NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • NYPD Undercover Spying Unit Revealed As Extensive, Far-Reaching


    Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Matt Appuzo discusses how the NYPD intelligence gathering targets everyone from Muslims to Republican convention attendees -   October 3, 14
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


    Audio

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook



    Understanding info is a powerful thing. Thank you to all of your reporters for making a significant difference. - Nancy SmithEaken
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Transcript

    NYPD Undercover Spying Unit Revealed As Extensive, Far-ReachingJESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.

    Associated Press reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman have uncovered a surveillance apparatus that probes deeper into the lives of citizens than even the NSA. In their newly released book, titled Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD's Secret Spying Unit and bin Laden's Final Plot against America, they explain how the New York Police Department has been undercover spying on everyone from Muslims in their mosques to Republicans at political conventions.

    Here to discuss this deeply rooted surveillance apparatus is AP reporter and author Matt Apuzzo.

    Thanks for joining us, Matt.

    MATT APUZZO, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: Thanks a lot for having me.

    DESVARIEUX: So, Matt, how extensive is this operation? Can you describe this to us for our viewers?

    APUZZO: Sure. This is by far and away the most extensive intelligence operation in the United States by any domestic police department. What's been billed here in collaboration with the CIA is a division that is not built around building criminal cases like a typical police department. It's built on gathering intelligence.

    And what they have done is they have dispatched undercover officers, plainclothes detectives, and informants into neighborhoods, basically just to keep tabs on the community. So they'll send out teams of what they call the demographics unit, teams of detectives who are in plainclothes who will hang out in a cafe or a restaurant or a deli, and they'll make note of, you know, what's the ethnicity of the owner, what's the ethnicity of the clientele, do they appear to be devout Muslims. If they're talking about politics, what are they talking about? Are they watching Al Jazeera? Are they not watching Al Jazeera? We saw some files where they put in police documents what people were saying about the president's State of Union address.

    So, you know, what they did was really they mapped the human terrain of the city. That's what they called it. They mapped the human terrain of New York City.

    DESVARIEUX: How do they determine who should be put under surveillance?

    APUZZO: Well, you know, that's an interesting question. So the NYPD has different--like the FBI, has different tiers of investigations. It actually takes very little evidence to actually open an investigation. The rules that the NYPD operates under, you don't actually need evidence of a crime before you can start investigating. The rules allow them to investigate wherever there's the possibility of a crime or a reasonable indication. So you're talking about a bar that's pretty low.

    Furthermore, the NYPD can go wherever the public can go, of course, but they're only supposed to keep files on what they hear in public places, First Amendment activity. They're only supposed to keep files on those things when they are specifically related to terrorism. But, you know, from the documents we saw, it's so widespread what they're keeping in files that we've been able to conclude that either they're not following those rules or that wherever the NYPD, you know, where Muslims are gathering, that's related to a terrorism investigation.

    DESVARIEUX: And we should note that the NYPD has come out and said that they are asserting that this is completely legal. What do you make of that assertion?

    APUZZO: Oh, well, it might be. And, you know, one of the things we're seeing in the NSA debate that's going on down in Washington right now is you see people talking about, well, this is all legal. We've known about this for years. Well, that's true. You know, there was a Patriot Act. Certainly they did amend the FISA Amendments to allow the kind of wiretapping we're seeing that the NSA does. Similarly, the NYPD, they did get the rules changed after 9/11. They were given more broad surveillance powers.

    As reporters, as opposed to lawyers, we're much more interested in telling the public from a policy perspective how the government uses the powers that we the people gave it. And, you know, the people don't--if people don't know what's going on, it's--. There's a social contract, right, and it's informed consent. The people give the government authority and power to conduct investigations and conduct surveillance, but there has to be a little bit of knowledge of what's exactly going on in these programs that lived in secret for so long. We felt like just bringing them to public light and letting there be a discussion about them was in the public's interest.

    DESVARIEUX: And bringing it to the public light, let's talk a little bit about democracy. How does this affect, in your opinion, American democracy? And do you anticipate that cases like these and operations like these will grow in the long run?

    APUZZO: Well, after our stories for the AP came out, the CIA, which had a CIA officer embedded inside the NYPD--an unprecedented relationship--after the stories came out, they pulled the CIA officer. So there was some increased discussion. You know, you saw some movement there.

    The City Council of New York has passed an inspector general to put a layer of oversight on top of NYPD. But, you know, as of right now, the police department says, you know, these programs continue, nothing has changed. We'll be interested to see what happens. Obviously, we're going to have a new mayor in New York beginning next year. So, you know, it's hard to say what will change.

    But, you know, frankly, just the fact that you and I are having this conversation speaks quite well for democracy. You know, the existence of these programs has certainly not undermined our ability to have free and open discussions, and that's what it's all about.

    DESVARIEUX: Well, we'll continue this discussion, certainly, in the future. Thanks for joining us.

    APUZZO: Great. Thanks a lot.

    DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    Workers vs. Undocumented Immigrants: The Politics of Divide & Conquer
    Ukraine and the Right a Year after Maiden
    Why Eddie Conway Joined The Real News - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (10/10)
    Almost Impossible to Indict a Cop
    Obama's Record on Defending Civil and Constitutional Rights Abysmal
    The Real News Town Hall Pt. 3 Should the community control the police?
    We Dehumanize Those We Want to Exploit - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (9/10)
    Baltimore Erupts with Protests in Solidarity with Ferguson
    Police Brutality Towards Black People Has Historically Gone Unchecked
    The Real News Town Hall Pt. 2: Should the Community Control the Police?
    "Democracy on Fire": Protestors Respond to Grand Jury's Failure to Indict Mike Brown's Killer
    Hagel Resigns - A Look at His Record
    Is Obama's Immigration Action Too Little, Too Late?
    Baltimore Residents Demand Legislative Action to End Police Impunity
    The Real News Town Hall: Should the Community Control the Police? Pt.1
    Who Is in Charge of Development: The Elite or the Majorities? (2/2)
    Protesting GM Auto Workers Attacked by US Embassy Staff
    The Life and Times of Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture in the Black Panther Party (3/3)
    G-20 Recommits to Lifting Private Sector Activity (2/2)
    Obama Unveils Immigration Plan, But What Will It Change?
    Study Finds Racial Profiling Persists in Toronto Despite Ban
    G-20 Recommits to Lifting Private Sector Activity
    Who Is In Charge of Development: The Elite or the Majorities? (1/2)
    Swedish Court of Appeals Rule to Continue the Detention of Julian Assange
    The Power to Create Money in the Hands of the Banks
    Animal Agriculture: A Neglected Agent of Global Warming?
    Despite Senate Vote on Keystone XL, Tar Sands Oil Will Still Reach the Gulf
    Seattle Begins Police Reforms in Wake of Federal Civil Rights Investigation
    All Eyes on Ferguson as Gov. Nixon Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Grand Jury Decision
    The Life and Times of Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture in the Black Panther Party (2/3)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting