President Obama’s recent Africa tour could be of great significance.
The CIA is not supposed to be involved in domestic law enforcement.
But according to a blockbuster story by the AP, its up to its neck in it in New York City, working dirty hand in black glove with NYPD, doing things that even the FBI isnt 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