This Is What Happens When You Use Terrorism Laws to Investigate Hippies

Jane and Lindsay have been doing great work covering the heavy-handed raids on hippies’ houses leading up to the RNC.

Early this morning, the Ramsey County police raided several homes occupied by people here to protest at the Minneapolis Republican National Convention. It’s believed that these were associated with another raid conducted last night, and the target were individuals associated with a group called the RNC Welcoming Committee.

It’s time, I think, to recall something I reported back in May: lefty groups very much like Food not Bombs were infiltrated by Minneapolis’ Joint Terrorism Task Force earlier this year.

Minneapolis’ Joint Terrorist Task Force is recruiting people to infiltrate vegan potlucks to look for potential–what?–tahini enthusiasts?–in advance of the RNC convention this fall.

If the Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher got it into his head that these hippies were terrorists, this is precisely the kind of thuggish behavior you’d expect. Heck–you’d expect it from the Bush DOJ as well.

Which is all the more reason to find out the precise role of the JTTF in these raids. If the Bush DOJ approved the use of terrorism techniques to prepare for the convention–in spite of the fact that such an approval would violate DOJ guidelines–we’d have a crystal clear example of why it is inappropriate to interpret terrorism as broadly as the Bush Administration has been pushing to do.

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  1. behindthefall says:

    There’s something about this that feels more like “1984″ than anything else that’s happened.

  2. wavpeac says:

    We need a task force of people to report these stories and make as big a deal as we can. In a way, it could be a good thing. It sure drives home the danger we are in, since busho changed our constitution.

    This could be backfire for the republicans if we make it clear that the constitution would protect us if it hadn’t been gutted.

    If we can get one cnn report on this, that would help. Make the most of that one. What about an email campaign…like the republicans do. Anyone able to spam a story to email addresses everywhere??

    We are in more danger and technically bushco could send you off to be tortured on the idea that you are an enemy combatant.

  3. Minnesotachuck says:

    OT, but maybe not. Is anyone else here in the Twin Cities area having difficulty connecting to a lot of internet sites this morning? I have allegedly “high bandwidth” service via Comcast and a lot of sites time out before loading. This includes local media sites (I realize they could be hosted across the country, or the world for that matter), such as the Minnesota Independent and Star Tribune. Other sites have been problematic early in the day for the last several, but I’ve been unable to reach Google at any time for about three days now. It’s been getting steadily worse for the past several days. Now this morning I can’t reach Huffington Post or Wired.

    I assume with the RNC coming to town that traffic would be spiking, but this is ridiculous. I’m curious about the experience other TC area folks are experiencing, both Comcast and otherwise.

    • rosalind says:

      i had this problem last week in l.a. on time-warner. people on local blogs reported similar problems. i can access most sites now, but still have occasional trouble. have never had this trouble before.

    • MadDog says:

      Zero problems here in St. Paul, but stuff was a wee bit slow last night on Comcast.

      Probably due to the Feds warrantlessly surveilling the Toobz here in the Twin Cities and keeping track of all of us.

  4. klynn says:

    Marcy,
    I am concerned this is an effort to push people to the brink of rioting in order to declare martial law.

    I was glad to see the local MN media has been covering the story to some degree. But the MSM has not been so good about it.

    Jane, Glen and Lyndsay have been doing a great job.

    Mr Klynn could not believe what he watched over at the Lake.

    • pdaly says:

      I agree. I saw Jane and Glenn’s video last night at Digby’s Hullabaloo.

      Chilling.

      The kids looked as if they were still processing what had taken place, because they seemed more bemused or shell-shocked than overtly angry. The after effect of submachine guns pointed at them might explain their reactions.

      Somewhat on topic, I received a Fall 2008 Winterthur Magazine (from the Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, Delaware) in the mail this weekend. Before I tossed it out, I decided to read their interview of Laura Bush. Ostensibly it is a questions and answers interview about the furniture restoration at the White House in which Winterthur experts have participated. Laura seemed to have more than furniture on her mind.
      Winterthur do not record when the interview took place, however.

      Winterthur:

      After eight years of living in the Whte House, surrounded by its collections, do you have a different appreciation of the stories that objects can tell?

      Laura Bush(excerpted):

      … When we worked on the Lincoln Bedroom, for instance, I learned a lot more about Lincoln. I have a real empathy for his family and for him, partly becasue our times have been challenging, and knowing how very difficult Lincoln’s times were. I think he faced the most challenging time in Amercian history, when we were at war with ourselves.
      I developed a certain sympathy for Mary Todd Lincoln, who is always reviled, even to this day. She had a son, Willie, who died in the house. She was in the box, obviously, when her husband was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre. Her brothers fought for the Confederacy, and she wished them dead, and they died in the war. So I just know how dfficult her life was.

