dissent

MPD Tracking OccupyMN Facebook BBQs: Minneapolis "secret" Strategic Information Center / Emergency Operations and Training Facility 25 37th Ave NE in Fridley

Dateline: Pseudo-Secret Minneapolis (aka Fridley): What WCCO called the "secret" "City of Eyes" Strategic Information Center has been located on the Google! Your Federal Stimulus Money & FY2010 Homeland Security Appropriations At Work - A Facility for Spying on Facebook Occupy Barbecues

strategic-center-mpls.png

It's nice when data releases tie together a larger system, and we've sure got that here. It's not really "secret" but it's quite shiny & new, not well-known at all, and it is certainly has been used as a site for spying on Occupy activists without criminal predicates by the Minneapolis Police Department. [emails a bit farther down]

///// UPDATE Nov 14 2014: See #Pointergate Pieces: Hodges merged out politically powerful police pensions; KSTP Quadruples Down; Minneapolis gang intel plugs away ///// UPDATE Jan 10 2013: See How to check cops checking your driver's license, Rassmusson lawsuit settlement docs /////

The Minneapolis Police Department files about Occupy Minnesota released by a data request on Monday afternoon are turning up interesting wastes of taxpayer money -- and even the so-called "secret" Strategic Information Center & Emergency Operations and Training Facility at 25 37th Ave Northeast in Fridley, north of the city line by the river & railroad tracks.

Also known as the EOTF/SIC, let's wrangle up everything we can find. Start with architects, via Wold Architects/Engineers: City of Minneapolis EOTF | Wold Architects and Engineers

Wold Architects and Engineers designed a site and facility for the City of Minneapolis Fire Department Training Campus to include a Fire Department’s Training Division; training classrooms multi-used as an Emergency Operations Center for the City’s Emergency Preparedness; a Strategic Information Sensor Monitoring Center for the Minneapolis Police Department; and vehicle storage garages for the Fire Department’s regional asset equipment.

The design exceeds the City of Minneapolis requirement for design to meet LEED Silver.

strategic-4.png

strategic-5.pngThis state-of-the-art federally funded facility allows police to determine... the location of barbecues on Facebook, including even the number of "YES" and "MAYBE" invitees.

This facility also encompasses "Shotspotter" directional microphones all over the city - I wonder if those are ever activated besides the gunshot decibel threshold "trigger" - they are in fact pretty high-fidelity microphones, it has been disclosed (May 28 2012 NYT article) but the manufacturer denies the mics are triggered by conversations.

I for one, am glad that we spent both municipal and borrowed federal tax dollars on training the Minneapolis police to believe a Facebook "YES" invite is real. The simulacrum of today's clicks has become the strategic information of tomorrow!

The old EOC center, used in the 2007 35W bridge collapse, can be seen here via MPR and clearly lacks expensive-enough videoconferencing gear.

Here is the press release from Nov 4 2010: Minneapolis opens Emergency Operations Training Facility - City of Minneapolis

Minneapolis opens Emergency Operations Training Facility

The City of Minneapolis has opened its new Emergency Operations Training Facility, which will help emergency responders and other City staff better prepare for and respond to emergencies. The multi-purpose building helps meet the training and response needs of the Minneapolis Fire Department, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the City's Emergency Management Division, along with other regional partners.

The Emergency Operations Training Facility is a multi-purpose building that includes training classrooms for Minneapolis firefighters and metro emergency managers, a strategic information center for the Minneapolis police, the main training site for the State of Minnesota Structural Collapse Team, and an emergency operations center that will be used during significant emergencies or disasters.

The new facility is built on a 12-acre site in Fridley that the City purchased in 1990, and since that time, the site has been built out as a training facility for Minneapolis Firefighters. Over the years, a fire training tower and propane burn building have been constructed, and special equipment has been purchased to help train emergency responders for incidents involving hazardous materials and collapsed structures. The construction of the new Emergency Operations Training Facility on the site is a major step toward completing this training and response site.

The Emergency Operations Training Facility is built to a LEED Silver Quality Standard for sustainability, and it includes facilities for a wide range of emergency responders from Minneapolis and the region:

Emergency Operations Center

One of the lessons learned from the City's response to the Interstate 35W Bridge collapse in 2007 was that the City's Emergency Operations Center, located in the basement of City Hall, was too small to serve as a center for large-scale emergencies. The new facility fixes that, with 2,800 more square feet of floor space. It will also be used as a back-up Emergency Operations Center for the State, Hennepin County and the City of St. Paul.

Strategic Information Center

The Strategic Information Center is a new space where the Minneapolis Police Department will analyze data to determine long-range trends that pose potential risks to the city. It can provide emergency managers with important information during a major event, incident or disaster.

State of Minnesota Structural Collapse Team

This team serves the entire state with specialized equipment and trained personnel for urban search and rescue and structural collapse incidents. This facility will include apparatus bays for storage of emergency response vehicles and specialty equipment for the Coast Guard, State, City and Metro West region of Homeland Security. In addition, this facility will house training and classroom space, staff offices, support spaces and common spaces.

Coast Guard monitoring.

The U.S. Coast Guard will also use the facility as a monitoring location for cameras placed along the Mississippi River from St. Louis to the metro area.

Published Nov. 4, 2010

Moar casual Google Mapping:

google-streetview-mpls.png

Apparently they dropped a cool $50K on the fence in early 2012. here is the bid page "To furnish all labor, materials, equipment and incidentals necessary to accomplish the complete construction of Emergency Operations Training Facility Perimeter Fence Project, located at 25 37th Ave NE, Fridley, MN." SRC: Minneapolis, City of - Projects. [A little more on the fence industrial complex below]

google-streetview-mpls2.png

Of course, once Erin Brockovich samples those weird adjacent holding pond things, I'm sure the infamous Fridley Cancer Cluster case will be solved. Perhaps Sgt. Garcia can go out and take some samples!

google-map-mpls1.png google-map-mpls2.png

I believe at least two of structures are firefighter training buildings - later pics below seem to bear this out.

eoc-marketing-swag1.pngHere is some marketing swag about the video conferencing gear. AVI-SPL Integrates Government Emergency Operation Centers. See the PDF and video too.

eoc-marketing-swag2.pngLet's check out the $330,704 in electronically-created yet borrowed-at-interest-from-private-Fed-cartel recently invested in this barbecue monitoring center. Official less-than-informative stimulus info page: Minneapolis Recovery - City of Minneapolis Minneapolis Police Strategic Information Center.

[Naturally it is funded by the electronically created debt-digits from the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the same endless police pork hub that brought us all those "you might be a terrorist if you pay in cash" type intel flyers for everything from hotels to hobby stores - many of those flyers were financed by Grant Number 2007-MU-BX-K002, which I included ironically on my own site's banner art. Google it for lulz!] Here's that official page:

The City of Minneapolis is not a primary recipient on this project. No Federal Report XML is submitted for this project.

Dollars Awarded

$330,704

Project Status

Fully completed

Project Description

To establish integrated crime analysis in cooperation with the St. Paul Police Department. Staff will be located in a joint Strategic Information Center (SIC).

Funding Program

MN Department of Public Safety: Byrne Justice Assistance Grant

Responsibility for Implementation

Police Department

Funding Agency

US Department of Justice [BJA/Recovery Act]

Dollars Leveraged

Data not yet available.

Dollars Leveraged Description

Data not yet available.

Dollars Requested

$330,704

Projected Jobs Created

2

Award Type

Grant

Sub-recipient Names

Minneapolis, City of

Vendor Names

No vendors have been contracted to date.

Recovery Funds Spent to Date

$330,704

Perhaps this is even the 'secret' location Tippy spycams are constructed: a while ago prankster MPD Spokester & PIO Jesse Garcia shared pics of a camera construction room & with all the other video rigs this seems a likely spot.

Anyway finally here is the email chain which prompted this line of research. There are surely other gems, we are just barely getting started. Circa page 109 of Part 1:

strategic-center-targets-barbecue.png

The public servant on some of these emails is one Minneapolis Police Department officer Steven Otteson, who has a decidedly low Internet profile.

Poking for traces of intrepid Strategic Facebooker Otteson turns up very little - even though the email is dated June 2012, he has no listed salary on this MPD salary list: My Docstoc. Crossposted the index here: 2011 Minneapolis Police Dept Gross Salary index for Web.

A news story indicated the supervisor of the Strategic Information Center is MPD Lt. Jeff Rugel at 612-673-3428. Page 112:

rugel-bbq.png

"Why are we not getting this stuff from the SIC?" Here is stuff about why they should not have to "spend time looking it up" and it should be run through the SIC... This could kind of be the crux of the whole issue here on Page 114:

sic-track-occupy

Alright, that covers some of the new data on this SIC thing vis-a-vis obsessing on Occupy events, so let's turn to the news coverage of this facility.

Carefully shaped news coverage: Mid-2012 saw a series of mainstream media items intended to shape public perceptions this center is designed to neutralize the threats from the surveilled populace. WCCO went so far as to call it a "secret location". That is some quality Fourth Estate right there.

Coverage for this "City of Eyes" facility on WCCO March 19 2012 (video) City Of Eyes: Your Camera May Help Mpls Police Fight Crime « CBS:

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minneapolis police are the first in the country to merge two technologies to help officers fight crime.

The Minneapolis Police Department has combined shot spotter technology and a system of cameras to help catch criminals in the act.

Authorities allowed WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman into a secret location in Minneapolis, where a strategic information center is housed.

Minneapolis Police Deputy Chief Rob Allen said the room is where police gather intelligence.

“This is the room where we try and fuse the technology we have to monitor video cameras, to monitor the sounds of possible gunshots, and it’s where we have our officers who are trained in intelligence gathering,” he said.

The system in the room is like CBS’ Thursday night show “Person of Interest,” in which cameras are used to help save people from becoming victims of crime.

“If you can anticipate where crimes might happen, you got a far better chance of preventing them from occurring,” Allen said.

According to Allen, when a gunshot goes off, a camera turns toward the source of the sound. Strategic Information Center Commander Lt. Jeff Rugel said the technology helped solve a case where a man was shot, killed and pushed out of a moving car. The sound of the gunfire activated the cameras, which gave police their first clue.

[......]City Of Eyes

The number of cameras connected to the intelligence system is growing and helping police catch more criminals. But not all the cameras are owed by the city.

“The city owns roughly 250 cameras,” Allen said. “We can access right now … an infinite number of cameras.”

According to Allen, any camera that has an IP address, is connected to the Internet, and that police have permission to use can give information to authorities.

So whenever you are in a public space, know that you’re likely on camera. Police are using portable cameras more now than ever. They can put them where they are needed and have one up and running within an hour of the order.

Invasion Of Privacy?

But what about your right to privacy? Police say they are careful not to infringe on anyone’s rights.

“Every time we installed a camera system, we went to the neighborhood and said, ‘You know, this is what we’ve thought about doing? Do you want it or not,’” Allen said.

He says police can’t look into a place where someone has the expectation of privacy. [magic filters eh?] But police still have a wide reach, which gives criminals a greater chance of getting caught on camera.

Crime patterns are currently moving and Minneapolis police hope to add more portable cameras. Police believe if criminals know they are being watched they are more likely not to commit crimes.

Star Tribune writes about this center using Facebook to watch what the state defines as "gang members" (mysteriously, shady rich Caucasian financial operatives never seem to meet this race/age/wealth-biased deviance category schema).

Of course, this week's data release shows this has bloated out to canvassing political movements without even the semblance of illegal activity... there is no "barbecue predicate" but there are of course hourly wages to be paid by Minneapolis taxpayers for monitoring the barbecue Facebook Event. Perhaps even overtime!

Gangs sometimes fire first shots online | StarTribune by Matt McKinney July 14 2012:

Facebook has become a virtual street corner where members trade threats, mourn the dead.

"It's probably no different than any other kids, right?" said Minneapolis police Lt. Jeff Rugel. "They're sharing stuff that they used to do face-to-face or over the phone. But there's criminal stuff." [.....]

Rugel runs the police department's Strategic Information Center, where officers use technology to track crime. One of the jobs in his office amounts to monitoring Facebook full-time. They understand the teen slang and filter through thousands of innocuous and inane comments to look for the few that could solve a crime or stop one before it happens. They try to draw connections out of the Facebook networks to help document the shifting alliances on the street.

Police were aware of Facebook threats between rival gangs weeks before the shooting that killed Nizzel, but the threats weren't specific. When Rugel and his staff sees something that looks like trouble -- a known gang member says he's going to hurt someone -- they pass the information along to officers on the street.

It's a poorly kept secret that the police watch Facebook, said Rugel.

"You see comments every once in a while. 'Don't put that on Facebook. You know who's looking at it,' " he said.

Despite some users' occasional concern, many of the Facebook users monitored by police flaunt their illegal behavior online, showing themselves smoking marijuana, posing with stolen merchandise, the security tags still attached, and making gang signs. [.....]

There was also some bidding information online about the estimated $50,000 fence around the facility. Emergency Operations Training Facility Perimeter Fence Project (eBidDoc #1810882) contact: David Schlueter phone: 612-673-2834 e-mail: david.schlueter@ci.minneapolis.mn.us bid date: 01/25/2012 10:00:00 AM

Try http://io.questcdn.com/questio/projects/planholder/planholder_list.html?jobPK=1810882&userPK=&modifiable=FALSE&isQCPI=TRUE

strategic-center-fence-bidding.png

//////

garcia-yatedo.pngSome other stuff: for what it's worth, this lists PIO Jesse Garcia as being based at the Strategic Information Center.Minneapolis Police Department Employees - Professional Experience,Email,Phone numbers..Everything!: Digging deeper to: Jesse Garcia III - Strategic Information Center, Minneapolis Police Department:

It was scraped off his LinkedIn - no surprise there. But no one put it together... Jesse Garcia III | LinkedIn. I think it would be great if state law were changed so that Garcia could be cross-examined by taxpayers about the flow of drug money through the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and its member banks, let's say once a month on live community access TV. Looks like he ought to be tapped into that gigaflow of data on bankster crime intel!

Strategic Information Center

Minneapolis Police Department

September 2010 – Present (2 years 5 months)

I am a supervisor in our new intel center that focuses on:

-gang intel

-crime intel

-real time officer assist

-safety camera analysis

-Emergency Operations Center readiness

jesse.garcia@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

Public Information Officer / Media Relations

Minneapolis Police Department

October 2007 – September 2010 (3 years)

More media: Vehicle data, email access among Minneapolis legislative issues | MinnPost - Karen Boros, Nov 2, 2012. Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) including of course the "secret" camera on nearby Plymouth Ave. N. bridge is controlled from this "Strategic Information unit" according to the article - I would assume this is the same spot it's based, unless it is somehow split:

Currently, the Minneapolis Police Department uses cameras to record the license plates, time and location of vehicles. That data is now public information that can be obtained by anyone requesting the information.

“Our concern is that if it stays public data that people can use it for inappropriate purposes,” said Deputy Chief Robert Allen. The system now doesn’t allow police to inquire how it might be used. “We’re not allowed to make a judgment,” he said.

Access to the data is controlled by about a dozen people working in the department’s Strategic Information unit.

Alright this is taking more than long enough. This thing says it is 22,178 sq ft and it is on parcel 34-30-24-43-0009.

