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Banks Deeply Involved in FBI-Coordinated Suppression of “Terrorist” Occupy Wall Street

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If you had any doubts of the veracity of former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson’s depiction of the financial crisis as a “quiet coup,” a pre-Christmas release of FBI documents should put them to rest. While I linked to a discussion of the results of the Partnership for Civil Justice’s FOIA of FBI materials on Occupy Wall Street, I was remiss in not writing them up earlier. Both the Partnership for Civil Justice and Naomi Wolf at the Guardian (hat tip Scott A) provide good overviews. The PCJ also published the FBI documents it obtained.

If you’ve been following the story of the official response to Occupy Wall Street, it was apparent that the 17 city paramilitary crackdown was coordinated; it came out later that the Department of Homeland Security was the nexus of that operation. The deep FBI involvement is a new and ugly addition to this picture. Several impressions emerge from reading the summaries and dipping into the FBI documents:

The FBI deemed OWS to be a terrorist organization and went into “guilty until proven innocent” mode. Many of the FBI descriptions of possible OWS actions or those of affiliated organizations like Adbusters consistently look to have taken the most inflammatory snippets and presented them out of context.

The FBI also seems to believe that there is no such thing as peaceful protest, that any non-violent activity has the potential to turn violent and therefore should be treated as violent. One document to corporate “clients” warned:

Even seemingly peaceful rallies can spur violent activity or be met with resistance by security forces. Bystanders may be arrested or harmed by security forces using water cannons, tear gas or other measures to control crowds.

The banks were deeply involved in the effort to put down OWS. The executive director of the PCJ stated, “These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.” Naomi Wolf adds:

The documents, released after long delay in the week between Christmas and New Year, show a nationwide meta-plot unfolding in city after city in an Orwellian world: six American universities are sites where campus police funneled information about students involved with OWS to the FBI, with the administrations’ knowledge (p51); banks sat down with FBI officials to pool information about OWS protesters harvested by private security; plans to crush Occupy events, planned for a month down the road, were made by the FBI – and offered to the representatives of the same organizations that the protests would target; and even threats of the assassination of OWS leaders by sniper fire – by whom? Where? – now remain redacted and undisclosed to those American citizens in danger, contrary to standard FBI practice to inform the person concerned when there is a threat against a political leader (p61).

More details from the PCJ summary:

As early as August 19, 2011, the FBI in New York was meeting with the New York Stock Exchange to discuss the Occupy Wall Street protests that wouldn’t start for another month. By September, prior to the start of the OWS, the FBI was notifying businesses that they might be the focus of an OWS protest…

Documents released show coordination between the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and corporate America. They include a report by the Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), described by the federal government as “a strategic partnership between the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the private sector.” The DSAC report shows the nature of secret collaboration between American intelligence agencies and their corporate clients – the document contains a “handling notice” that the information is “meant for use primarily within the corporate security community. Such messages shall not be released in either written or oral form to the media, the general public or other personnel…”….DSAC issued several tips to its corporate clients on “civil unrest” which it defines as ranging from “small, organized rallies to large-scale demonstrations and rioting.”…

The Federal Reserve in Richmond appears to have had personnel surveilling OWS planning. They were in contact with the FBI in Richmond to “pass on information regarding the movement known as occupy Wall Street.” There were repeated communications “to pass on updates of the events and decisions made during the small rallies and the following information received from the Capital Police Intelligence Unit through JTTF (Joint Terrorism Task Force).”…

The Jackson, Mississippi division of the FBI attended a meeting of the Bank Security Group in Biloxi, MS with multiple private banks and the Biloxi Police Department, in which they discussed an announced protest for “National Bad Bank Sit-In-Day” on December 7, 2011.

As a result, many of the perceptions of threats were paranoid. The FBI’s search for Communists in woodpiles Occupiers in midsized and small cities is obvious ovekill. And mind you, this is the same FBI that is nowhere to be found in investigating crisis-related big bank fraud. An individual “leading” Occupy Tampa was tracked when he went to Gainesville. Anchorage, Alaska, Denver, Colorado, Birmingham, Alabama, Jackson, Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee, and Green Bay, Wisconsin all had Occupy-related briefings and FBI activity.

The rationale for this overkill was that OWS was a terrorist threat. That’s a striking contrast with the media depiction of the movement when it was in its encampment phase as a bunch of directionless hippies with no message. But the FBI response highlights how anything other than corporate or otherwise officially sanctioned assembly is no longer permitted in America. The main objection to OWS really isn’t violence, even though that serves as the excuse for the official crackdown. It was that it would be inconvenient and embarrassing to Important Organizations and People. Now I have to tell you as a resident of New York City, we are subject to inconvenient things on a regular basis. I’d have a lot less reason to take exception to the eviction of OWS if the officialdom was evenhanded about making the city efficient and keeping the streets clear by getting rid of (for starters) all parades, all street fairs, the marathon, and all Presidential visits (well maybe he can make a minimally invasive stop, say by going down the FDR to the UN and staying in those environs).

Wolf draws the ugly conclusion:

Jason Leopold, at Truthout.org, who has sought similar documents for more than a year, reported that the FBI falsely asserted in response to his own FOIA requests that no documents related to its infiltration of Occupy Wall Street existed at all. But the release may be strategic: if you are an Occupy activist and see how your information is being sent to terrorism task forces and fusion centers, not to mention the “longterm plans” of some redacted group to shoot you, this document is quite the deterrent.

There is a new twist: the merger of the private sector, DHS and the FBI means that any of us can become WikiLeaks, a point that Julian Assange was trying to make in explaining the argument behind his recent book. The fusion of the tracking of money and the suppression of dissent means that a huge area of vulnerability in civil society – people’s income streams and financial records – is now firmly in the hands of the banks, which are, in turn, now in the business of tracking your dissent.

Assange has suggested a partial solution: the widespread use of encryption. The problem with using encryption now is that it’s like waving a red flag in front of the NSA and asking them to take interest in you. But if a meaningful percentage of the population, say as many as 3%, were to start using it for most of their communications as part of a large-scale plan, it would throw a wrench into the system. The officialdom would be presented with an unduly large list of parties of interest, most of whom by design would be uninteresting from a threat/intelligence perspective. And if this sort of thing were to take place, anyone who thought they might be objects of interest for the wrong reasons, as in they were members of Occupy, could also take up encrypting their messages for fun and sport.

The peculiar part of this overreaction is it says that banks and government officials see peaceful protests as a threat to their hold on power. It’s odd that they see their position as precarious, unless they have convinced themselves of their vulnerability as an excuse for clamping down even harder on the rest of us.

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168 comments

  1. American Slave

    One would hope we would just implode and not take down China and East Asia so they could carry civilization on but we have made ourselves poor before to start WW2 so its hard to say for sure what’s going to happen.

    1. from Mexico

      I think the idea is to keep the US from becoming like China.

      As bad as it is in the US, we still don’t live under a totalitarian regime as the Chinese do.

      At the end of the day, one must always keep in mind that there is no difference between fascism and communism. As Hannah Arendt put it, “they are twins, wearing different hats.”

      1. Eric Patton

        Then obviously Arendt was an idiot. A fascist economy like Mussolini’s Italy is a private-enterprise centrally-planned economy. A “communist” economy like the former Soviet Union is a public-enterprise centrally-planned economy (centrally-planned socialism). The former Yugoslavia had a public-enterprise market economy (market socialist). And, of the course, the U.S. and most of the world have a private-enterprise market economy (capitalism).

        As an aside, Sweden has a capitalist economy, but with a social safety net, the technical ter, for which is social democracy. But Sweden is still capitalist.

        I reject all of these options in favor of participatory economics, which is the only model which is classless. The left doesn’t want classlessness though, which is why it can’t win anything.

        1. from Mexico

          Given the slandeous history of leninism, stalinism, maoism or castroism, your personal attacks should come as no surprise.

        2. rob

          while I agree, there are technical differences.THere is the question of does it really matter that the guy with his boot on your head is being paid by a corporate entity directed by the state or just a corporate entity,in league with and existing because of the good graces,of the state.
          And My contention is that china is now a fascist country.The rules may be written as a communist state.But the influx and prosperity of the “private” capitalist class within china and its ruling elites;puts it squarely in the definition of a fascist state.Then when we see that the melding of the state controled enterprises like banking and media ,with the rest of the capitalist structure,make china like a giant corporate combine.they are less and less like a stste, and more and more like a corporation that carries out state functions.
          AND HELL NO, I would still rather be an american.As much as classical chinese thought and practice was something to be learned.Modern china only has some of that taoist quality left.The poor chinese may just rise up someday and usurp the power of the gov’t.It might happen here too. fairy tales do come true.sometimes.

          1. psychohistorian

            It is nice to see someone else view China with a bit of a jaded view like mine. I am not sure I would call all of China fascist but inroads have and are being made to expand that “theology” within the country…..and to a greater degree of success that I would have thought

            It will be interesting to see if China swallows entirely the inheritance, ongoing accumulation of property base of control of the “western” world.

        3. diptherio

          Yikes! Like to split-hairs much? Why is it the Par-Econ folks always seem so dogmatic and self-righteous? They have some good insights, many of which I agree with, but most seem to think their imaginary system is the only possible solution to our problems. Always a red flag, that one.

        4. Antifa

          Anyone who calls Hannah Arendt a fool needs to read her book, “On Totalitarianism” more slowly.

          Look up any big words as you go.

      2. Massinissa

        Mexico, let me put it this way: Politically, Fascism and (STALINIST) Communism are ultimately the same. The only difference is the economic model. Their political leaders just wear different hats and organize the economies differently, while cracking down on civil liberties and political dissent in rather identical fashions.

        There are important differences between their economic models, ones that cannot and should not be glossed over, but Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism are always the same, whether one uses Capitalism or another means of distribution.

        Arendts statement was too simplistic, but her underlying statement seems to hold strong with a bit of clarification.

      3. Frangene

        The U.S. cannot be a totalitarian dicatorship as long as the average American has firearms in their home.

        However, if enough people allegedly clamor for it and if the average American can be disarmed, starting with “military style assault rifles” then moving to “multiple shot weapons”, then to all handguns and eventually all guns, then we can become just like China, but without the jobs.

        1. Lord Koos

          The idea that average Americans could hold off the US military and/or federal agents with small arms seems a bit ludicrous. Better stock up on some drones, sonic cannons, helicopters and tanks to level the playing field.

          1. psychohistorian

            Agreed,

            We have laughter and derision as tools of response to suppression and other than that it is only the sheer masses of us in peaceful protest that will change the world, IMO.

          2. nonclassical

            …most during 60′s protests were aware freeway off ramps were specced to withhold weight of tanks…

        2. wunsacon

          >> The U.S. cannot be a totalitarian dicatorship as long as the average American has firearms in their home.

          Hahahaha!

          Oy, I wish that were true.

        3. Antifa

          What can you possibly stock in your garage, bunker, pickup truck, or small aircraft that will avail you one iota of protection against a Hellfire missile, an F-16, a nuclear weapon?

          No State, no State militia, and no collection of citizens however large is going to prevail for a moment against the Federal military.

          But you can laugh at them until they fall down. You can keep pointing out that the Emperor (global American hegemony through overwhelming military force) is a pauper one hundred times over and is wearing no clothes.

          That works.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Anita: “the Federal military” – no, the Global Reich mercenary military/intel/police. Think French Foreign Legion to the nth.

          2. Nathanael

            If it does come to large-scale armed assaults by the military/police on the people, we know exactly what works for the people and what doesn’t — from history.

            (1) The good guys have to have a *large* proportion of the people on their side.
            (2) The good guys have to have a meaningful proportion of the military/police on their side.

            Thanks to exceedingly evil and corrupt behavior by the 0.1%, this is very likely to happen.

            Oddly, mere violent abuse of innocents isn’t *enough* to make this happen, though it does help create opposition to the regime. General abrogation of the rule of law in favor of cronyism adds a lot of opposition to the regime, and impoverishing large numbers of people adds a lot more opposition to the regime. Running stupid foreign wars and losing them adds a lot of opposition specifically in the military. Stealing elections is usually another necessary element to create general opposition.

            (3) Peaceful protests must galvanize more opposition and more defections on the part of the police/military.
            (4) If the regime remains brutal, unrepentant, and power-hungry, and simply starts massacring the peaceful protest, the unfortunate next step has always been guerrilla warfare. The sort of guns which NRA loonies most commonly stockpile are absolutely useless for this, and most of them have zero training in guerrilla warfare too, and most of them lack the organization and communication skills.

            But the populations of Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Syria can probably tell you what was useful. Now it is true, a few of the right-wing nutjobs actually DO know something about guerrilla tactics — and more scarily a few of them actually understand how to *organize* a guerrilla movement, which is the hard part. These people have mostly already been arrested and disarmed.

            Don’t imagine that the NRA-style handgun collections are useful for guerilla warfare against an organized military. They’re not. That’s a fantasy. Look at Iraq: if it comes to that point (and I dearly hope it won’t), it’ll be about bombs, not guns. Interestingly, it’s practically impossible to regulate all the substances used to make homemade bombs; we generally depend for our safety on people being uninterested in making bombs and/or blowing themselves up while trying to make them.

          3. Stan Musical

            As in the discussion re gun control, those in favor of disarming US citizens ridicule the notion that a few million armed Americans could stand up to the might of the US military. It would be asymetric warfare, to be sure, but 28,000 +/- “insurgents” in Iraq, and fewer fighters than that in Afghanistan, have been doing a pretty good job.

            Add to that the probable hesitation of even well-trained soldiers to fire on fellow Americans, and it’s not so unlikely after all.

            Whereas, it’s a given that a completely unarmed populace has no power beyond voting (i.e. protest, dissent) to influence its government, and is at the mercy of said government; for what defines governments better than that they have monopolized the use of violence?

            With this in mind, the ridicule directed at gun owners from professed (and often proud) gun-ignoramuses is indeed amusing.

          4. citalopram

            @Stan Musicial – you guys won’t lift a finger to fight the government. If so, you would have done it by now. The nation decends into tyranny and you guys are just polishing your guns.

            I’m willing to bet the solidiers and marines WILL fire on American citizens, because after all we’ve seen it at Kent State. The government has the power to manufacture some terrifying propaganda, which still works will a large majority of the idiot populace.

          5. Stan Musical

            @citaloprom

            My point was that both sides of the right-to-bear issue present one-sided, name-calling “arguments” which are selective and self-serving.

            Thanks for giving me a perfect example; yeah, I’m just “one of those guys.” Sheesh.

        4. Roland

          I really wish that I could agree with you. But I can’t.

          One big question would be: “What if the totalitarian regime enjoys substantial popular support?” Most of them do start out that way.

          Another big question is, “Do governments get overthrown by armed individuals, or by armed organizations?” Angry individuals, even those equipped with automatic rifles, are just that: a bunch of angry individuals. Without political organization, there can be little effective resistance, whether to the domestic oppressor or to the foreign occupier.

          A third big question is, “Are the weapons currently legal for private citizens to own powerful enough to pose a significant real physical threat to the very heavily armed and heavily armoured servants of the regime?”

          I’ll enlarge a bit on the third question. Have you considered that ordinary light weapons, even automatic rifles, might no longer be sufficiently powerful? The regime forces now have Class IV body armour (which is said to stop a .30-06). They have a lot of armoured vehicles and aircraft. It is not legal for ordinary citizens to acquire the sort of explosive devices and shoulder-borne rocketry needed to reliably destroy such elements of state power. Nor can ordinary citizens legally acquire top-quality body armour and armoured vehicles (to say nothing of the practical expense of doing so).

          In the late 18th century, muskets were state-of-the-art battlefield weapons, and in the new USA the general citizenry were allowed to have them. Professional soldiers did not possess anything better.

          But today, things are different. The military state-of-the-art has shifted decidedly against the lightly-armed ordinary citizen, while the laws have not permitted the citizens to keep pace, even if it were economically feasible for them to so.

          In 1945 George Orwell wrote, “the ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance…The great age of democracy and of national self-determination was the age of the musket and the rifle…but thereafter every development in military technique has favoured the State as against the individual.”

          1. Nathanael

            I don’t disagree with anything you said. I will point out that improvised explosive devices have quite consistently beaten the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Explosives strong enough to get through body armor, and even tank armor, can still be rigged up using chemicals which can’t be regulated without suppressing all domestic industry.

            I don’t want this country to degenerate into a brutal dictatorship with guerrilla warfare against it. But if it does, the guerrillas will eventually win. And it won’t be using NRA-style guns, it’ll be using bombs, just like the ones which defeated the US in Afghanistan and Iraq.

          2. JTFaraday

            “One big question would be: “What if the totalitarian regime enjoys substantial popular support?” Most of them do start out that way.”

            There was an entertaining commenter here a while back, who seems to have since disappeared into the mist, who asserted that we should “rethink” the Hitler regime because it practiced MMT and employed the population. In his mind, these points were plusses.

            But, his running commentary did have the virtue of pointing out the superficial popular appeal of totalitarian regimes and the mechanisms through which they enlist and mobilize the population, (ultimately against itself).

            It also did a nice job illustrating the jobs uber alles mental orientation of Americans that makes us such nice sitting ducks.

            So, while it might be nice to pander to this long standing and ubiquitous near religious orientation about the necessity of work, as we are constantly compelled to do, the usefulness of a government jobs program to the population does depend on what the government is.

            I think liberals have been reluctant to recognize what their government is becoming, significantly retarded by the election of One of Their Own.

            On a related note liberals have also been slow to recognize that “neoliberalism” is no mere libertarian, free market ideology but that, in practice, “neoliberals” infiltrate governments and deploy the power of the government against the interests of the population.

            One can understand this by reading people like Michael Hudson, who’ve looked at actual cases, and then one see that there is today no distinction between neoliberalism and the the US government. So long as that is the case, any mobilization of the population by the US government is going to be on their terms and is going to prosecute their agenda.

            Which, from the way things are shaping up, probably looks a little like Scott Walker and Paul Ryan. So, infighting the population and undermining the traditional unions and public employees, General Motors style, combined with aggressive privatization and militarization of the police to actively kill dissent.

            There’s your jobs program under the “inverted totalitarianism” of neoliberal government. In the end it’s a net loss. I think the deficit hawks would spend a little MMT money to get that done.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverted_totalitarianism

            I’d like to be wrong, but I don’t think so. I think we’re in a politics before technocracy moment, which is also hard for liberals to understand, since for the past 100 years they’ve taken the technocracy as their own and the sine qua non of democracy in America, despite the critiques of people like C. Wright Mills and others of such presumptuousness.

          3. JTFaraday

            By infighting public employees “GM style” I mean aggressively undercutting and forcing out current employees with new underpaid public employees, followed by privatization of leaner, meaner public assets.

        5. Francois T

          “The U.S. cannot be a totalitarian dicatorship as long as the average American has firearms in their home.”

          If the media condition a majority to ignorance, the banks control your finances, the Surveillance State can (ahem!) “neutralize” (NDAA anyone?) the truly “undesirables”, (read: those too successful at challenging the Establishment), pray tell what’s the use of owning an AR-15 or 870 souped-up shotgun?

          Read about inverted totalitarism. The very concept is quite an eye opener.

      4. American Slave

        We may not yet be a totalitarian country like China but were off to a horrible start with just privately owned prisons to start we will see a form of fascism we couldn’t even imagine even in our worst nightmares.

        And as a side note about the Soviet Union people never froze to death during the winter and it is nice to work a 6hr workday and have the energy and time left over to send time with the family because there is no place on earth less free than the workplace.

  2. Simon

    It is hard not to see conspiracies when evidently there are conspiracies. For myself, I wonder if reading ‘this stuff’ is not making me more prone to believing the worst. Sadly, I do. It has been said better by others (and no doubt quoted many times before) that we go:-

    From bondage to spiritual faith;
    From spiritual faith to great courage;
    From courage to liberty;
    From liberty to abundance;
    From abundance to complacency;
    From complacency to apathy;
    From apathy to dependence;
    From dependence back into bondage.

    Alas, we are at the endpoint of this cycle! Ho Hum……

    Si

    1. diptherio

      Which is also the beginning of the next cycle. Take heart, it’s like the Yin-Yang or the Hindu Creation cycle…things get darkest before the dawn, the height of something’s power is also the beginning of its decline. Some people may have even progressed back up to the top of your cycle already.

    2. LifelongLib

      Yeah, I can’t listen to TV/radio (even NPR) now without feeling like I’m trapped in a dystopian SF movie.

  3. eh

    Even seemingly peaceful rallies can spur violent activity or be met with resistance by security forces.

    Note the parallel construction assigning responsibility for the violent activity to “security forces,” while retaining a false semantic association between the rallies and that violence.

