Friday, June 14, 2013

Don't Think NSA's Dragnet Spying Program Matters? Ask Occupy Wall Street's Protestors!

Was this young OWS protestor, seen in NYC ca. October, 2011, aware that she was being monitored by the full resources of the NSA and other surveillance operatives, systems? Not bloody likely!

"I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America. And we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.” - Sen. Frank Church, referencing the NSA in 1975.

As the banshee-like howls continue for Edward Snowden's head among the traitors in the corporate media, political class and congress - one thing is becoming obvious to the deep politics citizen. That is, that NSA's monstrous PRISM program was likely used to assimilate information on Occupy Wall Protestors from the summer of 2011 and into the fall - even as these idealistic kids were just trying to exercise basic 1st amendment free speech rights.

But see,  this is what happens when a spy surveillance state is allowed to get out of control as ours has, and which we'd never have known had not Edward  Snowden exposed its excesses in PRISM. In such a case the "metadata" surreptititously gathered, ostensibly to "protect" us, is used for other purposes - to track down and harass model citizens exercising first amendment rights - but declared as "irritants" by some troglydytes ensconced within the matrix of the mass security state. Not to put too fine a point on it, but always bear in mind Erik Larson's 2nd law of data dynamics: "Personal data has a way of being used for purposes that no one ever intended".  This is exactly why we are obliged to laugh when the gov't says "Trust us!" No, by Thomas Jefferson's famous words in his Notes on Virginia, it is the PEOPLE who must scrutinize their gov't in order to ensure it doesn't trespass into tyranny, abuse of power and corruption -before it can be "trusted".

As I noted six months ago documents obtained from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security by the Partnership for Civil Justice pointed to the extent to which the collected data was dispatched to fusion centers and used to harass OWS protestors, e.g. see

As David Lindorff notes,  the document shows that the FBI and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies “began a campaign of monitoring, spying and disrupting the Occupy Movement at least two months before the first occupation actions began in late September 2011.”

He goes on to write:

“As early as August, while acknowledging that the incipient Occupy Movement was “peaceful” in nature, federal, state and local officials from the FBI, the DHS and the many Fusion Centers and Joint Terrorism Task Force centers around the country were meeting with local financial institutions and their private security organizations to plot out a strategy for countering the Occupy Movement’s campaign.”

Note that the collective "joint task force centers", plus fusion centers in concert with other fed super snoopers is reminiscent of John Poindexter's 'Total Information Awareness' plan - which was rejected by congress in 2003, but re-materialized as the Domestic Security Alliance Council. This Council in turn, no doubt would have had access to NSA's PRISM program to assist in its collection of data on OWS, and who comprised it, where they were, what they planned to do.

In this we see that the other side of the "safety" sword,  which so many of our pseudo-citizens seem to want to embrace,  is the harassment and disruption sword wielded by the state against those it fancies least. And those it least likes historically have always been on the Left, from the Wobblies in the 1920s, to OWS more recently.

But what really ought to terrify the citizen who insists lamely "I didn't do nuthin' wrong so I ain't worried" is what he or she might experience if the decision is made to join a peaceful protest. It may not be an Occupy protest but something environmental like marching against the Keystone pipeline. In such a case it is instructive to see what one of Lindorff’s PCJ -obtained documents revealed. That is,  a perp -instigator (name conveniently blanked out in the released document) who actually proposed to assassinate leaders of the Occupy Movement in Houston with “suppressed” sniper rifles. As the released PCJ document puts it:

“One identified ------ as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protesters in Houston, Texas if deemed necessary. An identified ----- had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. ---- planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest group and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership by suppressed sniper rifles.”

So is it at all conceivable that the assassination of decent citizens might accrue by extension of a mass surveillance program? Obviously it is! Further, who's to say that in a future extremist GOP administration, leftist protestors aren't picked off by hired gov't assassins at assorted key protests - after being delivered the hit information compliments of NSA and its PRISM program? Maybe a President Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin or even Jeb Bush will find it expedient to do so, who knows? Think of the monumental chilling effect there'd be on any future protests. Think of the absolute extermination of First Amendment rights!

Before people succumb to the inevitable temptation of complacency they need to think long and hard about this. Instead of being driven into the "attack Snowden" PR mold pushed by the corporate media there ought to be much much more of an outcry to repeal the Patriot Act in toto, and at least Sec. 215.

"But I'm not a leftist either! So I still got nothin' to worry about! I just wanna stay at home and tweet - I don't even blog 'bout nothin' 'cept my cat!"

Then I advise you memorize the following quotation from the German Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the socialists,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Catholic.

Then they came for the Jews,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the Muslims,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Muslim.

Then they came for me,

and there was no one left to speak for me.


The preceding is quoted in various versions but all underscore one thing: how those who remain silent in the face of their government's wrong doing become silent partners and criminals in their own right. In this case, the metastasizing Nazi state and how it gradually snuffed out speech in the name of "security" - when the real reason was to protect and empower the state over the people. Will we in the U.S. now make the same error? The clock is ticking!

No comments: