FBI Predicted WTO
Violence - How To Panic
A Police Force
SEATTLE - Seattle officials were warned more than two weeks before the World Trade Organisation conference that violent or destructive criminal activity by protesters and anarchists was a 'distinct possibility'.
The warning was contained in a classified FBI counterterrorism threat assessment given to Seattle police and other law-enforcement agencies which participated in WTO security planning.
This calls into question statements by Seattle Mayor Paul Schell and police officials who repeatedly said they were surprised by the extent and nature of the violent protests that disrupted the WTO meeting last week.
A copy of the FBI report, labeled a 'threat update,' was obtained last week by The Seattle Times.
The report also called attention to an incident one month before the WTO conference that gave Seattle police a picture of the vandalism and violence that would play itself out on the streets.
Bob Royer, a spokesman for Schell, said last night that Assistant Police Chief Ed Joiner, the head of WTO security planning, has said many times that the FBI threat assessment was accurate.
"We thought we could handle it," Royer said, referring to the protests.
But Schell was forced to declare a state of emergency and call in the National Guard in a crackdown that has unsettled the city. Nearly 600 people were arrested as protesters and bystanders alike were swept up in the police action.
Property damage and lost business downtown totalled more than $20 million. The fallout led to the pending retirement of Police Chief Norm Stamper and forced Schell to defend the city's WTO planning against widespread criticism.
In the aftermath, Schell and police officials have said the department was unprepared for the number of vandals and violent protesters and for their tactics, which included using non-violent demonstrators as shields.
Schell's office declined repeated requests to release the FBI report before it was obtained by The Times, saying it was an FBI document. City officials also refused to discuss its contents.
Seattle 1-2-3: How To Panic A Police Force From Brasscheck < 12-14-99
Step one: Hold extensive riot trainings for local police in preparation for a large demonstration that is avowedly peaceful. (Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Step two: Send FBI and Secret Service to the trainings to tell the cops, off the record, that huge violence is expected and five to six of them will likely die or be seriously injured. (Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Step three: Have the mayor and chief tell the cops there is nothing to worry about and dismiss their concerns about being unequipped and under prepared. (Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Step four: Let the cops scramble, on their own and without supervision, to stockpile weapons and devise tactics to protect themselves against likely death and disability. (Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Step five: Sit back and watch the local police go berserk.
Step six: Call the demonstrators "eco-terrorists" and make Seattle the new national standard in "riot" control and the justification for new funding for COINTELPRO-type programs to suppress dissent.
Step seven: Count on the small group who cares to focus on things like waiting for the Amnesty International report and the results of lawsuits while ignoring all the common sense and easily answered questions like: what weapons were used, where did they come from, what tactics were used, who conducted the trainings, how did the police overreaction happen, and who, if anyone, engineered the mess.
Your tax dollars at work.
Prediction: Lots of hand wringing about the evil Seattle police (Gullible? Easy to stampede? Thuggish? Short sighted? Yes. Evil in the mastermind sense? No.)
But *nothing* about the behind the scenes role played the played by the FBI, Secret Service, and who knows who else.
Oh, Clinton's former Secret Service head, John W. Magaw who was most recently director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, just joined FEMA. FEMA was up there in Seattle too.
Have a nice new milliennium.


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