Anatomy of Repression: Military Tactics And Corrupt Media Used To Destroy Protest Movements

Back in 2011, people (like Naomi Wolf) who said the Department of Homeland Security apparatus was being wielded against the Occupy movement, were scoffed at and undermined by self-important media figures. By 2012, it was proven that not only was Naomi correct, but the scope of the civil violations and/or crimes being perpetrated by the state agencies in an effort to quell any and all dissent, had been grossly underestimated, and that those agencies were in fact coordinating internationally.

Fast-forward to 2014 and the Black Lives Matter / Ferguson movement and 2015 in Baltimore, and independent media, protest organisers and protesters themselves are reporting similar experiences – namely, their lives being dismantled piece by piece at a whole-of-government level and their physical safety threatened as they are stalked and surveilled by shadowy groups of strangers hell-bent on intimidating their targets out of performing their legal protest and journalistic activities.

Democracy, indeed.

Well now we finally know not only that this IS happening, but also precisely how. And the implications for those in the media sphere are astonishing. Due to the for-profit nature of these crimes, which are perpetuated and facilitated by governments and therefore NOT recognised and prosecuted by those governments, the problem is snowballing into a situation where not only protesters and journalists are being stalked and intimidated but even doctors, researchers, scientists, educators, civil servants, and anyone at all who gets in the way of the establishment.

Integrated with the global mass surveillance apparatus, this Stasi-State-On-Steroids is now operational around the globe, and can only be leading us to something even more sinister.

Without further adieu, here is a full transcript of the recent ‘Occupy Interview: COIN’ (COIN being short for \Counterinsurgency) podcast by the Occupy America Social Network.

Host: Terry W. Bain (@TWBainusW)
Guest: Michael Gould-Wartofsky (@MGouldWartofsky)

HOST: Hi and welcome back to Occupy Interview, this is the Occupy America Social Network and we are back on the air! We had a domain hijack. Some of you may have had trouble finding us but, we’re here and obviously you found us so, you’re here… this is Episode 41: Occupy COIN, for Counterinsurgency. Our guest is Michael – can you introduce yourself please, Mike?

GUEST: Sure, my name is Michael Gould-Wartofsky, I was a Day 1 occupier at New York City and ended up writing a book on the movement, it just came out this year, called ‘The Occupiers: The Making of the 99% Movement’, documenting what was going on within the occupations and also between the occupations and the state, the power players, that severely repressed them. I recently came out with a piece in the Town Dispatch which was widely republished in The Nation and elsewhere called ‘The New Age Of CounterInsurgency Policing’. I’ve been studying some of this stuff as a PhD candidate in Sociology at New York University and also just as a rank and file activist and photojournalist, for some time, trying to figure out what was going on, on the other side.

HOST: Can you give us a real brief look at Counterinsurgency 101? What do people need to know about Counterinsurgency?

GUEST: Counterinsurgency emerged as a strategy for control and containment of what was seen as enemy forces in foreign combat zones in the 1960s, as we know, and has really experienced a revival of sorts, a renaissance, since 9/11. It has been deployed in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in other conflict zones around the world, in the so-called Global War on Terror. More recently, we’ve seen counterinsurgency understood as a struggle for control over contested political space, political territory. We see this counterinsurgency strategy imported back to the homeland, back to domestic uses. So the counterinsurgency framework depends on the establishment and consolidation of control over a population and over a given territory through both military means, that is, security forces, in the case of domestic protests, political means, economic means, and then the base of this, is information control, and we can get to that in a second.

HOST: That would be great. We’ve really been trying to find some more information on that. One of our guests on one of our earlier shows, was with Doug Valentine, a historian.  He wrote the book on the Phoenix Program, during Vietnam, and was working with our audience trying to give us a basic understanding of the structure of Homeland Security as actually mirroring the Phoenix Program. Can you elaborate? What are you seeing on that?

GUEST: I think that a lot of the, if we’re speaking specifically about the information control that’s going on, on the one hand it looks like the control of information flowing to law enforcement, that’s one dimension of it, flowing to these paramilitarised forces, and that takes the form increasingly of an integrated series of platforms that spans both the public and the private sector, and one example of this is the Domain Awareness System, which is a program that draws on many, many, many datastreams across New York City, for example. It was created by Microsoft in partnership with the NYPD and the Federal Intelligence agencies to aggregate and analyse these datastreams, to analyse information constantly in real time from tens of thousands of sources. From criminal history databases and closed-circuit cameras to license plate readers to Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) as they call it – that is, information gleaned from social media and people’s everyday communications – so that’s one dimension of it. The flow of information to them. Another, is controlling the flow of information to us.  The information that we’re getting. So it’s not just about the intelligence gathering, not just about the sort of predictive policing, but it’s also about trying to control what data we’re getting about what they’re doing, and a lot of this has to do with cybersecurity, Kilcullen(?) talks about media ops and information ops – there are stories that are planted, there are people who are working in media that are also working for intelligence. The Associated Press recently exposed this – there are FBI agents working as Associated Press. There’s also efforts to counteract the motivations and ideologies of the people on the ground who are trying to protest this homeland security state and on other issues like police accountability. And they involve, basically a constant flow of funding and personnel into the movement itself so you have lots of people embedded within the movement who are actually working for intelligence agencies and spreading disinformation and at the same time, spreading questionable data about what’s going on. And part of this too is to marginalise the protesters, to deny them sanctuary, to deny them sources of support from the larger population. And so we’ll see this in places like Baltimore, in places like Ferguson, they will attempt to associate dissidents with domestic terrorism, they will associate dissidents with violent activity, and they’ll try to split the allies that these movements have, and to divide and conquer.

