so we can get a sense of how many people
are contacting Council.
HISTORIC BACKGROUND INFORMATION
City Council Hearing on the Portland Joint Terrorism Task
February 24 March
10 March 17,
Thursday, April 28, 2 PM City Council Chambers (SW 4th and
We worked on the effort for Portland to withdraw from the JTTF in 2005;
now Council is considering joining again. Download proposal from
the ACLU of Oregon on improving the 2005 agreement:
(.doc file) (.pdf file)
And the Mayor's
May 4, 2005:
Portland Votes to Remove Officers from Joint Terrorism Task Force
On April 28, 2005, Portland City Council voted 4-1 to withdraw its two police officers from the
Terrorism Task Force (PJTTF).
The resolution requiring the withdrawal allows 90 days for
the officers to
stop going to work every day at the FBI building, but rather to come back to work for the Portland
Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU).
Despite criticism from the mainstream media, the Portland Police Association, the Citizens Crime
Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Senator Gordon Smith, and others, the resolution explicitly calls for
Police to work cooperatively with the FBI. As has been encouraged for many years by many of the
testifying to City Council about the PJTTF, it is possible for Portland to help the FBI with
investigations of those who are using violence to blow up and otherwise harm people for political
(or any other!)
reason without giving up oversight of what those officers are doing.
Details of the resolution, which stemmed from an agreement reached by Mayor Tom Potter after
Agent in Charge Robert Jordan refused to grant him, Chief Foxworth, and the City Attorney "Top
clearance to oversee the officers on the task force, include:
--The two officers will retain their "Top Secret" clearance for use during a "critical incident or
--The FBI can request the officers assist in any "Secret" level investigation subject to review and
withdrawal by the
Chief and the Mayor.
--Mayor Potter (the Police Commissioner) will not be allowed to sit in on the PJTTF Executive
Group, but Chief
Foxworth will be able to, and after Potter has "Secret" clearance Foxworth can brief the Mayor on
So for all the fearmongering that the sky is falling and the City snubbed the feds, those who have
concerns about the FBI's past and current record of spying on people for their political, religious or
affiliations have more to worry about than those who think Al Qaeda is sleeping under every child's
--The resolution doesn't explicitly call for the City Attorney to be involved in the oversight of
officers involved in
--The resolution doesn't address oversight in cases of "Top Secret" emergencies;
--The FBI was reluctant to give "Top Secret" clearance or allow Mayor Potter on the PJTTF
because he is an elected official, not a member of Law Enforcement; however, the Multnomah
office is considering joining (and the Clackamas County Sheriff's office is currently on) the
PJTTF. It has not
been made clear whether those Sheriffs, who are both elected officials _and_ law enforcement, will
be allowed into
--The FBI continues to assert that Senator Wyden has the ability to oversee the Task Forces
nationally, but Wyden
was quoted in the paper saying he would "trust and verify," which is not the same thing as having
monitoring of the JTTFs to prevent abuses;
--JTTFs in Denver, Fresno and elsewhere have already been found to have infiltrated non-criminal
--Oversight of the Portland Police Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) is practiced and permitted by
"Independent" Police Review Division (IPR). However, the actions of the officers once activated by
the FBI may
not be due to the security clearance issues;
--The FBI and the US Attorney admitted it is not their job to ensure Portland officers are following
But this is all the more reason for us to continue to demand transparency and public reporting on
the activities of
the CIU and the PJTTF.
We recommended that the Mayor add an annual review to report how often the officers are asked to
join the FBI
and whether the new agreement is working. He said he would consider doing that, if the FBI agrees
At the April 28 hearing, Mayor Potter emphasized the point that, in fact, is why Portland Copwatch
is a project of a
peace group: That in this country, we have the President, a civilian, to oversee the military, and so we
civilian oversight of law enforcement on a local level. He admitted that prior to becoming a police
officer, he shared
the fear expressed by one Arab-American man whenever he saw a police car in his rear view mirror.
He said that
the community should be assured that officers are there to protect them, not to harm them.
He expressed confidence that the resolution was the correct decision to make, shrugging off a
suggestion from a
reporter who told him that if anyone were to attack Portland, he would be "toast." He joked, "I
depends how close to it I am."
Again, he emphasized that he had built a working relationship with the FBI and the US Attorney,
perhaps a better
relationship than existed when the officers were left to work for the FBI unsupervised.
Six months after the officers actually withdraw from the Task Force, the Mayor, Chief and FBI will
agreement. (Perhaps the ACLU, who sat in on the negotiations with Potter and the FBI, will be
involved in that
By taking this proactive step now, Portland is perhaps stemming the tide of post-9/11 hysteria and
will likely be the subject of reparations and apologies some 40 years down the line.
information from prior to this new resolution is
included elsewhere on this site.
Read information on a case of
spying on our parent group, Peace and Justice Works, which was rejected by the US 9th
Circuit Court on
March 2, 2005.
To 2003 PJTTF documents page