Maureen Tkacik: The Anti-#Occupy/CIA Connection

Maureen Tkacik is a writer living in Washington, DC. You can follow her on Twitter at @moetkacik

I was at the Georgetown library the other day flipping through old bound volumes of the Ramparts magazine for reasons entirely unrelated when I came upon a brief story from a 1972 issue about “increasing speculation within the intelligence community that the CIA has struck up a direct relationship with police forces in major cities.” Said speculation had been triggered by a $30 million grant from the Ford Foundation to endow a new nonprofit formed to research “best practices” in policing or something along those lines. And Richard Helms’ former executive assistant had recently left the Agency after 17 years to join, and another bigger deal CIA guy was somehow also involved.

I jotted down some notes because the official description of the Ford Foundation project in question reminded me of the alleged purpose of the organization I’d read about hosting conference calls to discuss “best practices” for cracking down on Occupy Wall Street. And there was a very good reason for that! The group coordinating the anti-Occupy effort is the same group mentioned in Ramparts.

Or to be completely precise, the Occupy group is the spinoff organization of the original group cited in Ramparts, the Police Foundation, which now seems to operate in a more administrative/fundraising capacity. (“Shell” might sound derogatory, but its website does use frames.) Geographically the two have since been separated by an intersection, with PERF headquartered across the street from its parent organization in a ninth floor suite inside (where else) the American Bankers Association building. But the intellectual landlord of the operation was at least at its inception the Central Intelligence Agency, which admitted as much two years before PERF was spun off, in 1973.

In its early days, though, Police Foundation clique cultivated an image that was pretty squarely the opposite of the creepy paramilitary robocops we now associate with the officers apparently observing PERF “best practices.” No, back in the early seventies the Police Foundation crowd cast themselves as the contemplative hippies of law enforcement, a combination that would have probably been utterly unimaginable had it not been for Frank Serpico, the reluctant NYPD whistleblower who went public with his Kafkaesque personal stories in the New York Times in early 1970 after three years of trying and failing to find a single simpatico superior willing to do anything about it. The Times story triggered a formal inquiry, chaired by the Wall Street lawyer Whitman Knapp.

By the fall of 1970 New York had a new police commissioner, Patrick V. Murphy, peddling himself as an Irish Serpico to anyone who’d ask for an interview, and the Ford Foundation had earmarked $30 million for a new think tank for masterminding ostensibly Serpico-minded criminal justice reforms.

But there was a lot more on the agenda than cracking down on petty bribes and kickbacks, because the project was infested with CIA veterans, most of whom had been somehow involved with the National Students Association front: former NSA director Bob Kiley, Kiley’s old housemate Anthony Smith, a former think tank liaison named Don Harris, former deputy director Drexel Godfrey and Mark Furstenberg, a career Beltway insider who would later found the upscale bakery Marvelous Market with funding from NSA buddies Mark Shields and Democratic fundraiser/convicted felon Robert J. Stein.

It was only natural for Patrick V. Murphy to invite a few scholars from this well-intentioned new institution into the police department to consult on recommended reforms. And when one of its first recommendations involved sending fourteen of his best cops (including his deputy commissioner) down to an undisclosed location for special CIA training, it was also only natural that someone who hadn’t been given a heads-up—in this case, then-Congressman Ed Koch—would find out about it and make a stink.

What is somewhat unusual is that the stink seems to have literally lasted one day. In 1973 the Times ran a story quoting the CIA blaming the Ford Foundation for the idea, the Ford Foundation denying it and the usually garrulous Murphy for once pleading the old “could not be reached for direct comment” excuse. “And there the matter stands: everyone is accused; no one is blamed,” Ramparts concluded in a pretty brilliant feature on the CIA alumni association’s infiltration of urban police departments and the municipal governments that set their priorities published in 1973. By that point the magazine reported that “at least 12 local police agencies” had “availed themselves of the opportunity”—offered to more “enlightened” departments on friendly terms with the Police Foundation—to send cops to intensive training camps run by the CIA.

And yet somehow the connection between the two institutions would never again merit mention in the mainstream media. Clearly some now mostly inscrutable political circumstances made this possible: the Police Foundation was plainly institutionally organized in opposition to three major “enemies”: Frank Rizzo in theory, J. Edgar Hoover in jurisdiction and Richard Nixon mostly out of political opportunism. Watergate investigators—Terry Lenzner, Thomas McBride, Henry Roth—were very well-represented in the Police Foundation scene, and it seems from here like Democratic political partisans were in charge of the narrative of the 1970s, and while more reliable narrators than their opponents, that’s not saying much.

Beyond that it’s hard to divine what exactly was going on. Hoover supposedly hated Murphy so passionately he refused to admit anyone from the NYPD into FBI academy one year and the feeling was mutual. But a lot of people (Jack Lindsay included) started to tire of Murphy, and Hoover’s death in 1972 left an incomprehensible power vacuum; by 1973 Murphy had decamped to Washington for a new job as president of the Police Foundation, while most of the rest of the heavies with serious intelligence connections had moved to Boston for jobs in the office of mayor Kevin White or the Harvard Kennedy School.

In any case, in 1972 a group of powerful bankers, real estate developers, lawyers and Charlie Rangel started a New York City Police Foundation; one of the trustees, Benjamin Buttenweiser, was an officially sanctioned member of the White House “enemies list”; its director Betsy Gotbaum was the current wife of the municipal union chief Victor Gotbaum (who was also on the board of the Ford Foundation’s Fund for the City of New York) and a former longtime wife of a CIA agent in Brazil. It’s the New York Police Foundation that today hosts the famous annual socialite fundraiser, that funds its sometimes dubious espionage adventures in foreign countries with the sometimes obscene donations from philanthropists like JP Morgan and Dick Grasso.

