit in jail or awaiting prosecution on the basis of FBI “Fabricated Bogus Information”, the FBI sanctimoniously goes about their shoddy work from Spokane, Washington to Washington, DC, and from Guantanamo, Cuba to Mahmudiya, Iraq.

Silent Injustice: A Joint Project of the Washington Post and 60 Minutes

So now to list of discredited short cuts to the truth like reading palm leaves and lie detecter tests and waterboarding, add FBI forensic analysis of lead content of bullets.

FBI Failures

TRAC FBI

DOJ Inspector General Report (5/2007) on uncoordinated FBI efforts with Spokane area law enforcement

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Know Your Rights, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Spokane Crime Statistics, Reports, and Concerns

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 15, 2007

NEW ITEMS:

Legal Resources — A new category below providing an extensive list of links on Freedom of Information and Open Meeting Law; Communication, Media, and Publication Law; and Legal Research

Police Attitudes towards Abuse of Authority — National Institute of Justice — (posted 12/19/07)

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin — Archive 1996 – present

Spokane City/County Proposed Spending Plan/2007 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) — “In the Event of Riots, Civil Disturbances and other L.E. Needs” — (posted 11/30/07)

Conducting Surveillance Operations — May 2004 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (posted 11/30/07)

Police Assault on Protesters — 4th of July 2007 in Spokane’s Riverfront Park — Officer Jay E. Kernkamp’s report (posted 11/27/07)

Electronic Control Weapons: Review & Recommendations (posted 11/27/07)

Filming in Spokane (posted 11/26/07) — provides guidance to film companies on movie making in Spokane. Page 10-12 are information on hiring “extra-duty” SPD officers. Information confuses “off-duty” and “extra-duty”.

Spokane Police Department Radio Signal Codes (posted 11/25/07)

Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States — Human Rights Watch 1998 Report on Brutality in  Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis,  New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia,  Portland, Providence,  San Francisco, and Washington D.C. (posted 01/11/08)

*************************

The manipulation of facts by law enforcement officials results in misappropriation of public funds and the targeting of innocent people, particular racial minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged populations.

Let’s start with a couple examples of why the citizens of Spokane would do well to spend some time becoming familiar with statistics on crime in the Spokane area:

1) Lies, Damn Lies, and…SPD Corporal Lee and statistics differ on Crime in Spokane –In a KXLY 4 report entitled “Spokane Bucking National Trends”, Spokane Police Corporal Lee states on behalf of the Spokane Police Department that “we believe crime is up”. Yet the statistics say crime in Spokane is down, and down very significantly in 4 out of seven categories with no change in two others.

2) Facts Fabricated by Local and Federal Law enforcement regarding alleged Gang Bust — “I guess he may have taken some liberties with how those numbers were represented,” said Steve Lowhurst, Spokane special agent in charge for the ATF. (source: Spokesman-Review)

*Reports on Police Abuses

Police Attitudes towards Abuse of Authority — National Institute of Justice

Punishing Protest: Government Tactics That Suppress Freedom — National Lawyers Guild 2007 Report

Fighting Police Abuse: A Community Action Manual — American Civil Liberties Union 1997 Report

Faces of Surveillance: Targets of Illegal Spying — FBI/JTTF Spying on Peace Groups — ACLU FOIA Info

Conducting Surveillance Operations — May 2004 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Spying on the Home Front (Video) — PBS FRONTLINE Report

Government Spying on US Citizens — ACLU

Silent Injustice: A Joint Project of the Washington Post and 60 Minutes — FBI withholds info on faulty ballistics testing

Information about the FBI — Your source for comprehensive, independent and nonpartisan information about the FBI

Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States — Human Rights Watch 1998 Report on Brutality in  Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis,  New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia,  Portland, Providence,  San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

* Weaponry

Spokane Police Weapon of Choice — Glock 40

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office — Pistols, Submachine Guns and Battle Rifles

Battle Ready — The SPD’s Military Arsenal

Training Spokane Law Enforcement in Intel, Military Weapons, Crowd Control and more

“In the Event of Riots, Civil Disturbances and other L.E. Needs”

SPD’s Suicide Prevention Weapon — (Click on Virtual Tour)

* Statistics

Spokane Statistics and Demographics

Washington State Crime Statistics — Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (1995-2007)

Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR)

City rating Crime Stats

City Crime Stats

Partners in Crime Prevention (PICP)

Spokane Public Library — Demographics

Hate Crime Incidents — Spokane 2005

Community Colleges of Spokane — Crime Stats and Information

Gonzaga University — Campus Crime Statistics

——-GU — Frequently asked questions about Spokane crime

——-GU — More Campus Crime Statistics (Federal Clery Act Stats)

*COPS — Spokane Community Oriented Policing Services

——-Neighborhood Observation Patrols (NOPS)

——-Calls for Service in Spokane City

——-Spokane Crime Map

——-Spokane Police Department Radio Signal Codes (11/25/07)

*Media Reports

Police Overtime — Seattle PI

New crime hotline not ringing true

Crime Stats in State have mixed pattern — Seattle PI

Spokane Crime Rate Soaring

Padding gang seminar stats

*Academic Studies and Reports

*Resources

Freedom of Information and Open Public Meeting Laws

Communications, Media & Publishing

Legal Research

*Spokane Police Department Generated Reports

SPD Neighborhood Policing Plan

Police Department Details Neighborhood Policing Plan (11/21/07)

*Publications

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin — Archive 1996 – present

*Lies, damn lies and…

Experts say ‘ most dangerous city’ rankings twist numbers

*Tasers

Man dies after police jolt him with stun gun — Fredrick, Maryland 11/18/07

Electronic Control Weapons: Review & Recommendations — Georgia Association of Police Chiefs (2005)

*Other

Filming in Spokane (posted 11/26/07) — provides guidance to film companies on movie making in Spokane. Page 10-12 are information on hiring “extra-duty” SPD officers. Information confuses “off-duty” and “extra-duty”.

