With two weeks to go before the Portland City Council decides whether it ought to rethink a 5-year-old decision to yank our city's police officers from a federal Joint Terrorism Task Force (2-5 pm, February 24!), the mayor's office has scheduled one more BIG INFORMATIONAL SESSION on the matter.
Tuesday morning, February 15, heavy-hitters from the ACLU and the U.S. Attorney's Office and FBI will be addressing commissioners' questions (and, apparently, answering questions that residents have submitted to commissioners). Mayor Sam Adams has a special web page devoted to the issue. We've covered a few of these sessions, including a town hall meeting at Portland State, and a similar meeting (ACLU vs. the feds) last month with the city Human Rights Commission.
Here's some relevant information from a release sent out by Adams' office, explaining how the session will go:
Like any other Council work session, Tuesday’s work session is a public meeting. However, it is not a public hearing. In place of public testimony, Council staff will be taking questions beforehand and providing those questions to members of Council to ask. Members of the public that are interested in testifying before Council will have that opportunity on Thursday, Feb. 24.
Tuesday's session starts at 9:30 am and is scheduled to last four hours. It'll also be on TV (Channel 30, on Comcast), at portlandonline.com, or on Twitter if you follow these hash tags: #JTTF or #JTTFReview hashtags. Below the jump, a list of the speakers, along with their bios.
Mike German. Mike German is a Policy Counsel for the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, where he develops policy positions and pro-active strategies on pending legislation and executive branch actions concerning national security and open government programs, including domestic surveillance, data mining, privacy, whistleblower protection, and intelligence and law enforcement oversight. Prior to joining the ACLU, Mr. German served 16 years as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he specialized in domestic terrorism and covert operations. Mr. German served as an adjunct professor for Law Enforcement and Terrorism at the National Defense University and is a Senior Fellow with GlobalSecurity.org. Mr. German’s first book, Thinking Like a Terrorist, was published in January 2007.
David Fidanque. David Fidanque has been the Executive Director of the ACLU of Oregon since 1993 and has been on the staff of the Oregon affiliate since 1982. He supervises ACLU's activities in the courts, lobbying state and local governments, and its public communications. He also served as Chair of the National ACLU Executive Directors Steering Committee from 2006 to 2010.
Andrea Meyer. Andrea Meyer has been the Legislative Director/Counsel of the ACLU of Oregon since 1999. She runs the affiliate's legislative lobbying efforts before the Oregon legislature and local governments. From 2000-2005, Ms. Meyer testified every year before City Council on behalf of the ACLU of Oregon regarding concerns with Portland’s participation in the Portland JTTF. And she ultimately assisted the Council in crafting the terms of the 2005 Resolution that redefined the City’s relationship to the Portland JTTF.
Valerie Caproni. Since 2003, Valerie Caproni has served as the FBI’s General Counsel, the chief legal officer of the FBI. The General Counsel reports directly to the Director of the FBI. Ms. Caproni has practiced law for over 30 years in a variety of capacities. She has served as general counsel to the New York State Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Criminal Division (the division with jurisdiction over all domestic criminal cases, including terrorism cases), and as Regional Director of the Pacific Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Todd Hinnen. Todd Hinnen is a member of the DOJ National Security Division (NSD) Leadership Team. The NSD conducts regular reviews of all aspects of FBI national security and foreign intelligence activities. Mr. Hinnen serves as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Law and Policy Office, which develops and implements DOJ policies regarding intelligence, counterterrorism, and other national security matters and provides legal assistance and advice on matters of national security law. Mr. Hinnen previously served as Chief Counsel to Senator Joe Biden and as a Director at the National Security Council’s Combating Terrorism Directorate.
Dwight Holton. Dwight C. Holton is the United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, managing more than 100 people in three offices throughout the state. He was first appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder in February 2010; in June 2010 the District Court appointed Holton to the post indefinitely. Since taking leadership of the office, he has increased the focus on civil rights cases, both criminal and civil, assigning several attorneys to work on that area exclusively. Mr. Holton has more than 13 years of experience with the U.S. DOJ and has prosecuted hundreds of federal cases, including terrorism cases. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Holton served in the DOJ Command Post created to investigate and guard against follow-on attacks.
Arthur Balizan. Arthur Balizan has more than 33 years of experience in law enforcement and more than 29 years as an FBI agent. In 2009, Mr. Balizan was appointed as the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI’s Portland Division. In that capacity, he oversees the Portland JTTF. Throughout his career with the FBI, he has gained extensive experience with investigations involving civil rights violations, terrorism, and the international narcotics trade. Prior to coming to Portland, Mr. Balizan served as one of eight inspectors in the Senior Executive Service at FBI Headquarters where he conducted inspection reviews of various FBI operations. He also served as an Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) of the FBI’s San Francisco Division.