As-it-happened: Surveillance-camera briefing at City Hall; West Seattle meeting(s) ahead

February 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm | In Seattle Police surveillance cameras, West Seattle news, West Seattle police, West Seattle politics | 39 Comments

(TOPLINE: Public discussion promised – starting with Alki Community Council board meeting Thursday night; scroll to end of story)

2:05 PM: We’re at City Hall for the City Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee briefing/discussion on the Seattle Police surveillance-camera/”wireless mesh” network first brought to light here three weeks ago (archived coverage here). In advance of the meeting, which is about to begin, two documents were added to the agenda today, one including more background detail on the federal-grant-funded $5 million project. Here’s here’s the background document; here’s the PowerPoint intended to illustrate a few of its points. The meeting is just getting under way. You can watch live here – or here:

(Editor’s note: The archived video from the meeting is now embedded above)
First – public comment. First up: A woman who says she wants to share “lessons we have learned” using security cameras in the International District. She says that the cameras installed there (part of a private network) have helped bolster safety and security in the area and provided evidence that will stand up in court. She says they only show the street in front of whatever building they’re installed at. The second speaker says she is a former Alki resident now living on Magnolia, and she is concerned about terrorist attacks via water. She is in favor of 24/7 surveillance and thinks “it’s a miracle” there hasn’t been a terrorist attack yet.

Third speaker from Stand Up America says that he is concerned about terrorists – “the terrorists sitting at (the council) table.” He accuses the government of terrorism and “ridiculous behavior.” He adds, basically shouting, “You guys are eroding our civil rights … don’t stand against the people, stand up for the people.” Councilmember Harrell has accused him of a “showboating tactic” after the speaker called him “a criminal.” Fourth speaker also has a red “Stand Up America” sign and identifies himself as an immigrant from the former Soviet Union who also is concerned about government oppression.

Fifth speaker – Jennifer Shaw, deputy director of the ACLU, which has already asked the city to reconsider these cameras, and makes it clear their concern is government surveillance – “government keeping track of the movements of individuals throughout our city.” She says the recent drone controversy was evidence that people in Seattle are not happy about having surveillance “thrust on them.” She refers to the fact that a city official (as noted in our early coverage) has been quoted as saying this is a potential step toward a citywide camera network, not just focused on waterways. Sixth speaker is Will Washington, who identifies himself as a Beach Drive resident. “This is a big issue for us,” he says, referring to conversations with neighbors in the Constellation Park area, where one of the cameras is installed. He says everyone is bothered by “the fact this was never brought to our attention … we never had a discussion about this.” He says the sentiment is that it’s a symptom of a growing “police state.” Seventh speaker says she is concerned about “be(ing) fearful of who I’m being watched by” as she is out walking her dog on Alki. She says she speaks for a friend who couldn’t be here but isn’t happy about being watched either. She says that if the cameras “were only meant for port security, they would only be facing the port.” She doesn’t want to feel like she’s being watched by somebody “for some reason or another … every time I walk out of my house.”

Eighth speaker is another Alki beachfront resident who says he lives just down the street from some of the cameras. He wants to talk about history. “Coming from a law enforcement family, I’m disappointed that a choice was made to purchase this technology that breeds complacency on the job.” He says this is the first time he’s spoken at a Council meeting. Ninth speaker is John Loftis, a former vice chair of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, and 20-year Alki resident. “It is not a high-crime area … One of the main reasons for this is that Alki is flanked by a high-density residential neighborhood. Most of us seldom close our blinds … and represent hundreds of sets of eyes at any one time.” He says that’s a very effective type of surveillance and “don’t need this type of camera to monitor the beach.” He thinks someone should be embarrassed that one of the cameras is across the street from a popular volleyball and sunbathing spot, and calls it Bikini Cam. “One of these women might have a bomb in her bikini top, I guess.” He says he just hopes his wife does not become “Miss Torso” to someone who can point and zoom the camera.

Tenth speaker is a woman who says she doesn’t want to be seen on camera because she doesn’t want the government “all in my business. … I’m calling you out because you’re wrong.” She says “I came down here to say you’re out of control.”

At 2:32 pm, the briefing begins as SPD and others introduce themselves. Councilmembers sit at a smaller table during committee meetings. Harrell and O’Brien still are the only members here. Councilmember Licata has not arrived (he is due at an unrelated West Seattle meeting tonight, though).

