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Fact-Check: How the NYPD Overstated Its Counterterrorism Record

Has the NYPD, celebrated as the nation’s top counterterrorism cops, really helped thwart 14 “full-blown terrorist attacks”?

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, speaks at a news conference as Police Commissioner Ray Kelly listens in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Dec. 29, 2011. Bloomberg has staunchly defended Kelly and the NYPD's program of surveillance of the Muslim community. (Henny Ray Abrams/AP Photo, File)

The NYPD is regularly held up as one of the most sophisticated and significant counterterrorism operations in the country. As evidence of the NYPD's excellence, the department, its allies and the media have repeatedly said the department has thwarted or helped thwart 14 terrorist plots against New York since Sept 11.

In a glowing profile of Commissioner Ray Kelly published in Newsweek last month, for example, journalist Christopher Dickey wrote of the commissioner's tenure since taking office in 2002: The record "is hard to argue with: at least 14 full-blown terrorist attacks have been prevented or failed on Kelly's watch."

The figure has been cited repeatedly in the media, by New York congressmen, and by Kelly himself. The NYPD itself has published the full list, saying terrorists have "attempted to kill New Yorkers in 14 different plots."

As Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in March: "We have the best police department in the world and I think they show that every single day and we have stopped 14 attacks since 9/11 fortunately without anybody dying."

Is it true?

In a word, no.

A review of the list shows a much more complicated reality — that the 14 figure overstates both the number of serious, developed terrorist plots against New York and exaggerates the NYPD's role in stopping attacks.

The list includes two and perhaps three clear-cut terrorist plots, including a failed attempt to bomb Times Square by a Pakistani-American in 2010 that the NYPD did not stop.

Of the 11 other cases, there are three in which government informants played a significant or dominant role (by, for example, providing money and fake bombs to future defendants); four cases whose credibility or seriousness has been questioned by law enforcement officials, including episodes in which skeptical federal officials declined to bring charges; and another four cases in which an idea for a plot was abandoned or not pursued beyond discussion.

In addition, the NYPD itself does not appear to have played a major role in breaking up most of the alleged plots on the list. In several cases, it played no role at all.

The NYPD did not respond to requests for comment on the list of 14 alleged plots and how it was assembled. Update (7/10): Bloomberg countered our story Tuesday afternoon, saying “we’ll never know” how many plots the NYPD has truly thwarted.

The following is a breakdown of the plots on the NYPD's list.

Substantially developed or executed plots:

  • Faisal Shahzad (Getty Images)The failed 2010 attempt by Faisal Shahzad to set off a crude car bomb in an SUV in Times Square. Shahzad was in contact with the Pakistani Taliban before and after the attempt, according to the government, and he pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his role in the attempt.

    The plot was widely seen as a law enforcement failure, as Shahzad was able to plant the rigged car in Times Square without being on the radar of the NYPD and other agencies.

  • Najibullah Zazi (Getty Images)The thwarted 2009 plot by three former high school classmates from Queens to set off bombs in the subway system. One of the plotters, an Afghan immigrant named Najibullah Zazi, testified in court this year that he and the others had received training from "Al Qaeda leaders" in Pakistan. He also admitted bringing bomb-making materials into New York. All three men have pleaded guilty or been convicted of terrorism charges. According to the AP, the plot was uncovered not by the NYPD, but rather by an email intercepted by U.S. intelligence.

  • A British Airways aircraft takes off from Heathrow Airport. (Getty Images)Transatlantic Plot In August 2006, British authorities arrested a group of men who were later charged with plotting to blow up planes bound for North America from London with liquid explosives. (This is the plot that led to restrictions on carrying liquids aboard planes.)

    The plot is included on the NYPD's list of 14 because, according to British authorities, one of the men had a memory stick that had information on flights bound for several Canadian and American cities, including, in one case, New York. The plan was to blow up the planes over the ocean.

    During the trial, there were questions about whether the men were going to act on the plan imminently. Three consecutive trials in the case ultimately resulted in eight convictions. The NYPD was not involved in thwarting the plot.

Cases with significant or dominant role by government informants:

  • Riverdale Temple (Getty Images)The case of the Newburgh Four, in which four men from upstate New York planted what they thought were real bombs outside synagogues in the Bronx. The men were found guilty in the case in 2010 after the jury rejected an entrapment defense. The bombs were fakes supplied by the government.