By the time Serpico opened in theaters in December 1973, Bob Kiley had found a genuine hirsute Italian radical, Robert DiGrazia, to be the Police Foundation clique’s real-life Serpico, and recruited him from St. Louis to take the Boston police commissioner spot. DiGrazia in turn started the Police Executive Research Forum. DiGrazia was a regular on Sunday talk shows and on the policy speaker circuit known for speaking frankly about cops’ ultimate powerlessness in the face of the underlying socioeconomic causes of crime and other liberal realpolitik; probably though his real appeal was his relationship with his former mentor Clarence Kelley, who had just become America’s first FBI director not named J. Edgar Hoover.

(The real Serpico, for what its worth, had been left to die in 1971 by three of his fellow cops after getting shot in the head on a heroin bust; an upstairs elderly neighbor saved his life and he retired soon afterward. The movie, for which Pacino won an Oscar, opened in December 1973; its screenwriter Norman Wexler was also not fond of Nixon.)

In any case, DiGrazia quickly distinguished himself at headquarters as the guy who liked submitting cops to random intelligence tests, psychological evaluations and detailed financial audits; he was pushed out after a couple years and now gets by, I believe, by renting out his services as a professional expert witness.

But in newspapers he mainly distinguished himself as a candid and relentless exponent of the flagship Police Foundation philosophy of those early days, that cops are ultimately impotent in the face of the forces that cause crime. (The Foundation even proved this by conducting a massive experiment in Kansas City I don’t have the time to seriously evaluate.) In spite of this philosophy, PERF elevated the job of police chief into the kind of thing about which municipal leaders increasingly felt compelled to consult a headhunter—ideally PERF, which quickly became the authority in elite public safety executive searches—and that in turn was mainly due to the uncanny ability of Ford Foundation affiliates to “discover” the next big public policy celebrity and marshal its money and clout into dozens of glowing profiles touting the individual in question as a model for the rest of America. Perhaps predictably considering its NSA origins, membership in PERF required a college degree.

But if the Police Foundation’s ability to squeeze oceans of good press for its anointed public safety executives during an uninterminable crime wave was impressive, its power once the crime rate finally began to drop was otherworldly. Credit went mostly to one of DiGrazia’s first promotions in Boston, Bill Bratton, recipient of PERF’s second annual Gary Hayes award. (For whatever reason, PERF awarded its first such distinction to Tom Koby, who would achieve national fame for leading the Jon-Benet Ramsey investigation.) Bratton’s old right-hand man, John Timoney—whose career I’ve followed over the years, never quite before now grasping why the same media so eager to canonize the guy was simultaneously so hesitant to explore why both his daughter and son had pursued the narcotics business with such gusto—currently heads PERF.

I do not have the time or the energy to parse Bratton’s cult of personality or assess Timoney’s response to the 2000 Republican National Convention, nor can I offer satisfying explanations of what’s happened to most members of the PERF clique since the eighties. But if you were old enough to care what any media outlet had to say during the 1990s you probably understand that Bratton and his ilk were as inextricable from the great narrative of unending American exceptionalist prosperity as Bob Rubin, Alan Greenspan and Bill Clinton were. (Also: goddamned Richard Florida.)

Well, now we know: they all solidly joined the ranks of the top 1% as a result while the rest of the country went to rot. And as Bob Kiley, who was demoted from his last job running the London tube in January 2006 (on the heels of a glowing New Yorker profile) due to constant drunkeness, readily admitted when a reporter tracked him down, it isn’t as though he deserves it.

“If you ask me what I actually do to earn my consultancy,” he said, demonstrating rare candor and humility, “I’d have to tell you, in all honesty, not much.”

And that’s probably as close any of these guys will ever come to Frank Serpico.

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  1. Richard Kline

    So Yves, that’s an amazing narrative. It doesn’t manifest whose hand is in the puppet that is PERF, but it pulls the weave of the outfit more firmly into view—and there’s dirt on it. Shops like PERF don’t ‘just grow’ they fur out like mold spores on a mesh of connections saturated with money.

    What I find interesting from that summary, at least in the hypothetical sense, are these two points. 1) A single rather modest organization nonetheless seems deeply embedded as a gatekeeper in recommendations for major police forces (primarily urban ones, but perhaps some relevant county and public agency ones as well) by intermediating themselves as a headhunter outfit. 2) Some (many?) of those who’ve spent time collecting a check from that organization have ‘been to CIA trainings,’ and the CIA keeps in touch if they think you’re useful to them. These points strike me as interesting less from some purely hypothetical ‘the CIA is running things’ perspective (which I would approach as dubious thus far) than from the standpoint of cultivating _a common mindset_ amongst those hired to head major police forces, even if the hiring authorities are diverse and local.

    To this one may add a further point 3) that I recollect reading recently [regrettably I don’t have the source handy] that one junket PERF has regularly taken police chiefs on for ‘advanced training’ over the last dozen years has been _to Israel_. Now, what, inquiring minds might entertain, is the relevance of sending a police chief from, say, Miami or Detroit, who cope with populations and problem sets highly specific to their locales, to Israel, where the police are charged with quite different functions. I can’t see relevance for this from a ‘police training’ standpoint but I can see relevance for that from a ‘the CIA sees this as valuable’ standpoint. Proves nothing but leads one to suspect everything.

    At the least, though, this gatekeeper organization goes some ways to demonstrate how the _local control of police forces_ has been steadily eroded around the upper echelons of their command structures. It’s one thing to bribe local forces with equipment and ‘anti-[whatever]’ training; police forces are strapped for money and eager for attention, and might bite the bait for no other reason than it’s there. It’s something else to indicate that their upper command structures are buying into an indoctrination program, the content of which is largely out of public view and local political supervision, which is a possibility at least suggested by all this. Ungood . . . .