**EDITOR’S NOTE, POST MEETING – IF YOU ARE READING THIS FROM THE HOME PAGE TO GET THE REST OF OUR AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE AT THIS LINK:

Seattle Police Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer starts by saying “We are in a very, very dangerous time … all of these things call for us to be as vigilant as we can be … to interdict effectively where the next hazard, next catastrophe is going to come from.” He says the ports are the top vulnerability, and this project is a technological way to protect and deter.

Councilmember Harrell says all the discussion so far has not covered the fact the cameras are “on residences.” Kimerer counters that and says, they are not on residences. He refers back to Dr. Washington’s testimony (Beach Drive resident) and says “these are NOT cameras that look into people’s living rooms,” reiterating the masking capabilities of the cameras.

Det. Monty Moss, point person on the project, now takes up the PowerPoint (see link at the start of this story) and explains the “wireless mesh” system – with a diagram showing the transmissions point-to-point. The background information says the network will, when complete, include 158 access points and “up to 30 cameras.”

Harrell says he doesn’t need a long briefing about the non-camera aspect of the network and wonders, regarding the cameras, why this conversation is being had now, given the “Seattle sensitivity.”

Det. Moss says “This entire project, cameras and wireless mesh network, has been a (multi-department) collaborative project since the beginning.”

Det. Moss shows the extensive downtown mesh network area. City Councilmember O’Brien asks if the system would work for various agencies “if somebody came along and unplugged the cameras.” Basically, SPD says, yes. (A bit of applause ripples from somewhere in the gallery.”

SPD now stresses that none of the cameras are operational. (The background doc above explains exactly which ones are installed so far and which are not. Subsequently, SPD here says two were installed this week on the Ballard Bridge, one in Fremont. Next they show the slide of West Seattle cameras that are now installed. Apparently Admiral would have been installed by now but “somebody drove over the pole” that they wanted to use.)

They’re now showing something you won’t see in the PDF of the PowerPoint – the masking demonstration (which has previously been shown in a video attached to an SPD Blotter post – we’ll go back and add illustrations to all this).

Deputy Chief Kimerer says they’re not just making up the masking spots – they will “go to the community” to ask about them. (We were told in an interview on February 1st that no community discussions were planned.) The masking will be part of what is recorded by the digital-video recorder – it cannot be removed after the fact. He says, for example, “The Alki neighborhood can help us” determine the masking. (We will follow up to ask how citizens can help and when.)

Det. Moss says someone using the system will have to be authorized – including using the recorder that is capturing the images. “Everything they do (will be) tracked,” for “an audit trail,” he says.

Deputy Chief Kimerer asks Assistant Fire Chief AD Vickery, sitting next to him, for his thoughts. He mentions post-incident analysis.

Councilmember Harrell looks at the one of the frames in the powerpoint and says he thought the existing cameras downtown were just looking at cars – but this frame shows three people who probably didn’t know they were on camera – so what’s the camera’s purpose? Det. Moss says it’s from one of four cameras deployed around the Columbia Center – and privately owned. They’re in “testing” mode, Moss reveals, without police and fire access.

Councilmember O’Brien now has a question about the masking: “there’s a fear for me that if all this is is some programming, who’s to say that in some emergency someone can’t just go in and take this off – and internally all this seems to be monitored by the police, is there some third party (auditing)?” Det. Moss says basically, trust them, even though they’ve had trust issues lately, they are professional and will control access.

3 PM now, and Harrell is moving toward wrapping this up, saying “we’re not going to solve this today … but just wanted to identify the issues.” Chief Kimerer says they’re here to talk further about “collaborating on accountability.” Det. Moss notes that the people shown on camera in the demo are not identifiable and that SPD does not have any technology to identify them.

O’Brien says the fear isn’t that, but “what if someone immoral DOES have access to this … the fact that this is available is what folks are nervous about … I think we really want to understand … and I think this does get to a bigger issue – this is the second meeting (of the committee) in a row where we are talking about (new types of) surveillance … and it’s further along, in a direction none of us anticipated.” He mentions the legislation that’s being worked on by Councilmember Licata and others for “some guidance.”

Revelation – the proposal for cameras in Golden Gardens (on all the maps we’ve been given) have been withdrawn, says Det. Moss. They’re now looking for a “non-park location” in Shilshole. Apparently, according to someone reading from the rules, “explicit council approval” is required for cameras installed in parks (because of previous situations). Without mentioning Alki, Harrell asks what about cameras pointed AT parks (as at least four of the West Seattle cameras are – by Constellation Park, by Statue of Liberty Plaza, across from Seacrest Pier, by the Shoremont Apartments on Alki).

