Monday, November 29, 2010

The Christmas bomber and the Portland mayor's epiphany

James Taranto reports:

"Although the Joint Terrorism Task Force is a partnership between the FBI and local law enforcement, the Oregonian reports that Portland's Mayor Sam Adams, a Democrat, found out about the plot at the same time the public did: when the FBI announced Mohamud's arrest on Friday.

That's because in 2005, Portland became the only city in the country to withdraw from the JTTF. The reason, York explains, is that then-Mayor Tom Potter "said the FBI refused to give him a top-secret security clearance so he could make sure the officers weren't violating state anti-discrimination laws that bar law enforcement from targeting suspects on the basis of their religious or political beliefs."

Adams, then a city councilman, was part of the 4-1 majority that voted to withdraw from the JTTF. Now he's having second thoughts, reports the Oregonian: "Adams . . . emphasized that he has much more faith in the White House and the leadership of the U.S. attorney's office now than he did in 2005."

The paper reports that the American Civil Liberties Union still opposes participation in the JTTF. Agree or disagree, the ACLU deserves credit for consistency. But Adams's position is blatantly partisan. One can't even attribute it to an epiphany brought on by the Mohamud arrest. According to the Oregonian, Adams and his police chief, Mike Reese, "have discussed for months" whether to rejoin the JTTF. What made the difference, it seems quite clear, is having a Democrat in the White House."

Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Police Chief Mike Reese discuss return to Joint Terrorism Task Force |

Instead of Clueless in Seattle, I guess it's Clueless in Portland.

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