  4. Middle Seaman

    The was no doubt as event progressed (we talked about it at home) that the cities that acted with force against OWS did so in complex coordination. One could see cooperation, planning and execution that were either done together or in a loose but scheduled coordination.

    There is also no doubt that the banks control important segment of the government. After all, the banks with the enthusiastic support of Naomi Wolf and like minded faux-leftist orchestrated the election of Obama, the president of the financial sector.

    As for the rest of the information presented here, either by PCJ or Naomi Wolf, I would like to see way more proof.

    1. Yonatan

      And you think things would have turned out differently if Bush III (or whoever) was elected? If so, I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn that you may be interested in.

      1. diptherio

        I’d much rather be facing off with Romney in a fight over gutting Medicare and Social Security.

        And from what John Pilger found out about Obama’s post-college work experience (i.e. that he worked for BCI, a well-known CIA front company with experience infiltrating leftist groups) I am now of the opinion that Obama is, literally, a 1% mole, an undercover agent. This guy, essentially:

        http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/471/the-convert

        1. Generalfeldmarschall Von Hindenburg

          Thanks for that. I’ve always been suspicious about his parents being CIA. His mother was at least an asset, as they say. His father also fits the profile. Funny how his mom always seemed to be in the region when US sponsored subversion was underway. Indonesia, Lebanon…

        2. Nathanael

          Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence.

          I’m pretty sure Obama is just an incompetent, helping out people who will happily kill him. Such incompetents have sleepwalked countries into totalitarian coups several times before.

  5. Dave

    In fairness there was a smattering of unsavory characters in the movement (anarchists, revolutionaries and the like) who actively support the downfall of the power structure in this country. The law enforcement entities would be derelict by not seeking out information. And this is nothing new, law enforcement has always taken interest in mass protests.

    OTOH, the sharing of knowledge and cooperation with the banks is disgusting and shows how captured our system is. This cooperation also, on a personal level, makes me realize TPTB KNOW they are corrupt and how their influence is immoral at best.

    You often hear the analogy about rearranging deck chairs on the RMS Titantic (in regards to our economy). I would say this is more like locking the steerage passengers below deck while you lower the lifeboats for the first class passengers.

    1. from Mexico

      Dave says:

      In fairness there was a smattering of unsavory characters in the movement (anarchists, revolutionaries and the like) who actively support the downfall of the power structure in this country.

      Doesn’t everyone who isn’t a pathocrat support the downfall of the power structure — which is decadent and corrupt to the point of dysfunction — in this country? The only question is in regards to the means to be used to bring this about, and what should replace it.

      Dave said:

      And this is nothing new, law enforcement has always taken interest in mass protests.

      Yes and no. Fascism and the police state that accompanies it have ebbed and flowed throughout American history. As the anarchist and filmmaker Scott Noble points out in his excellent film, Psywars, another era of extraordinary repression and mass manipulation ocurred beginning with President Wilson and ran through the Roaring Twenties. Here’s the link to the film:

      http://vimeo.com/14772678

      As Noble observes in an interview he did with V-radio:

      Of particular interest to me in this respect is the rise of “black propaganda”. The term is used in a variety of contexts, often benign, but a lesser known definition comes from a declassified document obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and published in Chris Simpson’s seminal work on the subject, “The Science of Coercion”. Here, black propaganda includes “clandestine warfare, subversion, sabotage, and miscellaneous operations such as assassination”.

      Later Counter-insurgency manuals explicitly refer to “false flag operations” such as occurred under Operations Ajax and Gladio. False flags are acts of terrorism and or other forms of violence carried out by hidden actors which are then blamed on a designated enemy. Planted evidence and patsies are usually involved. Many scholars argue quite plausibly that the “war on terror” amounts to Gladio redux, with Muslims replacing communists….

      There was an interesting sort of unspoken debate that occurred between Walter Lippmann and Harold Laswell in the aftermath of WWI. Lippmann advocated the “manufacture of consent”, which he regarded as a more humane and effective means of managing the public consciousness than brute force. Laswell, on the other hand, recommended a blending of the old and new: media control would be paramount, but selected acts of covert violence would also be necessary. It is Laswell’s vision that ultimately won the day.

      http://v-radioblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/v-radio-interview-with-scott-noble.html

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        fM, it all goes back to the fear in Freud tribe, and their “remedy” for this fear of “The Other” — born in the Tavistock Institute, and carried forth by his nephew Edward Bernays (see “Century of the Self” on YouTube), and by their co-conspirators, the propagandizing *intelligentsia* at RAND Corporation, at MIT, at Princeton, at PENN, etc. and most certainly by Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan. The “Globalist” agenda is the “Internationale” agenda by any name, pushed 24/7 by the beneficiaries of this constant “Conspiracy” to “Rule the World” by engaging in “Pre-Emptive Wars” military, psychological, “religious” and financial, against The Other.

        These Dynastic Psychopaths in Common Cause leave NOTHING to chance.

      2. Dave

        Thanks for the links. I am now watching “Lifting The Veil”. Enlightening and depressing. The one bright spot is at least the internet allows us to see alternative views. As I have told my daughters and wife, when they go after the freedom of the internet, thats when you will know we are at the end of the game.

        The flow of information on the internet is now their greatest threat.

        Fortunately for them, pro sports and reality TV are of more interest to the people.

    2. R Foreman

      There are a few who know that change is a coming, whether we go quietly into the night, or erupt as a volcano, it’s coming to find us.

      We may get big brother x10million for a while though, and that only because the establishment ratchets up its responses commensurate with how severe it deems the threat to be.

      As the economic measures become more draconian, the backlash by the people becomes more insistent and violent, the more harsh big brother becomes.

      As long as government can’t or won’t see economic reality, the end result is already determined, and it will be a violent social upheaval. The financial elite get to witness first-hand what happens when too much wealth get concentrated in too few hands.

        1. Nathanael

          Until the French Revolution happens.

          And there’s *always* a point when the guillotines come out.

          It’s actually worse for the old regime if the people’s revolution is hijacked by warlords. When the people’s rebellion ends up being hijacked by warlords, the first action of the warlords is usually to kill all of the old regime members.

          And the old regime members don’t know anything about how to be a successful warlord, so any successful warlord can wipe the floor with them.

    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      . . there was a smattering of unsavory characters in the movement (anarchists, revolutionaries and the like) . .

      Might there not also have been agents provocateur present? If so the evidence thereof was no doubt blacked out by the redactors.

  6. Sleeper

    So this is news ?

    Amazingly no one no one makes mention of the loss of the right to peaceably assemble or the right to petition the government.While we hear about 2nd amendment rights to no end.

    With no paid lobbists democracy is dead dead dead. The rule of law long dead too.

    And the stake in it’s heart is the American Stasi – the FBI.

  7. from Mexico

    Oh well, it’s becoming rather obvious that for markets to be free, the masses must be enslaved.

    1. from Mexico

      For an extraordinary recounting of America’s latest bout of free market lunacy and the concomitatnt rise of the US’s domestic police state (which is joined at the hip with America’s global police state, aka full spectrum dominance), there’s Christian Parenti’s Lockdown America.

      http://www.amazon.com/Lockdown-America-Police-Prisons-Crisis/dp/1859843034

      Parenti did an interview with the Exile Nation Project in which he gives a brief overview:

      http://vimeo.com/23346020

      The interview doesn’t do justice to the book, however.

      1. lafayettesennacherib

        Yes, well, try reading his Parenti’s father Michael’s book Blackshirts and Reds for the difference between fascism and communism, even seriously flawed communism.

        1. from Mexico

          I’ve not read the book, but found this review on Amazon which helps illucidate where you and I part company:

          Overall, this book was a real disappointment. Some of the author’s points were right on such as the collusion between fascists and capitalists. However, it soon becomes clear that the book’s real purpose is to criticize libertarian socialism (or as the author put’s it “true socialism”) and promote Bolshevism/state socialism.

          This is evidenced by his avoidance of the Spanish Revolution/Civil War, Kronstadt Uprising, etc. Instead, he promotes the Soviet Union as a beacon of socialism for the oppressed working masses….

          Fundamentally, it is a question of two different forms of organization.

          Unable to address this directly, the book personally attacks two well known libertarain socialists, Georhe Orwell and Noam Chomsky. Whatever your problems may be with these two, they do not deserve the level of personal attack levelled against them in Mr. Parenti’s book. However if you understand the slandeous history of marxism, leninism, stalinism, maoism or castroism personal attacks should come as no surprise.

          I’m don’t necessarily believe that the massive states that evolved during the Axial Age can be dispensed with, or managed with as little coercion and violence as the anarchists and libertarian socialists believe they can. However, I most certainly do believe that the level of coercion and violence presicribed by communism (Bolshevism/state socialism) is excessive, and can not be morally or intellectually justified under any regime other than pathocracy.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      The term “free trade” was invented by the British East India Company to justify crimes, especially during the so-called “Opium Wars.” The term “free markets” is “free trade” tweaked, and there is NOTHING “free” about it.

  8. Stephanie

    “The peculiar part of this overreaction is it says that banks and government officials see peaceful protests as a threat to their hold on power. It’s odd that they see their position as precarious, unless they have convinced themselves of their vulnerability as an excuse for clamping down even harder on the rest of us.”

    It seems to me that this is a very common phenomenon in corporate boardrooms. For example, I think Monsanto has waged a very effective dis-information campaign, and that they are attuned to/practiced at identifying potential threats in their infancy and acting on them early. You see ‘paranoia’ but they see a strategic and smart protection of their interests…nipping things in the bud.

    1. Stephanie

      Another way to put it….all the world is a game of chess for them, or ‘strategery.’ They don’t live in the world to live, but, rather, to constantly strategize. I don’t think you can view it as an ‘over-reaction’ if you interpret their actions in that way.

      1. Gizzard

        Yes Stephanie

        I call it privately mediated central planning. Thats why they oppose publicly mediated central planning, it interrupts their plans at times.

    2. LifelongLib

      The same thing is true about general politics in the U.S. (and I assume the rest of the world). Nothing that has any chance of becoming law would seriously bother the wealthy, but if ordinary people get the idea that government can address ANY of their problems, the next step might be a revived popular interest in politics/governance. And who knows where that could lead? Better to nip anything in the bud (national health care, mortgage relief) that might show a faint glimmer of what a genuine democracy would be like.

    3. Nathanael

      And yet all of these IDIOTS in the corporate boardrooms are thinking short term. Sure, Monsanto’s evil behavior has helped it for 30 years… and now consumers are selectively avoiding it, buying organic, and Monsanto’s name is mud. That’s a very poor position to be in for the future.

