During the activist phase of his life, Rick sent aid to the Zapatistas, starting with medical supplies. He says it was "stupid" of him to buy guns for them but that he was moved to do so after hearing stories of government paramilitary soldiers killing women and children in Zapatista villages and men marching into combat with wooden facsimiles of guns. They didn't have the guns to defend themselves.
During Rick's sentencing hearing, even the prosecuting lawyer—US Attorney Andrew Friedman—pointed out that Rick "was not trying to make money" but was moved to help out of a sense of altruism. "In fact, he spent money doing this."
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By the way, what can we do to get rid of John Diaz. Like the article says, "you have to put somebody up on that cross" and I think we should start with the Police Chief.
King Dro (who performed many nights at Cafe Unamerican) has a song called Shhh-Speakeasy that does it justice.
At the very least we need to clean house with our local police force. Hopefully this article can help with that movement.
for more discussions on the case.
Government is the source of most societal problems but w/o enforcers - the ones in this report with legal authority to use physical force - all the regulations/edicts/mandates/laws/etc are merely words spouted verbally or written down.
Persuade enforcers to get truly productive jobs while using shame and shun on those who continue to be agents of force, government. Without enforcers, politicians words are just that and nothing more.
The Slacker PD (SPD) is even worse than many have suspected; chronically incompetent idiots and morons, making fantastic salaries all out of proportion to their abilities and intelligence (kinda reminds one of the banksters??) together with a completely dirty and compromised FBI.
While politics dictates a good deal of the corruption among the FBI, it is important to undertstand that its director, Robert Mueller, is a walking atrocity to justice.
First appointed to the DOJ by George H.W. Bush to head its Criminal Division, Mueller was brought in to intercede on Bush's behalf as the BCCI investigation was getting far to close to the Bush family.
And equally important, it is crucial to recall that those investigations -- prior to 9/11 which might have derailed it -- and those following it, were ALL conveniently quashed by the same two -- I repeat two and only two fellows in the FBI's counter-terrorism office, Frasca and Maltbie, later to be promoted for their perfidy.
Of course, the politics comes in because the FBI, by rights, should be investigating the bankster criminal class, instead of creating artificial crimes and keeping the privatized prisons in business by constantly sending them innocents to fill their profit-making operations.
Thanks to Mr. Kiley and others at The Stranger for outstanding investigative journalism -- a rare thing indeed in today's printed news.
These kind of statements can only harm the defendants as they (possibly) will be used by the prosecution against them.
US foreign policy in Central and South America has been a morbid disaster considering our government officially sanctioned SOA / WHINSEC and the CIA-backed Contras. Then it's doubly confusing seeing Catholic priests teaching the natives revolutionary Marxism and then also seeing Father Roy protesting SOA. Figure that one out ... Rick sounds like a good-hearted guy who made some bad choices. Sad story all around. The SPD budget is the biggest line-item for the City of Seattle. It's like 500 million dollars a year -- and they only clear a small fraction of reported crimes. In many instances I think they aid and abet organized crime.
Nope; sorry; not here...
City Councilmember, Bruce Harrell
*Civil Rights Committee
City Councilmember, Bruce Harrell
*Civil Rights Committee
How does this affect credibility? You find this story less believable because it tells the facts you don't like told?
"or thwart future undercover operations." If this is in the least bit indicative of SPD and/or FBI undercover operations, thwarting future undercover operations would be a good thing. Put the clowns responsible for this clusterfuck back on the beat, hopefully doing something productive. Police departments around the country are pretty much not even responding to reports of crimes because they claim lack of funding, and yet it sounds like several million dollars went into this sting.
As for this guy Rick, it's hard to feel sorry for someone when you want to hit them for being so fucking stupid.
I don't think most people in the country have a CLUE about the extent of corruption in this country. The take away from this story is assume the cops and the criminals are pretty much the same. Assume anyone involved in any crime, no matter how petty, may be a cop or someone working with the cops. And assume any cop is crooked and possibly has ties to organized crime. Because the cops have demonstrated time and again that they cannot or will not discipline bad cops who break the law and kill innocent people out of their roid rage. And once you have a system that cannot correct itself, it doesn't take long for it to be corrupted to the core.
Thanks to BK. Much braver than I am. I worry for your safety and the reprisals that you and the Stranger will surely be the target of one day.
Is the Period Hive Mind really an FBI surveillance operation? If the levels of intelligence and analytical depth displayed are characteristic of the FBI as an institution or its individual agents, then all of this makes a lot more sense.
I am no activist and I can hardly be called an artist, but I feel so strongly that what is being done here in this report is so wrong and is against our rights that I am willing to reach out to those who have bigger voices than I do so it can be heard and so there can be change.
This article is probably the most truthful of all the articles and reports out there about the case of a "speakeasy" and illegal gambling ring right here in Seattle that took almost 3 years and tons of tax payer money to investigate. I am an honest citizen, I pay my taxes, I know these people, and this is an ENTRAPMENT case like none other and yet there are cases and cases like this towards activists and artists all over the country!