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Gangs?, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Statistics, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Report: FBI’s troubled relationship with Spokane area law enforcement

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 28, 2007

Upon reading the entire May 2007 report from the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice, one gets a much clearer sense of why Spokane’s inter-agency coordination efforts have gone astray more than once in recent months.

Perhaps this even helps to explain why we continue to await the FBI’s report on Otto Zehm.

In fact, I am guessing it explains the statements by FBI boys to me as far back as summer 2004 regarding their low morale and feelings that they had been unable to get anything right for some time.

In fact, now we know why — despite their best efforts to pull their heads out and to win one for the gipper with their phony gang bust in late September 2007 — the boys from the multi-agency Spokane Gang Enforcement Team (GET) ended up shooting themselves in the foot and winning the 2007 boner award by announcing bogus arrest and weapons confiscation data.

Check this out from page 19 and then from the appendix to the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General’s May 2007 Evaluation and Inspections Report I-2007-004 entitled “Coordination of Investigations by Department of Justice Violent Crime Task Forces“:

(quote)

In Spokane, the FBI planned to create an FBI Violent Gang Safe Streets Task Force and contacted local law enforcement officers in the fall of 2005. The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington told the OIG that, as the result of the FBI’s attempt to form a new antigang task force in Spokane, he received many calls from multiple law enforcement sources expressing concerns. Because local law enforcement personnel and resources were limited, the U.S. Attorney told us that he did not want “proven and successful task forces to be robbed of their officers.” An Assistant U.S. Attorney stated that he informed FBI task force officials that they had to coordinate the creation of the new task force and their request for local personnel with the other components and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in accordance with the Deputy Attorney General’s August 2005 memorandum. According to the Assistant U.S. Attorney, FBI task force managers stated that they were not aware of the memorandum. The U.S. Attorney therefore spoke with the components’ Special Agents in Charge and explained that if they were going to create new task forces, they had to be coordinated. Ultimately, the FBI decided not to create a Safe Streets Task Force in Spokane. (from p. 19)

Coordinated Anti-Gang Task Force Efforts in Spokane and Tulsa–Summary of the EOUSA Response. EOUSA stated that notwithstanding the FBI’s initially uncoordinated efforts in Spokane and coordination problems in Tulsa, the U.S. Attorneys in both cities believe that coordination has significantly improved.

OIG Analysis. We accept, but have not independently verified, EOUSA’s report of recent cooperation by the FBI in a local anti-gang task force in Spokane and the resolution of coordination problems in Tulsa. Notwithstanding any recent improvements, during the time period examined in this review we found coordination issues in both cities, and we reported on these issues and made recommendations for improvement. (from appendix)

(end quote)

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Gangs?, History of SPD Abuses, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Ron Wright — Spokane Area Law Enforcement Personalities of Note #1

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 24, 2007

It was recently while blogging over at the Spokesman-Review and at Frank Sennett’s “Hard 7” that I decided I should start this blog category — Spokane Area Law Enforcement Personalities of Note here at SpokanePoliceAbuses.

It began with my realization that several individuals blogging at the S-R and Hard 7 were actually Spokane Police Officers.

“Dan” is Detective Sergeant Dan Torok of Otto Zehm and Jerome Alford infamy.

“Jim” is Sgt. Jim Faddis, who also blogs — for unknown reasons — under the pseudonym of “Kevin”.  (Officer Faddis, blogging as “Kevin” and pretending to be a civilian, engaged in this extensive defense of his police department’s conduct in the July 4, 2007 police attack on protesters.   http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/opinion/archive/?postID=1490 )

“JR” is Officer JR Russell.

One suspects from the tone and content of the blog posts of several other writers that they are law enforcement or connected to law enforcement.

At Hard 7 and the S-R blogs I began to notice the writings of a fellow who called himself Rocketsbrain” aka “RTB”.

Rocketsbrain had much to say about Spokane’s alleged serious gang problem and specific elements of that alleged problem such as graffiti. He even began to offer his own sort mini blog course on graffiti and gangs.

Intrigued, I began reading through previous responses by him at a number of Spokesman-Review blogs and many other websites around the internet.

No problem. Many of us are out there — according to the experts — ruining our chances of ever finding a decent wife or of landing that $500,000 corporate job as a result of our compulsive plastering of cyberspace with the indelible electronic ink of our inane and insane postings on the internet.

However I began to notice definite tendencies and trends and themes in Rocketsbrain’s writing. Given where he was coming down on issues and some of the claims he was making, I grew increasingly uncomfortable with his anonymity.

For example, he repeatedly claims — not only in his Spokane blogging but all over the internet — to have access to people who share information with him, information which he subsequently discloses to readers and distributes across the web.

On the wider internet, much of the information he traffics in deals with his disdain of the mainstream media or “MSM” as he calls it.

However, his biggest source of interest and claimed expertise on the wider net is regarding “GWOT”, i.e., the Global War on Terrorism. He tends to run in circles where there is no need to even explain lingo like MSM and GWOT because these are military/law enforcement-oriented inner circles.

I came across a resume that Rocketsbrain had posted on one of the S-R blogs for the benefit of S-R editor Steve Smith. Interestingly, the resume did not include Rocketsbrain’s name. Neither did his website which one could reach easily because he always signed his posts with a hyperlink to his website.