    An informant posing as a Pakistani terrorist recruited Walmart employee and Muslim convert James Cromitie over nearly a year, giving him gifts, including rent money and a trip to an Islamic conference. The informant plied Cromitie with offers of $250,000, a luxury car and a barbershop. An FBI agent on the case acknowledged under cross-examination during the trial that the government was essentially in control of what the four were doing while they were with the informant. The government maintained that Cromitie was an anti-Semite who talked about committing acts of violence and posed a real threat.

    A judge who rejected an appeal last year nevertheless called the government's conduct in the case "decidedly troubling."

  • (Jeremai Smith/Flickr)Herald Square Pakistani immigrant Shahawar Matin Siraj was arrested in 2004 and convicted in 2006 at the age of 23 of conspiracy to bomb the Herald Square subway station in Manhattan. The jury rejected an entrapment defense.

    An informant for the NYPD's Intelligence Division played a key role in the case and was paid $100,000 by the government over a roughly three-year period. He told Siraj he was a member of a (made-up) group called "the Brotherhood" that would support a bomb plot. Siraj was recorded talking to the informant about blowing up bridges and other places in New York, including the Herald Square subway station. The informant later told Siraj that the Brotherhood had approved the plot and that a leader of the group was "very happy, very, very impressed" with the idea. The informant told Siraj the group wanted him to put backpack bombs in the station, and he drove Siraj and another man to the station to do surveillance.

    At his sentencing, Siraj apologized to the judge but maintained he had been "manipulated" by the NYPD informant. Siraj did not obtain explosives, there was no timetable for the plot, and there was no link to any foreign terrorist group, according to the New York Times.

  • Fuels tanks at JFK Airport (Getty Images)JFK Airport Russell Defreitas, a naturalized American citizen from Guyana and former airport cargo handler, and Abdul Kadir, of Guyana, were arrested in 2007 and convicted in 2010 of conspiring to blow up fuel tanks at JFK airport.

    At the press conference announcing the charges, a federal prosecutor said the public was never at risk. A law enforcement official described Defreitas, 63 at the time of his arrest, to the Times as "a sad sack" and "not a Grade A terrorist." Pipeline experts told the paper that the men's plan to blow up a wide area was not feasible.

    Defreitas was recorded making odd comments talking to the informant, saying he wanted the attack to be "ninja-style" and that the airport was a good target because "They love JFK -- he's like the man. If you hit that, the whole country will be in mourning."

    An informant on the case was a convicted drug dealer paid by the government and worked in exchange for a lighter sentence in a pending drug case. He drove Defreitas to the airport several times to do surveillance with a camera that the informant had purchased for Defreitas. The informant also provided plane tickets to South America and, with the help of the FBI, secured a New York City Housing Authority apartment for Defreitas (that was under surveillance).

U.S. officials (often anonymous) question credibility or seriousness of cases:

  • Jose Pimentel (Getty Images)The case of Jose Pimentel, a Manhattan Muslim convert who was arrested in November 2011 on "rarely used state-level terrorism charges" after federal authorities took a pass on the case.

    Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. alleged that Pimentel had been "building pipe bombs to be used against our citizens." City authorities said Pimentel had no contacts with foreign terrorist groups and called him a "lone wolf."

    In a series of leaks, federal authorities expressed skepticism that Pimentel was a threat. A federal source told the New York Post that Pimentel was a "'stoner' who wasn't a real danger to anybody other than himself." Another source cited by the Post questioned his mental faculties, saying he had once tried to circumcise himself. A federal source told DNAInfo criminal justice editor Murray Weiss: "Let's just say there were issues whether [Pimentel] had the ability to do this without the intercession of the confidential informant." Weiss also noted that the informant went shopping with Pimentel at Home Depot to buy pipe bomb materials, and the bomb was constructed at the informant's apartment. Pimentel, who reportedly could not afford to even pay his cell phone bill, has pleaded not guilty.

  • Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh (Getty Images)The case of Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh, alleged "Islamic extremists" and "lone wolves" who lived in Queens and were arrested in May 2011 after buying guns, ammo, and an inert grenade from an undercover police agent. The authorities alleged that the two men were planning to attack a New York synagogue because they were upset with how Muslims were being treated around the world.