    1. anon


      Here’s the reference for PERF trainings in Israel (your point 3 above). That’s from the following article by Max Blumenthal (the author of Republican Gomorrah):

      From Occupation to ‘Occupy’: The Israelification of American domestic security

      “Cathy Lanier, now the Chief of Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Department, was among the law enforcement officials junketed to Israel by JINSA. “I was with the bomb units and the SWAT team and all of those high profile specialized [Israeli] units and I learned a tremendous amount,” Lanier reflected. “I took 82 pages of notes while I was there which I later brought back and used to formulate a lot of what I later used to create and formulate the Homeland Security terrorism bureau in the DC Metropolitan Police department.”

      Some of the police chiefs who have taken part in JINSA’s LEEP program have done so under the auspices of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a private non-governmental group with close ties to the Department of Homeland Security. Chuck Wexler, the executive director of PERF, was so enthusiastic about the program that by 2005 he had begun organizing trips to Israel sponsored by PERF, bringing numerous high-level American police officials to receive instruction from their Israeli counterparts.

      PERF gained notoriety when Wexler confirmed that his group coordinated police raids in 16 cities across America against “Occupy” protest encampments. As many as 40 cities have sought PERF advice on suppressing the “Occupy” movement and other mass protest activities. Wexler did not respond to my requests for an interview.”

      1. Dave of Maryland

        Go back to the 1930’s and you will discover the Israelis learned it from the British. Who used the same techniques to break the Irish, among other groups. What was your question?

        Yes, the Israelis are nasty and always have been. But one picks one’s friends. If there wasn’t a fundamental resonance between Israeli police and American cops, the friendship would never have emerged.

        American prisons, for example, are now and have always been filthy, violent hell-holes. We didn’t get that from the Israelis, we didn’t get it from the British. American brutality is home grown. American prison mentality can be traced at least as far back as the Quakers in the early 19th century who used months of solitary confinement for “humanitarian” purposes.

        Much as I think the Israelis stink, using them to excuse our own bad behavior doesn’t fly.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          If you read the article it’s not so much the psychological and historical similarities between Israel and the U.S. (and while I think you are on to something–it’s problematic to make such sweeping generalities).

          Rather, it’s the institutional development of the police state in both countries that is so worrying. The U.S. spent massive amounts of money on “homeland security” and Israel is at the forefront of police state disaster capitalism.

          The word “Isrealification” stirs up a lot of emotion but it actually is a descriptive word in this context.

          1. Mikhail Kropotkin

            As always the answer is – Follow The Money!

            It’s not cheap turning a guy in a blue shirt and a belt with a taser into a fully armoured and helmeted robogoon backed by water cannon, sound weapons and any number of other high tech, you beaut, gettem today items. Our friend Israel is big in all that, and the very expensive long distance spook type stuff as well.

        2. markincorsicana

          “the British. Who used the same techniques to break the Irish, among other groups”
          It took the Irish the better part of a millenium to evict the english from the better part of Ireland only to have the anglo-american financialocracy come back with a vengeance. Already the banks have shackled more of humanity than ever before. Do we expect the Chinese to free us?
          Ní uasal aon uasal ach sinne bheith íseal: Éirímis.

      2. tar, etc.

        It was surprising Wexler quit before his term was up in the House. At the time he was leaving to go to a non-profit called Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation, which he said was too important to pass up. Instead, he wound up a participant in the Israelification of police and national security.

        1. Moe

          S. Chuck Wexler aka Sherwin “Chuck” Wexler etc. etc. has been involved in the PERF scene for most of his career. He was also a student I think of William Bennett’s in undergrad, then an aide to DiGrazia in the seventies. Also:

          In February 2006 Wexler was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his extensive work with British and American police agencies.

      3. LeonovaBalletRusse

        anon, related to this is the “Security and Prosperity Partnership” established by George W. Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Alberto Gonzales and Michael Chertoff. Gonzales dealth with Mexico and Chertoff dealth with Canada; this done while Bush was President, in conjunction with laying plans for the creation of the North American Union.

        Search You Tube for commentary on this fact. It was noted by one newsman that these OFFICIAL steps were taken WITHOUT CONSENT of the Congress, likely even without their knowledge. This was around the time that Rick Perry was trying to push the Trans-Texas Corridor plan through in Texas for Bush & Company, but the people of Texas rebelled against this, and Perry failed to accomplish it. The TT Corridor was to be the first leg of the Spain-owned multi-lane rail-truck-auto corridor from Mexico through Laredo TX through the HUB, Kansas City, on up through Detroit, with terminus in Montreal, Canada.

        The comments to the second link in your Comment refer to this covert SPP, though not by that name, in conjunction with plans for the U.S.A. and Canada to sign a compact with the State of Israel for *Security*–the SPP.

        As the newsman realized, the secret plans that the Bush Administration was making would put an end to our Constitutional government, as our nation-state was to lose its national identity in being subsumed in the North American Union serving the interests of Poppy Bush’s *New World Order* (roughly a continuation of Reich III NWO).

  2. gonzomarx

    It reminds me of a Hunter Thompson(who also wrote for Ramparts) parody of Police Chief Magazine for Scanlan’s Monthly

    “…Here’s a crowd of suck-asses putting out this magazine that says it’s the voice of cops. Which is bullshit. All you have to do is look at the goddamn thing to see what it is. Look at the advertising; Fag tools! Breathalysers, “paralyzers,” gas masks, sirens, funny little car radios with voice scramblers so the scum can’t listen in. . . but no ATTACK WEAPONS!!! Not one! The last really functional weapon that got mentioned in The Police Chief was the “Nutcracker Flail,” a combination club and pincers about three feet long that can cripple almost anybody. It works like a huge pair of pliers: the officer first flails the living shit out of anybody he can reach. . . and then, when a suspect falls, he swiftly applies the “nutcracker” action, gripping the victim’s neck, extremities or genitals with the powerful pincers at the “reaching” end of the tool, then squeezing until all resistance ceases…”

    Worth reading the whole article
    once this was called satire not any more.