      “The tighter you grasp your fist, the more sand slips through your fingers”. I forget where that quote is from. But it’s about the importance of soft power. Emperor Augustus disclaimed all Imperial pretensions and said he was merely the first among equals in the Senate, serving the Senate and People of Rome. Yeah right. But by feeding the masses and building useful public works, while talking humbly, he retained power as long as he lived.

      We could use an elite who thought like that. Instead we have an elite of insecure, short-term-thinking, idiots. They *will* be destroyed and they will be destroyed *because* of their obsessive clampdowns. Can they learn to rule with a soft touch? Apparently not; it seems to be contrary to their nature.

  9. psychohistorian

    Thanks for the posting Yves, albeit a sad commentary on “civilization” as we know it.

    I guess I will proudly count myself among those “unsavory characters” that Middle Seaman refers to above because I believe that structural change is necessary in our world.

    That said, I agree with him in a way. As I participated in Occupy Portland in my little way I learned that there are a 1% at the bottom of of our current social order that are as sick as those in the top 1%. The difference is that I don’t blame the bottom 1% for their attitude and actions as much as I do the top 1%. It is further my opinion that the top 1% are engineering the bottom 1% to be their reason for further repression of all of us.

    Gawd help us as this goes forward. Mankind deserves a better future than that staring us in the face. I can only hope that we can rise to the original motto of our once great country’s ideal, E PLURIBUS UNUM ……………………………………………………OUT OF MANY, ONE

    Laugh this cultural stupidity away folks. It is the only way I see out of this.

    Laugh LOUD and LONG!

      1. psychohistorian

        LBR, This fits with one of my complaints about those of faith.

        If you have faith then you automatically transfer responsibility for your actions to the deity of your choice. And you get to go to heaven because you were always just following orders from above….

        Willful ignorance to avoid responsibility for the moral judgments of your life plays to one of our weaknesses as a species. Its not a bug, its a feature.

  10. Paulo Franke

    Assange’s suggestion of widespread use of encryption is worth examining. As described, it is a non-violent, ‘pre-emptive’, and (for now) legal means to ensure privacy. Sounds like a fun way to occupy the web!

    1. psychohistorian

      I have been a techie since 1969, have earned CCNP networking certification and believe that encryption is close to worthless in our current world.

      It is not that if you try hard enough you can create, for a moment, a secure channel for communication. But you are sending it through bit pipes that are totally under the management and control of the folks at the top.

      I encourage folks to not be deluded by what is of little value in addressing our current social problems. Yes, you can cause resources to be focused on smacking you down or otherwise making your efforts worthless, but why waste the effort and have useful energy misdirected, IMO?

      1. Lord Koos

        It still requires a federal warrant to open mail sent via the USPS. Hey, maybe that’s why they want to gut the postal service.

        “These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.”

        When has it ever been any different? They are simply more frightened now.

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        p, quite right. Eyes open: fight for liberty as best you can, despite Big Brother, as part of the Patrick Henry brigade: “Give me liberty, or give me death.”

        Wasn’t that the idea behind those who fought the first American Revolution against “British” tyranny of Monarch+Funders craving financial despotism?

        The Magna Carta yet lives. Our Constitution yet lives.
        “The Tyrannicide Brief” by Geoffrey Robertson is fact, not fiction.
        The “Wizard of oz.” is about the trap of that yellow brick road, owned by the same guys who own the poppy fields.

    2. Mcmike

      Using encryption will be illegal soon enough.

      It is surely already de facto illegal, in that it can be used against you as suspicious behavior, triggering sanctions and scrutiny by the state.

      1. different clue

        If I understand Yves Smith’s suggestion correctly, it is that so many people start encrypting everything they do all at once that the authorities can’t track them all, and spread themselves into ineffective thinness by trying. A
        Massively Distributed Diffuse Denial of Surveillance Defense . . . if you will.

        1. Mcmike

          Re: “Massively Distributed Diffuse Denial of Surveillance Defense”

          Yes, I can see the “I am Spartacus” aspect that definitely holds some appeal.

          Of course, the Feds will just pour more money and more powerful computers at the problem (justified ironically by all that encryption), in order to overcome it.

          And in the end this is why they will make encryption illegal… slipped into some iteration of a Patriot Act renewal. After all, only criminals needs encryption, its use is prima facie suspicious behavior in this brave new world.

          1. different clue

            Well, if enough free-lance encrypters drive the government into outlawing encryption, then that will make the problem very very plain.

            At which point the old saying kicks in . . . if encryption is outlawed, only outlaws will have encryption.

          2. Mcmike

            dc; I was being somewhat facetious about outlawing encryption, for now, but it is a fact that the FBI already considers using privacy measures as de facto suspicious.

            http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/02/02/communities_against_terrorism_initiative_on_internet_cafes_.html

            http://publicintelligence.net/do-you-like-online-privacy-you-may-be-a-terrorist/

            “A flyer designed by the FBI and the Department of Justice to promote suspicious activity reporting in internet cafes lists basic tools used for online privacy as potential signs of terrorist activity. The document, part of a program called “Communities Against Terrorism”, lists the use of “anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address” as a sign that a person could be engaged in or supporting terrorist activity. The use of encryption is also listed as a suspicious activity…”

          3. Nathanael

            They can’t ban encryption, it’s too important for businesses.

            Which means, encrypt your business mail first. (If you aren’t doing this already, your business is run by idiots.)

  11. wendy davis

    I’d just been reading Dave Lindorff’s piece on the documents PCJ received, http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/28/fbi-ignored-deadly-threat-to-occupiers/, and have been surprised that more attention hasn’t been paid to the fact that in the stack of received documents was a Houston FBI document concerning a group’s (name redacted) plan to assassinate some of the OWS leaders if it were ‘necessary’.

    ““One identified BLANK as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protesters in Houston, Texas if deemed necessary. An identified BLANK had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. BLANK planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest group and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership by suppressed sniper rifles.”

    Lindorff quotes Maya Verheyden-Hilliard, “The documents we’ve obtained show that the FBI was acting as a private intelligence and protective agency for Wall Street and the banks against people who are engaged in First Amendment-protected free speech activities. Yet here you had a real terrorist threat, which, if the FBI were serious about combating and preventing terrorism it would have acted upon, and it did nothing!”

    1. Sleeper

      No, the Stasi did do something -

      They conspired to take away our sacred rights through violence or through the threat of violence.

      Some much for an oath to protect and defend the constitution.

      Can these criminals be sued for treason ?

    2. acmerecords

      seems that dave & our hosts here & the rest are avoiding analysis of these words in the document; “if deemed necessary” & “gathering intelligence”

      It is easy, and real safe, to believe that pgs 61, 68&69 refer to some organization apart from the state security forces that want to murder protesters who were availing themselves of a constitutionally protected right to grieve in public, but no one in the analysis that I have seen has proffered an answer as to who or what entity was going to “review the gathered intelligence” and then go ahead and deem assassinations “necessary” and therefore “approve” the sniper killings…

      I encourage you to read pgs 68&69 and then challenge you walk away thinking that the FBI and its associated groups were not actively considering assassination as part of their response to constitutionally protected activities in this the oldest constitutional democracy on the planet

      I do agree with lindorff and others that the state security apparatus did not arrest the persons who brought forth the idea to murder Americans in the very public and trumped up fashion that they are so famous for – post 9-11 (see the myriad ‘plans’ that the FBI has ‘thwarted’ by bands of incapable bumblers that have been provided both money and fake weapons by the FBI themselves that are then broadcast in hushed and trembling tones by our captured media as examples of scary ‘Muslim terror plots’) – - we know that they didn’t do that with the info they held, as displayed in the FOI-FBI docs…

      We can believe that assassination of protesters was not approved as a tactic by the time occupy folded like a pop-up tent following the programed from washington straight down to my home town’s mayor’s street sweeping that the dark shirts performed in breathtaking neo-fascistic unison, and we know no arrests of the planners of “suppressed sniper” murders were made

      The first predicate for the modern American critic is “when deception fails, they will choose force” and that includes killing innocent Americans who are engaging in constitutionally protected activities.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        acmerecords: “in this the oldest constitutional democracy on the planet”

        Just so: Our nation is a “good example” of democracy that others might follow. It must be destroyed, therefore. As John Coleman avers, they began with the destruction of American Manufacturing and the American Middle Class.

        The orders for BIS “Governance” in the U.S. according the the “Law Merchant” and International Maritime Law (enforced by “NATO”) come from RIIA/CFR to the Secretary of State for enforcement, and to the PuppetPresident for show.

        We are all Cambodians now. The RockPuppet traitor H. Kissinger set the tone.

    3. Rick Cass

      The FBI and Homeland security are not the only government agencies with corporate clients. The armed forces and the military intelligence and mapping agencies have clients in the private sector also.

    4. Jerry Denim

      This is an incredibly incendiary or perhaps chilling revelation. What black cell of the security surveillance state was contemplating assassinating lawful, peaceful American citizens for protesting the unpunished criminal behavior of large financial instituions? I’m shocked by all of this information, but I can’t believe people aren’t more up in arms over the revelation that exercising your first amendment rights may be enough to get you assassinated in public now days. People on lefty blogs have been predicting the overseas enemies of the state drone kill list would soon make its stateside debut, but wow. Without words….

      Something this bold would seem to be a deliberate black propaganda leak, but if the powers-that-be can reveal frightening evidence of high crimes with no fear of repercussions what does that mean exactly?

  12. JB McMunn

    Deja vu anyone? Does this remind you of the way Nixon and the FBI reacted to Viet Nam War protesters?

    We thought we weren’t making an impact. It wasn’t until much later that we learned we made them totally paranoid.

    1. timotheus

      Indeed, and this is the encouraging aspect of this unsurprising over-reaction: they are frightened of resistance especially when it accurately targets the real powers with astute messaging. The whole cache is a testament to the great success of the Occupy brand, despite its weaknesses and limitations.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        no. They just kill you all, or maybe a few to “teach a lesson” to all: Kent State.

        Remember Red Square, Tiananmen Square: The Global Elite are One now, and they remember the French Revolution. What they fear most is the fury of the masses–hence the work of Freud, Bernays, et al. for the “Elite” Propaganda Factory the Tavistock Institute. If the propaganda doesn’t work, genocide will. They have used this “tactic” before (Armenian Genocide, Hitler’s Holocaust, Stalin’s Purge, Kissinger-Pol Pot Killing Fields, Mao’s Slaughter, etc.) and they will not hesitate to use it again. It boils down to the .01% with highest tech for killing us, used by their .99%Agents of Destruction/Death, v. the 99%.

