Will the NYPD Be Spying on Muslims to Learn What They Think of These Administrative Punishments?

The AP reports that 6 soldiers and 3 Marines responsible for burning Qurans in Afghanistan and for urinating on a corpse, respectively, will receive Administrative punishment (the punishments for other Marines involved in the urination incident have yet to be announced).

If NYC’s Muslims plan to talk about the adequacy of Administrative punishment for the defilement of a corpse, they should be aware that the NYPD finds such conversations legitimate topics for spying. As Adam Serwer noted last week, one of the things (incompetently) redacted in the transcript of NYPD Intelligence Chief Thomas Galati’s deposition was that officers were recording Muslims’ reaction to the treatment of a New Jersey Transit worker who had burned a Quran.

The improperly redacted conversations cited by the NYPD official, associate police chief Thomas Galati, in fact consist of Muslims discussing discrimination against Muslims after 9/11. The conversations contain no evidence of terrorist ties. In one of the redacted conversations, an Urdu-speaking man says, “This is unbelievable, that New Jersey Transit Worker who got fired for burning the Holy Quran by Ground Zero was rehired last week.”

As I noted, the NYPD justified recording such conversations because–Galati claimed–they indicated where terrorists might be comfortable.

So it’s probably safe to assume that NYPD’s spooks will head out to cafes in Pakistani neighborhoods so they can eavesdrop on the response to this punishment.

5 replies
  1. thatvisionthing says:

    I would like to know if those who start the conversations are recorded and identified as well if they are in fact government agent provocateurs?

    From Antiwar Radio/Scott Horton interview of Bruce Fein in 2010:


    Horton: In fact I just interviewed a writer, a journalist named Stephan Salisbury, about some of these entrapment cases, these bogus terrorism cases since September 11th. And he talks about how the informants always use Israeli policy, American policy in the Middle East as their talking points to try to provoke these people into saying something stupid into an open microphone so that they can be prosecuted. And they don’t ever say, “Don’t you hate it that women can wear skirts to a primary election?” Or something like that. They always say, “Look at what’s going on in the West Bank! How can you not fight back?” That’s what the provocateur says to entrap.

    I’m picturing a kind of Rube Goldberg breeder reactor fail policy mechanism. The crappier a policy is, the more fuel it creates to feed itself.

  2. thatvisionthing says:

    P.S. I’ve posted that quote before, I remembered it, but when I went back to the Fein interview to find it, the part immediately before it seems kind of on topic and contributory to the wisdom of it all, if the NYPD/feds are interested in reasons and wisdom:

    Fein: Yeah. Well, and of course the fact is [that] empires ultimately end up in self-destruction because the arrogance and the duplicity of their motivations cause resentment and what you might call “blowback,” which is exactly what, largely, Osama bin Laden/al Qaeda is about.

    It’s very striking, Scott, that if you examine the reported colloquy that was had in a New York Federal District Court up in the Southern District of New York recently between Faisal Shahzad – he was the individual who pled guilty to having the car with a bomb in New York Times Square – and the attempted conspiracy, if you will, to kill Americans – and he was asked by the judge when he pled guilty, “Well, why did you do this?” He said, “Well, we are at war with Islam; that’s what the Afghanistan and Pakistan wars are about.” And she said, “Well, but why are you killing women and children if it’s a war?” And he says, “Well, your drones don’t make any distinction when they come crashing into Afghanistan and Pakistan between women and children – they kill anybody. So why are we to play by Queensberry rules where you engage in atrocities?” And she didn’t have an answer for that.

    And this was an individual – Faisal – who was a U.S. citizen. He didn’t say, “I hate American liberty.” He didn’t say that he despised the fact that women didn’t have headscarves on or burqas that caused him to do what he did. It was retaliation for exactly what we’re doing abroad.

    This is the stupidity – we are creating a hundred new enemies for every drone that kills one militant, if we even know how to define a militant. This is quite stupid, but that’s the stupidity of empire – ultimately to destruction, like Rome, the Ottomans, the British, etc.

    Look how far we’ve come in the two years since that interview. Now we know how to define a militant, thanks to the president: http://my.firedoglake.com/wendydavis/2012/08/14/today-is-terror-tuesday-say-a-prayer-for-the-chosen-ones/#comment-3

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Naturally, “terrorists”, like the State Dept. and the CIA, operate only where and with whom they feel comfortable.

    The assertion is so false that it begs the question why the NYPD is so blatant about its routine collection of private data about named individuals because they, their neighbors, friends, compatriots or even enemies sorta, outta, somehow, might, some day be upset enough to commit a crime.

    Which is another way of saying that they admit to surveilling unknown numbers of little brown unchristianists as a way of avoiding saying how many other people they are also surveilling.

  4. Jeff Kaye says:

    I hate to tread into such sordid waters, but can’t help but note this absurdity from the AP story:

    According to the report, the troops knew they were handling religious texts as they examined the library books for extremist content, but they couldn’t read them because they were written in other languages.

    And by the way, desecration of a corpse is a felony in many states (New York, Utah, Alabama, etc.). In some other states it’s a misdemeanor.

    And then there’s Geneva (not this countryncares, having tossed Geneva so the nation can torture,

    Geneva Convention IV
    Article 16, second paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “As far as military considerations allow, each Party to the conflict shall facilitate the steps taken … to protect [the killed] against … ill-treatment.”

    Additional Protocol I
    Article 34(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “The remains of persons who have died for reasons related to occupation or in detention resulting from occupation or hostilities … shall be respected”.

    Additional Protocol II
    Article 4 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II provides:
    1. All persons who do not take a direct part or who have ceased to take part in hostilities, whether or not their liberty has been restricted, are entitled to respect for their person [and] honour …
    2. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the following acts against the persons referred to in paragraph I are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever:

    (e) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment …



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