HOST: In the show that we did with Doug Valentine, he had a question for you, actually two questions. You hear the term counterinsurgency and you hear the term counterterror – what is the difference between the two?

GUEST: Well of course, there’s a kind of slippery slope and a spectrum. But it has to do with the justification that the powers that be give for these kinds of practices I think, more than any fundamental difference in what they’re doing. I think that counterterrorism campaigns traditionally do employ counterinsurgency measures as a piece of them. We saw both counterterrorism and counterinsurgency in effect in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in the Horn of Africa, you can even go back to Vietnam of course, and Latin America. So there’s a kind of dual face of this kind of security strategy. When it’s justified in terms of preventing actual terror attacks, as it has been since 9/11 they call it counterterrorism – when it’s justified in terms of control over a territory that may not belong to you, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, they’ll call it counterinsurgency.

HOST: I guess kind of an elaboration of that question too, Doug wanted to know, do you see any kind of a difference between the way the CIA handles an operation, and the way the military handles an operation, and the way the DHS – the Department of Homeland Security – handles a counterinsurgency program?

GUEST: Certainly. I think the military is certainly best trained and has the most experience in above-ground operations of this nature. So they have to follow very clear protocols, they have to answer for their actions at some level, there’s a very clear chain of command. Of course they’re subject to all the unpredictability and uncertainty that arises in battlefields and of course military tactics have now been imported to law enforcement agencies here but there’s still a kind of, there are military protocols that are followed. With the DHS and CIA it’s much more of a new frontier as to what they’re up to and I think they see much less need to answer to the public, there’s much less transparency around those activities and much of what the CIA has done, we don’t even know the full extent of that and it’s only due to some intrepid journalism and some leaks that we have any idea of what they’ve been up to since 9/11. Of course, they too have been deployed for some domestic counterinsurgency as we saw with some CIA officers embedded with the New York Police Department’s demographics unit and used against Muslim Arab Americans here in New York City so the CIA has definitely expanded the scope of its mission. And the DHS of course is a new creature, one that we’ve only had in the 14 years since 9/11 and DHS is a really vast infrastructure of, it’s hard to talk in generalities about them because it’s really such a world unto itself. But they are actively engaged in applying this domestically so they’re the ones who are thinking about ways to bring counterinsurgency home and are probably the most active in that endeavour right now.

HOST: There was a time when counterinsurgency implied warfare. And if you’re in the continental United States, in Ferguson, in Baltimore, in any of the cities across the country that’s having this going on – we are not at war. I never declared war on my government, why did my government declare war on me? What’s going on here?

GUEST: This is the kind of slippery slope I was talking about between counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. When the US government declared the Global War On Terror in 2002 it was a signal and it was also a green light for this to really get global and that INCLUDES the United States. So they see the battlefield everywhere. If the streets of Batlimore and the streets of Ferguson looked like a warzone that was no coincidence. We look at agencies within the Homeland Security state here, like the DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis – they regularly issue communications to other agencies around the country saying. look out for civil disobedience, look out for civil unrest, and they associate it in some cases with terrorism overseas. There was a memo that came out some time around the Ferguson protests that associated the Ferguson protesters with ISIS – the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. So they see this as a kind of spectrum of force that can be deployed anywhere at any time against almost anyone. They do see it as a piece of the larger strategy that they’re pursuing in what they do see as a global war that’s being waged on our own shores.

HOST: We’re about 14 minutes into the show. There were reports coming out, and this will kind of begin to get into our next segment here in a second, but you’ve been following what’s been happening in Baltimore, but it looked like from the people who were actually there at the time, it was almost kind of a set-up on a bunch of high school kids. They shut down the transport, they came in with a tank, an armoured car, and a SWAT team in riot gear and they taunted kids, they ended up throwing rocks at the kids and the kids were throwing rocks at them…  a comment that came out it looked like Gaza USA. What do you see there? Can you elaborate and try to give people a better idea? It looked like the cops were just trying to incite a riot? That’s what it looked like.

