Mister Answer Man: Special Cycling Edition
Dear Mister Answer Man: What do you make of today’s New York Times report of New York City police officers infiltrating and conducting secret surveillance of public protests, antiwar rallies, and even cyclists’ funerals? Check this out:
Undercover New York City police officers have conducted covert surveillance in the last 16 months of people protesting the Iraq war, bicycle riders taking part in mass rallies and even mourners at a street vigil for a cyclist killed in an accident, a series of videotapes show.
In glimpses and in glaring detail, the videotape images reveal the robust presence of disguised officers or others working with them at seven public gatherings since August 2004.
The officers hoist protest signs. They hold flowers with mourners. They ride in bicycle events. At the vigil for the cyclist, an officer in biking gear wore a button that said, “I am a shameless agitator.” She also carried a camera and videotaped the roughly 15 people present.
Beyond collecting information, some of the undercover officers or their associates are seen on the tape having influence on events. At a demonstration last year during the Republican National Convention, the sham arrest of a man secretly working with the police led to a bruising confrontation between officers in riot gear and bystanders.
Your local and long-suffering readers need to know: exactly how long are you going to wait before you finally call these the actions of a police state? —N. Pelosi, San Francisco, CA
Mister Answer Man replies: That is precisely the kind of shrill, irresponsible question for which Dhimmicrats are deservedly despised, Mr. Pelosi, and I would not be surprised if this country witnesses a vicious backlash directed at people like you.
Listen up, Mr. Pelosi. The idea that fifteen people—no, make that fifteen cyclists—can attend a vigil for a dead friend without an undercover police officer videotaping them is a perfect example of the pre-9/11 mindset. What don’t you understand about “9/11 changed everything?” Or did you think that vigils for dead cyclists were somehow exempt from “everything”?
Dear Mister Answer Man: Um, exactly what’s up with your attitude toward cyclists? I happen to know a cyclist, and he seems pretty nice. Cyclists never struck me as being very substantial threats to national security. What gives? —S. Crow, Kennett, MO
Mister Answer Man replies: Your question should be: what gives with the decadent music industry elite these days? You people are as bad as the cyclists.
And you’re going to try to tell me that cyclists are not a threat to national security? Cyclists are Public Enemy Number Six, right after Dhimmicrats, the MSM, secularists, gays and lesbians, and college professors. By turning their backs on the internal combustion engine and selfishly spurning the oil industry, cyclists not only threaten our nation’s economy; they reject our blessed way of life. As Vice President and former Halliburton official Dick Cheney recently said, when asked for his opinion of bicycles and the useful idiots who ride them, “grrrrrr! Arrgggh! Kzzzff, mmgghhrrggg.”
I would also like to point out that there are many cyclists in San Francisco, a city many prominent media figures believe we would be better off without.
Dear Mister Answer Man: You are teh r0xx0r for pwning those stupid questions! But don’t you think the New York Times should be prosecuted under the Alien and Sedition Act for revealing this information, which ultimately helps al-Qaeda learn about our cycling and cyclist-vigiling secrets? —D. Brooks, Bobo-on-Hudson, New York
Mister Answer Man replies: Thank you for breathing some sanity into this discussion, Mr. Bobo-on. But no, I do not think the New York Times should be charged with treason or alien sedition. Though the newspaper has behaved shamefully of late, jeopardizing all our lives in order to promote a radical Bush-hating agenda, the Times has been enormously useful to us in recent years. Don’t forget, the paper ran nearly every one of the Chalabi-Miller press releases we sent them in 2002 and 2003, and even printed them as “news.” And its editors had the discretion to wait until after the election to publish the story on Bush’s secret domestic surveillance, just as they had the good sense to kill the story on Bush’s own secret debate wire on the grounds that such a story would potentially affect the outcome of the campaign. So even though much of the paper remains Moonbat Central Headquarters, we can say with some assurance that it was critical to Bush’s re-election, and for this, we will spare it from the terrible fury of our righteous wrath.
I have it on good authority from a friend in the intelligence business that Al Qaeda members are learning how to peddle bikes in a simulator, but are not learning how to put the kickstand up or down.Posted by on 12/22 at 04:31 PM
Well there you go right there! How long will it be, do your friends think, before some homegrown terrorist comes along with plans to ride a dirty bike in the nation’s capital?Posted by Michael on 12/22 at 04:34 PM
Njorl, why would al Queda want to learn how to sell bicycles? And don’t tell me it’s to meet fat-bottomed girls.Posted by on 12/22 at 05:49 PM
"The idea that fifteen people—no, make that fifteen cyclists—can attend a vigil for a dead friend without an undercover police officer videotaping them is a perfect example of the pre-9/11 mindset.”
Of course! This is a Clintonian version of the police state: “We feel your pain, and we’re gonna videotape it for our records!”Posted by on 12/22 at 06:17 PM
What’s weird for me is seeing this stuff finally make it into the Times. I’m a johnny-come-lately to political doing stuffism, but when I was in Philly for the 2000 RNC, the undercovers and plainsclothes cops were everywhere. Lots of pictures of them on the often tinfoil-hatty Indymedia sites. And now the Times is letting us know?
