By Matthew Rothschild on August 24, 2011

The CIA is not supposed to be involved in domestic law enforcement.

But according to a blockbuster story by the AP, it’s up to its neck in it in New York City, working dirty hand in black glove with NYPD, doing things that even the FBI isn’t allowed to do.

The CIA’s chief spy became the head of the NYPD’s intelligence unit, and ran it, by his own admission, like a mini-CIA. He even hired a CIA officer, though the CIA itself kept paying the guy. And the NYPD sent one of its own officers to the CIA for special training.

The activities that this mini-CIA authorized should bother anyone who respects our laws and civil liberties.

Like sending informants into mosques when there’s no evidence of anything illegal or threatening going on there. The informants were called “mosque crawlers.”

Or like sending undercover agents into minority neighborhoods. They were called rakers, and they worked out of the NYPD’s “Demographic Unit.”

Can you say “racial profiling?”

They even sent these rakers into ethnic bookstores and ethnic restaurants.

And they “recruited shopkeepers and nosy neighbors” to become informants, too, like the discredited TIPS program.

Congress and the Justice Department need to investigate this huge overreach by the CIA and by the NYPD.

The CIA appears to have violated its charter by getting involved—deeply involved—in domestic law enforcement.

And the NYPD may have broken several laws on racial profiling and privacy and other statutes that are supposed to protect our civil liberties.

For all intents and purposes, the NYPD should change its name to the NYCIA.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Feingold's Wise Choice Not to Run."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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