GUEST: That’s right, and it is actually a traditional strategy for law enforcement – we’ve had those officers known as agent provocateurs of course for over 100 years in this country who’d go and get things going and get people riled up, to start taking violent action that would then justify a counter-reaction which was actually planned all along. [TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE TO READERS: THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED AT D8 TPPA SHUTDOWN 2012]  So what’s presented as a reaction to a violent protest is often part of a preemptive strategy to preempt non-violent protests, as I argued in a piece for the Washington Post two weeks ago. But in Baltimore, what you saw was the Baltimore police firstly engaging in state-of-the-art surveillance of people’s Twitter feeds, of their social media streams and they learned that this group of high school students wanted to protest the case, the killing of Freddie Gray, with a high school walkout and a march to the Mall. The BPD, instead of preparing for a peaceful protest, they armed themselves for war. They suited up in full riot gear, they had military-style weapons at the ready, military-grade weaponry and military-style tactics. And they faced off with these high school students, refusing to allow them to go home. Denying them avenues of exit, denying them the ability to disperse. Of course, given that scenario, it’s almost inevitable what followed. They came at the students with assault rifles, shotguns with lead pellets, barricades, projectiles, military-style smoke grenades. All the things you’re more accustomed to seeing on the streets of Baghdad, were of course seen on the streets of Baltimore. This is the general tendency with empires – the wars always do come home.

HOST: Well the war has come home. It turns your stomach to watch the news every night. We’re 17 minutes into the show and it would be a really good time to take a look. This is the guy that may have given the blueprint for all of the things that are going on right now, the strategy picture anyway. There’s the Foreign Affairs magazine – the former Ambassador to Iraq wrote a piece that’s basically saying the counterinsurgency effort is doomed to failure – that it has always failed – but we’ve brought it back home to Baltimore.

GUEST: That’s right.

HOST: Could you give us a little picture? Of a gentleman named Lieutenant-Colonel David Kilcullen(?) and his three pillars, and that’s built on information control, which we began to touch on that, and I think we’ve just been given a pretty good learning moment for how it works. Can you give us a little picture?

GUEST: Sure. So Dr. Kilcullen elaborated his strategy at the US Government counterinsurgency conference in 2006. There were some questions at the time as to the effectiveness of the strategies that were being implemented in Iraq, strategies in Afghanistan. This was a moment when counterinsurgency really came back to the fore as an answer, as they saw it, to the question, ‘Well how do you actually secure this territory?’ which may or may not be yours. In the case of Iraq it was very clear – but in the case of some of our inner cities there is also a sense that these are occupying forces so I think that this counterinsurgency framework again came out of the military’s experience overseas but then they found it very useful at home. So those pillars that you’re talking about – it’s a visual model that he presents, Kilcullen. It’s a model as a base – three pillars and a roof. The base is information – that’s the information control that I’m talking about and also the messages that are sent with counterinsurgency actions to the population. And then the three pillars are security, political control and economic control. And the roof is the outcome of the control over all of those mentioned, the establishment, consolidation and transfer of the control from an insurgent part of the population to the state that is seeking to control them. So the security pillar is the one that my article was dealing directly with and that goes everything from the military and paramilitary forces that might be in play down to police who then receive the tactical and strategic orientations of the military in this context and then you have public safety officers and the private security sector and what’s called population security. So you have that pillar of control is the one that we traditionally associate with counterinsurgency, but it’s not the only one, there’s supposed to be a balance right, to give you the efficiency, the effectiveness of your operations, but also to give you the legitimacy, which is hard to come by in these battlefields right, where you’re occupying a foreign country. So to get this legitimacy you also need to combine your security forces and your security activities with political and economic efforts so this looks like building agencies of government that are subservient, that are willing to do the bidding of those directly above them, and those directly above them will do the bidding of those above them, answering to the authority that’s claiming control over the territory. And that can be a knotty problem when you’re faced with an occupied country, of course it’s a little bit easier to pull off when its within your own borders and you’re able to buy off politicians, you’re able to depend upon the criminal justice system to fall in line, you’re able to depend on police officers and intelligence agencies to back you up if the political pillar falls, right, but that is a key element, and one that they keep returning to to reestablish legitimacy, is to say, this is lawful authority, you better obey it. And then there’s the economic pillar which is everything from resource distribution to those who might be sympathetic to insurgents or sympathetic to the rebels. Humanitarian assistance, development assistance, and the management of resource and infrastructure. This is really important actually, in the years since 9/11 we’ve seen a real nexus of the public and private sector around the issue of security. So what’s called critical infrastructure by the Homeland Security has special councils that it has designated and given the power to sort of manage, and critical infrastructure, we’re talking about not just things you might assume like power plants, things that people actually need. They also take it to mean banks, they take it to mean large corporations. So the management of the critical infrastructure is also a key piece of the counterinsurgency strategy because those have to be defended at all costs from the threat of disruption, even if the disruption is coming from peaceful non-violent protesters as we saw during Occupy,

HOST: So we’re 23 minutes into the show and those three pillars that you’ve just described, when its operationally used overseas like Iraq, we hear the people in charge of implementing this plan, simplifying it down to Clear, Hold, and Build. Does that kind of fit with those three pillars or is that something else entirely?