    1. Paul Walker

      Oh ya, The audit was ordered by new police director assumed office this past April. The outgoing director a Mr. Goodwin moved on to the Tennessee department of Homerland security.

      “The OCU [Organized Crime Unit] reported directly to Godwin while he served as police director, and foundation board member Mike Shearin was an OCU supervisor. Godwin, now deputy director of the state Department of Safety and Homeland Security”

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Paul, “Mis-sis-ip-pi” for training. Fits like a glove:

      The Olde Confederacy joined up (Southern Strategy) with the “NOBILITY and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII–A Theme Illuminating American Social History by Correa de Oliveira (York, PA, 1993), Forword by Morton C. Blackwell, Reagan’s man from Virginia. The M-I Nobility of the Carolinas is right up there with the Slaveholding Aristocracy of the Holy Roman Reich IV doing Lebensraum in common cause.

      This book was required reading at the University of Dallas, Opus Dei stronghold that George W. Bush now calls home.

      The “Police” are a Global Military force of trained torturers and sadistic killers; what we see today with OWS *control* is *just the tip* of what’s to come.

      1. Up the Ante

        The land of democracy produced the Provincial detention centers in Vietnam, a land where the people wanted no more colonial servitude.
        A land the land of democracy was intent on returning to wealthy Frenchmen.

        The land of democracy passed the NDAA allowing detention of American citizens indefinitely, legislation that can be altered without legislative amendment.

        Both scenarios where the vice of governments will squeeze you if it can.

        Governments ‘ill at ease’.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      AR – re Ruppert: CIA=WallStreet-to-Treasury=Drug Money Laundering from Iran-Contra through ENRON and BCCI for *Poppy* to Oil/CheneyHalliburtonUnocal/Karzai/Khalilzad as covert writer of Pre-PNAC for CaspianAfghanPipeline to 9/11 and “pull it” for destruction of SEC records of Bush Dynasty fraud and theft.

      It’s a DNA daisy-chain from era to era. See: “TRADING WITH THE ENEMY: The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949” by Charles Higham to see How It Works. As then, so now.

  3. Moe

    I should have also pointed out that a major area of clout for the Police Foundation/PERF was their role as a sort of gatekeeper to federal funding from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, which no longer exists but had a few billion dollars to play around with in those days. That’s in the Ramparts story.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Do you know if the NY City Counter-Terrorism Foundation is linked to the NY City Police Foundation? What about NY Shield? The websites for the last two look similar.

      Here’s what NYPD Confidential says about the newer NY City Counter-Terrorism Foundation:

      “The NYPD appears to have secretly created a private foundation that raised nearly $300,000 to pay a former CIA official to become the police department’s first “scholar-in-residence.””

      This org chart is interesting (found from a comment at the Think Progress site) and looks like it may need to be updated . . .

  4. Theodore G. Fletcher

    Yves, thanks. And let’s remember that this is the “softer” side of law enforcement.

    Several years ago I was waiting to see a client in a Maine prison. On the wall just inside the entrance was large plaque giving thanks (with photographs) for Maine’s help training the guards at Gitmo. It went on to salute the cross-training and sharing of information, etc.

  5. Lilguy

    Get a grip, folks!

    Tying together a 40-year Ramparts CIA story with an “anti-Occupy” message today is waaay over the top.

    If anyone cares to remember, the CIA really was hung out to dry after the Ramparts story, including House and Senate hearings, a Presidential commission (that was a bit of a white wash). All that led to legislation and executive orders that restricted the domestic activities of the CIA and other US intel organizations.

    I know that, since 9/11, the intel orgs and police in major cities have been cooperating. Heck, the now retired head of NYPD’s intel division was a retired very senior CIA officer. And it seems to have led to some good arrests & prosecutions of terrorists–so far.

    What is important is for the public to remain vigilant that the intel orgs (& fed law enforcement groups–FBI, etc) are not violating the law. However, being paranoid about something that occurred four decades ago is not the answer–it’s actually part of the problem.

    1. Moe

      So the moment I always prayed would never come, the moment at which my “paranoia” about “old news” that was beaten to death “40 years ago” would suddenly render me “part of the problem”, has finally arrived. And they didn’t even see it necessary to send a medium sized troll to discredit me, just a ‘lil one. Sigh. Oh well I guess I retire now.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Wrong. The circumstantial evidece indicates there is a high liklihood some sort of nationalized police state response is happening now. Indeed, there is a nationally organized response to Occupy. Mayor Quan first let this information slip and then we got further confirmation. Furthermore, PERF has bragged about their role. The basic story seems clear because a few of the insiders have leaked the role of PERF and others have not forcefully denied it. The fact the media and politicians are running away from this story speaks volumes.

      If you truly wanted a vigilant citizenry you would demand further answers instead of proclaiming the government most likely innocent. You exhibit the opposite of what you claim to want.

      Rather, the fact private groups are coordinating a fascist police state response should be very worrying. The C.I.A. is not supposed to be conducting operations in this country so the way to legally get around this requirement would be to have private proxies do their work for them. The C.I.A. uses private orgs as cover all the time. It makes total sense to use a group like PERF to have a presence and maybe even control over local police forces. We can’t find the truth because our government literally has the legal right to keep this information from us and it claims this right all the time. When our media is complicit in this secrecy how can you reflexively claim the government to be innocent?

      The evidence we’ve discovered requires further inquiry rather than a premature proclamation that the government is innocent. Really, those that think the government is probably innocent sound more “crazy” to me than those that are suspicious and rightly looking to the founding of PERF.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        The C.I.A. is the Praetorian Guard for Caesar: George H.W. Bush, the Shadow Fuhrer. This Guard, the Bush Dynasty and whoever serves the Reich Dynasties (DNA) are *above the law*. The ostensibly *local* police have been the troops of a global force loyal to their global masters alone.

        Whether they are Brown Shirts or Black Shirts remains to be seen.

      2. enouf

        Here’s a nice C-Span vid clip for ya’ll to see;

        “Heather Hogsett, National Governors Association, Homeland Security & Public Safety Director

        Topic: Defense Authorization bill will be considered by Congress this coming week. Guest will discuss two issues relating to Governors: Dual-Status Command, which would address long-standing concerns regarding disaster response across the country and giving the National Guard Chief a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff (a provision of the Guard Empowerment Act).”

        1. enouf

          Note; it might make you ill, like it has done for me… notice how she uses the words “detention centers/camps” (all across the nation) sometimes. ..ugh.

          Gives good insight into how our Armed Forces are structured (past and present). From 4 major Military Branches -> to the National Guard (Army and Air only) -> Coast Guard -> Governors’ Power to use/coordinate/weild power downward, at their discretion .. that’s some pretty ‘heavy backup’ with ‘team effort’ i list above.

    3. Blunt

      “If anyone cares to remember, the CIA really was hung out to dry after the Ramparts story, including House and Senate hearings, a Presidential commission (that was a bit of a white wash). All that led to legislation and executive orders that restricted the domestic activities of the CIA and other US intel organizations.

      I know that, since 9/11, the intel orgs and police in major cities have been cooperating. Heck, the now retired head of NYPD’s intel division was a retired very senior CIA officer. And it seems to have led to some good arrests & prosecutions of terrorists–so far.

      What is important is for the public to remain vigilant that the intel orgs (& fed law enforcement groups–FBI, etc) are not violating the law. However, being paranoid about something that occurred four decades ago is not the answer–it’s actually part of the problem.”

      I suppose that tracing a thing back to the roots is objectively unnecessary should one find it absurd or some sort of “conspiracy theory.” automatically false by definition, eh.

      Except to define something as such would first require some sort of counter evidence to the contrary and probably a bit more than Josh Holland’s pique at Naomi Wolf for “not being the journalist” he feels himself to be.

      The scorn of forty years ago may have grown into an oak tree of rather large proportion today.

      1. Blunt

        Instructive typo. The A-corn not scorn. *smile*

        And having a crew of CIA types scream about how badly they were hurt by the Church committee is hardly a proof-positive that everything is different now.

    4. Walter Wit Man

      Naomi Wolf Naomi Wolf (starting at 2:40) alleged that not only was she illegally detained during a New York protest (she vociferously pleaded her innocence at the time and the police have subsequently conceded she is correct), but that she was told that Homeland Security shut down a city block and that she was ordered not to return there.

      Of course there have been no other real mentions of this explosive allegation in the mainstream press except for that one interview of MSNBC (about the only valuable thing I’ve seen on the channel in years).

      Will the government tell us if it invoked anti-terrorism powers to shut down a city street in New York for left-wing protests? Will anyone ask?

      I hope Wolf issues a FOIA request or otherwise gets to the bottom of it because our media is in beyond worthless and downright destructive.

      What exactly happened and under what legal authority? Are they literally claiming anti-terror authority and not even telling us because its secret? That is what I’m starting to suspect.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        To clarify, this is on Current, not MSNBC (I’m out of the loop I guess).

        Second, on re-watching this interview it’s unclear whether Wolf was personally told by the police that Homeland Security shut down the block or whether other protesters were told this and relayed the information to her. Still, it merits looking into.

    5. JamesW

      “.. is waaay over the top.”

      You are so hilarious, lilguy! I mean, should we really be worried when a deputy director of the FBI, David Cardona, claims that there’s not enough to warrant criminal charges against anyone regarding the meltdown and subsequent filing of thousands (if not millions) of false affidavits in fraud foreclosures, then has an appointment over at the porn-watching SEC?

      Or the curious, highly curious coincidence which recently came to light, that FBI director, Robert Mueller (the very same Robert Mueller appointed by George H.W. Bush to bne the DOJ’s chief of their criminal division during the uncomfortably close BCCI investigation), is the grandnewphew of Richard Bissell, while his wife is the granddaughter of Charles Cabell (the two of the three top fellows at the CIA whom President Kennedy fired)?

      Or the fact that corporate control of American voting renders any possibility of even quasi-democracy to be silly — given their control of the voting machine companies, the establishment of the American Legislative Exchange Council to attack with predatory laws at the state and local levels (as in voting rights, etc., state taxation, etc.), and corporate funding of various state referendums around the country, along with various state and national elections?

      You’ve got to be kidding me, or else you are just another consensus chatbot?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Hah! the 1% DNA connection–“Bissell” deep tie between Wall Street and earliest oil in Titus, Pennsylvania, with Benjamin Silliman of YALE and The Standard Oil Trust of the Rocquefeuille Dynasty and Transportation; YALE’s Silliman (Chemistry, Oil) connects with Oil in California and Texas; YALE Russell Foundation connects with Victorian Imperial “Opium Wars” trade, Russell of Skull and Bones with Taft, Walker-Bush-Dulles-Bush-ThirdReich with OSS/CIA with Zapata-Cuba-Operation North Woods and Regime Change from JFK-Johnson, with Iran-Contra and drugs through Mena AK through Clinton and Bush’s YALE. On to 9/11 and Bush’s Wars to Homeland Security headed by ENRON-profiteer Tom Ridge; Katrina and Flood of 2005 with Brownie, Blackwater and General Honore nullifying the Posse Commitatus Act for the Homeland Team; and so on. Thanks, JamesW.

      2. Up the Ante

        “You’ve got to be kidding me, or else you are just another consensus chatbot? ”

        No, he’s just offering punctuation to the surveillance-fest that the Occupys are.

      3. enouf

        [i] You are so hilarious, lilguy! I mean, should we
        really be worried when a deputy director of the
        FBI, David Cardona, claims that there’s not enough
        to warrant criminal charges against anyone regarding
        the meltdown and subsequent filing of [b]thousands
        (if not millions) of false affidavits in fraud foreclosures[/b],
        then has an appointment over at the porn-watching SEC?[/i]

        This, in and of itself, is just so utterly disgusting…

        Might i suggest two sites that help tie some things together (albeit, sometimes a bit awkward to use).

        no pun intended, on that last site name listed [b][i]Lilguy[/b][/i]


    That’s the thing about Continuity of Government, the spooks have to swim in the people as a fish in the sea. Even in Mutually Assured Destruction days you knew that if you sat at Langley, the Farm, Camp Swampy, and No Man’s Island, you would be vapor. So you had to rejoin the population, to hinder any counterforce surgical strike with the disadvantages of all-out nuclear war. You use the population as human shields. But after a while you’re kind of bored, so you can’t help using all the propaganda, provocation, subversion, and destabilization tricks you perfected overseas. Typically you run a number of compartmented programs underlying a higher-profile program like PERF. Deep down, though, you’re really just a GS puke, so you get all starry-eyed around rich guys and naturally you wind up working for the kleptocrats. And that is how the oligarchy stopped being a class and turned into a regime. If we want to be part of the free world we really do have to shred them and scatter them to the four winds, with the criminal bankers and war profiteers who own them.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      SCITHE, once a spook, always a spook; once a sadist, always a sadist: it’s about the *neuronal circuitry* that comes with the abuse, in an endless loop.

      Defense has prepared the *neuronal circuitry* of at least 3 generations of American kids for *employment* in Homeland *Security*, Polizei, Spying, Torturing and Killing through the use of *computer games*–just one step up to *drone* joy-stick manipulator (spy, killer from afar), Storm Trooper, or *Interrogator* at Guantanamo.

      Their *neuronal circuitry* removes them from *humanity*, so that like their bosses “The don’t give a F!!! about you; they don’t care about you at ALL, at all, at all.” (George Carlin, now out of their range)

      Sweet, huh? Oh, they’ve thought of everything. So who do you think is gonna rat out Wall Street? That’s where the continually “missing money” comes from, well-laundered.

      1. Up the Ante

        One of the best preparations going was the automakers’ decision to go with planned obsolescence. After that, all the service industries for the automakers were rendered ‘socialism’.

        That, and the globalist alliance w/the Japanese while allowing them to swamp our markets with their U.S. planned obsolescence products.

  7. Walter Wit Man

    Thank you Yves for posting on this!

    Here’s the first recent article I saw on PERF (coming from the San Francisco Bay iGuardian of course–not mainstream media), and here’s another one on PERF as well as the “Israelification” of the U.S. police forces after 9/11.

    PERF is but one organization. NYPD Shield is another public/private partnership (“This is a public-private partnership based on providing best practices, lessons learned, counterterrorism training opportunities, and information sharing. SHIELD seeks to partner with private sector security managers with the goal of protecting New York City from terrorist attacks”).

    And then of course we have the banksters funding an anti-terror police position in NY that is not part of the democratic process:

    It’s also important to remember that the government claims the RIGHT TO TREAT THESE PROTESTERS AS TERRORISTS. That is not an exaggeration. There is some indication the government is spying against protesters and treating them as serious criminals.

    Also, there has recently been reports that the military is giving massive surplus weaponry to police forces across the country.

    These are very important stories with a lot of alarming components.

    What stands out to me is the fact that Mayor Quan did not know what the police forces in her city were up to and was tweeting that the police were not attacking protesters as they were actually moving against protesters (see the SFBG story–I think this is where I saw it but maybe somewhere else). Also, the PR campaigns by the L.A. mayor and Mayor Quan reek of propaganda and lies.

    There is a huge story here that is being disappeared.

      1. PQS

        You beat me to it.

        Everybody here take a listen….Wexler repeats over and over that cops just don’t WANT to beat and teagas, but that’s what ends up happening. Just as Maureen indicated in her article about one of Wexler’s predecessors, who spoke

        “frankly about cops’ ultimate powerlessness in the face of the underlying socioeconomic causes of crime and other liberal realpolitik”

        Listening to Wexler in real time gave me the chills. Now I’m totally paranoid after reading this article.

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Walter, search Amy Goodman on YouTube in video uploaded by patriotscott70 on Aug 7, 2009 re “Martial Law.”

  8. William

    Everyone’s gasping about the police brutality, CIA, NSA, military, FBI, ect. involvement in the Occupy movement and other protest actions and peace activist groups. Hey it’s all been done before, and worse. These organizations have been in place and closely collaborating since at least the early 50s to monitor and suppress dissent. Educate yourselves by reading William Pepper’s extensively researched and utterly fascinating books on the MLK assasination, and you will be endlessly amazed at the breadth and depth of the involvement of all the above groups. Most amazingly–the military–which has had an extensive domestic operation since the 50s using Special Forces for assasinations.

    King was triangulated by Special Forces snipers at the time a civilian sniper (not Ray) shot King. The following is one paragraph from Peppers’ “Orders to Kill” book (“Warren” and “Murphy” were one of three sniper teams):

    clip–“During the approximately thirty-minute session the team was left in no doubt as to its mission. On the order they were to shoot to kill — “body mass” (center, chest cavity) — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and, to my surprise, the Reverend Andrew Young, who was to be Warren’s target. They were shown “target acquisition photos” of the two men and the Lorraine Motel. Eidson’s pep talk stressed how they were enemies of the United States who were determined to bring down the government. Warren said that no one on the team had any hesitancy about killing the two “sacks of shit.” Warren and Murphy stated that immediately after the briefing the team left by car from Camp Shelby for Memphis, carrying the following weapons in suitcases: standard .45 caliber firearms, M-16 sniper rifles with 8-power scopes (the closest civilian equivalent would be the Remington 30.06 700 series — remember that James was instructed to buy a Remington 760); K-bars (military knives); “frags” (fragmentation grenades); and one or two LAWS (light anti-tank weapon rockets). It appeared they were prepared for all contingencies. They were dressed as working “stiffs,” similar to those day laborers who worked on the barges or in the warehouses down by the river near President’s Island. “–clip

    Afterwards, “Murphy” and “Warren” permanently exiled themselves to Central America because one-by-one members of the other sniper teams were being murdered, as were other unfortunates who “knew too much.”

