BEARCAT: Right to Know

On Monday, September 9, 2013, the City Council of Concord approved the grant application to receive a Ballistic Engineered Armored Counter Attack Truck.

The 11-4 vote defied the will of the community, ignoring the more than 1,500 petition signatures collected by individual activists, the 50 people who testified against it, and the many, many Letters to the Editor, articles, and editorials against the BEARCAT. The City chose instead to side with the police chief and the 4 people who testified in support of the attack truck.

According to documents I received under a 91-A Right to Know request, it appears Chief Duval amended the language in the grant application on August 8, 2013 (four days before the original hearing) to remove references to specific groups, saying “the references were made to illustrate my intended point…” The new language says the City needs a BEARCAT in order to use it against “frequent demonstrations by officially organized groups which have the potential of becoming volatile and present challenges” and “homegrown clusters or individuals who are anti-government and pose problems for law enforcement agencies.” Yes, you read that right. Chief Duval needs what he calls “a replacement rescue vehicle” to deal with constitutionally protected free speech activities in the state capitol.

On numerous occasions, Chief Duval stated the BEARCAT is simply a “rescue” vehicle. However, on page 2 of the grant application under “Project Category,” instead of selecting the category “Rescue” (it’s right there on the form), “CBRNE” was chosen. CBRNE, for the uninitiated, stands for "Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives." Also, on page 6 of the grant application under Part B II the core capability for this BEARCAT is listed as “Interdiction and Disruption.” Let me clue you in, “interdiction and disruption” has nothing to do with “rescuing.” Some of the councilors cited the untruthful “rescue vehicle” angle as being instrumental in deciding to vote for the BEARCAT.

Councilors also mentioned, based on Duval’s August 12 testimony and in subsequent one-on-one meetings with some of them, that the BEARCAT was a “replacement vehicle” for the aging Peacekeeper. However, on page 6 of the grant application, under Section II b) “Does the requested equipment replace any existing inventory?” The answer is categorically: “No.”

Questions:

  1. The letter from Chief Duval to Assistant Commissioner Earl M. Sweeney is dated August 8, 2013. If these documents existed at the time of the August 12, 2013 hearing, why was this not disclosed at the hearing?
  2. In Earl M. Sweeney’s August 9th letter he states: “Your grant has already been processed and approved.” This means the grant was approved with fraudulent, false and misleading statements included.
  3. What would happen to an ordinary person who made these kinds of fraudulent, false and misleading statements to a government agency?

On the plus side:

The Council needed a two thirds majority to pass the motion, so technically, the vote failed by only two votes. This should be another reason to motivate you to move sooner rather than later--we need you!

Several people approached me afterwards to say they were going to run for these elected seats. At least one candidate has already filed.

The possibility still exists that with enough grassroots pressure, the Mayor could do the right thing, as happened in Berkeley and Albany CA, and send a cancellation statement. Since the approval was based on a fraudulent, false and misleading grant application, followed by more false and misleading testimony on which the councilors relied, Mayor Bouley should issue a cancellation statement.

Finally, besides the incredible amount of media attention and traffic this matter has given the FSP, best of all is knowing it is motivating new signers and movers. Says Dan Johnson, founder of People Against the NDAA: “After watching the videos, interviewing some of your activists, and watching the way you stood for liberty against an oppressive government, you have inspired thousands of others, including me. I truly believe we can achieve liberty in our lifetime. With that, I fully intend to move to the great state of New Hampshire. My signed application is in your inbox. Never back down.”