      [snip]
      And [yet] it’s very encouraging, actually. There’s an encouragement and a steadiness about it [my note: Laura doesn’t make clear what ‘it’ is referring to, the challenges of living in the White House?, the tragedies that happen to its occupants?, or the stories told by the White House objects?]. The big ship of state America can keep going no matter what, and we, as Americans, have overcome all of these challenges, including the most brutal of all, being a divided country.”

      [my bold]

      Why does Laura “just know” how Mrs. Lincoln felt? Does Laura feel unloved in the White House by its occupants and/or its critics outside its walls? Is Laura admitting wishing ill of family members, too?

      The interview ends with a question about educating our children.
      Maybe Laura Bush looks forward to the return of a US Constitution, too:

      Winterthur:

      …As a librarian and a teacher yourself, what thoughts do you have about the importance and relevance of museums like Winterthur for teaching younger generations?

      Laura Bush:

      Museums like Winterthur and the White House are very important for the younger generations. We always have to continue to educate every generation. At a certain point we think, “well, we’ve kind of taken care of that,” and then the next generation comes along and they don’t know. It’s very, very important for Americans to know what our history is. It’s easy to not know anything about American history and to be self-centered in the sense that the only time is now, and that that’s all you know about.

  5. bell says:

    a paranoia seems to engulf everything republican… what a reality to know they’ve now encoded it into the constitution and are putting it to work at the rnc convention… man o man, when do folks wake up to this kind of frightening shit?? thanks for articulating it e wheel…

  6. Boston1775 says:

    This situation also exists in cities and towns with mosques, especially if there has ever been a question about donations of money, a leader with questionable associations overseas or anyone with irregularities in visitor/greencard status.

    I once called Charlie Savage and asked him to look into cities and towns under heightened surveillance because of the “threat” of a mosque. I have listened to many accounts where the quality of police presence has changed the character of the place.

    At times high school kids have been treated with a level of brutality heretofore unheard of because of beer, a small amount of pot or even a single roach found in the car after a questionable stop and forceful search. Kids who have never seen the inside of a police station before, who have spent their entire lives in the same place, have been handcuffed to each other, chairs and the wall. They’ve been put behind bars and taunted for first time, exceedingly minor and common offenses.

    A family I know left a town after their high school aged son was strapped down, hands and feet, treated brutally in front of other kids who had called for help. The police repeatedly went after the kids about drugs. When a kid spoke up for his friend and told them to hurry up and get him to the hospital, the kid was put into a squad car while others strapped his friend down.

    This seventeen year old child, at the top of his class and a wonderful varsity golfer, was having a seizure. He’d had heart problems in the recent past and his heart stopped twice on the way to a local, inferior hospital. Once brought to his own doctors at Children’s Hospital, the cause of the seizure was determined as an irregularity in his brain.

    Yes, he’d previously been stopped doing 32 at a corner of a route that drops from 40 to 25. They’d found that roach, the only police incident in a family of highly talented kids; and his family is gone.

    There are many stories about hostile police presence in places which have never been the same since 9/11. Charlie, if you happen to read here, I hope you’ll remember my call. I’m asking you again to do this story.

  7. bell says:

    re#6 – drugs are just a ruse to lay all sorts of bullshit on the ordinary citizen.. when is the usa going to grow up??

  8. MadDog says:

    While much has been focused on Fletcher as the lead instigator on this criminal violation of 1st Amendment rights here in the Twin Cities, and rightfully so, I would offer the idea that Fletcher may only be the willing tool of higher authorities.

    As EW points out, and I strongly concur, it is likely, even probable that these actions have occurred with not only the blessing of Federal authorities, but at the specific direction of folks at the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice.

    In fact, I would hazard a guess that the genesis of these activities leads directly back to the White House itself, and in particular, both the EOP and the OVP.

    I would bet that this criminal violation of 1st Amendment rights is being locally run out of the Minnesota Joint Analytical Center, Minneapolis (MinnJAC), one of the National Counter-Terrorism “Fusion” Centers, using the warrantless surveillance powers first evoked by the Unitary Executive and then “blessed” by the toadies in our Congress under both the Patriot Act, the FISA Amendment Act, heck even under the GWOT AUMF.

