The Obama Edge
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|Jim Kouri||August 8th 2012|
Records from the Homeland Security Department reveal that the scandal-ridden General Services Administration, with the authorization of President Barack Obama's White House, directed law enforcement officers to “stand down” and not arrest “Occupy Portland” protesters who were violating the law, according to a report by Fox News Channel's Steve Doocy Wednesday morning.
The records, obtained by the Inside-the-Beltway watchdog group Judicial Watch as a result of a November 11, 2011, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, include internal Homeland Security Department correspondence, Doocy reported.
Officials at Judicial Watch reported that one November 6, 2011, e-mail exchange between DHS/National Protection and Programs Directorate Chief of Staff Caitlin Durkovich and GSA Public Buildings Service Commissioner Robert Peck (who has since been terminated from employment) is specifically related to Occupy Portland protests taking place on federal property in Portland:
I am sorry to be emailing you on a Sunday night, but wanted to let you know our Press Shop has received a couple of calls from Portland media outlets about a group of 11 protesters who again set up camp at Terry Shrunk Plaza in Portland last night. They have chained themselves to a large drum filled with concrete. GSA controls the permits and has asked FPS [Federal Protective Services] not to enforce the curfew at park and the prohibition on overnight encampments. Reporters have asked if we will be arresting the protesters as FPS did last week. Our FPS Commander in Portland says they are standing down and following GSA’s request to only intervene if there is a threat to public safety.
Caitlin: yes, that is our position; it’s been vetted with our Administrator and Michael Robertson, our chief of staff, and we have communicated with the WH [White House], which has afforded us the discretion to fashion our approach to Occupy issues…The arrests last week were carried out despite our request that the protesters be allowed to remain and to camp overnight…
Occupy Portland is part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has been beset with accusations of “crimes and dangerous behavior” during its protests in New York City. In fact, left-wing attorney's are suing the New York Police Department for civil rights violations.
According to the Oregonian, the week before the email exchange, on October 30, 2011: “Twenty-five Occupy Portland demonstrators were arrested…after refusing to leave Jamison Square. The arrests capped an intense hours-long standoff between police and dozens of protesters who refused to leave the Pearl District park after it was declared closed at midnight. Officers, some in riot gear and others on horses, faced off with protesters who remained in the square, despite being ordered to leave.” The protestors were reportedly arrested on accusations of “trespassing, interfering with a police officer and disorderly conduct for the noise complaints from neighbors.”
Robert Peck was at the center of a scandal involving the GSA in 2010, where the agency spent $823,000 on a lavish Las Vegas “training conference” that featured a clown, a mind reader and a $31,208 reception. Peck was fired as a result of the incident, according to Judicial Watch. Peck, who has donated thousands of dollars to Democrat candidates, including Barack Obama, was previously implicated in an unrelated GSA scandal for reportedly brokering a controversial lease deal for a Democratic donor and friend of former Vice President Al Gore.
In Peck’s first go-round at GSA, controversy was sparked when it was learned that excessively high rent was being paid by the FCC to the owner of a building who also happened to be a Democratic donor. Peck was the official who made the deal possible.
“We now have a new GSA scandal – one that involves the Obama White House,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These documents clearly show that federal agencies colluded with the Obama White House to allow the Occupy Wall Street protestors to violate the law with impunity. These documents tell us that the GSA and DHS can’t be relied upon to protect federal workers or property.”
Jim Kouri, is the fifth Vice President and Public Information Officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and has served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for The Examiner, from where this article is adapted.