Minneapolis, City of - Projects: An estimated $1.5 million were bid on this beast for just a small chunk of the building, closed Feb 2012.

directions to site: 25 37th Ave NE Fridley, MN 55421

bids close: 02/23/2012, 10:00:00 AM

bids received by: City of Minneapolis Purchasing Department CONSTRUCTION OF THE EOTF APPARAUS BAY ADDITION 330 Second Avenue South Suite 552 Minneapolis, MN 55401

estimated value: $1,500,000.00

project completion date: 08/15/2011

pre-bid meeting information: A Pre-Bid Meeting and site tour will be held on February 15th, at 11:00 AM, Local Time in Room 128 at the Emergency Operations Training Facility located at 25 37th Ave NE, Fridley MN. All interested bidders should attend this meeting.

addenda: 1

project description: Scope of Work Includes: Complete construction of the Apparatus Bay Addition at the City of Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Facility. This work shall include all labor, equipment, materials, installation, handling, delivery at site, necessary insurance and permits, erection and other required items for general, civil, landscaping, demolition, structural, architectural, mechanical and electrical construction and stability as shown on the plans and specifications.

additional description: This Contract contemplates the complete construction of the Emergency Operations Training Facility Apparatus Bay Addition for the Minneapolis Fire Department located at 25 37th Avenue NE., in Fridley, all in accordance with the Contract Documents. This Project has been designed to comply with the requirements of the State of Minnesota Sustainability Building Guidelines B3 (MSBG B3) Version 2.1 and also the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Design ( USGBC LEED®) Rating System. It is the intent of this Contract that the Project shall become MSBG B3 Version 2.1 Certified and LEED® SILVER level of quality building under the LEED®-NC Rating System. Work to be performed consists of the furnishing of all materials, machinery, equipment, labor, supplies, tools, transportation, and other incidentals necessary or convenient to complete the work as shown in the Contract Documents on file in the Minneapolis Finance Department, Property Services Division and with the Purchasing Agent of the City of Minneapolis.

owner: City of Minneapolis

350 South 5th Street, Room 223

Minneapolis , MN 55415

ph: 612-673-3774

contact: Chris Backes e-mail: chris.backes@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

Soliciting Agent: Soliciting agent

Minneapolis, City of

330 2nd Ave. S. Suite 552

Minneapolis, MN 55415

ph: 612-673-2834

fax: 612-673-3565

contact: David Schlueter e-mail: david.schlueter@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

It was used to host a session of the 10,000 Lakes Chapter of the International Code Council. [pdf]

The site's address is place on things like preparedness for your pet: Emergency Preparedness - City of Minneapolis && stuff about exercises (again on the sidebar) City Preparation - City of Minneapolis - the 'meh' front page: Emergency Preparedness - City of Minneapolis. Really need to improve page titles at the city. Perhaps after the election?

Awards - City of Minneapolis:

Minneapolis wins its second Tekne Award

Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Facility

November 2011: The Minnesota High Tech Association recognized the City of Minneapolis and its Emergency Operations Training Facility with an award at the 2011 Tekne Awards, held Nov. 3 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Tekne Awards recognize Minnesota companies and individuals who have shown superior technology innovation and leadership.

The City of Minneapolis took home the award in the “Technology Excellence in a Nonprofit Organization” category that recognized the City’s Emergency Operations Training Facility/Strategic Information Center (EOTF/SIC) for bringing technology and information together to make Minneapolis a safer place. At the facility, technology, digital data, streaming video and highly interactive interfaces come together in one highly efficient communication center for the city.

The Minneapolis Fire Department, Police Department, and Emergency Management division opened the EOTF/SIC in August 2010 as a place where they and other emergency responders could coordinate more closely than had ever been possible before. The facility recently demonstrated its effectiveness during the response to the May 22 tornado that struck north Minneapolis.The multi-purpose building also provides training space for emergency responders.

Here it was, the first one: Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Facility wins Tekne award - City of Minneapolis: The City of Minneapolis took home the award in the “Technology Excellence in a Nonprofit Organization” category that recognized the City’s Emergency Operations Training Facility/Strategic Information Center (EOTF/SIC) for bringing technology and information together to make Minneapolis a safer place. At the facility, technology, digital data, streaming video and highly interactive interfaces come together in one highly efficient communication center for the city.... and earlier: Oct 18, 2011: Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Facility a finalist for Tekne award - City of Minneapolis

Mpls. Unveils New Emergency Operations Center | Crime | Downtown News - Nov 4 2010, KSTP Gail Brown: Congressman Keith Ellison secured $750,000 for the project in a 2010 appropriations bill, and he will be attending a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2:30 p.m. along with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, City Council President Barb Johnson and other city leaders.

Ellison Secures $750,000 for Minneapolis Emergency Operations Center - Ellison.House.gov Oct 15 2009:

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis) secured a $750,000 appropriation for the City of Minneapolis to build a new Emergency Operations Center in a bill approved by the House today. The funds were included in H.R. 2892, the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for FY 2010.

Roughly the same stuff in this Council Prez Barb Johnson doc.

It's on Pinterest - see Government & Military for tons of funny stuff including everything from the avispl swag people above. And also: AV Products We Love / Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Facility

There is a blog post about training there on the Mpls Dept of Civil Rights by Anthony Johnson - Civil Rights Urban Scholars with a helpful slideshow. Tony’s Voice: Our Day As Fire Fighters! | Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights.

strategic-center-3.png strategic-center-2.png strategic-center-1.png

I think you can see this fire training structure (or maybe a similar one) on Google Maps though I have not swung by to check out the Facility myself. Another one:

Minneapolis Emergency Services Employ projectiondesign - AVNetwork.com (undated? A couple pix included)

Fredrikstad, Norway--The City of Minneapolis has deployed 12 projectiondesign F32 DLP projectors as the main display source in the Analyst Room and F22 series projectors in the Incident Command Room of its Emergency Operations Training Facility (EOTF).

Located just outside Minneapolis, the EOTF boasts an extensive surveillance, audiovisual and network infrastructure specified and installed by systems integrator AVI-SPL.

“In a facility like this, even the slightest compromise in performance can result in tragic consequences,” said Fred Primoli, regional VP Sales for AVI-SPL. Primoli and his colleagues worked with the city for nearly two years on the concept, planning and final implementation of the EOTF, with the primary challenge being an interesting one: the creation of a state-of-the-art communications facility that may get activated no more than once in a decade.

“We needed systems that were capable of totally robust operation 24 hours per day, seven days per week – but which also were capable of performing at their best after extended periods of inactivity.

“From the outset we were delighted with the performance of the F32 projectors. The Analyst Room has three rear-projection screens, each measuring 160 inches wide by 120 inches tall, with four projectors driving each screen so that four separate windows can be shown on each one.

“The projectors have been superbly colour-matched to ensure consistency across each screen, while their excellent resolution, contrast and brightness mean they are equally at home showing video or data sources – which is important in an installation such as this where the staff need to a view a combination of both.”

Deputy Chief Robert Allen, a veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, said: “The new display system allows us to look at a video feed and understand a situation almost instantly. Through video, we can get information to our officers much faster – especially when time is critical. We can zoom in with our cameras and really examine a situation and relay it back to our officers, allowing them to be prepared even before they get there. With this new technology, we can see something happen faster than a police offer 50 feet away.”

F22 series projectors from projectiondesign can also be found in the EOTF’s Incident Command Room that’s used for emergency training and an actual declared emergency.

“There is a large number of emergency monitoring projects in the U.S., and we are delighted that our technology has been used to display high-resolution security-camera images in so many of them," said Anders Løkke, marketing director, projectiondesign. "The Minneapolis EOTF already demonstrated its effectiveness during the tornado that swept through the area last May and, although we would prefer it if our systems never had to be used in similar situations again, the reality is that the city is better-protected now that its providers of emergency services have such easy, immediate and accurate access to security-camera imaging from so many locations.”

“The EOTF was conceived as a place where the various Departments responsible for emergency response and management in Minneapolis could co-ordinate their efforts more closely than had previous been possible,” said Primroli.

Same stuff as May 11, 2012: Minneapolis Emergency Services Goes with Projectiondesign - Fire Apparatus

On May 20 2011 CItyPages reported on Rocco Forte, former Minneapolis fire chief, departing, and Forte talked about being pleased to help finish the complex: "After the 35W bridge collapse, the Republican National Convention, and the tornado that went through South Minneapolis, it is clear that we have one of the finest emergency management teams in the country. It was also a long time goal of mine to complete the Emergency Operations Training Facility that includes an Emergency Operations Center, Strategic Information Center as well as a training facility which seats up to 250 people per day."

Reed Construction Data estimates its cost at $3,988,400 (a more accurate cost estimate is available from RSMeans Online), they say.

There are a couple autogenerated links at Facility Management Minneapolis Product From Industrial Manufacturers, Distributers, Suppliers And OEMs.

There is some PR speak about AVI-SPL getting an award. Press Release/ InfoComm, Sound & Video Contractor Honor AVI-SPL with Two PRO AV Spotlight Awards - Audio/Video Equip./Surveillance - AVI-SPL, Inc. | PRZOOM

On March 11, 2009, the overall cost of the project was pegged by House Research as $27,403,000. SRC: www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/bs/86/hf0554.pdf

This bill would grant $8,000,000 in bond proceeds to the City of Minneapolis to design, construct, furnish, and equip an emergency operations center housed in the City’s current training center and to make other improvements to the training center.

According to the 2008 budget request, the overall cost of the project is $27,403,000 with the City and Hennepin County funding the non-state funded portions of the project. The Joint Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis will be located at the Minneapolis Fire Training Campus on city owned land. The City contends the current facility is inadequate and limits the effectiveness of the command structure. The City further contends that the Minneapolis Fire Training Campus is an ideal location for the EOC as it would provide a secure operations center with enough room to respond to a major incident affecting the county. Finally, the City believes this request would provide much needed training classrooms at the Minneapolis Training Facility which is the main site for training the State Structural Collapse Team.

HF 554 Status in the House for the 86th Legislature (2009 - 2010) - this is the bill number - I suspect it probably got rolled into the omnibus bill but I will leave that to a Deep Wonk to suss out. // H.F. No. 554, as introduced - 86th Legislative Session (2009-2010).

With a pretty severe shortage of funds for both state and municipal operations, is an open-ended SIC mandate to track protest activity on Facebook really the most prudent use of funds? And doesn't this operational configuration create a chilling effect on political expression in Minneapolis? The research continues....

Idle No More in Minneapolis: First indigenous protest vs new Canadian repression in the United States - The Seventh Fire isn't just an Anishinaabe thing!

On Wednesday, Dec 19th, indigenous and allies launched the first protest in the United States in solidarity with their kin further north in what is known today as Canada. Prime Minister Harper basically decreed a bunch of lakes critical to indigenous survival are no longer environmentally protected, which clears the way to their destruction at the hands of the tar sands-oriented petrochemical industry.

According to Robert DesJarlait (talking in the first video) the US/Canadian border is becoming more restricted for natives/shut down right now & border protests have been called as well.

Unedited / Creative Commons with attribution to HongPong or Dan Feidt. Unfortunately was not able to livestream it - either maple syrup-powered EMP cannons or the relatively mild cold interfered with power levels. Technology not cooperating with me lately - not easy to edit FlipCam clips either :-/ I have not videotaped any protests in quite a while & this one was really inspiring, I was lucky to be involved in any way.

Later in the day at the American Indian Center I also saw representatives from Red Lake reservation leaving for the site of the school shooting in Connecticut in solidarity with those victims, since Red Lake had its own disastrous school shooting in 2005.

I wish our indigenous brothers and sisters the best of luck struggling against the power structures in both these nationstates which are determined to strip them of dignity and the means to survive autonomously in harmony with nature.

Also our colleague Will already posted three videos as well - this one has the most views - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06xImpIKyDc - get the rest on his channel. Here's the original event post on Facebizzle with a bunch of comments and links.

On Friday the Day of Action for Idle No More will be starting - where else? in Egypt! Idle No More day of action Friday will begin in Egypt | APTN National News. Drum circles for noon Mountain time zone have been called so I believe there will be a protest at 1PM around Minnehaha Park/Coldwater Springs though I am not sure of where exactly.

I like this one - it's 18 minutes totally unedited, the last song and going up in the elevator to the Consulate & most of that time in there. Watch Harper's Canadian consular staff lurk behind their thick walls & bulletproof glass, taking cell pics and dipping!

MORE LINX:

http://idlenomore1.blogspot.com/

http://idlenomore.tumblr.com/post/38329891610/idle-no-more-support-rally...

http://thelapine.ca/obama-calls-harper-large-lump

https://www.facebook.com/events/205119732946505/?ref=3

http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2012/12/19/idle-no-more-day-of-action-friday-w...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06xImpIKyDc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsSUkwZ1VZg

http://idlenomore.makook.ca/

Friday, December 21, 2012

Idle No More - PARLIAMENT HILL- OTTAWA

http://www.facebook.com/events/437759016287760/

Friday, December 21, 2012

Idle No More, Solidarity Action -LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

http://www.facebook.com/events/458961510829311/

Friday, December 21, 2012

IDLE NO MORE: Peace River Region -BRITISH COLUMBIA

http://www.facebook.com/events/492285850793858/

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Idle No More -VANCOUVER

http://www.facebook.com/events/539740012721038/

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Idle No More -HAMILTON, ONTARIO

http://www.facebook.com/events/448076668589295/

Friday, December 21, 2012

Idle No More rally- PRINCE ALBERT- SASKATCHEWAN

https://www.facebook.com/events/127655597393724/

Friday, December 21, 2012

IDLE NO MORE - WINNIPEG NATIONAL EVENT

https://www.facebook.com/events/551422504885143/

Friday, December 21, 2012

IDLE NO MORE -SASKATOON

http://www.facebook.com/events/123368197825076/

Friday, December 21, 2012

"IDLE NO MORE" PROTEST - MONTREAL

http://www.facebook.com/events/430768096977486/

Friday, December 21, 2012

Idle No More Rally - OWEN SOUND

http://www.facebook.com/events/307840622669177/

Friday, December 21, 2012

IDLE NO MORE - SAN FRANCISCO

RALLY SOLIDARITY WITH CANADIAN FIRST NATIONS

https://www.facebook.com/events/374271672664448/

Friday, December 21, 2012

IDLE NO MORE - LOS ANGELES -

RALLY IN SOLIDARITY WITH CANADIAN FIRST NATIONS

http://www.facebook.com/events/349497715147942/

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Here are a few pics, one I found and the two from Weds. posted by Robert DesJarlait. They overflow my blog border but you can right-click to save them!

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Security culture danger as closed Occupy Homes sessions proceed without 2/3rds internal support in MN; two networks for price of one?

Troublesome assumptions about security culture arrangements for closed Occupy Homes national gathering sessions starting tomorrow at the Neighborhoods Organizing for Change MN (NOC Office) around noon put participants at risk. I feel everyone involved means well, but a bunch of particularly 'toxic' situations have materialized. Since these developments reflect larger trends, they need to be fixed if possible, and certainly discussed. [See August 4th story on conflict around meeting closure at NOC Office 911 Broadway Ave on Tuesday] At issue: the desire of the organizers of the Occupy Homes national convening to close the gathering.

The Occupy Homes MN last Saturday, which ran around four hours, reached a vote of 22 in favor of the closure of sessions at the national Occupy Homes convening, 18 against, and 8 standasides. 22/18/8 fails to reach a 2/3rds level of consensus (even ignoring standasides, only 55%). Unfortunately a kind of reverse fait accompli has evidently been imposed on the consensus-based group -- the inability to prevent the meeting closure decision from having been taken earlier by the two delegates means that now the group is [purportedly] imposed upon with a 55% decision. [I have not been able to get comment about when this closure happened exactly]

//// UPDATE Aug 7th: Getting complaints not for attribution from one of the people that arranged the lockout. They say they had a vote of 23, not 22, to proceed with the session lockout. Two initial reports said 22, but even if it is 23, that fails to meet 2/3rds consensus. Let's show exactly how this works, using 23 as the affirmative number lacking 66% consensus. The third chart & data set shows the consensus actually required.

occupy homes vote chartoccupy homes pie chart

If this doesn't make it obvious there's no 66% support, I don't know what will - no matter whether you factor in the stand-asides.END UPDATE ////

For coverage on what happens [if/when] the gesture of locking out the conference is made by its supporters Tuesday, I will try to post summaries on twitter at http://twitter.com/hongpong and possibly live video will be available at http://bambuser.com/channel/hongpong .

@TshirtToby sent along the following writeup of the Saturday meeting. Thanks Toby - follow him!

/// This is a report about the Occupy Homes MN meeting held on Saturday April 4th.

Once other business was able to be taken care of, the meeting moved on to the contentious issue over the openness of the upcoming conference. The people involved with organizing the conference admitted that they made mistakes and move forward from here.

It was proposed that the conference should be open to everyone. Arguments for and against were made. For openness arguments were made for transparency, spirit of the Occupy movement, worries over the groups involved and their influence. Against, it was brought up with the people outside of Minnesota organizing it on a conference call and it didn't pass a vote among them; didn't want media/informants/undercover government agents at meeting; Talking about sensitive tactics and people personal homes and financials. A vote was taken and it didn't pass.

It had been agreed that it 6 "Participants" and 5 "Observers" to the various panels. This was decided fairly quickly and somewhat sloppily due to time crunch and tensions. This meeting had the second highest tensions I have ever felt during an Occupy meeting.

In my opinion the meeting went as well as it could considering the lack of time to solve an emotional debate. The problem I see is that some of the people invited to this meeting are not from Occupy affiliated groups. These groups don't abide by Occupy traditions of openness and transparency. This could hurt Occupy Homes reputation.

