How to Deny Truth

Jo Ann Hardesty, second from left, in demonstration at City Hall December 2015

Jo Ann Hardesty, second from left, in demonstration at City Hall December 2015; Your Intrepid Reporter holds handmade sign

In her column, printed in the Portland Tribune yesterday, former State Representative Hardesty made an interesting observation.

I’m troubled that the immediate reaction from the Portland Police Bureau and the Portland Police Association is to tell their officers they don’t have to participate in oversight body meetings.

What about public accountability? What about community engagement?

— that is, the former state Representative asks, did not the police assure us that they were going to stop shooting citizens who are unarmed and no threat to anyone — people like James Chassee whom the Portland police beat to death a few years ago on a public street, allegedly because he was micturating in public.  Without then any solution for this continuing problem of lethal police brutality against innocent civilians, the police are assuming the position of unaccountable military occupiers of poor neighborhoods.

Director of the Portland NAACP chapter Hardesty continues directly

I understand the frustration the community members feel when you are looking at a video of an incident and police are testifying that what the public sees isn’t what happened.

This understates the situation pretty drastically: as will be seen by reference to The Whole Truth, the account already provided to readers of This Blog, not only the public but every member of the so-called Citizens Review Committee, the only citizen body officially empowered formally to reprimand individual police officers it considers derelict in their duty, was on record stating that the video shows the officer grabbing Mr West’s camera.

It is the considered opinion of the Cascadia Chapter of the Pacific Green Party that the testimony of Captain Mark Kruger and that of Acting Commander Burke is merely one symptom of government at all levels denying responsibility.

The government of the United States has been chastised before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, for failing to perform the promised cleansing of surveillance records.

“The government has informed the court that there was no intent to leave the FISC with a misimpression or misunderstanding, and it has acknowledged that its prior representations could have been clearer,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence claimed.

Unless it has been designated for retention, the NSA is supposed to delete data picked up on the Internet within two or five years, depending on the means through which it was collected.

But in a notice to the FISC last July, the government said that it was retaining some data on two systems used by the spy agency for longer. According to the court opinion, the NSA claimed that it was keeping the data for “collection avoidance” and to comply with other procedures.

The court had previously demanded that the NSA get rid of data in a similar situation in 2010 and 2012, and “it would be difficult to conclude” that the ruling did not also apply in the July, 2015, case, Hogan claimed.

“Perhaps more disturbing and disappointing than the NSA’s failure to purge this information for more than four years, was the government’s failure to convey to the court explicitly during that time that the NSA was continuing to retain this information,” he wrote.

Not doing what you said you’d do to a court — isn’t that what we are seeing, when the Portland Police Department refuses to acknowledge evident fact?

The Portland police deny they are responsible for grabbing a camera because, despite the fact — and it’s a fact — that the videotape showed the officer grabbed the camera, the supervising police Captain read the dictionary definition of “grab” to the CRC and then said the police officer’s action “met every definition of reasonable”.

No admission was made that the officer grabbed the camera.

No admission was made to the federal surveillance court that the government violated its agreed treatment of records.

It’s the response by those in power who assume impunity before the law.  The republican form of government cannot sustain such violations on the part of its sworn custodians.  It will collapse.

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
This entry was posted in Bradley Manning, Dan Handelman, Fascism, Gun Control, Inequality, Local government, Pacific Green Party, Police, Ronald Reagan, Seth Woolley, U.S. Constitution, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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