[From provocateurs at protests to the hi-tech surveillance of communication, personal movements, purchases and money flows, “The War On You” was declared decades ago, and the stakes are being raised with every passing day.
As one of the founding members of NY911Truth.org (though no longer affiliated with the organization), I am familiar with the various forms of agents that can be placed into an activist circle. Some are there to gather information, some to disrupt, while others are there to make the wrong suggestion at the right time. It can be hard to discern between people of this ilk and those who are just mentally disturbed. There is a magnetism that draws such individuals to activist movements.
But where “The War On You” becomes hazy is in the hi-tech arena. Phone calls, emails, credit card purchases, bank transactions and beyond are all subject to being monitored, intercepted and/or thwarted. It is difficult, if not impossible, to determine where the fingerprints of PROMIS software will be next or already have been. – MK]
THE WAR ON YOU:
U.S. GOVERNMENT TARGETING OF
AMERCIAN DISSIDENTS - Part II
By Carolyn Baker, Ph.D.
© Copyright 2006, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. This story may NOT be posted on any Internet web site without express written permission. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. May be circulated, distributed or transmitted for non-profit purposes only.
October 10th 2006, 3:45PM [PST] - In the first part of this series we traced the history of the targeting of American dissidents from eleven years after the Constitution was signed, through the origins of the FBI and its COINTELPRO’s infiltration, neutralization, and even elimination of groups and individuals in the Black Liberation Movement. In this segment we will briefly consider the targeting of other groups during the 1960s and ‘70s and then move swiftly into the twenty-first century where we are now witnessing unprecedented legislation against dissent, in violation of civil liberties.
Simultaneous with the birth of the civil rights movement in the sixties was the Free Speech Movement which essentially began at the University of California at Berkeley in 1963. Out of that movement grew the anti-Vietnam War movement that swept the campuses of America from approximately 1964-1970. During that period it was often difficult to separate the various freedom movements as white college students volunteered their time, and in some cases, their lives, to assist the civil rights movement. As the Black Liberation Movement gained momentum, white students often marched in solidarity with such groups as the Black Panthers and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Whereas blacks were railing against racial oppression, white students were feeling the victimization of the military draft and marching vehemently against the war at the same time that they were burning draft cards, moving to Canada, and frequently, going to prison for draft evasion. In addition, an unparalleled revolution of counter-culture was mesmerizing American youth who began questioning the values of their parents’ Great Depression/World War II generation. In those days, college students had more time than most working Americans to read books, engage in philosophical and political discussions into the wee hours, and experiment with psychedelic substances. As they did so, they began rejecting on a colossal scale, the authority and values of the mainstream establishment. It is axiomatic that the oppression of movements of color was symptomatic of deplorable, unacknowledged racism infecting the American psyche, but irrefutably, those in power held a special contempt for callous disregard for their authority. To be a “nigger” was perilous, but to be an “uppity nigger” was suicide. Likewise, an entire generation of white elders were aghast at the flag-burning, sandal-wearing, dope-smoking, long-haired, sexually promiscuous, Mao-quoting, bohemian anarchists that their children had become. Many of these parents were government officials, and some worked in the FBI. A May 27, 1968 memo written from the Newark office of the FBI to J. Edgar Hoover echoed the coercive, imperious sentiment of millions of parents of flower children:
It is believed that the non-conformism in dress and speech, neglect of personal cleanliness, use of obscenities (printed and uttered), publicized sexual promiscuity, experimenting with and the use of drugs, filthy clothes, shaggy hair, wearing of sandals, beads, and unusual jewelry tend to negate any attempt to hold these people up to ridicule. The American press has been doing this with no apparent effect or curtailment of “new left” activities. These individuals are apparently getting strength and [becoming] more brazen in their attempts to destroy American society, as noted in the takeover recently at Columbia University, New York City, and other universities in the U.S.1
An FBI memo from earlier that month left no doubt that the New Left was now an unmistakable target of COINTELPRO as its Director, William Sullivan wrote: “The purpose of this program is to expose, disrupt, and otherwise neutralize the activities of this group and persons connected with it.”2
And then came the Chicago Democratic Convention of that same year in which Mayor Daley’s Police force on national television attacked white student protestors in front of convention headquarters, arresting and brutalizing hundreds while onlookers chanted “the whole world is watching”--this just months after the murders of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, Jr. and in the throes of an escalating Vietnam War.