Some of the people in the story are my close friends. Not criminals but artists, dreamers, musicians, and adults with big imaginations. People who were bold enough to live life outside of this ever confining box.
The bottom line is, FBI is stuck in a world that is better left for the movies but our art community is at risk of being silenced forever if we do not act on this today. I think it would be good for a community of artists, friends, and dreamers to share their frustrations over stories like this in a loud, open, and public way. If we do not speak out now about it, we may find that we will not be able to speak later and I do not want to lose my right to be different.
I respect police and detectives for the hard work they do everyday, (my father was a detective, my grandfather was a sheriff) but when they fuck-up and go the wrong way in a case....like in this case....they should own it and not find a way to "fix" it by putting good people away. Why do these people get the highest penalties under the law when the violent criminals get put back on the street? This is their job (SPD & FBI) to protect and serve the community, but they are forgetting who the "community" is and once a cop looks at everyone like an enemy, it creates a bigger problem.
I don't want to just sit back and let this happen to someone else. FBI should focus on serious dangers, not artists.This is their job, this is what they get paid (LOTS) of money to do. There needs to be standards like in any other job and it is time we demanded this.
I am not a violent person and I don't want people to start a riot, but I do want people to express their disappointment over where this case went, what our FBI agents are focusing on, how our tax money is wasted every day on stuff like this, and hopefully get the FBI to stop watching bad cop movies and start supporting the beautiful art communities and rich culture we bring to this city and others everyday.
Post this article everywhere you possibly can!
Oh: and members of The Stranger staff may or may not be coke buddies with the accused.
Other than that, well done. It's a fascinating story and a relatively well-researched article that was totally fucked up by the The Stranger's complete lack of journalistic ethics.
*Bruce Harrell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Burgess: email@example.com
Sally Bagshaw: firstname.lastname@example.org
Committee Staff member, Betsy Graef: email@example.com
I believe that the heading for the article describes the police actions as: "...Investigating People for Their Social Habits and Political Beliefs."
Did law enforcement officials know that this guy had previously been involved in supplying firearms to revolutionaries? Did they have evidence that he interacted with individuals who identified themselves as the Earth Liberation Front (or other self-identified "eco-terrorsits")? These would be pretty-fucking-important questions to address right off the bat if you're going to try to make the case that the government was persecuting him simply because he didn't like George Bush and threw a lot of parties.
Now - did the police go too far? Did their investigation turn out to be a waste of time? These are darn good questions that are worth answering, but they're difficult to answer when the person providing us information has ruined his own credibility by going to such silly lengths to intentionally obfuscate the facts that would have initially justified an investigation.
PS - Are you retarded? Do you need me to explain to you why counter-terrorism investigators might look at a person who has supplied weapons to revolutionaries and think: what else might this dude be up to?
Rick and his lawyer had to TELL them that during the "charge shopping" stage of the negotiations, as it says in the transcript of Rick's sentencing hearing: The prosecutor admits that he never would have charged Rick with that crime if Rick and his lawyer hadn't deliberately told him about it.
"Simple career self interest of FBI agents mandates that they try to create terrorists in places that are good places to live and work for them and their families. If there aren't any terrorists in Seattle, then they risk being transferred to someplace like Pakistan where there really are terrorists. Good luck convincing the wifey that its good news that you are being transferred to Pakistan. Thus, better find some terrorists in Seattle."
"The officers named in the police report are Sergeant Ryan Long (who made $133,339 in 2009, with $28,805 in overtime), Sergeant Jim Kelly ($120,503, with $14,196 in overtime)" and so on...
Have a look at: http://www.worldsalaries.org/usa.shtml
for US salaries. The police seem to be earning wages at the level of the second highest paid workers in the US -- Dentists.(would you believe doctors are 1st ? No !)
Some will say "what about overtime?" & yes that does put it up, yet most of them are still over a $100K.
Anyway, the price of malicious incompetence sure seems high in the great state of Washington.
Although I may not agree with the merits of the investigation, I find your post rather childish. This is the same detective that purchased the 9 Kilos of drugs from ranking Honduran cartel leaders. Also, rumor has it that this detective has purcahsed assault rifles and other stolen weapons from Mexican Mafia members and skinheads.
I mean, bummer that he got set up and popped, and bummer that he fucked his whole social circle in the process, but Jesus. He really should have known better. He did know better. Fuck sake.
And to the guy above saying Rick should have noticed it, I say... they are probably watching you for something too. just wait.
And Brendan interviewed a ton of people for this story. Junior was one voice in a chorus.
I don't think i would call that a complete waste.
Why are cops paid so well? This is because the primary role of police is to protect the rich and prevent the poor from organizing, whether it's in Central or North America. Capitalist goons for hire. Everything else they do is just Brownie points. Well, after reading this article I'm afraid, so I guess they must be doing their job.
a) That is a mischaracterization of the situation. To repeat myself:
b) The government spent zero resources investigating Rick for that Zapatista moment. The government didn't even know about it until Rick told them in a charge-shopping deal after the investigation was finished. What the government spent its resources on was investigating people who appeared to be odd and threw parties.
And the appropriate level of government resources to spend on that is: zero. Not a single damned dime.
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