“Show me somebody who is always smiling, always cheerful,
always optimistic, and I will show you somebody who hasn’t the
faintest idea what the heck is really going on.” – Mike Royko
“Gang Stalking” is apparently a disinformation term created by U.S. intelligence agencies to refer to the intense, long-term, covert surveillance and harassment of a targeted individual. Such operations have nothing to do with criminal gangs. Official domestic counterintelligence operations of this type are perpetrated by federal agents and contractors, sometimes with the support of state and local law enforcement personnel. The goal of such operations – in the parlance of counterintelligence personnel – is to “subvert” or “neutralize” an individual deemed to be an enemy (or potential enemy). Arguably, the most accurate term for this form of harassment would be “counterintelligence stalking.”
Published news reports and other evidence cited on this website suggest that most of this stalking is probably done as part of a national program – perhaps by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The tactics are apparently also used against Americans in various particular operations by other U.S. intelligence agencies. In addition, news reports indicate that such stalking is sometimes used unofficially for personal and corporate vendettas by current and former members of law enforcement and intelligence agencies, including private investigators.
Since counterintelligence stalking goes far beyond surveillance – into the realm of psychological terrorism, it is essentially a form of extrajudicial punishment. As such, the harassment is illegal – even when done by the government. It clearly violates the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, for example – which guarantees the right to a trial. Such operations also violate similar fundamental rights defined by state constitutions. Stalking is also specifically prohibited by the criminal codes of every state in America.
Crimes against Americans at the hands of corrupt government agents and private security thugs have a long history in the U.S. The FBI’s COINTELPRO (“Counterintelligence Program”) scandal in the 1970s was the most notorious high-profile example, but similar abuses of power by “Red Squads” (state and local Law Enforcement Intelligence Units) and private detectives date back to the 19th century.
You can read a full explanation of counterintelligence stalking on the What is “Gang Stalking?” page of this site.
May 22, 2015
Is the CIA now suggesting that MK Ultra is a “conspiracy theory?”
By its own admission, the CIA destroyed most of its records of its infamous MK Ultra program – in which secret unethical mind control experiments were conducted on Americans and Canadians for about two decades. Nevertheless, a lot is known about MK Ultra – in part because it was among the scandals investigated by Congress during the 1970s. Consequently, it is interesting that when an anonymous source at the spy agency recently leaked information to a reporter at Buzzfeed, it apparently categorized the Senate’s report about MK Ultra among the “conspiracy theory books.” Marcy Wheeler, in an article at Salon, calls attention to the way the helpfully credulous Buzzfeed reporter, Rosie Gray, passed along information the CIA fed to her.
Buzzfeed, which got advance release of the materials, emphasized the “conspiracy” texts bin Laden had. It quoted someone to whom they bizarrely gave anonymity, saying, “‘Of the 38 full-length English-language books he had in his possession, about half of them were conspiracy theory books’ about the Illuminati, Freemasons, and other conspiracy topics.”
…The list also includes materials from congressional hearings about Project MK Ultra, the so-called “mind control” program conducted by the CIA in the 1950s and 1960s.
May 22, 2015
New Attorney General supports mass surveillance
In an interview on CBS this morning, the new U.S. Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, made clear that she has the same contempt for Americans’ privacy as her predecessor, Eric Holder. She wants to extend the provision of the Patriot Act which allows the federal government to gather information about the phone records of all Americans (the provision which was recently ruled illegal by a U.S. appeals court). This should surprise no one, of course; Lynch’s appointment to head the Justice Department was supported by both major political parties precisely because she holds extreme right-wing views about government power.
May 21, 2015
Big Brother’s ambitions
Tom Engelhardt’s new column examines some recurring patterns of deception, hubris, violence, and incompetence in the U.S. national security state. This passage – which is relevant to counterintelligence stalking – perfectly describes the security state’s quest: maximum power for itself and a minimum of oversight from the public whose interests it supposedly serves.
“…the American national security state, which has undergone an era of unprecedented expansion, is now remarkably unconstrained by any kind of serious oversight, the rule of law, or limits of almost any sort. It should be clear by now that the urge for ever more latitude and power has become part of its institutional DNA. It has already created a global surveillance system of a kind never before seen or imagined, not even by the totalitarian regimes of the last century. Its end goal is clearly to have access to everyone on the planet, Americans included, and every imaginable form of communication now in use. There was to be a sole exception to this blanket system of surveillance: the official denizens of the national security state itself. No one was to have the capacity to look at them. This helps explain why its top officials were so viscerally outraged by Edward Snowden and his revelations. When someone surveilled them as they did others, they felt violated and deeply offended.”
May 19, 2015
Our leaders and their friends
A New York Times article on Monday about Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal provides a good example of why Hillary Clinton tries so hard to avoid contact with real journalists.
After Washington’s war pigs (Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, et al.) supported the illegal invasion of Libya in 2011 – which destabilized that nation, some friends of the war pigs sought to cash in on the resulting chaos by exploiting their close connections to the woman who wants to be our next president.
“Much of the Libya intelligence that Mr. Blumenthal passed on to Mrs. Clinton appears to have come from a group of business associates he was advising as they sought to win contracts from the Libyan transitional government. The venture, which was ultimately unsuccessful, involved other Clinton friends, a private military contractor and one former C.I.A. spy seeking to get in on the ground floor of the new Libyan economy.”
May 17, 2015
Recent spying and policing news…
Public appearance by the author of a book on gang stalking
Robert Guffey, author of CHAMELEO, will be hosting a discussion and book-signing event at Book Soup in West Hollywood, California, on Friday, June 5th at 7 pm. The store is located at 8818 W. Sunset Blvd. The event will last about 90 minutes.
I recently posted information here about the book. I encourage anyone who can attend the event to do so. Guffey has interesting insights about this issue, as well as the writing skills needed to educate the public about this form of state-sponsored criminality.
Here is the description of CHAMELEO posted on Book Soup’s website:
“ A mesmerizing mix of Charles Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson, and Philip K. Dick, Chameleo is a true account of what happened in a seedy Southern California town when an enthusiastic and unrepentant heroin addict named Dion Fuller sheltered a U.S. Marine who’d stolen night vision goggles and perhaps a few top secret files from a nearby military base. Dion found himself arrested (under the ostensible auspices of The Patriot Act) for conspiring with international terrorists to smuggle Top Secret military equipment out of Camp Pendleton. The fact that Dion had absolutely nothing to do with international terrorists, smuggling, Top Secret military equipment, or Camp Pendleton didn’t seem to bother the military. He was released from jail after a six-day-long Abu-Ghraib-style interrogation. Subsequently, he believed himself under intense government scrutiny – and, he suspected, the subject of bizarre experimentation involving “cloaking”- electro-optical camouflage so extreme it renders observers practically invisible from a distance of some meters – by the Department of Homeland Security. Hallucination? Perhaps – except Robert Guffey, an English teacher and Dion’s friend, tracked down and interviewed one of the scientists behind the project codenamed “Chameleo,” experimental technology which appears to have been stolen by the U.S. Department of Defense and deployed on American soil. More shocking still, Guffey discovered that the DoD has been experimenting with its newest technologies on a number of American citizens.”
Oklahoma woman reports being stalked in a way which sounds familiar
Robert Guffey (see the above post) calls attention to a breaking story which seems to involve exactly the types of harassment associated with “gang stalking” (although that term does not appear in the press coverage so far). The story has been reported by Salon and by The Oklahoman.
On Wednesday, Salon reported the following (drawing from the facts reported that same day by The Oklahoman):
“ An Oklahoma woman who works as a dancer at a “gentlemen’s club” has filed a protective order against Texas State Sen. Charles Perry…”
…According to the protective order request — of which Ortiz posted a photo on Twitter — Perry recruited acquaintances to help him keep tabs on the woman.
I could not go outside without one coming to watch especially if I was on the phone,” Ortiz’s request states. “A man in a brown truck would follow me everywhere I went.”
Ortiz also claims the lawmaker hacked her computer, interfered with her relationships and her work, vandalized her car and installed surveillance cameras in her home.
Perry’s office has denied each of her claims and taken to attacking Ortiz’s character, in addition to requesting that a judge dismiss the protective order.
Reportedly, the alleged perpetrator responded with the usual dismissal issued to discredit such allegations:
“She simply needs real help and treatment,” a Perry spokesperson said of Ortiz, calling her claims “completely false.”
The woman who is reporting being the victim of the stalking has, in turn, noted that the denial is of a familiar sort:
Ortiz has called Perry’s response to her claims “textbook.”
Robert Guffey poses the following question about all of this:
Question: In 21st century America, is it more reasonable to assume that A) a stripper in Oklahoma is suffering from acute paranoia or that B) a right-wing Christian Senator in Texas has access to a vast network of gang stalking perps who would not hesitate to plant covert surveillance cameras in the private residence of a U.S. citizen, vandalize said individual’s automobile, disrupt said individual’s relationships at work and elsewhere, and hack into said individual’s personal computer?
Lee Fang at The Intercept looks at who pays the police state’s shills.
A U.S. appeals court ruled that mass surveillance of telephone metadata by the National Security Agency (NSA) is illegal – providing further vindication of the actions and claims of NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
A civil rights group recommended reforming a federal program of spying on mail because of a lack of oversight. Last year the New York Times reported that the program was used by an Arizona sheriff to spy on one of his critics. The woman successfully sued the county for nearly $1 million – a settlement which was upheld on appeal.
Associated Press reports that the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), wants the NSA to increase its domestic surveillance. I have always maintained that the U.S. government should greatly expand its spying on Americans. Fortunately there are people in Congress who appreciate the threat posed by citizens who are not being constantly watched by the U.S. government.
ABC News reports that the FBI is reviewing cases to gauge “how many more targets should be placed under 24/7 surveillance.”
…officials told ABC News that agents have been ordered to review the cases of so-called “marginal” or “borderline” suspects…
They Know Everything About You is a recently-published book by Robert Scheer about the assault on Americans’ privacy by U.S. agencies and corporations. Scheer is a progressive journalist who was one of the editors of Ramparts in the 1960s. He worked as a journalist and columnist for nearly three decades at the Los Angeles Times, and is currently the editor of truthdig. Scheer is also one of the hosts of the weekly public radio program Left, Right & Center.
As noted in the Wikipedia entry linked above, Scheer was fired by the L.A. Times in 2005 – and replaced by right-wing columnists – apparently for daring to criticize President Bush’s invasion of Iraq.
This description of Scheer’s new book is from Amazon:
“…the erosion of privacy rights extends far beyond big government. Intelligence agencies such as the NSA and CIA are using Silicon Valley corporate partners as their data spies. Seemingly progressive tech companies are joining forces with snooping government agencies to create a brave new world of wired tyranny.”
Scheer is very familiar with the corruption in U.S. intelligence agencies. Going back to his days at Ramparts, he has been exposing crimes by the National Security Agency – as he explained in this speech he gave in March.
An article by Jeff Kaye posted at Firedoglake examines allegations that the CIA used mind-altering drugs on detainees at black site prisons. The CIA’s Inspector General looked into that issue and reported that no such abuse ever happened. And you can be sure that was a legitimate investigation because it was very thorough – apart from not having spoken to any of the detainees about what happened.
“No CIA detainees were evidently ever
interviewed as part of the IG investigation.”
As reported by Democracy Now!, police torture victims in Chicago recently won a settlement.
“Earlier this month, the Chicago City Council approved a $5.5 million reparations fund for victims of police torture. More than 200 people, most of them African-American, were tortured under the reign of Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge from 1972 to 1991. Tactics included electric shocks and suffocation.”
On Thursday, TomDispatch posted this interesting analysis of the U.S. military-industrial complex by former U.S. Air Force officer William Astore. “The American Military Uncontained” explores how the MIC sought to exploit the space created by the fall of the Soviet Union.
Now was the time to go for broke. Now was the time to go “all in,” to borrow the title of Paula Broadwell’s fawning biography of her mentor and lover, General David Petraeus. Under the circumstances, peace dividends were for wimps. In 1993, Madeleine Albright, secretary of state under Bill Clinton, caught the coming post-Cold War mood of twenty-first-century America perfectly when she challenged Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell angrily over what she considered a too-cautious U.S. approach to the former Yugoslavia. “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about,” she asked, “if we can’t use it?”
… the military-industrial-congressional-complex that President Dwight Eisenhower first warned us about in 1961 remains in expansion mode more than half a century later, with its taste for business as usual (meaning, among other things, wildly expensive weapons systems). Above all, though, it’s an illustration of something far more disturbing: the failure of democratic America to seize the possibility of a less militarized world.
