Aletho News


Posting Of NYPD Officers Around The World Found To Be A Waste, Embarrassment

By Tim Cushing | Techdirt | January 10, 2014

As we mentioned recently, NYPD Chief Ray Kelly took a shot at the FBI on his way out of office, claiming the agency was unable to protect New York (and presumably lesser cities) from terrorist attacks. The problem, according to Kelly, is that the agency failed to share intelligence with his department, at least not enough to satisfy his counterterrorism officers. To that end, he formed the so-called Demographics Unit to violate the rights of surveil Muslims, mosques and anything else deemed potentially “terrorist-related” and placed it under the command of a former CIA official.

Not only that, but Ray Kelly figured his department could beat the FBI at its own intelligence-gathering game overseas. It sent out NYPD officers as uninvited guests to cities around the world. Again, this was done to fight the good fight against global terrorism. In reality, it was a waste of money that failed to produce useful intelligence, and the officers stationed overseas spent a lot of their time treading on the toes of the locals.

[F]ormer federal officials who served overseas told “On The Inside” the NYPD detectives are ineffective, often angering and confusing the foreign law enforcement officials they are trying to work with, and are usually relegated to the sidelines because they lack national security clearance.

For example, when bombs exploded at resorts in Bali in 2005, killing 20 and injuring hundreds, the Indonesian National Police “were astonished and irritated that the NYPD showed up,” a federal source explained.

Yes, even on an international scale, there’s never an NYPD officer around when you need one — just plenty of “help” no one asked for. (Presumably, the Bali police informed the bumptious interlopers that no one’s rights needed violating at the moment… ) Not only did the NYPD’s ad hoc diplomats show up at the worst possible time, but they weren’t even in their (very loosely defined) “jurisdiction.”

That’s because those NYPD Intelligence Division detectives were based in Singapore, and were sent into a chaotic terrorism scene where they had no previous relationship with local law enforcement.

And even in Singapore, those detectives had no security clearance and no standing with the Singapore Internal Security Department, which is the agency tasked with combating terrorism.

The end result of all this bumbling? The NYPD’s overseas officers declared that the Bali bombing had “no nexus” with the bombing in New York — something US federal agents had already determined and passed along to other agencies in the pipeline, including the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force.

But the bumbling wasn’t limited to offending Bali police or Singapore security forces.

Another source said that NYPD detectives showed up at the funerals of victims of the Madrid rail bombings in 2004, angering local officials and victims’ families.

So, in addition to further damaging international relations, the NYPD’s forcible insertion of itself into tragedies occurring in other nations failed to produce anything useful in the way of terrorist plots disrupted. This falls directly in line with its domestic efforts — casually stomping on civil liberties and civilian sensibilities in order to chalk up another zero in the “plots prevented” column.

Remember, the impetus for this program was Kelly’s belief the FBI didn’t share enough info with the department… or share it fast enough. But FBI agents who worked with the NYPD task force remember this a bit differently.

The NYPD already has more than 100 detectives on the FBI-Joint Terrorist Task Force with access to all the cutting-edge terror data available to the intelligence community. But apparently that’s not enough.

“The police brass always complained we were holding back information,” a top FBI official complained to me. “It bothered the s— out of me. We shared everything and never held back. Sometimes, they thought we were. But sometimes, we just did not know!”

Kelly trusted his own men more than he trusted the feds. There’s nothing specifically wrong with having confidence in your underlings. But when it results in the baffling decision to place NYPD eyes and ears around the world without seeking the permission or cooperation of local officials, it’s a problem. Kelly’s time at the helm of the NYPD has been marked by an insularity verging on paranoia.

Now that he’s leaving, it will be up to Commissioner Bill Bratton to decide whether the program, as useless (and expensive — $100k per officer per year) as it is, is allowed to continue. And, unfortunately, Bratton seems to believe the NYPD’s attempt to out-think the feds still has some merit.

