White House Told GSA Not To Have Occupiers Arrested
The Obama administration continues to pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore
(The Blaze) Documents obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, indicate that General Services Administration (GSA) officials, with approval from the Obama administration, ordered local law enforcement officers to stand down and not arrest Occupy Portland protesters after they seemingly broke the law last year.
The records, obtained by Judicial Watch pursuant to a November Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, include internal DHS correspondence.
On Nov. 6, 2011, DHS/National Protection and Programs Directorate Chief of Staff Caitlin Durkovich and GSA Public Buildings Service Commissioner Robert Peck, who has since been fired, communicated via email and specifically discussed Occupy Portland protests that were occurring on federal property in Portland. Durkovich wrote:
I am sorry to be emailing you on a Sunday night, but wanted to let you know our Press Shop has received a couple of calls from Portland media outlets about a group of 11 protesters who again set up camp at Terry Shrunk Plaza in Portland last night. They have chained themselves to a large drum filled with concrete. GSA controls the permits and has asked FPS [Federal Protective Services] not to enforce the curfew at park and the prohibition on overnight encampments. Reporters have asked if we will be arresting the protestors as FPS did last week.
Our FPS Commander in Portland says they are standing down and following GSA’s request to only intervene if there is a threat to public safety.
Caitlin: yes, that is our position; it’s been vetted with our Administrator and Michael Robertson, our chief of staff, and we have communicated with the WH [White House], which has afforded us the discretion to fashion our approach to Occupy issues…The arrests last week were carried out despite our request that the protesters be allowed to remain and to camp overnight…
Now just imagine that this was a Tea Party protest. Do you think the same courtesy would have been extended were they breaking the law? Especially after 25 had already been arrested? Would the police have been told to stand down?
The Washington Examiner reports
The Obama White House denied on multiple occasions during the Occupy protests last year that anybody in the Obama administration had given aid or encouragement to the demonstrations, many of which erupted into public and private property destruction, arrests for drug dealing and prostitution and public health violations.
Now, in all fairness, there are decisions made that certainly the head of any organization, including the Executive Branch, is not informed of. I bet Obama was a bit surprised by the amount of money Peck spent ($823k) on that lavish Las Vegas GSA conference. That said, as the refrain from the Bush 43 White House years went “who’s president NOW?”, meaning everything that happened was to be laid at the feet of George W. Bush.
“We now have a new GSA scandal — one that involves the Obama White House,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These documents clearly show that federal agencies colluded with the Obama White House to allow the Occupy Wall Street protestors to violate the law with impunity. These documents tell us that the GSA and DHS can’t be relied upon to protect federal workers or property.”
Yeah, well don’t expect the media to bother covering this one, Mr. Fitton. The media will do almost everything to protect Obama.
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