Nothing Like Keeping it in the Family
It's no surprise that neither the astoundingly corrupt Wall Street and equally corrupt NYPD and Mayor's office decided to set up a spy base of operations so close to Ground Zero without getting any input from the public, without apprising us, or setting up any oversight committee whatsoever. And that's a shame, too, because the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center is paid for with $150,000,000 in taxpayer dollars.
Here's a Ron Jeremy-class money shot from the Truth-Out reporter, Pam Martens:
The surveillance plan became known as the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative and the facility was eventually dubbed the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center. It operates round-the-clock. Under the imprimatur of the largest police department in the United States, 2,000 private spy cameras owned by Wall Street firms, together with approximately 1,000 more owned by the NYPD, are relaying live video feeds of people on the streets in lower Manhattan to the center. Once at the center, they can be integrated for analysis. At least 700 cameras scour the midtown area and also relay their live feeds into the downtown center where low-wage NYPD, MTA and Port Authority crime stoppers sit alongside high-wage personnel from Wall Street firms that are currently under at least 51 Federal and state corruption probes for mortgage securitization fraud and other matters.
It goes on to say that NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly's goons will also be using biometric software to scan the faces of anyone walking within this vast electronic, 24/7 dragnet. Not only that, the justly-paranoid Wall Street will also be making note of any license plate numbers they see on their turf, sort of like the way the FBI was writing down license plate numbers at the wedding in the opening scene of The Godfather.
This means entities such as Goldman Sachs, Citigroup (which just paid $285,000,000 in bribes to the SEC to shut them up after they made a civil complaint) and other crooks get to spy on the protesters and any dissident activity at Zuccotti Park. It's a crowning irony that the NYPD will be more prone to see the violence committed by its own people rather than violence on the part of protesters.
This is the price we pay for rising up against corporate interests and exercising our constitutional rights to free speech, of the press, to peacefully assemble, in rising up in the face of absurdly provable lawlessness that has victimized the American taxpayer and consumer for decades. Now we find out we're footing the fucking bill so these sociopaths and fascists can spy on us.
But, wait, it gets even better, folks. Martens made a great over-the-shoulder grab with this gem about the author of the guidelines for this surveillance center:
According to Commissioner Kelly in public remarks, the privacy guidelines were written by Jessica Tisch, the Director of Counterterrorism Policy and Planning for the NYPD who has played a significant role in developing the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center. In 2006, Tisch was 25 years old and still working on her law degree and MBA at Harvard, according to a wedding announcement in the New York Times.
So, can someone please explain to me how a 20-something college student with obviously no training in counter-terrorism (which ought to be the bailiwick of the federal gov't and not the NYPD) got to write a policy that essentially excludes the NYPD and Wall Street from any kind of oversight or repercussions for violating the peoples' civil liberties? Oh, that's how...
Tisch is a friend to the Mayor’s daughter, Emma; her mother, Meryl, is a family friend to the Mayor. Tisch is the granddaughter and one of the heirs to the now-deceased billionaire Laurence Tisch who built the Loews Corporation. Her father, James Tisch, is now the CEO of the Loews Corporation and was elected by Wall Street banks to sit on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York until 2013 representing the public’s interest.
Nothing like nepotism and keeping it in the (crime) family that insists on self-dealing to protect its interests by eliminating any oversight and using the tax money siphoned from the very same people on whom they're now spying. To go to show you how stupendously corrupt and supine the NYPD is, when Goldman Sachs began engineering this surveillance center six years ago with New York City authorities, being able to sit side-by-side with 5 figure a year-earning NYPD cops (plus many tens of millions on tax abatements on furniture and construction materials) was a deal-breaker.
The audacity of these cocksuckers to spy on law-abiding citizens when they themselves are the targets of at least 51 probes into fraud and malfeasance is literally breathtaking. They're more crooked than an Ebola virus yet they're spying on us, with our money and doing so with the secret collusion of the NYPD and Bloomberg's office.
It's also a crowning irony that this spy center, as I'd mentioned above, is so close to Ground Zero, the site of the most massive terrorist attack on US soil. What were we saying a few years ago about the terrorists hating us for our freedoms? It seems that al Qaeda's ideological brethren on Wall Street are the ones who hate us for our freedoms, too, among them freedom of speech, of the press and to peacefully assemble.