    Every American ought to read “Orders to Kill.”

    1. Neo-Realist

      As informative a book about the MLK assassination as you will find, particularly with regards to domestic intelligence operations against leaders/individuals who oppose the status quo.

      Another fine book along those lines if you can find it is one on the Malcolm X assassination by Karl Evanzz entitled the Judas Factor: the plot to kill Malcolm X.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        And, of course, JFK for multiple reasons. Search “Lansdale at Daley Plaza” on You Tube for perspective.

  9. Sock Puppet

    There’s a danger of not seeing the trees for the forest here. We’re looking for a grand conspiracy. Much of what’s happening is more mundane. In my former town in NJ, a banker neighbor always invites the current and former chief of police to his parties and recently donated money to buy new guns for the whole town police force. No CIA, no conspiracy, but who are they going to “protect and serve”?. This stuff is going on in plain sight while we run around looking for spooks under the bed and occupying things. Democracy starts – or dies – in your own back yard.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      You are the first person to use the word “conspiracy” and it didn’t add to the conversation.

      You are using that word to delegitimize Yves’ points.

      No one is alleging that PERF gets local police chiefs to sign a secret conspiracy document or that they hold some sort of conspiracy ceremony where they eat goat hearts and drink blood out of chalises.

      Like most neoliberal incentives that attract fascist servants of power, the incentives for police chiefs to toe the line are soft incentives. They get jobs and money and prestige. They get to be in the running for the important positions and PERF seems to have an out-sized role in hiring chiefs and promoting their independence. Plus, there is a lot of money funneled to these people–from bankers and the federal orgy known as the homeland security and the drug war. Money motivates people.

      You are using the word ‘conspiracy’ not as a descriptive term but in an effort to diminish the criticism.


      1. Sock Puppet

        You’re missing my point, probably because I didn’t explain it well. The point is that this stuff is pervasive and happens at every level, starting with the very local, not just at the national level. For sure it ges worse the further up you go, but there a lot of merit in cleaning up your own community so that your own local police have an incentive to be on the side of their neighbors and not just those that pay for their guns. We’re going to have the same issues with the police that we do with local fire companies if we don’t get involved. I’m not trying to discredit anybody, just point out ways to actually do something.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          That’s a valid point. Policing *should* be community-based and we should work to make it so.

          But the forces at the top are the most destructive, imho. We are at a unique moment when outright and overt fascist control of our society is upon us (or maybe the control is weakening and therefore becoming more overt and desperate). This is a national problem though. The U.S. leads the world in imprisoning its people and is leading the way in abusive tactics and civil liberty abuses. This is a national problem. We have used the wars on drugs and terror to militarize and fund police forces. We have been one of the most fascist police states for years, but it was mostly black men and other less privileged people that suffered. Now the suffering is coming to more people and is being done more overtly. We just had massively violent and disproportionate police response to misdemeanor civil disobedience by mostly left-wing protesters. This was done on a national level.

          Right now I fear those fascists that have control over our country and our government the most. They will always find willing tools in the local community (or the next community that they can bus in to our community). Sure, we can try to get a local police chief that is more loyal to his or her people than to PERF. Let’s do it.

          Look at San Francisco and Oakland for those political battles in the future. I fear it’s too late and the only candidates I see are PERF type neoliberal candidates. We’ll see if local communities like San Francisco can keep out tasers even if they want. The media tried building a cult of personality out of the last San Francisco police chief who lobbied that Tasers should be used in San Francisco.

          We’ll see if San Franciscans can stop the use of Tasers but it doesn’t seem hopeful based on the precedent of San Franciscans losing sovereignty over the in BART stations (and who knows where else). Seems like the quasi governmental organization that runs BART has taken these police powers away from democratic control (even though it pretends to have a democratic process).

          1. Walter Wit Man

            that’s losing sovereignty over the “airwaves” in BART stations. As in preventing people from texting or calling, etc.

            Does anyone trust our private carriers to fairly protect the public interest and decide when the the masses shouldn’t be able to communicate with each other? Does anyone trust these quasi-governmental public-utility-type organizations to adequately protect the people?

        2. Sock Puppet

          … and I used the word “conspiracy” with the word “no” in front of it. As in none is needed to explain what is going on in our own towns and neighborhoods. This stuff goes on in plain sight, we just choose to ignore it, at least in the “Soprano state”.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            fair enough . . . . a trigger of mine I guess.

            “Conspiracy” can be a useful word but it has been abused.

          2. enouf

            I think Mike Ruppert uses the *c* word properly in his most recent multi-part interview on youtube; IINM, he says something like;

            “I don’t deal in Conspiracy Theories, I deal in Conspiracy Facts”

            Seems like a nice Antidote to use on the spreaders of disinformation whom invoke the *c* word when they’re cornered.

            (btw, i didn’t take your initial comment as others might have, but there seems to be a limit on threaded sublevels, and i can’t reply directly to walt).

        3. JamesW

          Negative, conspiracy-touting sock puppet, when the Knapp Commission (1978) found 88% of the NYPD to be on the pad, that is, corrupt, that is most definitely and legally (as it was found to be then) widespread criminal conspiracy (or perchance you are completely ignorant of the fundamental laws in the US of A, huh???).

