Perhaps emboldened by The Man Upstairs, or the Cheneys and the Noonans that grace its Very Serious pages (or a recent dip in crime), NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly gave an extremely candid interview to the Wall Street Journal. Kelly is asked how the department's surveillance methods have changed in the wake of a Pultizer Prize-winning investigative series and the revelation that the very same surveillance program has generated zero leads. His reply: "Nothing," which appears to be exactly what James Freeman, the assistant editor of the paper's editorial board, chooses for his followup question.

Instead of citing a recent report noting the chilling, discriminatory effect the department's practices have had on Muslims living in New York City, we get a softball about whether Kelly will run for mayor so we can all just sleep easy and never worry about any little thing ever again.

We also receive a candid warning against getting conned by some two-bit, Constitutional Three Card Monte [PDF] that conniving civil liberties scam artists are baiting us with (also pay no mind to this memo).

"I think one of the biggest scams in law enforcement is the monitor," Mr. Kelly says. The plaintiffs in the stop-and-frisk suit have demanded such an overseer to watch the police. Mr. Kelly describes how the practice has worked under an "extremely aggressive" U.S. Justice Department going "around to different cities," where "they'll find some sort of discriminatory pattern in their minds."

The feds threaten to sue the cities unless they agree to a civil-rights monitor, and most cities agree, to avoid the cost of litigation. "So it'll be a politically acceptable lawyer who will be put in there and will always find something wrong, because they get paid. A city like Detroit pays, I don't know, a couple million dollars a year, whatever, to this firm and guess what? Nothing is ever right, because if I find everything's right then I stop getting paid."

Indeed, Kelly prefers the current "politically acceptable" lawyer, his friend Michael Armstrong.

Regarding the discussion over whether the NYPD needs an Inspector General to oversee department policies and make recommendations (which, contrary to comments made by the commissioner and Mayor Bloomberg, is all an IG would have the authority to do), Kelly is even more revealing when speaking in the WSJ's video portion of the interview:

"[An Inspector General is] certainly poorly thought out. It creates a position that reports to—actually the commission of investigation, who reports to the mayor but has the ability to look at policies and practices, put everything on the internet. It is unworkable and unwise in my judgment."

Why wouldn't the NYPD want "everything on the internet?"