    I’m guessing that Fletcher got not only the “blessing”, but the actual “direction” to move on these folks by Chertoff and Mukasey, but also likely by Junya and Deadeye themselves.

    • MadDog says:

      And to buttress my points – DHS to use controversial fusion centers during conventions:

      The Homeland Security Department is working with state and local governments in Colorado and Minnesota to support the sharing of information during the national conventions next week, relying on so-called fusion centers, which civil liberties groups have opposed as bordering on domestic spying.

      The Office of Intelligence and Analysis will provide support to state and local governments to help groups connect and exchange data during the Democratic and Republican national conventions, taking place in Denver and Minneapolis, respectively, according to DHS. The office plans to provide support from its Washington headquarters to existing fusion centers in the two cities, which will collect and analyze reports of suspicious activity. DHS also will provide on-site support to both fusion centers…

      • MadDog says:

        And lest we think these things are “fool-proof”:

        You don’t know MNJAC: Anti-terror fusion center grapples with security flaw, new privacy policy

        A post-9/11 intelligence agency created to collect and analyze suspicious activity reports from across Minnesota is operating without an important and widely used safeguard meant to check against inappropriate use of data.

        Most law-enforcement databases are protected with software that automatically keeps a record of every search that’s performed. That way supervisors can easily monitor who is accessing what information.

        A records-management system at the Minnesota Joint Analysis Center (MNJAC), however, relies on employees to manually record searches. Data-policy consultant Robert Sykora calls it “an anxiety-provoking flaw” that leaves part of the system open to abuse…

        • LabDancer says:

          It really is too bad that Obama capitulated on FISA, because it would make it far easier for his campaign to exploit this.

          I’m not sure how this will play out in the mid-run, because the impression I had, not lessened to any degree by what’s going on in the Twin Cities area, is that there was a lot of hand rubbing spittle-dropping malevolent glee at the image of turning Denver 2008 into Chicago 1968 for the DNC- and an awful lot of disappointment when it turned out all those Hillary or No One post-menopausals turned out less inclined than urban unemployed black young to mid-age blacks in Chicago to be provoked into expressing their frustrations in physical violence. I expect even their most cynical leaders like Rove & Black may have harbored some doubts about that, but they also had to have been hoping for the Dems characteristic lack of planning & discipline in pulling off their extended convention ad. Instead- and despite the best efforts by the corporate establishment media & FauxNoose- it was impossible to cover up that the Dems- or more precisely the cooperative partnership of Dean’s people & Obama’s people- pulled off an absolute masterpiece of restraint, combining what they expected the oppo themes would be, on which they read it beautifully, with the counterintuitive idea of heightening the drama by building towards Obama himself being the loudest voice attacking McCain. All through the week I imagine GOOP central was watching first in anticipation then into a cold sweat as they watched their worst fears become manifest- thus the highly disjointed attack on Obama on Thursday night & the need- not the option but the need- to resort to Palin.

          I’ve said this before- Palin IMO is not the product of McCain’s maverickisty or GOOP central panic: it was an option that some in GOOP central wanted left on the table despite a general state of denial that it would have to be resorted to.

          The big difference this cycle is that the lads who recruited Obama for this run: Hildebrand, Axelrod, Plouffe – are coldly competent & up to the challenge. That’s not been true since Bill Clinton’s two successful runs, which unlike this by Obama, were run by the top dog having an ability to project his personal charm & appeal on TV & in big crowds & small – which lent the campaign a clear message of relyiance on Mr Lucky Charms & in essence something like the same blind faith that GOOP central depends on.

          The Obama Camp is, as Obama himself keeps saying, not top down; its those who are running the campaign taking a coldly analytical view of the slices of the electorate provided by polls, making the long hard effort to build a ground game aimed at the available opportunities in battleground states- what I call the “convertibles” – & taking just long enough with their champion of choice so his analytical mind can wrap itself around what the message has to be to work those convertibles.

          I think that’s the dynamic that caused the FISA betrayal/miscalculation. Obama didn’t build his team: it had an idea & went & found a messenger. McCain, of course, didn’t build his team: it’s had the Notre Dame black Irish plan working for it since FDR’s success forced them to sell their souls to gain office, and McCain was the best they could find their ideas through. Both McCain & Romney have run their lives on high octane hypocrisy, but the concern with Romney would have to be his own resources & self-confidence – his faith in his own “bling bling”. I’m not sure his father didn’t offer the same prospects which headed GOOP central back to taking a second look at Nixon, the same way they took a second look at McCain.

          I’ll end by pointing out that I don’t see this meaning that Obama & McCain are TweedleDee & TweedleDum. I think the critical differences go way beyond the superficial: both of these guys have been indulging that pre-pubescent conceit of presidency for decades going back to their troubled youths. But a fella like Obama would have to be intellectually attracted into being drafted by the HAP gang so much earlier than he planned- & a fella like McCain has been begging for years to put this cap on his claim to his family legacy. Obama would not run unless the bargain was that in giving up so much control over the branding of his presidency was matched by ensuring his ultimate control once in power- IE being the Decider that Bush has really never been. His background and style would suggest to the HAP gange that making that bargain would be safe – because he is not nearly the liberal that GOOP central has worked so hard to make him seem. He actually believes in bargains & compromises & – lord help us- bipartisanship.

          But McCain is pure unadulterated 100% sell out.

          • mamayaga says:

            I have to object to your characterizing the disorder at the 68 Dem convention in Chicago as being primarily by blacks. If you look at any contemporary news photos, you’ll see that the anti-war protesters there were mostly white. There were riots by blacks in Chicago in that era, but not at the convention (and also, the official investigation of the convention riots identified the police, not the protesters, as the rioters).

    • R.H. Green says:

      “While much has been focused on Fletcher…”. And @ 12: “The Office of Intelligence and Analysis will provide support to state and local governments…”. I remember thinking about how the “theripist” who went into court to complain about Dr Ivins, and how she seemed armed with confidential information that she should not have had. It seemed to me that she had been somehow “cranked up” and sent on this mission. Now we see a local sheriff who seems also “cranked up to do someone elses goonwork. Now recall how the country recoiled in horror as AG Reno sent a raiding party in to the home of that Cuban boy to be captured and deported. If the raid in Minneapolis had been conducted by the FBI or DHS, it would have been front page news with pictures in every paper. But a sheriff,even if out of jurisdiction, no big whup.

    • Sara says:

      I think you’re right about this. Homeland Security is really in charge, and the Minneapolis and St. Paul and other police brought in for the event work for them.

      And no, using AOL and Qwest, I am not having abnormal connection problems, and while sites are loading slowly, they load. I assume there is just lots of traffic slowing things down.

      Compared to Friday Night, last night was reasonably quiet. I live between University Avenue and I-94, and on Friday Night they had sirens going both ways on both well into the early morning hours. But the cops I saw were having donuts and coffee at Super America.

      Given that our cities are politically pretty progressive, once this is over we need to put on the heat for answers as to how some of this stuff happened. Minneapolis has city elections next year — and whether or not the elected officials should sign off civil rights and liberties — say for things like warrants and all, could easily be made an election issue if framed properly.

      I also think the RNC will be sued by local vendors and caterers if events get canceled. Afterall the Hurricane is not coming here. The reason they may eliminate all the social side of the Convention will be because they are afraid of the message that the Republicans were piss poor stewards of infrastructure, and that fact may become clear in the next few days. Did you notice that the Washington Avenue bridge linking the E & W bank parts of Campus has some serious problems, and the upper deck is being partially closed, and weight limits are being put on trucks. (And they expect to run the Central Corridor Light Rail over that Bridge???) That is not an old bridge — built in the late 60’s. I think there will be lots of deep dissatisfaction over this that will roll into the future.

    • Kirk James Murphy, M.D. says:

      Yep.

      Hope I’m not post-whoring, but that’s the angle explored in yesterday’s 6 pm post at FDL. This pattern is present over time (past several years) and space. The only constant player: the Feds. At all nominating conventions, the Dept of Treasury’s SS are the lead agency.

      Whed FDI Fartherland Security ride along with the local Sheriff’s on warrantless busts, the local popos didn’t make em come at gunpoint. The Fed “law” enforcement are there under orders.

      • MadDog says:

        Kirk,

        I was indeed kind of “riffing” off both your and EW’s posts.

        But…where I thought the emphasis of simply “collusion” between Fletcher and the Feds was the point, I wanted to instead offer the idea that this was being done explicitly at the direction of the usual Repug suspects residing in DC, Texas and the other Repug ratholes.

        This is politically-driven Repug SOP! And in particular, Turdblossom SOP!

        Demonize your adversaries for the sake of creating the political meme you desire:

        “We the Repugs are your only hope of standing up against the anarchy and chaos desired by Democrats, Flag-burners, Liberals, Gays, Minorities, Abortion-lovers, etc.”