He said he “understands Commissioner Kelly was very strongly supportive of it” and “I’ve heard nothing negative about it, quite frankly.”

That’s hardly a shocker. Maybe Bratton should consider asking someone not so heavily invested in obstinately pursuing useless programs to futile ends.

January 10, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Comments Off on Posting Of NYPD Officers Around The World Found To Be A Waste, Embarrassment

NYPD a ‘quasi-military organization,’ according to outgoing top-cop Ray Kelly

RT | December 31, 2013

During the last few hours of a lengthy tenure atop the New York Police Department tainted by both scandal and success, outgoing-NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly echoed soon-to-be-ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg with big words about the city’s boys in blue.

Bloomberg provoked a fair share of criticism from Big Apple residents in late 2011 when he said, “I have my own army in the NYPD . . . the seventh biggest army in the world.”

Two years later and new comments from Commissioner Kelly might make the same sort of splash.

The increased militarization of the NYPD and other big city police agencies had already caused concern among many by the mayor’s remarks that November, but both Bloomberg and Kelly’s handling of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in Lower Manhattan that autumn and into the winter attracted previously unmatched opposition. Within just a few short months the city had arrested hundreds of peaceful protesters, and tales from Occupiers about being pepper-sprayed by the police became routine over social media.

Two years later, the NYPD’s reputation has not been repaired: the agency’s stop-and-frisk policy remains as controversial as ever, and an award-winning Associated Press report exposed a secretive intelligence-gathering wing of the force that singled out area Muslims for warrantless surveillance.

Now as he throws in the towel after serving as the civilian administrator of the NYPD for 14 of the last 24 years, Kelly has said something that doesn’t shy away from accusations he helped use his police force to make a police-state.

The New York Times was questioning what they called Kelly’s “tight control of the department” when he reportedly looked “pained” and told them, “You can’t win.”

“Obviously, in a quasi-military organization, you need an ultimate decision maker,” he said.

Ominous words about the world’s seventh-biggest army, or an actualization of what the NYPD has become under his command? The New York City blog Politicker was quick to throw Kelly’s quote into a headline for a post they published on Tuesday, and one of the most widely-subscribed Twitter accounts used by Occupy Wall Street linked followers to the Times article by way of Kelly’s quip.

“Oh, so he doesn’t know what ‘quasi’ means,” one Twitter user remarked back.

Rania Khalek, an independent journalist who watched the NYPD evolve under Kelly, weighed in on the comment as well.

“I was surprised by his candidness, but my first thought was, at least’s being honest,” she told RT on Tuesday. “The role of the NYPD, like most city police departments around the country, is indistinguishable from that of the military, especially in poor communities of color where police serve as occupying armies for the most part.”

And as the AP’s investigation has shown, ethnic minorities in the greater New York region have indeed been forced to endure specialized scrutiny under Kelly and Bloomberg by way of the NYPD’s so-called Demographics Unit: a faction of the force dedicated to collecting intelligence on Muslims by seemingly any means necessary.

“Investigations of any community which are not based upon indications of crime create fear and erode the confidence of a community in the power of a legal system to protect it,” New York University law professor Paul Chevigny told Newsday earlier this year.

Combined with an “army” of 35,000 or so police officers, it’s easy to see how that fear has made Kelly a person that many New Yorkers have grown to despise during his tenure. Additionally, retired NYPC Captain John A. Eterno told the Times this week that the way in which the commissioner has operated his organization in recent years has been cloaked in secrecy to a point of contention.

“He’s done very well with technology and made many innovations,” Eterno told the Times, “But lack of transparency is going to be his legacy.”

“He’s simply hidden things over and over that are harmful to democratic policing,” he said.

In a 1995 study, Victor Kappeler wrote in his abstract that the quasi-military structure that Kelly claims to have enforced cannot breed a “truly professional” police force. The “need to balance internal discipline with police-citizen interactions results in pressure on the individual officer to produce results,” he wrote, is accomplished in militarized units “often by relying on various degrees of misconduct.”

