Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Friday, March 06, 2009
Capitol police officers eyed during inauguration
A chilling report from the WaPo:

In the days leading up to President Obama's inauguration, U.S. law enforcement agencies huddled regularly in an effort to minimize any possible security risk to an event that promised record crowds for the country's first black president. But one agenda item led authorities to a target close to home: the ranks of the U.S. Capitol Police.

An FBI investigation that included taped surveillance had placed two off-duty veteran Capitol Police officers in the company of individuals whose racial views and capacity for violence were under scrutiny. Although the recorded discussion did not center on Obama, federal law enforcement officials wanted to ensure that the officers were not on duty covering the Capitol, where the president took the oath of office, according to two sources involved in the matter.

The FBI alerted Capitol Police officials, but some federal officials grew concerned when no immediate action was taken, according to the sources. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan voiced his frustration to then-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, according to a senior federal official with knowledge of the incident. Chertoff, a former federal appeals court judge, told officials that if the Capitol Police did not act, he was prepared to take the issue to members of Congress overseeing the inauguration, the senior federal official said.

"Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. . . . But there are codes of conduct that are necessary for law enforcement and people in positions of public trust," said one senior federal official with knowledge of the episode. Common sense dictated, the official added, that the swearing-in of the nation's first black president was not a time to take chances.

... Officials have said that a principal concern was the possibility of hate crimes spurred by racial prejudice, leading them to focus investigative attention before the inauguration on any number of domestic groups with white supremacist views.

The Capitol Police suspended the two officers with pay on Jan. 19, the eve of the inauguration ceremony, pending an internal inquiry into an allegation that they associated with felons in violation of department policy, according to a senior law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the personnel matter. The official said the action was taken as soon as officials received the FBI's file and was not precipitated by Chertoff..

Yeesh... So who were they associated with?

The suspended officers have no known criminal record, a senior law enforcement official said, and colleagues said the men are well regarded within the force. The officers rose to the attention of federal law enforcement partly because of their long association with a Southern Maryland motorcycle club, the Tribes. The group is a rough-hewn band of bike enthusiasts founded more than 30 years ago by corrections officers and other law enforcement officials.

The club came under law enforcement scrutiny earlier this decade, and in January 2004, a former member, John Beal, pleaded guilty to gun and drug charges after an undercover investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Capitol Police are barred from associating with felons, a policy shared by other law enforcement agencies.

Looks like Tribes website is here. The pics are ... um ... very bikery? On the up-side, they have participated in Toys for Tots ...

While we were in D.C. we were told that there were literally hundreds of hate groups being monitored by the Secret Service, FBI and Homeland Security during the inaugural. The primary brought out many of the crazies (including at those infamous Palinite rallies) but the inauguration surely brought out even more.

Meanwhile, over at Politico: the birthers are starting to really annoy people ... and by people, I mean judges...

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posted by JReid @ 3:48 PM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
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