          Today, after various stories and court documents over the past several years, it would be logical to surmise that the NYPD is 100% corrupted and on the take.

        4. Up the Ante

          There is considerable merit in your point.

          The number of people dumping their money in the globalists’ pockets autmatically every week, is that also part of the conspiracy by the spooks? If so, the reserves are large.

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Walter, conspiracies are as old as time. Remember Julius Caesar and Brutus? Was this a *conspiracy theory*? No, it was a conspiracy. There have been countless conspiracies in modern times. The phrases *conspiracy theory* and *conspiracy nut* are used to discredit, if not ridicule anyone who deigns to see the hidden truth.

    2. Moe

      The NY Police foundation is the only organization allowed to contribute to the NYPD. I don’t know if it was possible to give to most local police departments when, for example, the John Birch Society launched its “Support your local police” campaign. But the point of this post is also that I was absolutely not *looking* for a “conspiracy”…this thing basically just hit me over the head while I was working on something else. I was sort of surprised no one had picked up on it earlier with all the news about PERF, but like I said, someone somehow assured the whole CIA thing would be a one day story, so it was lost to 1973 for awhile.

  10. Walter Wit Man

    PERF also seems to be at the fore front of Taser type technology.

    Here’s an interesting comment to a blog post about PERF editing their manual on Conducted Energy Device usage:

    “I was at a recent San Francisco Police Commission meeting where PERF’s research director supported the police chief’s request to initiate a “study” to introduce CEDs in San Francisco. His testimony seemed far more enthusiastic than the measured language of their 2008 NIJ-funded study. PERF’s website say that their financial support includes support from “industry,” but it is not clear whether this includes support from Taser International. They offered no disclosure of any corporate support of the organization, and as far as I know, nobody in any official capacity has asked. They should be asked directly if they have any industry support from Taser International. ”

    pdquick March 7, 2011

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the model police rules were more “measured” simply because of the legal reality–that police had to admit to the obvious dangers of some CED usage.

    It is concerning that PERF seems very involved in setting guidelines for the police. In this sense they seem dangerous in the way that ALEC is dangerous in getting local legislation passed on behalf of corporations. (hat tip

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Walter, a TASER can kill you by “electrical disturbance” (leading to heart attack, for the heart is an electrical system), or even *electrocution* at high enough levels; it is ipso facto an *invasive procedure* which by law is permitted only with the consent of the subject’s physician.

      It was designed to be invasive *without projectile traces* as it were, just as rubber hoses were meant for beatings without traces of blunt instruments; as *electric shock* to sensitive parts of the body are torture. TASER is torture.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Walter, Corporations+Blood NOBILITY is the State,the world over. It’s the C21 Feudal System, replete with *religious* spies and cattle-herders.

  11. Frank Speaking

    there is no such thing as paranoia—all fear is rational

    not to dismiss or disrespect the 1000 word post by Ms. Tkacik but one word is all that is necessary, COINTELPRO.

    and today we have Palantir, god help you if you end up defined as a terrorist…

    Palantir the War on Terror’s Secret Weapon
    A Silicon Valley startup that collates threats has quietly become
    indispensable to the U.S. intelligence community

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Defense and Intel created these Agents to do their bidding and invent devices for them from the crib. Their *neuronal circuitry* makes them perfect agents: “The don’t give a F!!! about you; they don’t care about you at ALL, at all, at all.” (George Carlin). See how it works?

    2. Up the Ante

      From your link,

      ” “I tend to think the critiques are true,” Karp says. “To make something work, it cannot be about the money. .. I think the deep character anomalies of the company are the reasons why the numbers are so strong.”

      Character anomalies, very good Mr. Karp, you are assisting the compilation efforts of Super-Palantir database swimmingly, as some Europeans say.


  12. Elizabeth

    This was interesting on so many levels. It feels like the tip of a very big iceberg, generating more questions than answers.

    For example, the enmity with Nixon, which I assume went deeper than his hatred for “hippie” types. (Why indeed should he care about Serpico and other boy-scout cops exposing local corruption?) Is it possible to see Nixon is a good guy of sorts in this melodrama? Maybe the more honest one? Or at least not the only bad guy out there, hitting for a corrupt team? What are the differences between the teams anyway?

    There’s an intriguing theory out there that there’s a “left wing” of the CIA, which has nothing to do with any truly leftist agenda; it just uses liberal terminology to promote a different set of goals. Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground as infiltrators. An agenda, born of phony leftist front groups in the ’60s and ’70s, to bust up the first real, spontaneous democracy movement to gain traction since then — the “Occupy” movement. (You will know them by their cluelessness — and their refusal to be co-opted by anyone — dangerous people indeed.)

    And that Jon-Benet Ramsey investigator’s identity as a PERF member blew my mind. What questions there?

    Betsey Gotbaum, CIA wife, seriously? Charlie Rangel? All Democratic Party heroes in New York City, home of Democrat rot.

    Bankers! Hello?! Oh yes, doing something about that “crime wave.”

    Thanks for posting this.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Elizabeth, Nixon was hand-picked by Prescott Bush, so long as he came with his real brain, Uncle Henry.

  13. notjonathon

    Ah, the late lamented Ramparts. Suddenly I’m in my twenties again.

    Actually, this whole assault on democracy was once beautifully lampooned by Johnny Hart:

    Rodney: The peasants are revolting!

    King: You’re telling me!

    Pretty well sums up the 1%.

  14. Brainz

    A correction for you. I’ve read about the the Kansas City experiment before (for a summary, check Wikipedia: The point of the experiment was to test if having cops on the beat — patrolling neighborhoods — was effective in preventing crime. It didn’t have anything to do with “root causes.” The result was that it makes more sense to concentrate on having cops respond to calls.

  15. Warren Hinckle

    Just Googled something completely unrelated about Ramparts and this came up. Very interesting piece, glad it got noticed.

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