Ray Kelly: Please Call My Spying “Enhanced Police Investigation”

In the city in which the NYT news page insists on calling torture “harsh” or “enhanced interrogation” when America does it, I’m not surprised that NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly objects to news outlets calling his spying spying.

“I just wish the media would show some responsibility and use the words ‘surveillance’ or ‘police investigation’ rather than ‘spying.’ To use that term, to be accusing you of ‘spying,’ is, to me, really offensive,” Mr. [Peter] King said, asking Mr. Kelly what he thought of the issue.

“It’s a pejorative term, it sells well,” Mr. Kelly responded. “They forget we’ve the subject of 14 plots since 9/11 … We’ve been lucky. We just have been lucky.”

Mr. King also discussed the political implications of the debate. He said the “spying” rhetoric “puts a cloud over what you’re trying to do. That’s why I worry about the campaign and whoever the next mayor happens to be, if it’s against the back drop of ‘spying’ charges.”

I can see why Peter King worries about the political implications of spying. He heartily approved of the NYPD spying on 28 businesses in his own district. He even applauded the NYPD spying on kosher businesses–after having mocked such an idea as ridiculous–after CBS stole my reporting on the topic and confronted him with the fact that NYPD was, indeed, spying on Iranian Jews as well as Muslims.

So King, who faces voters in November, celebrates NYPD’s baseless spying on his constituents and, even when confronted with the stupidity of the NYPD’s spying choices, ultimately supports them unquestioningly. But he’s beginning to worry about the political implications of such brainless boosterism.

And Kelly just thinks (unsurprisingly given the treatment he’s usually accorded) the press should supinely heed his demand that they use euphemisms to dress up his spying program (while not objecting to the accuracy of the term, I might add).

While we’re discussing supine treatment, what is the word Kelly would prefer we use to describe the decision to have a booster like Peter King, guest hosting a radio show, invite Ray Kelly in to attack his critics and defend the department’s spying?

“Enhanced fellatio”?

I always seem to get this particular euphemism wrong.

8 replies
  1. bmaz says:

    I feel I must, simply must, forward this to Tamron Hall and MSNBC after reading the last two lines.

    That aside, it is pretty funny how thin skinned Kelly and King are on this. If they truly believe in the efficacy, why not just stand up and say “listen it is really just surveillance, but call it what you want it is legitimate and effective police work”. The problem, of course, is that it is not and is violative of suspect minority classes and religious activities.

  2. GeoffCN says:

    EW, thank you for the last sentence. Made me chuckle in the middle of a difficult morning. I don’t “chuckle” much; it was nice.

  3. Peterr says:

    The whole “we’ve been lucky” refrain suggests to me that Kelly isn’t terribly happy with the results his spies — um, his ‘enhanced police investigators’ — have been providing.

    Maybe he just needs investigators with better enhancement.

  4. rosalind says:

    hey kids! know anyone committing securities fraud, or insider trading? the fbi has a PSA out featuring Michael Douglas telling you how to send in a tip!

    now remember, that’s “securities” fraud, not “securitization” fraud – wouldn’t want to be clogging up their tip line with long-needed investigations into ongoing criminal acts being committed by the entire Financial Sector necessary to even begin to restore rule of law to our Property system.

    nope, in that case, “If you see something, say nothing”, cause nothing is what they’ll ever find.


  5. joberly says:

    EW, I’m arriving late at this thread. Yes, I’d say WCBS-Channel 2 stole your reporting. That was a 96-page document you read. Your post went up late Friday afternoon. Their report was posted less than five hours later. They did get two quotes, one of them unsourced. The other by a guy named Benny Rafailov. It’s not clear if Rafailov was one of the kosher butcher-operators in Great Neck.

    P.S.–my mother graduated Great Neck H.S., Class of 1940

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