It is my hope that this group will be able to recover from this incident and continue to do its good work. ///

Veteran activists in Minneapolis know full well after many incidents in recent years (see 2008 Republican National Convention, 2009 Grand Jury & beyond), any large gathering can easily be surveilled, yet security culture assertions by those who have promulgated the plan to lock the sessions are simply faulty. It is totally implausible that closing the meeting sessions will spare it the effects of informants or government operatives. This is extremely dangerous -- the faith that security culture can 'work' with this many people around -- and needs to be set aside immediately.

[Protip: In the future, the dangerous power of delegation has to be carefully bounded for nonhierarchical groups, such as instructing delegates under no circumstances may they agree to close meetings to their members. You'd think it was an assumption of everyone, but unfortunately it's not.]

The Movement Resource Group, (Movementresourcegroup.org started by Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerrys, and others) provided a large grant to support this Occupy Homes gathering, grant info attached below. Simply put, if MRG provides more grants sponsoring closed "Occupy" meetings, the critical network topology of openness upon which the entire idea depends will be killed off, sprayed into oblivion by the Roundup of good intentions expressed through grants.

Additionally, as Anthony Newby discussed on the video taken last Wednesday, members from several of the groups flying in to Minneapolis have had their airfare paid by Service Employees International Union (SEIU), although Newby said he wasn't sure if it was the local or national organization.

Alongside the partially closed Occupy Homes series of events, a second specific effort is taking place, and one source said that this affair is at least partially put on by Minnesotans for a Fair Economy (MFE), an organization set up for electoral purposes by the Fight for a Fair Economy network.

According to: http://occupybernal.org/wordpress/?p=1976 : [bold added]

/// Occupy Bernal Participates in National Home Defenders LeaguePosted on July 30, 2012 by

At our Saturday, July 28, 2012 joint general assembly, Occupy Bernal/SF ACCE/Occupy Noe agreed to generate support for Wells Fargo Bank (WFB) foreclosure fighter Steve Boudreaux of Atlanta, GA.

He is in foreclosure, and fighting, with the support of his community, to keep his home.

Two of us are attending the first convening of the new National Home Defenders League in Minneapolis, MN on August 7-8, 2012. Our fellow organizations from around the country are all fighting foreclosures. Let’s show them that our organizations believe in solidarity. Hopefully, after that national meeting, we will have a nationwide organization capable or fighting the banks county-wide.

Here’s where to sign the petition, and Steve’s story, Steve’s story continued and more info on Steve’s campaign. ///

One source stated that members of at least five of the groups involved in the Occupy Homes summit are also attending the MFE-supported event. It seems likely, though unconfirmed, that the MFE-supported event is the National Home Defenders League convening.

Several of the staffers involved with Home Defenders League [HDL] (also those in MN involved with MFE & SEIU in recent years) share a pretty common background: they were ACORN network staffers & relatively tight-knit. More recently, within the last few weeks, HDL has been staffing up, and HDL opened at the same address as ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment), which itself opened less than two weeks after California's ACORN chapter dissolved, at that same address, with much of the same ACORN staff.

HDL was announced as early as 2010 as a descendant org of ACCE:

/// October 8, 2010 Friday - Home Edition - HOUSING; Freeze sought on U.S. home seizures;

As questions mount about how banks have handled foreclosures, consumer and civil rights groups call for a national moratorium. By Alejandro Lazo and E. Scott Reckard

SECTION: BUSINESS; Business Desk; Part B; Pg. 1

Two advocacy groups -- the Los Angeles-based Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and the Greenlining Institute of Berkeley -- this week called for a foreclosure moratorium. The L.A. group said it was forming a separate organization, the Home Defenders League, to help homeowners fight foreclosures. Both groups called on Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown to support a moratorium. ///

This summer has seen an expanded relaunch of HDL in different states. June 6 2012 NY Daily News:

/// About a dozen New York Communities for Change volunteers canvassed Jamaica recently, talking to homeowners facing foreclosure and looking for abandoned homes that have become neighborhood eyesores. Members of the Queens chapter of the grassroots advocacy group knocked on about 300 doors on Saturday to mark the launch of the Home Defenders League. ///

It's really no problem for representatives of HDL-friendly & ACORN network related chapter organizations to join an Occupy Homes meeting like they will tomorrow. With large parts of the gathering put off limits to general participation (there aren't open 'political' events, only socially-oriented gatherings), that presents a major issue with power flows and openness in an ostensibly "Occupy" related gathering.

When many of those orgs are also apparently having a parallel unadvertised gathering supported by an electoral organization [though I do not have further evidence on paper of the arrangement], that looks like two networks tangled in one situation. It's much better in the long run for all of us to openly work on untangling this issue.

******

Having known quite a few staff working in the milieu of paid political organizations including ACORN, MFE & SEIU, by and large these are good people who have good intentions. Occupy has always supported unions, but is wary of co-option by managerial union leadership.

Many of the homeowners involved in these campaigns are gritty, very well-intentioned union members. This doesn't mean they necessarily support this kind of organizing - with quite a few I've talked to, this sort of thing strikes them as a bad move.

The troubling thing is that quite frequently, people in the paid milieu don't realize their tactical approaches are harmful to the very forces they're trying to bolster. The gradients of structural politics, grants, co-option, working in cooperation and trying to build bridges to turn large projects into movements are certainly not pretty, and makes people uneasy.

This is why the open nature of Occupy as a network has been such a sturdy foundation - it works not as a closed door cabal but rather an open network. Security culture, properly applied, involved small temporary affinity groups working on individual projects, far away from any venues with dozens of people. No more ambitious OPSEC (operational security) approach is really plausible. The closing of information and lines of contact damages the ability of the networks to maintain a 'common operating picture' and the broad, heterogeneous 'weak tie networks' needed to keep projects thriving over the long run.

Occupy Homes MN has most effectively functioned not as one organization, but as another network performing direct actions, in which activists who primarily identify with other organizations kept the projects alive.

The overall principle of openness, not informationally constricted, leaky boxes of withheld information & pseudo 'security culture', is essentially what brings these types of movements oxygen, preventing rot, political ossification, and hierarchical decision-making.

******

One individual reported to be an attendee at this week's meeting, Jonathan Matthew Smucker, advocated Occupy embracing "Co-Optation". I think this line of analysis runs pretty deeply with the people pushing in this direction.

It's worthy of debate, but debate in open meetings, whether this approach sacrifices goals of more radical, deeper social change for much smaller tactical victories, working with electorally oriented organizations. Without open meetings, the pros & cons of this approach will never get worked out properly.

Memorably describing OWS as a "harvest moment": Occupy The Progressive Movement: Why Occupy Should Embrace "Co-Optation" | Alternet (April 26 2012)

/// ..... But angst about an over-generalized sense of co-option may be an even bigger problem. We cannot build a large-scale social movement capable of achieving big changes without the involvement of long-standing broad-based institutions. OWS should actively and strategically forge relationships with many of these institutions, while preserving the role of OWS as an "outsider" force.

.........The worst thing we could do right now is make Occupy Wall Street into a small "radicals only" space. We cannot build a large-scale social movement capable of achieving big changes without the involvement of long-standing large membership institutions, including labor unions, national advocacy organizations, community organizations, and faith communities. Radicals never have and never will have sufficient numbers to go it alone. We have to muster the courage and smarts to be able to help forge and maintain alliances that we can influence but cannot fully control. That's the nature of a broad populist alignment.

Social movement theorists have a term for the sort of co-option that Occupy Wall Street should prize: infrastructure co-option. Nascent movements become mass movements not by building their own infrastructure entirely from scratch or recruiting new volunteers one at a time, but by "co-opting" existing institutions and social infrastructure into the service of the movement and its goals. The Civil Rights movement went big when existing institutions—especially black churches and schools—came to identify strongly as part of the movement. Organizers provided opportunities for members of those pre-existing institutions to make this new identification actionable and visible. This was cultivated to such an extent that, eventually, to be a member of certain institutions implied active involvement in the Civil Rights movement. When this happens with enough institutions, the movement gets a huge boost in capacity. And capacity means power.

Over the past few months many organizations and constituencies have been watching Occupy Wall Street, trying to figure out whether and how to relate to it. These organizations—including faith communities, the NAACP, MoveOn.org, labor unions, community organizations, and many other groups—understand how they and their members are affected by the crises that Occupy Wall Street has named and confronted. Some of them are already engaging in important ways, explicitly as part of—or in support of—Occupy Wall Street. And many more have long been engaged in work that clearly aligns with the movement's core values—and probably even deserve some credit for helping to lay the long-term organizing groundwork that helped create OWS.

But there are still significant barriers standing in the way of broader constituencies conceptualizing themselves as part of a 99% movement and getting actively involved. The first and most obvious barrier is that many groups haven't really been asked to get involved. During the first couple months of OWS, if a group wanted to get involved, it was typically a matter of them taking the initiative to approach us and ask what kind of support they might provide. Usually the answer was some variety of "Come down to Zuccotti Park" or "Stand up against Bloomberg for our right to occupy the park." Often the groups that wanted to support OWS simply showed up. While this kind of involvement made perfect sense when we held the park, it's clear that we now have to come up with other ways for more people and groups to take action as part of the 99% movement.

This is a critical transition for Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement. Remember that Occupy Wall Street kicked off with a well timed call-to-action, a ripe target, some planning, and a lot of crazy luck. As a result, OWS has understandably had more of a culture of mobilizing than of organizing. It's been a little like a group of folks who don't know anything about farming who arrive at a farm at harvest time. There's delicious food everywhere, and all they have to do is pick, pluck, and gather it. And eat it! "Wow," one of them exclaims, "farming is awesome! Why would we waste our time cultivating the soil? This food is delicious! I want to eat it all the time! This is working very well. We should just keep doing this — all the time!"

Occupy Wall Street has been something of a harvest moment. It pulled thousands of people out of the woodwork who'd been waiting for something just like this to come along, and who were in a place where we could carve out time from our lives to engage it. But movements need hundreds of thousands if not millions of active participants to become mass movements. It's difficult if not impossible to activate those kinds of numbers by just taking public action with the hope that other like-minded individuals will decide to join you. We need more on-ramps and more ways to be involved — for folks who might not yet feel comfortable camping out at a public park.

.....And this is why it is now critical that we meet with folks who are movers and shakers in other social networks and institutions. That's how the 99% movement can grow at the rate we all know it needs to; byactivating whole swaths of society at a time.....

.....All of the above gets so much more complicated in an election year. Occupy Wall Street is an outsider force. It should remain an outsider force this year. If it were to endorse candidates or a particular political party, it would immediately lose all of its value and leverage. Our job is to push from the outside.

But that's not at all to say that we shouldn't have a strategy for engaging with the energy and media attention of the election season. We should. And how we do it will seriously affect our ability to continue to grow this movement, to be seen as relevant, to cultivate alliances, and to leverage power to effect real change......

.......Once someone starts running on your rhetoric, you then have more leverage over them. You are better positioned to expose them if they're just giving lip service to your ideas without any intention of delivering. And for all the horrendous limits of the two-party system, still a slate of candidates who get elected pledging to take on the big banks gives us a lot more to work with—as an outsider social movement—than a slate of candidates elected on a pledge to cut social spending. And more importantly, it keeps the momentum on our side.

Another important question has to do with how we engage allies who do endorse candidates. Many labor unions, for example, are likely at some point to endorse President Obama's reelection bid. Some already have. And some will surely endorse specific state and local candidates. We're an outsider force. We should never endorse candidates. But is it possible to ally around specific actions with organizations that also endorse candidates?

It has to be. We join up with others where we can, and we depart where we depart. If we call for an end to corporate personhood, for example, we should welcome as many co-endorsers as possible, including organizations that endorse politicians — and even politicians themselves. Welcoming politicians' endorsements of our goals doesn't mean endorsing those politicians. This is an important detail, and it requires a precise threading of the needle. As an outside force, we have to take all politicians to task, regardless of party. But the details of how we do this matter. We need to pressure politicians and candidates, and the best way to do this is to ask them hard questions and provide pressure that pulls them in our direction (or put them on the defensive). If we ask good questions that resonate with the people who hear them, then we're doing our job well. If, on the other hand, we make general statements like, "It doesn't matter who you vote for, they're all the same," then we're being needlessly belligerent to our allies and potential allies (without even putting politicians on the defensive). An organization focused primarily on reproductive rights, for example, will understandably be very concerned about whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney occupies the White House. We can take candidates from both parties to task on an array of other issues without spurning their reasons for deciding to endorse a candidate. ........

........Someone who had felt constrained within her institution before the shake-up may now see and seize openings to move the institution in a bolder direction. And this is more likely to happen if organizers from Occupy Wall Street—the visible catalyst of the earthquake—approach longstanding institutions to strategize together about how they might engage with this moment.

An earthquake moment is a time to invite people to engage. It's not a moment to keep people in boxes, or to draw rigid lines. It's a moment to hammer Wall Street, the big banks, and the political system that has been fixed to serve only the very wealthy and powerful. Our task now is to activate as many people as possible into action. And this has to include people we wouldn't necessarily choose to have as our best friends. ///

Unfortunately at the sessions Smucker is participating in in Minneapolis this week, such an open debate is not an option because of restricted access. The big question: Does that mean that the position and debate frames adopted as "Occupy approved" will shift in a less radical, more institutionalized direction?

Located from deeper areas of the internet, Home Defenders League PR structure in a press release:

/// EVENT: CONFERENCE CALL BRIEFING - THE HOME DEFENDERS LEAGUE;

LOCATION: None given -- May 31, 2012 As seen in text

SECTION: GENERAL NEWS EVENTS - LENGTH: 98 words

SUBJECT: The Home Defenders League holds a conference call briefing, beginning at noon, with an overview of the Home Defenders League campaign, a "new alliance of homeowners and renters across the country who are joining together to make their voices heard in the 2012 election and beyond."

CONTACT: Moria Herbst, 646-452-5637, 917-743-6350, moira@berlinrosen.com [Note: Media should RSVP to Moira Herbst at moira@berlinrosen.com or 646-452-5637. Call-in, 800-434-1335; password, 995583#. A Q&A follows the news conference. Information on the launch of the alliance is embargoed until 9 a.m. May 31.] ///

Located near Wall Street at 15 Maiden Lane, Suite 1600, New York, NY, Berlin Rosen is interesting, reminiscent of other liberal communications consultancies. See http://www.berlinrosen.com/section/our-team/ for some familiar names.

In conclusion, I hope that broad networks can evolve, especially on all housing issues including fraud, homelessness, financialization, fractional reserve, and foreclosures, but that will not work out when narrow networks with bowtie chokepoints, rather than broad, open and loose networks evolve.

DISCLAIMER: I have performed videography services for MFE in the last year, contributed to videos & trained supporters in mobile video software (ustream/bambuser). Also, Movement Resource Group or one of its founders, Ben Cohen, (not sure which) provided funding for GlobalRevolution.tv (which I am a member) to supply Occupy and related movements with media gear, via GlobalRev's fiscal sponsor . We need to have good spirited disclosure of paid political organizing, in the long run this is essential. As so many people are well-intentioned, to avoid conflicts and jumbles, clear, plain information is the best goal we should share.

Previous stories on mainstream politics & the Occupy movement on HongPong.com : Feb 19 2012: BuStEd: I sense Astroturfing in the Occupy! UAW social media plan posted for "99% Spring" electioneering schema // Aug 4 2012: Plans for closed door Occupy Homes national meeting spurs opposition [VIDEO]

CREATIVE COMMONS WITH ATTRIBUTION - hongpong.com - hongpong@hongpong.com

The Gentleperson's Guide to Forum Spies - for decoding astroturfing & malicious forum & Internet operations, trolls, sockpuppets, crapflooding & disinfo specialists

Reposting this as it's a much more handy summary than I could give. Neato! I think we're seeing this get more and more privatized as well -- I have a couple flagrant sockpuppets I know and love, they are like a handy little COINTELPRO weathervane. When talking Information Operations (not to mention spinstorms) this is stuff that should be right on hand.

******

The Gentleperson's Guide To Forum Spies - Via Cryptome.org - read cryptome every day if you're not already :)

****

A sends:

The Gentleperson's Guide To Forum Spies (spooks, feds, etc.)

http://pastebin.com/irj4Fyd5

1. COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of a internet forum
2. Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation
3. Eight Traits of the Disinformationalist
4. How to Spot a Spy (Cointelpro Agent)
5. Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression
______________________________________________________________________________________

COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of a internet forum..

There are several techniques for the control and manipulation of a internet forum no matter what, or who is on it. We will go over each technique and demonstrate that only a minimal number of operatives can be used to eventually and effectively gain a control of a 'uncontrolled forum.'

Technique #1 - 'FORUM SLIDING'

If a very sensitive posting of a critical nature has been posted on a forum - it can be quickly removed from public view by 'forum sliding.' In this technique a number of unrelated posts are quietly prepositioned on the forum and allowed to 'age.' Each of these misdirectional forum postings can then be called upon at will to trigger a 'forum slide.' The second requirement is that several fake accounts exist, which can be called upon, to ensure that this technique is not exposed to the public. To trigger a 'forum slide' and 'flush' the critical post out of public view it is simply a matter of logging into each account both real and fake and then 'replying' to prepositined postings with a simple 1 or 2 line comment. This brings the unrelated postings to the top of the forum list, and the critical posting 'slides' down the front page, and quickly out of public view. Although it is difficult or impossible to censor the posting it is now lost in a sea of unrelated and unuseful postings. By this means it becomes effective to keep the readers of the forum reading unrelated and non-issue items.

Technique #2 - 'CONSENSUS CRACKING'

A second highly effective technique (which you can see in operation all the time at www.abovetopsecret.com) is 'consensus cracking.' To develop a consensus crack, the following technique is used. Under the guise of a fake account a posting is made which looks legitimate and is towards the truth is made - but the critical point is that it has a VERY WEAK PREMISE without substantive proof to back the posting. Once this is done then under alternative fake accounts a very strong position in your favour is slowly introduced over the life of the posting. It is IMPERATIVE that both sides are initially presented, so the uninformed reader cannot determine which side is the truth. As postings and replies are made the stronger 'evidence' or disinformation in your favour is slowly 'seeded in.' Thus the uninformed reader will most like develop the same position as you, and if their position is against you their opposition to your posting will be most likely dropped. However in some cases where the forum members are highly educated and can counter your disinformation with real facts and linked postings, you can then 'abort' the consensus cracking by initiating a 'forum slide.'

Technique #3 - 'TOPIC DILUTION'

Topic dilution is not only effective in forum sliding it is also very useful in keeping the forum readers on unrelated and non-productive issues. This is a critical and useful technique to cause a 'RESOURCE BURN.' By implementing continual and non-related postings that distract and disrupt (trolling ) the forum readers they are more effectively stopped from anything of any real productivity. If the intensity of gradual dilution is intense enough, the readers will effectively stop researching and simply slip into a 'gossip mode.' In this state they can be more easily misdirected away from facts towards uninformed conjecture and opinion. The less informed they are the more effective and easy it becomes to control the entire group in the direction that you would desire the group to go in. It must be stressed that a proper assessment of the psychological capabilities and levels of education is first determined of the group to determine at what level to 'drive in the wedge.' By being too far off topic too quickly it may trigger censorship by a forum moderator.

Technique #4 - 'INFORMATION COLLECTION'

Information collection is also a very effective method to determine the psychological level of the forum members, and to gather intelligence that can be used against them. In this technique in a light and positive environment a 'show you mine so me yours' posting is initiated. From the number of replies and the answers that are provided much statistical information can be gathered. An example is to post your 'favourite weapon' and then encourage other members of the forum to showcase what they have. In this matter it can be determined by reverse proration what percentage of the forum community owns a firearm, and or a illegal weapon. This same method can be used by posing as one of the form members and posting your favourite 'technique of operation.' From the replies various methods that the group utilizes can be studied and effective methods developed to stop them from their activities.

Technique #5 - 'ANGER TROLLING'

Statistically, there is always a percentage of the forum posters who are more inclined to violence. In order to determine who these individuals are, it is a requirement to present a image to the forum to deliberately incite a strong psychological reaction. From this the most violent in the group can be effectively singled out for reverse IP location and possibly local enforcement tracking. To accomplish this only requires posting a link to a video depicting a local police officer massively abusing his power against a very innocent individual. Statistically of the million or so police officers in America there is always one or two being caught abusing there powers and the taping of the activity can be then used for intelligence gathering purposes - without the requirement to 'stage' a fake abuse video. This method is extremely effective, and the more so the more abusive the video can be made to look. Sometimes it is useful to 'lead' the forum by replying to your own posting with your own statement of violent intent, and that you 'do not care what the authorities think!!' inflammation. By doing this and showing no fear it may be more effective in getting the more silent and self-disciplined violent intent members of the forum to slip and post their real intentions. This can be used later in a court of law during prosecution.

Technique #6 - 'GAINING FULL CONTROL'

It is important to also be harvesting and continually maneuvering for a forum moderator position. Once this position is obtained, the forum can then be effectively and quietly controlled by deleting unfavourable postings - and one can eventually steer the forum into complete failure and lack of interest by the general public. This is the 'ultimate victory' as the forum is no longer participated with by the general public and no longer useful in maintaining their freedoms. Depending on the level of control you can obtain, you can deliberately steer a forum into defeat by censoring postings, deleting memberships, flooding, and or accidentally taking the forum offline. By this method the forum can be quickly killed. However it is not always in the interest to kill a forum as it can be converted into a 'honey pot' gathering center to collect and misdirect newcomers and from this point be completely used for your control for your agenda purposes.

CONCLUSION

Remember these techniques are only effective if the forum participants DO NOT KNOW ABOUT THEM. Once they are aware of these techniques the operation can completely fail, and the forum can become uncontrolled. At this point other avenues must be considered such as initiating a false legal precidence to simply have the forum shut down and taken offline. This is not desirable as it then leaves the enforcement agencies unable to track the percentage of those in the population who always resist attempts for control against them. Many other techniques can be utilized and developed by the individual and as you develop further techniques of infiltration and control it is imperative to share then with HQ.
______________________________________________________________________________________

Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation

Note: The first rule and last five (or six, depending on situation) rules are generally not directly within the ability of the traditional disinfo artist to apply. These rules are generally used more directly by those at the leadership, key players, or planning level of the criminal conspiracy or conspiracy to cover up.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don't discuss it -- especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it's not reported, it didn't happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the 'How dare you!' gambit.

3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method which works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such 'arguable rumors'. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a 'wild rumor' from a 'bunch of kids on the Internet' which can have no basis in fact.

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent's argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary 'attack the messenger' ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as 'kooks', 'right-wing', 'liberal', 'left-wing', 'terrorists', 'conspiracy buffs', 'radicals', 'militia', 'racists', 'religious fanatics', 'sexual deviates', and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism, reasoning -- simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent's viewpoint.

7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could be taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.

8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough 'jargon' and 'minutia' to illustrate you are 'one who knows', and simply say it isn't so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues except with denials they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.

10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man -- usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with - a kind of investment for the future should the matter not be so easily contained.) Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually then be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues -- so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.

11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the 'high road' and 'confess' with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made -- but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, 'just isn't so.' Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later, and even publicly 'call for an end to the nonsense' because you have already 'done the right thing.' Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for 'coming clean' and 'owning up' to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.

12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to lose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.

13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards or with an apparent deductive logic which forbears any actual material fact.

14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best with issues qualifying for rule 10.

15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.

16. Vanish evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won't have to address the issue.

17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can 'argue' with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.

18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can't do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how 'sensitive they are to criticism.'

19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the 'play dumb' rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon.) In order to completely avoid discussing issues, it may be required that you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.

20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations -- as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.

21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed and unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed. Usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim.

22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.

23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.

24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by destroying them financially, emotionally, or severely damaging their health.

25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.
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Eight Traits of the Disinformationalist

1) Avoidance. They never actually discuss issues head-on or provide constructive input, generally avoiding citation of references or credentials. Rather, they merely imply this, that, and the other. Virtually everything about their presentation implies their authority and expert knowledge in the matter without any further justification for credibility.

2) Selectivity. They tend to pick and choose opponents carefully, either applying the hit-and-run approach against mere commentators supportive of opponents, or focusing heavier attacks on key opponents who are known to directly address issues. Should a commentator become argumentative with any success, the focus will shift to include the commentator as well.

3) Coincidental. They tend to surface suddenly and somewhat coincidentally with a new controversial topic with no clear prior record of participation in general discussions in the particular public arena involved. They likewise tend to vanish once the topic is no longer of general concern. They were likely directed or elected to be there for a reason, and vanish with the reason.

4) Teamwork. They tend to operate in self-congratulatory and complementary packs or teams. Of course, this can happen naturally in any public forum, but there will likely be an ongoing pattern of frequent exchanges of this sort where professionals are involved. Sometimes one of the players will infiltrate the opponent camp to become a source for straw man or other tactics designed to dilute opponent presentation strength.

5) Anti-conspiratorial. They almost always have disdain for 'conspiracy theorists' and, usually, for those who in any way believe JFK was not killed by LHO. Ask yourself why, if they hold such disdain for conspiracy theorists, do they focus on defending a single topic discussed in a NG focusing on conspiracies? One might think they would either be trying to make fools of everyone on every topic, or simply ignore the group they hold in such disdain.Or, one might more rightly conclude they have an ulterior motive for their actions in going out of their way to focus as they do.

6) Artificial Emotions. An odd kind of 'artificial' emotionalism and an unusually thick skin -- an ability to persevere and persist even in the face of overwhelming criticism and unacceptance. This likely stems from intelligence community training that, no matter how condemning the evidence, deny everything, and never become emotionally involved or reactive. The net result for a disinfo artist is that emotions can seem artificial.

Most people, if responding in anger, for instance, will express their animosity throughout their rebuttal. But disinfo types usually have trouble maintaining the 'image' and are hot and cold with respect to pretended emotions and their usually more calm or unemotional communications style. It's just a job, and they often seem unable to 'act their role in character' as well in a communications medium as they might be able in a real face-to-face conversation/confrontation. You might have outright rage and indignation one moment, ho-hum the next, and more anger later -- an emotional yo-yo.

With respect to being thick-skinned, no amount of criticism will deter them from doing their job, and they will generally continue their old disinfo patterns without any adjustments to criticisms of how obvious it is that they play that game -- where a more rational individual who truly cares what others think might seek to improve their communications style, substance, and so forth, or simply give up.

7) Inconsistent. There is also a tendency to make mistakes which betray their true self/motives. This may stem from not really knowing their topic, or it may be somewhat 'freudian', so to speak, in that perhaps they really root for the side of truth deep within.

I have noted that often, they will simply cite contradictory information which neutralizes itself and the author. For instance, one such player claimed to be a Navy pilot, but blamed his poor communicating skills (spelling, grammar, incoherent style) on having only a grade-school education. I'm not aware of too many Navy pilots who don't have a college degree. Another claimed no knowledge of a particular topic/situation but later claimed first-hand knowledge of it.

8) Time Constant. Recently discovered, with respect to News Groups, is the response time factor. There are three ways this can be seen to work, especially when the government or other empowered player is involved in a cover up operation:

a) ANY NG posting by a targeted proponent for truth can result in an IMMEDIATE response. The government and other empowered players can afford to pay people to sit there and watch for an opportunity to do some damage. SINCE DISINFO IN A NG ONLY WORKS IF THE READER SEES IT - FAST RESPONSE IS CALLED FOR, or the visitor may be swayed towards truth.

b) When dealing in more direct ways with a disinformationalist, such as email, DELAY IS CALLED FOR - there will usually be a minimum of a 48-72 hour delay. This allows a sit-down team discussion on response strategy for best effect, and even enough time to 'get permission' or instruction from a formal chain of command.

c) In the NG example 1) above, it will often ALSO be seen that bigger guns are drawn and fired after the same 48-72 hours delay - the team approach in play. This is especially true when the targeted truth seeker or their comments are considered more important with respect to potential to reveal truth. Thus, a serious truth sayer will be attacked twice for the same sin.

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How to Spot a Spy (Cointelpro Agent)

One way to neutralize a potential activist is to get them to be in a group that does all the wrong things. Why?

1) The message doesn't get out.
2) A lot of time is wasted
3) The activist is frustrated and discouraged
4) Nothing good is accomplished.

FBI and Police Informers and Infiltrators will infest any group and they have phoney activist organizations established.

Their purpose is to prevent any real movement for justice or eco-peace from developing in this country.

Agents come in small, medium or large. They can be of any ethnic background. They can be male or female.

The actual size of the group or movement being infiltrated is irrelevant. It is the potential the movement has for becoming large which brings on the spies and saboteurs.

This booklet lists tactics agents use to slow things down, foul things up, destroy the movement and keep tabs on activists.

It is the agent's job to keep the activist from quitting such a group, thus keeping him/her under control.

In some situations, to get control, the agent will tell the activist:

"You're dividing the movement."

[Here, I have added the psychological reasons as to WHY this maneuver works to control people]

This invites guilty feelings. Many people can be controlled by guilt. The agents begin relationships with activists behind a well-developed mask of "dedication to the cause." Because of their often declared dedication, (and actions designed to prove this), when they criticize the activist, he or she - being truly dedicated to the movement - becomes convinced that somehow, any issues are THEIR fault. This is because a truly dedicated person tends to believe that everyone has a conscience and that nobody would dissimulate and lie like that "on purpose." It's amazing how far agents can go in manipulating an activist because the activist will constantly make excuses for the agent who regularly declares their dedication to the cause. Even if they do, occasionally, suspect the agent, they will pull the wool over their own eyes by rationalizing: "they did that unconsciously... they didn't really mean it... I can help them by being forgiving and accepting " and so on and so forth.

The agent will tell the activist:

"You're a leader!"

This is designed to enhance the activist's self-esteem. His or her narcissistic admiration of his/her own activist/altruistic intentions increase as he or she identifies with and consciously admires the altruistic declarations of the agent which are deliberately set up to mirror those of the activist.

This is "malignant pseudoidentification." It is the process by which the agent consciously imitates or simulates a certain behavior to foster the activist's identification with him/her, thus increasing the activist's vulnerability to exploitation. The agent will simulate the more subtle self-concepts of the activist.

Activists and those who have altruistic self-concepts are most vulnerable to malignant pseudoidentification especially during work with the agent when the interaction includes matter relating to their competency, autonomy, or knowledge.

The goal of the agent is to increase the activist's general empathy for the agent through pseudo-identification with the activist's self-concepts.

The most common example of this is the agent who will compliment the activist for his competency or knowledge or value to the movement. On a more subtle level, the agent will simulate affects and mannerisms of the activist which promotes identification via mirroring and feelings of "twinship". It is not unheard of for activists, enamored by the perceived helpfulness and competence of a good agent, to find themselves considering ethical violations and perhaps, even illegal behavior, in the service of their agent/handler.

The activist's "felt quality of perfection" [self-concept] is enhanced, and a strong empathic bond is developed with the agent through his/her imitation and simulation of the victim's own narcissistic investments. [self-concepts] That is, if the activist knows, deep inside, their own dedication to the cause, they will project that onto the agent who is "mirroring" them.

The activist will be deluded into thinking that the agent shares this feeling of identification and bonding. In an activist/social movement setting, the adversarial roles that activists naturally play vis a vis the establishment/government, fosters ongoing processes of intrapsychic splitting so that "twinship alliances" between activist and agent may render whole sectors or reality testing unavailable to the activist. They literally "lose touch with reality."

Activists who deny their own narcissistic investments [do not have a good idea of their own self-concepts and that they ARE concepts] and consciously perceive themselves (accurately, as it were) to be "helpers" endowed with a special amount of altruism are exceedingly vulnerable to the affective (emotional) simulation of the accomplished agent.

Empathy is fostered in the activist through the expression of quite visible affects. The presentation of tearfulness, sadness, longing, fear, remorse, and guilt, may induce in the helper-oriented activist a strong sense of compassion, while unconsciously enhancing the activist's narcissistic investment in self as the embodiment of goodness.

The agent's expresssion of such simulated affects may be quite compelling to the observer and difficult to distinguish from deep emotion.

It can usually be identified by two events, however:

First, the activist who has analyzed his/her own narcissistic roots and is aware of his/her own potential for being "emotionally hooked," will be able to remain cool and unaffected by such emotional outpourings by the agent.

As a result of this unaffected, cool, attitude, the Second event will occur: The agent will recompensate much too quickly following such an affective expression leaving the activist with the impression that "the play has ended, the curtain has fallen," and the imposture, for the moment, has finished. The agent will then move quickly to another activist/victim.

The fact is, the movement doesn't need leaders, it needs MOVERS. "Follow the leader" is a waste of time.

A good agent will want to meet as often as possible. He or she will talk a lot and say little. One can expect an onslaught of long, unresolved discussions.

Some agents take on a pushy, arrogant, or defensive manner:

1) To disrupt the agenda
2) To side-track the discussion
3) To interrupt repeatedly
4) To feign ignorance
5) To make an unfounded accusation against a person.

Calling someone a racist, for example. This tactic is used to discredit a person in the eyes of all other group members.

Saboteurs

Some saboteurs pretend to be activists. She or he will ....

