- 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
- 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
- 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
- http://www.brasscheck.com/seattle From Brasscheck <firstname.lastname@example.org
- Step one: Hold extensive riot trainings for local police
in preparation for a large demonstration that is avowedly peaceful. (Source:
- 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
- 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
- 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.