        That is how AFRAID the .01% are of the expressed fury of the masses: They remember that The French slaughtered *Them*. And these *Elite* fearful psychopaths will do ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING therefore to stay in control of the actions of 99% by their MONOPOLY on PetroChemAgriPharmaFinance — in order to conduct their eternal “Conspiracy” to “Rule the World” by engaging in Total “Pre-Emptive Wars” against any and all who threaten their “safety” and their “entitlement” to ALL of the world’s resources of earth/water/air/FIRE.

        They specialize in “War Crimes” and “Crimes Against Humanity” in perpetuity:
        “BABYLON’S BANKSTERS: The Alchemy of Physics, High Finance and Ancient Religion” by Joseph P. Farrell.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          From: NYTimes.com News Alert
          Subject: Breaking News: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Is Hospitalized With Blood Clot
          Date: December 30, 2012 8:46:13 PM EST
          ——————————
          See? And they never did explain that “concussion” for starters.

          The Regime Change continues.

        2. Nathanael

          Lest we forget, after Kent State, the entire military-industrial complex backed off and allowed major improvements in civil rights and economic rights for about a decade.

          Maybe someone spotted that they’d pushed people too far, and that the people were ready to blow.

          The people of the US are, right now, not yet ready to blow. Keep this bullcrap theft-of-houses up for another 5 years and the people may be ready to blow.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      As far as encouragement goes, this sensitivity is thin gruel. It shouldn’t be confused with vulnerability Tricky Dick was vulnerable to public outrage. The same behavior today would barely elicit a collective yawn. Social control (the media etc.) has come a long long way even if the criminals still feel a pang of guilt.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        The dogs will be outraged when the bell they were trained on for the purpose rings and not a minute before. Then ring the bell for hunger and watch the tails wag.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        LK, murder, assassination, genocide of “the other” means NOTHING to them, apart from their ongoing “success” against impediments to their NWO, that is.

        1. Nathanael

          They’re more out of touch with the popular mood now than they were then, though.

          Stealing people’s homes is one of the stupider things to do if you want to keep the masses quiet.

      2. psychohistorian

        Thanks for bringing that to the attention of those that may not have known of forgotten.

        Those that do not read and heed history are bound to repeat it….like we have had a choice since the 60′s…….

  13. JGordon

    “It’s odd that they see their position as precarious, unless they have convinced themselves of their vulnerability as an excuse for clamping down even harder on the rest of us.”

    Of course their position is precarious. They are aware that society is on the brink of collapse, just as I am. But more importantly, how many times will you have to read about how dispicacably corrupt and disgustingly foul this blighted society is before you start looking forward to its collapse as well? The American people have the government they want; virtually no one who is honest or has any integrity whatsoever will ever be elected since the petty corruption and delusional thinking of our leaders is just a reflection of the petty corruption and delusional thinking of nearly every American. I do believe that the fish rotted from the head, but now the entire fish is in fact rotted and there is nothing left to do but throw it out.

    Anyway, of course when things really do get bad out there we’ll be thankful for our individual right bear arms (as the Supreme Court has acknowledged)–since self protection is a fundamental, and some would even say God-given, univeral human right that those of us who are intelligent and forward-thinking will be able to exercise after circumstances radically change. Because no one is going to volunteer to protect the deluded sheep when times get a bit tougher you know; sheep are kept safe by the farmer for a little while at his whim, but eventually all are sheared and/or eaten.

    1. from Mexico

      JGordon says:

      The American people have the government they want; virtually no one who is honest or has any integrity whatsoever will ever be elected since the petty corruption and delusional thinking of our leaders is just a reflection of the petty corruption and delusional thinking of nearly every American.

      Well that certainly is the defense that Adlof Eichmann invoked. After all, “If everyone is guilty, then no one is guilty.”

      For the antithesis to Eichmann’s worldview there’s Andrzej Łobaczewski’s Ponerology. Łobaczewski lived 6 years under Nazism and 32 years under communism. (And by the way, Łobaczewski is another one who argues that there is no fundamental difference between Nazism and communism.)

      JGordon said:

      Anyway, of course when things really do get bad out there we’ll be thankful for our individual right bear arms (as the Supreme Court has acknowledged)–since self protection is a fundamental, and some would even say God-given, univeral human right that those of us who are intelligent and forward-thinking will be able to exercise after circumstances radically change. Because no one is going to volunteer to protect the deluded sheep when times get a bit tougher you know…

      I think anyone who thinks they can match firepower with the US military is the “duluded” one.

      Martin Luther King also had to contend with these calls for violent revolution, with the conviction that the solution to violence is even greater violence.

      1. different clue

        Inferiorly armed Guerrilla forces have defeated superiorly armed regime armies in the past. But they didn’t
        do it by trying to match the superiorly armed Armed Forces arm for arm.

        Then too, many of the volunteer members of today’s Army and marines (I don’t know about Air Force) come from the parts of the country where the Civilian Gun Culture is strong. Can they be relied on to follow orders to violently disarm their friends, neighbors, and blood relatives all across small town and country America just because an anti-ruralitic Urban Suprematist regime gives that order? I remember talking once with a National Guardmember (whose name need not concern anyone ever. EVER)
        who told me that if the National Guard were ever ordered to disarm citizens, “some number” of Guardsmen stood ready to gather up all the weapons they could from their armories and defect with those weapons to the forces of the Second Ammendment Liberation Front . . . so to speak.

        It all depends on what culturally-conservative small town/rural people decide to feel is “oppression” from THEIR standpoint.

    2. Mcmike

      The PTB must supress all hints of contradiction or alternatives. (Aside the sanctioned safety valve faux alternative aka the Dem party).

      That is because their power is based on the implanted premise – the received wisdom – that the structure is naturally ocurring, and thus righteous and inevitable. Even a brief glimpse of daylight beyond the curtain must be overwhelmingly put down, because even a small taste of awakening is contagious as hell, and tends to lead to further awakening and uncomfortable questions.

      Ranchers know that if a bull jumps the fence just once, he must be killed, before he shows the rest of the herd that it can be done.

  14. Goin' South

    TPTB’s reaction to Occupy reminds me of the conversation George and Billy had between tokes in Easy Rider:

    George Hanson: You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.

    Billy: Man, everybody got chicken, that’s what happened. Hey, we can’t even get into like, a second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel, you dig? They think we’re gonna cut their throat or somethin’. They’re scared, man.

    George Hanson: They’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to ‘em.

    Billy: Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.

    George Hanson: Oh, no. What you represent to them is freedom.

    Billy: What the hell is wrong with freedom? That’s what it’s all about.

    George Hanson: Oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s what’s it’s all about, all right. But talkin’ about it and bein’ it, that’s two different things. I mean, it’s real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Of course, don’t ever tell anybody that they’re not free, ’cause then they’re gonna get real busy killin’ and maimin’ to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ‘em.

    Billy: Well, it don’t make ‘em runnin’ scared.

    George Hanson: No, it makes ‘em dangerous.

    1. Susan the other

      George and Billy are timeless characters. Just reading some American History on politics from the 1750s on. Nothing has changed. Except some of the benefits of progress. That really needs to be the question: What kind of progress?

    1. Uncle Bob

      I’ve been schooled on Capitalism’s underlying premise …Scarcity ..
      just saying it sounds scathe..
      So when the suckcess-full Scarcity-cats face the “Abundance” Mutual Aid, Citizen..who would you think would be more afraid?..The guys with all the guns or those facing them?
      Asking the guy pointing the gun at you, “What are you scared of” makes him more scared
      I agree with the teckie above..about the encryption idea being a waste since all that will accomplish is more scarcity paranoia

      1. different clue

        Well . . . one could write all one’s serious material uncrytped for open view like the comments here, and one could encrypt needless trash like shopping lists, tire pressure charts, etc.; as a wheel-spinning velcro-decoy roach-motel time-trap for whomever fears the encrypter and the encrypted.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      SCI – re link to videos & text re shooting of Scott Olsen – What nobody is asking, including the Marines apparently, is: “WHAT is the San Francisco Sheriff Emergency Services Unit (ESU), WHO is in this ESU (background check), WHO is liable for this ESU’s words/deeds while on duty, and WHO/WHAT funds the ESU.”

      The former Chief of Police of Savannah, after serving a short time, quit to go “serve” in an ambiguous global-law-and-order “Police Force” in California. Don’t you think these are “special” NATO-affiliated troops working “Operation Gladio” Redux in the “Homeland” – that ambiguous fascist title of what was formally known as the United States?

      Who is investigating the Global Police/Security Forces of STRANGERS in any given locality? The Reich will not put “familiar faces” in any so-called “local” force anywhere. This allows for the Masquerade of “Anonymity” and “Strange Fruit” Brutality among the perpetrators of injury and death on the population in any and every place. I read recently that there were already Chinese troops present in the upper Mid-west, on tap to make order “locally.”

      As Amy Goodman told us years ago on DemocracyNow! – there are Military Troops based in the U.S. ready to “keep order” in the “Homeland” wherever they are sent. And has anyone discovered the legal meaning/implications of the Bush Dynasty substitution of the word “Homeland” for the phrase: The United States? The “Reichstag Fire” brought the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act into play for PNAC DupleMasterTraitors, and the “Homeland” was delivered to the Enemy.

      http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/10/video-who-shot-scott-olsen-at-occupy.html

    2. Sad Cops Indeed

      http://lapd.com/news/headlines/savannah_police_chief_michael_berkow_resigns/
      Berkow. Hmm. Damaged goods. That kind of guy, hanging on by his fingernails, What won’t he do for you? And with State credentials for access, private proprietary exceptions to FOIA for obscurity, he can come and go. Interesting that he was ready to do his part in Oakland, disabling vets. Good catch!

      USIS I mean Altegrity, soon to be !]&%$(^^^! State is duplicating the UN’s SPC capacity-building program. The US government staffs UN police-training programs with intel pukes, but they can only get away with so much in a multilateral organization, so Bennet needs his own training shop – you know, to teach the Israeli provocation and torture techniques he uses against Occupy.