On Thursday, Pando Daily published an excellent piece by Mark Ames about efforts by establishment journalists to discredit Seymour Hersh’s recent reporting on the U.S. government’s apparent lying about the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
Ames seems to be someone whose articles and tweets are worth following. Like most progressives, he obviously despises libertarians (who in turn, mostly despise progressives), but he is probably worth following. My own view is that the two groups should take the advice of Ralph Nader and unite against the neocon police state enthusiasts who dominate both of America’s major political parties. Here is a recent sample of Ames’ commentary on libertarianism though, which deserves a listen.
May 11, 2015
Chris Hedges: America is “a nation of snitches”
In his new column at truthdig, Chris Hedges discusses the role of informants in a police state. Since the “national security” industry has spread like mold in America’s basement, we should be thankful that some prominent intellectuals, such as Hedges, are calling attention to the parasites employed by that industry to watch us all.
“Tyranny is always welded together by subterranean networks of informants. These informants keep a populace in a state of fear. They perpetuate constant anxiety and enforce isolation through distrust. The state uses wholesale surveillance and spying to break down trust and deny us the privacy to think and speak freely.”
Victims of counterintelligence stalking will instantly recognize the type of people Hedges is describing. They are a subset of one’s neighbors, co-workers, and others who are recruited to function as the state’s rats. In “gang stalking” they sometimes perform a surveillance role, but more often they are perpetrating various acts of psychological harassment (overt stalking). Exposing such people – for example, by mailing and distributing flyers (as described on the Tactics page of this website) – is critical. Mold thrives in the dark.
As Hedges notes, one reason that snitches are a favorite weapon for governments with police state inclinations is that they can be used to circumvent the laws which are supposed to protect citizens’ rights:
“There are no rules in this dirty game. Police, like prison officials, can offer snitches deals that lack judicial oversight or control. (Deals sometimes involve something as trivial as allowing a prisoner access to food like cheeseburgers.) Snitches allow the state to skirt what is left of our legal protections. Snitches can obtain information for the authorities and do not have to give their targets a Miranda warning. And because of the desperation of most who are recruited to snitch, informants will do almost anything asked of them by authorities.”
In this column, Hedges uses the term “snitches” in its broadest sense – to refer not only to the traditional criminal informant types, but also to those who profit from direct employment by America’s huge surveillance infrastructure: “…these informants on the streets, in the prisons and manning our massive, government data-collection centers.” This is an accurate categorization from a moral perspective. Both types of snitches are self-serving, whatever their rationalizations. Careerists are just as pliant as criminal informants.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote about the harsh justice that was meted out to snitches in Josef Stalin’s gulags. Although Hedges quotes one of those accounts of snitches being killed in the prison camps, he makes it clear that he is not calling for such actions. He deserves credit for even daring to discuss that issue though; many columnists would be afraid to even mention it for fear of being accused of advocating violence against the government’s lackeys. Hedges does not shy away from the radical implications of the moral decay in the U.S. government and its corporate clients:
“Freedom demands the destruction of the security
and surveillance organs and the disempowering of
the millions of informants who work for the state.”
May 8, 2015
Independent activism versus participation in elections
As candidates from both major political parties announce their presidential aspirations, this is a good time to look at the case for ignoring all of them and seeking change outside our nation’s deeply rotten political system. Here are a couple of recent essays which make that point in a convincing way.
David Swanson has this to say in a piece published by CounterPunch:
“Yes, Bernie Sanders would be a far superior president to Hillary Clinton.
That requires a bit of elaboration. Something I just scraped off my shoe would be a far superior president to Hillary Clinton…
I’m not against elections. I think we should have one some day. At the presidential level we do not currently have elections. That office is not up for election; it is up for sale.”
Chris Hedges, in a piece published by truthdig, takes a similar position:
“It does not matter to the corporate rich who wins the presidential election. It does not matter who is elected to Congress. The rich have the power. They throw money at their favorites the way a gambler puts cash on his favorite horse. Money has replaced the vote. The wealthy can crush anyone who does not play by their rules. And the political elites—slobbering over the spoils provided by their corporate masters for selling us out—understand the game. Barack and Michelle Obama, as did the Clintons, will acquire many millions of dollars once they leave the White House. And your elected representative in the House or Senate, if not a multimillionaire already, will be one as soon as he or she retires from government and is handed seats on corporate boards or positions in lobbying firms. We do not live in a democracy. We live in a political system that has legalized bribery, exclusively serves corporate power and is awash in propaganda and lies.
If you want change you can believe in, destroy the system. And changing the system does not mean collaborating with it as Bernie Sanders is doing by playing by the cooked rules of the Democratic Party. Profound social and political transformation is acknowledged in legislatures and courts but never initiated there. Radical change always comes from below. As long as our gaze is turned upward to the powerful, as long as we invest hope in reforming the system of corporate power, we will remain enslaved. There may be good people within the system—Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are examples—but that is not the point. It is the system that is rotten. It must be replaced.”
Hedges is arguably the most important intellectual writing about politics in America today (Hedges cites Noam Chomsky as the person who deserves that honor). Anyone unfamiliar with Hedges – or who has not already seen or heard his speech “Wages of Rebellion” should take this one-hour ride through American history. The speech provides, among other things, the background of the current use of fascist enforcers to prop up America’s oligarchy. The central ideas of the speech are being published in a book by the same name to be released next week.
Beginning at 19:56 into his speech, Hedges explains the purpose of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI):
“Let’s not forget why the FBI was formed. The FBI was basically
a goon squad that was formed to break radical movements.”
May 2, 2015
David Brooks’ deep thoughts on the problems in Baltimore
Yesterday New York Times columnist David Brooks shared his insights about the nature of urban poverty in America, and how it relates to the recent events in Baltimore. Readers familiar with Brooks’ commentary will not be surprised that his column focuses on the sociology of poverty rather than on the criminality of America’s law enforcement officers; Brooks is apparently more comfortable discussing character defects of the poor than discussing the corruption of people in positions of power. Still, the column is outrageous in its vaguely-implied linkage of Freddie Gray’s death to the moral character of Gray – rather than to the moral character of the cops who are apparently responsible for his death (six officers have been charged).