The following year, as the Vietnam War continued to escalate, over a half-million American youth immersed themselves in the Woodstock Music Festival and for a few days, forgot about things like the draft and what they might do with their college degrees—should they choose to complete them. The fall and winter of 1969-1970 were dark days of Nixon’s “Vietnamization” of the war and the unpublicized invasion of Cambodia with U.S. troops and increased bombings of that nation, even as Nixon assured the American people that the war was “winding down” because he “had a plan.” As the “secret” invasion of Cambodia was revealed, a new wave of rage swept across American academia resulting in nationwide demonstrations, strikes, and the shutting down of some campuses. While young white heads had been cracked at the Chicago Democratic Convention, white students were now slaughtered at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. [The link provided is to the website of Alan Canfora, one of the survivors of the massacre.]
As a student at a major university in the late sixties and early seventies, extremely active in antiwar protest politics, I do recall suspicious individuals who infiltrated the movement from time to time. Generally, they were folks who seemed a bit emotionally unstable and were incessantly encouraging demonstrators to commit increasingly blatant, outrageous acts of violence. For example, if a peaceful demonstration was planned, they were the ones who always called for “trashing” in the form of destroying property by breaking windows or burning buildings. Whatever the strategy, they wanted to escalate. Sometimes they would come running in from the sidelines of a demonstration claiming to have been hit over the head by a police officer brandishing a frightening baton. Eventually, folks in the movement caught on to their games, but rarely did anyone investigate who these people really were. They were no doubt paid provocateurs and informants, but at what level—local, state, or federal, we never really knew.
Kent State was an extremely significant turning point in the student protest movement because essentially, it ended it. Indeed some smaller protests continued on campuses into the early seventies, but the deplorable events that occurred on May 4, 1970 successfully sent a message to America’s white students: We will kill you. On that day, horrified and frightened as I was, I realized that while the murdering of four innocent students was grotesque and reprehensible, people of color had been experiencing it in this nation for a very long time.
Beginning in the late sixties and continuing into the mid-seventies, the American Indian Movement (AIM) demonstrated against U.S. government abuse and neglect of its tribes and the corruption of reservation politics in collusion with federal agencies. Churchill and Vander Hall devote an entire chapter in their book to the activities of COINTELPRO against AIM which culminated in the framing, false conviction, and imprisonment of Leonard Peltier.
During the late seventies, the FBI continued its search for two key members of the Weatherman faction of Students For A Democratic Society (SDS), Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayres, both of whom surrendered to the FBI in 1980 after it was learned that the FBI had so illegally gathered evidence against them that they could not be prosecuted for blowing up government buildings. Related to this is the reality that in the course of the official existence of COINTELPRO, a host of laws were broken with what were at the time, illegal wiretaps, bugs, and mail openings.3
As previously mentioned in this series, the “official” dates for COINTELPRO’s existence are 1956-1971. To what extent it continued throughout the twentieth century, we do not know with certainty. What we do know is that immediately after September 11, 2001, the bones of COINTELPRO resurrected and reincarnated in the form of the Department of Homeland Security, the USA Patriot Act, PROMIS software, and the Total Information Awareness Program, and this series will address the specifics of how those entities have targeted and are targeting U.S. citizens.
In 2004, Mike Ruppert wrote in Crossing The Rubicon:
If you understand nothing else about the map that I have been trying to draw for you, understand that the post 9/11 erosion of civil liberties and the economic devastation that is being felt here at home are opposite sides of the same coin. One begets and demands the other, whether the Empire consciously considers it or not. And the currents of behavior depicted on the map dictate, as surely as gravity pulls things down and not up, that what has already started can only get worse. Until
now, in the Empire’s domestic ham and eggs breakfast, the American people were playing the role of the chicken rather than the pig.4
In Chapter 28 of Rubicon, Mike connects the dots between political oppression, the violation of civil liberties, and the economic hollowing out of American society. This article will not explore those connections, but it is essential to understand them because the targeting of American dissidents is not happening in an economic vacuum.