    But the case was another example of an alleged plot that the FBI took a pass on. Citing federal law enforcement sources, WNYC reported that the FBI passed on the case because the bureau found the undercover operation "problematic" and the allegations "over-hyped." And the website NYPD Confidential reported that Ferhani has a history of mental illness.

    The AP noted the case faltered early on when a grand jury declined to indict the two men on a high-level terrorism conspiracy charge. Both have pleaded not guilty to lesser terrorism charges.

  • Brooklyn Bridge (Dan Nguyen)Brooklyn Bridge Ohio truck driver Iyman Faris pleaded guilty in 2003 to providing material support to al Qaeda; he met with senior al Qaeda leaders abroad and researched how to attack the Brooklyn Bridge. Terrorism analyst Peter Bergen has called Faris "an actual al Qaeda foot soldier living in the United States who had the serious intention to wreak havoc in America" but "not much of a competent terrorist." Bergen wrote the plan Faris researched to sever the bridge's cables with a blowtorch as "akin to demolishing the Empire State Building with a firecracker."

    The plot never got off the ground. According to the Justice Department, Faris sent messages to Pakistan "indicating he had been unsuccessful in his attempts to obtain the necessary equipment." According to the DOJ, Faris also concluded after a trip to New York that the idea "was very unlikely to succeed because of the bridge's security and structure."

  • PATH Train (Getty Images)PATH Train In 2006, 31-year-old Assem Hammoud was arrested in Lebanon. FBI officials announced that he and others — who had never met but communicated on the Internet — had been plotting a suicide attack on subway tubes under the Hudson River.

    The Washington Post quoted U.S. counterterrorism officials questioning the credibility of the plot, reporting that they "discounted the ability of the conspirators to carry out an attack." One official described the matter as "jihadi bravado," adding, "somebody talks about tunnels, it lights people up." A counterterrorism official told the Times, "[t]hese are bad guys in Canada and a bad guy in Lebanon talking, but it never advanced beyond that."

    Hammoud never visited the U.S., and there were no charges brought against him here. In 2012, Hammoud was sentenced to two years in prison in Lebanon, which he had already served.

Cases in which an alleged idea for an attack was not pursued:

  • (Getty Images)"Subway cyanide" This alleged plot, first detailed by journalist Ron Suskind in 2006, was reportedly for a chemical attack on the New York subway system. Suskind reported that a U.S. intelligence source had said that al Qaeda was considering such an attack in 2003 but ultimately abandoned the idea. There is no evidence that the NYPD or any other law enforcement agency played any role in al Qaeda's decision to abandon the idea. There were also reported doubts about the quality of the intelligence and the credibility of the alleged plot.

    "None of it has been confirmed in three years," a U.S. official told the Times, "who these guys were, whether they in fact had a weapon, or whether they were able to put together a weapon, whether that weapon has been defined and what it would cause or whether they were even in New York."

  • New York Stock Exchange (Dan Nguyen)"NYSE/ Citi HQ" A British citizen named Dhiren Barot or Issa al-Hindi was arrested in the U.K. in 2004 and pleaded guilty two years later to conspiracy to murder. He had attended terrorist training camps and had contacts with Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, according to the government. He had taken video and photos of landmark sites in New York in 2000 and 2001 including the New York Stock Exchange and the headquarters of Citigroup.

    An appeals court later reduced his sentence from 40 to 30 years, citing the "uncertainty" as to whether Barot's conspiracy would ever have amounted to an actual attempted attack, and the court's conclusion that one of the ideas for an attack in the United Kingdom was "amateurish." The appeals ruling also noted that after Sept. 11, Barot's plans for any attack in the U.S. "may have been 'shelved'" to focus on the U.K. The court also noted that there was no evidence that al Qaeda leadership had endorsed any of the ideas. Prosecutors also accepted that there was no money or equipment lined up for any of the ideas.

    There is no evidence the NYPD had any role in the investigation that led to Barot's capture.

  • Garment District (Chris Tengi/Flickr) Garment District Uzair Paracha, a young Pakistani living in the United States, was convicted in 2005 of providing material support to al Qaeda. Prosecutors said that Paracha had tried to help a Pakistani al Qaeda member named Majid Khan gain entrance to the U.S., including a scheme to fool immigration authorities into letting Khan into the country.