1) Write encyclopedic flyers (in the present day, websites)
2) Print flyers in English only.
3) Have demonstrations in places where no one cares.
4) Solicit funding from rich people instead of grass roots support
5) Display banners with too many words that are confusing.
6) Confuse issues.
7) Make the wrong demands.
Cool Compromise the goal.
9) Have endless discussions that waste everyone's time. The agent may accompany the endless discussions with drinking, pot smoking or other amusement to slow down the activist's work.

Provocateurs

1) Want to establish "leaders" to set them up for a fall in order to stop the movement.
2) Suggest doing foolish, illegal things to get the activists in trouble.
3) Encourage militancy.
4) Want to taunt the authorities.
5) Attempt to make the activist compromise their values.
6) Attempt to instigate violence. Activisim ought to always be non-violent.
7) Attempt to provoke revolt among people who are ill-prepared to deal with the reaction of the authorities to such violence.

Informants

1) Want everyone to sign up and sing in and sign everything.
2) Ask a lot of questions (gathering data).
3) Want to know what events the activist is planning to attend.
4) Attempt to make the activist defend him or herself to identify his or her beliefs, goals, and level of committment.

Recruiting

Legitimate activists do not subject people to hours of persuasive dialog. Their actions, beliefs, and goals speak for themselves.

Groups that DO recruit are missionaries, military, and fake political parties or movements set up by agents.

Surveillance

ALWAYS assume that you are under surveillance.

At this point, if you are NOT under surveillance, you are not a very good activist!

Scare Tactics

They use them.

Such tactics include slander, defamation, threats, getting close to disaffected or minimally committed fellow activists to persuade them (via psychological tactics described above) to turn against the movement and give false testimony against their former compatriots. They will plant illegal substances on the activist and set up an arrest; they will plant false information and set up "exposure," they will send incriminating letters [emails] in the name of the activist; and more; they will do whatever society will allow.

This booklet in no way covers all the ways agents use to sabotage the lives of sincere an dedicated activists.

If an agent is "exposed," he or she will be transferred or replaced.

COINTELPRO is still in operation today under a different code name. It is no longer placed on paper where it can be discovered through the freedom of information act.

The FBI counterintelligence program's stated purpose: To expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, and otherwise neutralize individuals who the FBI categorize as opposed to the National Interests. "National Security" means the FBI's security from the people ever finding out the vicious things it does in violation of people's civil liberties.

______________________________________________________________________________________

Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression

Strong, credible allegations of high-level criminal activity can bring down a government. When the government lacks an effective, fact-based defense, other techniques must be employed. The success of these techniques depends heavily upon a cooperative, compliant press and a mere token opposition party.

1. Dummy up. If it's not reported, if it's not news, it didn't happen.

2. Wax indignant. This is also known as the "How dare you?" gambit.

3. Characterize the charges as "rumors" or, better yet, "wild rumors." If, in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about the suspicious facts, it can only be through "rumors." (If they tend to believe the "rumors" it must be because they are simply "paranoid" or "hysterical.")

4. Knock down straw men. Deal only with the weakest aspects of the weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors (or plant false stories) and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and fanciful alike.

5. Call the skeptics names like "conspiracy theorist," "nutcase," "ranter," "kook," "crackpot," and, of course, "rumor monger." Be sure, too, to use heavily loaded verbs and adjectives when characterizing their charges and defending the "more reasonable" government and its defenders. You must then carefully avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus maligned. For insurance, set up your own "skeptics" to shoot down.

6. Impugn motives. Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting strongly that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply pursuing a partisan political agenda or are out to make money (compared to over-compensated adherents to the government line who, presumably, are not).

7. Invoke authority. Here the controlled press and the sham opposition can be very useful.

8. Dismiss the charges as "old news."

9. Come half-clean. This is also known as "confession and avoidance" or "taking the limited hangout route." This way, you create the impression of candor and honesty while you admit only to relatively harmless, less-than-criminal "mistakes." This stratagem often requires the embrace of a fall-back position quite different from the one originally taken. With effective damage control, the fall-back position need only be peddled by stooge skeptics to carefully limited markets.

10. Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately unknowable.

11. Reason backward, using the deductive method with a vengeance. With thoroughly rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is irrelevant. E.g. We have a completely free press. If evidence exists that the Vince Foster "suicide" note was forged, they would have reported it. They haven't reported it so there is no such evidence. Another variation on this theme involves the likelihood of a conspiracy leaker and a press who would report the leak.

12. Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely. E.g. If Foster was murdered, who did it and why?

13. Change the subject. This technique includes creating and/or publicizing distractions.

14. Lightly report incriminating facts, and then make nothing of them. This is sometimes referred to as "bump and run" reporting.

15. Baldly and brazenly lie. A favorite way of doing this is to attribute the "facts" furnished the public to a plausible-sounding, but anonymous, source.

16. Expanding further on numbers 4 and 5, have your own stooges "expose" scandals and champion popular causes. Their job is to pre-empt real opponents and to play 99-yard football. A variation is to pay rich people for the job who will pretend to spend their own money.

17. Flood the Internet with agents. This is the answer to the question, "What could possibly motivate a person to spend hour upon hour on Internet news groups defending the government and/or the press and harassing genuine critics?" Don t the authorities have defenders enough in all the newspapers, magazines, radio, and television? One would think refusing to print critical letters and screening out serious callers or dumping them from radio talk shows would be control enough, but, obviously, it is not.

Political duality of the week: Electoral politics crushes anti-establishment networks of Ron Paul & Wisconsin uprising reframed as #WIrecall. What now, lolcats?

Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex.
-- attributed to Frank Zappa

The ugly realities of modern electoral politics in America hit home this week with two body blows to self-styled anti-authoritarian political networks: The Ron Paul movement finally hit the brick wall as Rand Paul (R-KY Coal Mines) endorsed Mitt Romney (R-Rich Mormon Mafia) -- utterly shocking & depressing tons of semi-libertarian Republicans along with the entire conservative side of the "Truther" and/or "Liberty" movements.

Days earlier, the Wisconsin recall election against Gov. Scott Walker (R-Petulance) turned in uglier-than-expected numbers as likely thousands of Wisconsinites were stripped of their Constitutional right to vote through ridiculous new regulations -- and of course a bunch of shady electronic voting machines run from a company in a suburban St. Cloud strip mall. Fox News flacks and nasty Gloria Borger/Sarah Palin types cackled that the unruly, rebellious hordes had been licked for good. Now, the Paulistas and the rebellious Cheesehead hordes must ask: what's next?!

Perhaps these movements never had too much in common, though you could find some overlapping supporters. Probably the biggest difference is the Liberty types are pretty darn hostile to mainstream unions while the #OccupyCapitol (which the Dems transmuted into #WIrecall) clearly ended up with unions as its main hub. But they shared a hostility to the party hierarchies, business as usual, and to some extent the elite financial/War Machine domestic & international complexes, which has triggered the financial/austerity crisis by sucking out trillions of dollars.

The anarchist strain in Wisconsin, buttressed mainly by the IWW, complemented the non-interventionist libertarian one that's been rolling since about 2007 -- it showed that the new politics that people are actively hunting for is certainly not statist or socialist in the traditional sense.

UPDATE 5:30PM June 10: I got a response of sorts to the piece sent over twitter by @superbranch which is helpful for illustrating a number of details especially Democratic Party machinations: http://pastebin.com/vKh3tfh6 - Thanks!! I only had a view from a distance for most of this affair, so it's good stuff.

UPDATE 6:10PM June 10: Someone suggested that all anarchists are by definition socialists, though I think of socialism as a statist set of philosophies. In older times some labeled this "state socialism" vs. "libertarian socialism." See an Anarchist FAQ, example Kropotkin: "[s]o long as Socialism was understood in its wide, generic, and true sense -- as an effort to abolish the exploitation of Labour by Capital -- the Anarchists were marching hand-in-hands with the Socialists of that time", etc. & also see Black Flame blog. Also Article IV of the General Bylaws of the IWW Constitution specifically forbids "Political Alliances." "To the end of promoting industrial unity and of securing necessary discipline within the organisation, the IWW refuses all alliances, direct or indirect, with any political parties or anti-political sects, and disclaims responsibility for any individual opinion or act which may be at variance with the purposes herein expressed." Thus while I would say they are still anarcho-syndicalist, they are not formally set up as 'anarchist' per se. I feel I over-generalized in how I characterized the IWW, so sorry about that! (see also The League of Peace and Freedom for an org from that era)

UPDATE June 11: I mentioned prominent libertarian Lew Rockwell & forgot about his purported role in that whole Ron Paul "racist newsletter" narrative -- Rockwell is seen by many as the main ghostwriter in the 1980s newsletters. That stuff was creepy. More info here, here, here, here, here, etc. His newsletter compadre Murray Rothbard wrote "Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature" in 1973 which I think illustrates the not-cool-at-all aspect of these guys that led to the ugly views in those newsletters.

******

On the Wisconsin Side: Turning A Broad Popular Uprising Into An AFSCME Bargaining Rights Boxing Match

I've never seen such a staggering level of oppositional political energy squandered in this country like I did at the Capitol rally one clear day last spring. That night, as laborites fumed at the Labor Temple meeting hosted by the IWW and drifted downstairs to commence drinking, I collected Wobbly swag and later driving around Madison speculated with friends what could happen if people occupied dozens of sites like they had the Capitol. Or maybe an image of the future arrived early in my mind. Either way, real-world radicalism receded yet again once more into dull, conventional latency. [cartoon by Toles]

toles-wisconsin-recall.jpeg

Perhaps the greatest achievement of the Republicans (which the Dems of course walked right into) was to narrow down and reframe the scope of the opposition from broad, radical revulsion at burning down virtually all aspects of governance in Wisconsin to a small, deeply mainstream, sore-loser election shitfit over government union bargaining rights.

As a party, the Dems just didn't want -- and probably couldn't understand -- an independent network pushing back, outside their control, a decentralized resistance to the Shock Doctrine. There was a real broad and sturdy community commencing in opposition, and the Dems demanded ideological buy-in, then splintered it into a thousand pieces and cast it to the wind. They couldn't recognize the dignity of people that didn't like either party -- people for whom a Recall and Milwaukee's Mayor Barrett didn't answer their questions.

The Democrats & the motivated Wisconsinites couldn't solve the problem of the pointless election industry. in order to fix anything at all, electoral politics needs to be a consequence of organizing for a better society, not the ultimate goal of organizing in perpetual 2-year cycles. In today's system, we have all our available cash thrown at short-lived election industry organizations that produce almost nothing of lasting value -- but they do make broadcasters richer.

How much more vast and worthy a fight it seemed last year. I was there on "Go Home Day," the day the state Democrats basically told everyone to go home and organize to recall the governor. While successful recalls of some GOP state senators did save the north country from a really bad mining project that would have destroyed an Indian tribe and much else besides, (the deciding GOP senator flipped) - and apparently the Wisconsin Senate did flip to Dem control in another recall around Racine as well, the national media, and the Star Tribune, are quite happy to buy the simple GOP narrative.

While Walker's goose still looked pretty well-and-cooked by early 2012, the Democratic Party of course knew how to biff an opportunity better than anyone. At the infamous Go Home Day, those rally-goers would have done damn near anything. If the senators had called for them to do cool actions around the state every two weeks - not just rallies but actual badass shit - everyone would have gone for it. Instead, the solution was conventional election industry operations and endless, destructive primaries.

It's fitting at least the Senate flipped after all the efforts, since the shockingly illegal abuses of power really came through that body, including violating the state's open meeting law to rail through their union-busting bill. It was classic political overreach that came with Shock Doctrine, slashing corporate taxes, trying to privatize the entire U of Wi system into the "Badger Partnership," (since of course it's one of the few old Germanic-style institutions not entirely oriented to corporatism today), Voter ID to block students and minorities from voting, etc. These sudden, broader conflicts added up to an incredibly attractive, unprecedentedly broad & open class war-type super-conflict across the state, which managed to radicalize thousands of heretofore-discreet firefighters and even police officers to protest in the streets & sleep in the Capitol!

The Democratic Party masters in Washington DC must have been appalled by this uprising. It conflicted horribly with their usual approach of throwing a couple bones to organized labor while screwing over them, the students and rank-and-file Dem activist types as much as possible, as they have year after year, to the benefit of the national security and financial industries.

tumblr_lhwry1Jbe51qduy0jo1_r1_1280.png

Chris Cillizza put it in the Fix, probably with great accuracy, that the national Dems did not want to see a recall election: "There was considerable internal discussion and disagreement between Washington and Wisconsin Democrats (and organized labor) about whether to push for a recall election this summer or wait until 2014 for a chance to unseat Walker. (Washington Democrats broadly favored the latter option, Wisconsin Democrats and labor the former)."

More to the point they did not want to see an independent populism rising in this country without Dem political hacks steering it away from their big contributors, such as the Wall Street criminals that have been fleecing the rest of the party base for years. This same dynamic played out again when the federal government through Homeland Security and the FBI, and Democratic mayors coordinated to dismantle the Occupy encampments in late 2011, then the Feds turned to setting up informant based-stings into 2012 in order to psyop the media away from the message that our institutions and politicians have grossly failed us. These stings were synthesized for Mayday and the Chicago NATO Summit, it was no accident.

Now, at least, the problem of post-Citizens United elections financed mainly by the likes of the Koch brothers, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, and corporate treasuries have been laid bare. At the bottom of the tens of millions of dollars pumped into the state by many anonymous entities, Wisconsinites were paid $50 a pop to post yard signs, $20 to attend events, etc., and now at least the people know this is the core truth of modern electoral politics. According to one person I talked to, even Walker campaign workers were depressed by the massive constant cash flow. They knew it was an arrival at a new low. He who has the gold, rules. But who will carry the truth out of cheese country?

And as always, national and local media walk away from shady election practices -- irregularities are nothing but sour grapes and jags in the already agreed-upon narrative everyone's sticking with, kid. Only weirdos like BradBlog care about the hundreds of complaints -- of citizens being stripped of the one available gesture which underpins the entire legitimacy of the system. Maybe those people, lacking a voice in their own governance, will take things to a more direct level. At this point, why shouldn't they rebel against the apparatus? Freedom's just another word for no votes left to lose....

The Dems have a decent shot at keeping the state politically divided, even with the GOP's advantageous redistricting, which for example will add conservative exurban Chicagoans to the Racine district that flipped D last week. The national GOP and the state press probably won't admit it, but the enthusiasm for scorched-earth politics has long worn off and glorious gridlock will return.

I saw on Twitter speculation about a General Strike for Milwaukee -- and a lot of activists apparently haven't enjoyed their tenure working in electoral politics with the Democrats. We could see more direct action - and with a relatively militant street protest in Milwaukee along with an Quebec sympathy march by Occupy Chicago getting beaten down by CPD last week, more radical politics along Lake Michigan is probably in the cards. People signed those recalls for a reason and they're going to want to do something different, to keep organizing against the tidal force of big money.

******

Et Tu, Rand Paul! Truthers & Liberty Movements lose their vanguard & screech to a halt?

A decidedly different arc of the spectrum finally got the letdown they've been staving off for months this week, and now they too need to put their pieces back together and move along. Antiwar.com's Justin Raimondo had Rand pegged way back in September 2010: he was playing footsie with the neocons but the Paul network people didn't want to believe it. (and mapped the wind-down in February) Today they're reeling -- it seals what they've avoided facing for a couple months, that the GOP nomination is finally out of reach. Here's the man enthusiastically endorsing Mittens:

Seriously, he looks more depressed than anyone I've ever seen touting Republicans on Fox News. But I think the back conversation is also illustrative: Rand Paul has always been clear that Kentucky coal mines are awesome and SOPA was evil & worth opposing. This is the awesome package you get with the Liberty movement.

Via Mike Adams: Linguistic analysis of Rand Paul's endorsement of Romney contradicts his words: Rand Paul is disgusted with him! I kind of had to sigh at this whole piece, which is too bad because usually Adams is peppy and kind of fun in how he sticks it to the FDA deathfood industrial complex:

It is the system itself that is broken, corrupt and defunct. This is the very point of Lew Rockwell, who explained in a recent interview with RT that the government itself is always the problem, and that no government can rescue the People from the problems of government: http://www.prisonplanet.com/lew-rockwell-ron-paul-and-rand-paul-are-d...
[.....]
Personally, I completely agree with Alex in saying there is no compromise allowed. No doing deals with the devil. If we support liberty, we must deny our support for those who oppose it. We must never allow ourselves to become part of the very system that is destroying our economy, our liberties and our future. It is widely acknowledged now -- even on the political left -- that Obama is a traitor to America, but there is no indication that Romney wouldn't be even worse. He's practically a white version of Obama, with much the same platform: Government-run socialized medicine, high taxes, War on Drugs, secret military prisons, banker bailouts, gun confiscation and so on. Having Romney runs things in Washington will produce no better results than we've already seen over the last four years. It may even be worse, if you can imagine that.