The resume made it very clear that Rocketsbrain was a former law enforcement man from Southern California. I was interested to see that as he had made several unsubstantiated claims under the pseudonym of Rocketsbrain. For example, in the midst of controversy over alleged gangs in Spokane and much hysteria over graffiti, he stated that he was the “gang czar” in a city at some point in the past. The resume did not include that little fact and Rocketsbrain never responded to my request to him in one blog exchange to let us know when and where he had held that title/position of “gang czar”. To date, no response.

I then came across an exchange in which, out of the blue and out of all context, Rocketsbrain asked another peculiar fellow, pseudonym “ValleyWatch”, to contact him at an e-mail address so that he could discuss his belief that the Spokane Valley was “the new Chinatown”.

It did not take more than a few minutes to figure out that Rocketsbrain — in addition to his extensive law enforcement history — is in fact a director on the board of the right-wing 501(C)3 organization known as Homeland Security Policy Institute Group (HSPIG). Besides being the the forum’s moderator at the HSPIG website, Rocketsbrain is also a member of the HSPIG Security Council.

One of Rocketsbrain’s areas of focus at HSPIG is “threats” and in that capacity he is very involved in and a frequent internet planter, nurturer and transporter of information and disinformation on Iran. Some of that information is very incendiary to say the least. For example, see this post by Rocketsbrain at whizbangblog.com

Burn baby burn!!!

And btw throw a couple of grenades in the last functioning Iranian gas refinery and block any new gas shipments by sea.

Here’s something you can do to individually tank the Regime without waiting for the fed gov’t to act. Support the Iranian Divestiture Project.

RBT

9. Posted by rocketsbrain | June 27, 2007 4:11 PM

Rocketsbrain is also a member of HTCIA, the International High Technology Crime Investigation Agency.

Rocketsbrain tends to post at places like “Lonewacko“, “BlackFive“, and “The Command Post“.

Aat Media Mythbusters Blog, Ron Wright’s website, Rocket’s Brain Trust, is listed as a “contributing site”. Except that he assiduously avoids using his real name, he probably would be listed as a Contributor. Of course, his gig at Media Mythbusters is his Cowles Family obsession.

And given that the HSPIG website includes an Illegal Alien Tip Area , it is not surprising that a number of his posts deal with immigration. Nor is it surprising that he invited “Valleywatch” to contact him privately about the Spokane Valley being, in his words, “the new Chinatown”.

My interest in this is more than just perverse paranoia.

Spokane is a notorious right-wing backwater. One of the whitest cities per capita its size or larger in the United States. A racist bastion. Site of two of the seventeen acts of domestic terrorism committed in the U.S. between 1990 to 1996.

So who is Rocketsbrain aka RTB? Ron Wright. It would appear that he has attempted to keep the two names, Rocketsbrain and Ron Wright separate with pretty good success. But alas….

We have some other interesting law enforcement folks who live here, have moved here or have moved on.

— Mark Fuhrman of LAPD and OJ Simpson fame, now a conservative Spokane radio personality.

— Rocketsbrain aka RTB aka Ron Wright of HSPIG and HTCIA.

— Former SPD Chief Terry Mangan, now of the FBI.

— SPD Officer Bob Grandinetti of the infamous Freight Train Riders Association investigations.

— Captain Richard Olberding who once stated in the midst of the South Hill Rapist investigation that women ought to “just lay back and enjoy it”.

Check back soon as we learn a little about some of lesser known aspects of Spokane law enforcement personalities.

Given the propaganda coming at the public from the official and unofficial law enforcement communities, I believe it is critical to understand that not everyone who pretends to be no one is no one. The anonymity of the web is a useful foil for disinformation and dirty tricks.

And with local groups being infiltrated by the FBI and other law enforcement organizations, it is important that we are vigilant.

While I know that Officer Dan Torok is sworn to protect us, each and everyone, a little vigilance in the old fashion sense is also warranted.

************************

(Disclosure: Following the 2004 presidential elections and the fateful decision of Democrats to follow a ruling class, white, multi-millionaire (John Kerry) down the garden path to nowhere, I was disclosed to be a “doppleganger” at the SpokaneProgressives yahoo group. I was tried and found guilty by a jury of my peers — Frank Malone, Bart Haggin and Rod Stackleberg — and was subsequently banned from the site.)

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest, Spokane LE Personalities, Terrorism in Spokane, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Quarantining Dissent — Fascism on our Doorsteps

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 3, 2007

On January 4, 2004, James Bovard of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an article entitled, “Quarantining Dissent” regarding FBI surveillance and harassment of anti-war activists. Bovard refers to a U.S. Senate report which concludes that FBI harassment of citizens is carried out due to the FBI’s “belief that dissident speech and association should be prevented because they were incipient steps toward the possible ultimate commission of acts which might be criminal”. In an internal newsletter the FBI urged agents to harass citizens to provoke paranoia.

Spokane activists continue to demonstrate their intent and capacity to dog the Bush administration — and its war — until its dying day. Barring impeachment, Bush’s last day will be 01/20/2009 — the day the new U.S. president will be sworn in.

In the face of such tenacious opposition to the criminal, militarist Bush regime, the FBI and the Spokane Police Department have resorted to an assortment of tactics including 1) harassment of young Spokane activists by FBI agents, including FBI terrorism agent Jason Oakley, 2) the use of “designated protest zones” by the Spokane Police, including undercover Spokane Police officer Tramell “Mel” Taylor, and 3) the feeding of false information to sew distrust among activist groups.