GUEST: That fits with the three pillars, the three pillars are of course one way of conceptualising it that has become quite influential in recent years, but Clear Hold and Build of course has a longer lineage. It was developed by the United States Army, the three elements being civil military operations, combat operations and information warfare. So you’re talking about some of the same kinds of operational priorities but you’re talking about something that was designed specifically to deal with a guerilla force and of course that’s NOT what we’re dealing with in this country so they’ve had to adapt it somewhat to domestic uses.

HOST: Then again, that kind of goes back to the question of how do we see some differences when this is applied with a CIA operation like Phoenix operation, or Department of Homeland Security or military, there are certain differences that we’re going to see but there’s a lot of similarities too because when all is said and done it comes back to an occupation, an army of occupation, and it’s interesting to see how many people were observing that this felt to them, like occupied territory. Some of the tweets that were coming out were saying that they couldn’t believe that this was in their backyard, i guess after watching it in Ferguson and watching it all across the country. It does have a strange feeling when it’s, ‘now it’s here’. I guess that’s where we’re needing to get to from here cos I guess there’s a guy called Sun Tsu and he talks about if you can defeat your opposition’s plan then you’ll win the battle without ever taking casualties. So let’s go back to the plan again. We can see the three pillars, the pillars are resting on a foundation of information control, and that would appear to be how to defeat the plan. They have to control that information. And in the age of Twitter it doesn’t look like they’re doing that well. But it does seem to explain alot of the strange things we’re seeing, like we’re seeing tweets of them going into churches, Ferguson, which would be sanctuary I guess, and you can actually see the people tweeting from the areas saying everything short of sanctuary, safehouse. You can see the attack on the media, begins to make more sense.  So let’s zoom in on the microscope here, and there’ll be a picture that we’re talking about. But now we’re looking at the very base, that those pillars and the roof are sitting on. There’s six things there. The first one is intelligence. How does this apply to people having an occupation used on them in Baltimore? What’s going on with intelligence?

GUEST: They have all kinds of ways of gathering intelligence on the population, the target population. The poor black population of Baltimore in this case. They have everything from human intelligence, that is people embedded among the protesters, we saw this to great effect of course for many years, and they also have signals intelligence – they can gather through such newfangled devices as the Stingray which conducts wireless surveillance of enemy communications, allows them to jam cellphone signals, to force cellphones to connect to it, and to collect mobile data without people’s knowledge. And they’ve been using it, this is specifically something that was deployed in Baltimore. They also have Open Source Intelligence like I was talking about before; we think about social media as something that we can use to fight back in this information war but of course it’s also a tool that can be deployed by law enforcement for their own purposes. So in Baltimore you saw real-time tracking of protest events, you saw attempts to preempt the protest events by drawing on social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, You Tube, to paint a picture for them, gather intelligence for them about where the next protest was going to be, where the next crowd was going to gather. This is the new frontier, this is predictive policing, or PredPol as it’s known and this has a lot to do with counterinsurgency coming to the police, and it’s intended to basically predict where and when crimes or, let’s say, protests or riots are going to happen before they happen and who would be the most likely culprit to participate. And then to send, to basically have a search capacity, where you can send in forces to those targets to stop them before they even happen. So that kind of information control, through intelligence gathering, through predictive policing, is the new frontier when we’re talking about that information control base there. And that gets into information ops as well.

HOST: And that’s the other interesting point about this is it does not seem to be something that’s a simple little picture in a schematic. It’s not just intelligence, it’s how does the intelligence apply to the information operation. Or how does that apply on the media op. And again that goes back to the whole concept of the Department of Homeland Security and the Fusion doesn’t it?

GUEST: It sure does. So alot of these Fusion Centres use these means to good effect. To create a kind of unity of command but also an effort where intelligence can feed into information ops, and media ops, and can then be parlayed into actionable information for them and of course demobilising information – information that is denied to us. So the information ops can take many forms from sort of electronic warfare, you know when I was talking about the Stingray, Hellstorm technology – which is a form of psychological warfare, electronic warfare. Perception operations to disrupt – disruption of political communications on the part of protesters, and the corruption of the decisions that protesters take through this counterintelligence counterinformation campaign. Cos you can’t make informed decisions about what to do, how to protest non-violently if you have imperfect information. So that plays into all six of those pieces of the information control regime.

HOST: Would this apply to where the kids had rocks thrown at them by the riot police, the SWAT team? Was there an information operation probably – I don’t want to get into too much speculation cos we’ll know sooner or later. That’s the good part about this – it’ll all show up in discovery! But is that a form of information op when you put out a ‘there’s going to be an attack, a purge’ on some TV show – and have this complete story pre-made up and the pieces in place, the tank and the armour… I guess what I’m trying to say is, is that an example of an information operation?

