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SPD just can't do a damn thing right lately it seems.
Officer Bryan should not only not be commended for his work, he and his co-workers on this project should be fired and jailed for all of these tax-wasting, illegal actions. They're looking into activists who find this exact type of thing to be wrong, under the assumption that that's weird, and they're causing more people to think that the police are highly misguided and not worthy of trust. Well, at least they can find more people to look into now.
Please sign up for rapid human cloning experimentation. We need one of you in *every* city, town, and village in the world. I have not seen a more significant 'who watches the watchers' story in a long... long time.
Plus, motherfucker didn't even buy any cupcakes. Fucking cops.
This is a great piece, no doubt, but you are high on cocaine and have never read a Pulitzer award-winning piece of journalism if you think it's Pulitzer worthy.
"Rick likes to think he's a cross between Don King and Rick from Casablanca, but he really isn't," Junior says. "He's just a 38-year-old guy who used to be in a band... but he'll try to show off in front of the jury, and I'm here to keep him from shooting himself in the dick." is dead fucking on. Rick was all about ego, money, and showmanship.
There were more than a few people who knew it was only a matter of time before he got himself caught. Was the amount spent here overkill? Absolutely. Should they have been able to assess the size of the situation earlier? Of course. But this article downplays the situation--he made a living off these games and parties, he showed off the drugs, the guns, the books. If you'd been there you would have seen it had you cared to look.
And I don't want to hear a damned word about the "good cops". They don't freakin' exist. If you stand idly by and say or do nothing about this, and other examples of their monstrosities, you are equally guilty, if not MORE guilty. Abuse of authority should be punished more harshly, by many orders of magnitude beyond any punishment we would dole out to civilians committing the same crimes. And hey, after a couple of cops got the death penalty etc., I guarantee the rate of such incidences would drop through the floor.
They used to be called "Brownshirts". Now their just called "The Boys In Blue". Ultimately, not much difference between the two besides the color scheme. And then they wonder why they're hated by all....
Will it die on the vine? With Councilman Licata and Steinbrueck riding the peripheral, it's got potential to do otherwise.
Det Brunt is obviously an excellent undercover cop. Probably one of the best in his region. I'm certain his colleagues would agree. The author would have you believe he is a little "too good". I'm pretty sure he doesn't possess Jedi mind control. These people made choices of their own free will. I'm also fairly certain he didn't enjoy sending some of the guilty to prison. Spending that much time with anybody will undoubtedly create some type of kinship. Bet he couldn't even get that kind of loyalty from his brothers in blue.
You can't really blame him for the direction of this case or man hours spent on the investigation. I'm sure he has little authority in governing the FBI's budget or agenda.
The Stranger lost some credibility by giving up the cops true identity and undercover name. Where's the objectivity? Seems as if you are trying to place the undercover cop in harms way or thwart future undercover operations. Felt a little spiteful. Maybe I'm wrong, but food for thought none the less. If the mainstream media does pick this story up, the cops identity will undoubtedly be side-lined. Has no bearing on the case or story.
Why would the FBI manufacture a need for their services? Job security. Louder: JOB SECURITY.
Where do I collect my prize?
Also, I wonder how many people in Cap Hill who went to those parties has been investigated. Kind of scary...
Here's hoping for a sustained investigation like the one that cleaned out the department in 1970.
It's a well funded culture war, as is obvious from SPD statements. The largely conservative law enforcement agencies, with limitless funds and resources, and bent on picking on the harmless weirdos in their political opposition. This story needs to be told and understood by everyone. Very scary real Police State stuff.
None of whom seem to be featured in this story. Christ, it's like a race to the bottom between these 'shrewd' hipsters and the SPD. What a bunch of muppets on either side.
It's amazing how much trouble you avoid in life by leaving the room whenever cocaine appears, or plans to procure it start to be discussed.
As for the subject matter ... Jebus. All I can think of is the closing lines of Burn After Reading:
"What did we learn, Palmer?"
"I don't know, sir."
"I don't fucking know either. I guess we learned not to do it again."
I wonder how many SPD and FBI officers have gone cruising by Brendan's house since this came out. Since they can't be bothered to go out and do anything actually useful they might as well try to harass their critics.
When Brendan gets back he might want to make sure his brake lights still work, tabs are up to date, etc, or he might find himself pulled over with a lot more regularity.
I think that's where you're wrong. The detective could have gone to his superiors and the FBI and told the truth that there is nothing big going on there. The most they could have done is roll in and do the petty drug bust and move on. Why would he not do that? Because hanging out with a bunch of weird people drinking and playing cards (while collecting a paycheck) is way more fun than patrolling the streets for car prowlers and muggers.