Between 2011 and 2012, misconduct within the ranks of the NYPD raised 22 percent, Controller John Liu confirmed back in June, causing a reported 229 NYPD officers to be disciplined last year.

At the same time, however, statistics suggest that the NYPD’s actual ability to fight crime could be on the up as well. The Times reported on Tuesday that the city is expect to log only 330 murders for this year — a record low.

“And these record-breaking successes are all due in great part to the professionalism and skill of the NYPD,” Bloomberg said during a ceremony earlier this month.

Others, however, had not so nice things to say. To commemorate Kelly’s last day as commissioner of NYPD, a few dozen New Yorkers gathered downtown for a “Good Riddance, Ray Kelly” party advertised on Facebook.

“We’re celebrating because we survived this asshole,” activist Cyrus McGoldrick told the New York Daily News from Tuesday’s demonstration.

As RT reported previously, Kelly will soon join the Council on Foreign Relations — a dominant international policy think-tank — where he will still be able to stay close to his fellow New Yorkers. Even in his post-NYPD career, Kelly will receive a taxpayer-funded ten-man security detail that is reported to cost NYC residents around $1.5 million a year.

January 1, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Without Any Legal Basis, The NYPD Has Been Classifying Its Own Documents For More Than A Decade

By Tim Cushing | Techdirt | September 19, 2013

Under the guidance of Chief Ray Kelly and Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the NYPD has transformed into an autonomous militarized force. Technically, it answers to Bloomberg and Kelly, but they’ve both shown extreme amounts of resistance to reining in any of the PD’s excesses.

Any attempts at bringing oversight and accountability to the force are met with anger and condescension, despite the fact that the NYPD’s casual abuse of New Yorker’s civil liberties are the subject of major lawsuits and city council legislation, as well as a sizable contributor to the city’s annual outlay of $700-800 million in settlements.

We’ve previously discussed the department’s secretiveness that has seen it described by investigative journalists as worse than the NSA and FBI when it comes to responding to FOI requests. (Not for nothing does the New York law governing these requests do business under the acronym “FOIL.”) But the NYPD is doing something no other city law enforcement agency has done: classifying its own documents.

Since at least 2003, the New York Police Department has been labeling some of its internal documents “Secret,” a designation that has baffled government secrecy experts, journalists and civil liberties lawyers.

By labeling documents “secret,” the Intelligence Division appears to be operating its own in-house classification system, similar to those used at federal agencies like the CIA, where Intel’s chief, David Cohen, previously worked for 35 years.

Some of the documents also include the caveat, in all-caps, that “No portion of this document can be copied or distributed without the exclusive permission of the policy commissioner or deputy commissioner of intelligence.”

Why is this “baffling?” Because the NYPD’s in-house classification system has nothing legal to back it up.

“You know what that [label] means? It means diddly,” said Robert Freeman, executive director of New York’s Committee on Open Government. “I think the police department is following the lead of the federal government. The difficulty is, in my opinion, it does not have a legal basis for doing that.”

Christopher Dunn, associate legal director at the New York Civil Liberties Union, told HuffPost he has only seen the label on documents created after 2001. He agreed with Freeman that “as far as I know, this marking has no legal significance.”

The NYPD remains a law unto itself. Bloomberg has referred to it as the “seventh biggest army in the world” (and his own “personal army”) and has, over the course of his three terms, indulged every excess. It should be noted that former CIA officer David Cohen got the ball rolling on the civil liberties-violating “Demographics Group” (the one that labeled entire mosques as terrorist entities) late in 2002, which would explain the noticeable uptick in “SECRET” documents in 2003. Nothing drives overclassification more than a combination of dubious legality and working hand-in-hand with national intelligence agency liaisons.