GUEST: It’s certainly the product of an information operation – leading up to that of course we had operations already underway by Baltimore Police Department to neutralise these protests from the Saturday before. As to whether the purge was something that came from high school students just acting the fool or came from information ops, is still a matter of speculation.

HOST: Yeah nobody seems to be stepping up to claim where that came from. Which is another pretty good indication of usually a false flag – and I guess, would that be another type of media ops? So once again, this is like another way of looking at the same thing, but then the media operation would be again, I guess, if you had reporters with cameras in place to show pictures of the kids throwing the rocks – and this is a theoretical, this is not what happened in Baltimore because we still don’t have all the data yet – which would be, an information op! [Laughter] Media ops – could you give us a short view on what would be a media op.

GUEST: As they’ve gained quite a bit of control over our media without even having to do it in the name of the U.S. Government of course, they can do it through private corporations, with which they’re working very closely, so you know, somebody like Fox News is going to be there, ready to take pictures of the kids throwing rocks, whether they’re sent there directly by the U.S. Government or not, they’re ready to do it at the bidding of their employers.

HOST: That’s an interesting point to try to get out to people here too, is people want to portray this as, you could never have this big of a conspiracy. The conspiracy itself is driving it, that’s what it’s designed for. Once you set this machinery in place, it’s a go.

GUEST: I would hesitate to call this a conspiracy because just the normal operations of our security and intelligence apparatus would explain this. You don’t have to have a huddle in a back room with people twirling their moustaches for this to work, it can just happen because it’s set up to happen that way.

HOST: Again, Doug Valentine points out that this was created during the Vietnam war, the Phoenix program modelled after Ford motor company used a ‘command post’ system where they would have directors from on high and they had computerised statistics that would tell them whether or not they were meeting their goals or not – again, that’s what it was modelled on so that’s why you’re seeing the similarities. So on the other side of the box, first off do you think there’s a reason why they’ve got these three things kind of set – they’ve got three counters on the other side of the intelligence box – counterideology, countersanctuary, countermotivation. Again they’re all interlinked. What’s in each of those?

GUEST: Sure. So countermotivation, it basically denies people, it’s a sort of way of making it irrational for people to participate and its waging the cost at such a high level, such a high cost, for people to participate in a non-violent protest or a non-violent insurgency let’s say. Countermotivation is basically making it so that it’s almost impossible for people’s motivation to outweigh those costs. So to give people a disincentive to do anything really, to go out of their homes. This can be reinforced by the security pillar – as we saw when the National Guard was enforcing the curfews – but it also can take the form of psychological warfare – where you’re saying, okay, we’re going to expel all these high school students. We’re going to get all these high school students expelled for exercising their rights, for going out and protesting. So that’s a way of countering the motivation that people have. Counterideology is equally important. This was designed during the Cold War when they actually had this War on Communism – now they don’t have the same kind of singular ideological enemy, but they have seen fit to use propaganda, use denunciations of the ideas that people might have, who are out on the streets. You’ve seen this in Occupy, and more recently in the treatment of anarchists, you’ve seen this in the treatment of the Black Lives Matters protesters, portrayed as a sort of, an inherently violent ideology, and attempts to really deprive social movements of their base in the population by saying well ‘this is a foreign ideology’, ‘this is a hostile ideology’, ‘this is a violent way of thinking’. Countersanctuary of course is to deny them places to go, space to be in, just the space to operate in. This can take the form of, as we saw in Ferguson with the church, denying them physical space. They can also deny them their space in cyberspace. In recent years the technologies that are available to them, they’re using to deny people even their ability to operate and to communicate in cyberspace.

HOST: So we’ve got these six things – and again, you’ve really given a clear picture, of how they’re all interlinked, and interwoven with all the other pieces. I guess a lot of what appears to be random, may not be what it appears to be at all. And I guess that might be a really good way of saying that’s what information control is all about.

GUEST: That’s right, that’s right.

HOST: One of the most interesting things to all of this though, with Kilcullen, basically he was credited as doing such a good job in Iraq with this version of COIN which came with the idea that he and Valentine have a worldwide Phoenix program. At the same time, we have the person who was the Ambassador to Iraq who just now came out with the article saying ‘hey this is doomed to failure – it always fails – it failed in Vietnam – it failed in Iraq – it failed in Afghanistan’ – so it’s not like this is some kind of perfectly created machine that’s going to win, in fact it’s doomed to fail. So I kind of guess that brings us to our third section here. With all of this gloom and doom what do you see as the good news, of being able to identify, hey, we’re having counterinsurgency used on us? What’s the good news here? We’ve got twenty minutes to find that!

