Tragic Gray State fallout: "Sandy Hook Hoaxer" stalker troll squad turns against Minnesota Truthers & late filmmaker David Crowley's family & friends in bizarre twist

If you want to help stop acting crazy so we can tell our loved ones that there is nothing to worry about. All the conspiracy buzz is freaking them out. They are afraid some of you lunatics are gonna come for them thinking we are covering stuff up.
One of late director David Crowley's friends begging the hoaxers to lay off before the funeral

One of the more disgusting displays I've ever seen on the Internet has gone down in the last week or so, with a bunch of creepy cats and sockpuppets emerging seemingly from nowhere to disparage the friends and family of the late David Crowley, a Minnesota alternative filmmaker who investigators currently believe shot himself as well as his wife and daughter. Unfortunately today this has escalated into veiled threats against at least one of Crowley's friends as well, a horrible display.

To cut a long and stupid story short, the core of this network of people are best known as the "Sandy Hook Hoaxers" who have now latched onto a new tragedy to wrap themselves in and give their lives meaning. Until now, I've never seen gangstalking instigated against Truthers after a tragedy, even before the funerals. These are the very same key people who have been harassing various families in Newtown Connecticut, generally creeping and making fools of themselves. They are the operators of Sandy Hook Hoax facebook group and friends.

While both the Sandy Hook shooting and the unfortunate demise of David Crowley & his family are both tragic and weird, these tragedies are seized upon by really unbalanced people who go crusading around after whoever they can find, in an effort to draw attention to themselves.

This mob of sick troll behavior also quite effectively wrecks the efforts of more principled "citizen investigators" or Truthers that attempt to discern the truth in these matters, not continuously verbally abuse the townspeople so to speak. This could be termed "poisoning the well" or "muddying the waters". Nowadays even people Obama cites in speeches get this treatment.

A "poisoning the well" example in Sandy Hook: many of these hoaxers latched onto the memes and frame of "dallasgoldbug" who is notorious for claiming political figures are actually actors, like Steve Buscemi is actually Terrence McKenna for example. This delusion got thrown at seemingly everyone in Newtown CT, which also effectively helps poison research on the issue should covert operators actually use 'crisis actors' in some shady event.

Naturally this same delusion got directed at Crowley's friends and acquaintances - for some reason these people with the yellow 9/11 USA avatars are seemingly devoid of discernment and decency:

same-person.png

So-called "Justice for David Crowley & family" group run by full fruitbats: The Sandy Hook Hoaxer trolls are flocking to this new tragedy. Here, for example, the sole group administrator, Daniel Michael Hennen of Chaska, says that Crowley's friends, on Instagram sharing a laugh together on the same day they did media interviews on two local networks, are "the four guys who have the 'most to gain' from David Crowley NOT being alive. Let that sink in." and "...They have the most to gain with david six feet under, that's all." [Not run by the same person as this other page, which is not attacking the family or friends]

Hennen is essentially unknown to Crowley's friends, but has started a whole bunch of "Justice for X" groups of which he is always the sole administrator. This group is by far the most popular with 700+ people. Here he's attempting to demonize Crowley's friends using a favorite old Sandy Hook theory that bereaved people apparently never smile again. ("it takes me back to the Sandy Hook days…" as he tries to live within that tragedy's fallout.)

blame-friends.png blame-friends2.png

The day before, Hennen posited that Crowley's brother was "jealous" and therefore had a major motive to murder his own brother and his family. And earlier today he said that one of Crowley's close friends "certainly needs his ass kicked." Hennen's kept the innuendoes against David's brother rolling today:

blame-brother.png

Here is today's veiled threat against Crowley's friend Sean - I'm posting the both the folded and unfolded versions:


assault-sean-threat.png assault-sean-threat2.png

On this thread first it's worth noting that Minnesotan Michael Okishoff has some criminal convictions for domestic issues (and not surprisingly tried to order around female group members in private chats). Okishoff is also attempting to raise money in a GoFundMe he claims will ultimately be turned over for family medical bills, as a clone of a legitimate fundraising campaign Crowley's brother started.

Here we have the Sandy Hook Hoaxer rabbit hole of madness: As noted last May by CW Wade, Thomas Lapp has been cited as involved in cyberstalking Newtown parents and children, as well as his friend Tony Mead, also highly active on this group. Dan Hennen wrote a piece defending flagship hoaxer Wolfgang Halbig in March 2014. Wolfgang apparently briefly checked into this new group and then bounced.

Another Sandy Hook alt media writer, Brandan Hunt, traced Wolfgang Halbig's operations and circle of troll friends: SANDY HOOK: Wolfgang Halbig is a LIAR (Video Presentation, Transcript + Downloads) - Brendan Hunt.com. Halbig has adeptly scammed people who hope that some light can be shed on Sandy Hook.

Unfortunately apparently Jim Fetzer has been all over this bad behavior with Sandy Hook as well, embarrassing more respectful alternative researchers. Apparently he started promoting dallasgoldbug ages ago.

If anything the accusations and paranoia leveled by Hennen, Lapp and Mead resemble when another horrible middle aged hoaxer, Rick Santilli, accused Jim Fetzer of a role in murdering a Truther in Uptown Minneapolis several years ago, which I found appalling (and almost finished writing a post about shortly after it happened).

These kind of crazy accusations against other researchers and their friends is part of how this bitter conspiracy troll class seems to bond, and the more people call them out, the more they bunker up into their own worldview. More Sandy Hook links below...

////

Sean messaged me the same block message and suggests that we not engage Hennen or his hoaxer friends anymore, and instead go with the copypasta. I am including Sean's message here so it's not lost in the shuffle - linebreaks added for clarity:

dan michael hennen you coward... you take a few sentences of our conversation and share that why would you not share the whole thing... Like I said on the phone respect and rights are 2 completely different things, and when it comes to this you have neither. I will not let you get me angry, you do not have that power nor the respect to even let you cloud my thoughts through all of this. What I am happy to see is the true friends of mine, family and gray state team who have put countless hours to try and reason with your delusional false empathetic gestures.

But obviously you are a sociopath and unable to decipher with rational reason or emotion. I most feel sorry for your children. a message to all who are trying to rationalize with this psychotic please do not waste your time he is in this only to fulfill his sick needs of torment and has lacked the ability to deal with his inner demons im sure that he is sick and needs help. even through his hatred and disrespect for this situation I still have hope for him that he will one day learn respect and honor, for the only reason is that you have children. You are so lucky I am where I am mentally and have only strived to improve myself daily that I will never be the reason you look over your shoulder.

I cannot speak for others but all you have done is put yourself as the target for misguided anger, I pray that no one would ever harm you as that would be against the crowleys wishes and disappoint me. as far as any and all of my friends please do as I and the family and friends are doing and ignore these trolls. Dan is the one who has to look at himself and tho he might not see any of his actions as wrong that is just an apparent red flag is his sickness. Sean Wright, family friend of David Komel and Raniya

/// I sean Wright Give Dan Feidt full permission to troll Dan hennen with my comment and think this will be enough to get him to stop but we do not need to waste any of our time on him other than clicking "control v" that is all the respect he deserves, he does not deserve any actualy intellectual responses from any of us please keep our anger harnessed as it will only fulfill his sick mind. Thank you respectfully Sean Wright 1/25/2014

Before I realized that this was the Sandy Hook Hoaxer troll squad I posted the following to the group, a few days ago:

The statement from the group admin "In some circles, HE committed the crimes." referring to someone in Crowley's immediate family is a dangerous and defamatory statement to peg on the internet especially when David's actual real-world friends have warned plenty of times that they and the family are worried about unbalanced people coming after them. This followed an ad hominem attack saying anyone who doesn't believe it wasn't a murder/suicide is missing something obvious to a 5th grade education.

Detaching from reality and asserting an alternate one "In some circles, HE committed the crimes" as opposed to stating "some circles believe that" is defamatory and makes the situation more dangerous. There are mentally ill people sucked into this thing now and if you don't put some boundaries, especially defamation of family members, things are going to get worse, not better, and that is shameful.

Making ad hominem attacks about people who don't buy these speculative storylines peddled around all week is also the shortcut to failing to achieve any "truth" or justice and the lack of class shown in this moment is appalling.

Sean posted this back on the 22nd, before things got even crazier (check the thread from hell):

Please stop with the accusations of an inside job, and its our right to upload video thats not your work. Trolling is pointless. Us friends and fam have issued statements, met w press, and have been very accomodating due to the suspiciousness of the tragic events which took place. To settle the trolls:

Not a conspiracy of murder.

David did not receive 30 mil.

Not going to confirm any facts of the investigation until its complete and delivered to family.

The rise was only rough cut for a reason it was never meant to be publicly viewed. He put that up 2 years so we could help him with stuff he needed input on.

The 2nd cut and 3 are way different than the rough cut.

The finsl cut is what david wanted released and that will come out in time, first we must bury our friends and let the investigation take place there is a ton of information to go thru and so much more piling in daily. I have faith in the detectives working this case as does the family and rest of close friends.

We are not covering anything up.

We are carefully sharing what we can. We need to get access to all the pages to insure accurate information is released.

Too many people are trying to get their name out in vein of this event. david was on bring of many projects (cant disclose publicly and cuz of all that is going on from speculation you see why)

Only facts out is they went out painlessly and not a conspiracy. Please stop with the nonsense its scaring our loved ones and we have been so busy we have not even been able to begin to grieve. Its not fair to us.

If you want to help stop acting crazy so we can tell our loved ones that there is nothing to worry about. All the conspiracy buzz is freaking them out. They are afraid some of you lunatics are gonna come for them thinking we are covering stuff up.

Please have class and respect for the dead if not for me then please for the families of the deceased.

I had to tell my daughter her friend and whole family died. She was only able to smile when i told her paleo is ok. Stop scaring my loved ones. Put urself in our shoes how could you handle this better than we are i would love to know (not).

Danny August Mason Adam Shambour Mason Norsk Hest and have not had a second to grieve. Please give us the same respect the families deserve. Please respect david komel and rani and their families.

today we did 2 interviews w msm, that was shadowed by the release of the rough cut. Tomorrow ben swann interview. Family set up fund raiser and taking care of funerals wakes and everything else that has to be done.

///

Earlier vultures perch: I thought it was contemptible that Kevin Barrett immediately blamed the Mossad for this tragedy via Iranian state media PressTV site, without a particle of evidence. The ever-trashy Southern Poverty Law Center of course has a field day with all the fruitbattery and re-posting Crowley's videos under "hatewatch". Of course SPLC cites the stalker/hoaxer Thomas Lapp to prove their overall persistent point, that generally alt-media people are dangerous and prone to inducing violence.

///

Other Sandy Hook related material: For example this enters into the topic of the Sandy Hook Hoaxers and their military intelligence links: Sandy Hook Stalkers | Tracking the Vultures and Predators of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre - a number of specific hoaxes they've run in the Sandy Hook context. Hoaxers Put Sandy Hook Parents in Their Crosshairs | Sandy Hook Stalkers

Wolfgang’s Bad Company « Memory Hole: A prominent researcher on Sandy Hook James F Tracy explained that shadowy people tried to get him to peddle the crisis actors meme, and when he turned them down, then they started putting Wolfgang at the head of the hoaxer troll pack. Unfortunately he gave stalker Tony Mead space on his site in July as well, but this is probably the first thing worth reading about this mess:

"Those in the 9/11 Truth movement are well aware of the “cognitive infiltrators” who are only too happy to harness a loose cannon or two that will sabotage or otherwise hinder the genuine remedy of collective intelligence. I am aware that at least one of the parties who misinformed me is now operating as Wolfgang Halbig’s handler."

Via Brandan Hunt (xrayultra): EXPOSED - The Secret Troll Network Preying on the Truth Movement: Montagraph, October Reignz, CaliberHitter… "Try your best not to internalize their bullshit. Instead, speak out, but don’t spend any more of your precious time exposing these freaks than is absolutely necessary. It will distract you from the good work you do, and indeed, that is the goal." Great advice. Also: Sandy Hook Truth Movement takeover by Disinfo Agents & Morons - YouTube

Sandy Hook Hoax admins are LIARS [Videos + Transcript] - Brendan Hunt:

"folks who are posing as truth-seekers and online researchers, but are actually injecting disinformation into the communities that are looking into 9/11, the JFK assassination, and things like Sandy Hook…. Lenny Pozner’s recent editorial on Sandy Hook truthers which singled out Tony Mead and Wolfgang Halbig as some of the more toxic individuals in the community. I’m not saying I trust Pozner at all, but since the truther community hasn’t really taken a hard-line stance against these frauds, as I’ve tried to encourage, the media can hold them up as examples of the research community and say “See! We told you these truthers were bad!” These crazed individuals, such as Tony Mead and Erik Pearson, ReviewManify aka TeamWakeEmUp, Thomas Lapp, FreeRadioRevolution and his idiot pal RedPillRevolution, Odinrok, Jim Fetzer and the Veteran’s Today crew, and George Mason are all pissed at me for calling them out on the lies they've tried to perpetrate upon the truth movement."

Much of the same crew now turned against the MN Truthers via this group. Also: SANDY HOOK: Wolfgang Halbig is a LIAR (Video Presentation, Transcript + Downloads) - Brendan Hunt.com

Tracker blog: Sandy Hook Hoax Hall Of Shame

Satirizing hoaxers: Sandy Hook Hoax Hoaxers and Sandy Hook Hoaxers Are Not Bright

CW Wade's debunking site (also here) including on Wolfgang trying to demand identities of children. Sandy Hook- Facts & Research: Sandy Hook Hoax Erik Pearson and Tony Mead Continue Stalking of Victims

This is one of the hoaxer pages: Sandy Hook Hoax mainly promoting Wolfgang Halbig.

WillyLoman: Rainmaker Wolfgang Halbig – A Pure Fraud in the Classic Sense | American Everyman - March 2014

Unfortunately Tony Mead has been posting at ActivistPost (Aug 2014). Typical stuff. Another hoaxer site. They defend themselves from stalking charges in a convoluted post here.

Identity hijacking from Tony Mead's friends at InsaneMedia: Insanemedia Caught Stealing Woman’s Identity To Promote Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theory | Newtown Post-Examiner, see also “We Need To Talk About Sandy Hook” Stalker Craven S Moorehead aka Swansong aka Swan | Newtown Post-Examiner: "In a previous post on the Sandy Hook Stalkers blog, Craven S Moorehead was shown to be partnered with Katja Bush, the wife of Captain Lashon Bush of the U.S. Army Cyber Command– all three of whom our team found linked to the IP-phishing Insanemedia website. For those unfamiliar, Tony Mead’s Sandy Hook Hoax Facebook page is where Hoaxers (those who believe that the SHES massacre was a government “false flag” operation) gather to spew libelous accusations and plot strategies to harass and intimidate those personally affected by the SHES tragedy. Their stalking and predations occur on a daily basis and have been well documented by those of us who have been monitoring their activities." Seems legit.

Delusional Internet postings saying Sandy Hook was a hoax deny the pain and anguish of parents, relatives and Newtown residents - Hartford Courant by Lenny Pozner, parent of one of the dead kids. July 25 2014:

Unfortunately, there still exists a small but obsessive faction of hoaxers who are either unable or unwilling to objectively discern the hard facts from among the fleeting hunches and groundless accusations. Others are well aware of the truth but exploit the tragedy for their own aggrandizement. Regardless of their motivation, all have one thing in common: They persist in stalking and harassing the Sandy Hook parents and others intimately connected to the tragedy.

Among their most active leaders is Tony Mead, apparently a resident of Florida. For several months, this serial cyber stalker has hosted a Facebook page where he has amassed a cult following of like-minded hoaxers who ravenously feed off each other's paranoia and hatred for anyone who was affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy.

This is not a place where meaningful discussions are held or investigative inquiries are made. This is a place where strategies are plotted against grieving relatives and children's identities are stolen and exploited to fulfill a twisted fantasy.

This is exactly the network that has now turned against the Minnesota Truthers and Crowley's friends and family.

HAL-BIG IS WOLF’S GANG? | THE CONSPIRACY CRITIC (March 2014)

The persistent Glenn Canady shills for VT, Wolfgang & Fetzer etc: The Sandy Hook "Smoking Gun": Game Set Match! | Alternative

Conspiracy cats more likely to conspire? Seems like this type all right: Does it take one to know one? New research reveals conspiring conspiracy theorists — ScienceDaily

There is even a counter-harassment org set up now: HONR Network: Report Harassment, Sandy Hook Hoaxers, Conspiracy Theories

Rather than focusing their delusional grievances and accusations on authorities, the ‘hoaxers’ take the path of least resistance, harassing and emotionally abusing the victims’ family members online, on the telephone, and even in person. This practice allows them to feel as though they are doing something productive to have their voices heard, while staying safely away from the clutches of the authorities. This is a cowardly approach to having their grievances heard, and we need to ensure that they find some other method of doing so which doesn’t directly affect victims’ family members, or anyone else involved in the management of the tragedies, such as emergency service workers or those who were in any way involved. Even these individuals have found themselves the target of hoaxer hostility and harassment.

///

Unfortunately until such disgusting tactics are railed out of the Truther world, we will continue to see investigations around tragedies like Sandy Hook and the Crowley family backfire horribly. To paraphrase what one of Crowley's Truther friends told me, he was damn near ready to switch into believing the official 9/11 story simply because of these appalling people. My condolences to all.

On a final note, I was able to exchange email with the late Crowley about the Oct 2013 draft cut of his film Gray State: The Rise, but I will hold those comments over for another time. There are other relevant statements, social media items and images that clearly show Crowley was going into a dark place. But this post is focused on the ugly troll crowd that wants to find another tragedy to cling to, with Sandy Hook now becoming a messy, opaque memory.

[Full research credit to Scott Wilson who originally flagged the Sandy Hook Hoaxer squad's existence on the fruitbat group, thank you.]

How a billionaire gets away with it: FULL TEXT Jeffrey Epstein's federal sex abuse non-prosecution agreement; #OpDeathEaters gets traction

epstein-mug.jpgHere's another new piece of hard evidence showing how billionaire sex abusers get their own special treatment in America. One of the most dire problems facing the United States is the double-standard justice system.

If you're a greasy billionaire like Jeffrey Epstein, federal prosecutors (who ultimately report to your chums) will eventually bend over backwards to let you get away with running an international sex abuse ring, and even protect your co-conspirators from prosecution.

Epstein pled guilty to limited charges and was forced to spend at least a few hours a day in a Florida jail for several months (he could wander during the day), and then on "house arrest" to cruise around to his various international pads. The deal specifically protects his unnamed co-conspirators from prosecution.

For apparently the first time on the open interwebs, here is the full text of Epstein's non-prosecution agreement, republished on HongPong.com with permission of alt journalist Wayne Madsen at WayneMadsenReport.com:

epstein1.jpg

epstein2.jpg

epstein3.jpg

epstein4.jpg

epstein5.jpg

Epstein6.jpg

epstein7.jpg

epstein8.jpg

epstein9.jpg

epstein10.jpg

epstein11.jpg

epstein12.jpg

An additional issue that Wayne cites in his paywalled article is that the timeline here casts shadows on both the Clinton and the Bush families, since both noxious dynasties had roles overseeing the federal prosecutors and accepting this chummy deal published above at different points in the timeline.

//////

Epstein wants to keep all the correspondence leading up the deal above secret, as reported by New York Daily News which has been relatively aggressive on the story:

Freaky financier Jeffrey Epstein wants to keep negotiations for his shady nonprosecution deal with the feds under wraps.

In papers filed in Florida federal court, Epstein, 61, has asked for a protective order keeping all correspondence about his controversial deal with the feds under seal.

The feds agreed not to pursue charges against Epstein and four alleged co-conspirators in dozens of cases involving under-aged girls if he pleaded guilty to a single state felony case back in 2007 — but the deal was kept hidden from the victims at Epstein’s request, court papers say.

The billionaire perv pal of Prince Andrew pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from a minor in mid-2008. Four of Epstein’s alleged victims are challenging the nonprosecution agreement in court.

In a ruling Thursday, Judge Kenneth Marra said, “Public policy favors judicial records being open to the public,” and that Epstein has to submit additional filings “setting forth the extraordinary circumstances or particularized needs necessitating a seal in this case.” Dareh Gregorian

//////

#OpDeathEaters & a history of political blackmail: I would like to call attention to the project spearheaded by Anonymous type cats called #OpDeathEaters (a reference to Voldemort's buddies in Harry Potter), which is a pretty quick-moving research project to expose multiple levels and nodes of what they describe as the global paedosadist network.

They are trying to get away from the term 'pedophile' which is actually preferred by child sex abusers because 'phile' means love, when in fact it's really child abuse. It started around November 2014.

An important dimension stressed by some of the articles below is that the power and depth of the pedosadist and child abuse networks has grown so deep that it has overrun the ability of honest elements of law enforcement to deal with, so to some extent Internet activists are trying to expose the networks and render difficult investigations into open-and-shut cases if possible, with the hopes of obtaining justice for victims and their families as well as preventing future abuse.

Recommend following the #opdeatheaters hashtag, Heather Marsh @georgieBC and @der_bluthund as well as @opDeathEatersUS and @opdeatheaters. ExaroNews.com has been leading the way on systematically advancing the British wing of the exposure of high level sex abuse among members of Parliament and key intelligence figures, as well as the giant coverups of decades past.

SEE recent coverage in last 2 weeks: Heard of #OpDeathEaters? Anonymous Movement Seeks End To Child Sex Trafficking; Justice For Victims Inquisitr.com Jan 24 2015

Telegraph pretty good story: Video: Anonymous hackers release video to target global paedophile menace - Telegraph

UK Mirror: Anonymous 'hacktivists' target paedophile networks with Harry Potter-inspired #OpDeathEaters campaign - Mirror Online Jan 23 2015

DailyMail: Hacking group Anonymous to target paedophiles | Daily Mail Online

VICE: Behind Anonymous’s Operation to Reveal Britain’s Elite Child-Rape Syndicate | VICE | United States Jan 15 2015

Plenty more news floating around. Give it a search and see what you find.

This systematic abuse and trafficking has gone on for decades. Homophobic closet case attorney Roy Cohn, Sen. Joe McCarthy's sidekick, was even said to have been one of the original sleazebuckets who got this tactic rolling for the CIA to get control of members of Congress, but that is a difficult case to prove of course.

//////

More background on the case:

Papantonio: The Plot Thickens in the Dershowitz-Epstein Story - YouTube

//////

epstein-island1.png epstein-island2.png

What scandal involving Prince Andrew says about Britain’s elites | Al Jazeera America (Jan 17 2015)

U.S. Lawyers Seek to Interview Prince Andrew About Sex-Crime Claims | TIME (Jan 21 2015)

Exclusive: Epstein’s First Accuser Tells Her Story - The Daily Beast (Jan 25 2015). Legal docs at link

Gawker on the case, seems like Nick Bryant is doing a good job: Here Is Pedophile Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's Little Black Book (Jan 23 2015)

ejvwbrrrxf258l50anna.jpg

Flight Logs Put Clinton, Dershowitz on Pedophile Billionaire’s Sex Jet - Gawker (Jan 22 2015)

Dershowitz addresses appearing on Epstein flight logs - CNN Video (Jan 24 2015). Dersh is wiggin pretty hard and the new claim he kept his undies on during massages is truly the "did not have sexual relations with that woman" escape phrase of the day.

Dersh: "I kept my underwear on during the massage," he said. "I don't like massages particularly." Alan Dershowitz: 'Sex slave' accuser is serial liar, prostitute | News - Home - worth reading in full to sense the anger and panic here.

/////

maxwells.jpg

Intelligence Rabbit Hole Begins: Additionally Epstein's close confidante for many years, Ghislaine Maxwell (L), has also been tagged as a major player in the abuse ring. Adding an intelligence twist to the matter, Ghislaine's late father Robert Maxwell ( R ) is pretty widely known to have supported the Israeli Mossad secret intelligence service. With Epstein's island home apparently stuffed with hidden cameras, this suggests he was generating sexual blackmail material which could certainly prove handy to manipulate political figures.

This leads to a bunch of speculation such as JEFFREY EPSTEIN, MOSSAD AND 9 11 etc etc, with Florida airfields that were used by Mohammed Atta perhaps intersecting with this sordid tale prior to 2001. [I am not claiming that I support such a line of inquiry as the evidence isn't really there yet, but there are some overlapping data points]

That particular rabbit hole would take a long time to sort out, but shady rich people, aviation and weird covert ops certainly are a Florida tradition. The only thing missing is yet another Gulfstream owned by CIA shell company packed with cocaine or heroin.

Barrett Brown's sentencing under shadow of federal falsehoods signals doom for Internet journalism, but at least information == drugs now!

In principle, American Internet Journalism just died horribly.

Fuck it dude, let's go bowling (and keep posting without prior restraint till they drag us all away).

prior-restraint-walter.jpg

Unfortunately, a confused federal judge in Texas decided to disregard the Supreme Court's round rejection of prior restraint and enhanced Barrett Brown's sentence because copying and pasting a link to a zip file — a file whose contents he only had a loose notion of at the time, and was posted in the context of corporate research — is now apparently a forbidden form of speech.

As best conveyed by Texas mag Dallas Frontburner here, the whole court hearing was surreal and full of strange and new concepts. Quinn Norton is quitting working on information security journalism because of this situation, and she was a defense witness for Brown, explaining the stupidity around credit card numbers to a court that never understood.

It's interesting – indeed horrifying – because almost no one actually looks at the full content of any link they post, ever. If Time Magazine were to post a link to some story that has credit card numbers attached in an invisible Javascript, they'd be fully liable under this new rationale. More likely they'd throw the book at a smaller target than Time.

I don't get if DOJ has a helpdesk for these things or what. Like are you supposed to call the division dedicated to killing modern journalism and check with them how prior restraint works next week? Does it count for giant zip files, invisible javascripts, Pastebins or what?

We are all targets now. If we are to take the DOJ at their word, internet journalism has more or less been made impossible. Responsibility got shifted from publishers (or 'leakers') to observers, researchers and aggregators. Will corporate weasel lawyers forbid high level journalists from linking to things? The chilling effects are open-ended and basically endless, as well as impossible to ascertain without skimming the HTML source code of every page you link to and every autoloading script attached therein.

Even after reviewing the HTML, it will still become more chilling if the proposed White House CFAA revision goes in because of some weird notion about trafficking that they were able to get to stick at Barrett's sentencing.

See: Barrett Brown Obama's War on Hackers | Al Jazeera America Jan 23 2015: What no one in government seems to understand about cases such as Brown’s is that this is simply the way journalism is done today.

Obama's cybersecurity plan: Share a password, click a link, go to prison as a hacker | Computerworld Jan 21 2015: you could be considered a hacker for innocent behavior like sharing your Netflix password with family members or clicking a link that contains unauthorized content.


share-netflix-password-be-prosecuted-for-cfaa-and-go-to-prison-100563985-large.idge.gif

So this speech would effectively be nuked, for example:

201501231621.jpg

...could make either retweeting or clicking on the above (fictional) link illegal. The new laws make it a felony to intentionally access unauthorized information even if it's been posted to a public website. The new laws make it a felony to traffic in information like passwords, where "trafficking" includes posting a link.

Via the link above ErrataRob Graham explains that security research will be rendered impossible, thereby making it a felony to correctly develop software with any defense:

Obama proposes upgrading hacking to a “racketeering” offense, means you can be guilty of being a hacker by simply acting like a hacker (without otherwise committing a specific crime). Hanging out in an IRC chat room giving advice to people now makes you a member of a “criminal enterprise,” allowing the FBI to sweep in and confiscate all your assets without charging you with a crime.

What Obama Gets Wrong About Cybersecurity Gizmodo last Tuesday.

Also Jan 16 2015: Obama's Computer Security Solution is a Mishmash of Old, Outdated Policy Solutions | Electronic Frontier Foundation

In this ludicrous security panic post-CharlieHebdo, they are also going back to Clipper Chip Redux demanding to be able to backdoor and intercept all encrypted communications, both the White House and Downing Street. This isn't the 1990s, they will have to ban Github and destroy General Purpose Computing soon enough.

///

On the upside, after the child porn argument fell apart, the government had to claim that information is the same kind of thing as drugs in order to cram the situation into a statutory conspiracy. So well done there, Barrett, you forced them to make speech into drugs. Drugs = Speech. The Supreme Court previously said that Speech = Money, so therefore Drugs = Money. Party on, robed ones.

///

Barrett Brown Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison in Connection to Stratfor Hack | WIRED

The ruling, in Texas, brings to a close an unusual saga that had the feds initially charging Brown with 12 counts of aggravated identity theft and trafficking in stolen data for simply posting a link in a chat room. That link pointed to a file containing data stolen by members of the hacktivist group Anonymous from the intelligence firm Stratfor, or Strategic Forecasting. The data included company emails as well as credit card numbers belonging to subscribers of Stratfor’s service. The charges against Brown caused a stir when they were first revealed, because Brown hadn’t stolen the data himself, but had simply copied the hyperlink from one public chatroom and posted it to another.

///

///

Oh well: Living in America will literally drive you insane. Indeed it is hard to attempt to contort one's mind to whatever the government's reasoning is in Barrett's case. We live under a ruthless system with little regard for logic and nothing but fear and loathing for hyperlinks. Federal prosecutors can blatantly lie in court and face no punishment - indeed they earn merit instead.

Blah. Keep plugging on lolcats. As the radicals know it's a good idea to live as if you are already free; the "prefigurative" application of traditional (and previously protected) legal principles of speech might eventually be respected in America again, but only if masses of writers don't flee from these terrible people after losing this ugly battle on terrible grounds.

There is plenty more that could be said but I will crosspost Barrett's daring allocution statement. I would bet it got him a couple more months from that judge but at least it's honest, and certainly the appropriate spot to bring up prosecutorial misconduct.

Good afternoon, Your Honor.

The allocution I give today is going to be a bit different from the sort that usually concludes a sentencing hearing, because this is an unusual case touching upon unusual issues. It is also a very public case, not only in the sense that it has been followed closely by the public, but also in the sense that it has implications for the public, and even in the sense that the public has played a major role, because, of course, the great majority of the funds for my legal defense was donated by the public. And so now I have three duties that I must carry out. I must express my regret, but I must also express my gratitude. And I also have to take this opportunity to ensure that the public understands what has been at stake in this case, and why it has proceeded in the way that it has. Because, of course, the public didn’t simply pay for my defense through its donations, they also paid for my prosecution through its tax dollars. And the public has a right to know what it is paying for. And Your Honor has a need to know what he is ruling on.

First I will speak of regret. Like nearly all federal defendants, I hope to convince Your Honor that I sincerely regret some of the things that I have done. I don’t think anyone doubts that I regret quite a bit about my life including some of the things that brought me here today. Your Honor has the Acceptance of Responsibility document that my counsel submitted to you. Every word of it was sincere. The videos were idiotic, and although I made them in a manic state brought on by sudden withdrawal from Paxil and Suboxone, and while distraught over the threats to prosecute my mother, that’s still me in those YouTube clips talking nonsense about how the FBI would never take me alive. Likewise, I didn’t have the right to hide my files from the FBI during a lawful investigation, and I would’ve had a better chance of protecting my contacts in foreign countries if I had pursued the matter in the courts after the raid, rather than stupidly trying to hide those laptops in the kitchen cabinet as my mother and I did that morning. And with regard to the accessory after the fact charge relating to my efforts to redact sensitive emails after the Stratfor hack, I’ve explained to Your Honor that I do not want to be a hypocrite. If I criticize the government for breaking the law but then break the law myself in an effort to reveal their wrongdoing, I should expect to be punished just as I’ve called for the criminals at government-linked firms, like HBGary and Palantir, to be punished. When we start fighting crime by any means necessary, we become guilty of the same hypocrisy as law enforcement agencies throughout history that break the rules to get the villains, and so become villains themselves.

I’m going to say a few more words about my regrets in a moment, but now I’m going to get to the unusual part of the allocution. I’m going to make some criticisms of the manner in which the government has pursued this case. Normally this sort of thing is left to one’s lawyers rather than the defendant, because to do otherwise runs the risk of making the defendant seem combative rather than contrite. But I think Your Honor can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time. I think Your Honor understands that one can regret the unjust things one has done, while also being concerned about the unjust things that have been done to him. And based on certain statements that Your Honor has made, as well as one particular ruling, I have cause to believe that Your Honor will understand and perhaps even sympathize with the unusual responsibility I have which makes it necessary that I point out some things very briefly.

I do so with respect to Your Honor. I also do it for selfish reasons, because I want to make absolutely certain that Your Honor is made aware that the picture the government has presented to you is a false one. But it is also my duty to make this clear as this case does not just affect me. Even aside from the several First Amendment issues that have already been widely discussed as a result of this case, there is also the matter of the dozens of people around the world who have contributed to my distributed think tank, Project PM, by writing for our public website, echelon2.org. Incredibly, the government has declared these contributors—some of them journalists—to be criminals and participants in a criminal conspiracy. As such, the government sought from this court a subpoena by which to obtain the identities of all of our contributors. Your Honor denied that motion and I am very grateful to Your Honor for having done so. Unfortunately the government thereafter went around Your Honor and sought to obtain these records by other means. So now the dozens of people who have given their time and expertise to what has been hailed by journalists and advocacy groups as a crucial journalistic enterprise are now at risk of being indicted under the same sort of spurious charges that I was facing not long ago, when the government exposed me to decades of prison time for copying and pasting a link to a publicly available file that other journalists were also linking to without being prosecuted. The fact that the government has still asked you to punish me for that link is proof, if any more were needed, that those of us who advocate against secrecy are to be pursued without regard for the rule of law, or even common decency.

Your Honor, I understand that this is my sentencing hearing and not an inquiry into the government’s conduct. This is not the place to go into the dozens of demonstrable errors and contradictions to be found in the government’s documentation and the testimony by the government. But it would be hypocritical of me to protest the government’s conduct and not provide Your Honor with an example. I will do so very briefly. At the September 13th bond hearing, held in Judge Stickney’s court the day after my arrest, Special Agent Allen Lynn took the stand and claimed under oath that in reviewing my laptops he had found discussions in which I admit having engaged in, quote, “SWATting”, unquote, which he referred to as, quote, “violent activity”, unquote. Your Honor may not be familiar with the term SWATting; as Mr. Lynn described it at the hearing it is, quote, “where they try to place a false 911 call to the residence of an individual in order to endanger that individual.” He went on at elaborate length about this, presenting it as a key reason why I should not receive bond. Your Honor will have noted that this has never come up again. This is because Mr. Lynn’s claims were entirely untrue. But that did not stop him from making that claim, any more than it stopped him from claiming that I have lived in the Middle East, a region I have never actually had the pleasure of visiting.

Your Honor, this is just one example from a single hearing. But if Your Honor can extrapolate from that, Your Honor can probably get a sense of how much value can be placed on the rest of the government’s testimony in this case. Likewise, Your Honor can probably understand the concerns I have about what my contributors might be subjected to by the government if this sort of behavior proves effective today. Naturally I hope Your Honor will keep this in mind, and I hope that other judges in this district will as well, because, again, there remains great concern that my associates will be the next to be indicted.

I’ve tried to protect my contributors, Your Honor, and I’ve also tried to protect the public’s right to link to source materials without being subject to misuse of the statutes. Last year, when the government offered me a plea bargain whereby I would plead to just one of the eleven fraud charges related to the linking, and told me it was final, I turned it down. To have accepted that plea, with a two-year sentence, would have been convenient—Your Honor will note that I actually did eventually plead to an accessory charge carrying potentially more prison time—but it would have been wrong. Even aside from the obvious fact that I did not commit fraud, and thus couldn’t sign to any such thing, to do so would have also constituted a dangerous precedent, and it would have endangered my colleagues, each of whom could now have been depicted as a former associate of a convicted fraudster. And it would have given the government, and particularly the FBI, one more tool by which to persecute journalists and activists whose views they find to be dangerous or undesirable.

Journalists are especially vulnerable right now, Your Honor, and they become more so when the FBI feels comfortable making false claims about me. And in response to our motion to dismiss the charges of obstruction of justice based on the hiding of my laptops, the government claimed that those laptops contained evidence of a plot I orchestrated to attack the Kingdom of Bahrain on the orders of Amber Lyon. Your Honor, Amber Lyon is a journalist and former CNN reporter, who I do know and respect, but I can assure Your Honor that I am not in the habit of attacking Gulf state monarchies on her behalf. But I think it’s unjust of them to use this court to throw out that sort of claim about Miss Lyon in a public filing as they did if they’re not prepared to back it up. And they’re not prepared to back it up. But that won’t stop the Kingdom of Bahrain from repeating this groundless assertion and perhaps even using it to keep Miss Lyon out of the country. Because she has indeed reported on the Bahraini monarchy’s violent crackdowns on pro-democracy protests in that country, and she has done so from that country. And if she ever returns to that country to continue that important work, she’ll now be subject to arrest on the grounds that the United States Department of Justice itself has explicitly accused her of orchestrating an attack on that country’s government.

Your Honor, this is extraordinary. Miss Lyon isn’t the only journalist that’s been made legally less secure by this prosecution. Every journalist in the United States is put at risk by the novel, and sometimes even radical, claims that the government has introduced in the course of the sentencing process. The government asserts that I am not a journalist and thus unable to claim the First Amendment protections guaranteed to those engaged in information-gathering activities. Your Honor, I’ve been employed as a journalist for much of my adult life, I’ve written for dozens of magazines and newspapers, and I’m the author of two published and critically-acclaimed books of expository non-fiction. Your Honor has received letters from editors who have published my journalistic work, as well as from award-winning journalists such as Glenn Greenwald, who note that they have used that work in their own articles. If I am not a journalist, then there are many, many people out there who are also not journalists, without being aware of it, and who are thus as much at risk as I am.

Your Honor, it would be one thing if the government were putting forth some sort of standard by which journalists could be defined. They have not put forth such a standard. Their assertion rests on the fact that despite having referred to myself as a journalist hundreds of times, I at one point rejected that term, much in the same way that someone running for office might reject the term “politician.” Now, if the government is introducing a new standard whereby anyone who once denies being a particular thing is no longer that thing in any legal sense, that would be at least a firm and knowable criteria. But that’s not what the government is doing in this case. Consider, for instance, that I have denied being a spokesperson for Anonymous hundreds of times, both in public and private, ever since the press began calling me that in the beginning of 2011. So on a couple of occasions when I contacted executives of contracting firms like Booz Allen Hamilton in the wake of revelations that they’d been spying on my associates and I, for reasons that we were naturally rather anxious to determine, I did indeed pretend to be such an actual official spokesman for Anonymous, because I wanted to encourage these people to talk to me. Which they did.

Of course, I have explained this many, many times, and the government itself knows this, even if they’ve since claimed otherwise. In the September 13th criminal complaint filed against me, the FBI itself acknowledges that I do not claim any official role within Anonymous. Likewise, in last month's hearing, the prosecutor accidentally slipped and referred to me as a journalist, even after having previously found it necessary to deny me that title. But, there you have it. Deny being a spokesperson for Anonymous hundreds of times, and you’re still a spokesperson for Anonymous. Deny being a journalist once or twice, and you’re not a journalist. What conclusion can one draw from this sort of reasoning other than that you are whatever the FBI finds it convenient for you to be at any given moment. This is not the rule of law, Your Honor, it is the rule of Law Enforcement, and it is very dangerous.

Your Honor, I am asking you to give me a time-served sentence of thirty months today because to do otherwise will have the effect of rewarding this sort of reckless conduct on the part of the government. I am also asking for that particular sentence because, as my lawyer Marlo Cadeddu, an acknowledged expert on the guidelines, has pointed out, that’s what the actual facts of the case would seem to warrant. And the public, to the extent that it has made its voice heard through letters and donations and even op-eds, also believes that the circumstances of this case warrant that I be released today. I would even argue that the government itself believes that the facts warrant my release today, because look at all the lies they decided they would have to tell to keep me in prison.

I thank you for your indulgence, Your Honor, and I want to conclude by thanking everyone who supported me over the last few years. I need to single out one person in particular, Kevin Gallagher, who contributed to my Project PM group, who stepped up immediately after my arrest to build up a citizens' initiative by which to raise money for my defense, and to spread the word about what was at stake in this case. For the two and a half years of my incarceration, Kevin has literally spent the bulk of his free time in working to give me my life back. He is one of the extraordinary people who have given of themselves to make possible this great and beautiful movement of ours. A movement to protect activists and journalists from secretive and extra-legal retaliation by powerful corporate actors with ties to the state. Your Honor, Kevin Gallagher is not a relative of mine, or a childhood friend. This is only the third time I’ve been in the same room with him. Nonetheless, he has dedicated two years of his life to ensure that I had the best possible lawyers on this case, and to ensure that the press understood what was at stake here. Your Honor, he set up something on Amazon.com whereby I could ask for books on a particular subject and supporters could buy them and have them sent to me. And he spoke to my mother several times a week. During that early period when I was facing over a hundred years worth of charges, and it wasn’t clear whether or not I would be coming home, he would reassure her.

A few weeks ago, he got a job at Freedom of The Press Foundation, one of the world’s most justifiably respected advocacy organizations. And, according to the government, he is also a member of a criminal organization, because, like dozens of journalists and activists across the world, he has been a contributor to Project PM, and the government has declared Project PM to be a criminal enterprise. I think that the government is wrong about Kevin, Your Honor, but that is not why I’ve brought him up. And although I am very glad for the opportunity to express my gratitude to him in a public setting, there are some gifts for which conventional gratitude is an insufficient payment. One can only respond to such gifts by working to become the sort of person that actually deserves to receive them. A thank you will not suffice, and so I am not bringing him up here merely to thank him. Instead, I am using him in my defense. Your Honor, this very noble person, this truly exemplary citizen of the republic who takes his citizenship seriously rather than taking it for granted, knows pretty much everything there is to know about me—my life, my past, my work, the things I’ve done and the things I’ve left undone, to the things I should not have done to begin with—and he has given himself over to the cause of freeing me today. He is the exact sort of person I tried to recruit for the crucial work we do at Project PM. I am so proud to have someone like him doing so much for me.

Your Honor, the last thing I will say in my own defense is that so many people like Kevin Gallagher have worked so hard on my behalf. And having now said all those things that I felt the need to say, I happily accept Your Honor’s decision.

For further updates see FreeBarrettBrown.org / https://twitter.com/freebarrett_

///

All the news isn't horrible. Robert MacLean won his TSA / Air Marshal whistleblower case at the Supreme Court, which took many years to achieve. With luck Barrett or the next sacrificial lamb will win in that venue as well.

Big banhammer falls on Hongpong.com comments

Hey all,

due to the profusion of horrible comment spam, I swung the big banhammer and hid the comment threads on all the previous material on the site. This should markedly improve performance and with luck the search engine rankings as well (SEO). I am really sorry to the people that left legit comments, it got too far out of hand for me to control. It's too bad regular hosted comments aren't a viable business these days.

The new policy is that comments will be open on posts for two weeks, and then they close. Hopefully this means that we will not have to hide comment threads in the future.

Also if you want to leave a comment and you're legit, be sure to save your comment in Notepad or whatever because the spam filter will dump/delete/discard everything it rejects.

As always you can reach me via the Contact form or at hongpong at hongpong.com.

Pipeline Politics: MNGOP moves fast for fossils; Minnesota Range Congressman Rick Nolan certain Keystone XL will "support" 42,000 jobs

A tough fight is brewing at both the state and federal level over the direction of environmental policies. In Minnesota, Republicans are totally committed to expanding fracked gas, shale oil from Bakken, and genocidal tar sands bitumen pipelines from Canada.

The Sandpiper pipeline project in Minnesota is the current major project with ongoing public hearings, opposition spearheaded by Friends of the Headwaters, the Carlton County Land Stewards, Winona LaDuke's Honor The Earth group has worked on this; MN350 has also been working on this. The PUC calendar has other date info..

Pipelines in the MN political economy: To capture the House in 2014, Minnesota Republicans leaned heavily on independent expenditures from the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, which in turn leaned heavily on Northern Oil & Gas Co., a shale oil finance shop in run by a colorful family in suburban Wayzata, to pay for it all.

The joke's on Northern (NOG): as the international oil price war has taken hold their stock plummeted, but if they're going to salvage any of this they need new pipelines more than ever.

northern-oil.png

The MN House GOP isn't wasting any time fighting for their backers' needs. One of the first House bills posted in St Paul this year, HF21 would slash pipeline review to 150 days up or down - just enough time to get ahead of ticked off locals before they know what's going on.

Democrats are split over the pro-pipeline agenda in Minnesota, and the pro-industry crowd has a plan this year. The Iron Rangers are trying to wheel out "streamlining" mining regulations, willing to work with ALEC-friendly GOP. Key players here include DFL Sen. Tom Bakk, GOP Rep. Rod Hamilton for Big Ag (especially hog corporations) & the affable GOP Rep. Paul Garofalo for twitter-friendly ALEC corporate agendas.

For the top circles of people pushing this agenda, ideally environmental concerns will get flipped around — usually pollution affects poor people & people of color (POC) communities the worst — to make it appear a hobby of oblivious, elite metro consultant people. They are interested in reframing environmental justice as an elitist hobby, all the better to roll queasy and/or suburban Democrats.

Other corporate agendas: The industrial agriculture lobby wants to max out factory farm sizes with minimal oversight. Killing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's citizen review board system is another major priority, and disinfo is already rolling out on that topic.

They've also tried running meetings without public notice (see Rural Task Force and AURI in Sept 2014 via Bluestem Prairie) in order to reconfigure obscure government organizations to their agenda.

In this context we have to wonder what you're supposed to do when your member in Congress peddles blatantly deceptive spin (Nolan represents an area where a lot of my family is from). I will highlight some major chestnuts in bold. Source from a friend on FB:

Dear [Submitter].,

Thank you for contacting me regarding your views on the Keystone Pipeline project.

The simple truth we must deal with is that the Alberta tar sands are already being developed and producing roughly two million barrels of oil per day which are then shipped by truck and rail. Additionally, the U.S. State Department and the government of Canada have confirmed these tar sands will continue to be developed regardless of this project's approval. Therefore, those of us who care about saving the environment must ensure that the heavy crudes are transported in the safest and most environmentally sensitive way possible. Pipelines – while not immune from accidents – have been shown to be a safer energy transportation method than truck and rail, producing a lower carbon footprint and preventing further rail and highway congestion. The fact is, the State Department concluded alternative rail transportation options to move the heavy crude from the tar sands would result in the release of 28-42% more carbon emissions than through the pipeline.

Moreover, the Keystone project will provide access to additional oil reserves not subject to the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, while supporting more than 42,000 good-paying jobs across our nation, translating to $2 billion in earnings for workers, substantial local and state tax revenue, and an additional $3.4 billion to our gross domestic product.

The Keystone XL Pipeline has been rigorously studied and will generate urgently needed jobs and economic development across our nation. To that end, I recently joined the majority of the House in voting to pass legislation (H.R.3) to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline project. Unlike previous Keystone legislation I opposed in the past, this legislation requires that Keystone be compliant with all other existing EPA and other US federal agency requirements that would need to be met by a domestic pipeline application.

I am disappointed we were not permitted to amend the bill to require use of 100 percent American steel in construction because it is proven to be better and less accident prone. Nonetheless, this legislation puts an end to almost seven years of gridlock, requires the pipeline operators to comply with tough U.S. environmental protections, and allows for a route change in Nebraska that will avoid the environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.

Please know I have long been a strong supporter of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Water Act, as well as other laws and regulations to protect our precious environment. To that end, during the 113th Congress I proudly cosponsored H.R.3674, the End Polluter Welfare Act of 2013 which would eliminate tax loopholes and subsidies that support the oil, gas and coal industries. Additionally, H.R.3674 would end taxpayer-funded fossil fuel research and prevent companies from escaping liability for spills or deducting cleanup costs. At a time when energy companies are making record profits, we should not be providing them with generous subsidies.

Rest assured I will keep your concerns in mind as I continue to look for ways to protect our precious environment here in the Congress.

Thank you again for sharing your views with me. I truly appreciate your advice and counsel and hope that you will contact me in the future whenever I can be of assistance.

I encourage you to follow me on Facebook and Twitter and visit my website at nolan.house.gov to receive daily updates.

Sincerely,

Richard M. Nolan

Member of Congress

/////

"Heavy Crude": Nolan distributes disinformation here. The product thrown down these pipelines is superheated tar sands diluted bitumen ('dilbit' - wiki). It is a trade-secret laden petrochemical mixture which makes the bitumen (essentially raw asphalt - wiki) just slick enough to move along. In order to smooth the political process, diluted bitumen is reframed as "heavy crude oil (wiki)" and occludes the presence of environmentally dangerous secret diluent ingredients.

The bitumen also contains tiny quartz (sand) particles which steadily etch the pipeline interiors, as NRDC/Sierra Club mention (PDF). Whenever this mixture leaks, the bitumen sinks in water while much of the more volatile diluents tend to float - making cleanups a far messier affair than with conventional or "light crude", which does actually float and is pretty familiar in Hazmat training world. See: The Dangers of Diluted Bitumen Oil - NYTimes.com (OpEd Aug 2012) re Kalamazoo River in Michigan:

After the dilbit gushed into the river, it began separating into its constituent parts. The heavy bitumen sank to the river bottom, leaving a mess that is still being cleaned up. Meanwhile, the chemical additives evaporated, creating a foul smell that lingered for days. People reported headaches, dizziness and nausea. No one could say with certainty what they should do. Federal officials at the scene didn’t know until weeks later that the pipeline was carrying dilbit, because federal law doesn’t require pipeline operators to reveal that information.

Transcanada has its view on dilbit: "Is it really crude oil? Yes." but… "Dilbit and synbit approximate the characteristics of typical conventional heavy crude oil." Seems like they're having it both ways. And they're blatantly lying here: "Does it float or sink if it spills in water? Oil sands-derived crudes behave the same way as conventional crude oil, which floats in still or slow-moving water."

More on dilbit controversies: Will Canadian Crude Make the Keystone XL Pipeline Leak? | StateImpact Texas

Here is the actual Keystone XL State Dept thing on Dilbit:

Dilbit is bitumen mixed with a diluent so it can be transported by pipeline. The composition of the dilbit is only provided here generically because the particular type of bitumen and diluents blend produced is variable and is typically a trade secret. A common condensate stream (liquids derived from natural gas) is currently the primary type of diluent used for Canadian heavy crude. Diluent consists of condensates, ultra-light sweet crudes, and refinery and upgrader naphtha streams from several supply sources. Typically, dilbit uses approximately 25 percent of condensate, where companies use either their own supply sources of light hydrocarbons or purchase the above condensate stream. According to the Saskatchewan Condensate Monthly Report dated September 1, 2012 (Crudemonitor 2012b), the composition of gas condensate is mainly light hydrocarbons such as iso-butene, n-butane, iso-pentane, n-pentane, and hexanes. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) (for informational/planning purposes only) for two types of diluents, naphtha and natural gas condensate, assuming a maximum diluent mix, are provided in Appendix Q. It is important to note that the chemical make-up of the diluents can vary greatly from source to source. The bitumen-diluent mixture with bitumen from the oil sands is generally similar to heavy sour crude, which is discussed in more detail. SCO may also be used as a diluent for bitumen, in which case the commodity is known as synbit (bitumen diluted with SCO). Properties of generic dilbit are shown in Table 3.13-1.

dilbit-chart.png

Huh Toxicity is Class D Division 2 Subdivision A: Very Toxic Material. Interesting, didn't see that on Transcanada's page. Also "BTEX = benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes". Benzene is definitely carcinogenic.

See also: Keystone pipeline's 'dilbit' moment - Los Angeles Times - Dec 2012.

A Dilbit Primer: How It's Different from Conventional Oil | InsideClimate News - June 2012

Keystone XL Primer: Secrecy Still Shrouds Diluted Bitumen Risks | InsideClimate News - Nov 2011.

"supporting more than 42,000 good-paying jobs": This is another block of disinformation and reaches into the more dishonest level by adding "good-paying". This has been heavily debated since it counts temporary and partial work, and general economic ripples, as partial equivalents to a full job.

The most recent mainstream coverage on this spin chunk: Will Keystone XL pipeline create 42,000 ‘new’ jobs? - The Washington Post - Glenn Kessler Jan 6 2015 (reported by wapo in 2013 originally)

See: Keystone XL Job Claims Wouldn't Live Up To Hype, Experts Say - March 2014.

TransCanada CEO says 42,000 Keystone XL pipeline jobs are 'ongoing, enduring' | PunditFact - "Girling said, 'the 42,000 jobs is in ongoing, enduring jobs.'" Sure buddy. Even his spokester had to walk that whopper back.

This figure comes from the State Department study which, for example, claims that 300+ entertainment jobs indirectly get supported by pipeline construction, and assumes that the actual construction jobs last 19.5 weeks. These are batched together to count as one full "job", and the totals for the physical pipes that have already been completed are also included in this figure.

"these tar sands will continue to be developed regardless of this project's approval": That is not necessarily true - on two levels. The projects have been hitting the skids and losing investors, and funding is getting pulled as rapidly as they can from early-stage projects. Saying they "will continue to be developed" when they're losing investors is inaccurate. And of course, the projects only move if they are financially feasible. If they get priced out from transportation due to lack of capacity, then the overall statement is also false.

There is not some magic way to make these projects profitable without export capacity - and even with more export capacity the whole thing is going over the cliff anyway. See:

“Citizen Interventions” Have Cost Canada’s Tar Sands Industry $17B, New Report Shows | DeSmogBlog: "The report said market forces and public opposition have played a significant role in the cancellation of three major tar sands projects in 2014 alone: Shell’s Pierre River, Total’s Joslyn North, and Statoil’s Corner Project. " Yeah sounds like they are continuing to be developed, for sure.

Tar sands industry faces 'existential' $246 billion loss - The Ecologist- Nov 27 2014: "The report suggests that that investors are being misled about the economic viability of oil sands production… CTI calculate that 92% of future oil sands production will only viable if oil prices are $95 per barrel. However, prices stand at only $85, so producers are losing money for every barrel of oil they sell - unless they are cushioned by existing higher-priced contracts, which will sooner or later expire."

Is it time to panic in the oil sands? - Macleans.ca - Nov 29 2014 - graphic shows that bitumen is lower-priced because it requires so much processing, making it even worse of a business prospect. Plenty of industry details in this story.


ab_oil.jpg

As Oil Prices Drop, Canadian Oil Sands May Be Wasted Investment

Tar-sands industry loses $17.1 billion thanks to public opposition | Grist Nov 4 2014

////

It is also worth noting that the anti-pipeline candidate, Green Party American Indian elder Skip Sandman got 4.3% or 11,450 votes. The diligent efforts of many at least forced Nolan to cover his flank with some better votes — frustrating but hardly wasted. Nolan received 48.5%, narrowly edging Stewart Mills at 47.1%. (Side note: the cheesy DCCC messaging to pigeonhole Mills as a rich guy seems to have backfired, this district shouldn't be that close really.)

For further nitty gritty updates: Please check out Minnesota Brown for the Ranger side and BluestemPrairie.com for industrial agriculture & related political maneuvering. Both sites did a great job covering another ranger, DFL Sen. Tomassoni, trying to double dip with lobbying gig.

A clue in Fellini's La Dolce Vita about that old Mithraic esotericism: To live outside of time, detached...

This is a random thing but it caught my attention. At almost the exact middle of Fellini's La Dolce Vita there is a somber discussion as Marcello, the tabloid journalist protagonist, tells Steiner the intellectual he wishes he had such a nice & accomplished life.

But Steiner looks out the window and fears for the life his children will face. He says he wishes he could "live outside of time, detached" in English subtitles, anyway. He's one of the more distinctly anti-fascist characters in the film & he seems to also be lamenting what appear to be persistent spotlights of the spectacle outside his windows.

to-live-outside-time.png

Sometimes at night this darkness, this silence, weighs on me. Peace frightens me. I'm afraid of peace more than anything else. To me it seems that it's only an outer shell and that hell is hiding behind it. I think of what my children will see tomorrow. "The world will be wonderful," they say. From what point of view? When a phone call can announce the end of the world. One should live outside of passions, beyond emotions, in that harmony you find in completed artworks in that enchanted order. We should learn to love each other so much, to live outside of time, detached. Detached.

Thus ends the middle segment of the film divided into seven days and nights.

PtolemaicChainsWoman_HiRes.jpg

Only a couple days earlier, thanks to @daviDNAlexander I ran into a funny essay, "The Entheogen Theory of Religion and Ego Death" by Michael Hoffman which dives into the idea that ancient mystery religions sought a very similar sort of avenue to enlightenment.

Tauroctony.jpg

The idea is explored by associating the various snakes and orphic egg iconography with the sort of wiggly path that a person's life takes, as if it were seen from a five-dimensional or timeless perspective, a "frozen universe". Likewise the notions of fixed fates & destinies were always so big in ancient western mythology. Connections are made to the ancient Mithra cult, an important underlying source of symbolism for Roman Catholicism. No surprise, then, that the idea would have wiggled its way into a film so closely linked to Italy & Catholicism as Vita.

Side note: The floppy red Phrygian cap worn by Mithra turns up later in a lot of revolutionary and Freemasonry-friendly artwork in the time of the French Revolution, as well as within the Romanesque iconography of America's "civic religion". I posted a whole bunch of related art including the symbolic caps, see images posted previously: June 2011: Dashing Wartime Philosopher Bernard Henri Lévy ties Libyan rebels & Netanyahu, lolz at teh Bilderberg conspiracy - and your French Revolution Freemason delirium too! | HongPong.com

And of course, Hoffman writes about the notion that entheogenic drugs allow the 'ego death' so that one can finally see a glimpse of that weird little fixed place in the cosmos, before you shake it off and resume weaving forward on your linear life path…

I'm sure there are other interesting symbols stuffed into Dolce Vita that I've only barely begun to find, but I definitely dig how this particular moment is right at the very middle of the film.

Yes HongPong.com returns for 2015: Such HTML

a great year

I let the domain name go down for almost two weeks but got it rolling again today. It was good to have a little reflection on the site's absence and a couple friends asking in concern where it went!!

This highlights that some of the best material is tucked in earlier archives, with assorted data drops & such perhaps forming the most continually relevant material. Highlighting the classics better would help everyone.

I think more frequent, shorter posts are probably in the works this year, probably doing a new theme and finally pushing it up to Drupal 7. There were many benefits foreseen by setting it up on Drupal but I've tended to mostly stick with default blogging methods for years.

Also I should acknowledge finally here that I moved to Boston several months ago! Hence, the banner image & slogan is finally going to have to change.

Also I would like to thank A.D. who provided this domain as a Christmas gift to me a whopping 14 years ago. Awesome! :)

Anyway thanks for checking in and I will do my best to provide solid info, or at least garnering shared knowledge with traditionally solid context around bizarre information.

JFK 51 years later: Keep the Flame Burning

A little over 51 years ago Albert Thomas, chair of congressional subcommittee for defense appropriations, winked at Lyndon Baines Johnson aboard Air Force One immediately after Pres. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas. [Thomas' underling Jack Valenti went on to run MPAA for many years.] Thomas went on to hand out billions for the Vietnam War.

the_wink_congressman_albert_thomas_a.jpg

51 years later the American public is still as infantilized by the national security state as ever. Tons of documents around the assassination are still classified for decades, setting the pattern for managing perceptions of 'deep state events' clearly intersecting with intelligence players like Iran-Contra & 9/11.

E._Howard_Hunt-One_of_the_Three_Tramps_Arrested_after_JFK_Assassination.jpg
The surest sign that Watergate majordomo Howard Hunt's deathbed confession recording is accurate is how thoroughly mainstream media ignored it, while instead promoting discredited plagiarist shills like Gerald Posner. Hunt said that LBJ was at the "head of a long line of people waiting for some change in the executive branch" and had "an almost maniacal urge to become president," with Rolling Stone, Coast to Coast and the alt media among the very few to take this seriously.

Hunt said CIA's Cord Meyer led the task for LBJ, embittered because Cord's wife had been one of JFK's mistresses. He also ID'd David Atlee Phillips, "in Miami and elsewhere" referencing JM/WAVE CIA station, Watergate alumnus Frank Sturgis, "Operation 40" mercenary David Morales, all players within the nucleus related of intelligence operations diligently identified by researchers since 1963. "In short it was a very mobile experience" said the Watergate chieftain, "I was a benchwarmer on it."

Kennedy was no saint, but Dallas was a display intended to traumatize the American public into accepting that a brutal machine behind the scenes would now more openly, literally, call the shots, and as our country continues to spin along an ugly trajectory, achieving some kind of tangible political freedom from these forces of intelligence intrigue and social control has never been more necessary.

Keep the flame burning, champs.

(listen to Hunt's audio confession here > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bknUDgKdEJQ - and remember so much about Dallas is *still* classified)


Also: Credit to Abby Martin for covering the classified document issue:

EXCLUSIVE: Such Critical Infrastructures: FBI feeds Anonymous IRC channels to CIA, Pentagon intel, NSA, NORTHCOM in 2012 Intel memo

An FBI "IIR" intelligence report, dated April 12 2012 entitled "Identification of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) Channels Used by Anonymous Members, as of 12 April 2012" surfaces a dicey realm between US military & intelligence and electronic activists. The full report is at scribd.com/doc/246922867/FBI-FOIA-IRC-Chat-Channels-used-by-Anonymous // (Mobile) /// UPDATE: Upvote this post on Reddit & Thanks to YAN for amplifying!

FBI FOIA IRC Chat Channels used by Anonymous by Smiley Hill

A tiny peek into a huge deal: the potential fracas between assorted would-be American military cyberwar commandoes and international (and domestic!) computer activists. This lower-level report (Unclassified//For Official Use Only) (U//FOUO) perhaps is more interesting for its "metadata" rather than thoroughly censored content. Below I also included some other domestic military operations documents below to draw a wider context than just this "cyberwar" stuff, as Ferguson has prompted Gov. Nixon in Missouri to activate the state militia, it's good to read up on what federal legal doctrine for "civil disturbances" is.

fbi-iir1.png
fbi-iir2.png
fbi-iir3.png

Such recipients: In order, it says it is from "DIRECTOR FBI" to:

All FBI field offices

INFO AFOSI DET 331 Andrews AFB Maryland, Headquarters Air Force Office of Special Investigations (also cited in this case http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/homeland_defense/intelligence/EFF_vs_DOD_Bates_997_1096.pdf )

CDR USSTRATCOM Offutt AFB Nebraska, Strategic Command commander

CDR USTRANSCOM Scott AFB Illinois, United States Transportation Command commander

CDR1STIO Ft Belvoir Virginia, First Information Operations Command commander - https://www.1stiocmd.army.mil/ (wat? "CDR1STIO" pops in a bunch of other FOIA'd IIRs as well if you googlize it)

CIA WASHINGTON DC - always down for a good time

DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC - yes, this hot info wasn't stovepiped away from rivals

DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC - fetching banhammer

DEPT OF STATE WASHINGTON DC

DIA WASHINGTON DC - Defense Intelligence Agency which is huge and low profile - http://www.dia.mil/

DIRNAVCRIMINVSERV - Probably HEADQUARTERS. NAVAL CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE SERVICE.

DNI WASHINGTON DC - Director of National Intelligence. (Clapper at the time)

HQ AFOSI Andrews AFB Maryland - Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Tip, if you have some message for them, use their unencrypted contact form to let them know about fraud or etc. What could possibly go wrong? > http://www.osi.af.mil/main/contactus.asp

HQ NORAD USNORTHCOM INTEL PETERSON AFB - US Northern Command located near Colorado Springs was created as Dept of Homeland Security's military counterpart for "Homeland Defense", an elastic concept extending Pentagon involvement with "critical infrastructure," namely the machinery of major corporations. They also revised "GARDEN PLOT" into CONPLAN 3502 Civil Disturbance Operations," relevant in a Ferguson type context under federal mobilization. (see 2010 story) They were also written into Superman's plot.

JOINT STAFF Washington DC - J2 - Director for Intelligence (J2) on the Joint Chiefs of Staff (now this guy)

JWAC DAHLGREN Virginia - Joint Warfare Analysis Center a "premier science and engineering institution" under Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), which also hosts Cyber Command. see http://www.stratcom.mil/functional_components/

NGA HQ Bethesda Maryland. The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, like DIA, is up to a lot of things off the radar. They have domestic satellite spying (GEO INT) responsibilities at National Special Security Events which require a special domestic military intel privacy waiver. http://www.stratcom.mil/functional_components/ . Big spenders.

NSA FT GEORGE G MEADE Maryland - National Security Agency at the oddly spelled out Ft Meade. I wonder how many land in this inbox - and how many times "George G" is stored in their databases.

US SECRET SERVICE WASHINGTON DC

USCYBERCOM FT GEORGE G MEADE Maryland - Cyber Command in ur router, sniffin ur packets

WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM WASHINGTON DC.

BT . … I am fairly sure this is a closing list tag like </UL>

////

Serial IIR 4 213 4003 12, "WARNING (U): This is an information report, not finally evaluated intelligence. It is being shared for informational purposes but has not been fully evaluated, integrated with other information, interpreted or analyzed. Receiving agencies are requested not to take action based on this raw reporting without prior coordination with the FBI. Unless a conviction in a criminal proceeding occurs, a presumption of innocence exists for any person being reported on in this IIR." Declassification date appears 20370607, as this hot stuff needs to lay low for a couple more decades.

What is an IIR? It is pretty low level stuff for the FBI. For a bit of info see FBI Intelligence Information Report Handbook | Electronic Frontier Foundation. That document interestingly, at the very end includes a statutory info pipeline from Grand Jury operations to various feds. Patriot Act Section 203(a)(1)( C )(i)(V) certainly makes for an industrious star chamber circuit, but they don't want grand jury info going out in IIRs without asking the HQ attorney.

This document was obtained by Smiley Hill via FOIA. Please follow https://twitter.com/smilyus for more smileable FOIAs on a regular basis.

////

The use of the military - and these contractors in the game now - to police corporate systems labeled as Critical Infrastructure is significant. After all, Missouri Gov Nixon just activated the state militia because of Ferguson.

ferguson-crop2.png ferguson-crop1.png

In the recent FBI writeup freeking out about Ferguson protesters, I took the "critical infrastructure" references to allude to authorizing military activity around corporate electronic assets that might get poked at by angry activists.

“The announcement of the grand jury’s decision … will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure,” the FBI says in an intelligence bulletin issued in recent days. “This also poses a threat to those civilians engaged in lawful or otherwise constitutionally protected activities.”

fergusoncrop.png

////

Background on Executive Order 13636:

See NSA's cybersecurity program to protect critical infrastructure revealed - Military & Aerospace Electronics

Feb 2013: Executive Order -- Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity | The White House

CRS analysis on Executive Order: http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42984.pdf

Feb 2013: Pentagon will require security standards for critical infrastructure networks - Nextgov.com

This is actually a word? Cyberinfrastructure - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nov 2012: Cyber Order Puts DHS In Charge Of Oversight, Sets Deadlines « Breaking Defense - Defense industry news, analysis and commentary

USA TODAY: Feb 2013: Cybersecurity executive order fosters information sharing for greater good

As for the legal ramifications of domestic military operations and targeting electronic activists with tools like STRATCOM / CYBERCOM retain for battling Al Qaeda servers or whatever, most people say "But, Posse Comitatus!" In reality a vast area of domestic military operations has been expanded and operated by JAGs. See : www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/operational-law-handbook_2012.pdf

This Domestic Operational Law Cyber Realm has a Handbook, People!

DomesticOperationalLaw2011.png

The domestic version of this JAG manual is extremely recommended reading for everyone. See Domestic Operational Law Handbook for Judge Advocates 2011 | Public Intelligence.

Also the newer 248 page Domestic Operational Law Handbook for Judge Advocates 2013 | Public Intelligence is available. You will definitely know moar about WTF is up with weird meshes of civilian/military authority in the US by skimming over this.

PI highlighted a bunch of good 2011 stuff, since we are talking Ferguson anyway, it's worth noting again:

G. The Department of Defense Civil Disturbance Plans

Formerly, DoD’s Civil Disturbance Operations (CDO) plan was known as “GARDEN PLOT.” Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and USNORTHCOM however, DoD has delegated to geographic combatant commanders responsibility for developing CDO Contingency Plans (CONPLANs). These geographic commanders’ CONPLANs provide guidance and direction for planning, coordinating, and executing military operations during domestic civil disturbances.

1. Civil Disturbance Operations Mission

Broadly stated, the CDO mission assists civil authorities in restoring law and order in the United States and its territories.58 This mission statement, while not duplicating the language in the Insurrection Act allowing for the use of federal forces to “suppress” insurrection, provides wide latitude to the President to use federal forces to assist civil law enforcement in “restoring” law and order.

The restoration of law and order must be distinguished from the preservation of law and order. CDO mission statements do not allow the joint civil disturbance task force commander to undertake preservation missions. It is generally agreed that missions to restore law and order include dispersing unauthorized assemblages, patrolling disturbed areas, maintaining essential transportation and communications systems, setting up roadblocks, and cordoning off areas. Care should be taken before a military commander accepts missions that are routine maintenance of civil order.

2. Combatant Commanders’ CONPLANs

The CONPLANs provide the basis for all preparation, deployment, employment, and redeployment of Department of Defense component forces, including National Guard forces called to active federal service, for use in domestic civil disturbance operations, in support of civil authorities as directed by the President. The concept of a civil disturbance operation is multi-phased: Phase 0, Shape; Phase I, Anticipate; Phase II, Respond (deployment can occur in either Phase I or Phase II); Phase III, Operate; Phase IV, Stabilize; and Phase V, Transition (redeployment). Prior to deployment, military forces maintain five preparedness postures, called Civil Disturbance Conditions (CIDCONS) in order to alert and react to potential civil disturbance operations. Changes in the CIDCON level are directed by the JDOMS.

3. The Standing Rules for the Use of Force for U.S. Forces

Civil disturbance operations are conducted in accordance with Appendix L of the Standing Rules of Engagement/Standing Rules for the Use of Force for U.S. Forces (SRUF). Guidance on how and when forces can use force in a CDO mission are detailed in that annex. Although the CJCSI is classified, Annex L is not and can be shared with our mission partners.

a. Custody and Detention

All apprehensions should be made by the civil police force unless they are not available or require assistance. Military forces have the authority to detain rioters, looters, or other civilians committing criminal offenses. Civilians taken into custody should be transferred to civilian law enforcement authorities as soon as possible.

All members of the force must remember that state and federal criminal law and procedure govern apprehension. Apprehension is justified only on the basis of probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the person to be apprehended committed the offense. Soldiers should not question detainees beyond basic pedigree such as name and address. If formal questioning of an offender is necessary, civilian police should conduct the interview. If civilian police are not available, CID agents or military police may conduct interviews only if the interview is essential to the civil disturbance mission. Actions taken by Soldiers that do not conform to criminal law constitutional standards could jeopardize future prosecution and subject Soldiers and their Commanders to criminal and/or civil liability.

b. Search and Seizure

CDO CONPLANs anticipate that military forces will generally not be involved in searches unless there is “an immediate danger of violence, destruction of evidence, or escape of violent persons unless the search is conducted without delay.” In all other cases, local authorities should conduct searches. When required to perform searches, federal armed forces may conduct warrantless searches under the same constitutional parameters imposed upon law enforcement officials. Joint Civil Disturbance Task Force forces conducting a warrantless search will fully document the reasons for the search as soon as is reasonably convenient.69 Generally these searches are limited to the following incidents.

(1) Stop and Frisk

If there is a reasonable suspicion based upon articulable facts that a person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime, that person may be temporarily stopped and questioned about his activities. The stop must be limited in duration to that which is reasonably necessary to investigate the suspicion. If there is a reasonable suspicion based on articulable facts that a person is armed or is carrying instruments of violence and that the individual presents an immediate risk of harm, members of the armed force may conduct a “frisk” (an external “patdown” of the clothing) for weapons. Any weapons found during a frisk may be removed from the individual and seized.

(2) Search Incident to Lawful Apprehension

A person lawfully detained may be searched for weapons or destructible evidence. A search for weapons or destructible evidence may also be conducted in the area where the detained person could reach with a sudden movement to obtain a weapon or destroy evidence.

(3) Exigent circumstances

Military forces assisting law enforcement may make a search without a warrant when they have reason to believe (probable cause) that weapons, objects related to criminal activity, or persons believed to have committed an offense, are in the place to be searched; and they have reason to believe that the delay necessary to obtain a search warrant would result in removal of the weapons or destruction of the objects related to criminal activity. For example, Joint Civil Disturbance Task Force forces may stop and search an automobile without a warrant when there is reason to believe that the automobile contains weapons or instruments of violence and/or contains an individual reasonably believed to have committed violence.

(4) Emergency

Military forces in a civil disturbance operation may make an immediate entry into a building when there is reason to believe that entry is necessary to prevent injury to persons, serious damage to property, loss of evidence, to protect public safety, or to render aid to someone who is in danger.

(5) Hot pursuit

Military forces pursuing a person who they have reason to believe has just committed a serious crime, may enter a vehicle or building believed to be entered by the suspect and search the building or vehicle for the person or any weapons that might be used to further his escape.

(6) Plain View

During the course of otherwise lawful activity, military forces may seize any unlawful weapons or objects related to criminal activity which they observe in plain view. When conducting warrantless searches that require a probable cause determination, military forces can obtain advice from a judge advocate; however, the probable cause determination must be made personally by the individual desiring to conduct the search.

If a search warrant is required, local civil authorities should obtain judicially issued search warrants. If local civilian authorities are not available, judge advocates need to be prepared to provide advice on probable cause to military authorities before they approach a local judge or magistrate for a search warrant.

When feasible, all searches conducted by military personnel will be conducted by two personnel with the actual search performed by someone of the same sex.76 A hand receipt or some similar document should be prepared when items of personal property are seized from an individual.

c. Confinement Facilities

The Joint Civil Disturbance Task Force should not operate a detention facility. Any person apprehended should be turned over to the police for detention. Military correctional facilities cannot be used to detain civilians. If available civilian detention facilities cannot accommodate the number of detained persons who are awaiting arraignment, the Joint Civil Disturbance Task Force commander must seek the approval of the SCRAG and Combatant Commander to set up a temporary detention facility.

Should the Task Force be required to operate a detention facility, the detention facility standards and operations should conform, to the maximum extent possible, to current DoD confinement facility operations and will be under the professional supervision and control of Military Police personnel. The establishment and operation of military detention facilities is a temporary expedient and is authorized only until such time as the custody of detained persons can be transferred to civil authorities.

d. Riot Control Agents

Normally, for CDO the deployment and use of riot control agents is allowed as a matter of U.S. policy. However, initial approval authority for its deployment and use may be retained at a level higher than the Joint Civil Disturbance Task Force Commander and may require a specific request.

This is not the same as a state-level activation, but it is the doctrine that is crafted at the federal level these days so I think it's pretty relevant to Ferguson.

timthumb.png

The federal government hasn't taken kindly to people that expose these types of relationships. Barrett Brown's sentencing just got delayed again - but at least the Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Jail is awesome. For more info FreeBarrettBrown.org.

#Pointergate Pieces: Hodges merged out politically powerful police pensions; KSTP Quadruples Down; Minneapolis gang intel plugs away

On Nov. 13th another KSTP reporter tried to extend the segment which grabbed national attention by blithely erasing a young Northside guy's life context, framing him as so many before, simply "felon". KSTP turns its attention to his Instagram, and no snarky quips from Minneapolis Police Federation's Delmonico this time. They're turning away from Hodges and only cited a few bullet points from her most recent #Pointergate statement, a nicely hard hitting item when most politicians would stay boring.

TL;DR? Have some material here w links to show depth Hodges-vs-MPD pension fund tussle, gang investigator angle, lastly some info to earlier gang database public process info, 2010 BCA video. Previously on Hongpong.com: Jan 2013: MPD Tracking OccupyMN Facebook BBQs: Minneapolis "secret" Strategic Information Center / Emergency Operations and Training Facility 25 37th Ave NE in Fridley. Data releases indicate gang members & activists are tracked here on social media routinely. [Also site for Obama photo-op against gun violence]

The Thurs KSTP clip is mirrored here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI5lvu08XFw


Bruce Ferrell, president of the Midwest Gang Investigators Association talks at length about how scary finger pointing is. They never come up with any evidence associating the young man w any specific gangs. Nor did he ever deny having trouble staying on the right side of the law in his life, but KSTP triples down on it anyway.

Anyway a couple angles were flagged to me by a hawkeyed friend. Ferrell's organization has a familiar figure as it's Minnesota lead member, Mike Martin. Inquiring souls might want to ask Martin where he fits in this scheme.

The other angle here is the "political economy" depth of the grudge match between Mayor Hodges and MPD elites because Hodges spearheaded a successful effort to take away perhaps the greatest police goodie jar of all, the Minneapolis police pension fund. She was chair of the City Council’s Ways and Means/Budget Committee the four years prior to becoming mayor.

In my days poking through campaign finance records at Politics in Minnesota I was always a little surprised by the generously minded pension funds, pouring money into local and legislative races. These taxpayer-supported funds also let managers walk out with fat percentages. Hodges led the effort to roll these into the more efficient state fund, which neatly took away a huge political carrot, the Minneapolis Police Relief Association, for the Delmonico ... gang. I mean affinity group like a local brass SuperPAC.

The police fund had been closed to new officers for 30 years but still gave profusely to politicians. How dare she take the cookie jar!

MPR candidate bio:

In 2010, she helped cut Rybak’s proposed budget by $6 million. She also spent several years working on pension reform, and she helped engineer a plan to merge the city’s pension system for retired police officers with a state fund.

“It is not sexy to talk about fighting for six years for pension reform. It is not sexy, until I tell you that in 2012, fighting hard for pension reform saved you a $20 million tax levy bill,” she told supporters when she launched her campaign in April.

Minnpost QA:

On the other hand, you need to know how to take on a tough fight and win. I’ve done that, too.
I worked on pensions for six years. [The merger of the Minneapolis Employee Retirement Fund with the state Public Employee Retirement Association]. I was told it would never happen. I was told I was ruining my career, but I knew it was the right thing to do and I kept fighting and I won.
We saved the taxpayers of Minneapolis a $20 million bill in 2012. It was a fight worth taking on, and it was a fight I’m glad we won.

Star Tribune: Minneapolis' pension tension May 2011:

Rybak said his fight isn't with pensioners but with fund leaders, "the middlemen who have wrongly taken money from taxpayers." Relations soured so far that the funds used member political dues to disparage Rybak's role in the lawsuit in a mailing to DFL delegates last year when he sought party endorsement for governor. The police fund also asked the Democratic National Committee to not choose Minneapolis for its 2012 convention, citing the pension cuts....

Merger prospects in the past were blocked by the clout of the police and fire funds at the Capitol. Their political arms donate liberally, and fund leaders assiduously attend political fundraisers.

Schirmer has breakfasted with governors Mark Dayton and Tim Pawlenty. Minneapolis police and fire retirees reported contributing at least $180,000 in state political races last year. Most legislative pension commission members got the $500 maximum. The political arm of retired firefighters gave $44,500 to the House DFL caucus but also $11,500 to the new Republican House majority.

That's one reason leadership of both parties pays heed to the pension funds and that the city had trouble finding bill sponsors from among Republicans this year.

"They have some power there," Rybak conceded. "But the growing understanding that people have has made it easier to take some of the positions I have that are tough politics but are right."

[See also Police Officers Federation fund 300085 - a different one.]

In the last election Hodges' lead opponent, Mark Andrew, represented the police-aligned side of the city's political economy and Brian Rice, longtime attorney for fire and police, was a close ally. An embarrassing story, Sept 2013 in SW Journal: "Brian Rice: Mark Andrew has said ‘no’ to me many times". LOL, just imagine how much leverage Rice lost when the police pension fund was taken outta the game. It's ok, this year he got AFSCME Council 5.

More w Brian Rice Schemes: http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/212857381.html
His lobbyist registrations: http://www.cfboard.state.mn.us/lobby/lbdetail/lb6485.html
"widespread influence": http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/225742511.html
"Rasputin of Parks And Rec" ranked by CityPages, the lobbyist of the pension funds : http://www.citypages.com/2010-01-20/news/the-10-most-influential-lobbyis...
2008 Pension Scheme stuff: http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2008/01/just-movies-minneapolis-...
2013 Web of Alliances - the Old Guard in Mpls: http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/212857381.html

The Star Tribune Editorial Board has also raised this issue more recently again:

Hodges won the Editorial Board’s endorsement for mayor in October 2013, in part because of her work reining in fiscally irresponsible city pension funds while serving on the City Council. Those efforts no doubt labeled Hodges as an enemy at police union headquarters, and she failed to win the union’s backing for mayor. Delmonico’s comments on Pointergate confirm why that’s a badge of honor.

And a mention mapped out this connection earlier in Strib: Tensions between police union and Mayor Hodges may trace back to her council actions.

[Former MPD chief] Dolan said that some of the rift may be traced to Hodges’ time on the council, when she clashed with union leaders during contentious pension negotiations.

Lt. Mike Sauro, a 40-year veteran of the department who was at the negotiations, said the process did not endear cops to Hodges.

“Promises that were made, she said those were made by past administrations, those don’t apply now,” Sauro said Monday. “I don’t think she likes cops, regardless of what her actions suggest.”

In Feb 2011 Hodges a public face on pension:

Council Member Betsy Hodges, who has championed pension reform at City Hall, explained that the conditions of the pension were written into state statute, and therefore needed to be adjusted by the legislature. The city is also embroiled in a court battle with the pension fund.

2010 FOX9 March 2010:

Councilwoman Betsy Hodges says the old police and fire pensions are unique. Not only do pensioners control the board, but benefits are determined not by what the retiree made while working, but what the oldest and highest paid still on the force are making.

In 2011 she posted on Facebook:

Sep 14, 2011. Yesterday was a good day for Minneapolis property tax payers: the police pension fund voted to merge with the state fund, the biggest ramining step to finalizing the deal that will end one of the biggest and unfair drivers of Minneapolis property tax increases, and I voted on the Board of Estimate and Taxation for a 0% maximum property tax levy increase. It passed 5-0, with Carol Becker abstaining.