And it would appear that the NYPD still has lots of secrets it’s not willing to share with the public. HuffPo points to this story from 2011 in which Chief Kelly makes the claim that the NYPD could “take down an airplane” thanks to its anti-aircraft weaponry. That itself should be troubling enough and a strong indicator that Bloomberg and Kelly are better qualified to run a banana republic than an American city, but when asked to comment on the PD’s anti-aircraft guns, Bloomberg responded with this smirk of a statement:

“New York City Police Department has lots of capabilities you don’t know about and you won’t know about them.”

That’s comforting. Nothing like having the commander-in-chief of the “seventh biggest army in the world” tell you his force might have even bigger tricks up its sleeve than anti-aircraft weapons.

On the bright side, Mayor for life Bloomberg will be leaving soon and the front runner for his position, Bill De Blasio, gave the police force a failing grade for its responsiveness to FOI requests and will be likely looking to force the PD to shoot for a low-C at minimum. If Chief Kelly sticks around, though, De Blasio will have an uphill battle to fight against the ingrained arrogance and contempt that pervades the NYPD’s upper management.

September 19, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Judge: NYPD stop-and-frisk tactic violates rights

Press TV – August 12, 2013

In a blow to New York City mayor’s claims regarding the effectiveness of stop-and-frisk practices by the NYC police, a federal judge ruled that the so-called crime-stopping tactic violates the constitutional rights of minorities.

eua-stopandfriskU.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled Monday that by targeting racially targeted groups of citizens, the police had adopted an “indirect racial profiling” policy, that resulted in discriminatory stopping of tens of thousands of blacks and Hispanics, according to Reuters.

The judge ruled that the Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, police commissioner and other city officials had “turned a blind eye” toward the injustice on city’s minorities.

“No one should live in fear of being stopped whenever he leaves his home to go about the activities of daily life,” Scheindlin wrote in her opinion.

The judge wrote in her 105-page decision that police personnel were under pressure to raise the number of stops by Mayor Bloomberg since he took office in 2002 and designated Raymond Kelly to be NYPD Commissioner.

As a result, officers stopped and searched young minority men without any reasons in violation of their constitutional Fourth Amendment rights that protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The New York Civil Liberties Union demonstrated in a 2012 report that there had been a sharp increase in number of police stops over the period of Bloomberg’s three terms in office.

The number of searches rose from 160,851 stops in 2003 to 685,724 in 2011, while half of the 2011 searches included physical searches.

Scheindlin ordered the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee compliance with other remedies she ordered, including adopting written policy guideline specifying circumstances where stops are authorized. She also authorized to adopt a trial program requiring the use of body-worn cameras in one precinct in each of the city’s five boroughs; and to set up a community-based remedial process under a court-appointed facilitator.

August 12, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Judge: NYPD stop-and-frisk tactic violates rights

Debunked NYPD Radicalization Report Just Won’t Die

By Mike German | ACLU | February 11, 2013

Like a villain in a horror movie, the widely debunked concept of terrorist “radicalization” is once again raised from the grave by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) in its 2013 report, “American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat.” CRS is an influential legislative branch agency charged with providing objective policy analysis for members of Congress, which makes its continued reliance on the “radicalization” model promoted in a now-discredited 2007 New York Police Department report, “Radicalization in the West,” particularly troublesome.

real-witchThe NYPD report purported to describe the process that drives previously “unremarkable” people to become terrorists. According to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly’s preface, the document was intended to “to assist policymakers and law enforcement officials, both in Washington and throughout the country by providing a thorough understanding of the kind of threat we face domestically.” It theorized a simple four-step process starting with the adoption of a particular set of beliefs to becoming a terrorist, though it strangely conceded that not all terrorists need to go through all, or any of these steps, and that people who did go through the steps would not necessarily become terrorists – though that didn’t mean they weren’t dangerous. Confused? It gets worse.

