The Northwest Report
March 21, 2011
Something smells fishy in Port Angeles, Washington and it’s not the harbor. It appears that the U.S. Border Patrol prefers to operate within an uniformed community.
Homeland Security Demands Secrecy From Local Media
Citing the 1974 Privacy Act, Border Patrol spokeswoman Jenny Burke stated that their Port Angeles location will not disclose the following information to the media:
- The number of arrests
- The names of those arrested
- Why they are arrested
- The disposition of their cases
“The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings.” – John F. Kennedy
National security concerns are cited. According to Burke, the number of arrests are “law enforcement-sensitive” and it “relays to the public what vulnerabilities there could be at any particular location.”
A Compliant Local Media?
Local citizens such as Alex Hepler of Port Hadlock, Washington are concerned:
“Our local papers do not report the number of U.S. Border Patrol arrests, persons held in jail, and why they are arrested. They operate without local laws in a an uninformed community and the local media is willing to comply. We have several papers on the Olympic Peninsula. None of them appear to report Border Patrol arrests even though a 50 agent Border Patrol station is soon to opened in Port Angeles. The Peninsula Daily News has stated as recently as last week that Border Patrol arrests can not be reported due to ‘national security concerns.’”
Who Controls the News?
We analyzed the main providers of news to the northern communities on the Olympic Peninsula:
The Peninsula Daily News:
- The Peninsula Daily News is one of many news publications that is owned by Horvitz Newspapers Inc. and it has a circulation of 15,806. They are the main provider of news to the people of Port Angeles, Washington. Port Angeles is the largest city on the Olympic Peninsula which has a population of 18,397 people.
- A data search of the Peninsula Daily News for Border Patrol related arrests in Port Angeles reveals only four stories within the last three years. Some believe the published Border Patrol incidents are published for public relation reasons.
- The company’s publications includes other area news providers such as the King County Journal, Mercer Island Reporter, Snoqualmie Valley Record, the Daily Times, and the Renton Reporter.
- Peter A. Horvitz is the Executive Director, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Horvitz Newspapers Inc. He also serves as the President of Northwest Media Washington LP (another news publishing company).
- Horvitz is one of 21 people on the board of directors for the American Press Institute (API). The API is a media think tank that includes what is considered the mainstream media (MSM) cabal. Fellow board members are involved with the New York Times, Hearst Newspapers, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post.
- The Media Center (an API based think tank) once featured Al Gore as the keynote speaker at one of their conferences.
2010 political contributions from Peter Horvitz:
- $2,400 to the Democrat Party of Ohio
- $2,400 to Lee Fisher (D) of Ohio
- $1,000 to Patty Murry (D) of Washington state
- The Peninsula Daily News requested the secretive information by filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Border Patrol on January 28, 2011. Their request for information was denied.
We contacted Paul Gottlieb of the Peninsula Daily News with our concerns. Our message was not returned.
The Sequim Gazette:
- The newspaper is owned by Olympic View Publishing and has a circulation of 8,400. A search returned zero Border Patrol related arrests.
- Ironically, the Sequim Gazette published an article stating that the Border Patrol pledged better communication with the media. Virtually nothing has changed since the article was published on April 15, 2009.
- Olympic View Publishing is owned by Brown McClatchy Maloney. He is also the director of The McClatchy Company. The company is comprised of 30 newspapers in 29 markets.
We contacted Brian Gawley of the Sequim Gazette with our concerns. Our message was not returned.
- The Forks Forum serves Forks, Washington. It is also owned by Olympic View Publishing with a circulation of 5,000.
We contacted Chris Cook of the Forks Forum with our concerns. Our message was not returned.
The Port Townsend Leader & The Jefferson County Leader:
- They have a combined circulation of 9,000. Patrick Sullivan is the managing editor of the Jefferson County Leader.
- Both publications are published once per week.
We contacted publisher Scott Wilson of the Port Townsend Leader with our concerns. Our message was not returned.
What does this mean?
The aforementioned newspapers provide at least 26,811 people who live within the northern Olympic Peninsula area with their news. The combined population of the northern Olympic Peninsula region is roughly 34,185. We can then estimate that around 78% of the population receives their news from these newspapers. With this in mind, the Olympic Peninsula is largely unaware of the actions of Homeland Security.
How to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request:
The information is within this link.
The fee is $25.00, but it can be waived if you can show the requested information is “in the public interest” and “is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.”
The Outside Area Media is Able to do Their Jobs
How challenging is it to publish “law enforcement-sensitive” data?
An Oregon State University student run newspaper called The Daily Barometer regularly publishes “law enforcement-sensitive” data from the local police. The Border Patrol expects to be treated like the police, yet they refuse to be held to equally accountable standards by releasing their police reports.
The cited Privacy Act doesn’t stop other Washington state news publications that are located outside of the Olympic Peninsula from disclosing “law enforcement-sensitive” data:
Compliant City Officials: Permits? What Permits?
Zoning Laws Need Not Apply
The U.S. Border Control doesn’t need the required special land-use permits before they relocate to a larger Border Patrol Station that will allow the agency to arbitrarily double its staff to 50 agents. The extravagant Eagles Lodge building is valued at $2.14 million and sits on 4.6 acres. The federal government has budgeted $8 million in renovations.
- When the government sector thrives, the liberty sector suffers. This relationship between government and liberty is known as Government’s Law.
…the Border Patrol would be allowed at the new location without any special land-use permits, city Planning Director Nathan West said Monday.
“The zoning is commercial-arterial, and in commercial-arterial, businesses and professional offices such as what they are indicating in a recent notice of intent document would seem to comply and be a permitted use for that zone,” West said.
“As far as the details of what the Border Patrol is proposing, I haven’t seen any details other than the notice of intent to prepare environmental documentation.”
Stop the Checkpoints Coordinator Lois Danks was astonished:
“I don’t know what to say. I don’t think people with weapons and law enforcement vehicles is the same as commercial offices. They do carry weapons and do arrest people and they do law enforcement…It seems like that would be different than a commercial business office.”
Above all, locals are concerned with the fact that the Border Patrol is arbitrarily multiplying their staff size with no admitted justification. Locals are perplexed because the Washington Border Patrol ended their unconstitutional checkpoints in 2008. They don’t see a justification for the increased presence when checkpoints were halted a few years ago.
The following letter was posted at the Stop the Checkpoints website:
Dear Mr. Parsons,
I’m worried that our country is becoming too militarized. Aside from all the money the US military industrial complex is spending on wars in foreign countries, taking away from sorely needed basic human services like health care, education, jobs and food needed here at home. Therefore, I resent the encroachment of the quasi-military Border Patrol, on our communities, as well as their tactics, and certainly don’t want them occupying a permanent building site that could well be used for better purposes. My preference is to not have the Border Patrol here at all. I would prefer that all that tax money be spent on upgrading and improving locally controlled civilian police departments. Go somewhere else if you must!
If the US would stop attacking and occupying other countries, their would be no need for “terrorist” control. If there were a fairer distribution of wealth in the world, there would be no immigrant problem. The more we try to protect our privileged status, the greater will be the problems we bring upon ourselves.
How Does Homeland Security Placate the Locals?
Homeland Security Public Relations
One of the few times when Homeland Security is forthcoming to the public is during Heroes Day. It’s interesting to note how the event is geared toward shaping the minds of children. The following is a press release from the Department of Homeland Security:
Homeland Security Tyranny
The Fourth Amendment bars our government from random and arbitrary, stops and searches.
Our government says our border is a 100-mile wide strip that wraps around the “external boundary” of the United States. Accordingly, the U.S. Border Patrol operates within 100 miles of our borders. This means the Fourth Amendment does not apply to the approximately 197.4 million people within the zone: That’s 2/3rds of our population.
Why Should we be Concerned?
The following demonstrates what can happen if a citizen evokes their Fourth Amendment rights:
Pastor Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona was later acquitted of all charges.
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
Copyright 2011 – The Northwest Report. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.