[.....] I am not yet denouncing Sen. Rand Paul, as I still hope there is a double agent aspect to his actions and that somehow he will emerge as a defender of liberty. In my view, his track record has at least earned our patience in observing this situation a little longer. However, if Rand Paul continues down this path without explanation, it is all but clear he will destroy his political career and lose virtually his entire support base -- the very people who put him in the U.S. Senate in the first place.



As with all lovers of liberty, my patience is running out, and I'm beginning to think Lew Rockwell was right all along:All government is inherently evil and destructive, and that we are all foolish to think government can ever be changed through elections.

[bold emphasis his] I'm not exactly an enthusiastic statist, but this isn't really the nation's most productive perspective. Lew Rockwell is probably best described as a hard-core Libertarian, maybe even a Voluntaryist and/or "Market Anarchist" (see the Center for a Stateless Society) which is a set of views most Anarchists vehemently disagree with. Capitalism without the collection of memes and buildings we call a government would really suck even more than it does now. If we can envision a way to somehow finally move out of capitalism and leave capitalism's main organizer, the government, behind with it, that would be a little more balanced.

But this perspective isn't coming out of left field altogether - there's in a reason that Voluntaryist type thinking is more attractive than ever on the American Right and capital-A Anarchism is way more popular than a year ago, mostly thanks to the Occupy Wall Street project that blew up way beyond anyone's expectations.

While there's an escapist quality to libertarianism and anarchism, everyone wants to escape for a reason. There's a tangible sense - backed up with countless examples - that these structures held over us through violence, coercion and endless ranks of nasty little helpers - are utterly indifferent if not outright hostile to our chances of survival, let alone defending our dwindling freedoms. Shocked anyone would feel that way? Without much effort, we can feel a prison state closing in around us, seemingly poisoning everything from our pores to our skies to our souls.

Embitterment with the corporatist two-party system and its agenda of perpetual resource wars under loathsome, almost occult, entities like the IMF and NATO, along with a collapse in the standard of living for tens if not hundreds of millions of Americans, has brought plenty of anger towards government institutions that seem to exist solely to protect corrupt corporate cartels at the expense of smaller players (see the Gibson guitar drama, or FDA's love affair with big pharma), along with running protection for a rapacious and insane financial industry which has defrauded the American people of countless trillions of dollars in assets & hard-won dollars.

But the people feeling most burned this week outside of Wisconsin might be the Truthers who believed in Ron Paul. No one's done more to tie the people who refused to buy the government narrative on the Sept 11 2011 terrorist attacks to the Ron Paul network than Texas radio host Alex Jones.

While I certainly don't agree with plenty of Jones' views -- and I told him a month ago when I had the chance that it was important for all of us to avoid being conveyor belts for fear -- many people who criticize him are partly doing so simply because the national scene of Terror Narrative skeptics aka "Truthers" is so weak and divided that he's by default That Main Guy, so it must be his fault the available views are so politically narrow & funneled into a certain electoral machine that has now failed to Deliver the Goods.

It's not Ron Paul's fault or Alex Jones' fault that the rest of DC is basically composed of feckless war chickenhawks who are totally hostile to resisting false flags, the war on drugs and other scams of the military-industrial-intelligence-congressional complex. We all know modern COINTELPRO keeps the political discussion locked in a certain box. But was Alex Jones "duped" by Ron Paul? Check this out...

Here's just a classic recent moment worth watching between Jones and the closest thing he has to a mainstream left counterpart, the bookish conspiracy wonk Webster Tarpley. In this video, Alex Jones' years-long campaign to advocate Ron Paul's election shop finally comes to a sputtering end as Tarpley points out a lot of deliciously salient yet in retrospect quite obvious political points from the campaign. For great lulz he says Paul & Romney represent the amiable merger of southern Scottish Rite Freemasonry (a la Secret Sun) and the crypto-Freemasonic beliefs of Mormonism.

Tarpley, who has a quasi-FDR style political outlook has done a lot of nice pieces and books [Synthetic Terror PDF] over the years, and as a former associate of Lyndon LaRouche (also FDR-like in a weird way) he never saw a Anglo-Dutch conspiracy he didn't like to flush out.

Tarpley points out that Ron Paul declined to really attack Romney at all in the GOP debates, generally firing on Romney's leading opponents and also deflecting their anger. With Romney's cousin Huntsman as the opposite left/centrist flank, the good doctor was able to absorb basically all the anti-establishment votes against Romney. When Jones is holding the mic, you can just hear Tarpley saying that Paul ran interference for Romney and Jones ran interference for Paul. OUCH.

Obviously I felt it was beneficial to the country to have Paul challenging the warmongers and exposing their bloodthirsty insanity, the disturbingly unvarnished Id in some of those crowds, and it would have been better to have a Paul vs Obama campaign to force the war & big brother state issues to the fore. But this was never really in the cards, even if Paul would have been a better general election candidate for the GOP than Romney (which he probably would have been).

This, after all, is American electoral politics. Frank Zappa characterized it as the entertainment wing of the military-industrial complex and of course he was right. The intelligence structures are never going to let anyone advance into office who would undo the National Security Act of 1947 and the cultish secret state it initiated to be undone.

They are perfectly happy to keep everything managed under two-party dialectics with tons of corporate money swaying all the big issues. Since we don't have a parliamentary system anywhere in this country, with party lists that would permit minority viewpoints a legislative voice, every interesting electoral project, from Howard Dean or Ralph Nader to Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, become exercises in futility, white knights to rally the less-brainwashed masses & follow off to electoral oblivion with great fanfare. And if things get too close, a few Nixonian dirty tricks and buffer overflows in the voting machines can clean it up in no time.

Hell, if Lyndon Johnson wouldn't even expose Richard Nixon's treasonous blocking of the Paris peace conference on Vietnam, what chance does this more lame and greasy generation of politicians have?

In the GOP process this year, the anti-Paul people made sure to lock out & dirty-trick as many Paulistas as they could, leading to memorably weird chaos at normally-staid GOP conventions across America. The Romney 'network' is about an inch deep (apart from Bain operatives making trouble China & stuff), while seemingly endless weird networks of lolcats affiliated with the Ron Paul campaign.

In the 2008 cycle, it was insightfully put that the Paul campaign was very deliberately a narrative void or a cipher, so that the Truther groups could happily write themselves into the narrative and identify with it, along with IT nerds, the post-Perot types, and at the darker end, much more creepy prejudiced nativist types & etc. (and this varied heavily state-to-state, with Michigan less creepy than Arizona, etc.).

Unfortunately, because the Truther movement just didn't have a good broad nature in the political spectrum (well it does, but it doesn't operate that way), working with the anti-militarist Paul campaign to recruit and hang onto all those rebelliously-minded people effectively diverted them from possibly amplifying other efforts. He'd talk about false flags and ideals of liberty, but did Paul ever make it clear people needed to get out of their political comfort zone to take on adversaries we all share?

The ideological buy-in needed to become a true believer in electoral politics made rivals of people that could have and should have been allies -- in their own best interests. For example, it drove a wedge between Ron Paul fans who became Rand Paul fans, who liked his deregulatory push on coal mines, against the mountaintop removal activists. That wedge is perhaps the tragedy -- could it be undone?

What if everyone had instead agitated -- in a non-partisan style -- at their state legislatures against the corrupt operations of the federal government, the false flags, the constant stings and setups targeting both left and right, not to mention Muslims? What if they'd done direct actions together in the field against minions of the police state? There was a real biffed opportunity to build a good, multi-level resistance network outside of the traps and pitfalls of electoral politics.

Hopefully the remainders of the 2012 Paul network can pick themselves up and pivot more to more broad social issues, as well as the Big Brother system which is rapidly expanding -- if they can get a handle on how the Federal Reserve, while a keystone, is in many ways just the trade association or front-plate for the politically engaged big banks (with an infinite money printer).

The Big Brother system isn't exclusively government-based either, despite what Lew Rockwell and Mike Adams believe. It's really getting implemented by less than 25 military-industrial contractors with about 300 below that, and another several hundred below them. I can only expect these people to redouble their scrutiny and fierce public resistance, sending many would-be technocratic control freaks running for cover. The gains they made in the formal GOP system will add more wrinkles to what looked like an easy rollout for the prison state.

The Big Brother complex is capitalist, not in the sense of a 'free market' but in the sense it's commidifying everything about human freedom. It arrives through statism, but with dollar signs. It's the tender mercies of the GEO Group letting 'juvies' get sexually assaulted in hellish Mississippi private prisons. It's having foot locators on everyone. Ex by Matt Stoller: Profit-Driven Surveillance and the Spectrum of Freedom: “We will offer electronic monitoring services in every state.”

******

So now, between Wisconsin and the Truthers and the Ron Paul cats, here we sit, at the long dark teatime of the soul, as Douglas Adams put it. All our shared problems mount and continue to deteriorate -- the usual foibles of humanity, greed, idolatry, the search for white knights to preserve that which never existed in the first place, the hunt for strange new threats from within and without -- all of these are still with us. Ancient Greek historians would chuckle that twenty-some centuries later, we fall for the same damn tricks every time.

Perhaps as they say there is nothing new in the universe, but I've seen a lot of synchronicity. I've seen a lot more pieces fall into place and weirdly line up than I think my traditional atheist mundane-universe perspective could explain. After all, today's militant Dawkins type atheists can't explain too well why evil -- and its handmaiden, war -- impose such a powerful force of their own. Nor can they explain what summons people to such resistance, or on occasion such luck and grace.

Even when dealt those staggering blows -- even when your political projects seemingly turn to dust overnight yet again -- besides the fond memories of fighting the good fight with your comrades, you made new friends, you built new skills, you showed the novices a thing or two. You didn't live on your knees, you threatened the despicable & illegitimate flows of authority. From time to time, you really wigged them out. And yes, you won a victory, two, or three, and inspired a few more.

The challenge, of course, is for all these people to reach outside their comfort zone, to abandon the elections-first perspective and turn to the more difficult project of politics in real time, not the deferred imaginary future image produced by the operatives of election industry, the illusionary catharsis they pitch as tomorrow's ballot box.

For reference: A convoluted BlackBloc debate - Summarizing dickering on the Adbusters Mayday post

This post is a spinoff of a larger, incomplete project. Hopefully, it can be completed! :D

Having more time on my hands than I expected lately, I've been scouring the interwebs for everything I can find about the ongoing debates around militant direct action, protest tactics, the nebulous fate and hodgepodgy status of the Occupy Wall Street movement across North America -- along with related movements such as the Quebec uprising.

My whole inquiry really got rolling after reading a relatively ridiculous writeup on the ugly interval at the Chicago NATO summit by some guy from US Uncut, Carl Gibson: Cut It Out: An Open Letter to Black Bloc Anarchists, who made some generalizations based upon "According to those who were there... By starting confrontations with riot police during the ceremony.... All you did was attract more riot police to an otherwise peaceful event, leading to kettlings, beatings and arrests. Way to go. [....] Nobody asked you to be the self-appointed 'Defenders of Dissent' at our actions. Nobody asked you to give us lessons in how to be 'real activists.' If you want to join the movement, join the movement."

It certainly appeared from my remote vantage point that the event was kettled on three sides from the get-go and the Chicago PD started beating the shit out of people with batons without any substantial aggressive acts on the part of the bloc types.

Obviously Carl's reasoning justifies the ol' state violence beat-down without actually proving his point at all -- free form demonization. And the usual boundary-patrolling of who gets to "join the movement" is an eye-roller considering that OWS was at its core obviously a wild-eyed project mostly launched by capital-A Anarchists in the first place.

And of course, Carl buys into the silly notion the opportunistic Chris Hedges maliciously dumped into the mix in January, which is that the black bloc is some discrete sub-group like Blue Dog Democrats or the Congressional Black Caucus, not an anonymized mode of protest utilized by rank-and-file Occupy regulars & others, with a history stretching back at least as far as that iconic colonial Tea Party incident.

Having myself been loosely around the scene which gave rise to the 2008 Republican National Convention St. Paul Principles that then gave OWS that complex three-word phrase "diversity of tactics," I feel like the whole thing is almost old news. It's all quite a bit bigger than black bloc, after all. The late great Walker Church, the RNC8 Defense Committee, the whole debate which once seemed bounded by the Twin Cities barged out into North America to wig out perhaps thousands of people!

I don't feel like laying out all the major points floating around right now, but in the process of pulling links I started pulling the more relevant points and counter-points from the Adbusters piece on MayDay, which had, let's say a number of issues.

It seems like Adbusters wasn't accurate about how things in NYC went down that day (though I wasn't there myself). It also fails to really inform readers about more aggressive & violent tactics from the state, and there are plenty of important elements to share with readers who might not be familiar with that kind of madness. (Not to justify it like Carl avidly does, but it's important to at least inform readers about police & intelligence tactics when discussing militant protest tactics!)

The rightwing anti-Occupy leeches -- less fun now they've lost their main man Breitbart -- only have drab pieces such as this WorldNetDaily: Anarchist tactics ‘future’ of Occupy movement, which was a riff upon #7 Battle for the Soul of Occupy | Adbusters, touting the various MayDay black bloc actions...

Anyway I wanted to put up this condensed collection of comments for reference because I think it caught much of the anarchist/marxist/capitalist/mainstream/reactionary/confused/trolling spectrum of the debate. If you want a sample of the juncture of the issue, I think this is a useful skim.

Along with a few historical, zine, video & PDF links for variety, here is a condensed view of those comments from Adbusters for yr political reference.

~~ TO BE CONTINUED WITH WAY MORE AWESOME LINX LATER ~~

A moment of police state zen: White House-approved Homeland Security talking points deny federal coordination of Occupy crackdown, in middle of fed email spool coordinating Occupy crackdown

A bunch of new documents have been FOIA'd out showing the various layers of Occupy crackdown. We certainly watched it all happen pretty rapidly from the ol GlobalRev catbird seat. One week, everything seemed weirdly quiet on the eviction front -- then seemingly overnight the police squads rushed in across the country and crushed the camps.

It was an interesting time... wasn't it? As the documents trickle out, we'll start to really see the whole darn thing in a new light -- certainly Occupy enticed so many bad actors & ugly authoritarian meme-systems to head into the blazing scene, intervening in so many ways.

White House (WH) approved talking points from: Partnership for Civil Justice Fund - DHS Releases More Documents on Occupy to PCJF:

Screen shot 2012-05-15 at 4.03.15 AM.png

Some hub of shenanigans known as the Homeland Security National Operations Center (or NOC) was evidently the front desk for a lot of this, but PCJF suspects, that looked pretty bad so they redirected put it through local police backchannels as well.

A classic little highlight here from five days before the White House approved talking points, thanks to PCJF:

Screen shot 2012-05-15 at 4.09.43 AM.png

Moar notes: White House & Dems Back Banks over Protests: Newly Discovered Homeland Security Files Show Feds Central to Occupy Crackdown | This Can't Be Happening &etc...

Video: Lawsuit Zombies fight state repression with police money, brains & more brains!

Video release of sorts from the Minneapolis zombies, and a fun edit. 1min40s, brevity! Plz subscribe to Youtube & now Scribd document service as well. If you haven't yet, check out Scribd for a marvelous array of all sorts of documents (PDFs, office, etc)...w00pw00p.

Press release:

Zombies to Donate Thousands to RNC 8 and Scott DeMuth

Portion of Minneapolis Police Settlement to Go to Anarchists Facing Trial

Minneapolis, MN--The RNC 8 and Scott DeMuth, Twin Cities anarchist organizers facing trial this fall on politically motivated conspiracy charges, are receiving donations to their legal defense funds from an unlikely source--zombies who settled a lawsuit with the City of Minneapolis late last week.

The seven "zombie" street theatre performers split a $165,000 settlement with their lawyer stemming from police misconduct during their false arrests in 2006 [see http://tinyurl.com/strib-zombies ]. Members of the Zombie 7 have pledged at least $4,000 of their settlement to the legal defense of the RNC 8 and Scott DeMuth, another Minneapolis activist facing a politically-motivated conspiracy trial this fall.

The RNC 8 (http://rnc8.org ) were pre-emptively arrested before the 2008 RNC protests in St. Paul. Originally charged with terrorism (those charges under the MN PATRIOT Act have since been dropped), they now face felony conspiracy to riot and conspiracy to commit property damage, and go to trial October 25, 2010.