The report only examined terrorist acts committed by Muslims, and essentially suggested that all Muslims were potential terrorists that needed to be watched, stating that “[e]nclaves of ethnic populations that are largely Muslim often serve as ‘ideological sanctuaries’ for the seeds of radical thought.” It posited a profile of potential terrorist “candidates” so broad that it’s no profile at all: within these “Muslim enclaves,” potential terrorists could range from members of middle class families to “successful college students, the unemployed, the second and third generation, new immigrants, petty criminals, and prison parolees.” In other words: anyone and everyone. It identified “radicalization incubators,” including mosques, as well as “cafes, cab driver hangouts, flophouses, prisons, student associations, nongovernmental organizations, hookah (water pipe) bars, butcher shops and book stores.” In other words: any place and every place. Commonplace activities for Muslim-Americans, like wearing Islamic clothing, growing a beard, abstaining from alcohol and joining advocacy organizations or community groups were all listed as potential indicators of radicalization. In other words: any kind of behavior and all kinds of behavior.

If it sounds like the report’s description of potential terrorists is so overbroad it could include entire Muslim-American communities, this does not appear to be accidental. Indeed, the report provided the ideological foundation for the NYPD Intelligence Division’s program of mass surveillance of Muslim communities throughout the Northeast. Not surprisingly, this poorly focused program “never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation,” according to the Associated Press, which received a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the NYPD’s program.

The NYPD radicalization report was quickly denounced by advocacy and academic organizations for its overstated and flawed facts and serious methodological errors. The NYPD responded by inserting a “Statement of Clarification” in 2009 that made this remarkable claim:

“…this report was not intended to be policy prescriptive for law enforcement. In all of its dealings with Federal, State and Local authorities, the NYPD continues to underscore this important point.”

What? In addition to completely contradicting its own preface, the disclaimer refutes the entire purpose of the report. If a police terrorist study isn’t intended to impact police counterterrorism policy, what is it for? Is it just a thought experiment?

Yet, despite all we know of the admitted shortcomings of the NYPD report, the CRS continues to cling to its model of radicalization, suggesting that individuals can become terrorists “by radicalizing and then adopting violence as a tactic.” This concept, that the adoption of a particular belief set is a precursor to violent action is refuted in empirical studies of actual terrorists, like one from RAND, which concludes that an individual’s decision to engage in terrorist violence is a complex one involving a matrix of different environmental and individual factors, no one element of which is necessary nor sufficient in every case (see its “Factor Tree for Root Causes of Terrorism” above, which looks a whole lot more complex than the NYPD’s four-step process).

In addition to being factually wrong, this radicalization concept is also dangerous, because, as the CRS report points out, adopting beliefs and associating with like-minded people is First Amendment-protected activity. But if counterterrorism officials believe that adopting radical beliefs are a necessary first stage to terrorism, they will obviously target belief communities and activists with their enforcement measures, as they often do. The CRS report highlights the NYPD radicalization theory, and while it acknowledges the criticism of the NYPD report it continues to hew closely to the model of radicalization it promotes. This is particularly true in its discussion of the appropriate law enforcement response to radicalization, in which it describes the “major challenge” as determining “how quickly and at what point individuals move from radicalized beliefs to violence.” The faulty assumption that radical thoughts lead to violence drives many of the inappropriate law enforcement actions against Muslim-American communities and political activists that, like the NYPD surveillance program, violate civil rights but don’t actually improve security.

It is long past time to euthanize this erroneous and dangerous theory, as many terrorism researches are already suggesting. Moreover, a more recent study from the Triangle Center of North Carolina suggests that recent data reflects a small and declining threat from Muslim-American terrorists, not the “uptick” that CRS reports. And West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center issued a revealing study indicating that far-right extremists have engaged in more comparatively violent activity over the last twenty years, which the FBI and policy makers have failed to recognize. Effective counterterrorism policies can’t be made from flawed theories and analysis. It is time that CRS heeds the NYPD’s recommendation that its radicalization report not be used to drive policy.