The most charitable explanation of Brooks’ column is that it is just sloppy and lazy analysis. Perhaps Brooks wanted to write a column about poverty, and he also wanted to say something about what is happening in Baltimore, so he threw together some observations about both. On the other hand, it seems dishonest for Brooks to have discussed Freddie Gray’s background without explicitly saying whether he believes that any of the details mitigate – even slightly – the culpability of the police. It is unclear, for example, exactly what the reader should infer from this information:
“…his mother was a heroin addict who, in a deposition, said she couldn’t read. In one court filing, it was reported that Gray was four grade levels behind in reading. He was arrested more than a dozen times.”
Brooks is similarly vague when he quotes David Simon, creator of HBO’s series The Wire – the police show which was set in Baltimore:
“…he describes that, even in poorest Baltimore, there once were informal rules of behavior governing how cops interacted with citizens — when they’d drag them in and when they wouldn’t, what curse words you could say to a cop and what you couldn’t. But then the code dissolved. The informal guardrails of life were gone, and all was arbitrary harshness.”
Note the passive language – which Brooks makes no effort to clarify: “the code dissolved.” Is everyone to blame? Some people – such as police officials – have a lot more power and responsibility than others to enforce various codes – both the formal and informal kind. Brooks seems oblivious to that basic point.
Note also that, without providing more specific context, the quote suggests an equivalence between cursing a cop – which is rude, but legal – and taking someone into custody – something which legally must not involve violating a suspect’s civil rights.
Also note that Brooks completely fails to mention the drug war – which Brooks supports. If he is going to quote David Simon, he should at least note that Simon has long been an outspoken critic of America’s war on drugs. Simon has often spoken of the drug war’s devastating effects on the people of Baltimore – and upon exactly the sort of community-police relations being discussed in the quote which Brooks highlighted. Here, for example, is another quote from Simon from the same interview:
“The part that seems systemic and connected is that the drug war—which Baltimore waged as aggressively as any American city—was transforming in terms of police/community relations, in terms of trust, particularly between the black community and the police department. Probable cause was destroyed by the drug war. It happened in stages, but even in the time that I was a police reporter, which would have been the early 80s to the early 90s, the need for police officers to address the basic rights of the people they were policing in Baltimore was minimized. It was done almost as a plan by the local government, by police commissioners and mayors, and it not only made everybody in these poor communities vulnerable to the most arbitrary behavior on the part of the police officers, it taught police officers how not to distinguish in ways that they once did.”
The killing of Freddie Gray – a medical examiner report ruled that his death was a homicide – was not unconnected to his economic status (and race), but it was much more closely connected to the fact that the police officers he came in contact with were thugs. Unfortunately, such thugs are common in America’s law enforcement agencies, security contractor firms, and intelligence agencies. Professional apologists for the political establishment, such as David Brooks, are partly to blame for that.
America’s best editorial cartoonist, “Tom Tomorrow” (Dan Perkins), perfectly captured the right-wing’s response to Freddie Gray’s murder, and the related protests.
Click to enlarge.
May 1, 2015
Predatory policing leads to riots in Baltimore
Rioting in Baltimore late Monday night resulted in more than 200 arrests, injuries to at least 20 police officers, and the burning of approximately 20 businesses and 144 vehicles. The unrest began several hours after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died in police custody under suspicious circumstances.
On Wednesday night, The Washington Post published a report that was apparently leaked from the Baltimore Police Department. The report suggests that Freddie Gray – whose spine was fractured while he was being transported to jail – “was intentionally trying to injure himself.” That claim was viewed with deep skepticism by experts on spinal cord injuries, as reported by The Daily Beast:
…if Freddie Gray was trying to break his own spinal cord in the back of a van, according to experts in spinal trauma injuries, it might be the first self-inflicted injury of its kind.
“I have never seen it before. I’ve never seen somebody self-inflict a spinal cord injury in that way,” says Anand Veeravagu, a Stanford University Medical Center neurosurgeon who specializes in traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.
It has also been reported that Mr. Gray sustained a crushed larynx – an injury normally associated with blunt force trauma to the front of the neck.
News media coverage of the rioting has been a mix of the standard fare (repeat whatever the police officials say) and critical independent analysis. An example of the former was noted by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR):
For readers who turned to today’s New York Times site (4/28/15) this morning for news of the ongoing Baltimore protests following the death in police custody of Freddie Gray, they found a terrifying tale of rioters throwing cinder blocks at firefighters trying to put out arson fires, as the city was beset by people with “no regard for life.”
Whose tale was it, though? Here’s the first six citations from the Times story:
“police also reported”
“state and city officials said”
Not until the 12th paragraph does the paper get around to quoting someone who isn’t a police or government official. (UPDATE: At shortly after noon, the Times edited its story to include a quote near the top from a local resident cleaning up after the night’s violence. It still included no quotes from demonstrators or anyone else actually on the scene last night….)
An example of independent reporting is this observation by Mother Jones:
After Baltimore police and a crowd of teens clashed near the Mondawmin Mall in northwest Baltimore on Monday afternoon, news reports described the violence as a riot triggered by kids who had been itching for a fight all day. But in interviews with Mother Jones and other media outlets, teachers and parents maintain that police actions inflamed a tense-but-stable situation.
This should be said in defense of the New York Times – whose reporters covering law enforcement and national security issues have always ranged from first-rate journalists (Neil Sheehan, Chris Hedges, James Risen, et al.) to shills for a corrupt political establishment (Thomas Friedman, Judith Miller, et al.): they deserve credit for publishing an opinion piece by the writer D. Watkins about what happened to Freddie Gray. It included this:
“…I grew up in Baltimore, and I and everyone I know have similar stories, even if they happened to end a little differently. To us, the Baltimore Police Department is a group of terrorists, funded by our tax dollars, who beat on people in our community daily, almost never having to explain or pay for their actions.”
Time magazine, whose political orientation and reporting over the years is roughly comparable to that of the New York Times, also deserves credit for publishing a critical view of America’s law enforcement industry. This piece by Tavis Smiley looks at the recent events in Baltimore in a historical context. He notes that even though the explicit institutional racism of the past has been broken, we have deep systemic problems that are not being addressed despite lots of chatter. He also correctly notes that the nature of the threat today is more insidious – and is not about to go away. His use of the term “predatory policing” should resonate with anyone familiar with the tactics of the government’s criminal thugs who perpetrate “gang stalking.”
“Today, you don’t have the Klan, and you don’t have Emmett Tills or Medgar Everses, but it’s more insidious in that predatory policing is happening under the rule of law.