How many crimes on real people would have been solved or even prevented had all these officers and FBI agents been out working real cases? I understand the way these things are supposed to work, in that they start small and then move up to the big fish, but that's only when you're working a lake and not a fishbowl. These cops and especially the FBI should have realized this was a half gallon fishbowl after the first week.
Prosecutors claim they've got recordings of names like "Don't Arrest Us, Incorporated" and "Legal Front" being jokingly floated before settling on Free Sheep. Did Kiley talk to any of the people recorded? What did they have to say about those jokes? Prosecutors also claim Free Sheep existed not simply to provide plausible deniability, but to launder money. Did Kiley try looking into the finances to see if there was anything to those claims?
The money-laundering allegations are at the top of SPD's list of allegations and they're being strongly echoed by the media, and all Kiley gives us is "but that's just not true"? The lack of depth on that critical point kinda soured me on the whole article.
I don't know that Chief Diaz or the FBI/DEA cabal will fit that bill.
If we are to trust the 2006 Snohomish County Assessors report, easily found online, we might speculate that Detective Van Brunt is slumming into our mean streets from that lily-white suburb. How quaint. And how reminiscent of the noted racist Officer Steve "social justice iz the enemy" Pomper.
I would feel safer with local cops who know and respect the community that pays their salary. Enough already with the self-serving cowboys.
(And could it be that I'm posting anonymously because I'm paranoid? Yes it could.)
Behold this fine piece of law enforcement alarmism, in which they describe Rick & crew as a "radical, menacing group."
Unrelatedly, a friend of mine recently had his home burgled and several thousand dollars' worth of electronics were stolen. The SPD officer who showed up to investigate did nothing at all to investigate.
Meanwhile they're making out harmless activists and hippies to be the next terror front. If I've learned anything about cops, it's that they're selling the public a bill of goods: they'll spend untold sums on a two-year undercover investigation into what could just as well be a frat party, they'll paint harmless people with the brush of terrorism, they'll twist an activist's arm to get him involved in crimes he wants nothing to do with, and then they'll parade the arrestees around like the Worst of the Worst, but when real crime happens, they can't be bothered.
that we are....
you are one of the very few left.
hey bren thanks man... sincerely. as the first person to contact you and one of the catalysts for a good bit of this. not to mention one of the co defendants. I must say you did this story the same way and in the same spirit as we did the parties. you brought the motherf**KER. it was never to disrupt or profit. harm or hinder. it was to desperatly try to triage a city whose culture and nightlife and very vitality was no longer tactile and pure to us as it once had been. well played my brother you sir are part of the disfunctional family of sinners
that we are....
you are one of the very few left.
It's like what they did with the Cidital a while back, round up all the drugs and do a nice photo op. It doesn't stop the drugs from being sold, it doesn't stop the crimes from being committed, it doesn't bring to justice anyone who's wronged anyone else, it just created an opportunity for the police to use a single case and say "I told you so, now increase our budget". I used to think police officers actually worked for the betterment of society, and while I understand that there are many who do, this minority of officers who get off entrapping people because of their political beliefs put entire departments to shame. Worst of all? They don't even give a shit, THEY REWARDED THE FAILURE (much like the last scene in The Wire where the newspaper reporter who made up stories gets a medal for his work, while the reporters telling truth get fired), they don't even see themselves as doing a bad job. But those officers who do work for the betterment of society? They'd laugh at the idea of getting a medal, they were "just doing their job, like they've been trained to do". The real heroes in this world will never get the credit they deserve, because of undercover operatives like Brian. Thank you for this piece, and while we can all hope that the FBI will finally LEARN from this mistake, I wouldn't play any bets on it (cause the FBI is likely reading this comment).
1. Entrapment is a hard case to prove for a variety of reasons. The accused has to prove, among other things, that s/he had no prior inclination towards the crimes being alleged. If you have used or sold drugs, even in small amounts, it's hard to argue that you would NEVER show up to a big drug deal. Even if you wouldn't have.
2. Regarding the Free Sheep/front/money laundering claims, they are so ridiculous and baseless, as far as I can tell, that I didn't get too far into them. I'm very excited to see whether and how the prosecutor's office tries to substantiate the accusations. That should be a gas.
And now I've got a beer and a hammock to attend to.
Really which scared you more the books or the legal registered guns he kept in a locked cabinet?
If you knew Rick at all well enough to loan him cash you would know he wasn't making much of a living of any of this.
Great great article Brendan I have just finished sending it to Rick I know he was really anxious to read it.