February 12, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Islamophobia | , , , , | Comments Off on Debunked NYPD Radicalization Report Just Won’t Die

NYPD’s Police State Stretches All The Way To Boston

By Richard Hugus | March 6, 2012

New York City appears to be going all out to win a world award for racism and bigotry. On February 24 the New York Post published a cartoon (1)   depicting three men with long noses, long beards, turbans, and dishdashas assembling bombs in a locked upstairs tenement room. One of the men has a bomb strapped to his waist. He is looking out a window at a New York Police Department car in the street. The cartoon shows him speaking into the phone: “Hello, AP Press? . . . I’d like to register a complaint against the N.Y.P.D. for spying on us.”

This racist cartoon is an attempt at satire of an Associated Press story of February 20 exposing a blanket campaign of surveillance of Arabs and Muslims in New Jersey and upstate New York by the New York City Police Department. The surveillance was not only well outside New York City’s jurisdiction but also had no basis in any kind of criminal investigation. It was what the police would call an intelligence gathering operation, and what everyone else would call profiling and spying. It targeted Arabs and Muslims for being Arabs and Muslims, doing such things as attending mosques and meeting in campus student groups. The operation has been funded by the White House and advised by the CIA through both the Bush and Obama administrations. With this funding, the NYPD invented a new role for itself as a regional secret police force. Others have commented that had this cartoon depicted any other religious or ethnic group it would have been immediately condemned for its bigotry.  Indeed, so would the entire NYPD spying program. But the “war on terror” has made it open season on Arabs and Muslims, so that instead of apologies from New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly and mayor Bloomberg, we got a back-in-your-face defense that the police are only trying to keep New York safe, and you’re lucky they are. The billionaire mayor used the mind-boggling reactionary argument that without the police doing what they do (destroying constitutional rights, among them freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly), we could not enjoy our freedoms and constitutional rights.

Not reported by any of the media so far was an outrageous attempt by an NYPD undercover agent to ensnare a young man as far away as Boston in a plot to undergird the war on terror by actually creating a “terrorist.” The young man was Tarek Mehanna, an Egyptian American and Muslim from Sudbury, Massachusetts, just outside Boston. Tarek wrote a statement (2) about this experience, which was read aloud to a rally on Boston Common on February 25. The statement  says:

    “In late 2005, I was approached by an individual whom I’d never met. Over the course of two years, he attempted to befriend me, and gradually began shifting otherwise mundane conversations to suggesting the need to “do something.” Eventually, this “something” that he was hounding me to “do” emerged as a plan of his to find American soldiers returning from Iraq (whose addresses he supposedly had) and kill them. He would show up at my house uninvited, and always try to steer the conversation in this directions, and I would steer it away and bury it, but he would never give up. Finally, I told this individual to never contact me again. “

Perhaps because of the fact that once the police have made someone a victim, they never let that person go, Tarek went on to being targeted by the FBI, who wanted him to become an informant at his mosque. When Tarek refused, the FBI simply made up stories about him, saying that he was planning to shoot up a shopping mall. This story was splashed all over the press, and Tarek then entered into a special hell prepared for him by the federal judicial system in the shape of the notorious Michael Sullivan, then US Attorney in Boston, and his corrupt prosecutor, Jeffrey Auerhahn, who brought him up on charges of terrorism (3).

Tarek’s statement goes on to say:

    “Two years later, I found myself here in a Plymouth jail awaiting trial on terrorism charges. From day one, I related this to my lawyers, and that I was 100% sure this had been an attempt by the FBI to entrap me in one of their artificial “plots” so that they could have additional firepower in this case. But my lawyers explained that without some acknowledgement from the government, it would be impossible to prove. So we filed numerous motions over the course of the two years before trial requesting exculpatory evidence (i.e., evidence that would be in my favor) from the government regarding this, but they feigned ignorance, and said that they had nothing.”