Scott DeMuth (http://davenportgrandjury.wordpress.com ) goes to trial in Davenport, Iowa on September 14, 2010, one of the few people charged under the new Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a law passed as part of the "Green Scare" criminalizing animal rights activism.

"The Zombie 7 were not slapped with criminal charges after being absurdly arrested for 'simulating weapons of mass destruction,'" said Raphi Rechitsky, one of the Zombie 7. "But countless others are prosecuted for their artistic and political expression, views, and associations, much like the RNC 8 and Scott DeMuth. They face not only jail time and exhausting legal proceedings, but also costly legal defense. My fellow zombies and I have come to understand that with a flip of a coin, we could have been the ones to face criminal charges on outrageous accusations of 'violence.'"

We've long suspected this, but police in the Twin Cities truly seem to have lost their braaaaaiiiinnnnss.

Edited by Dan Feidt - http://hongpong.com / http://youtube.com/hongpong

Download the whole video HD - (Creative Commons with Attribution)!

http://hongpong.com/files/zombie-export-h264.mov

Video Stills (CC): http://hongpong.com/files/zombie1.png http://hongpong.com/files/zombie2.png http://hongpong.com/files/zombie3.png

Links: http://rnc8.org http://thejerichomovement.com http://criticalresistance.org http://abcf.net http://davenportgrandjury.wordpress.com

Big Brother GPS tracking nets Epic Dissent from 9th Circuit Chief Judge - 1984 Here At Last!

There is something creepy and un-American about such clandestine and underhanded behavior. To those of us who have lived under a totalitarian regime, there is an eerie feeling of déjà vu. This case, if any, deserves the comprehensive, mature and diverse consideration that an en banc panel can provide. We are taking a giant leap into the unknown, and the consequences for ourselves and our children may be dire and irreversible. Some day, soon, we may wake up and find we're living in Oceania.
--Kozinski Chief LOLcat of the 9th Circuit

Via Chief Judge of 9th Circuit: “1984 here at last,” especially for poor. | Dailycensored.com -

So frequently these authoritarians schemes get one greenlight after another. This dissent nails down a wide variety of problems, from GPS spying to the distinct pattern of only appointing rich people with rich friends to the judiciary. This is a really nice dissent from Chief Judge Kozinski, who is regarded apparently as a bomb-throwing libertarian.

I'll post it in full, because we gotta pay some respect when one of these cats actually earns his paycheck.

******

VIA Laws, Life, and Legal Matters - Court Cases and Legal Information at Leagle.com - All Federal and State Appeals Court Cases in One Search

See also: Judges Divided Over Growing GPS Surveillance - NYTimes.com

U.S. v. PINEDA-MORENO

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JUAN PINEDA-MORENO, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 08-30385.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Filed August 12, 2010.

Before: Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain and N. Randy Smith, Circuit Judges, and Charles R. Wolle, Senior District Judge.[1 ]

Order; Dissent by Chief Judge Kozinski, Dissent by Judge Reinhardt.

The petition for rehearing en banc is DENIED.

ORDER

Judges O'Scannlain and N.R. Smith have voted to deny the petition for rehearing en banc, and Judge Wolle has so recommended.

The full court was advised of the petition for rehearing en banc. A judge requested a vote on whether to rehear the matter en banc, and the matter failed to receive a majority of the votes of the nonrecused active judges in favor of en banc consideration. Fed. R. App. P. 35.

Chief Judge KOZINSKI, with whom Judges REINHARDT, WARDLAW, PAEZ and BERZON join, dissenting from the denial of rehearing en banc:

Having previously decimated the protections the Fourth Amendment accords to the home itself, United States v.Lemus, 596 F.3d 512 (9th Cir. 2010) (Kozinski, C.J., dissenting from the denial of rehearing en banc); United Statesv. Black, 482 F.3d 1044 (9th Cir. 2007) (Kozinski, J., dissenting from the denial of rehearing en banc), our court now proceeds to dismantle the zone of privacy we enjoy in the home's curtilage and in public. The needs of law enforcement, to which my colleagues seem inclined to refuse nothing, are quickly making personal privacy a distant memory. 1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it's here at last.

The facts are disturbingly simple: Police snuck onto Pineda-Moreno's property in the dead of night and attached a GPS tracking device to the underside of his car. The device continuously recorded the car's location, allowing police to monitor all of Pineda-Moreno's movements without the need for visual surveillance. The panel holds that none of this implicates the Fourth Amendment, even though the government concedes that the car was in the curtilage of Pineda-Moreno's home at the time the police attached the tracking device. The panel twice errs in very significant and dangerous ways.

1. The opinion assumes that Pineda-Moreno's driveway was part of his home's curtilage, yet concludes that Pineda-Moreno had no reasonable expectation of privacy there. Curtilage is a quaint word most people are not familiar with; even among judges and lawyers, the word is seldom well understood. Yet, it stands for a very important concept because it rounds out the constitutional protections accorded an individual when he is at home.

Curtilage comes to us by way of Middle English and traces its roots to the Old French courtillage, roughly meaning court or little yard. In modern times it has come to mean those portions of a homeowner's property so closely associated with the home as to be considered part of it. The walkway leading from the street to the house is probably part of the curtilage, and the stairs from the walkway to the porch almost certainly are, as is the porch where grandma sits and rocks most afternoons and watches strangers pass by. The attached garage on the side of the house is part of the curtilage, and so is the detached shed where dad keeps his shop equipment and mom her gardening tools—so long as it's not too far from the house itself. The front lawn is part of the curtilage, and the driveway and the backyard—if it's not too big, and is properly separated from the open fields beyond the house.

Whether some portion of property—the porch, the stairs, the shed, the yard, the chicken coop—is part of the curtilage is sometimes a disputed question. But once it is determined that something is part of the curtilage, it's entitled to precisely the same Fourth Amendment protections as the home itself. How do we know? Because the Supreme Court has said so repeatedly.

In Oliver v. United States, the Court said as follows:

[O]nly the curtilage . . . warrants the Fourth Amendment protections that attach to the home. At common law, the curtilage is the area to which extends the intimate activity associated with the "sanctity of a man's home and the privacies of life," and therefore has been considered part of home itself for Fourth Amendment purposes. Thus, courts have extended Fourth Amendment protection to the curtilage.

466 U.S. 170, 180 (1984) (quoting Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616, 630 (1886)) (emphasis added). Three years later, the Court reiterated the same view in United States v. Dunn, 480 U.S. 294, 300 (1987):

[In Oliver] we recognized that the Fourth Amendment protects the curtilage of a house and that the extent of the curtilage is determined by factors that bear upon whether an individual reasonably may expect that the area in question should be treated as the home itself.

(Emphasis added). See also Dow Chemical Co. v. United States, 476 U.S. 227, 231 (1986) (citing Oliver, 466 U.S. at 170). There's no disputing that the Court considers the curtilage to stand on the same footing as the home itself for purposes of the Fourth Amendment.

While it can be unclear whether a particular portion of the homeowner's property is part of the curtilage, there's no doubt here because the government concedes that Pineda-Moreno's driveway is a part of his curtilage, and the panel expressly assumes that it is. United States v. Pineda-Moreno, 591 F.3d 1212, 1214-15 (9th Cir. 2010). Having made that assumption, Oliver and Dunn require the panel to "treat[ ] [it] as the home itself." Dunn, 480 U.S. at 300. Instead, the panel holds that Pineda-Moreno was required to separately establish a reasonable expectation of privacy in the curtilage. That— according to Oliver and Dunn—is like requiring the homeowner to establish a reasonable expectation of privacy in his bedroom. We are often reminded that we must follow Supreme Court precedent, see, e.g., Winn v. Ariz. Christian Sch. Tuition Org., 586 F.3d 649, 658-59 (9th Cir. 2009) (O'Scannlain, J., dissenting from denial of rehearing en banc), but the panel here forgets this advice.

The panel does cite California v. Ciraolo, 476 U.S. 207 (1986), but that case undermines its position. Ciraolo held that a homeowner has no reasonable expectation of visual privacy in his property as to activities that might be seen from a low-flying airplane. The activity there in question— cultivation of marijuana—took place in the homeowner's yard, so the Court could have limited its discussion to the curtilage. Instead, Ciraolo quoted a passage from Katz v.United States, 389 US. 347, 361 (1967), to the effect that "a man's home is, for most purposes, a place where he expects privacy, but objects, activities, or statements that he exposes to the `plain view' of outsiders are not `protected' because no intention to keep them to himself has been exhibited." Ciraolo, 476 U.S. at 215 (quoting Katz,389 U.S. at 361). This passage applies equally to a person's yard as his porch and his bedroom window: If what you do in your home is visible to the public, you have no reasonable expectation that it will remain private. Ciraolo citesOliver and follows its analysis by treating the curtilage and the home as exactly the same for Fourth Amendment purposes.

The panel's rationale for concluding that Pineda-Moreno had no reasonable expectation of privacy is even more worrisome than its disregard of Supreme Court precedent: According to the panel, Pineda-Moreno's driveway was open to the public in that strangers wishing to reach the door of his trailer "to deliver the newspaper or to visit someone would have to go through the driveway to get to the house." Pineda-Moreno, 591 F.3d at 1215. But there are many parts of a person's property that are accessible to strangers for limited purposes: the mailman is entitled to open the gate and deposit mail in the front door slot; the gas man may come into the yard, go into the basement or look under the house to read the meter; the gardener goes all over the property, climbs trees, opens sheds, turns on the sprinkler and taps into the electrical outlets; the pool man, the cable guy, the telephone repair man, the garbage collector, the newspaper delivery boy (we should be so lucky) come onto the property to deliver their wares, perform maintenance or make repairs. This doesn't mean that we invite neighbors to use the pool, strangers to camp out on the lawn or police to snoop in the garage. See United States v. Hedrick, 922 F.2d 396, 400, 402 (7th Cir. 1991) (Cudahy, J., dissenting).

The panel authorizes police to do not only what invited strangers could, but also uninvited children—in this case crawl under the car to retrieve a ball and tinker with the undercarriage. But there's no limit to what neighborhood kids will do, given half a chance: They'll jump the fence, crawl under the porch, pick fruit from the trees, set fire to the cat and micturate on the azaleas. To say that the police may do on your property what urchins might do spells the end of Fourth Amendment protections for most people's curtilage.

The very rich will still be able to protect their privacy with the aid of electric gates, tall fences, security booths, remote cameras, motion sensors and roving patrols, but the vast majority of the 60 million people living in the Ninth Circuit will see their privacy materially diminished by the panel's ruling. Open driveways, unenclosed porches, basement doors left unlocked, back doors left ajar, yard gates left unlatched, garage doors that don't quite close, ladders propped up under an open window will all be considered invitations for police to sneak in on the theory that a neighborhood child might, in which case, the homeowner "would have no grounds to complain." Id.

There's been much talk about diversity on the bench, but there's one kind of diversity that doesn't exist: No truly poor people are appointed as federal judges, or as state judges for that matter. Judges, regardless of race, ethnicity or sex, are selected from the class of people who don't live in trailers or urban ghettos. The everyday problems of people who live in poverty are not close to our hearts and minds because that's not how we and our friends live. Yet poor people are entitled to privacy, even if they can't afford all the gadgets of the wealthy for ensuring it. Whatever else one may say about Pineda-Moreno, it's perfectly clear that he did not expect— and certainly did not consent—to have strangers prowl his property in the middle of the night and attach electronic tracking devices to the underside of his car. No one does.

When you glide your BMW into your underground garage or behind an electric gate, you don't need to worry that somebody might attach a tracking device to it while you sleep. But the Constitution doesn't prefer the rich over the poor; the man who parks his car next to his trailer is entitled to the same privacy and peace of mind as the man whose urban fortress is guarded by the Bel Air Patrol. The panel's breezy opinion is troubling on a number of grounds, not least among them its unselfconscious cultural elitism.

2. After concluding that entering onto Pineda-Moreno's property and attaching a tracking device to his car required no warrant, probable cause, founded suspicion or by-your-leave from the homeowner, the panel holds that downloading the data from the GPS device, which gave police the precise locus of all of Pineda-Moreno's movements, also was not a search, and so police can do it to anybody, anytime they feel like it. Contra United Statesv. Maynard, No. 08-3030, slip op. at 19 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 6, 2010). Our panel relies on United States v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276 (1983), a case from the early 1980s, which involved very different technology.

The Knotts Court refers to the device used there as a "beeper" and describes it as "a radio transmitter, usually battery operated, which emits periodic signals that can be picked up by a radio receiver." Id. at 277. The beeper helped police follow a vehicle by emitting a signal that got stronger the closer the police were to it. The Court considered the beeper to be an aid to following a vehicle through traffic: "The governmental surveillance conducted by means of the beeper in this case amounted principally to the following of an automobile on public streets and highways." Id. at 281. Individuals traveling on streets and highways can be seen by the public, so they have no reasonable expectation that they won't be followed. The beeper helped the police follow the suspect more effectively—the way binoculars enhance the ability to see what is otherwise visible. But the beeper could perform no tracking on its own, nor could it record its location. If no one was close enough to pick up the signal, it was lost forever.

The electronic tracking devices used by the police in this case have little in common with the primitive devices inKnotts. One of the devices here used GPS satellites to pinpoint the car's location on a continuing basis—much like the electronic maps that are now popular in cars. The other type of device was, essentially, a cell phone that tracked the car's movements by its proximity to particular cell towers.

Beepers could help police keep vehicles in view when following them, or find them when they lost sight of them, but they still required at least one officer—and usually many more—to follow the suspect. The modern devices used in Pineda-Moreno's case can record the car's movements without human intervention—quietly, invisibly, with uncanny precision. A small law enforcement team can deploy a dozen, a hundred, a thousand such devices and keep track of their various movements by computer, with far less effort than was previously needed to follow a single vehicle. The devices create a permanent electronic record that can be compared, contrasted and coordinated to deduce all manner of private information about individuals. By holding that this kind of surveillance doesn't impair an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy, the panel hands the government the power to track the movements of every one of us, every day of our lives.

The Supreme Court has recognized that advances in "police technology [can] erode the privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment." Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27, 34 (2001). To guard against this, courts "must take the long view, from the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment forward." Id. at 40. Kyllo followed a line of cases going back to United States v. Karo, 468 U.S. 705 (1984), Katz, 389 U.S. at 353, and Silverman v. United States,365 U.S. 505, 512 (1961), which stemmed the erosion of personal privacy wrought by technological advances.

In Kyllo, the Court held that use of a thermal imager to detect the heat emanating from defendant's home was a search for purposes of the Fourth Amendment because the then-new technology enabled police to detect what was going on inside the home—activities the homeowner was entitled to consider private. Any other conclusion, the Court noted, "would leave the homeowner at the mercy of advancing technology—including imaging technology that could discern all human activity in the home." Kyllo, 533 U.S. at 35-36 (citing Karo, 468 U.S. at 705). "While the technology used in the present case was relatively crude," the Court continued, "the rule we adopt must take account of more sophisticated systems that are already in use or in development." Id. at 36. In determining whether the tracking devices used in PinedaMoreno's case violate the Fourth Amendment's guarantee of personal privacy, we may not shut our eyes to the fact that they are just advance ripples to a tidal wave of technological assaults on our privacy.

If you have a cell phone in your pocket, then the government can watch you. Michael Isikoff, The Snitch in Your Pocket, Newsweek, Mar. 1, 2010, available at http:// www.newsweek.com/id/233916. At the government's request, the phone company will send out a signal to any cell phone connected to its network, and give the police its location. Last year, law enforcement agents pinged users of just one service provider—Sprint—over eight million times. SeeChristopher Soghoian, 8 Million Reasons for Real Surveillance Oversight, Slight Paranoia (Dec. 1, 2009) http://paranoia/dubfire. net/2009/12/8-million-reasons-for-real-surveillance.html. The volume of requests grew so large that the 110-member electronic surveillance team couldn't keep up, so Sprint automated the process by developing a web interface that gives agents direct access to users' location data. Id. Other cell phone service providers are not as forthcoming about this practice, so we can only guess how many millions of their customers get pinged by the police every year. See Justin Scheck, Stalkers Exploit Cellphone GPS, Wall St. J., Aug. 5, 2010, at A1, A14 (identifying AT&T and Verizon as providing "law-enforcement[ ] easy access to such data").