Star Tribune endorsed on basis of fighting w police over pension money:

Hodges won her first four-year term on the Minneapolis City Council in 2005, and not long after started work on what would become her most notable accomplishment: reform of fiscally irresponsible pension funds in the face of a fierce counterattack by the powerful police and firefighter unions. The reforms saved city taxpayers from $20 million in potential property tax increases in 2012 but were politically costly for Hodges when mayoral endorsements were handed out. Taking on special interest groups has never bothered Hodges — an attribute that helps her stand out in the field of top mayoral contenders.

SW Journal article reposted on campaign site says similar: http://www.betsyhodges.org/blog/2013/betsy-hodges-proud-of-her-record-at...


Anyway turning from Hodges & the pension issue to this new MGIA: Midwest Gang Investigators Association http://www.mgia.org/ who are speaking up for the cops on #Pointergate.
Minnesota Chapter Board - http://www.mgia.org/board.asp
Position 	Name 	Email
President 	Michael Martin 	Email memartin@umn.edu
Vice President 	Tony Spencer 	Email Tony.Spencer@ci.stpaul.mn.us
Secretary 	Susan Schema 	Email Sue.Schema.state.mn.us [sic, probably @state.mn.us]
Treasurer 	Kris Lundquist 	Email kristina1lundquist@msn.com

MIKE MARTIN: NEXUS MPD / MIDWEST POLICE GANG INTEL ORG: Mike Martin from MGIA is available as an expert witness these days and his organization jumped into the #pointergate fray with KSTP. Check out this page:: http://www.minnesotagangs.com/training.html

My favorite item here. Even the URLs: http://www.minnesotagangs.com/contact-us.html

Fourth Precinct at forefront of MPD terrorism - MN Spokesman Recorder March 2010:

we ask how Mike Martin continues as the inspector in charge of the precinct compared to why Black inspectors Dan Battum and Lee Edwards were dismissed.... I say "rogue," for how else are we to explain that over half of the lawsuits and millions of dollars paid out these past 14 months came out of the Fourth Precinct? http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2010/03/13/opinion-fourth-precinct-for...

MN Daily: http://www.mndaily.com/2010/03/21/mpls-police-team-fills-gap-left-metro-...

This is not Rugel’s first endeavor into gang territory. He was a member of both the Minnesota Gang Strike Force in the late 1990s and the original Minneapolis Police Gang Unit in the mid 1990s.
Minneapolis police Inspector Mike Martin worked closely with Rugel in the Minneapolis Police Gang Unit. Martin said he and Rugel were sergeants at the time; Martin supervised patrols, Rugel intelligence and both handled investigations.

LinkedIn profile. Note Mike Martin affiliates with Police Executive Research Forum which was directly responsible for coordinating the crushing of the Occupy movement via police chief conference calls. Perhaps the worst gang networking event of all time were those police chief phone calls that organized the Big Banhammer.
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/mike-martin/1b/91/a9b

Mike Martin
Assistant Director, Department of Emergency Management at University of Minnesota
    Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
    Law Enforcement
Current	
    University of Minnesota,
    National Gang Center,
    Minneapolis Police Department
Education	
    Senior Management Institute for Police - Police Executive Research Forum
Summary

I joined the Department of Emergency Management after serving as a licensed police officer for 23 years. During this time I rose in rank from being a Police Officer to being a Civil Service Captain. I also worked for five years as the appointed Inspector, Commander, of the Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct.
During my career I had the opportunity to be awarded and recognized for my work as the Investigative Commander and Acting Incident Commander for the 35W Bridge Collapse, for leading the MPD as the Incident Commander for the Northside Tornado response, and for coordinating the response and recovery efforts of the MPD as the Incident Commander during the active workplace shooter incident at Accent Signage Systems. I have completed FEMA and DHS certifications for NIMS and ICS.
In my current position I work to protect the students, faculty, staff, and visitors on all of the University of Minnesota campuses and properties.

MPR 2012 story on gang violence spike: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2012/04/12/gangs-driving-crime

2004: http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/03/19_williamsb_cops...

Police Chief William McManus suspended Lt. Mike Carlson, Capt. Mike Martin and Deputy Chief Lucy Gerold, and asked for a BCA investigation into allegations that the officers ordered the destruction of an internal memo.

The memo was critical of the department's handling of the shooting of officer Duy Ngo by another officer. Ngo was shot last Feburary while Ngo was working undercover. The memo details mistakes by officers investigating the shooting.

CityPages: May 2010 http://www.citypages.com/2010-05-12/news/alisha-neeley-s-death-leads-to-...

Fourth Precinct Inspector Mike Martin says girls in the past were more likely to be auxiliary members of gangs through their boyfriends or brothers. Now they are increasingly independent, and their violence is escalating as they fight other girls with mace, padlocks, and knives.

"We've been fortunate that not a lot of serious violence has been associated with girls in gangs or cliques, but that's a natural evolution we might be seeing in the future," Martin says.

Lake Calhoun shooting 2010: http://www.streetgangs.com/billboard/viewtopic.php?f=174&t=48933

Inspector Mike Martin, commander of the 4th Precinct in north Minneapolis, says the increase in gang activity is due in part to a volatile mix of gang members on the streets.

"Some career offenders, even young people who've been in prison or juvenile detention facilities, are getting back out and who are acting on revenge and retaliation for incidents that have occurred in the past," said Martin.

TheGrio.com on Native gangs: http://thegrio.com/2012/11/23/street-gangs-gain-foothold-on-native-ameri...

“One of the problems traditionally has been these individuals feel they can commit crimes in the city or on one reservation and then go hide in another reservation or another state,” said Minneapolis Police Inspector Mike Martin, a department gang expert. “I think the federal authorities and state authorities here have sent a message to them that you can run but you can’t hide and we will bring them to justice.”

Hybrid Gangs - Nov 2007 http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_7361324 Nov 2007:

Hybrid gangs harder for police to track: " Capt. Mike Martin of the Minnesota Gang Strike Force said hybrid gangs are a major cause of that state's increase in violence. Nearly half of their gangs are now hybrid, he said. "

MNForum booster post. The idea of pushing drugs into polygons is pretty quaint: https://www.mail-archive.com/mpls@mnforum.org/msg36017.html

Then "Lieutenant" Mike Martin once stood in front of our community meeting and told a hundred people that he had once been charged with moving the drug dealers out of Whittier and across the bridges over I-35, and now he was promising to move the drug dealers out of the Third Precinct. That he "did not care what bridge they went across, but they were going to be moved some where out of "His " community, or they were going to be going to jail". If Minneapolis wants to clean up the Northside and keep the Drug-Gangs from coming back to the Central or Phillips Neighborhoods then allow Capt. Mike Martin to have the man-power, and just as important, the "Command" he needs. Then the bridge Mike will move the drug dealers across will be the I-94 St Croix bridge, or the I-35 bridge over the Minnesota.

Native Mob sweep 2012:

Authorities are still investigating at least 10 unsolved homicides in Minnesota that may be linked to the Native Mob, said Mike Martin, a gang expert with the Minneapolis Police Department.
He said gang members in custody are under pressure to talk. Most of the defendants are in their 20s. If convicted in federal court, they face sentences between 20 years to life in prison, with no chance of parole.
"In a case like this, it's not unusual for some of the defendants to cooperate and provide information that would lead to other arrests or indictments in the case," Martin said. "The ones who are still out and about are going to be worried that they're going to be next. ... They should be worried."

He ran this listed gang training in Bemidji:

Minnesota Gang Awareness & Identification - Bemidji
Monday, May 13 2013 8:00am - 12:00pm Presented by:

Mike Martin - Minnesotagangs.com

This training session promises to be the most comprehensive overview of gangs you can attend. Designed for teachers, police officers, corrections, probation, social workers, and others who work with kids, the curriculum will cover gang definitions and statutes in Minnesota, why kids join gangs, factors that predispose kids to be involved in gangs, and varying levels of gang involvement. The instructor will then conduct a thorough overview of gangs operating in Minnesota, from the larger Chicago and L.A.-based gangs, to homegrown gangs, and modern hybrid gangs. In addition, participants will receive an overview of Latino gangs, White Supremacist gangs, and Minnesota’s unique brand of Native Gangs. Questions will be encouraged and participants will be exposed to additional sources of information available to them.

Event entered on: April 11, 2013
Event entered by: Basecamp Business via Eventbrite

He wrote MPD report about gang feud w "Skitz Squad and Y.N.T." Strib said in 2012: http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/161686565.html

"They consider it to be kind of a fact of life that people get killed, that houses get shot up, that adults go to prison, and therefore those things are not a deterrent," said Inspector Mike Martin, who wrote the department's internal report. Though he agreed to discuss the report, Martin was not the newspaper's source in obtaining it.

Anyway if Martin's obscure regional police organization is jumping in with KSTP then that strongly suggests he's involved in the story's momentum somehow.


MORE INFO: A lot of good discussion has gone around #pointergate. I recommend my ol colleague Brian Lambert for the media angle: http://www.wrywingpolitics.com/kstp-tv-and-pointergate-post-mortem-of-a-...

Javier Morillo also has several posts and has quit appearing on KSTP: http://thuginpastels.com/ - Twitter: https://twitter.com/javimorillo

Nekima Levy-Pounds particularly on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nvlevy . Here is some info she posted on FB. Emphasis added:

Maybe it's just me, but I am still reeling from that ‪#‎pointergate‬ @KSTP "news" story and feeling a little queasy. It is sickening to see a news station quadruple down on their original story and attempt to undermine our intelligence about the intent and meaning of the original photo and story by working to show Navell in a negative light. They also once again tried to connect him with throwing gang signs, even though the original story said, "There is no evidence that Navell is in a gang." As someone who grew up in a neighborhood with gangs in Los Angeles and who currently works with young men who have been involved in gangs and the criminal justice system, I am appalled and deeply disgusted by KSTP once again and their demonization of young black men; as well as their attempts to have us believe their word and law enforcement's word over what our own eyes and common sense tells us. They just don't get it. We do not see Navell Gordon as evil. He is a young man working hard to turn his life around.

The other aspect that is troubling about this story is the fact that in Minnesota, there have been major concerns about the conduct of certain law enforcement officers in racially profiling and abusing people of color, and mischaracterizing them as gang members. Anyone remember the Metro Gang Strike Force and the ways in which they used fear tactics to gain a license to engage in lawless behavior and assaults of people of color as well as theft of their belongings? I was part of a group that challenged their conduct between 2009-2010, which ultimately resulted in the state's largest gang database being shut down because of racial profiling, a failure to follow the law, and abusive practices. The first link below is an article about their conduct. The second link is the legislative auditor's report. The third link is an evaluation that one of my colleagues, law students, and I conducted in collaboration with the St. Paul NAACP about the use of gang databases in Minnesota.

We have to take a stand and hold the police accountable for abusive practices and demand transparency and accountability. The bad apples make the entire force look bad, and this has to stop. We also must continue to hold KSTP responsible for their racist reporting and irresponsible journalism. They also personally owe Navell Gordon an apology for running a smear campaign against him.......It's time for change.

"Victims of Metro Gang Strike Force Awarded 840,000": http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/163478566.html

Legislative Auditor Report on Metro Gang Strike Force: http://www.auditor.leg.state.mn.us/fad/2009/fad09-18.htm

Evaluation of Gang Databases in Minnesota & Recommendations for Change: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/bca/Documents/Evaluation%20of%20Gang%20Data...

Reminds me way back in 2010 I went to the SF 2527 Workgroup meeting involving this whole gang database issue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kld_gcSXdd8

Original 2010 story covers the MN gang intel process: http://www.hongpong.com/archives/2010/10/04/avalanche-fed-local-police-s...

Anyway hopefully this informs the larger problems, some info about intermediate power players and of course the policy process of WTF counts as a "gang" under this system called the "state".

Syndicate content