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A Letter on the FBI from the Mayor of Portland, Ore.

Office of Mayor Tom Potter
City of Portland

May 24, 2006

An Open Letter to the Portland Community:

On Thursday, May 11, 2006, a Special Agent of the Portland Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation stopped a City employee and showed her a badge and ID. He asked if she knew any City Council members. He asked if she would be willing to pass information to him relating to people who work for the City of Portland . He said that while he had duties in other areas, the agency was always interested in information relating to white collar crime and other things.

One important and legitimate role of the FBI is to investigate public corruption within government entities. For example, recently the FBI arrested a member of Congress for public corruption. But federal officials have told me they know of no public corruption in our city. Federal officials say they are conducting no investigation of the City of Portland.

The only conclusion I can draw is that the agent in question was trying to place an informant inside the offices of Portland ’s elected officials and employees, in order to inform on City Council and others.

The actions of the FBI – even if they are the actions of one agent acting on his own - come at an uneasy time for many Americans. In the past few weeks, we have learned that our phone records are not private, and conversations are monitored without warrants. Journalists exposing these actions have been threatened with prosecution.

Even if this incident is nothing more than the work of one overzealous agent, it represents an unacceptable mindset within the agency. When there is no information to indicate ANY public corruption on the part of City Council members or employees, the FBI has no legitimate role in surreptitiously monitoring elected officials and city employees.
As a city, we will continue to cooperate with the FBI on investigating criminal activities and terrorism, to ensure our community is as safe as possible.

But in the absence of any reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, I believe the FBI’s recent actions smack of "Big Brother." Spying on local government without justification or cause is not acceptable to me. I hope it is not acceptable to you, either.

Thank you,

Tom Potter


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Is the federal government provoking armed insurrection on the part of an outraged civilian population, betrayed and intimidated past the point of caring about anything but retaliation and self-protection? We're better of without an FBI if this is what they do. The distinction between criminal and law enforcement official is blurred.

armed insurrection in this country is not too very far off. my best guess is that once the JUST US DEPT starts to round up dissenters like myself who constantly scream about the murder and the lying and the dictatorship and the TREASON committed by them, that the shit will begin to hit the fan then. Probably not before then, however. Once it's crystal clear to all of us who plan on resisting to the death if necessary are truly sure it's a fight for our very 'survival' as I believe it to be, then we'll have no choice but to take it all apart for them, mobilize, organize, and begin the resistance formally. not advocating the killing of innocents or the arbitrary destruction of just blowing up things, but the specific targeting of those who are collaborators and facilitators of the fascism and the murder and the gulags and the renditions and the TREASON. but you're right, they're pushing for it early, hoping they can get enough of us in those sweeps to keep the revolt from occurring. I just hope enough of us care enough to revolt, that's all. those of us who aren't too sullied or brain dead or completely bereft of enough spine to revolt.

but I really think the time will come. armed insurrection is about all we have left to deal with them with. once they've collected all the guns and begun to round up folks who resist, we're no different than what we denounced all those years in the Soviet Union. sad irony here is that they have more freedom and privacy there than we do now here in this country.

I haven't completed any rigorous statistical survey or analysis, but everywhere I look I see a square-jawed LCPL Marine or some other example of the power of this state.

There seems to be no end to the Executive power grab by inches, incremental little steps to change people's behavior by some degree of coercion; now I see that twerp of an Attorney General yet again talking about the fine print in the law which 'forces' him to jail members of the Press for printing stories the Adninistration deems compromising some secrecy act.

Then we see there are so many government secrets that the citizenry can never find out the truth of the Administration's activities: legal or illegal.

Maybe this is how societies devolve into a morass of violence and state sponsored violence.

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