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Saturday, August 25, 2007

What exactly is Bruce being sued over?

One thing that I'm still not clear about is what exactly Bruce is accused of doing. Clearly, the plaintiff's attorney can quote a number of emails critical of Islam. However, most if not all of those emails were sent after the defense contractor that Bruce worked for was no longer even under a contract with the city. Instead, police officers subscribed to his email list completely on their own. It seems the Muslim officer is suing because no one stopped him from subscribing to Bruce's email? If anyone had stopped him from subscribing simply because he is a Muslim and might be offended by some of Bruce's views, wouldn't that be discrimination, instead?

From a Der Speigel article that give's the plaintiff's perspective:

The e-mail excerpts were forwarded to SPIEGEL ONLINE by Ilann Maazel, the Arab police officer's lawyer. They're part of a federal lawsuit for religious and racial discrimination filed with a United States district court and stamped "Judge Jones" and "Received Dec 05 2006." The police officer has had enough. A press statement released by Maazel says the NYPD's "culture of discrimination" has left the man "depressed and demoralized."

...Until the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, no one seemed to be bothered by the fact that "John Doe" was a practicising Muslim, an American and a member of an antiterrorism unit all at once. But then the tide started to turn -- at the very moment when Bruce Tefft appeared on the scene as a counterterrorism and intelligence advisor to the NYPD. Tefft sent the e-mails that prompted "John Doe" to file his lawsuit.

But the lawsuit has been filed against the city of New York. The reason is that "John Doe" says he complained in person to four of his superiors, reading them the e-mails, before complaining in writing. He always kept to the official complaint procedure developed for cases such as his. There was no reaction.

The city of New York takes a different view. Wednesday's edition of the New York Times cites an e-mail from Paul J. Browne, the NYPD's Deputy Commissioner of Public Information. "As soon as the Police Department became aware of a complaint about the content of e-mail sent by an individual not employed by the Police Department, we took immediate action to block his e-mails, followed by a cease and desist letter to the individual and his employer, a consulting firm," the e-mail states. Browne also told the New York Times, that the NYPD's contact with "Orion" (Tefft's employer) ended "sometime in 2003," but that Tefft was somehow able to continue sending e-mails to NYPD officers. Maazel believes the NYPD waited too long before taking action.


Another odd detail from the article. What is so bad about this? If he worked in the Cyber Unit isn't this exactly the kind of an article he would be interested in?

The "Cyber Unit" monitors jihadist Web sites and writes risk analyses based on the online exchanges between terrorism supporters. One day, the officer found an email printout on his desk with the subject line: "Al-Qaida Recruits Through the Internet."

But the e-mails the police officer received were worse.