Missouri Libertarian Party Applauds Progress By Missouri State Highway Patrol and Department of Public Safety Toward Safeguarding Missourians’ Rights, Still Supports Calls for a Full Investigation into MIAC “Strategic Memo”

03/26/2009

News that Missouri State Highway Patrol Superintendent James Keathley and Missouri Department of Public Safety Director John Britt have stopped distributing the now-infamous and inaccurate "Strategic Memo" on militia activity is more good news for Missourians.

The Missouri Libertarian Party, the first political organization in the state to publicly oppose the political profiling contained in the memo issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC), is pleased with the progress being made to address the public's concerns about the document.

The party has already commended Director John Britt for acknowledging that references to third political parties, like the Libertarian Party, and to former presidential candidates, like Bob Barr (Libertarian) and Ron Paul (Republican) were unnecessary and inaccurate. Mr. Britt apologized to the named candidates and ordered the offended references removed from the MIAC memo.

Since that decision, Missouri State Highway Patrol Superintendent James Keathley has ordered a halt to the distribution of the memo altogether.

Mr. Keathley has also announced that new processes are being created to ensure that both be and Director Britt personally review all reports before they are permitted to be distributed to law enforcement or anyone else.

Missouri Libertarian Party spokesman Mike Ferguson issued the following statement:

"This is yet another positive step toward safeguarding the rights of Missourians. I am very happy with the progress being made to eliminate political profiling that could stifle the free expression of political opinions.

"At the same time, the Missouri Libertarian Party supports the calls for a full investigation into the creation and distribution of this document. We must fix the training document in question and continue to hold accountable those who targeted innocent Missourians with this report.

"To do that, we must know what happened and who is responsible."

The Missouri Libertarian Party reiterates it disagreement with Lt. Governor Peter Kinder's request to have Director Britt placed on administrative leave.

Ferguson continued "While we are glad that Lt. Governor Kinder has taken an interest in this issue after nearly two weeks, calling for Mr. Britt's suspension while progress is being made is a mistake.

"We simply don't have all the answers yet as to what went wrong. That's why we need a full investigation. Suspending Mr. Britt now may slow the process to build in the safeguards needed to ensure this never happens again. Let's get all the facts before we start disciplinary action against anyone.

"Judging and targeting individuals without knowing the facts is what started this problem."

View previous Missouri Libertarian Party media statements/releases on this topic at www.lpmo.org or contact Mike Ferguson with the information listed above for more information or comment.

Contact Name: 
Mike Ferguson, Missouri Libertarian Party Spokesperson
Contact Phone: 
816.695.1425