Use LoJack or OnStar? Someone's watching you too. E.g., OnStar Stolen Vehicle Assistance, http://www.onstar.com/ us_english/jsp/plans/sva.jsp (last visited July 17, 2010). And it's not just live tracking anymore. Private companies are starting to save location information to build databases that allow for hyper-targeted advertising. E.g., Andrew Heining, What's So Bad About the Google Street View Data Flap?, Christian Sci. Monitor, May 15, 2010, available at http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0515/What-s-sobad-about-the-Google-Str.... Companies are amassing huge, ready-made databases of where we've all been. If, as the panel holds, we have no privacy interest in where we go, then the government can mine these databases without a warrant, indeed without any suspicion whatsoever.

By tracking and recording the movements of millions of individuals the government can use computers to detect patterns and develop suspicions. It can also learn a great deal about us because where we go says much about who we are. Are Winston and Julia's cell phones together near a hotel a bit too often? Was Syme's OnStar near an STD clinic? Were Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford at that protest outside the White House? The FBI need no longer deploy agents to infiltrate groups it considers subversive; it can figure out where the groups hold meetings and ask the phone company for a list of cell phones near those locations.

The panel holds that the government can obtain this information without implicating the Fourth Amendment because an individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements through public spaces where he might be observed by an actual or hypothetical observer. But that's quite a leap from what the Supreme Court actually held inKnotts, which is that you have no expectation of privacy as against police who are conducting visual surveillance, albeit "augmenting the sensory faculties bestowed upon them at birth with such enhancements as science and technology afford[s] them." 460 U.S. at 282.

You can preserve your anonymity from prying eyes, even in public, by traveling at night, through heavy traffic, in crowds, by using a circuitous route, disguising your appearance, passing in and out of buildings and being careful not to be followed. But there's no hiding from the all-seeing network of GPS satellites that hover overhead, which never sleep, never blink, never get confused and never lose attention. Nor is there respite from the dense network of cell towers that honeycomb the inhabited United States. Acting together these two technologies alone can provide law enforcement with a swift, efficient, silent, invisible and cheap way of tracking the movements of virtually anyone and everyone they choose. See, e.g., GPS Mini Tracker with Cell Phone Assist Tracker, http://www.spyville.com/passive-gps.html (last visited July 17, 2010). Most targets won't know they need to disguise their movements or turn off their cell phones because they'll have no reason to suspect that Big Brother is watching them.

The Supreme Court in Knotts expressly left open whether "twenty-four hour surveillance of any citizen of this country" by means of "dragnet-type law enforcement practices" violates the Fourth Amendment's guarantee of personal privacy. 460 U.S. at 283-84. When requests for cell phone location information have become so numerous that the telephone company must develop a self-service website so that law enforcement agents can retrieve user data from the comfort of their desks, we can safely say that "such dragnet-type law enforcement practices" are already in use. This is precisely the wrong time for a court covering one-fifth of the country's population to say that the Fourth Amendment has no role to play in mediating the voracious appetites of law enforcement. But see Maynard, slip op. at 19.

* * *

I don't think that most people in the United States would agree with the panel that someone who leaves his car parked in his driveway outside the door of his home invites people to crawl under it and attach a device that will track the vehicle's every movement and transmit that information to total strangers. There is something creepy and un-American about such clandestine and underhanded behavior. To those of us who have lived under a totalitarian regime, there is an eerie feeling of déjà vu. This case, if any, deserves the comprehensive, mature and diverse consideration that an en banc panel can provide. We are taking a giant leap into the unknown, and the consequences for ourselves and our children may be dire and irreversible. Some day, soon, we may wake up and find we're living in Oceania.

REINHARDT, Circuit Judge, dissenting from the denial of rehearing en banc:

I concur in Chief Judge Kozinski's dissent.

I have served on this court for nearly three decades. I regret that over that time the courts have gradually but deliberately reduced the protections of the Fourth Amendment to the point at which it scarcely resembles the robust guarantor of our constitutional rights we knew when I joined the bench. See Fisher v. City of San Jose, 558 F.3d 1069, 1089 (9th Cir. 2009) (en banc) (Reinhardt, J., dissenting); United States v. Ankeny, 502 F.3d 829, 841 (9th Cir. 2007) (Reinhardt, J., dissenting); United States v. Crapser, 472 F.3d 1141, 1149 (9th Cir. 2007) (Reinhardt, J., dissenting); United States v. Gourde, 440 F.3d 1065, 1074 (9th Cir. 2006) (en banc) (Reinhardt, J., dissenting);United States v. Kincade, 379 F.3d 813, 842 (9th Cir. 2004) (en banc) (Reinhardt, J., dissenting); United States v. Hudson, 100 F.3d 1409, 1421 (9th Cir. 1996) (Reinhardt, J., dissenting); Acton v. Vernonia Sch. Dist. 47J, 66 F.3d 217, 218 (9th Cir. 1995) (Reinhardt, J., dissenting); United States v. Barona, 56 F.3d 1087, 1098 (9th Cir. 1995) (Reinhardt, J., dissenting); United States v. Kelley, 953 F.2d 562, 566 (9th Cir. 1992) (Reinhardt, J., dissenting);United States v. Alvarez, 899 F.2d 833, 840 (9th Cir. 1990) (Reinhardt, J., dissenting); United States v. Flores, 679 F.2d 173, 178 (9th Cir. 1982) (Reinhardt, J., dissenting).

These decisions have curtailed the "right of the people to be secure . . . against unreasonable searches and seizures" not only in our homes and surrounding curtilage, but also in our vehicles, computers, telephones, and bodies — all the way down to our bodily fluids and DNA.

Today's decision is but one more step down the gloomy path the current Judiciary has chosen to follow with regard to the liberties protected by the Fourth Amendment. Sadly, I predict that there will be many more such decisions to come.

I dissent.

Controlling 9/11 "crippled epistemology" via fake 'CIA' Internet Conspiracy Theories, COINTELPRO & "cognitive infiltration of extremist groups": Huge jackass/Obama Info Czar Cass Sunstein favors infiltrating conspiracy groups, planting disinfo, diversions

140110top2.jpg"....we will suggest below that if the hard core arises for certain identifiable reasons, it can be broken up or at least muted by government action." .... "We suggest a role for government efforts, and agents, in introducing such diversity.  Government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action."

SSRN-Conspiracy Theories by Cass Sunstein, Adrian Vermeule

This is one hell of a chestnut. It seems obvious, in retrospect, the best way to conceal the truth of establishment shady business and institutionalized crime is to mix in a ton of bullshit in order to turn all the skeptics and inquirers against each other. Only now it's Obama's dang 'information czar' pitching the strategy!

Interestingly, the more I broaden my sources, the more I appreciate the broad spectrum of people that have cancelled their subscriptions to Establishment Bollox and the Lies of the Mighty Wurlitzer. It's amazing how so many features of Establishment Reality are so widely loathed from within so many different worldviews.

This important fact is what people like Cass Sunstein don't understand. Like faux Establishment 'Centrists', they believe that ontological truth, or even the 'optimal' policy outcome, is like @ the 50% mark between where the dialectical left & right goalposts are placed.

It's like Howard Fineman - accurately dubbed the Weathervane because you only have to look which way he's pointing to determine what reassuring centrist reality is today's hot item. Howard Fineman is the precise opposite of a 'conspiracy theorist' in Sunstein's world.

The Establishment's Hegelian social control techniques are obvious: just set the left and right goalposts, stir and repeat. Problem-reaction-solution. If one can influence both the left and right goalposts in the great false dichotomy, it makes the product of "centrists" far more acceptable. Everything floating around outside this parlor game is the prima materia of 'conspiracy' that the State should attack professionally, Sunstein says!

Sunstein's tidy worldview brushes over the complex role of deceptive bullshit operatives around there, laying the groundwork for stupid establishment narratives. For example, what are we to make of the ever-shady Gerald Posner, spoonfed the FBI goodies on China? Or Adam Ciralski, helping Blackwater's Erik Prince perpetrate some classic exposure-threatening graymail about U.S. covert ops. Are these merely products of rotten epistomology? [PD Scott with a solid takedown of Posner - Scott's the real deal with The War Conspiracy and more here.]

*****

Anyhow Cass Sunstein was appointed by President Obama as some kind of info czar. Interestingly he wrote a paper about how to manipulate conspiracy theorists by attempting to throw their groups off the Hegelian deep end, thus opening an opportunity for defamatory information warfare. Fascinating stuff, and it's got Alex Jones incensed!!

More links, then some snippets: Obama Information Czar Calls For Banning Free Speech, Sunstein’s Paper Provides More Evidence COLINTELPRO Still Operational, etc.

This whole thing reminds me of how the JFK conspiracy scene is managed as "A Story/B Story" wherein there are two alternate, mutually irreconcilable narratives. Dribs and drabs of facts supporting A and B (roughly, CIA/Mafia and Lone Gunman, usually) can be offered and safely paddle around on the History Channel.

Let us share a few choice links about how the CIA type control system AKA the Intelligence Power controls the World of Conspiracy. This is good stuff -- this is exactly how Mama Cass wants the world of conspiracies organized.

For The Win: Fintan Dunne called the Sunstein approach years ago!

My favorite all-in-one shotgun approach comes from Fintan Dunne of BreakForNews.com: BreakForNews.com : The CIA's Internet Fakes


The CIA Fakes is a catchphrase term to describe a group which includes:

-- Covert Operatives of the CIA, NSA and DIA; of the U.S. Corporate/Military Industrial Complex; of the intelligence services of U.K. Spain, France Holland, Germany, and Russia.
-- Political Agents working within the Democratic Party, Republican Party, Democratic Black Caucus, Green Party, and Patriot Movement.
--
Politicians in the U.S., U.K. Spain, France, Germany and Russia --who pose as 9/11 skeptics.
-- Media, including
Mainstream, Alternative Media and Internet broadcasting media who either front for, cooperate with, or are directly employed by intelligence services mentioned above.

The primary objectives of the CIA FAKES are:

-- To leverage the Fakes into position as the leadership/spokespersons
    for the 9/11 skeptics movement.
-- To splinter and divide that movement.
-- To promote lame, tame and/or booby-trapped questions about 9/11.
-- To be sufficiently over-the-top as to prevent the 9/11 issue getting
    any traction in the media or left-wing.
-- To ensure that the movement would not have a politically-active
    leadership capable of turning it into an effective political lobby campaign.

The questions about 9/11 were bound to be asked, the important
aspect for the perpetrators was and is ...by whom?

Bravo, Mr. Dunne, Bravo. You scored big on this one... A general roundup to be found @ The Next Level :: View topic - Uncovered: The Rat's Nest of 9/11 of effective gatekeepers -- and its true that his set of people, in aggregate, has the 9/11 conspiracy topic cornered and setup a certain way.
More along these lines: 9/11, 7/7 & the War on Freedom :: View topic - The Planned Demolition of Alex Jones, The COUP had foreknowledge of 9-11 (YES!), the criticism about Sibel Edmonds, Scheuer, Ray McGovern, etc: WagNews: Our Good Friends in the CIA - NOT !, (i.e "The alternative media is ridden with ex-FBI, ex-CIA, ex-NSA, ex-MI5 people who are on "our side". It's all total BS.") WagNews: Alex Jones, Hopsicker & the 9/11 CIA Fakes -Audio.

This one is suddenly salient: WagNews: Ellsberg, Sibel Edmonds & The Secret Team:

WHAT FLAVOR CONSPIRACY YOU WANT?

One big corner of that overall 9/11 picture is formed by four disparate-seeming individuals: a veteran whistleblower, an attractive novice whistleblower, a campaigning journalist and a reputed lingerie model; jigsaw peices called Ellsberg, Edmonds, Hopsicker and Keller. Ellsberg supports Edmonds, confirmed by Hopsicker --backed by eyewitness accounts from Keller. But they're all telling different flavors of the same story.

To specify which story that is, let's take a look at the popular tales of 9/11. The notorious main division is between LIHOP and MIHOP. But it's much more detailed than that. Explanations come in a full range of flavors --starting with the official story:

A. Official story:
CIA/FBI were incompetent; Bush and/or Clinton were complacent.
B. Official Lame Conspiracy:
CIA/FBI were incompetent; Bush/Cheney maybe let it happen; Israelis Knew.
C. Official LIHOP Conspiracy:
CIA/FBI were compromised; Bush/Cheney did let it happen; Israelis Helped.
D. Official LIHOP Wild Conspiracy:
CIA/FBI compromised; Bush/Cheney/Neocons let it happen; Israelis Did It.
E. Official LIHOP Tinfoil Conspiracy:
Israelis/Neocons/Bush/Cheney Did It; CIA/FBI looked the other way.
F. Official MIHOP 'Serious' Conspiracy:
Israelis/Neocons/CIA/FBI/Bush/Cheney/Military-Industrial-Complex Did It.
G. Official Loony Conspiracies:
Rothschilds and/or Rockefellers and/or CFR and/or Bildebergers did it.
Globalists who want to run everything in a World Government did it.
Jews and Jewish bankers -who already run everything- did it.
Satanists, Opus Dei or Reptilians did it.
It's a terrific variety of theories.
It plays out something like this:
  • The mainstream media push version A; hint at B; sneer at G.
  • The controlled right/intellectual media pushes version B.
  • The controlled left/intellectual media pushes version C.
  • The 'moderate' Fake internet sites push versions C and D.
  • The 'softcore' Fake internet sites push versions D and E.
  • The 'independent' Fake internet sites push version F.
  • The 'loony' Fake interent sites push variations of version G.
But every single one, from A to G are OFFICIAL versions, sanctioned and promoted by the 9/11 intelligence coverup operation and their CIA Fakes network. They have a flavor for every market.

The creation of this multiplicity of explanations is a core element of the coverup. Left to their own devices, people on the Internet might have figured out the truth themselves. But with this circus in action, there is always plenty of distraction and lots of division in opinion.

The intelligence coverup is not trying to stop 9/11 conspiracy theories on the internet. It's creating them. Then playing off supporters of the different theories against each other. That's a classic Cointelpro-style tactic.

***********More from good Ol L Fletcher Prouty on CIA / Ellsberg limited hangout type conspiracy control!
Let's get to the brand-new material from the White House info czar, it's wild!!...... Conspiracy Theories by Cass Sunstein & Adrian Vermeule:

Our main though far from exclusive focus – our running example – involves

conspiracy theories relating to terrorism, especially theories that arise from and post-date

the 9/11 attacks. These theories exist within the United States and, even more virulently,

in foreign countries, especially Muslim countries. The existence of both domestic and

foreign conspiracy theories, we suggest, is no trivial matter, posing real risks to the

government’s antiterrorism policies, whatever the latter may be. Terrorism-related

theories are thus a crucial testing ground for the significance, causes, and policy

implications of widespread conspiracy theorizing. As we shall see, an understanding of

conspiracy theories has broad implications for the spread of information and beliefs;

many erroneous judgments are a product of the same forces that produce conspiracy

theories, and if we are able to see how to counteract such theories, we will have some

clues about how to correct widespread errors more generally.

Part I explores some definitional issues and lays out some of the mechanisms that

produce conspiracy theories and theorists. We begin by discussing different

understandings of the nature of conspiracy theories and different accounts of the kinds of

errors made by those who hold them. Our primary claim is that conspiracy theories

typically stem not from irrationality or mental illness of any kind but from a “crippled

epistemology,” in the form of a sharply limited number of (relevant) informational

sources. Those who hold conspiracy theories do so because of what they read and hear. In

that sense, acceptance of such theories is not irrational from the standpoint of those who

adhere to them. There is a close connection, we suggest, between our claim on this count

and the empirical association between terrorist behavior and an absence of civil rights

and civil liberties.10 When civil rights and civil liberties are absent, people lack multiple

information sources, and they are more likely to accept conspiracy theories.

Part II discusses government responses and legal issues, in light of the discussion

in Part I. We address several dilemmas of governmental response to conspiracy theories,

such as the question whether it is better to rebut such theories, at the risk of legitimating

them, or to ignore them, at the risk of leaving them unrebutted. Conspiracy theories turn

out to be especially hard to undermine or dislodge; they have a self-sealing quality,

rendering them particularly immune to challenge. We suggest several policy responses

that can dampen the supply of conspiracy theorizing, in part by introducing diverse

viewpoints and new factual assumptions into the hard-core groups that produce such

theories. Our principal claim here involves the potential value of cognitive infiltration of

extremist groups, designed to introduce informational diversity into such groups and to

expose indefensible conspiracy theories as such.

Tell me this, Sunstein: how does all that drug money get through the Federal Reserve System? Everyone has been so eager to confront that 'conspiracy theory,' haven't they?

Blah blah blah... let's get to the good stuff: [Below the fold - favorite chunks of much of the crazy essay]

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