GUEST: There’s no success here for the counterinsurgency campaign. There can be temporary wins, there can be pacification, they can disrupt and deter people for a time, from going to the street or taking part in protests. All of that – that can look like success, but really in the long term it’s inevitable, it’s doomed to fail, and it’s inevitable that a population will not respond to this by embracing those it sees as occupiers, those it sees as an occupying force. As you said, you didn’t see that in Vietnam, you didn’t see it in Iraq or Afghanistan and you’re certainly not going to see it here in the United States, I think where people have higher expectations of some basic degree of democratic legitimacy, so once they have access to this information, once the information control is broken, then the other pillars are much more likely to fall. We have a crisis of legitimacy in this country right now and part of that is flowing from the fact that like never before – we’re seeing what’s going on, we have access through some of the new tools that we were talking about, to unprecedented information on the kinds of activities that our government is engaged in. Of course there’s much more that we don’t know, that is going on, but the information control I think is much more tenuous than it used to be, as is the control over the population in the sense of legitimacy, because they have power but they don’t have the kind of legitimacy that they’re used to having when they carry out these kinds of operations – you’re not just talking about fighting a foreign enemy anymore, you’re talking about targeting civilians – targeting citizens. So I think it sounds really dire today but there is a silver lining to it in that people I think generally are waking up to this and there have been successful attempts to contain the growth of the security state, there have been successful attempts to reign in some of these programs, some states, ones that you wouldn’t even expect like Montana have passed legislation saying that they don’t want the 1033 program, that is the program to funnel surplus military equipment to law enforcement. We’ve had states like Washington State, where there were drones that were going to be introduced to police protests there and they said no, we’re not going to have drones policing our protests. There have been efforts in New York City and elsewhere, and I think we’re seeing a real conflict over this now, in New York City and elsewhere to stop the over-policing of protests and to actually bring civil and criminal complaints against the police department and in the case of Chicago you’ve even seen reparations that were won for domestic dissidents and other prisoners who were tortured in previous decades and of course Chicago is where we saw that black site during the 2012 protests. So this stuff is hard but there are real local wins, that I think people can take heart that it is possible to put the brakes on this thing, at least at the local level, and if this crisis of legitimacy continues I think we’re going to see some developments at the national level as well.

HOST: We’ve got about 14 minutes left and one of the most crucial things I’ve seen that is good news is how much airtime you seem to have gotten with this counterinsurgency. You’ve been talking to The Nation magazine. The corporate media has actually been paying attention here, to me that’s a big change. What do you see as having driven this, what’s going on here? Why are the corporate media suddenly doing their job?

GUEST: Well I think it’s not that they’re suddenly doing their job, but they don’t really have a choice. This is something that everybody is talking about. It’s something everybody cares about. Everybody who knows about this, who learns about this, knows that it is an issue that is something that is of the utmost importance of their lives, whether or not they’re politically active or whether they’re out there protesting, this is something that’s going to affect all of us, it’s going to affect our children, our grandchildren and so on so forth. I think that there’s simply a demand for it, that there hasn’t been for some time. A demand for information, a hunger for information about this and for some sort of analysis of what’s going on. And I think people feel short-changed by the information that they had been getting previously and they’re demanding to know more.

HOST: I keep thinking back to the scenes in Baltimore, and Ferguson, where you’ve got people telling corporate media, go home. And basically if you’re following it on Twitter and seeing what the people who actually live there are saying and seeing, and seeing what’s going out on CNN, or some of the other corporate media, I don’t want to just single out their bad behaviour… Did you pick up any kind of a change when you’re talking to corporate people who are suddenly covering this story? Do you see any kind of, how do they seem to you? Do they actually seem to be understanding? Or, did they get it before but were just paid not to, or… what’s your impression from talking to the corporate media, what do you see changing there?

GUEST: So my feeling is that nothing fundamental has changed with the corporate media.

HOST: [Laughter] Well I was hoping you had some better news than that!

GUEST: Well nothing fundamental. Though I think at the margins, at the edges, you see some shift. One of the things I think of during Occupy, is actually, even the corporate media became a threat, because to have a camera covering what was going on, to have people seeing what was going on, even that was perceived as a threat even if it was CNN, even if it was the New York TImes. I was out there with a camera at the front lines in 2011 and they were beating up anybody. Including mainstream corporate journalists. So I think some of the individuals in the media have changed their view, and feel that this is a threat not just to protesters but to them, and they’re exercising their rights as members of the press, the so-called free press. There are many people who are questioning what the legitimacy these kinds of tactics have, these kinds of tactics that we see in the streets.  And I think as individuals, they’re covering it differently. I think as institutions, it’s going to take more for them to change in a more fundamental way, and for that you’re going to have to talk about new media, you’re going to have to talk about democratising our media on a more systematic level. But for now, I think there is a cultural shift. A shift in the discourse, a shift in the way that people are talking about these things. There’s a sense among many of the population that if the corporate media isn’t here to tell us the truth then we’re going to need someone else to do that. So I think it’s an existential crisis for them because it really gets down to the role of the media in a free society, and if this isn’t a free society, then what is the role of the media then.