No audio, and the video is stored for 30 days (we’ve reported both of those before) – with an audit log that will be kept for 90 days, regarding who’s using camera/video.

Questioned by Harrell, SPD reiterates that March 31st is their goal for activating the cameras – that’s when some degree of “spending authority” ends. Harrell notes that more public notice of all sorts of things related to this is important – even WHEN this kind of technology is to be purchased.

So when is there going to be outreach? is what Harrell seems to be asking now. “These questions need to be answered before they’re turned on.” Kimerer agrees March 31st is not likely achievable. So, asks O’Brien, what WOULD have to happen before you turn them on? Come back before this committee? Have a public meeting? The policy, says Kimerer, would be subject to “a little more public (discussion).”

Then comes the revelation that apparently Det. Monty Moss is coming out to Alki “tomorrow’ to talk about the cameras with someone. With whom, we’re working to find out – neither we nor the Alki residents who came out to speak at this hearing had heard about this.

ADDED 3:46 PM: The hearing is over but the meeting continues. We have been outside chambers talking with Deputy Chief Kimerer, Det. Moss, and others. So far it appears the meeting tomorrow might be the Alki Community Council – we’re checking with its leadership. SPD also says there will be two “big public meetings” – though the reps here did not know when/where, they thought one would be in West Seattle. And yes, they said, in retrospect, they wish – “politically” – that they had talked to the community about this in advance. The Assistant Chief we spoke with on February 1st, Paul McDonagh, was not here, we learned, because he’s out of town; Dep. Chief Kimerer was filling in. When we have more confirmed information about public discussions, we’ll publish a separate update as well as adding the information here. What exactly must happen next to satisfy the mayor and some councilmembers’ concern of “public vetting” still isn’t entirely clear.

6:06 PM: We’ve confirmed the Alki discussion tomorrow is during an Alki Community Council board meeting – public welcome – 7 pm Thursday, Alki UCC (62nd and Hinds).

ALSO: Lisa Herbold from the office of Councilmember Licata points out he was testifying on an unrelated matter in Olympia today and unable to be at this hearing – but he just wrote extensively about the issue here, and there should be word of the aforementioned legislation soon.

39 Comments

  1. Sam Bellomio totally cracks me up; his campaign for Mike O’brien’s city council seat is going to be very entertaining

    Comment by Diane — 2:16 pm February 20, 2013 #

  2. Sam Bellomio and Alex Zimmerman speak (and often yell) at every city council meeting; I think Bruce just made scolding comment today because all the press is there

    Comment by Diane — 2:19 pm February 20, 2013 #

  3. “you ain’t got no business in my business”; yeh!

    Comment by Diane — 2:32 pm February 20, 2013 #

  4. Yes, I know they’re fixtures. But fixtures matter too.

    Comment by WSB — 2:32 pm February 20, 2013 #

  5. If this thing gets authorized we are going to have to do a FOIA request to see if they can’t see inside our neighbors’ homes and what the police are tracking.

    Comment by Ordinary_Citizen — 2:41 pm February 20, 2013 #

  6. you may have misunderstood my comment; I think Sam and Alex and the last woman from StandUp matter a lot, which is why I wanted to include their names; I agree with much of what they say to city council on a daily basis; always glad to see them speaking up for citizen’s rights; and I don’t like it when council members talk to them as if their point of view does not matter and/or make demeaning jokes about them, or scold them
    ~
    but Sam in particular makes me laugh; entertaining, while speaking much truth
    ~
    and I’m looking forward to seeing Sam debate Mike

    Comment by Diane — 2:41 pm February 20, 2013 #

  7. wonderful to see West Seattle neighbors testifying, standing up for citizen rights

    Comment by Diane — 2:43 pm February 20, 2013 #

  8. If these cams are about public safety then WHY wasn’t the public informed about it beforehand instead of these cams going up w/o any public notification nor any public input? Only after the cams went up did people start asking questions.and IF this is a port security issue then why aren’t camera’s lining the entire water way from Shoreline down to near Seatac, why only from Ballard to Lincoln Park area and what is the need for cams west of Don Armeni park as that area isn’t in DIRECT view of the port. As one resident who frequents Alki area, I find this installation of cams just one more reason for the “Gestapo” police state of the US to invade our right to privacy and infringe upon our ability to live a carefree life w/o having to worry about whether or not we are being watched. I for one am COMPLETELY against these cams as I know that eventually down the line something will come up and the outcry NOW will be FAR outweighed by the first instance of public images being ” released ”

    IF and I emphasize IF these cams are for port security THEN install them AT THE PORT and not across the street from Apts, Private Homes and areas NOT subject to high security.