    The NYPD list says that "Paracha is reported to have discussed with top al Qaeda leaders the prospect of smuggling weapons and explosives — possibly even a nuclear device — into Manhattan's Garment District through his father's import-export business." But the indictment against him makes no mention of any such plot.

    Instead the NYPD appears to be referencing a claim by Khalid Sheik Mohammed to American interrogators that Paracha's father, who is currently a Guantanamo detainee, discussed a plan with KSM to smuggle explosives into the U.S. through an import business he co-owned in Manhattan's Garment District.

    KSM said he wasn't sure of the son's involvement and neither the father nor son has been charged with anything related to it.

    According to the government's detainee assessment on the father, Saifullah Paracha, KSM said he wanted to use the explosives "against U.S. economic targets" but New York is not mentioned. KSM told interrogators that another man was to "rent a storage space in whatever part of the U.S. he chose" to hide the explosives. There is no claim in the detainee assessment that the idea ever got beyond discussion. Saifullah Paracha has denied the accusation. Mohammed also later told the Red Cross that in the period when he made the claims about the Paracha, shortly after his capture in March 2003 when he was apparently being subject to torture, he gave "a lot of false information" to interrogators.

  • Long Island Railroad (Getty Images) Long Island Railroad Bryant Neal Vinas, an American Muslim convert from Long Island, was arrested in 2008 in Pakistan by authorities there. In 2009, then 26, he pleaded guilty to providing material support to and receiving training from al Qaeda. He told the court he "consulted with a senior al Qaeda leader and provided detailed information" about the Long Island Railroad in a discussion of a possible attack.

    But in a trial in 2012 in an unrelated terrorism case, Vinas testified that to his knowledge the railroad idea was not pursued beyond discussion. Published reports do not mention any NYPD role in the case.

It seems the Bloomberg administration wraps itself in superlatives & has, absolutely not surprisingly, the media finesse to keep these coming. Why has this been allowed to get this far? Like the cover of “stop & frisk,” it weakens the NYPD which depends very much upon the public’s trust for its success.

Good reporting. Bloomberg et al are liars. Kelly must go.

What’s the old saying?  If the government doesn’t trust the people, they should dissolve them and elect a new people?

Bruce doesn’t seem so far off.  It looks increasingly (from just a few miles outside the city line) like Bloomberg and Kelly’s approach is, rather than make the police department more trustworthy, frighten the people so that the police are trusted blindly.

And it’ll work about as well as his “big soda” ban as he celebrated Donut Day.

Oh, and if there are any terrorists reading this, don’t bother blowing up the LIRR.  Service is lousy enough that nobody would notice the difference, and you can pretty much disable the entire network by putting wet leaves on the tracks.  I assume these leaves are the natural predator of the locomotive.

The Brooklyn Bridge plot, though, is completely laughable.  When Roebling (and his wife) designed it, anywhere in the math (or material strength) that was unclear got multiplied by a factor of six.  Given that strong hurricanes aren’t impossible up here, shooting a firecracker at the Empire State Building might be overstating the threat significantly.

Don’t rap Bloomberg too hard - at least on this one.  Kelly’s the real con artist in this case.  He has a mysterious gift for gaining the trust of his employers and the public, no matter how often he’s shown to be exaggerating, manipulating facts and statistics, or outright lying.  Stories about enforcement exploits that have him anywhere in the background should be considered tainted until close examination proves otherwise.

Besides what we know about him, though, surely others have felt my skepticism over the preponderance of stories where failed plots were the subject of “stings,” and were actually just short of enticement.

A continuing problem with policing is the fact that this government function collects and reports the data about which it is measured. Unless crime data, in general, is collected and disseminated by an independent body, it must always be taken with a grain of salt.  The incentive to lie is just too tempting.

Paul J. Browne, Deputy Commissioner, NYPD

July 10, 2012, 3:33 p.m.

The NYPD never said it stopped 14 terrorist plots. We’ve repeatedly said that New York City was the target of at least 14 terrorist plots since 9/11 because it is a fact. Critics want others to believe that terrorists who failed were not threats. If you believe that, we have a bridge to sell you – one that al-Qaeda hoped to destroy.

Justin Elliott

July 10, 2012, 4:58 p.m.

We appreciate the NYPD’s response. But contrary to the deputy
commissioner’s comments above, department officials have claimed credit for helping thwart 14 plots.

