A lead article in Thursday’s NY Times provides us with a breaking story by Charlie Savage regarding “a newly-disclosed” report from C.I.A. Inspector General David B. Buckley concerning a decade-long program of C.I.A. employee and related liaison activity within the New York City Police Department. It's all brought to light in today's edition of the paper with the “public” disclosure of a document comprised of “…an executive summary and cover memo provided by the C.I.A. in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center…” (“E.P.I.C.”).
E.P.I.C., a nonprofit civil-liberties organization, in turn, delivered a copy of the document to The New York Times.
C.I.A. Report Finds Concerns With Ties to New York Police
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
New York Times
June 27, 2013 (Page A1)
WASHINGTON — Four Central Intelligence Agency officers were embedded with the New York Police Department in the decade after Sept. 11, 2001, including one official who helped conduct surveillance operations in the United States, according to a newly disclosed C.I.A. inspector general’s report.
That officer believed there were “no limitations” on his activities, the report said, because he was on an unpaid leave of absence, and thus exempt from the prohibition against domestic spying by members of the C.I.A…
The front page story in tomorrow’s NY Times continues on to note that another C.I.A. analyst was on the NYPD’s payroll, and “…he was…given ‘unfiltered’ police reports that included information unrelated to foreign intelligence, the C.I.A. report said.”
The findings of the classified review of activities between the C.I.A. and the New York City Police Department during the ten-year period following 9/11 “…found that the four agency analysts — more than had previously been known — were assigned at various times to ‘provide direct assistance’ to the local police. The report also raised a series of concerns about the relationship between the two organizations.”
Additionally, the report “…found that the collaboration was fraught with ‘irregular personnel practices,” that it lacked “formal documentation in some important instances,’ and that ‘there was inadequate direction and control’ by agency supervisors.”
The Times article quotes Ginger McCall, the director of E.P.I.C.’s Open Government Project, who states, “The C.I.A. is not permitted to engage in domestic surveillance…Despite the assurances of the C.I.A.’s press office, the activities documented in this report cross the line and highlight the need for more oversight.”
C.I.A. spokesperson Dean Boyd counters McCall’s assertions, as the article reports, “…the inspector general found no legal violations or evidence that the agency’s support to the Police Department constituted ‘domestic spying.’”
Boyd continues in an email to The Times...
...It should come as no surprise that, after 9/11, the C.I.A. stepped up its cooperation with law enforcement on counterterrorism issues or that some of that increased cooperation was in New York...The agency’s operational focus, however, is overseas, and none of the support we have provided to N.Y.P.D. can rightly be characterized as ‘domestic spying’ by the C.I.A. Any suggestion along those lines is simply wrong...Covering the contents of the report, Savage notes...
…The report shows that the first of the four embedded agency officers began as an adviser in 2002 and went on an unpaid leave from the agency from 2004 to 2009. During that latter period, it said, he participated in — and directed — “N.Y.P.D. investigations, operations, and surveillance activities directed at U.S. persons and non-U.S. persons.”The article continues on to provide readers with significant amounts of new and fascinating information, and I strongly encourage all reading this to click upon the link above; read the full piece and come to your own conclusions.
The official received a Police Department paycheck…
I will say that this report’s timing, in light of the Snowden story being in the headlines for most of the past month, also dovetails quite extensively with much of what I reported in my post here on Monday: “Pyrrhic Insanity: The Full-Court Press On Snowden Intensifies; D.C. Goes Into Full Orwell Mode.”
In it, I specifically focused upon this Reuters article, from this past Friday...
NYPD expands surveillance net to fight crime as well as terrorism(Bold type in blockquote, immediately above, is diarist's emphasis.)
By Chris Francescani
Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:24am EDT
NEW YORK, June 21
(Reuters) - Having developed one of the most sophisticated surveillance networks in the United States, the New York Police Department is now expanding its use, giving local precinct commanders new powers to fight street crime with high-tech tools previously used only in counterterrorism operations.
"The technology, having been inspired and engineered with a sense of urgency after 9/11, has obvious applications to conventional crime fighting," said Paul Browne, chief NYPD spokesman. "That is in the process of being expanded citywide, for what - after all - is our primary mission, which is to fight crime."
New York is among a handful of big U.S. cities that have been developing extensive surveillance networks in recent years using federal anti-terrorism funding...
...There are no legal restrictions against using the surveillance network for traditional crime fighting, though much of the network has been built with Homeland Security grants. But the sheer scope and sophistication of the system worries people like Christopher Dunn, associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
"There is no outside monitoring of the use of this system at all...no protections now - none, zero," said Dunn, whose group filed a lawsuit on Tuesday accusing the police of violating religious freedoms and constitutional guarantees of equality in its monitoring of Muslim communities...
Furthermore and stating the obvious, the N.Y.P.D.-C.I.A. relationship would appear to be many steps beyond the efforts facilitated by the implementation of 72 Homeland Security (DHS) "Fusion Centers" throughout the U.S.
(My posts from April 4th, May 29th and June 9th, linked below, directly and indirectly relate to today's NYT story, as well.)
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