Sadly, when these incidents happen, we have a sort of fake and fleeting national conversation about police misconduct and race relations. And then we return to business as usual. Until it happens again.”
Whatever further information emerges about Freddie Gray’s death – and about the rioting which followed, the general explanation is that we are witnessing the results of two large trends. One is economic policies which greatly increase the disparities of wealth and political power, and the other is decades of secrecy and abuse of power associated with the cold war, the drug war, and the war on terrorism. Americans – non-wealthy Americans anyway – are largely viewed by the political class and its enforcers as potential threats who need to be kept under surveillance and control by an occupying force of militarized police, intelligence agencies, and private security corporations. The enforcers have generally been given free rein, and they behave accordingly.
April 30, 2015
Poisoning inmates at Rikers Island
As noted in an April 9 post here, Ramsey Orta, the man who was apparently stalked by the New York Police Department’s thugs because he filmed and exposed the killing of Eric Garner, said he was concerned about the possibility of being poisoned in jail. On Tuesday, the New York Daily News reported information which seems to suggest that his concerns were well-founded:
“A sample of the meatloaf preserved by plaintiff Reginald Dupree was analyzed at EMSL Analytical in New Jersey and found to contain Brodifacoum, an anti-coagulant that is marketed as rodenticide, according to the lab report provided to The Daily News.”
“…I grew up in Baltimore, and I and everyone I know have similar stories, even if they happened to end a little differently. To us, the Baltimore Police Department is a group of terrorists, funded by our tax dollars, who beat on people in our community daily, almost never having to explain or pay for their actions.”
April 23, 2015
Routine lying by the FBI exposed
The Washington Post reports that the FBI has been forced to admit that its agents and lab technicians gave false testimony in hundreds
of cases during the 1980s and ‘90s:
“The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.
Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far…”
“The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison…”
April 23, 2015
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman: FBI not cooperating with investigation
The Washington Times reports that Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, accused the FBI of not cooperating with the Inspector General of the U.S. Justice Department in the investigation of the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal. The FBI is refusing to disclose grand jury testimony about the case, and “the FBI claimed it had the right to refuse to provide the IG information in over a dozen other categories as well.”
April 19, 2015
Former senator accuses FBI of “aggressive deception”
The New York Times reports that former Senator Bob Graham (D-Florida) is pressing for the release of “a secret section of a congressional review he helped write — one that, by many accounts, implicates Saudi citizens in helping the [9/11] hijackers.”
Graham – who is supporting a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department – said this of the FBI’s refusal to cooperate:
“…the F.B.I. has gone beyond just covering up, trying to avoid disclosure, into what I call aggressive deception.”
April 19, 2015
Blackwater reaps $569 million from the drug war racket in Afghanistan
Spencer Ackerman at The Guardian recently called attention to one
of the ways U.S. military contractors are enriching themselves from America’s enormous war industry. The infamous mercenary corporation formerly called Blackwater is among several contractors conducting counternarcotics operations in Afghanistan. Their take is $560 million (roughly half of the total amount the Pentagon has spent on the program since 2002). As usually occurs when the U.S. government throws a bunch of money at well-connected military contractors, the investment yielded impressive results:
“In a war full of failures, the US counternarcotics mission in
Afghanistan stands out: opiate production has climbed steadily over recent years to reach record-high levels last year.”
April 19, 2015
Stuff you won’t learn about from Fox News (or MSNBC,
The New York Times, etc.)
A report released last month by the Colombian government alleges that U.S. soldiers and U.S. military contractors sexually abused at least 54 children in Colombia between 2003 and 2007, and all of them escaped punishment. Even if the allegations are difficult or impossible to prove, the report itself is news that deserves coverage. Although most of America’s mainstream press ignored the story, it was picked up by several news outlets, such as this report by the U.K.’s Daily Mail.
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) discussed the U.S. news media’s silence about the report here.
April 9, 2015
Tell Congress to end mass spying on phone call records
The National Security Agency’s unconstitutional mass surveillance of Americans’ phone call records is being conducted under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. That section is set to expire on June 1, 2015 – unless Congress votes to extend the policy. Fight 215 – a group dedicated to ending this assault on privacy – has created a webpage which makes it as simple as possible for citizens to call their representatives and tell them to end this policy.
April 9, 2015
The feds are still trying to censor Barrett Brown
Journalist, humorist, and former unofficial spokesman for the Anonymous movement, Barrett Brown, is serving a prison sentence for actions related to his role in exposing the hacked emails of private security firms. Those emails revealed interesting things about the slimy practices of some of the players in America’s shadowy and very well-connected security industry. Not surprisingly, the feds made every effort to silence Brown – before and during his legal proceedings. Apparently, those efforts continue. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) – a subdivision of the U.S. Department of Justice – has reportedly suspended Brown’s email access for a year. Brown was not provided with a written explanation, however, as reported at Firedoglake, it appears that the move was likely made because Brown had contact with a journalist – Glenn Greenwald – about “potential wrongdoing” by the BOP:
“Journalist Glenn Greenwald had apparently contacted Brown before his email access was suddenly revoked. The two were discussing stories he might contribute to The Intercept. One wonders if the BOP has a system for alerting officials when prominent, award-winning investigative journalists like Greenwald contact inmates in prison.
Suspending Brown’s email access for ninety days or even six months would be harsh but a full year is very, very severe. It also suggests that Brown is in for more punitive action by the federal facility in Fort Worth, where he is confined.”
On Monday, editor of D Magazine, Tim Rogers, posted Barrett Brown’s statement about the matter.
April 9, 2015
COINTELPRO documentary, “1971,” to air on PBS next month
On May 18 at 10 pm, Independent Lens, the weekly independent documentary film series on PBS, will broadcast the film “1971,” an account of the burglary at the FBI office that year which led to the exposure of the federal agency’s illegal counterintelligence program. Laura Poitras, whose documentary on Edward Snowden, “CitizenFour,” won an Oscar, is an executive producer on the film.
Here is the description from the PBS website:
“The FBI was unaccountable and untouchable until 1971, when a group of citizens uncovered its illegal domestic spying programs. On March 8, 1971, The Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI, as they called themselves, broke into a small FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, took every file, and shared them with the American public.
These actions exposed COINTELPRO, the FBI’s illegal surveillance program that involved the intimidation of law-abiding Americans and helped lead to the country’s first Congressional investigation of U.S. intelligence agencies.