THE USA PATRIOT ACT
Over eight pages of Rubicon are devoted to the Patriot Act, passed in the middle of the night on October 26, 2001 and read by only a handful of legislators who voted for it. Rubicon offers in these eight pages, an extraordinary analysis of the act and its impact on civil liberties, which every concerned citizen should read and study. What may be more surprising, however, is that Attorney Jennifer Van Bergen in her article “The USA Patriot Act Was Planned Before 9/11” positively acknowledges Mike Ruppert’s contribution to the discourse on civil liberties and states that the Patriot Act was already written long before 9/11. She traces the origins of the act back to 1950s anti-communist hysteria, through the Reagan administration’s proposed legislation which became some of the most troubling aspects of the Patriot Act, and on to the 1996 Antiterroism Act which, “…although it had nothing to do with terrorism at all, was Republican Senator Orrin Hatch's long-sought provision to limit the right of habeas corpus. Habeas corpus is the procedure whereby a person convicted by a state court can challenge that conviction in a federal court. The thing is, terrorism cases are brought in federal, not state, courts.” According to James X. Dempsey and David Cole in their book, Terrorism & The Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties In the Name of National Security, "Senator Hatch wanted to make it more difficult for federal courts to order retrials of prisoners where state courts had violated the U.S. Constitution.”
This confirms that the inherently unconstitutional concepts which the Patriot Act made the law of the land were incubating in the minds of people in power for decades before the Act was even written. One of our principal Founding Fathers, James Madison, would have not been surprised, and perhaps this kind of tyranny is what he had in mind when he wrote, “All men in power ought to be mistrusted.”
THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
According to Van Bergen, the proposal for a Department of Homeland Security developed in 1998 with the Hart-Rudman Commission which was known as the United States Commission on National Security/21st Century, and its report is dated January 31, 2001. The Commission recommended "the creation of a new independent National Homeland Security Agency (NHSA) with responsibility for planning, coordinating, and integrating various U.S. government activities involved in homeland security. NHSA would be built upon the Federal Emergency Management Agency, with the three organizations currently on the front line of border security - the Coast Guard, the Customs Service, and the Border Patrol - transferred to it. NHSA would not only protect American lives, but also assume responsibility for overseeing the protection of the nation's critical infrastructure, including information technology." Clearly, this is the basic blueprint of the Homeland Security Act
Van Bergen also notes that of the twelve Hart-Rudman commissioners, nine were members of the Council On Foreign Relations (CFR). This semi-secret organization of ruling elite is comprised, for the most part, not of conservative Republicans, but rather moderate to liberal Democrats. The bipartisan Hart-Rudman Commission was launched in 1998 by Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich to “make recommendations on how the United States could ensure its security in the 21st century.” 5
Mike Ruppert spells out clearly what DHS must do:
The DHS will collect and share intelligence vital for its primary mission, which
is the protection of critical infrastructure. In the process of doing this, it will access the intelligence of state and local agencies and “coordinate” the dissemination of that information.This means that local police agencies, if they want to continue receiving federal subsidies and don’t want to look as though they aren’t concerned about their citizens, will effectively become intelligence-gathering units for the federal government. In addition the DHS Secretary and his employees are also given total access to all information in any federal agency, whether verified or not on a level of priority equal with the President and the Director of Central Intelligence.It will also have complete access to all banking and stock transaction records; once compiled, these records can be shared with any foreign government the government wishes to share them with. It also allows federal agents to serve search warrants issued by foreign governments inside this country.