  15. IowanX

    For what it’s worth, the Downtown DC Business Improvement District set up a password protected private website to disseminate information about Occupy to BID members. I know the guy who set up their website. My guess is that other BIDs in other cities took similar steps as part of the “coordination” efforts. Sadly, I never got a look at the content.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      There wouldn’t be a BID tie-in to the Chamber of Commerce and the Cecil-Rhodes-Milner Round Table for “British” Imperial Totalitarianism, would there?

  16. MG

    The atavistic reactions of the failed democracies within this post-modern world not only to the OWS protests but those throughout Europe spit in the face of Martin Luther King, Gandhi and those that would follow their path toward affecting change.

  17. Orwell

    In this country all power rests in the peoplen and not Corps which are the Banks or Govt…They are nothing but fictions created by us..the flesh and blood..

  18. Ray Duray

    I’ve cross-posted this item at Occupy Bend.
    http://www.occupybendor.org/news.php?1534

    This has been a great comments section. I appreciate the input from many of you. Thanks.

    One aspect of our local Occupy effort that deeply troubled me at the end of 2011 was an aspect of what appeared to be COINTELPRO-style infiltration of the movement by agents provocateurs who in our local group seemed to be largely used to create dissension and back-stabbing among various factions in our Occupy group. I’m curious if others experienced the same?

    This took various forms of whispering campaigns, personal attacks on Facebook, erratic scheduling decisions, stonewalling at General Assemblies, etc. I’ve had a few discussions with others in our group and at best we can sense something being awry with the group, but we couldn’t determine exactly who was acting as an agent for the PTB and who was simply a bit cracked and/or not really adult enough for a cohesive protest effort. At any rate, I’ve been organizing anti-war street protests since 2002 and I never witnessed anything like the dissension among a group that I did with Occupy Bend.

    As to “psychohistorian’s” comment about the 1% of bottom-feeders who infested Occupy Portland, I can say that I experienced some of these Black Bloc types in other Portland peace efforts and I’m 100% convinced that there is an agent provocateur influence there.

    In a similar vein, here’s proof of the same as provided by PBS’s POV program regarding the deliberate effort by the FBI/DHS et al to engage in egregious entrapment of the naive Left, in this instance, with regard to the protests at the Republican National Convention in 2008:

    http://www.pbs.org/pov/betterthisworld/#.UOBsSqzNmSo

    I’m sure some of you have read of other instances such as the Occupy Cleveland Five who were seduced into a plot to blow up a bridge. Other examples abound. My default assumption today is that anyone advocating violence in the Occupy movement is simply working for the government at an entrapment scheme.

    1. Clouseau's Inflatable Parrot

      Oh, yeah. We had an assigned dissension-monger/criminal instigator. But the group was already so infiltrated by Dem Party entryists that I was cheering him on. His secret ninja provocateur skillz probably cost Obama a couple thousand votes.

    2. different clue

      I wonder whether the anarchoidal fixation on consensus and general assemblies and human microphones and stuff renders every Occupy group that lives by it . . . uniquely vulnerable to all such gear-sanding monkey-wrenching sugar-in-the-gas tank behavior.

      John Michael Greer the Archdruid, in his Archdruid Report, wrote an article worth reading in this regard. It begins with stuff perhaps generally applicable to Occupy’s anarchoidal methods being a weakness and ending with a few paragraphs very specifically addressing that weakness. Here is the link.
      http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2012/12/enacting-democracy.html

      Here is another article written by a wizened old community organizer named Al Giordano with some real victories in his past apparently. It is called The Mexican Student Movement Is Younger And Faster Than Occupy and describes how the Mexican Student movement seemed poised for greater successes (he claims) by doing certain things very specifically different from how Occupy does them. It may also be worth reading.
      http://narcosphere.narconews.com/thefield/4809/mexican-student-movement-younger-faster-occupy

      1. different clue

        Though I will certainly grant that “no leaders” means no “decapitation strikes” are easily and quickly commitable.
        And yet . . . the lack of assassinatable leaders did not prevent the authorities from substantially tamping down Occupy in general. I have no answers there.

      2. nobody

        John Michael Greer has no idea what he’s talking about when he writes about Occupy. He’s not acquainted with the basic facts, and doesn’t know it. The Archdruid’s Report is one of my regular reads, but his uninformed response to Occupy is intellectually sloppy, to put it charitably.

          1. nobody

            Lambert,

            Greer’s view “that we have proven methods of running meeting[s] democratically,” that we should “go with what works,” is certainly one that is worthy of consideration. But he’s expressing this view in the context of a grossly uniformed and pretty much make-believe history of the Occupy movement. It’s also rather disturbing to see how dismissive he is about the point that the movement “was brutally suppressed by the State”:

            Brian, ‘brutally suppressed’? The kind of treatment that caused Occupy to crumple didn’t faze the protesters in Tahrir Square, to name only one example.

            http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2012/12/enacting-democracy.html?showComment=1356018303137#c8479316540435605616

            In the early days of the Occupy movement, numerous advocates of consensus methods argued strenuously that leaderlessness meant that they wouldn’t know who to co-opt or kill. Anyone who was more than casually engaged, and had eyes to see, knows that a lot of effort and money went into the attempt to do to Occupy what the Republicans did to much (though not all of) the Tea Party movement. And we now know that the latter concern was an already-present reality, rather than a down-the-road hypothetical.

          2. nobody

            Further on John Michael Greer, what he seems to think is that “activists [with a "fetish for consensus politics"] hijacked the mass demonstrations in New York and elsewhere, pushed consensus methods on them, used those methods to get control of the meetings and the money, and then ran them into the ground.”

            http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-degeneration-of-politics.html

            When pushed for a citation by a reader who objects to this characterization, he provides a link to a piece on the NYC-GA’s adoption of the Spokes model:

            http://fritztucker.blogspot.com/2011/11/american-autumn-pt-3.html

            The story JMG is telling about Occupy is a fairy tale. In the real world, the notion of utilizing consensus methods is implicit right from the get-go, in the initial call from Adbusters (July 13, 2011) to occupy Wall Street and utilize tactics derived from “a fusion of Tahrir with the acampadas of Spain.”

            (cf http://takethesquare.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Quickguidetodynamicsofpeoplesassemblies_13_6_2011.pdf)

            And then what happened? Well, on David Graeber’s account, a meeting was called at Bowling Green on August 2 “to plan some kind of action on Wall Street in mid-September,” and the outcome was a General Assembly where ultimately:

            We created a decision-making process (we would operate by modified consensus) broke out into working groups (outreach, action, facilitation) and then reassembled to allow each group to report its collective decisions, and set up times for new meetings of both the smaller and larger groups… Over the next few weeks a plan began to take shape. The core of the emerging group, which began to meet regularly in Tompkins Square park, were very young people who had cut their activist teeth on the Bloombergville encampment outside City Hall earlier in the summer; aside from that there was a smattering of activists who had been connected to the Global Justice movement with skills to share (one or two of whom I had to drag out of effective retirement), and, as mentioned a number of New Yorkers originally from Greece, Spain, even Tunisia, with knowledge and connections with those who were, or had been, involved in occupations there. We quickly decided that what we really wanted to do was something like had already been accomplished in Athens, Barcelona, or Madrid: occupy a public space to create a New York General Assembly, a body that could act as a model of genuine, direct democracy to contrapose to the corrupt charade presented to us as ‘democracy’ by the US government. The Wall Street action would be a stepping-stone.

            http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/10/david-graeber-on-playing-by-the-rules-%E2%80%93-the-strange-success-of-occupy-wall-street.html

            JMG fails to realize that the movement was consensus-based from the very start. He mistakes the shift from the earlier consensus model to the Spokes model for an imposition of a consensus model on a movement that wasn’t previously using it. And he generalizes from the NYC-GA to the movement as a whole. For one thing, the issue of money and control of it is central to the story he is telling, and I doubt any other Occupy got anything like amount of money that poured into NY. For another, many GA’s never followed NYC-GA’s adoption of the Spokes model. (I suspect the majority did not, though I don’t have a real sense of how many did and how many didn’t.)

    3. Nathanael

      Yeah. At this point, advocating violence is clear proof of a agent provacateur.

      Look at Syria. The protestors there didn’t start advocating violence until peaceful protesters were openly killed in large numbers by the regime, which was already not legitimately elected. If we get to that point, violence will just be self-defense.

      We are nowhere *near* that point yet. Our elections seem to have been mostly genuine, only tampered (not completely rigged), with the exception of 2000 which was stolen. And we haven’t had any major massacres. We don’t even have a large number of political prisoners in the US yet.

  19. charles sereno

    Call me dumb. I’m intimidated by the awesome power of the State with “The tamed steel and black anger/Of a panther, at her heels” (E. Tabor). Yet, I believe the many can prevail.

  20. Susan the other

    We have a DSCA – a Domestic Surveillance Alliance Council? Yet another one? Sounds like a growing industry. More jobs. So where is our council of allied watchers of the FBI? I think it’s right here. Please, no encryption. We are far more effective saying all this stuff as the “commentariat” (Yves’ term). I’m curious why the FBI was surveilling “groups” willing to sniper Occupy’s leaders. Especially since Occupy is virtually leaderless. The worst thing Occupy can do is blow stg up. The worst thing the FBI can do is allow some “group” to shoot people. It works both ways. As far as the obvious alliance of the FBI with Banksters and Corporations – it really looks like the politics of embarrassment. The Banksters are ashamed of themselves more than they are paranoid. Capitalism’s Bonds of Embarrassment unite the reactionaries. It’s remotely possible that the FBI controls those nitwits too.

  21. barrisj

    The most salient “take-away” from the release of these documents is the widespread use of “anti-terrorism” legislation (e.g., PATRIOT-Act) and broadened domestic spying (e.g., NSA) to suppress and destroy protest movements in the US. Nothing is easier than to label a group as “terrorist”, as PETA and EarthFirst activists have learned. The courts have only been too willing to condone massive state surveillance and “pre-emptive detention”, or other forms of 1st and 4th Amendment gutting in order to protect the established “order”. And, moreover, the remarkable degree of co-operative planning by private and state organs in a relatively short timeframe to interfere or interdict protest movements shows the immense power of the police/corporatist panopticon that now has immerged with the connivance of all branches of government since “9/11″, where so-called constitutional protection of expression has been cast aside in the interest of maintaining status quo order. Orwell would have been pleased to see his vision of the dystopic Leviathan portrayed in “1984″ to have been redeemed in ways not even imagined 65 years ago.

    1. LifelongLib

      IIRC the PATRIOT Act was passed 45 days after 9/11. My (government) office can’t even plan the Christmas party in that amount of time. 9/11 was the excuse for PATRIOT, not the cause, and the act itself is just a conservative/law enforcement wish list of things they’d wanted for years but couldn’t get enacted until then.