Such acts are a clear sign of desperation by a federal law enforcement establishment marked by its own leadership incompetence and tarnished by internal spy scandals. The once vaunted FBI failed to detect the 9/11 conspiracy and watched impotently as the World Trade Towers tumbled to the ground. One supposes that they must now be awarding notches on their sunglasses to those agents who manage to harass a citizen activist.

The close collaboration of the Spokane Police Department with the FBI is not at all surprising. Among the links between the two agencies are former SPD Chief Terry Mangan who left the SPD for the FBI and a high ranking SPD official, Major Gil Moberly, is a former FBI agent. In addition, current Spokane Police Chief Ann Kirkpatrick has been a frequent lecturer at the FBI Academy.

Quarantining Dissent — How the Secret Service protects Bush from free speech

by James Bovard, San Francisco Chronicle (Jan. 4, 2004)

(Excerpt) On May 30, 2002, then U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft effectively abolished restrictions on FBI surveillance of Americans’ everyday lives first imposed in 1976. One FBI internal newsletter encouraged FBI agents to conduct more interviews with antiwar activists “for plenty of reasons, chief of which it will enhance the paranoia endemic in such circles and will further service to get the point across that there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox.” The FBI took a shotgun approach toward protesters partly because of the FBI’s “belief that dissident speech and association should be prevented because they were incipient steps toward the possible ultimate commission of act which might be criminal,” according to a Senate report.

On Nov. 23, 2003 news broke that the FBI is actively conducting surveillance of antiwar demonstrators, supposedly to “blunt potential violence by extremist elements,” according to a Reuters interview with a federal law enforcement official.

Given the FBI’s expansive definition of “potential violence” in the past, this is a net that could catch almost any group or individual who falls into official disfavor. (End excerpt)

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Mitchell and Jessen, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

FBI Watchlist — Spokane Edition (Updated)

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 3, 2007

(Updated 09/03/2007 from original 08/02/2007 post)

Andy Castor — FBI supervisory agent in the Spokane office of the FBI. Castor previously worked as special assistant to the FBI chief information officer. Prior to that he was the assistant special agent in charge at the FBI’s San Antonio office. Castor was involved in the FBI’s investigative confusion about the Benites Saimon Sichiro murder-by-jail-guard case and the Otto Zehm murder-by-police case, both in early 2006. According to Castor, “In this particular case, we did not ask ourselves enough questions to make sure we were talking about the same inquiry…I hope we don’t make too many more errors like this.” (from Spokesman-Review — 4/7/06)

Castor was also involved in similar FBI confusion regarding the FBI’s involvement in the May 4, 2004 assault on anti-war protesters David Brookbank and Al Mangan. In that matter, the FBI’s Seattle office reported to U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell’s office that Mr. Brookbank “was assaulted after he assaulted the passing driver”. The Spokane Police Department’s investigative report and 911 tapes of witness statements contradict this characterization. While repeatedly denying that it carried out an investigation of the matter, James H. Burrus, Acting Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division in Washington, DC, wrote on 2/17/06 to tell Sen. Cantwell that the Spokane Residency Agency of the FBI’s Seattle Office “conducted a thorough review of this matter and forwarded the results to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Despite requests under Freedom of Information Act for information on this matter, neither Cantwell’s office nor Mr. Brookbank has been provided with any information. Spokane Police positively identified the driver of the jeep involved in the assault on Brookbank and Mangan as Justin Clare. No charges were filed in the case and Spokane Police detective Crystal Jolley closed the case prior to speaking with two primary witnesses.

____________________________________

Frank Harrill — FBI special agent in Spokane who specializes in computer crimes.

____________________________________

Egon “Dez” Dezihan — Head of the Spokane FBI office. According to his staff, he spent several months in the Middle East in mid-2004, perhaps in regard to Abu Ghraib activities. He is the author of “Color of Law Matters”, an unpublished FBI document, as well as the co-author of “Oleoresin Capsicum: A Natural Alternative”, a paper dealing with pepper spray (Oleoresin Capsicum: A Natural Alternative, Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County, November 1993).

Yakima Valley News
ZoomInfo
Spokesmanreview.com

_____________________________________________

Jason Oakley — self-described “terrorism” agent for FBI-Spokane. Oakley is involved in monitoring, tracking, and “harassing” local activists.

____________________________________

Joseph Cleary — FBI-Spokane/Joint Terrorism Task Force Special Agent. Served in Afghanistan at Bagram and Kandahar. (1)

___________________________________

Norman C. Brown — FBI’s Inland Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force supervisor.

http://www.kxly.com/news/?sect_rank=2&section_id=560&story_id=12248

____________________________________

Laura Laughlin, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Seattle FBI Office.

____________________________________

Fred Gutt — FBI special agent in the Seattle office of the FBI. Gutt has been involved in the case of FBI spying on peace organizations such as the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS).

___________________________________

Rich Kolko — FBI special agent in the FBI’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. In regard to FBI spying on peace groups, Kolko was quoted as saying, “We don’t investigate groups. We investigate criminal activity.” In regard to FBI record keeping, he stated, “We don’t purge records. If we write something down, we keep it.”

____________________________________

The Inland Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force investigates cases in Eastern Washington and northern Idaho, including domestic and international terrorism. The task force is made up of federal, state and local law enforcement, and is funded through the FBI’s budget. Domestic terrorists — as defined by the bureau — are U.S. residents who commit acts of terrorism on our own soil. Spokane was the site of 2 of the seventeen acts of domestic terrorism committed in the U.S. from 1990 to 1996.