Never caught, 43 years later, these previously anonymous Americans – parents, teachers and citizens – publicly reveal themselves for the first time and share their story in the documentary 1971.”
April 9, 2015
Witness who filmed Eric Garner’s death is being stalked by
New York cops
When an eyewitness’s video of the death of Eric Garner at the hands of New York police officers called national attention to that incident last year, the NYPD apparently decided that such video recordings were inconvenient. Shortly after the killing, the man who filmed the fatal chokehold, Ramsey Orta, reported that police began stalking him. The story is still in the news.
Yesterday The Daily Beast reported that the man – who is now in jail – is on a hunger strike because he fears that the retaliation might include poisoning him. Apparently, he is not alone in his concerns. In a complaint filed last month, 19 other inmates allege that the New York corrections officers have tainted their food with rat poison. Here is The Daily Beast’s review of the original allegations of retaliation for the video:
“The amateur videographer has stated he’s being targeted by law enforcement after his July 2014 footage of a policeman putting Garner in a deadly chokehold went viral, becoming a high-profile example of controversial police tactics. The Garner death, and a subsequent grand jury decision not to indict the officer involved, became a flashpoint for New York City and set off massive protests in December of last year. Orta claims that officers have been stalking and arresting him in retaliation for the video ever since it became public.” [emphasis added]
Today Democracy Now! reported on the case, and interviewed some of Orta’s relatives:
“…we look at what happened to the man who filmed Eric Garner’s fatal chokehold on Staten Island. While no police officers were indicted for Garner’s death, the man who filmed the attack, Ramsey Orta, is now locked up in jail after facing what he described as harassment by local police. Orta was first arrested on an unrelated gun charge the day after the Staten Island coroner declared Garner’s death to be a homicide. He was later arrested and jailed on a drug charge. His mother, brother and wife have all been arrested too. Supporters have accused the New York City Police Department of targeting Orta’s family for releasing the Garner video.” [emphasis added]
April 9, 2015
Killing and lying by South Carolina’s police
On Saturday a cop in South Carolina fatally shot 50-year-old Walter Scott in the back as Mr. Scott was running away. As usual in such cases, the police department immediately circled the wagons and defended the officer. Here is an excerpt from the initial report in the main daily newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, The Post And Courier:
“Police in a matter of hours declared the occurrence at the corner of Remount and Craig roads a traffic stop gone wrong, alleging the dead man fought with an officer over his Taser before deadly force was employed.”
Later an eyewitness’s video of the incident emerged, and the story changed a bit; the officer has now been charged with murder. One has to wonder how many crimes by police are routinely swept under the rug in the absence of irrefutable video evidence.
April 3, 2015
Fight Gang Stalking is mentioned on a national radio show
On March 20, the nationally syndicated radio show, The Thom Hartmann Program, featured a call from a listener who specifically mentioned this website, Fight Gang Stalking. The caller asked the show’s host if he was familiar with the current version of COINTELPRO known as “gang stalking.”
Hartmann said he was not familiar with the phenomenon. His reaction to the term “gang stalking” is no doubt typical of anyone hearing the expression for the first time. Clearly, the term was created by the feds as a piece of disinformation; it is designed to create confusion about the nature of the crime – which is government-sponsored and completely unrelated to gangs.
In any case, it is great that targets of illegal surveillance and stalking by corrupt U.S. intelligence agencies are fighting back by exposing what is happening.
Here is a recording of the broadcast. The call occurs 2 hours and 35 minutes into the show.
April 3, 2015
HBO’s new Scientology documentary discusses gang stalking tactics
Apparently, members of the Church of Scientology who leave that organization on bad terms are sometimes exposed to many of the same tactics used by U.S. government intelligence agencies in their counterintelligence stalking operations. A new documentary about the church which aired Sunday on HBO describes the intense retaliation against some former members. Targets of illegal harassment by U.S. homeland security contractors will recognize some of the methods.
The documentary, Going Clear, is based on a 2013 book by the same name, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright. In a radio interview on Wednesday, the film’s director, Alex Gibney, discussed some of the psychological operations tactics used by the church.
The relevant portion of the interview begins at 13:50. Gibney explains that one of the strategies is “disconnection” – isolating the victim from his or her friends and relatives. He also states that “other tactics are harassment, and, kind of brutal harassment at that.” Apparently, a former high-level official of the church who openly criticized Scientology became the target of overt stalking by multiple perpetrators:
“There were “people constantly in his face, constantly trying to provoke him to explode. They rented a house next to his house, and they were surveilling him 24/7…”
Other tactics included threats of blackmail. Gibney said that the man was “harassed and followed by private investigators.” As the documentary is about Scientology – rather than about stalking – it does not explore the interesting question of why private investigators in the U.S. are familiar with covert psychological operations tactics – or why such harassment methods can be used in America without fear of legal consequences for the perpetrators. Most private investigators in America have backgrounds in law enforcement, the military, or intelligence, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
March 15, 2015
British plaintiff claims that an ex-MI5 intelligence officer
confirms that gang stalking tactics are used by MI5
A legal case was filed in October of last year in the U.K. by a self-proclaimed target of what is often called “gang stalking.” When a friend of a criminal refused to assist the British intelligence agency MI5, its agents apparently decided to inflict years of extrajudicial punishment on that friend by stalking him. Here are some excerpts from an article about the case published in November 2014 in the
“A friend of notorious gangster Curtis Warren has reportedly claimed MI5 spies have planted secret microphones in his house and have trained birds to tap on his windows in an attempt to frighten him. Businessman Philip Kerr is seeking to win a High Court injunction against the intelligence agents, who he says have targeted him because he refused to co-operate with the security service. The 53-year-old says he has been subjected to a ‘campaign of harassment’ over the past 11 years, claiming agents have filled his houses in Wirral, Merseyside, and Thailand with hidden cameras and microphones.
….he also says in legal papers that spies have interfered with his phone, TV and radio…..
His legal papers were lodged at the High Court last month [October 2014], and he has hired lawyer and protection from harassment specialist Tim Lawson-Cruttenden, as well as seeking advice from ex-MI5 intelligence officer and whistleblower Annie Machon.
‘Annie confirmed to me that the things I am being subjected to are exactly the kinds of things MI5 do to get into your head. It is psychological warfare,’ he said.
Kerr’s barrister Anthony Barraclough, said: ‘A lot of it is hard to believe but when you sit down with Phil, it is incredible to hear what he has to say. This has taken his life away and had a major effect on his health.’