      1. Jerry Denim

        Go back to 1995/96 and look at the domestic anti-terrorism bill which was introduced in Feb 1995 in the Senate, couldn’t pass due to opposition from both the left and right poles (ACLU & NRA) but then made it through the Senate on the heels of the OK City bombing and finally the Gingrinch house in ’96.

        Almost like it just needed a reason to happen, but notice the solution was already waiting.

  22. PQS

    “The peculiar part of this overreaction is it says that banks and government officials see peaceful protests as a threat to their hold on power. It’s odd that they see their position as precarious, unless they have convinced themselves of their vulnerability as an excuse for clamping down even harder on the rest of us.”

    Someone mentioned this upthread, but I think it bears repeating: do not underestimate the institutional paranoia of the Right in this country, which was bred after both the Vietnam and Civil Rights eras. This paranoia is deep, entrenched, and informs almost everything they do, IMO. They were truly terrified by the ability of some hippies and The Blacks to change the entire social order. They are still terrified by this: witness their pathological belief that somehow “all the Real Americans” would vote in Mitt Romney. The very idea that middle class Americans would vote overwhelmingly for a guy who is the living monument to predatory capitalism in the midst of the greatest economic meltdown in 65 years was just laughable. Laughable enough to be the product of paranoid delusions, I’d say.

    The other thing is, from what I’ve seen, the 1% are largely very stupid people. At least the ones who get all the publicity appear to be very, very stupid and uninformed by anything other than RW propaganda. (Adelson, Trump, Romney’s “47 percent” audience, even poor old Steve Wynn in Las Vegas, whom I always sort of admired as a good businessman, all of them have been braying about Randian nonsense and extreme political views that are really only suitable for like minded groups.)

    This makes them even more paranoid, since they do not have the cognitive ability to discern the subtle uses of power – only the big-fisted ones.

    1. Mcmike

      Yes, the stupidity (or more accurately perhaps to call it willful ignorance, magical thinking, and myopia) of business leaders is particularly disturbing.

      It is one thing for business leaders to preach about unicorns in public; it is another for them to believe in them in private.

      Indeed we saw a flavor of that in the Romney campaign. I recall a recent article on how surprised the Romney camp was that Obama staff and volunteers actually did a ton of work for thier man. It occurred to me that these vulture capitalists actually have no idea how work gets done and how things get built. They are used to just swooping in and skimming the cream off the top of someone else’s creation, and then patting themsevles on the back.

      They viewed their campaign staff exactly like the employees of a Hostess factory – an inconvenience, and not all that important to the end product.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Much was made of Romney’s 47% comment, specifically that line, but the rest of the questions and opinions of the donors in the room put to rest the idea that the “good Republican candidates” sat this one out. Romney was a fucking genius compared to the rest of those bozos.

      2. different clue

        And yet . . . the people who didn’t vote for the “very embodiment” of predatory capitalism DID vote for a trojan horse filled with predatory capitalism. Only 1.5% of voters voted for all “other” parties put together, apparently.

        And this anti-OWS effort described here is not “Republican”. It is strictly Obama-Holder. Obama-Holder ordered, Obama-Holder driven, Obama-Holder all the way. (Well, and the bussiness community for whom Obama-Holder did it all).

        I wonder whether these “assassination planning” documents were meant to stay hidden, or meant to be found and revealed. I wonder whether assassins were recruited and prepared and held in “ready reserve” . . . or whether the FBI and others are merely preTENding they were . . . with “meant-to-be-leaked” documents designed to terrorise anyone who reads them. Terrorise people into staying away from demonstrations. To me, either choice seems equally possible, and either choice seems government-engineered to me. Or more specifically “inner” government or “deep” government or “parallel” government . . . whichever name and concept one prefers.

    2. Goin' South

      Inbred wealth.

      Do all of us a favor, even them. Institute a 99% inheritance tax.

      Supporting examples: the Waltons; the Kochs; Richard Mellon Scaife. And the list goes on.

  23. rob

    The FBI, commits more domestic terrorism than any other group.
    Obviously, the thousands of people who are actually on the FBI payroll constitute a varied group with no expectation that most of them are privy to anything.
    But,
    As a group, the fbi is involved(thru “informants that supply money,weapons,plans,expertise,etc),more than any other single organization.At least on the face of it.Almost every “failed” terror plot over the past ten years has had an FBI INFORMANT connected prominantly to the premise of a terrorist attack.
    Then there is 9-11
    In chicago 1998-2000, the chicago fbi office with agents wright and vincent, were investigating two of the future 9-11 attackers(alledged or otherwise)and their “money man” Yasin Al Qadi. a saudi who was one of those who owned P_TECH ,a software co. with access to the entirety of the american alphabet soups computer systems.The illinois atty gen,patrick fitzgerald; also had an open investigation into these known terrorists.
    Both of these investigations were shut down by higher ups in the federal arena.The chicago “protection”of soon to have been 9-11 terrorists was just on case of several.
    The fbi had a hand in 9-11.
    In the case of the world trade tower bombings in 1993, the fbi ,again had an informant who was the one who supplied the explosive.according to testimony, the explosive could have been supplied in non working condition. But the FBI handler didn’t wan’t a “non-explosion”.to cloudy the usefulness of the act.
    Hell, Then there is of course waco and ruby ridge.
    You would think that after they got caught manipulating the “camden 28″,back in the 70′s.People would no longer NOT BELIEVE they could do something like this.

    like the paperwork that was “operation northwoods”, of the joint chiefs of staff;leftovers,showed to just what depths are openly discussed as “possible scenerio’s”.

    these things are what I mean when I seriously ask,”Why can’t people who are actually connected with memo’s and programs, not be subject to citizens arrest?”These laws still exist. Just because a certain judge may deem other things “more important”, is it not for the citizenry to really make that decision.I know the supposed avenue is to work to elect likeminded individuals to congress,and thus constitute change.but really, I don’t see that option.That is part of the problem.
    How do you commit a crime in the middle of the street, and not be “caught”?

  24. Joel3000

    Here’s how to crypto for fun.

    Download True Crypt.
    Make an archive. It can be empty. Doesn’t matter.
    Upload the archive to a free file share service, or send it to your favorite
    someone.

    It’s fun!

  25. LeonovaBalletRusse

    IF we have been made merchandise: in effect chattel slaves, is this not ILLEGAL according to our Constitution of the United States (with Amendments)? This means that the contracts ARE NOT BINDING in the United States, or anywhere that forbids the owning and/or use of persons as slaves.

  26. alex

    J. Edgar Hoover may be dead, but his spirit lives on. Hoover was too chicken to tackle a real problem like organized crime, but was always on top of people doing dastardly things like exercising their First Amendment rights.

    These days the folks who didn’t do jack to stop 9/11 (hint: pay attention when a field office warns about people wanting to learn to fly airplanes but not land them) but are right on top of those nasty people exercising their First Amendment rights. You didn’t think they were serious about that part of the Constitution, did you?

    Law and Order: which do you believe in more?

    1. Anon Too

      Was Hoover too chicken? Organized crime has always served a purpose. There was a time when OC was contacted by depts. of the government who asked for their help. Then they started to get a little too big for their britches. Subsequent legal actions have cut them back down to size. OC is still around but once again they know their place. So it’s easy to argue Hoover was doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing. His spirit does live on.

      1. different clue

        Was Hoover afraid to tackle organized crime? Or did Hoover foster and protect organized crime for “reasons of state”?

      2. alex

        There was a time when OC was contacted by depts. of the government who asked for their help.

        Yes, during WWII. Partly to make sure there was no trouble on the docks (in NY, etc.) and partly for the invasion of Sicily. But that was ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) and the OSS. Possibly the CIA later on for various reasons.

        Hoover and the FBI were another story. Hoover knew organized crime was very difficult to tackle, and they could easily corrupt law enforcement. Hoover was a puffed up glory hound who went after soft targets and made sure he got plenty of press. The big name gangsters of the 1930′s were taken down by Elliot Ness, who Hoover later pushed out of the FBI because his effectiveness was a threat to Hoover.

          1. Anon Too

            Boston/FBI. Maybe the cooperation wasn’t coordinated at the national level but it certainly was locally.

            Trust in the FBI,CIA,IRS and other government departments is virtually nonexistent (for cause) based on past actions.

  27. abprosper

    Why does this surprise anyone? The FBI has been doing this kind of thing since its inception, its the main job of the agency.

    The US has maybe justly a deep fear of democracy and as almost any efforts to democracy would render an imperial state no longer valid, we can’t afford both .

    Democratic and redistribution efforts are in that sense a national security issue since they would alter vastly the national security parameters, so the FBI is sent in.

    Also there is a risk ratio. If you busty the chops of a bunch of white kids they won’t sue you on racial grounds or make trouble for you later. Its easy work with some reward and in the case of some of the anarchist and other groups, actual utility

    The modern drug and terror groups however are nasty and have moles and highly sophisticated data mining operations and lot of resources. They also have no ethics and you can see where that leads.

    If in the end we find a way to get the country back, the only way to reduce the abuse is to reduce the scope of powers. Pass very few federal laws , elininate asset forfeiture and lock agencies out of assisting States while still allowing them to check abuses.

    Why you have to be so draconian is that every federal law you pass means more power to the Feds, so if you want a gun law or a drug law, you are also paying for resources for the next CONINTELPRO. You can’t stop them from using them either, no point in trying

    The only way to reduce this is a kind of judicial austerity program something I can’t see the Left or (to a lesser degree) the Right embracing.

    1. Nathanael

      What the leaders of the US Empire have not realized is that the Empire has already collapsed. They just haven’t noticed it yet.

      The rest of the world has noticed. At this point all that the vaunted US military is capable of doing is making a mess. As we have proven in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia — and possibly elsewhere! — the US military is incapable of securing and holding territory.

      That is a great weakness for a would-be empire; a fatal weakness, in fact.

      Then, perhaps, an economic empire? Nope. China has taken over that role; Turkey is trying on a smaller scale. To be an economic empire, you have to import raw materials and export manufactured goods in exchange. The US gave up on that during the recent Robber Baron era.

      The empire is gone. At the moment we’re mailing money abroad to support outposts of Legions, but they aren’t doing us any good. Eventually they’ll be tossed out by the countries they’re in or they’ll go native. It could take decades.