Mitchell Silber, Director of Intelligence Analysis, NYPD Intelligence Division, said the following while testifying on Capitol Hill
in March, “We built an intelligence and counterterrorism program that has served as a deterrent and has helped to protect the city from fourteen terrorist plots since September 11, 2001.”

Then, a Mighty Angel picked up a boulder shaped like a huge Mill Stone, and threw it into the


Atlantic Ocean,


and cried mightily with a loud voice saying!!

Just as I have thrown away this stone, the great city of Babylon will be thrown down with violence , and shall never be found again!!!

The Book Of Revelation, Chapter 18 verse 21

Phil Perspective

July 10, 2012, 5:58 p.m.

So the NYPD’s # 1 spokesbot leaves a comment here?  Sounds like someone exposed his two bosses(Bloomberg & Ray Kelly) as the emperors with no clothes.

Mr. Elliott -

Thank you for calling “bullshit” on Deputy Commissioner Brown’s statement.  The media in NYC, especially the NY Times, have shown too much deference to Bloomberg and Kelly vis a vis the NYPD’s policies and practices including terrorism, stop and frisk and Compstat .  Keep up the good work.

Timothy McKeever

July 10, 2012, 6:50 p.m.

I would like to understand the idea behind exaggerating fact on the part of the NYPD and government in general. My belief is that it is a way of justifying the enormous cost to the taxpayers, which to date has only impacted the way Americans travel. For instance, I would like to see an expert in explosives actually demonstrate how to make a bang big enough to down an airplane, using a 12 oz. tube of toothpaste, shampoo and a pair of nail clippers. My guess is that it would be easier to scrub a hole through the fuselage with a toothbrush. I would also like TSA to explain why we are being irradiated at levels which caused other countries actually closer to terrorist home bases to stop using them.  I think we are far more likely to be harmed by TSA screening or a pilot shooting a hole through a critical circuit panel while playing with his pistol during a long flight ( oops! already happened). I feel so safe.

With all due respect, the mayor claims primacy. Mr Murdoch’s NY Post’s much cited 11/11 piece: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/bloomberg_calls_nypd_his_own_army_t6r5pINQhahldXvnT8kPGJ, also has Mr Bloomberg trumpeting his “state department,” which btw, is headed by his sister, Marjorie Tiven. His administration has largely disappeared NYC’s 10 official sister city relationships. (The concept dates back to Eisenhower.) Two of those cities, if he were truly a statesmen, should have been the subject of serious cultural diplomacy post-9/11: Cairo & Jerusalem. Instead nothing. The bombings of two others - Madrid & London - elicited deafening silence from hizonor & his representatives. Back to 2011: The NYPD anti-terrorism unit was on the job & had cordoned off the area around the NYSE on day 1 of OWS.

In the comments above, the NYPD deputy commissioner says the department “has never said it stopped 14 terrorist plots.”

Our reporter Justin Elliot has already offered one statement from a top cop showing that’s not the case.

Here’s another:
At a graduation ceremony for new officers less than two weeks ago, NYPD commissioner Kelly said the following: “Together our Federal partners, the Police Department has helped defeat 14 terrorist plots against New York City.”

The Establishment realized as far back as 1980 that 20 million (new applicants) Americans would be lining up each and every day to collect Social Security and all other promises made to the Working Class since World War II and the Cookie Jar was empty.

The futurists within government saw this “Generational Storm” on the horizon 30 years ago.

That is why Free Trade was introduced in 1980. It allowed the Rich Folks to move their wealth and assets offshore and unavailable to seizure in lieu of broken promises.

The largest U.S. export to China is scrap metal and recycled paper. China will be able to satisfy the American Market with just what falls off their assembly lines.

These anti-terror laws are being put into place because the Establishment realizes that it is one thing not to have gained the American Dream, but quite another to have gained it and to have lost it. The anger is gonna be huge.
http://www.dotandcalm.com/calm-archive/EconomicNotes.html

The only reason that the Occupy Movement has not become “Whole” is because the visible minorities are wanting to keep their powder dry and not destroy the first black presidency.

That is why Obama will be “Allowed” to win the presidency again, but not the control of Congress.

Calm

Claiming that they stopped 14 plots, or 50, or 1000, isn’t going to affect me the taxpayer very much, and it might just possibly persuade the next terrorist nut case that maybe he or she should go after a less “hardened” target, and one far less valuable to the US, and the world, than New York City.