From the time of his arrest by the FBI in October 2009 to the time of his trial in November 2011, the shopping mall shoot-up charge was forgotten and an equally bogus new charge of “material support for terrorism” was created. But a few months before that trial began Tarek’s lawyer got a call:

“Finally, in the early summer of 2011, my lawyer, Jay Carney, got a call from an Associated Press reporter who said that two sources within the NYPD had contacted her and confirmed to her that the NYPD had sent an undercover agent up to Boston to “befriend” me, and try to prod me into carrying out a “terrorist attack,” and that I had refused to go along (bingo!). Furthermore, these sources in the NYPD told this journalist that when the prosecutors in my case found out about this – the same prosecutors at my trial, Aloke Chakravarty and Jeffrey Auerhahn – they became frantic and called the NYPD to come up to Boston for a meeting, where they admonished them for “interfering” in my case. With this information, my lawyers filed an additional motion asking the judge to compel the government to disclose these details so that they could be mentioned at trial – the logic being that this is a “terrorism” trial, and here was an attempt by the government to actually push me to carry out an act of “terrorism,” and I had refused, and they were trying to cover this up. The motion was filed on July 15th, 2011.”

Now comes federal judge George O’Toole, an apparently affable man in black robes who appeared in court to have no prejudice one way or the other against the defendant, but who acted behind the scenes, in all rulings, from the beginning, to aid the prosecution and hobble the defense of now 29 year old Tarek Mehanna. At a hearing in August 2011, when the subject of airing NYPD’s role in court, before a jury, was brought up, Judge O’Toole made a cheating, underhanded agreement with the prosecutors behind closed doors. Tarek reports that his lawyer . . .

    “ . . . mentioned to the judge that we were seeking exculpatory evidence from the government, as they had thus far given us none. And then he mentioned that from the items we sought were details of an attempt by the NYPD to prod me to engage in a domestic attack, which I refused, etc. This was apparently the first the prosecutors knew that we were privy to this, and the surprise was evident on their faces. The judge asked them if they knew anything about this, and Mr. Chakravarty’s response was an ambiguous “we have no information from our office on this, and it is the defendant who should know,” to which Jay stood up again, faced Mr. Chakravarty, and asked: “So you’re willing to say, on record, before the court, that no members of the NYPD came up to Boston at anytime to meet with you to discuss an attempt to prod Tarek Mehanna to engage in an act of terrorism that he refused to go along with?” The prosecutor’s response, verbatim, was: “Well, I didn’t say that either…”

O’Toole said he would wait to rule on the motion, and immediately, the prosecutors requested a private meeting with him in the judge’s chambers. He granted their request. My lawyers stood outside the judge’s door as the prosecutors walked in and protested: “Well, that’s not fair. How are you going to meet with the judge privately about this motion, and we have no idea what is being said?” But the judge met with them for almost 20 minutes. We will never know what was said in that meeting, but the next morning, O’Toole denied our motion, and that was the last anyone had ever heard of it: nothing about this topic was allowed to be mentioned to the jury at trial. Not a single word.”

This is just one story about one individual who was a part of NYPD’s attack on Arabs and Muslims. If the cartoon in the New York Post were accurate, it would show three white men in coats and ties, representing the CIA, the FBI, and New York City undercover police, bringing all the weight of the state against a young man (pictured on a torture rack) to present him to the public as someone about to commit a crime which they – the police – had not only thought up and provided the materials for, but miraculously “prevented.” The FBI agent would be calling the press to say, “Hey, we have another phony terrorism story for you – let’s keep the war going strong.” Outside the window would be an ignorant US public, eyes wide, ready to believe anything they were told.

The games of the police have consequences, as those in prison well know. Tarek Mehanna has now been in jail, in solitary confinement, for 866 days. He is real. His family is real. This racist scapegoating affects their lives. The NYPD, Mayor Bloomberg, and the Obama administration are not protecting anybody. They’re attacking innocent people in order to prop up a war that keeps them in power. This is the height of dishonesty and cowardice.

1 Cartoon republished at
2 See statement at Free Tarek website:
3 Richard Hugus, “FBI Repression in Boston”, February 2011,

March 6, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, False Flag Terrorism, Islamophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 1 Comment