    Comment by MetPatrick — 2:46 pm February 20, 2013 #

  9. Do these cameras actually cover/aim at any private property?

    Comment by Joe — 2:50 pm February 20, 2013 #

  10. @Joe, Do we know now or will we ever know if these cams DO point towards private residences? I think thats the reason for the outcry, people have been left in the dark about this and likely will.

    Comment by MetPatrick — 2:54 pm February 20, 2013 #

  11. Sitting here in council chambers. @Joe: The authorities are claiming that’s not the intent. But they do have about a 310 degree movement. The police don’t operate the cameras. A private party will operate. I wonder why the fire department will be getting primary rights to use them because I know that some of the waterfront fires are taken care of by SPD and I remember jurisdictional fights about who was the responsible party between them. It seems to me the discussion starts talking about protecting the port but it keeps trending back to watching other adjacent areas. Worrisome IMO.

    Comment by Ordinary_Citizen — 3:01 pm February 20, 2013 #

  12. I saw an offical interviewed on tv a few weeks ago about the Alki cameras who said that there is a black square in the lense housing so if the camera was to pan toward a condo for example, it would be blacked out. True? Not true? Dunno.

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 3:03 pm February 20, 2013 #

  13. “Monte is going out to Alki tomorrow”; what does that mean? is there a community meeting about this in WS tomorrow?

    Comment by Diane — 3:16 pm February 20, 2013 #

  14. most important point; grants, purchased, installed, before public even informed

    Comment by Diane — 3:17 pm February 20, 2013 #

  15. Oh-oh. Chinatown ID has a system privately paid for and posted focused on sidewalks. Caught about 6 criminals. Cost benefit analysis, anyone? They don’t need a camera for Orca card holders. Cards can be read if you have the technology. Now it has been said that it’s safer to have a heart attack In downtown (wireless mesh). Audit log on video obtained proposed for at least 90 days. Grant puts limitation that cameras start operating by ~March 31.
    Monty going out to Alki tomorrow. Didn’t get to zooming technology. Sorry if some inaccuracies here hard to text and listen. Public should see who has access to the videos.

    Comment by Ordinary_Citizen — 3:19 pm February 20, 2013 #

  16. Thank you WSB for your great coverage and being there. Even though I was there, it was hard to hear what was being said at the smaller table. I just get the feeling police feel like its a done deal and come March 31 it’s game on. Then Det. Monty coming to West Seattle tomorrow but no information announced.

    Comment by Ordinary_Citizen — 4:03 pm February 20, 2013 #

  17. The Police cameras have 360 degree viewing range.
    The cameras are a “Cyclone” model and can see that your eating for dinner in your window or voyuer the volleyball players.

    The two in Alki on the beach are invasive and unwanted or needed. One camera in on the south side of the street in front a three story apartment building. The camera has the ability to see the smallest details and forever record the event.

    Comment by Steve Phillips — 4:14 pm February 20, 2013 #

  18. The ones that are up now are near residences: Beach and 63rd has homes and apartments on three other corners, Fauntleroy Way south of ferry dock is in view of homes, Shoremont Apartments mid-Alki (that’s the one described as across from the volleyball courts and sunbathing beach), across from just west of Seacrest is within view of condos at the foot of California Lane, and there are apartments/condos (and restaurants) right across from the one by Statue of Liberty Plaza. We have shown photos of them all, though not from multiple angles. Oh, and the one on Duwamish Head – that too is across from condos. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:17 pm February 20, 2013 #

  19. Residents near video cameras can temporarily overload the camera sensor by pointing a laser directly at the camera lens.

    Comment by Stark — 4:32 pm February 20, 2013 #

  20. We have security cameras where I work that mask out areas, mainly to save hard drive space so the cameras will not record unless they detect motion immediately adjacent to our property; however, the cameras still see everything in their field of view and with just a click of a mouse they can be reprogrammed to remove the masked out area. I don’t know what internal security measures the government will use, but it seems to me that it would be relatively easy to access everything the camera sees.

