Wednesday, September 14, 2005

DPS, Tapes, Texas Observer and Leininger

The Statesman has the latest, DPS sues to hold on to Capitol video:
A journalist's request for a videotape thought to show political arm-twisting has prompted the Texas Department of Public Safety to go to court over Capitol security concerns for the second time since 2003.


Last month, he said DPS should release the tape. Jake Bernstein, executive editor of the Texas Observer, a biweekly journal, had asked for any video taken of the hallway behind the Texas House chamber on May 23.

Legislators that day rejected a proposal to allow select low-income students to attend private schools with state funding amid speculation that voucher proponent James Leininger of San Antonio was secretively leaning on members.

Bernstein said, "We thought we would try to put those rumors to rest by seeing the video."
So what possible reason could DPS have for doing this? If they release the tapes then the terrorists win of course:
The DPS says the release of such tapes could weaken security by yielding insight into camera placement and angles and what they do or don't record.

"Events in recent years have shown that the Texas state Capitol is a likely location for terrorist attacks to occur," Sgt. Donnie Weakly said in a statement filed by the agency in its lawsuit against Abbott over a previous request for a tape.

Weakly called the building's security cameras among the Capitol's first lines of defense.
If all else fails fall back on old faithful, terrorism scare tactics. The cameras are among, not the only, first lines of defense. I'm no security expert by any means but I would assume that tapes have been made public in the past by security organizations and a disaster has not resulted from that. Kudos to the Attorney General for ruling for the reporter in the first place I just don't care much for his no comment on the current DPS suit. The AG should support open government.

Kirk Watson to run for Senate District 14, Naishtat to stay in House and John Courage to run against Lamar Smith in District 21,
Texas politics


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