        That this was deliberate Turdbloss-ian political theater is my point.

        Creating their own reality of “fear the America-haters”. This has been part and parcel of the Repug standard campaign operating procedure now for the last several decades.

        If instead, we only focus on Ramsey County Sheriff Fletcher as a ham-handed buffoon and local yokel, we are truly missing the point of the exercise and the hands pulling the strings.

        • Kirk James Murphy, M.D. says:

          I wanted to instead offer the idea that this was being done explicitly at the direction of the usual Repug suspects residing in DC, Texas and the other Repug ratholes.

          Totally agree, MadDog. At the nominating protests, the top of the “law” enforcement pyramid is Federal, and they are clearly taking orders from the sleeper “Bushie” cells in control at Dept of Treasury (Secret Service), DOJ (FBI), and Fatherland Homeland “Security” (ATF?). This Federalization of nominating convention “law” enforcement was present even before 9/11: I saw at work in LA in 2000, and my colleagues saw it in Philly that same year.

  9. Boston1775 says:

    I’m bringing this over from a post by Ian this morning. I hope the writer won’t mind, but I want to reiterate that Massachusetts has not been the same since 9/11.

    billybugs August 31st, 2008 at 5:14 am
    34

    there was a time when we were safe from this kind of government intrusion ,but that was a long time ago
    If we go out on the street we can be stopped and searched ,for the safety of the police officer huh!! Just for walking down the street!
    Here in Mass. if you are stopped for a traffic violation and the cop asks if he can search your car a refusal is considered probable cause and your vehicle will be searched. A favorite tactic is the I smell marijauna excuse I know its happened to me!!!
    If police want to search your home they can simply make up an excuse like I heard someone scream or other such BS they don’t need a warrant .
    There was a time when police were careful not to violate your 4th amendment rights ,now they just consider the 4th an impediment to thier job
    Don’t expect any relief from the supremes they don’t seem to know what the bill of rights is!

      • WilliamOckham says:

        Yeah, cuz everybody who throws Molotov Cocktails makes them up three days in advance. Uh, not that I would know or anything…

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Fake cappuccino and Coke may survive for days in a glass bottle; aromatic hydrocarbons, not so much. The basic physics would be obvious, even for a mythic gamegirl generation. Anyone who really did that would be as dangerous to others as someone trying to topple the Brooklyn bridge with a flashlight. Isn’t it illegal for the government to domestically distribute propaganda and disinformation inside the US?

      • Loo Hoo. says:

        : a crude bomb made of a bottle filled with a flammable liquid (as gasoline) and usually fitted with a wick (as a saturated rag) that is ignited just before the bottle is hurled

        The kids Jane interviewed said they were taking empty bottles…

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    What? No Tasers firing until the light turns green and the victim is clean?

    The higher authority only directs me to tell you that fifty of your officers were shot trying to escape.

    – Colonel von Luger, Kommandant of Stalag Luft III, too embarrassed to explain the deaths of fifty escaped prisoners of war while in Gestapo custody.

    I’m making out the report now. We haven’t quite decided whether he committed suicide or died trying to escape.

    – Capt. Renault to resistance leader, Victor Laszlo, wrestling with the bureaucratic task of explaining the death in police-cum-Gestapo custody of Senor Ugarte.

    Abuse it a little at a time, obfuscate it, make fun or a film of it, baldly call it the legitimate exercise of state power, and before you know it, you’re at the bottom of that slippery slope.

  11. plunger says:

    It seems as if the Rockefeller/Exxon/Chase/FED/Bankster/Globalists know they are going to lose politically, and know that their very lives are at stake if their crimes are revealed – and as such – are rushing the Martial Law agenda, forcing the hand of We The People – instigating mayhem on purpose.

    Remember – they ALWAYS accuse others of what they are doing themselves.

    “Conspiracy to instigate a riot?” Right charge. Wrong party. It’s the cops, under Federal Orders, who are intentionally inciting a riot.

    FYI-

    Palin during her 1st pregnancy:

    http://www.dailykos.com/commen…..1609#c1609

    • LabDancer says:

      I would not go that far- the memory banks from the Missouri breaks to the basin into the Gulf are too full of “Heckuva job Brownie”. And the far greater focus on efficacy in Jindal & to a lesser degree Nagin to air & bus NOLA’s citizenry out works to some extent to blunt that- but still brings it up. IMO it works like selecting Palin: it supplies the Repu base- which up to now have felt starved of talking points in their own internal discussion on Brownie’s Katrina, with their version of the “hope” meme: The Hypocrisy of Hope. But as to what it does to the battleground Indies- I don’t think either campaign really knows- which is what makes Palin a Hail Mary.

