(We’ll be covering the demonstration at the RNC today. Check out coverage at the Silo — jh)
Last night in downtown St. Paul there were so many different law enforcement agencies on the street that Lindsay Beyerstein noted it was like bird watching.
So who’s in charge?
The $50 million for security at the RNC (and the DNC) was authorized by the Senate in September 2007 as an amendment to "a veterans-military construction bill."
The amendment calls for the money to go through the Department of Homeland Security:
For an additional amount $100,000,000, with $50,000,000 each to the Cities of Denver, Colorado, and St. Paul, Minnesota, shall be available to the Department of Homeland Security for State and local law enforcement entities for security and related costs, including overtime, associated with the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention in 2008. The Department of Homeland Security shall provide for an audit of all amounts made available under this section, including expenditures by State and local law enforcement entities. Amounts provided by this section are designated as an emergency requirement pursuant to section 204 of S. Con. Res. 21 (110th Congress).
Much has been made of the local territorial police pissing contests, but the FBI were present even at the local raids.
The Department of Homeland Security may be run by Michael Chertoff, but it’s Joe Lieberman’s baby, and the Senate committee he chairs is responsible for oversight.
Just in case you were wondering who to thank for the police state tactics designed to suppress free speech and our basic right to assembly.
(video of Earth Justice bus seizure by Chuck Olsen of The Uptake)