….MI5 said it would neither confirm nor deny the allegations in the High Court Claim.”
March 14, 2015
U.S. intelligence agents: drunk with power – and just drunk
The arrogance, stupidity, and dishonesty of U.S. intelligence agents was on display this week. Details emerged Thursday about an incident the week before: two senior U.S. Secret Service agents apparently drove an official vehicle while drunk, and smashed into a security barrier near the White House during an active investigation of a possible bomb. Then, in keeping with the U.S. national security industry’s code of ethics, a supervisor on duty tried to cover it up. The Washington Post reported:
“…a senior supervisor on duty that night…according to officials briefed on the incident, ordered Secret Service officers to let the agents go home without giving them sobriety tests.”
A rare legitimate book about gang stalking
From my perspective, nearly all books published (or self-published) on the subject of counterintelligence stalking are clearly pieces of U.S. government disinformation. At best, they are extremely vague and badly written – which is also the nature of U.S. government disinformation websites about gang stalking. A rare exception is the new book CHAMELEO by Robert Guffey. The book is the expanded version of an excellent magazine article by Guffey that was published in September 2013. The article and book describe how federal agents – apparently including members of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) – stalked and terrorized a man who was a casual acquaintance of a Marine who had stolen some military equipment and information. As with other cases of gang stalking, the process seems to have been a combination of surveillance, extrajudicial punishment, and psychological operations (“psyops”) experimentation by rogue U.S. intelligence agencies.
I encourage anyone interested in the U.S. government’s secret use of unconstitutional law enforcement methods to purchase this book. You can buy a copy of it here.
Here is an interview with the author, Robert Guffey, recorded about a year ago. The segment from minute 38 to 56 is specifically about gang stalking, but the entire interview is relevant because Guffey discusses issues such as disinformation, the promotion of fear as a means of social control, conspiracies, and dumbing-down the education process in ways which discourage independent thinking.
March 3, 2015
Some recent surveillance state news…
Time constraints – not a shortage of relevant news – have kept me from posting updates here in recent months about America’s police state business. Among the important developments which demand discussion is the U.S. Senate’s report on the CIA’s use of torture. I will try to address that issue at some length in the near future. For now, here are some of the other recent items that deserve attention.
“Citizenfour” wins an Oscar
On matters of civil rights, America is largely a nation of boiled frogs. Twenty-one months after Edward Snowden’s revelations about mass surveillance by the NSA, no serious reforms have been implemented, and nothing even remotely resembling a Church Committee-type investigation is being proposed by Congress to fully expose the abuses of power by U.S. intelligence agencies. Many Americans seem resigned to the notion that a secretive militaristic Big Brother-type government will be lording it over America forever (to keep us all safe, of course). If that’s our fate, no one can blame Laura Poitras. In addition to playing a critical role in receiving the encrypted information leaked by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, she also made a documentary film about the whole affair. Oh, and the film she created was of a caliber that merited an Oscar.
For now at least, you can watch it here.
FBI issues approximately 60 National Security Letters per day
One of the various Orwellian legal weapons that is very likely used by the U.S. government against individuals targeted for counterintelligence stalking is something called a “National Security Letter (NSL).” Essentially, it is a substitute for a legitimate (i.e., constitutionally valid) search warrant. The letters can be issued by federal agents to command organizations or individuals to hand over information about someone. NSLs also contain a gag order which prohibits the recipients of the letters from ever telling anyone about the letter.
Over a year ago President Obama said that he was ordering the Justice Department to sharply limit the use of NSLs that never expire. As The Intercept reported recently, however, the FBI still issues approximately 60 NSLs per day.
“Despite the post-Snowden spotlight on mass surveillance, the intelligence community’s easiest end-run around the Fourth Amendment since 2001 has been something called a National Security Letter.
FBI agents can demand that an Internet service provider, telephone company or financial institution turn over its records on any number of people —without any judicial review whatsoever — simply by writing a letter that says the information is needed for national security purposes.”
Chicago cops take a page from the CIA’s playbook
Chicago’s police have a long history of abusing their powers, so they probably don’t need lessons from the feds about how to bend the laws. This latest scandal, however, suggests they might be borrowing tactics from the Central Intelligence Agency, which operates “black sites” for torturing prisoners.
A good summary of America’s massive security machine
Former FBI agent-turned whistle-blower, Mike German, wrote a good overview of the security infrastructure that keeps us all under the government’s thumb safe.
Virginia quietly expands “sneak and peek” warrants
It’s not just the feds who want to have secret unfettered access to your personal information. State politicians also want state and local cops to be able to search through your personal information without having to obtain a warrant, as noted by Watchdog.org.
“Bypassing the regular search warrant process, law-enforcement agencies could rifle through financial transactions, phone logs, computer records and other personal data without obtaining a judge’s approval.”
Note that only one legislator dissented from this proposal when it was approved by Virginia’s state house in January. Both major political parties in America are filled with cowards who will agree to almost anything the security industry demands. Probably the one stubborn patriot who voted against the bill is now on some sort of watch-list.
For some executives, generating fear is very good for business
For years, Carol Rose and Kade Crockford at the ACLU of Massachusetts have been doing a superb job of calling attention to the quiet expansion of the American police state. This post is a case in point.
“A new report issued on behalf of private business executives, and co-signed by former Boston Police Department Commissioner Ed Davis, asks America to build an even larger domestic spying apparatus to snoop on ordinary Americans. These recommendations fly in the face of evidence that such policies fail to keep us safe, while threatening fundamental liberties.
The report — funded by Business Executives for National Security — was signed by a group of current and past defense-industry executives, law enforcement officials and spies. It invokes the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 2009 Fort Hood shootings and the Boston Marathon bombing to justify calls for increased public spending to engorge the already bloated national surveillance state.”
February 22, 2015
America’s fake news show gives a fake journalist a free pass
Unconstitutional counterintelligence operations by the U.S. government are made possible, in large part, by the failure of America’s corporate news media to report honestly about U.S. national security policies. Many of the worst offenders occupy the most high-profile positions in the news industry. A typical example is NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who was suspended earlier this month after being caught lying about an event in the Iraq War. He had falsely claimed that he was onboard a helicopter which was struck by enemy fire.