HOST: Good point, got about 10 minutes left and you’ve really kind of touched on some interesting points. For those of us who’ve been around Occupy from basically Day 1, the issues that we’re raising today aren’t exactly news to us. Basically we have, in the former show with Doug Valentine, to a degree, this IS what drove Occupy underground, although that has been overblown according to some of the other experts we’ve been talking to. But it is breaking down. The media is beginning to have to cover this. You were there at the original… were you there at Occupy Wall Street in New York?

GUEST: That’s right. September 17th 2011.

HOST: I’m a newcomer. I didn’t come in til about October. [Laughter]. That’s when the rest of the country started going up for grabs. That was an interesting point in time. We’re still seeing people… are you following Decentralise Occupy down in New Zealand?

GUEST: Yes.

HOST: She’s one of the people who was basically… was never a journalist, never in her wildest dreams she even wanted to be a journalist, but she is a reporter because she saw it wasn’t being covered anywhere else.

GUEST: That’s right.

HOST: You were at the Battle of Boston – I guess that was a couple of months after, was that December?

GUEST: There were several… and the battle of Chicago of course, in May 2012, was really one of the places where we saw some of this new type of policing really deployed in full force. At the North American Treaty Organisation protest (#NONATO), the anti-war protest that Spring. But we saw it from the first I think, they’ve had this stuff under development and they’ve had it in the wings and a lot of the infrastructure I was talking about, the tactics and the weapons I was talking about, they were out there on the streets… they didn’t use them to the extent that they have in the past year. But they had the sound cannons, the long range acoustic devices (LRAD), the less-lethal weapons and all that. All the cameras, that they have, that they were integrating to try to surveil what Occupy was doing, you know I think the groundwork had been laid, of course, long ago and we’re just starting to see the full glory now.

HOST: The credibility is beginning to switch to our side since the other side has been caught lying, the corporate side, so many times. We talked right before we started recording… that a lot of the protesters who had been arrested in the battle of Chicago actually went to the black site that has just now been brought up into mainstream news and reparations even. That’s that same site.

GUEST: Yeah so the black site had been used for many years, to take prisoners of various sorts that the Chicago Police Department didn’t want to, or, didn’t have the goods on yet. They didn’t have the means to bring them up on normal charges so they would take them to this warehouse in Homan Square, in the case of the Chicago protesters, had them chained to a bench, in a wire cage and they apparently ended up charging three of them with domestic terrorism after they sent their own agents to set up this elaborate plot involving molotov cocktails and all this, it was an elaborate act of entrapment that they used to set up some of these protesters who didn’t know any better, didn’t know who they were dealing with. But in a lot of cases you’re seeing the counterterrorism campaigns as kind of having to invent terrorism, or terrorist plots to justify its own existence and Chicago is one example of that.

HOST: And one may well turn into another one, at the end of the day…

GUEST: That’s right, I wouldn’t be surprised to see those black sites turning up in Baltimore either.

HOST: I get the impression that you’re probably dead on target on that one too. In fact what’s really interesting is that when we were talking about this in Ferguson, we found not one but two Fusion centres operating in Ferguson, population 20,000 people. The numbers I keep seeing, it varies all the time. I don’t think there even is a clear picture of how many Fusion centres are operating at this point. That number doesn’t seem to be very realistic. With about 5 minutes left to go, there was something else I wanted to touch on… and I think I managed to forget it. There was one I was wanting you to remind me of…

GUEST: Well I know we were supposed to talk about… Chicago and…

HOST: Oh, that’s it! Infraguard! I was hoping you’ve got something on Infraguard, cos that’s the side of the Fusion centres that’s REALLY spooky. We’re not seeing much on Infraguard.

GUEST: That’s right, and this is actually just one piece of a larger puzzle, which is the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) for policing and for Homeland Security. Infraguard is just a link in that chain that the FBI is specifically responsible for. So they have over 55,000 members as of 2012, I’m sure it’s grown since then. But it’s an association of U.S. business, U.S. corporations, and the FBI, to put their minds together basically, to combine information sharing and intelligence functions with coordination and collaboration on efforts to prevent disruption and ensure business continuity as they would call it. But that can mean anything from, disruption can mean anything from an Occupy protest to a terrorist event but they don’t make any distinction, so, they’ve been using Infraguard, they’ve been using other councils like the Domestic Security Alliance Council and some of these advisory councils within the DHS; the Homeland Security Information  Network is another one, like Infraguard, that DHS is anchoring, that allow constant communication and coordination of public and private sectors to respond to what they see as the ‘threat environment’ that they face, as they call it. The threat environment makes no distinction between violent and non-violent activities so you’re seeing the use of these networks and organisations that were developed under the pretext of protecting Americans, actually being turned against them.