A PROMIS IS A PROMIS, AND TIA ISN’T SPANISH FOR “AUNT”
In my opinion, some of the most stunning pages in Crossing The Rubicon are pages 152-174 in which Mike Ruppert discusses in detail what PROMIS software is capable of doing and in which he asks this question:
What would you do if you possessed software that could think,understand every major language in the world, that provided peepholes into everyone else’s computer “dressing rooms,” that could insert data into computers without people’s knowledge, that could fill in blanks beyond human reasoning, and also predict what people would do — before they did it? You would probably use it wouldn’t you? But PROMIS is not a virus. It has to be installed as a program on the computer systems that you want to penetrate. Being as uniquely powerful as it is, this is usually not a problem. Once its power and advantages are demonstrated, most corporations, banks, or nations are eager to be a part of the “exclusive” club that has it. And, as is becoming increasingly confirmed by sources connected to this story, especially in the worldwide banking system, not having PROMIS — by whatever name it is offered — can exclude you from participating in the ever more complex world of money transfers and money laundering. As anexample, look at any of the symbols on the back of your ATM card. Picture your bank refusing to accept the software that made it possible to transfer funds from LA to St. Louis, or from St. Louis to Rome.
PROMIS was stolen from its owner, Inslaw, Inc., by the U.S. government in 1982 and sold to over 40 countries. The capabilities of PROMIS are nothing less than mindboggling for the technically unsophisticated, and Elliot Richardson, former U.S. Attorney General and Inslaw counsel described the PROMIS scandal as “far worse than Watergate.” Even as the U.S. government was raking in hefty profits from the sale of PROMIS, it was not selling all of its technical superiority by any stretch of the imagination. Commenting on the capabilities of PROMIS, Mike Ruppert states that “Mated with artificial intelligence it is capable of analyzing not only an individual’s,
but also a community’s entire life, in real time. It is also capable of issuing warnings when irregularities appear and of predicting future movements based upon past behavior.” 6 He asserts that not only is it almost certain that PROMIS was used in the execution of the 9/11 attacks but that its use, along with the Total Information Awareness Program will be instrumental in the conquest of the American people. Conservative Republican William Safire’s chilling remarks on civil liberties post-9/11 were quoted in Rubicon and elsewhere by Mike Ruppert as Safire railed against the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in his New York Times article, “You Are A Suspect.”
According the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) Total Information Awareness (TIA) of DARPA was supposedly nixed by Congress when “In September 2003, Congress eliminated funding for the controversial project and closed the Pentagon's Information Awareness Office, which had developed TIA. This does not, however, necessarily signal the end of other government data-mining initiatives that are similar to TIA.”7 Indeed this does not signal the end of other government data-mining programs.
In May, 2003, in “A Spy Machine Of DARPA’s Dreams”, Wired News reported that:
The Pentagon is about to embark on a stunningly ambitious research project designed to gather every conceivable bit of information about a person's life, index all the information and make it searchable.
What national security experts and civil libertarians want to know is, why would the Defense Department want to do such a thing?
The embryonic LifeLog program would dump everything an individual does into a giant database: every e-mail sent or received, every picture taken, every Web page surfed, every phone call made, every TV show watched, every magazine read.
All of this -- and more -- would combine with information gleaned from a variety of sources: a GPS transmitter to keep tabs on where that person went, audio-visual sensors to capture what he or she sees or says, and biomedical monitors to keep track of the individual's health.
This gigantic amalgamation of personal information could then be used to "trace the 'threads' of an individual's life," to see exactly how a relationship or events developed, according to a briefing from the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, LifeLog's sponsor.
Someone with access to the database could "retrieve a specific thread of past transactions, or recall an experience from a few seconds ago or from many years earlier ... by using a search-engine interface." 8
TIA is dead? Not according to the observation of John Pike, Director of defense think tank GlobalSecurity.org who opined that this spy machine “looks like an outgrowth of Total Information Awareness and other DARPA homeland security surveillance programs.” According to an L.A. Times article, June, 2006, “… when Congress disbanded the Total Information Awareness program, it did not prohibit further research on such databanks, or even the use of individual databanks. And, according to a recent study by the National Journal, the Bush administration used that loophole to break the program into smaller parts, transferring some parts to the National Security Agency, classifying the work and renaming parts of it as the Research Development and Experimental Collaboration program.” 9
In the next segment of this series, we will explore in depth the measures enacted immediate after 9/11 which began the legally-sanctioned descent of American society into the totalitarian abyss.
Churchill and Vander Wall, COINTELPRO Papers
, p. 181.
4 Crossing The Rubicon, p. 483.
6 Crossing The Rubicon, p. 173.