Calling “bullshit”, on the other hand, is like calling the NYPD incompetents, and it’s very nearly inviting people to go ahead and try something, and I’d have to say it’s a big long stretch to call that “journalism in the public interest.”

So if you really want to call “bullshit” on the NYPD, and you’re REALLY all about journalism in the public interest, you could put some more effort into an issue that people might welcome, and where change might be needed, such as the phoney crime stats and the baseless stop-and-frisks.

Fear is great for one’s re-election chances.  In the meantime, law enforcement agencies need to consider the crimes they are committing in encouraging people into terrorism.

@Ron, calling bullshit is about asking people to account for their words and actions.  In this case, New York isn’t facing as much of a terrorist threat as Bloomberg is describing, and the threat it is facing appears to largely be developed by the agencies that are supposed to be fighting that threat.  Without the entrapment approach described in this article in relation to many of the “plots”, most or all of them would have existence only in someone’s imagination.  That’s not your NYPD protecting you, it’s your NYPD doing some rather sinister stuff.

Steven Gilbert

July 11, 2012, 6:23 a.m.

I don’t care about the PR aspects or even if there’s an element of exaggeration.  I just want to feel safe and these guys help.  Not all terrorists are hapless clowns.  Pick them all up and dispose of them before somebody does some real harm.  The point is that there was enough info to prevent 9/11.  Lack of cooperation and inability to connect the dots lead to a catastrophe we never want to experience ago.  Bravo Ray Kelly!  Keep up the good work!

Lorna Salzman

July 11, 2012, 7:18 a.m.

ProPublica has published what they consider an expose of the NYPD, who they say has overstated the number of terrorist plots they have prevented or disrupted. But you can’t trust PP either. They have arbitrarily divided terrorist plots into several categories, which enables them to equally arbitrarily “eliminate” them from the NYPD claims.

The two categories they have selected to make their case are:
terrorist plots identified with the use of informants who supposedly “entrap” innocent people into joining nefarious plots; terrorist plots that were botched or never completed. They also decided, arbitrarily, to create a subcategory:  plots which (they say) the terrorists would have been unable to complete due to stupidity, lack of skill, lack of technology, and lack of money.

They also add to this latter category the possibility that the lack of these materials could have led to the terrorists being acquitted by a jury. You’d have to have a pretty stupid (or terrorist-complicit) jury to acquit a plotter of mass killings because you didn’t catch him with a bomb or machine gun on his body.

Shades of William Kunstler defending blatant criminals! Pro Publica has just turned itself into the judge and jury, to decide what constitutes “real” terrorism and what doesn’t. The key here is, of course, that their findings are ex post facto, like the post-bridge game dissection of what went wrong and which partner was responsible. What if 9/11 had taken place but no one was killed? What if the plane had crashed into the water?
Does this mean the terrorists on the plane were innocent because their plot failed? Imagine one of their lawyers pleading innocent on their behalf, on grounds that they were lousy pilots and therefore their plot was doomed to failure. Surely you jest, Pro Publica.

As for informants, a big duh. There are various ways of tracking down criminals, through actual criminal evidence (photos, fingerprints, etc.), circumstantial evidence, and informers, whether a planted spy or a terrorist who changes his mind and goes to the police. Pro Publica, like the defenders of other criminals, has decided unilaterally that the use of informers automatically renders a terrorist plot null and void. Imagine the handicaps that would be imposed on police if the law were to eliminate the use of informers entirely. That’s not going to happen, and to date not ONE jury has declined to indict a criminal on grounds of entrapment, and quite wisely too. I don’t know about any of you, but I do know that if a police informer disguised as a plotter came to me and suggested setting off a bomb or killing someone, he would be booted out the door and reported to the authorities.
Most humans are quite unwilling to commit a crime even if they were guaranteed to never be caught or found guilty. Most humans are not criminals. But criminals ARE criminals.

The Pro Publica article is arguably one of the biggest paleoliberal scams ever published.
Its findings are completely lacking in credibility and show the huge exertions that took place in order for them to blast the NYPD. What prompted them to do this? Anti-police attitudes?
Pro-terrorist attitudes? Or just the usual bleeding heart liberal pap that plays to the rest of the paleoliberal crowd anxious to discredit any and all shows of serious anti-terrorist work by the NYPD or any other law enforcement bureau?