Amended Section B:

"The State of New Hampshire's experience with terrorism slants primarily towards the domestic type. We are fortunate that our State has not been victimized from a mass casualty event for an international terrorism strike however on the domestic front, the threat is real and here. Due to the location of the State Capital in the City of Concord, there are frequent demonstrations by officially organized groups which have the potential of becoming volatile and present challenges. Outside of the officially organized groups, there are several homegrown clusters and individuals that are anti-government and pose problems for law enforcement agencies. As for all-hazard risks, NH is susceptible to man-made disasters, weather related incidents or CBRNE events. Because of this, our Unit researched existing ‘Specialized Response and Rescue Vehicles’ which would make our response possible to such dangerous events and rescue missions. We currently do not possess such a vehicle. The type of vehicle would be capable of deploying bomb, HAZMAT, and special weapons personnel, equipped to detect chemical, biological and radiological materials as well as explosive gases. This vehicle also needs armor properties to protect these personnel and hits from multiple projectiles when required to enter ‘hot zones.’ The Lenco ‘Bearcat’ meets all these requirements. The Bearcat has an optional Radiation Detection Package which can detect Alpha, Beta, and Gamma radiation. Another option is the Draeger Explosive Gas Detection System which can detect explosive gases. It is also equipped with a 1/2" Mil Spec A46100 Ballistic Steel rated at NIJ level IV (.50 Caliber and .30 Caliber AP, State Department Armor Level E). This provides appropriate deflection of blast fragmentation and protection from projectiles."

Attached is the packet of documents received from Concord Police Department in response to my 91-A request.

Photo credit: The Concord Insider.

Wreck it Ralph (not verified)

Has anyone lodged an official complaint with the New Hampshire Department of Safety and the Homeland Security Granting Program fraud/abuse hotline?

Anonymous (not verified)

A BEARCAT has no effect on the Free Sate Project here. Tthe FSP may be protesting too much against what is really a non-issue and a benign ridiculous vehicle..

Reason being is the FSP does not get violent in its protests and conducts most of its business online, in courts, city halls or in the state legislature, so a BEARCAT is rendered useless against the FSP..

Leftist "Occupy" protest groups on the other hand are more homegrown and do have the ability to get unruly. "Occupy" has the worry here, not a peaceful FSP which is unaffected.

The more people protest this ridiculous vehicle, the more people think it actually matters, which it doesnt at all. New Hampshire could get 5,000 BEARCATs and they are still meaningless. Time for the FSP to forget about silly cops and move on to the next topic

djsmith
djsmith's picture

How sad. 11-4! That's a horrible majority. What can possibly be going on in the minds of the people who have approved this? Or, maybe the question is, how much and what kind of pressure are they under to do so, and from whom? It just doesn't make any sense.

catroast (not verified)

First off, the Police Chief already included the FSP in his original application, therefore, the FSP is affected.

Secondly, the "FSP doesn't get violent" statement is akin to the "if you have nothing to hide, you don't have anything to worry about" argument. It still doesn't make it right.

How the hell do you figure that if New Hampshire got 5000 BEARCATs that it would be meaningless? On what planet is that not a horrible waste of funds and abuse by public office holders?

Anonymous (not verified)

I'm getting old, but, here is the trend I have been seeing. Police paranoia has steadily increased over my lifetime. I have seen their personal main mission go from "protecting the public" to "anything I must do to get home at night." I have the impression the police force changed from home-grown, home raised individuals to people who were more likely imported and not "one of us," but have not been able to verify this, because I have not been able to find a current list of officers. I saw a video of a NH man TASED, KNOCKED TO THE GROUND AND HANDCUFFED FOR PEACEFULLY USING HIS FREEDOM OF SPEACH TO INTERUPT AND ASK QUESTIONS of an imported gun-control advocacy group speaker, at the state house, this summer. Memo for the officers: TASERS ARE SERIOUS WEAPONS AND THIS IS NOT RESPONSIBLE USE!!! ******* THIS IS WHAT CONCERNS US ABOUT PUTTING BEARCATs IN THE SAME HANDS!!!!!!!!!!!"

Keith Wood (not verified)

"Reason being is the FSP does not get violent in its protests and conducts most of its business online, in courts, city halls or in the state legislature, so a BEARCAT is rendered useless against the FSP.."

Let me stop you right there...

Do you think, for a minute, that they wouldn't find any and every excuse to pull this piece of machinery out once acquired? Peaceful protest? LETS BRING IN THE WAR MACHINES! Come now, you don't truly believe that they would only use that when the situation called for that level of force, do you?