Will they be running an excerpt on the Macerana next?Posted by on 12/22 at 06:32 PM
Not licensed, imprinted and trackable by the state, no matter how benign = threat to national security. Same old logic by which all liberties go down the drain in a big brother state.Posted by on 12/22 at 07:34 PM
In the mid-1980s, it was common for undercover sorts (fed and local) to “make the scene” at various leftist demonstrations around middle America. And I saw the same type of guys strolling around the Washington Mall during a number of pro-choice marches in the 1990s, at upstate NY Dean meet-ups (sad!), at the NYC anti-war march, at the conventions. They are creepy, but if I can keep them off the streets amusing themselves by derailing a process-oriented steering committee meeting for four or five hours while others are out doing the real work, well then I feel I’ve done my bit for the cause.Posted by on 12/22 at 07:39 PM
When I hear all the stories about undercover cops infiltrating cycling groups and vegan groups and pacifist groups, I wonder, are they just dullards, or do they have some theory about how any even vaguely alternative lifestyle might be a threat to the state? Or is it that infiltrating right-wing hate groups and drug gangs is dangerous, and this is a kind of vacation? I mean, yes I know that this is all politically motivated by the higher-ups, but I wonder what the cops think of it?
They should have a TV cop show just for this. First episode: a novice agent must do a dangerous PETA infiltration, and she forgets and wears leather shoes. Will she have pig’s blood thrown on her, or will she get away? Second episode: she must infiltrate Critical Mass cycling, and gets severe blisters. Third: sent to be an agent provacateur at a Quaker meeting, she loudly says that they should go out and break some heads. Oops! She is caught and must listen to a long lecture by a kindly 50-year-old. Fourth: the vegan potluck. Will be it the brown lentils, the mysterious tureen, or the yellow stew? Cut to commercial as she stares, transfixed by a set of bad choices.Posted by on 12/22 at 07:44 PM
To a certain sort of mindset, Rich, all opposition to the dominant paradigm is inherently suspect. Our late unlamented police chief in Milwaukee, Harold Breier, told one of the local papers that the only people opposing his tyranny were “Negro homosexual communists”! I turned to my wife, and we each said (more or less simultaneously) “You never told me you were a Negro!”Posted by on 12/22 at 09:04 PM
I know real life is not Donnie Brasco, but do undercover cops ever go native in these situations? Might attending all those peace rallies ever shakes an officer’s underlying liberal tendencies loose? I’m grasping at straws here.Posted by on 12/22 at 09:12 PM
I say we start development on Rich’s new cop show, PSI (Protest Scene Investigation). And yes, Rachel, sometimes the infiltrators do switch sides. I know of one police officer who now bikes to work every day, and an NSA official who will no longer eat anything that has a face. And is a whiz with the brown lentils.Posted by Michael on 12/22 at 09:54 PM
Yes, but only the good cyclists! Those who fall off every time they try to ride around a certain ranch in Crawford are ay-okay!Posted by coturnix on 12/22 at 11:32 PM
=v= We’re only #6? Damn, I guess we need to work harder.Posted by Jym Dyer on 12/23 at 12:25 AM
I think there’s a strong chance this is also seen--by the cops who do the infiltrating, not their nutball commanders--as easy duty. Ride around on your (department-bought!) bike, pretend to get arrested, hang around for a while, go get coffee… nice gig.Posted by rootlesscosmo on 12/23 at 02:13 PM
Is it not, monsieur, that the bicyclists are just so very French? Except, of course, for the Italian ones. We need to keep this country very safe from all things French do we not?
And those pesky cycling flash mobsters who suddenly congregate and create dangerous and horrible distractions for automobile, SUV, and RV drivers. Oh wait, that was Critical Tits at Burning Man; three thousand bouncing (yes some were not quite bouncing due to their lower mass ratios) colored and painted body parts are certainly a major threat the peace and safety of our cities (black rock city not so much).Posted by on 12/23 at 02:47 PM
I would absolutely TiVo every episode of “PSI.”
What does it say about me that the highlight of this post, for me, was “Mr. Bobo-on”?Posted by Orange on 12/23 at 06:15 PM
I was hoping that someone would come up with a name; PSI is excellent. One slight modification, though: Protest Scene Infiltration. Because investigation is just so 20th century; all of that old-style focus on “crime” or on people “thinking of” crime.Posted by on 12/23 at 08:50 PM
If I didn’t have blog envy before, I have it now. :(Posted by anlat.net on 01/06 at 07:58 PM
what blog you are funyy . if I have .....Posted by programlar.org on 01/08 at 08:14 PM
They should have a TV cop show just for this. First episode: a novice agent must do a dangerous PETA infiltration, and she forgets and wears leather shoes.Posted by resimtr.com on 01/08 at 08:15 PM
Is it not, monsieur, that the bicyclists are just so very French? Except, of course, for the Italian ones. We need to keep this country very safe from all things French do we not?Posted by gamze on 01/20 at 08:33 PM
Njorl, why would al Queda want to learn how to sell bicycles? And don’t tell me it’s to meet fat-bottomed girls.Posted by diyetler on 01/20 at 08:34 PM
What does it say about me that the highlight of this post, for me, was “Mr. Bobo-on”?Posted by on 01/20 at 08:45 PM