      But given there’s still 64 days- more to the point 16 news cycles- to go between now & election day, I think once Gustav is gone & NOLAns return home there still may be an opportunity for the Dems to exploit an opportunity here: Glen Beck & Rick Sanchez on CNN & a great many in Zombie Nation have been sticking to the idea of in essence ‘writing off NOLA’- I get the motive as IE look at the demographics- but I don’t quite get the logic: I think it derives from some characteristically denier extension of the Robertson/Falwell “God’s punishment for gay parades” crap.

      So if NOLAns return to the expected devastation & are depicted widely as saying “FEMA never fixed it up after Katrina in first place” I wonder if that could resonate with Indies in other battleground states that are vulnerable to events for which FEMA is intended? It certainly seemed to have done so in the 2006 mid-terms.

    • bobschacht says:

      Gustav is a gift to the Republicans if the levees hold. If they don’t, its disaster for them.

      If the levees hold, they get to look competent, and above politics. If the levees are breeched and the city floods again, it will not only remind everyone once again of Republican incompetence, but will underscore their inability to protect New Orleans after having 3 years to make the necessary repairs. “Who could have predicted…?” won’t work.

      Bob in HI

  12. plunger says:

    The Administration’s actual PLAN is to kill some of the protesters this week – on purpose – Kent State style. It’s not written down anywhere, but they know that the actions that they have taken and the measures they have put in place (hiring inexperienced hot heads as ”deputies”) will lead to killing, then rioting, then Martial law, then more rioting in cities like Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, etc. followed by a big false flag explosion (assume Sears Tower – on 9/11 perhaps?), and then total martial law – nationwide.

    The surprise in the forthcoming ”October Surprise” is that it is coming in September. How’m I doin’ so far, Karl?

    This is what David Rockefeller, Karl Rove, Michael Ledeen and the rest of the CRAZIES have planned for you. Elections? How quaint…just like the Geneva Conventions.

    Send your civilian airliners to Iraq to fly your National Guard Troops home where they belong – PROTECTING YOUR NATION FROM THESE DOMESTIC ENEMIES.

    They are urgently needed to put down this coup.

    • hackworth says:

      That’s a fine theory. Deaths (initiated by right-wing goon squads which shall be benignly identified by the MSM as “police” and “other” “law enforcement” personnel protectin’ the people) —-> Riots=Blacks=Obama.

  13. noonan says:

    Two things, first one on topic, the second off.

    Were there any of these attempts by the Feds to infiltrate, investigate and arrest ‘dangerous’ protest groups in Denver? I never heard a word to this effect anywhere, and, in fact, the arrests made of the wannabe assassins in Denver wasn’t due to any inside information, it was pure dumb luck (reminds me of the Brits using good police work to catch ‘terrorists’ instead of our Big Brother method). Does anyone know of anything like this happening to ‘protect’ the DNC convention?

    Secondly, did the media ever report how big the crowd was that turned out to watch McCain ogle announce his running mate? I read they were struggling to give out 10k tickets although they were hoping for a record McCain event crowd of 15k (which would’ve been 5x more than any crowd ever for him). Compare this with the numbers wanting to see Obama and the 75k+ that fit into the stadium, (5x what they hoped would see McCain) and that sounds like a news story to me.

  14. WilliamOckham says:

    Much of this is due to the most banal of governmental motivations: budget maintenance. We’ve spent vast sums of money (billions) creating a multiplicity of domestic anti-terrorism programs and there’s no threat. All these agencies, task forces, fusion centers, and the like have to justify their continued existence. What better way than some very visible busts of DFH’s while all the corporate and political bigwigs are in town.

    What these guys don’t realize is that they are on the verge of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Injustice and police lawlessness radicalizes law-abiding citizens. Right now, the feds and their handmaidens are worried about the most harmless folks in the world. Street protesters have mostly figured out that trashing Starbucks doesn’t do their cause any good. They are so few in number that they have to be in the game for the publicity. But raids like this risk provoking folks who read Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald; folks who understand organizing, funding, and technology. We won’t be breaking any laws, except the unconstitutional ones. You’ll have a lot harder time making us look scary. We’ll look like your neighbors and friends, because that’s who we’ll be.