    Comment by Marty — 4:43 pm February 20, 2013 #

  21. My take on it is the more the SPD talks the more questions I have. SPD really does not know what the heck there doing except spending money quicker than they can get their hands on it. Harrell has already said cameras in residential or recreational areas will not be supported by the committee. I believe most all the cameras are in this type of area. That ends it right there if Harrel means what he says. Bottom line is I would never support or trust anyone to run this type of camera system except if was in a prison along with some of these guys from the SPD.

    Comment by wetone — 5:06 pm February 20, 2013 #

  22. My guess is that most people don’t have a problem with cameras that are directed toward public spaces with security issues. This just wasn’t handled very well, it should have been vetted with the community first.

    Comment by gatewooder — 5:31 pm February 20, 2013 #

  23. Seattle Municipal Code 18.14.030 (related to Ordinance Number 123411) is the law that says that ordinance authority is required to install cameras in City parks. Mike O’Brien asked if this would include a camera “across the street that happens to view the park” and Dan Eder and Bruce Harrell concurred that yes that was likely the intent of the law. Does this mean that they broke the law when they installed the cameras surveilling Alki Beach Park and the other parks noted by WSB, and if so is that grounds for immediate removal until they receive ordinance approval?

    Comment by For Liberty — 5:56 pm February 20, 2013 #

  24. Turn the cameras on ASAP, if not sooner.

    Comment by Citizen Sane — 6:03 pm February 20, 2013 #

  25. I’m sorry, 1978 Camaro…

    Comment by Citizen Sane — 6:13 pm February 20, 2013 #

  26. Actually, I do have a problem with cameras operated by our governing bodies that are directed toward public spaces. I thank the Alki residents who showed up at the meeting and spoke out against the intrusion of these cameras. I would be irate if these cameras were within range of my house. As a local resident pointed out at the meeting, Alki is not a high crime area. Lots of residents have their eyes on the neighborhood down there and don’t feel they need cameras recording the public’s every move. If we really do need port security, let’s mount them then where only the water is visible.

    I hope this issue is not dropped once the SPD and Seattle IT are able to demonstrate to the public that the cameras are not able to look into private residences. Whether or not we trust their “proof” is one matter, but the issue of the general right of the public to not be recorded on camera everywhere they go remains. This is just one set of 30 cameras, but will there be more? SPD Chief Kimerer said that we live in a very, very dangerous time and those who want to harm us have the upper hand. I do believe that’s true, but we probably disagree about whom we should be watching out for.

    Comment by CE — 6:19 pm February 20, 2013 #

  27. Just don’t be havin’ a bad hair day and you’ll be OK.

    Comment by Rick — 6:24 pm February 20, 2013 #

  28. At Gatewooder, I agree. Film me on public property if you want, but not at home. Here’s a solution, though: cameras can point at the water and shore, then every time a seal pup hauls out, SPD can call Seal Sitters. Public service without the invasion of privacy!

    Comment by Chris W — 6:28 pm February 20, 2013 #

  29. WSB:

    You said you had made a request for information about the make, model and capabilities of these cameras. I suspect the masking is software enabled, and not based on a physical mask on the housing. If cameras can zoom, then a physical mask would not seem to deter it from taking pictures around edges of the mask if the lens can travel towards the mask. Any word about when this information will be provided?

    I suspect (unfortunate word choice) that this dog and pony show is to keep the peasants from revolting and they really intend to keep these new toys regardless of any objections. If we can catch them in more lies about the cameras, especially in regards to capabilities, that would be great. Thanks.

    Comment by JayDee — 7:15 pm February 20, 2013 #

  30. I encourage others to demand that privacy protections be implemented by design, not by policy (i.e., that our government create systems in which it is impossible to violate our privacy, not simply prohibited by department policy), and to look upon those protections offered by the software that runs machines such as these cameras with scepticism. SPD staff regularly violate department policies with impunity, and software (computer programs) can be updated instantly to remove restrictions placed on the hardware (machines) it controls.

    Comment by Phil Mocek — 7:40 pm February 20, 2013 #

  31. Video data is kept for 30 days and then erased.
    Audit trail is kept for 90 days and then erased. On day 28 someone “authorized” takes data from the video recorder. Said taking is “placed on the audit trail. Day 90, audit trail is erased – how convenient, there is now no record of data having been taken from the video recorder!

