NYPD’s Spying Program: Not a Single Lead

All the spying on Muslims the NYPD has been doing for the last decade plus?

It has not led to a single investigation.

That’s what the head of NYPD’s intelligence program, Thomas Galati, said in a deposition in June on whether the Department was violating the Handschu Guidelines.

Q If they make an assessment of what’s being brought in, warrants, some action, does that indicate that an investigation has commenced?

MR. FARRELL: Objection.

A Related to Demographics, I can tell you that information that have come in has not commenced an investigation.

And the one investigation that Galati says might have derived from Demographics Unit information–which has been referred to elsewhere as a case that came from this spying–is that of James Elshafay and Shahawar Matin Siraj, where the NYPD paid lots of money to an informant to coax two troubled young men into declaring the intent to attack a subway station.

Q You’re saying that based on what has occurred during your tenor, correct?

A Yes.

Q Do you know whether that was also the case before you took over the Intelligence Division?

A I think that prior to me, there had been indication that there was one place that was visited later, that later on became subject of an investigation. However, I have not been able to determine that. That case involved a prosecution, but I have not been able to definitively say that it was because of Demographics.

That it. That’s what has come out of all the money and time invested in mapping out the Muslim hangouts in NYC.

The AP article describes other details Galati admitted to (better not speak Urdu in the city) and I’ll have a few more things to say later today. But we now have confirmation from the guy heading the program: all this spying has not identified a single terrorist.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

5 replies
  1. JTMinIA says:

    >> “You’re saying that based on what has occurred during your tenor, correct?”

    I don’t know why, but I got a good giggle from that one. For me, the tenor’s solo in Act II is when I usually head outside for a cigarette. And I’m often not alone in this. Last time there were fifty other people out there smoking with me during the tenor’s solo. That’s why we renamed the sidewalk in front of the theatre “aria 51.” tee hee

  2. emptywheel says:

    @JTMinIA: Should have marked that–there are a number of inaccuracies in teh transcript. Hopefully, where he refers to Islamics is one of them, an error for Islamists.

  3. P J Evans says:

    The story I read about this was quoting J Brennan, something on the order of ‘it was a good idea’. I pointed out to them that he’s involved with the program.

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