____________________________________

FBI Informant Posed as Journalist in Spokane

The FBI in Peace and War

Police Surveillance — Intimidation and Suppression of Spokane dissidents

Quarantining dissent — Fascism on our doorsteps

Law enforcement tasers suicidal man who then jumps

Dept of Justice report — Continued problems between FBI and other police agencies in spokane

FBI fabricating bogus information false ballistic information

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, Jason Oakley and the FBI | Leave a Comment »

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 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

By SAUL LANDAU

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 »

FBI Watchlist — Spokane Edition

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 2, 2007

Egon “Dez” Dezihan — Head of the Spokane FBI office. According to his staff, he spent several months in the Middle East in mid-2004, perhaps in regard to Abu Ghraib activities. He is the author of “Color of Law Matters”, an unpublished FBI document, as well as the co-author of “Oleoresin Capsicum: A Natural Alternative” (Oleoresin Capsicum: A Natural Alternative, Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County, November 1993), a paper dealing with pepper spray.

Yakima Valley News
ZoomInfo
Spokesmanreview.com

_____________________________________________

Jason Oakley — self-described “terrorism” agent for FBI-Spokane. Oakley is involved in monitoring, tracking, and “harassing” local activists.

____________________________________

Joseph Cleary — FBI-Spokane/Joint Terrorism Task Force Special Agent. Served in Afghanistan at Bagram and Kahdahar. (1)

___________________________________

Norman C. Brown — FBI’s Inland Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force supervisor.

http://www.kxly.com/news/?sect_rank=2&section_id=560&story_id=12248

____________________________________

Laura Laughlin, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Seattle FBI Office.

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Fred Gutt — FBI special agent in the Seattle office of the FBI. Gutt has been involved in the case of FBI spying on peace organizations such as the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS).

___________________________________

Rich Kolko — FBI special agent in the FBI’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. In regard to FBI spying on peace groups, Kolko was quoted as saying, “We don’t investigate groups. We investigate criminal activity.” In regard to FBI record keeping, he stated, “We don’t purge records. If we write something down, we keep it.”

____________________________________

Andy Castor — FBI supervisory agent in the Spokane office of the FBI. Worked as special assistant to the FBI chief information officer. Prior to that he was the assistant special agent in charge at the FBI’s San Antonio office. Castor was involved in the FBI’s investigative confusion about the Benites Saimon Sichiro murder-by-jail-guard case and the Otto Zehm murder-by-police case, both in early 2006.   According to Castor, “In this particular case, we did not ask ourselves enough questions to make sure we were talking about the same inquiry…I hope we don’t make too many more errors like this.”  (from Spokesman-Review — 4/7/06)

Castor was also involved in similar FBI confusion regarding the FBI’s involvement in the May 4, 2004 assault on anti-war protester’s David Brookbank and Al Mangan. In that matter, the FBI’s Seattle office reported to U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell’s office that Mr. Brookbank “was assaulted after he assaulted the passing driver”.  The Spokane Police Department’s investigative report and 911 tapes of witness statements contradict this characterization.
____________________________________

Frank Harrill — FBI special agent in Spokane who specializes in computer crimes.

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The Inland Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force investigates cases in Eastern Washington and northern Idaho, including domestic and international terrorism. The task force is made up of federal, state and local law enforcement, and is funded through the FBI’s budget. Domestic terrorists — as defined by the bureau — are U.S. residents who commit acts of terrorism on our own soil.

____________________________________

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Color of Law Matters — Spokane FBI Chief Egon “Dez” Dezihan

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 2, 2007

(As it turns out, Spokane has in its midst a national expert on police misconduct, Spokane FBI office chief Egon “Dez” Dezihan, author of the unpublished FBI report “Color of Law Matters”. We invite Messr. Dezihan to actively join the public debate on Spokane’s out-of-control police department.)

Color of Law Investigations – Federal Investigation of Police Misconduct

by John R. Schafer

The vast majority of police officers perform their difficult jobs in a professional manner. However, exceptions do occur. In one instance, an on-duty sheriffs deputy approached a verbally abusive drug addict strapped to a gurney in an emergency room, drew his pistol, placed the barrel of the weapon into the addict’s mouth, and threatened to pull the trigger if he did not stop shouting. Police misconduct also encompasses less obvious wrongdoing, such as striking suspects more than necessary or threatening to harm them if they do not cooperate.

Even those officers cleared of wrongdoing often do not understand the color of law investigative protocol and feel unjustly targeted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) or the FBI, which have jurisdiction in these matters.[1] In order to better comprehend color of law investigations, officers should understand the role of the FBI and DOJ in color of law investigations, the legal guidelines for police misconduct, and the investigative protocol in these cases. More important, officers can take steps to prevent unnecessary color of law investigations.

BACKGROUND

In 1957, President Eisenhower mandated that DOJ prosecute civil rights violations, to include police misconduct, thus, allowing uniform application of civil rights law across the nation. [2] Approximately 74 percent of all civil rights investigations reported each year allege police misconduct. [3] Because state and federal authority for civil rights investigations comes from different statutes, double jeopardy usually does not apply. In fact, dual prosecution may occur because separate sovereigns (i.e., federal and state) may prosecute individuals. One well-known example of dual prosecution occurred when a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury acquitted the four police officers who beat Rodney King. After reviewing the jury’s verdict, DOJ elected to charge the officers in federal court with color of law violations.

Approximately 30 attorneys from the DOJ Civil Rights Division and 190 FBI special agents in 56 field offices investigate and prosecute civil rights matters. [4] The most common types of police misconduct include excessive force, sexual assault, intentional false arrest, falsifying evidence, extortion, and other related offenses. Of the nearly 10,000 color of law complaints received each year, DOJ prosecutes only about 30 police officers. [5] The remaining cases either lack prosecutive merit or do not require formal judicial proceedings to resolve. Additionally, these figures do not include police misconduct complaints adjudicated at the state or local level.