      1. Rick Cass

        Just as, over time, the income to Rome did not cover the costs of governing the provinces. This was, in part, the impetus for the decline of Rome as an Empire, and encouraged the military commanders in the frontiers to seek power and undermine the central government.

  28. Joshua

    The documents show extensive surveillance by an alphabet soup of federal law enforcement agencies. They provide exactly zero evidence of a coordinated crackdown. And that’s because there was never a federally coordinated crackdown on OWS camps, as far as we know. The documents expose the feds’ surveillance and then there are lots and lots of field reports about OWS and memos between various agencies.

    Wolf would have you believe that local governments and police agencies bear no responsibility for the often brutal suppression of OWS activists. In her formulation, they were just “decent people” who were “being pushed around by a shadowy private policing consultancy affiliated with DHS.”

    That “shadowy private police consultancy” was the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a nonprofit that Fox News once “exposed” as a sinister “progressive police organization.” PERF was at the heart of Wolf’s conspiracy. “Municipal police,” she wrote, “are being forced to comply with brutal orders from this corporate police consultancy, by economic pressure” (she never got around to explaining how an NGO with a 2010 budget of $5.7 million could exert such pressure — Wolf’s readers just had to take that one on faith).

    She later added members of the House Homeland Security Committee to her nefarious, “nationally coordinated” crackdown on OWS.

    Read the PCJF FOIA docs for yourself. They don’t support Wolf’s claims back then or today. Mayors and police chiefs were in fact responsible for their own cities’ crackdowns, which varied widely in terms of tactics, timing and reasons given to the media.

    1. reprobate

      Please don’t try that sort of twattle here. You expect us to believe the fact that raids on Occupy encampments just spontaneously happened to take place in 17 different cities on the smae night?

      The fact that the crackdown was coordianted has been widely discussed, see these examples:

      http://wonkette.com/456282/surprise-homeland-security-coordinates-ows-crackdowns-nationwide

      http://gothamist.com/2011/11/16/justice_dept_official_raids_of_occu.php

      And in the case of NYC, the Feds offered bribes in the form of training and support.

      As for the rest of your “nothing to see here” palaver, first, teh FBI had designated Occupy a terrorist organization a full month before the occupation of Zuccotti Park started AND was closely coordinating with the NYSE.

      Second, you treat the discussion of assassinations as routine. Your tolerance for police state behavior is clearly higher than mine.

      1. Joshua

        You’re welcome to read the documents for yourself, and you’ll see that there is exactly zero evidence to support the claims Wolf made, either last year or now.

        I certainly don’t think there’s “nothing to see here.” The docs are fascinating and troubling. Wolf’s account of what is to be seen there is nonsense, however, your blog-posts notwithstanding.

        Also, there were never 17 crackdowns in a single night — not sure where you came up with that one.

        As for the sniper fire, I have no clue what that’s about as everything around it is redacted. My sense is that authorities got wind of some RWNJ threatening to shoot OWS leaders, but that’s only a guess. Are people actually suggesting that the state was considering assassinating people? There’s certainly no evidence of that in the FOIA docs — that’s just nutty.

        Again, my suggestion is this: don’t believe me or Wolf — just read the documents for yourself. Also read what she wrote last year.

        It’s a shame that Yves didn’t read the docs in order to give her readers something better than Wolf’s sad attempt to absolve local governments and police agencies of any responsibility for trampling protesters’ rights.

        1. different clue

          There is another blog I read called The Confluence by blogger Riverdaughter. Many months ago she wrote a post about revelations concerning conference calls between a pack of Democratic Mayors and Obama Administration people and Homeland Security people, as I remember. I don’t have the time/patience/energy to go back through all the unsorted un handy-archived-and-titled posts to find it, but I remember it being there.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Here’s one post. Oakland’s Quan admitted being on one DHS conference call, though Riverdaughter doesn’t provide a link, I remember it.

            On balance, I think after seeing the massive, multi-state police presence at the national conventions of both legacy parties, and at the NATO protests in Chicago, it would be quite remarkable if there were no co-ordination in moves against Occupy. It’s been awhile, though, so I can’t do a link fest.

          2. Joshua

            Wolf confused two different stories back in 2011.

            There was a couple of conference calls organized by the US Conference of Mayors, including the one Quan mentioned to the BBC. Then there was one or more conference calls between local police chiefs organized by PERF.

            That people were talking to one another about OWS has never been in dispute. Wolf claimed that federal agencies had coordinated the crackdowns, and coerced unwilling cities to follow suit. Serious reports of what those conference calls were about never supported that claim.

            There is exactly zero evidence, in any serious reporting or in any of the FOIA docs, that the feds pressured, coerced, cajoled, bribed or directed cities to crack down on their local camps. According to what we know, those decisions were made by city governments.

            There has also never been any dispute that the feds were closely monitoring what was going on, thought it was a potential threat and shared info with local cops. Based on what we know, they spied. They didn’t direct the crackdowns.

  29. Jill

    The capture of the political process by private corporations is very dangerous. The banking industry has come a long way in this project. In consequence we see banks acting as arms dealers, both foreign and domestic. We have them lining up against the people along with govt. and private “law” enforcement. They are able to gamble with public (and even some lower order private money) and know they will be bailed out with public money. This isn’t indicative of a functioning democracy. It’s not even savvy business strategy. It is a police state put in place to enforce the theft of public goods, then put into private hands.

    Please note that this is taking place on the watch of a Democratic as well as Republican amalgam. These elites have subverted the law to serve their needs. The only good news that I draw from this information is that the elites still know fear. It means they don’t feel they have complete control over the minds and hearts of enough of the population to just relax and let their propaganda do the work.

    I really hope more people will understand clearly what is going on in USGinc. and oppose it. It must be opposed peacefully. Guns will not win the class war. Intelligence, commitment to others, to this earth, a passion for justice-those are the tools.

  30. Joshua

    This has been a public service message from the NCS Fingernail Factory.

    And one more thing. There is no evidence, none, zero, zip, zilch, nada, of central coordination and I know that, because when I skulk into a podunk police station and flash my 007 license to waterboard, the cops don’t need to be coordinated, they fall all over themselves trying to be Junior Spy Cadets. These dimbulbs want to be like us so bad, they’d be chopping off nun’s tits all day, except they can’t find any nuns. It doesn’t take coordination, it’s like Rover, sic em.

    1. Joshua

      But really, the crazy, mixed-up lunacy of imagining that our government, the United States Government of America, would actually consider assassinating actual people – What kind of nutty nut would be nutty as to think such nutty things? Nutty nutty nutty nut, that’s you, you nutty nuts. That’s what you are.

    2. Fred Hampton's skull

      Well, bust my buttons! You know, Joshua, I think I see it your way! I was a little suspicious there for a while, but now I know that this is a funny, mixed-up world and you never know what’s gonna happen! Never a dull moment, nosir.

    3. Abdulrahman al-Awlaki's vaporized eyeball

      You know, I think Joshua’s right. I musta got hit by a asteroid. The virgins think that’s probably it. I always worried about that, but, hey, What can you do?

  31. Jill

    This might interest some: “By Pam Martens: October 18, 2011

    Wall Street’s audacity to corrupt knows no bounds and the cooptation of government by the 1 per cent knows no limits. How else to explain $150 million of taxpayer money going to equip a government facility in lower Manhattan where Wall Street firms, serially charged with corruption, get to sit alongside the New York Police Department and spy on law abiding citizens.

    According to newly unearthed documents, the planning for this high tech facility on lower Broadway dates back six years. In correspondence from 2005 that rests quietly in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s archives, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly promised Edward Forst, a Goldman Sachs’ Executive Vice President at the time, that the NYPD “is committed to the development and implementation of a comprehensive security plan for Lower Manhattan…One component of the plan will be a centralized coordination center that will provide space for full-time, on site representation from Goldman Sachs and other stakeholders.”

    At the time, Goldman Sachs was in the process of extracting concessions from New York City just short of the Mayor’s first born in exchange for constructing its new headquarters building at 200 West Street, adjacent to the World Financial Center and in the general area of where the new World Trade Center complex would be built. According to the 2005 documents, Goldman’s deal included $1.65 billion in Liberty Bonds, up to $160 million in sales tax abatements for construction materials and tenant furnishings, and the deal-breaker requirement that a security plan that gave it a seat at the NYPD’s Coordination Center would be in place by no later than December 31, 2009.

    Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly Inside the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center

    The surveillance plan became known as the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative and the facility was eventually dubbed the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center. It operates round-the-clock. Under the imprimatur of the largest police department in the United States, 2,000 private spy cameras owned by Wall Street firms, together with approximately 1,000 more owned by the NYPD, are relaying live video feeds of people on the streets in lower Manhattan to the center. Once at the center, they can be integrated for analysis. At least 700 cameras scour the midtown area and also relay their live feeds into the downtown center where low-wage NYPD, MTA and Port Authority crime stoppers sit alongside high-wage personnel from Wall Street firms that are currently under at least 51 Federal and state corruption probes for mortgage securitization fraud and other matters…”

    found in counterpunch magazine but I believe even Bloomberg had an article about this private public partnership for the greater good!

  32. Curve

    The government i think is very involved in this , this is my opinion i dont think i want to dispute this , but there are thieves there bigger than on wallstreet that plays with a lot of money .

  33. cripes

    Isn’t Lambert the same guy from Corrente who spent most of last year bashing OWS for their “violence?” He did a lot of water-carrying for the enemy on that one.

    Now that we know without a shred of doubt they were victims of a coordinated campaign of violence and suppression, maybe Corrente needs to post a retraction.

  34. OMF

    The FBI are a bunch of absolute wasters.

    The banks are a threat to the state, but the FBI spend their days going after hippies’ whose only tactic is to sit uselessly in the street and _ask_ criminal mob bosses in the banks to stop being criminal.

    I honestly don’t know which is the more worthless organisation; OWS or the FBI. (At least the public doens’t have to pay for OWS)

  35. eveporcupine

    I was at OWS in NY and I am a 45 year old procedures analyst who just thinks our country should have a more just tax structure and worker protections. I was accompanied by a 40-year-old special ed teacher from Darien, CT. I guess I’m a terrorist. I guess I will admit to being terror-inducing if you are easily scared. BTW, saw some middle-aged cheese-hat wearing terrorists from WI while I was there.

    We’re going to get hit by REAL terrorists while we have our collective head up our butt in the United States.
    I guess that’s Ok, then the banks can ask for emergency bail out funding after the ensuing stock market collapse.

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