Although Williams’ lie was unrelated to his reporting on the military-industrial complex, the incident illustrates the kind of phony people who infest the highest echelons of the TV news business. Normally, such deception by a network news anchor would be handled as a pitch into the wheelhouse on “The Daily Show,” but Brian Williams is a friend of the host, Jon Stewart; consequently, Stewart did all he could to downplay the incident, as explained by Kyle Smith at the New York Post.
Far more serious than Williams’ effort at self-promotion by fabricating
a war story – or Jon Stewart’s failure to take him to task for it – is the problem of how people such as Brian Williams cover national security issues generally. Fortunately, this point was not lost on Democracy Now!, which featured this exchange about the matter:
NORMAN SOLOMON: Well, Brian Williams was, of course, one of the many mass media spinners, not only for the invasion of Iraq, but later catastrophic interventions in Libya and elsewhere. This suspension story, the falsehood told by Brian Williams, is the kind of story that the mass corporate media absolutely love, because it’s about an individual personality, it’s not about structural power; it’s about a personal flaw or a misstatement or deception or lie, if you will, but not about constant streams of lies coming from institutions such as NBC News and many others that have billions of dollars of capital behind them.
AMY GOODMAN: Interestingly, Norm, on Tuesday, Williams’ former boss at NBC Universal, Bob Wright, defended Williams by pointing to his favorable coverage of the military, saying, quote, “He has been the strongest supporter of the military of any of the news players. He never comes back with negative stories, he wouldn’t question if we’re spending too much.” Your response to this?
NORMAN SOLOMON: Yeah, well, in the corridors of power, being a suck-up to the U.S. military is a high praise and qualification. And, in fact, those journalists who have challenged the escalation, the automatic support for whatever the president wants in terms of going to war, those folks hit a glass ceiling pretty quickly within the media establishment.
Although Solomon and Goodman were specifically referring to coverage of wars, the same values are at play when major networks and newspapers report – or fail to report – on the activities of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies. People like Brian Williams and his former boss are happy to function as shills for the security establishment if they believe it will benefit their careers.
January 25, 2015
Meeting one’s heroes
I had the privilege of meeting three people yesterday who should be viewed as heroes by anyone who was a victim of the FBI’s COINTELPRO operations (and by anyone who is a target of the contemporary version of that program – “organized stalking”). They should also be recognized as heroes by anyone else who believes that America should be a free society rather than a police state. Betty Medsger, the journalist who co-wrote the first news report about COINTELPRO, made a public appearance in Pasadena, California yesterday along with John and Bonnie Raines, who were among the eight activists who broke into an FBI office in March 1971 to obtain the secret documents which exposed J. Edgar Hoover’s infamous illegal counterintelligence operations.
Most people who read this website are probably well-acquainted with the main facts of the COINTELPRO scandal. Also, a section of this website addresses the subject in some detail, so I won’t attempt to review the many interesting elements of the story here. I would, however, like to direct readers to a superb summary of the whole matter in the current issue of the Pasadena Weekly, by that publication’s editor, Kevin Uhrich. As the article explains, yesterday’s appearance by Medsger and the Raineses was part of a “Lessons in Courage and Resistance Tour.” The events are partly a book tour for Medsger, whose book The Burglary has been highly praised. Whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, for example, described it as “astonishingly good….The best book I’ve read about either the antiwar movement or Hoover’s FBI; a masterpiece.”
More than 50 people attended the meeting yesterday, which was arranged with assistance from the ACLU. John Raines began the presentation with an eloquent defense of civil disobedience, and a description of the climate of fear which prevailed during Hoover’s reign as FBI director. Then, as now, most politicians feared the intelligence agencies in general, and the FBI in particular. Raines explained that the bureau’s arrogance actually helped the activists in their break-in at the FBI office because there had been minimal security measures in place; the FBI simply hadn’t considered the possibility that their victims would ever dare to use the same kind of tactics (such as illegal break-ins) that the FBI uses.
Bonnie Raines described her role in the burglary – which included helping to case the FBI office in advance by posing as a job applicant to get an inside look at the facility. Targets of counterintelligence crimes today would do well to try to emulate the courage – and cleverness – displayed by the activists who derailed Cointelpro.
Betty Medsger described her interesting perspective as a Washington Post reporter who unexpectedly received the extraordinary documents and realized that the FBI was engaged in politically-motivated efforts to destroy people – rather than in fighting crime. She made the decision to push for publishing the report about the FBI’s criminality. One of the things which stood out to her as she viewed the classified documents was that J. Edgar Hoover viewed all African-Americans as legitimate targets of government surveillance.
All three of the speakers had high praise for the man who concocted the plan for the break-in, the late Bill Davidon, the physicist and peace activist who died in November 2013. Ms. Medsger said that Davidon’s bold plan was partly a response to his perception that the anti-war movement activists who were being targeted by the FBI had felt that trying to fight the agency seemed hopeless.
Some of the audience’s questions and discussion at the end of the presentations last night centered on whether there is currently the political will among the public to challenge the abuses of power today by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies. John Raines spoke passionately about the necessity of rejecting “the politics of fear” which is prevalent today – just as it was during the Cointelpro era. During the Cold War, the fear of communism was the claimed excuse for granting unlimited power to the intelligence agencies; today the threat of terrorism is constantly cited by the cowards and opportunists in the government and the news media. Betty Medsger recommended this article in the current issue of the New Yorker as a good example of the lying by U.S. intelligence officials who seek to capitalize on fear. The piece examines the claim made by Michael Hayden, the former C.I.A. and N.S.A. director, that mass surveillance of Americans’ phone records had disrupted 54 terrorist plots. The claim fell apart like a cheap suit when it was closely examined.
To answer the inevitable question from readers of this website: yes,
I did share information with the three speakers about the ongoing counterintelligence crimes discussed in this website. Time constraints made it impossible to explore the subject in any detail, but I did convey some specific information.
Toward the end of the presentation, Mr. Raines offered this advice
to anyone who might be hesitant to push back against the corrupt government officials who trample on Americans’ civil rights: “Don’t you dare be afraid; be angry!”
If you can help expose the use of illegal counterintelligence operations against American citizens by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies and their private contractors, please do so. America needs more patriots like Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, Jeremy Hammond, Barrett Brown, Russell Tice, William Binney, Ray McGovern, Thomas Drake, Frank Serpico, Thomas Tamm, Hugh Thompson, Jr., William C. Davidon, Bonnie Raines, John Raines, Keith Forsyth, Judi Feingold, and Bob Williamson.