    [Aside for the law enforcement folks reading this: This is a scenario I fear, not one I hope for. ]

  15. Monte says:

    Yes there were major cases of harrassment and dentention happening all week in Denver. The police were attacking Code Pink women. There are lots of videos on YouTube. Also check the site wearechange.org and infowars.com. They reported on it and shot video. They also shot video of a huge “dentention camp” near some railroad tracks in a huge warehouse space. It was a secret prison very similiar to the bus terminal cages used in NYC at the RNC 2004 convention. http://www.infowars.com

  16. behindthefall says:

    I know this is a stale recommendation, but “Good Night, and Good Luck”, about Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly of CBS during the McCarthy years, ought to be seen. And the MSM ought to be shown it, even if they have to strapped into their chairs. Leave them room to squirm, though. Do you suppose they would even recognize courage and principles? Would they even understand why Murrow was bothered by what he saw happening?

  17. sojourner says:

    This is a definite OT… but I just have to say how much safer that I feel that Dubya and the Dick are staying in the White House to handle any emergencies from Hurricane Gustav.

    As a native Louisianian, I hope that no one forgets how cavalier this administration was to the concerns from Katrina.

    • klynn says:

      Thank you for stating that.

      I was just over at Juan Cole’s reading the almost complete history of McCain’s voting record IRT NOLA post Katrina…and FEMA-NOLA preparedness funding voting record….Not good for McCain or NOLA.

      I cannot believe he is planning on doing his acceptance speech from there with his record. It will be an insult to the citizens of NOLA.

      Oh well…He’s got a stellar team giving him a “wealth” of guidance. Too bad it is not a “wealth” of knowledge.

    • PJEvans says:

      It’s come up every so often, at various places.
      One friend made the comment this afternoon that Cheney isn’t in MN because he can’t trust George out of his sight. And George would be out there putting foot in mouth – he has already, actually, with his remark that the levees in NOLA are stronger than ever – if he didn’t have constant minding.

  18. 4jkb4ia says:

    At least at the event yesterday in O’Fallon, the estimated crowd was 15,000 to 20,000 people. Governor Argali seemed to be a big hit. I don’t know if my husband has forgiven me, because I FORGOT that McCain was coming because as of last week I had no way to get out there.

    • PJEvans says:

      Oh, it would probably make it by, considering some of the names that I’ve seen attached to various politicians. (It’s kind of fun playing with the trolls who show up at ML: is it troll bingo or a pinata?)

  19. prostratedragon says:

    More false flag cinema: Z (1969). A police state resembling the one that was then installed in Greece (”Any similarity to actual persons or events is deliberate,” it says at the beginning of the flim.) uses street thugs against the antifascists, finally murdering a leading RFK-like figure, who was also a government official. All this and yet the film manages to be screamingly funny at points, as it details how the coverup of these facts was blown open, one of the significant heroes of this effort being an almost suspiciously Fitz-like investigating magistrate. (Trintignant is much shorter.)

    The film’s wrap-up starts

    The Deputy [magistrate superior] was not at the trial. He died of a heart attack, according to the coroner. Several other witnesses died before the trial [following accompanied by evidence photos]: a car accident … a gas explosion … a suicide, a drowning … a work accident, a second car accident … and a heart attack while driving. “Foul play is doubted” says the new Chief of Police.

    It ends with one of the great and substantially true Empire-strikes-back catalogs of idiotic futility:

    Also, the military regime banned Iong hair, mini-skirts, Sophocles, Tolstoy, Euripides, Russian-style toasts, strikes, Aristophanes, Ionesco, Sartre, Albee, Pinter, freedom of the Press, sociology, Beckett, Dostoyevsky, modern music, popular music [including of M, Theodorakis, composer of the film score], new math and the letter “Z” which means “He is alive” in ancient Greek.

  20. CTMET says:

    I’m not sure if anyone is still reading this thread, but I did see one thing on one of the videos that needs followup. There was a search warrant in one of the raids. It was signed off by a judge Joanne Smith.

    All I can come up with on her is this (Below)
    http://www.mncourts.gov/?page=…..8;ID=30297

    Anybody know anything about her? Somebody needs to ask why she authorized the warrant. What was the probable cause?