COLOR OF LAW STATUTES

The term color of law derives from the federal statute, Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 242, titled “Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law,” which primarily governs police misconduct investigations. This statute makes it a crime for any person acting under the color of law to willfully deprive any individual residing in the United States those rights protected by the Constitution and U.S. laws. Other related federal statutes include Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 241, “Conspiracy Against Rights”; Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1512, “Obstruction of Justice”; and Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1001, “False Statements.” Federal statutes generally restrict color of law investigations to official actions taken by police officers, federal agents, sheriffs deputies, correctional officers, and other public safety officials. However, off-duty officers who assert their official status also may face prosecution. In rare cases, the actions of security guards, private citizens, judges, defense attorneys, and prosecutors who willfully participate with federal, state, or local law enforcement officials in the commission of color of law violations fall within the purview of the federal statutes.

Punishment for color of law violations varies depending on the gravity of the offense. Penalties for minor infractions range from probation to 1-year imprisonment, a fine, or both. [6] Under aggravated circumstances, offenders risk the maximum sentence of imprisonment up to 10 years, a fine, or both. If loss of life occurs as a result of intentional police misconduct, the officer could face the death penalty. [7]

INVESTIGATIVE PROTOCOL

Color of law investigations comprise two categories–criminal wrongdoing and pattern-and-practice misconduct. Criminal wrongdoing focuses on individual misconduct, while pattern-and-practice misconduct leads to civil proceedings and examines systemic misconduct in law enforcement agencies. Police officers wontedly using traffic stops as a tool of intimidation to discourage minorities from entering town illustrates pattern-and-practice misconduct. To sustain this type of misconduct, the actions of officers in a department must prove pervasive. The Special Litigation Section of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division investigates most pattern-and-practice violations.

Criminal matters require proof beyond a reasonable doubt; however, civil proceedings need only establish the preponderance of the evidence–a lower standard of proof. [8] Punishment for criminal wrongdoing is imprisonment, a fine, or both. In civil proceedings, a judge orders the police department to correct any deficiencies in their administrative, training, or policy procedures.

DOJ or the FBI can initiate a color of law investigation based on credible media reports or a complaint from any person who does not have a history of providing false information. Any valid complaint triggers a color of law investigation; however, the extent of the investigation depends on the specific facts of the complaint. Two types of color of law investigations exist: a preliminary investigation and a substantial case investigation.

Preliminary Investigation

The preliminary investigation gleans sufficient information for DOJ attorneys to evaluate the incident with the least amount of disruption to the police officer’s daily routine. The investigative steps in the preliminary investigation include identifying and interviewing the victims; identifying and interviewing witnesses; conducting criminal checks for both subjects and complainants; photographing the injuries, if appropriate; and obtaining police reports and medical records or a coroner’s report in the event of a death. Additionally, the FBI notifies in writing the officer’s employing agency of the ongoing color of law preliminary investigation. Also, the preliminary report incorporates a list of individuals that DOJ will notify at the conclusion of the investigation. This list contains the name and address of the complainant, the subject or subjects of the investigation, and a supervising official at the employing law enforcement agency. After completing these steps, the FBI forwards the report to DOJ for review.

The FBI mandates that its agents complete preliminary color of law investigations within 21 days of receipt of the complaint; however, a DOJ decision may take months to finish because of the large number of reports submitted each year. This delay often leaves a police officer frustrated while awaiting the outcome of the DOJ review. The DOJ notification letter also discourages some officers because it states only that the facts of the case do not support federal prosecution. Due to the large volume of complaints, DOJ does not tailor the notification letters to each specific complaint. The generic wording in these letters may not specifically exonerate the officer, leaving the officer and the officer’s employer to wonder if the report lacked sufficient evidence to support a prosecution or if the officer acted properly. Neither the length of the DOJ response nor the vagueness of the notification letters indicates any level of guilt on the part of the officers involved. Regardless of the outcome of the federal i nvestigation, the employing agency still maintains the prerogative to discipline violators of administrative policies.

Substantial Case Investigation

If the facts cited in the preliminary report warrant additional investigation, DOJ initiates a substantial case. The investigative steps beyond the preliminary investigation include interviewing medical personnel and physicians, if appropriate; reviewing police logs and internal affairs reports; interviewing the subject or subjects of the investigation; photographing and diagramming the crime scene; and securing all relevant evidence and witness testimony. When the facts of the substantial case indicate that the subjects may have violated the civil rights of the victims, a federal grand jury convenes to formally investigate the incident.

The Grand Jury Process

A federal grand jury consists of between 18 and 24 citizens, who have the power to subpoena witnesses and examine all relevant evidence. The grand jury inquiry establishes victim and witness credibility, provides the subject an opportunity to testify, and determines probable cause. When the inquiry concludes, the grand jury hands down a true bill or a no bill. A true bill, also referred to as an indictment, means the grand jury determined that probable cause exists to believe that a crime occurred and that the subject of the inquiry committed the crime. After the grand jury indicts a subject, a trial in federal court follows. A no bill means the grand jurors found insufficient evidence to sustain a federal prosecution.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION

The public, activist groups, and internal affairs units routinely scrutinize the conduct of law enforcement officers. However, this scrutiny should not prevent police officers from effectively doing their jobs. Neither the subjects of a color of law preliminary investigation nor their employers should assume any wrongdoing on the part of the officers. A preliminary investigation simply means that a citizen filed a complaint; the investigation that follows determines the veracity of the allegation.

