FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force

February 21, 2011

RE: Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF)

SEE Attachment: “The Politics of Fear – Living in a Terrorama Society”

Sam Adams, Mayor/Commissioner, samadams@ci.portland.or.us

Nick Fish, Commissioner, nick@ci.portland.or.us

Amanda Fritz, Commissioner, Amanda@ci.portland.or.us

Randy Leonard, Commissioner, randy@ci.portland.or.us

Dan Saltzman, Commissioner, dan@ci.portland.or.us

Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204

From the first Red Scare during World War I, to the present, our national history is replete in its obsession with national security at the expense of liberties of its citizenry. In the process, lawful political activity and free speech are regularly thwarted. The obsession itself virtually always lacks sufficient oversight, no matter the rhetoric to the contrary, with law enforcement efforts quickly becoming stage managed using informants and concocted propaganda.

The politics of labeling, whether one is called a “communist” or a “terrorist,” have virtually always masked realities of systemic injustices and egregious class inequities. While the Red Scare was prosecuting “radicals” and “Bolsheviks,” the KKK, with as many as 25 percent of the adult male population of the country, was regularly murdering and lynching African Americans with impunity. Terrorists? Not even suggested.

As distance between a democratic base and its law enforcement mechanisms are increased, accountability of police behavior inevitably decreases, no matter the amount of training. The empirical pattern of abuse is so well documented that accountability structures are paramount.

I have been a direct victim of being labeled a “domestic terrorist suspect” on the whims of the FBI simply for expressing my vigorous nonviolent dissent to Reagan’s policies of terror against the impoverished in Central America. And under President Obama, the lack of protections of civil liberties has actually increased. It takes little for the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to collect information on lawful political and religious activities using the most spurious grounds.

Joining the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force only complicates accountable law enforcement.


S. Brian Willson, J.D., LL.D (Hon.)

One Comment

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