    Appointed/Elected:
    Appointed by Governor Rudy Perpich on November 10, 1983. Elected in 1986, 1992, 1998, and 2004. Current term expires in January of 2011.
    Education:
    J.D., honors, Hamline University School of Law, 1977
    M.A., highest honors, University of Minnesota-Duluth, 1972
    B.A., cum laude, University of Minnesota-Duluth, 1968
    Employment:
    Assistant Public Defender- Ramsey County, 1979-1983
    Law Clerk (Hon. Allen Oleisky)- Hennepin County Court, 1978-1979
    Professional Memberships:
    Minnesota Women Elected Officials
    Minnesota District Judges Association
    National Association of Women Judges
    Minnesota State Bar Association
    Ramsey County Bar Associations
    Community Activities:
    Board Member- St. Paul Domestic Abuse Project and Crime Victim-Witness Advisory Board
    Volunteer Attorney Advisor- For domestic abuse cases
    Former Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
    Assistant Director- Dayton Halfway House
    Board Member- St. Paul Youth Service Bureau
    Professional Activities:
    Chief Judge- Second Judicial District Court, 1989-1992
    Assistant Chief Judge- Second Judicial District Court, 1987-1988
    Chair- Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure, 1991-present
    Lecturing and Teaching Experience:
    From 1979-1981, Judge Smith was an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law. Since then, she has lectured frequently at local high schools on topics such as, the judicial system, the legal process, and women in law.
    Additional Information:
    Judge Smith was the first woman ever to be elected Chief Judge of a judicial district in the state of Minnesota.

    ——————————————————————————–

  21. sailmaker says:

    I don’t know if anyone will be looking down here, however, here is a link to a report of police seizing a bus/home that is used to house some people going around the country teaching survival skills at farmers markets and the like. Police impounded the bus at gunpoint, leaving the family/group homeless by the roadside with their dogs and chickens.

  22. prostratedragon says:

    @53 and 54, there are some new reports coming in at FDL on some of the dismaying developments in MSP, too.

  23. JohnLopresti says:

    In a recent project looking at the history of US political conventions, I located an article helpfully archived at The Atlantic Monthly site written a month before the subsequently much chronicled Chi68 ‘civil’ unrest. The perspective in the linked narrative seems to be that of television opsis, with a tinge of the technical detail regarding morphing equipment design as a key determinant of the respective political parties’ unison migration to staged rather than real bartering convention gatherings. The tale in the Atlantic seems less than prognosticatory, in retrospect, concerning the outdoor demonstrations, but it was known at the time that there was a convergence of many sorts of malcontents, some peaceable, others bearing various gradations of mens rea. Then well into a career in journalism, a reporter who experienced covering his first national political convention, GMiller’s outlook seems to have been shaped by that early spectacle in his career working in the media, the linked article is one he published a week ago reframing the import of what occurred that time forty years ago.

  24. Mason says:

    We are missing the Affidavit for Search Warrant, a sworn statement submitted to the judge in support of the application for the search warrants. She reviewed it to decide if the information set forth probable cause to believe that a crime or crimes were committed and the premises to be searched contained evidence of that crime. Most likely one affidavit was submitted in support of the search warrants and it likely was filed under seal (i.e., unavailable for review without a court order). The affidavit likely will be made public when the investigation is completed and someone is charged. We will want to review it when it’s published.
    Probable cause is a legal term that in this context means reasonable grounds to believe that a crime was committed and certain premises contain evidence of that crime (i.e., the items listed to be seized). Whether probable cause exists depends on the totality of the circumstances (federal standard), which depends on the facts set forth in the affidavit and the reliability of the source or sources of information asserting those facts. Typically in cases like this the sources are paid informants or undercover cops who infiltrated the various targeted groups. Some or all of these sources may have worn wires or some type of recording equipment, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that some of the information in the affidavit came from wiretaps, which usually require a warrant based on probable cause (unless this is a terrorist case).
    Based on the items seized at the locations of the various searches (i.e., innocuous rather than a proverbial “smoking gun”), the peaceful nature of the groups, and the few arrests for conspiracy to riot, which depends on how the legislature defined riot, I seriously question the accuracy of the information in the affidavit and the reliability of the sources of that information. Intent to engage in peaceful protests and participation in peaceful protests is protected by the freedom of speech and freedom of assembly clauses of the First Amendment. Journalists and videographers covering the protests are also protected by the First Amendment right to publish so that we the people know what’s going on.
    I think we’re seeing preemptive Nazi-style police intimidation of innocent people who intend to participate in lawful and constitutionally protected dissenting behavior. This is exactly what so many of us have predicted would happen. It is intolerable and likely to provoke, rather than prevent riots. If a riot ensues, expect the police to start it by overreacting to someone who insults a cop. It won’t take much of an insult to provoke a massive overreaction.