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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | San Francisco | Government & Elections
Leland Yee’s Arrest Reveals the Darkside of Politics
[I]f any or all of this is all true there’s a helluva a lot we should be thinking about next time we talk about how certain neighborhoods are flooded by guns and drugs. Is it really low-level street corner cats or high and mighty powerful folks who shot call and manipulate this system?
Forget the TV Show ‘Scandal’, Leland Yee’s Arrest Reveals the Darkside of PoliticsMarch 28, 2014 By
With the recent arrest of California state Senator Leland Yee, many who work to improve their community will have lots to think about and factor in as it relates to gun related violence. One of the most disturbing things Yee was arrested for was weapons trafficking and we’re not talking something that’s minor or a big stretch where he’s accused of selling a improperly gun to someone.
Yee’s accused of wanting to do 2.5 million dollars worth of business. That business included selling rocket launchers and all sorts of weaponry. On top of that they’re saying all the people arrested with Lee including his friend, long time political consultant Keith Jackson and his son Brandon Jackson, were part of an organized crime syndicate..
Jackson who is a well-known fixture around San Francisco and the Bay Area in general is high-powered politico who like Yee served as school board president in SF. He was indicted for a murder for hire plot on top of weapons and drug tracking charges.
Again, if any or all of this is all true there’s a helluva a lot we should be thinking about next time we talk about how certain neighborhoods are flooded by guns and drugs. Is it really low-level street corner cats or high and mighty powerful folks who shot call and manipulate this system?
People should keep in mind that last year the Mayor Ed Lee was contemplating bringing Stop and Frisk style policing to San Francisco. He was concerned that there were ‘too many guns‘ on the streets. In nearby Oakland there’s a defacto stop and frisk program underway where Black folks who make up 28% of the population are 62% of police stops. You find similar targeting in other California cities. Perhaps the police should be stopping and frisking public officials and leave the average person alone. Ask yourself, where all those guns Yee and others were trafficking went to? Did anyone get killed with one of them? Let’s reflect on that for a minute.
Yee was a strong advocate for gun control. He penned some of the strongest anti-gun legislation in the state and maybe the country. He was named to the Brady Bill Honor Roll for his strong anti-gun stances. Yee’s bottom line was all about making sure assault weapons were off our streets.
On top of that, Lee went HAM on the video game industry. He felt that many of the military and gun games were too realistic and would lead to folks being desensitized to violence. He also went after the military for investing money in these games. Yee was the go to guy for anti-violence and as a result was championed up and down the state, so much so that he had a good chance to become California’s Secretary of State. He just pulled out of that campaign.
Looking at all this strictly from a political stand point, Yee’s arrest alone has given the NRA and gun-lobby folks all sorts of ammunition (no pun intended) to not only make sure guns stay accessible with little or no restrictions, but it also lays ground work for folks to make arguments to enhance Castle doctrines and Stand Your Ground Laws.
One can easily see the gun-lobby making the argument that the public is at risk by ‘powerful people who are selling rocket launchers, guns etc’ to ‘nefarious types’ while an unwitting public is in the dark. The argument will be made that the public has a right to protect itself when such powerful forces using their political clout and connections are in the mix.
It should also be noted that Yee is accused of trying to buy rocket launchers for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in which the state department considers a terrorist organization. Maybe that was a freedom fighter move on his part because he supports their cause or maybe it was just him wanting to get money. Our concern should be whether or not this realization will lead to increased domestic surveillance or will the NSA and other spy agencies narrow their focus to rich and powerful vs the average person trying to make ends meet?
It’s probably safe to say that Yee is not really where the buck stops. Many feel he’s just the tip of the iceberg and while there were 26 people altogether arrested around this FBI sting operation that netted Yee, all of us should asking who else is in the mix? Are they Judges? rogue cops? the Mayor? Any Supervisors? Who else has their hands dirty? For example, in the report you read Keith Jackson’s associate stating that he got bullet proof vests straight from the police. They later corrected themselves and said the FBI? Were they stolen or gotten from someone involved?
When you read the FBI report its straight out of series like 24 or a spy novel. It has activities and people involved from all over the country. It has arms dealing on an international level. It has money laundering from here to Boston, it has marijuana grow houses around the Bay including one in Oakland. They’re shipping cocaine from here to Memphis, Tn. They’re shipping weapons all over the world. They have kill for hire plots and lots of powerful people in the so-called underworld as well as in political circles rubbing elbows. It’s all there.
The way it reads it has Raymond Chow aka Shrimp Boy the former high level gangster who had ‘reformed’ as a central figure who has been rewarded and honored by all sorts of high-profile politicians including our own Senator Diane Feinstein but you get the sense that there’s a lot more to this-a lot more. One thing for sure, politics is a dirty, filthy, scandalous business. Check out the report HERE
On another note in recent months there have been a number of Democrats up and down the state caught up in scandals.. That’s sadly ironic when u consider Dems are often railing about the Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdoch and other far right entities that are corrupt..One would think they of all people would keep their noses clean, but far too many have not. They are seduced by power and money like the people they criticize.
Adding to all this are the corporate payoffs to Civil Rights organizations which has resulted in them twisting their decision-making on key issues like GMO Food labeling, Soda Tax, Net Neutrality and Media consolidation (Yes a number of key Civil Rights orgs have been in favor of Comcast and Time Warner merging). Wonder what dirt doings are going on in those circles??
Its more than just Leland Yee who has a lot of explaining to do.