It's clear. The people in power view us (an informed, liberty oriented populace, not necessarily FSP in this case) as a threat to the status quo. A government in power wants to stay in power. When their grip starts to weaken, they resort to shows of force to intimidate. We can, and will, overcome. Love is the only answer.

BobbyBoyNYC (not verified)

That armored combat vehicle looks like somebody's either expecting trouble, or planning on making some. In the absence of any tangible threat, I can only conclude somebody is intending and planning treason and tyranny, or at least anticipating such, and intending to side with it, and to participate in same. Inasmuch as two-thirds of the several states have published incorrect financial statements from their falsified records, in order to sell bonds, and the United States has been doing the same since God-knows-when (FDR's New Deal, from the bottom of the deck), it would be logical to assume the crooks in government anticipate trouble with those they have cheated, both the banks they sold bonds to, and the retired, welfare, medicaid/medicare and food stamp population they have promised the untenable, and encouraged to get dependent upon governmental largesse that will soon be cut off. Since the banks can easily get well-armed military forces to help them make collections, it is easy to see what side your local government plans to take. Planning to overthrow constitutional government is the same as attempting such, and since this vehicle is a genuine weapon, the rules of evidence now provide the element of armed force. My advice is to criminally charge and prosecute your mayor and chief of police for the crime of sedition. They intend to subdue their own constituents, arrest their potential leaders, violate his oath of office, and generally become an active political criminal, the kind of man our American Revolution overthrew. Now is the time for all good med to come to the aid of their party.

BobbyBoyNYC (not verified)

I think you should look out for false flag attacks, of both the "lone gunman" and "mad bomber" types. Nearly all such events show telltale evidence, simply in the inaccurate and falsified news reporting. The occasional gun-slinging nut job is viewed by government and its parrot press as a freebie, a godsend that the press is prepared to propagandize like they have been doing all along with their black ops attacks. The planned attacks are much more severe, often targeted to influence pending legislation, embarrass political issues and candidates, and frame up leaders and groups that want honest government returned to the People.

Joe Vencil (not verified)

Why would you think it is "benign" for the police to have military capabilities? It is certainly ridiculous, but definitely not "benign".

Anonymous (not verified)

They are benign because they just sit there and rust out.

Buckets of rust dont affect the FSP.

Anonymous (not verified)

The FSP isnt a big lefty street protest organization like Occupy is. Like I said, the FSP is doing much of its work online, in the voting booth and in the legislative process through elected Free State officials..

Mark Warden will continue to enter the state house no matter how many BEARCAT they are granted.

frontsightpost
frontsightpost's picture

Has anyone submitted a FOIA request to DHS for a copy of the agreement between DHS and CPD for this vehicle? It would be interesting to read and find out what cheese the DHS has placed in the mousetrap for this program; i.e. in cases of civil unrest, does DHS have the ability to commandeer the equipment back from the PD; is the vehicle and support of CPD officers mandated when DHS calls for it, etc.

frontsightpost
frontsightpost's picture

Additionally, if the Chief of Police lied on the application to the feds, that may be a Brady violation. A call to the city attorney and a prominent defense attorney to inquire about that may be in order.

Anonymous (not verified)

What is the purpose of this vehicle? Where is the terrorist threat in New Hampshire?

I think that the residents of New Hampshire are more interested in preventing the type of atmosphere that occurred in Boston after the recent bombing tragedy. Obviously, the local police could have easily dealt with one wounded misfit. Instead, American citizens were pulled out of their homes at gunpoint by heavily armed thugs.

Maybe the residents of Boston feel comforted and secure by this sort of treatment, but as for me, I want none of it. If state or local police become abusive, there are remedies. But when the federal authorities move in, there is no recriminations. I am speaking of incidents like the Randy Weaver affair, Waco where innocent people were killed, and Hurricane Katrina where American citizens where disarmed and imprisoned.

New Hampshire is able to take care of itself. We don't need federal interference. And we sure as hell don't need this vehicle.

If the Chief of Police is that scared, he's in the wrong line of work!

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