Joy in galley as Portland quits FBI task force
By Anna Griffin, The Oregonian
As an Oregonian myself (thank heavens not an urban dweller...), it comes as no surprise that the nanny-gov't, "gimme gimme group" of City Council members voted 4-1 to not cooperate with the FBI Task Force on terrorism.
But just to set the record straight, Portland's police chief Derrick Foxworth couldn't disagree more, as he stated in an article in the Oregonian back in March of this year .
Chief Foxworth warned Mayor Potter that "pulling out of the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force would make it extremely difficult for city police to prevent terrorism and respond to an attack in Oregon."
No sheeeeeeet Sherlock. But warnings to not only this Mayor, but former Mayor Vera Katz, from the constantly embattled police chiefs traditionally are ignored in this very liberal city center. Indeed, the Council and mayoral views of Portland's police have rarely been supportive and, more often than not, highly critical.
Potter himself sees little benefit to remaining in the Task Force.
"When we look at our history, we see examples that when we blindly give people power, that sometimes the power is misused," Potter said. "It is in our lifetime that we have seen that. We have people sitting in that room who have felt the effects of the abuse of power."
"I don't think whether we stay in or out of the JTTF will determine the safety of Portland citizens. I think what will determine the safety of Portland citizens is when we work together, when we watch out for each and care for each other, that our society is safer."
The safety of Portlanders does indeed depend upon the idea of "when we work together". However as 9:11 has revealed, that "working together" bit must include federal, international and local intelligence. How Potter arrives at the notion Portland can run independent of this information is beyond me. Then again, how he got elected is also beyond my comprehension.
What is especially noteworthy is Potter, in anticipation of federal reprisal, has already "invited" the ACLU to "sit in on his negotiations with the federal government." Potter, big on the "gimme money" game, is worried he'll lose valuable federal funding in the wake of the Council's vote.
The ACLU, all to happy to comply with Potter's invitation, has their own agenda. They are desperately searching for proof of misuse and spying by various Task Forces around the US, and have filed FOIA requests in 10 states, including Oregon. And with Portland's Council vote, they are hoping to get more urban centers to follow suit to shut out the FBI Task Forces around the nation.
Exactly who's side is the ACLU on when it comes to combatting terrorism on our soil?
Speaking of misuse of power, no one is more versed in that skill than the Portland City Council membership. They're attempting to purchase PGE, and have added another $7.5mil in lawyers fees to the denizens already outrageous tax structure. If the deal doesn't go thru, there's at least an estimated $3 mil of unrefundable fees that will need paying anyway - coming out of the city's already sky high property taxes. A perfect example of frivolous spending without assurances of the outcome.
It is also noteable that Gov Kulongoski and the State will not be racing to Portland's aid for the electric company's acquisition. The Portlanders will be standing alone on this one, and paying thru the nose for for the Council's gamble.
And on the sale of PGE, Texas Pacific had put in a bid for the purchase, but the City Council voted to oppose it, saying the purchase price "wasn't high enough". One has to doubt they are offering more. Considering they are also potential purchasers, one can only admit the obvious conflict of interest on behalf of the city residents.
Despite the Oregon popular vote against gay marriage, Portland's City Council unaminously voted in favor of such, and was among the first after MA to issue gay marriage licences. This was later invalidated by the Oregon Supreme Court who stated that counties do not have the authority to deem State Statues as unconstitutional... not that that will stop the Portland City Council members. The law be damned. They do what they want.
In Februrary of 2002, the City Council voted to designate a portion of Sunderland Yard as a campground under Oregon law in order to house the homeless who band together, traveling around the city, in a community they call "Dignity Village". Sunderland Yard is a city-owned leaf-composting facility close to the airport and downtown. Using their elected power to enable the homeless.... That will cure the problem, yes?
In December of 2004, the Council decided to wade into the State's arena of alcohol sales, restricting the sale of such in two minority dominated areas of North Portland - labelling it an "alcohol impact area". A true example of intolerance and bias from those who love to tout the tolerant banner.
Those of us living in rural Oregon can only look to the city centers of Portland, Salem and Eugene, and wonder just what is it we have in common with the urbanites. Yet they have control over our federal voice by sheer numbers. Yes... this is democracy at work. And thank heavens we're a republic or we'd all be knee deep in doo doo.
But Portland has put not only their city, but our areas at risk with their non-cooperation with the FBI terror task force. They may launch attacks at the city center, but terrorists will be putting their state training camps in my neck of the woods! And this is not okay with me.