Surveillance state update: The war on documentation

big-brotherFormer FBI agent and current ACLU lawyer Michael German shares some insights into the mentality behind the arrests of journos and other mostly harmless people at some shindig or other that was going on in St. Paul, MN this week.

He cites guidelines issued to the LAPD:

It lists 65 behaviors that they say are behaviors related to terrorism, and the one that pertains here is “takes pictures or video footage.” [The entry on p. 40 reads: “Takes pictures or video footage (with no apparent esthetic value, i.e., camera angles, security equipment, security personnel, traffic lights, building entrances, etc.).”] “No apparent esthetic values?” So apparently they’re going to be sending police officers to art school to understand esthetic values.

But it actually mentions taking video footage of taking video footage of security personnel. So the mere taking of photographs or video footage of law enforcement – even law enforcement doing something improperly – they’ve identified that as a precursor to terrorism. So now you might understand why these police officers are focusing on people with cameras. It’s because it’s actual policy to do so.

[Interview: David Neiwert, firedoglake; image: mikecolvin82]

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