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Barbed wire, stun-gun use mark DNC warehouse jail

Saturday, August 16, 2008

By Erin Rosa 08/13/2008

Denver officials weren't planning to reveal details about where activists would be detained in the event of mass arrests during the Democratic National Convention until after the event had started, but those plans were quickly dashed this week when CBS 4News reporter Rick Sallinger not only revealed that protesters would be locked up in a city-owned warehouse, but he also obtained clear video footage inside the facility, a building that includes barbed wire-topped cages and signs warning of stun-gun use.

The convention jail is located in a warehouse northeast of Denver, and when Sallinger arrived unannounced with a camera crew to shoot the facility, the door was wide open, allowing the disturbing images of caged holding pens to be broadcast on TVs across the metro area:
Investigative reporter Rick Sallinger discovered the location and managed to get inside Tuesday for a look. The newly created lockup, in a warehouse northeast of Denver, contains dozens of metal cages made of chain-link fence material, topped by rolls of barbed wire.

Each of these fenced-in areas is about 15 feet by 15 feet, with a lock on the door.

A sign on the wall reads "Warning, electric stun devices used in this facility."
A representative with the Sheriff's Department later showed up to kick Sallinger and his posse out of the warehouse area and wouldn't comment on the building or the cages.

Although the city is now expected to release a statement on the jail next week, such an astounding discovery is no doubt a gargantuan gaffe and embarrassment for the Sheriff's Department.

In a recent interview with the Colorado Independent, Marie Kielar, the Denver Sheriff's Department's first female division chief and overseer of detention operations during the convention, stated there were no plans to release information about where protesters would be detained until after the convention had started and that the city was preparing for 1,200+ arrests. She also noted that the state Department of Corrections would be involved with detention efforts....(Click here for remainder of article).


Fashion Designers Hope to Stitch Up an Obama Win

By Robin Givhan

Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 16, 2008; Page A01

It used to be that political campaigns would be satisfied if they managed to settle on an eye-catching font for their T-shirts and trucker caps. The merchandise wasn't so much designed as it was stamped out like a pile of red, white and blue bunting. Political paraphernalia was mostly about the message -- not the aesthetics.

Now it is enthusiastically and abundantly about style. The Barack Obama campaign, which has been actively courting the fashion industry, has coordinated some 20 or so designers who are creating official merchandise for the candidate's Web site. It is the first time, as far as Seventh Avenue long-timers can recall, that a quorum of the fashion industry has organized its financial resources and creative energy around a single presidential candidate.

The mix, available online next month, ranges from T-shirts to tote bags and will lend a bit of runway panache to the Obama brand. The list of participating designers, which includes Derek Lam, Isaac Mizrahi, Tracy Reese, Charles Nolan and Diane von Furstenberg, covers the full spectrum of the market, from high-end to inexpensive. Other names have been bandied about but not confirmed: Beyoncé, Russell Simmons, Michael Bastian, Vera Wang....(Click here for the remainder of article).


U.S. May Ease Police Spy Rules

More Federal Intelligence Changes Planned

By Spencer S. Hsu and Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, August 16, 2008; Page A01

The Justice Department has proposed a new domestic spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years.

The proposed changes would revise the federal government's rules for police intelligence-gathering for the first time since 1993 and would apply to any of the nation's 18,000 state and local police agencies that receive roughly $1.6 billion each year in federal grants.

Quietly unveiled late last month, the proposal is part of a flurry of domestic intelligence changes issued and planned by the Bush administration in its waning months. They include a recent executive order that guides the reorganization of federal spy agencies and a pending Justice Department overhaul of FBI procedures for gathering intelligence and investigating terrorism cases within U.S. borders.

Taken together, critics in Congress and elsewhere say, the moves are intended to lock in policies for Bush's successor and to enshrine controversial post-Sept. 11 approaches that some say have fed the greatest expansion of executive authority since the Watergate era....(Click here for the remainder of article).


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