I personally think that these people, and lots of others, are looking for a way to fight back against the new reactionaries on the right… the Tea Party, neo-cons in general, and Republicans. They want to stand tall and look good for their brethren, they want to make sure they have the right medals pinned on to them, so they are not mistaken for all the other political Neanderthals on the scene. With so many right wing crazies running loose these days, liberals have to really go out of their way to dissociate themselves. What better way than to attack law enforcement agencies?

Pro Publica is a bunch of jerks pretending to do serious political work. And to do this, they have to write their own script. That makes it a work of fiction.

Brandon Ballenger

July 11, 2012, 8:59 a.m.

Ron, if I understand you correctly you’re saying it’s in the public’s interest and safety for the NYPD to lie to us?

And that ProPublica is acting AGAINST the public interest by telling the truth?

That’s a novel take on things. More novel than Lorna’s “ProPublica is so liberal and biased!!” at least.

@Steven Gilbert - The issue is, would you rather FEEL safe or actually BE safe?  Because we are never 100% safe, things do go wrong - but we can spend a fortune building putative panic rooms so we feel safe enough to go about our daily lives.

The FBI has long been up to its neck in the national security equivalent of cooking the books (see http://bordc.org/letters/2011-07-12-mueller.pdf for an exhaustive review of those issues), so it’s not surprising to see the same dynamic at work at the NYPD. Agencies have to justify their ever-increasing budgets, eh?

Also FWIW the NYPD continues to degrade civil rights in a variety of contexts. Advocates have connected the dots between stop & frisk profiling and surveillance profiling, but the news (and even alternative) media has yet to follow suit.  See http://www.constitutioncampaign.org/blog/?p=8523 for more analysis of the intersections among these very closely related issues.

Long story short: someone needs to shine a long overdue light on the NYPD.

I suspect the government’s supporters here are confusing two different issues.

When you have compromised an enemy’s communication network, that is something you keep secret and lie about.  For example, when you learn where terrorists are exchanging messages or what kind of codes they use, you keep that under wraps so that they keep unwittingly feeding you information.

When you stop an actual threat, though, there’s no security in hiding that.  The enemies already know which schemes whether a scheme was real or whether it succeeded.  Lying about it weakens our position, rather than strengthening it.  It also weakens authority, because we now know that said authority is clearly not to be trusted.

Besides, if you feel more comfortable living in a police state where the government rides roughshod over the citizens, can’t you just move to such a country where that’s the norm, rather than importing it here?  Isn’t totalitarianism and pseudo-religious militancy exactly what we’re supposed to be fighting against?

=v= Let’s not forget that the mass arrests around the time of the Republican National Convention were supposedly to address a “commingled threat” of terrorism, anarchist violence, and unlawful protesting.  There was no terrorism nor anarchist violence, but 1800 people were arrested and hit with thousands of charges.  The vast majority of these were dismissed, many because evidence proved them to be fabrications.

Civil and class-action suits are still going on, 8 year later, and the city’s lawyer is still peddling the “commingled threat” line despite the total lack of threat.

clarence swinney

July 12, 2012, 10:19 a.m.

BALANCE OUR BUDGET NOW

National Income 14,000
2013 BUDGET 3803 expendiutures
2901 revenue   901 deficit
Top 50% make 7000—Pay 12.5% Tax Rate
1100 in Exemptions
A 50% Tax Rate on Top 50% covers it
Corp does not make enough to dent it
WHAT DO WE DO?

Cut spending—Only these have enough

Defense social security medicare medicaid interest=80% of total

Simpson Bowles gave a blueprint but was rejected by Obama

15,500 of Debt Income 14,000—-Projected to keep borrowing in 600-700 range

How do we get more Income as a nation?

Clinton was on target. CBO projected 10,000 surplus in 2010
Bush wars tax cuts part D ruptured a great program
Outsourcing big damage—`1,300,000 jobs left under Bush
Multi-nationals enjoy record profits but are damaging long term health of our economy
My hometown raped.

Problem is in the Outdated books of over-done laws. Common sense does not have value anymore. We need to make those man-made books of laws simple to give natural justice a chance.
Let Obama go ahead and make a fresh start!

Demagogues use the fear of imagined threats to unite the citizenry behind their “leadership” and in support of their expansionist wars.

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