In many instances, offenders, upon arrest, allege police misconduct to divert attention from their own misdeeds. Typically, DOJ does not open an investigation but, rather, allows the local judicial system to examine the alleged misconduct in conjunction with the complainant’s pending charges. In the event the allegations are substantiated, DOJ will initiate a preliminary investigation.

PREVENTING COLOR OF LAW INVESTIGATIONS

Although police officers cannot prevent color of law complaints, they can take steps to ensure that their actions do not place them in jeopardy. Police officers carry batons, pepper spray, guns, and other tools to protect their lives and the lives of others. Officers should use these tools within the parameters of state and federal laws and their agency’s policies.

Most officers exercise good judgment in crisis situations, but they often do not adequately record their actions. In the event of a misconduct complaint, the reviewing officials rely almost exclusively on reports to make an initial judgment regarding justification for the use of force. In many cases, the lack of information in reports triggers substantial case investigations when, in fact, the officers did not violate any laws.

Complete and accurate reports reflect officers’ actions regardless of how officers or their colleagues judged those actions. Good intentions do not always yield good results. For example, a California state prison correctional officer struck an aggressive inmate several times in the head with a baton, causing severe injuries. The officer who struck the inmate, along with several other officers present during the attack, failed to accurately record the sequence of events. Additional investigation determined that some officers enhanced their reports, without the subject officer’s knowledge, attempting to help him explain his actions. To compound matters, this prison’s policy required that officers complete all reports before going home. Because this incident occurred at the end of the shift, the officers wrote incomplete and inaccurate reports in a rush to go home. The conflicting reports provided the impetus for a substantial case investigation, which, in the end, exonerated the officers. Nevertheless, the intense inquiry significantly disrupted the officers’ professional and personal lives.

In another example, three officers shot and killed a transient. A review of the incident reports could not determine if the officers’ actions were justified because two of the officers’ reports contained no more that 500 words, and one officer described the shooting in just 98 words. After a long and exhaustive grand jury investigation, the grand jurors found insufficient evidence for indictments. Again, incomplete report writing caused unnecessary stress in the officers’ lives.

Many officers write such words or phrases in reports as “lunged,” “menacing,” or “furtive move to the waistband.” Instead of using the word “lunged,” the officer should describe the actions of the offender. For example, “the offender, holding a 9-inch butcher knife in his outstretched right hand, took three rapid steps toward me.” Instead of using the word “menacing,” the officer should write, for example, “the offender squinted her eyes, clenched her teeth, and made deep growling sounds.” When officers fear for their lives, or the lives of others, they should narrate what specific actions led them to this state of mind. In addition to a description of the offenders’ actions, a notation of the officer’s state of mind provides a more complete picture as to why the officer responded with a measure of force. Such phrases as “furtive move to the waist band” or “shiny metal object” often lack credibility because of their overuse and, often, misuse.

A good report also addresses the legal elements as well as specific agency policies that authorize the use of force. Including these issues in the report helps the reviewing official determine whether the use of force was justified. Officers must know when to use force, how much force to use, and, most important, how to accurately record their actions in a report. Written reports often provide officers with the only opportunity to explain their actions outside the courtroom setting. A well-written report can prevent an otherwise-long-and-stressful color of law investigation.

Empirical evidence suggests that a high number of color of law investigations stem from pursuits. When pursuits terminate, police officers sometimes vent their excess energy on suspects. Devising techniques to dissipate excess energy in an appropriate manner often prevents the spontaneous use of excessive force. With one technique, partners agree to monitor each other’s behavior at the end of a pursuit, to include restraint, if necessary. Police administrators can devise other simple, yet effective, techniques to reduce the possibility of officer misconduct and subsequent color of law investigations. This could include something as simple as periodically reminding officers at role call to be mindful of color of law investigations.

CONCLUSION

Even police officers who conscientiously perform their duties should expect allegations of police misconduct at some point in their careers. However, officers can prevent most misconduct complaints if they conduct themselves in a professional manner and write detailed, accurate reports. A report not only records facts but also reflects the writer’s integrity.

Police oversight and color of law investigations constitute a part of today’s policing environment. Understanding the purpose and the mechanics of color of law investigations not only reassures police officers but also ensures that the public receives professional police services.

Special Agent Schafer serves in the Lancaster Resident Agency of the FBI’s Los Angeles, California, Field Office.

Endnotes

(1.) For a complete definition of color of law, see, 18 U.S.C. [ss] 242.

(2.) Alexis Agathocleous and Heather Ward, Prosecuting Police Misconduct (New York: Vera Institute of Justice, 1998), 1-2.

(3.) Egon Dezihan, et al., “Color of Law Matters,” (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, unpublished).

(4.) Louis J. Frech, “Ensuring Public Safety and National Security Under the Rule of Law – Report to the American People on the Work of the FBI 1993- 1998, (Washington, DC, 1999), 2; Egon Dezihan, et al., “Civil Rights Program, National Academy Manual,” (Quantico, VA: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation), 2.

(5.) Supra note 2.

(6.) 18 U.S.C. [ss] 242.

(7.) Ibid.

(8.) “Addressing Police Misconduct – Laws Enforced by the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division,” (Washington, DC), 3.

–COPYRIGHT 2000 Federal Bureau of Investigation–

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2194/is_8_69/ai_65241456/print

http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/02/02-60519-cr0.wpd.pdf

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FBI in Spokane — Informant posed as The Valley Herald journalist

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 29, 2007

Given the illegal conduct of the U.S. government in the global-war on “terrorism”, the lawlessness of the Bush Administration and the U.S. Justice Department under Attorney-General Alberto Gonzalez, and the current showdown between the Spokane Police Department and the citizens of Spokane, it is important for all of us to understand the role and nature of the FBI and its history in Spokane.

Spokane is a relatively isolated, back-water town. It is the largest city at this longitude between Seattle and Minneapolis-St.Paul. At the same time, for a variety of reasons, Spokane has experienced a number of nationally-significant events which present an interesting opportunity to study FBI activities. Among those reasons are 1) the history of domestic terrorism in Spokane (two of the 17 domestic terrorism incidents in the US between 1990 and 1996 occurred in Spokane); 2) the presence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Aryan Nations; 3) major serial killer cases (Kevin Coe and Robert Lee Gates); 4) the Ruby Ridge case; and, as we now know, 5) the central role of Spokane in the development of torture techniques for the U.S. war on Islam.

The example below — FBI use of an informant posing as a journalist — comes from that 1990-1996 period of white Christian supremicist/white Christian separatist terrorism.

Anyone involved in any form of activism in Spokane today should clearly understand and keep in mind that the FBI, the Spokane Police Department, and other law enforcement agencies have our activities under surveillance and have infiltrated our organizations with informants.

To believe and act differently is to demonstrate ignorance and lack of understanding of the nature of J. Edgar’s legacy.

 

Journalists complain to FBI over informant posing as reporter

09/23/96

WASHINGTON–A former publisher of a weekly Spokane newspaper and the Society of Professional Journalists complained to the FBI in early August for allowing an agency informant to pose as a reporter during the investigation of a case in late 1995.

According to articles in The (Spokane) Spokesman-Review, David Elton III posed as a reporter from The (Spokane) Valley Herald while he was interviewing James Marks, a local leader of a Gypsy community, for the FBI. Marks was being investigated by the FBI for intimidating witnesses that sided with the city of Spokane in a civil rights case concerning a 1986 police raid of Marks’ home. Elton tape recorded his conversations with Marks and gave them to the agency.

U.S. Attorney Jim Connelly confirmed the FBI used Elton in the Marks case, according to the Spokesman-Review. The FBI has not made an official statement as to whether the agency knew Elton was posing as a journalist. Roberta Burroughs, an FBI spokesperson, said the FBI refused to comment on the incident, but added, “We do not direct FBI informants or agents to act as the media.”

Under Attorney General guidelines established in 1992, FBI agents can be authorized to pose as journalists under limited circumstances and with prior approval from supervisors. Attorney General Janet Reno told the American Society of Newspaper Editors in early 1995 that she was considering a request to create guidelines barring FBI and other federal agents from posing as journalists, according to an Editor & Publisher article. However, no action has been taken since then, according to the Justice Department.

Clark Hager, publisher of The Valley Herald at the time Elton posed as a journalist, wrote a letter to the FBI demanding an apology for allowing an informant to say he was a reporter from Hager’s paper. Hager stated that he was “highly incensed” by the FBI’s use of The Valley Herald and its reputation during an investigation.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Posted in FBI in Spokane | Leave a Comment »

Who is Jason Oakley?

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 21, 2007

Well, I’m glad you asked.

Jason Oakley is an FBI agent operating out of the FBI’s Spokane Field Offices in the basement of the Rock Point Towers at 316 W. Boone, at the corner of Boone and Washington, just north of downtown Spokane. The Spokane FBI Office sports a large rooftop communication and intelligence gathering apparatus at that same location.

Oakley is likely the FBI agent running those persons — variously referred to as spies, informants, and analysts — who have infiltrated activist organizations in Spokane.

Reporting on an ACLU report about FBI spying on Spokane area groups and activists, reporter Jim Camden wrote in the May 25, 2007 edition of the Spokesman-Review that, “Federal agents kept track of antiwar demonstrations by the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane at least since 2002, at one point apparently getting information from a “spy” in the group…” and that “the FBI gleaned information from the group’s Web site, including that PJALS mentioned the launch of a new public radio station, and had other material dealing with a protest in the local office of then-U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt”. The radio station referred to is KYRS Thin Air Community Radio 92.3 FM Spokane.

Oakley most recently has been harassing and monitoring young activists of the ASAP organization and other local activists.

On May 24, 2004, Oakley told David Brookbank, who was attempting to file a civil rights complaint, that “I don’t know anything about civil rights. I do terrorism.” Oakley then stated that he was the only person in the office available to help and took Brookbank’s report. Oakley, the Spokane FBI Field Office, and the Seattle Offices of the FBI all subsequently denied ever having received such a complaint from Mr. Brookbank. This despite the fact that in a front page Spokesman-Review article on May 6, 2004, then Spokane Deputy Police Chief Al Odenthal had said that the Spokane Police would be turning the case over to the FBI.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Oakley and the FBI are liars. In Jim Camden’s May 25, 2007 Spokesman-Review article, FBI special agent Rich Kolko is quoted as saying, “We don’t purge records. If we write something down, we keep it.” Yet the FBI denies having any notes from Brookbank’s meeting with Oakley, despite the fact that Oakley wrote the notes on a gray legal pad and despite telling Mr. Brookbank when he asked for a report number that “the report number is your name and the date”.

Should you sight Jason Oakley (or his spies, informants and analysts), please notify Spokane area organizations and blogs.

(For further information on the FBI in Spokane, please see FBI Watchlist — Spokane Edition).

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ACLU Calls for Independent Oversight of FBI (7/13/2007) http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/30569prs20070713.html

ACLU Freedom of Information Request http://aclu-wa.org/library_files/FOIA-%20DFISR.pdf

National Security Letters http://www.aclu.org/safefree/nationalsecurityletters/29064leg20070319.html

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Jason Oakley and the FBI | Leave a Comment »