    Comment by flynlo — 7:58 pm February 20, 2013 #

  32. With SPD’s proclivity for erasing/losing tapes(data) whats the problem?

    Comment by rick — 8:15 pm February 20, 2013 #

  33. JayDee – (a) there are FOIA requests pending but not expected to be fulfilled till March or April, last I heard. But (b) there is one person who e-mailed some closeups that appeared to have the make/model etc. – as shot, looking up at the camera. I have not had a second to revisit them but will look them up. This has been one of those stories where some crowdsourcing has helped immensely – both what people have posted in comments, and e-mailed to us. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 8:20 pm February 20, 2013 #

  34. One more point: these cameras, as stated, are for Port security. What Port security? There have been no terrorist threats against our Port that these cameras could do anything about. Stowaways? Radiological threats? Someone with a rocket launcher? We already have the useless USCG shadows following ferries. Why? The Millenium Bomber would not have been deterred by any of this…his twitchy behavior at Port Angeles betrayed him.
    -
    What would these cameras help *Prevent*? More footage of the damage? We should force our representives to ask these questions. Otherwise this knee jerk reponse is meant to force the ignorant civilians to tug their forelocks and beg forgiveness for presuming to question authority.

    Comment by JayDee — 8:21 pm February 20, 2013 #

  35. Thanks for the coverage today.

    Comment by cami — 9:24 pm February 20, 2013 #

  36. I recorded and posted audio of the February 21 Alki Community Council board meeting at which Monty Monty E. Moss #5598 and Sergeant Verner B. O’Quin, Jr. #4920 of Seattle Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit presented the wireless mesh surveillance camera network.

    After the meeting, Moss gave me a few details about access restrictions for the recordings, then clammed up and refused to say more. He adheres to the antiquated that security through obscurity is good policy, and explicitly stated that he will fight to keep secret specifics about the equipment they’re using. I suspect he’s going to lose that fight.

    Mocek: “By policy. But it would be technically possible.”

    Moss: “If they have permission, yeah, but we control that.”

    Mocek: “And they can do that from the Internet? They don’t have to be on the private network?”

    Moss: “They do have to be on the private network. And that’s as much of it as I’m gonna discuss. I wanna keep it safe and secure.”

    Mocek: “Okay.”

    Moss: “Because I gotta keep it safe from hacking as well.”

    Mocek: “Sure. That’s one of the reasons I’m curious if they’re on the Internet. So clearly they are to some degree, because you said that the network can be used as an access point to get out onto the Internet.”

    Moss: “But the wireless networks are very sophisticated, and the cameras are on a separate network.”

    Mocek: “Cameras are on a separate network from the wireless?”

    Moss: “Yeah, because you’re not logging into wireless to get to the camera, you’re logging into wireless to get to the DVR.”

    Mocek: “Okay”

    Moss: “So, yeah. I mean, I’ll answer questions, like, there’s firewalls and things like that in place, and there’ll be strict everything.”

    Mocek: “I think it would be helpful to have all that information be in the public.”

    Moss: “I don’t.”

    Mocek: “The best security is reviewed by–”

    Moss: “I’ll explain that, but if I say it’s this model of this and this model of that, then there are people that will start attacking that, and I don’t want that either.”

    Mocek: “So is that not public record?”

    Moss: “I don’t think it is, and I’ll fight that.”

    Mocek: “Make and model of the equipment?”

    Moss: “Yep. I’d very much like to protect that, because I think that’s important.”

    Comment by Phil Mocek — 3:24 am February 22, 2013 #

  37. thanks, I’ll be finishing my account later this morning. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:24 am February 22, 2013 #

  38. Hermann Göring, Hitler’s own, spoke about war and extreme nationalism to Captain Gilbert, as recorded in Gilbert’s Nuremberg Diary (1995), York: Da Capo Press. pp. 278–279. ISBN 0306806614. His words reflect the kind of thinking operative at the SPD regarding surveillance of the citizens and our right to know versus SPD’s insistence that we simply salute and comply.

    “Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. …voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.” – Hermann Göring

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin (1706-90)

    “The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.” – Charles de Montesquieu

    Comment by David Trotter — 2:26 pm February 22, 2013 #

  39. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjScdABvS48
    Food for thought on surveillance cameras.

    Comment by CE — 11:45 am February 23, 2013 #

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