HOST: And again Doug Valentine’s observation here is that that basically parallels how the Phoenix program worked out in the 60s and 70s, the Vietnam War version. It’s a pattern that just keeps repeating until we stop it repeating but the difference is that very few people knew what the Phoenix program was in 1973 or 74. I think there’s a significantly larger amount of people who are beginning to get a handle on just how bad this situation is, as far as liberty. It’s interesting to see some of the tweets talking about the left-wingers on this one, but they’re divided from the right-wing. There’s been some observations like where’s the right-wingers on this one, where’s all the liberty people. And another classic example of that would be the Bundy Ranch situation, where the right-wing were there, on police militarisation, but the left-wing wasn’t too much there or showing up for that one. But the 99% – do you have any, in the last minute, how do we get the 99% to hang together so that we don’t all hang separate?

GUEST: Yeah, that’s the million dollar question.

HOST: Trillion!

GUEST: Yeah, trillion. There are some things that still unite us, no matter what the political ideology that might motivate us might be. One of those things is the desire to live our lives, free from constant government surveillance and constant government interference and control of what we do. There’s one kind of freedom that I think the ‘right’ takes for granted there, and that’s fighting for the right of businesses to do what they want, but what about the freedoms of individuals, what about the freedoms of communities like those in Baltimore, to just live their lives. That’s something basic right there that’s written into our constitutional laws, it’s supposed to be guaranteed to us. But I think this is one thing that the ‘right’ and ‘left’ have in common and that’s nobody wants to be followed around 24/7 and be a target of information ops or psychological warfare on their own block, or in their own country. That’s true of Iraqis, it’s true of Afghans and it’s definitely true of Americans. I think that, you know, if there’s one thing that’s going to unite us, in these final years of the Obama administration it’s the realisation that our democracy is under threat, our freedoms are under threat and it’s going to take collective action and some serious pushback to stop it.

HOST: Well, that pushback is underway and I can’t think of a better way to end this show. That pretty much says it all. I want to thank you for being with us, you’ve done a great job of making a really complex situation, by design, a lot clearer for us. Any last thoughts?

GUEST: Well, just, information is power. Whether it’s in the hands of the power players or in the hands of the rest of us. So the more information we have, the better equipped we’re going to be to wage this fight for our freedom. Everyone should be doing this work, this is work that everyone could be doing. Just keep an eye out cos they certainly are.

HOST: Michael, thanks for standing. To our audience: thank you for standing. And if we don’t get blown out of the air again, we’ll be back in another week with another story.

To view the original podcast blogpost including more than a dozen source links please click here.

Listen to the podcast here

[Transcribed by Suzie Dawson [@endarken]. This transcript was live-blogged. Thank you for watching!]

COINTELPRO & Occupy: The War Within

THE INFILTRATION OF THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT IN NEW ZEALAND, AND THE WORLD.

FOIA responses from the DHS have revealed exactly that which we feared in earlier days of the Occupy movement; the existence of a federally/nationally and likely internationally coordinated (probably through co-operation agreements) attempt to dismantle Occupies from the inside and otherwise infiltrate and sabotage related non-violent democratic groups.

This counter-democratic practice extends to the use of private contracting corporations performing traditional police and military intelligence functions, is now undeniable and even more sophisticated than we “conspiracy theorists” had dared suspect.

It is unsurprising considering the scale of the opposition to the success of Occupy; but our nemeses are moles of superior resources and co-ordination, spreading constant disinformation and infiltrating organisations of social change, to disrupt and subvert.

We watch in horror as the tales of the sabotage of various international occupations emerge – and in 99% of cases the events parallel precisely what occurred here in New Zealand.

Any who still doubt that the methods employed against Occupy overseas were used here, need only look at the surrounding political landscape.

Specifically;

* the timely training of our police forces by the U.S.A.
* the presence of the FBI during the Kim Dotcom raid and during the two evictions of our four Auckland occupations, where police were proved to be wearing fake badge numbers, perfect replicas of real ones;
* the May Day “visit” by Janet Napolitano, head of the Department of Homeland Security
* this week’s “visit” by, of all people, Leon Panetta;
* the recent stationing of 2,500 U.S. military troops in Northern Australia;
* a suggestion by the United States to establish a military base here in New Zealand, a Commonwealth Country; in surplus to the Waihopai Spy Base we already host;
* the latest development; further illegal conduct against Kim Dotcom by the GCSB, currently under retributive attack by Anonymous (multiple reports of gcsb.govt.nz down);

collectively set the dramatic backdrop to this monumental phase of New Zealand’s sociopolitical history.

With the benefit of hindsight & the FOIA releases a more clear picture of how methods of suppression are applied globally, and of what Occupy has endured and still is enduring, is emerging. The end result of these methods, can be analysed by their narcissistic echoes in social media; open destruction and negativity in a movement entirely based on the opposite – a new possibility; positivity. Creation. Change.

These historic internal sentiments within the movement can be mapped by repeated fixed narrative or attitude shifts at a given time. Attitudes that in retrospect, are without merit.

While initially triumphant and embracing its quick spread to nearly 2,000 cities and towns worldwide, the Occupy movement was rocked by the month-and-a-half-late emergence of the “Oakland Liberation Front” Black Bloc leaflets, shown in countless You Tube videos to be the tactics of infiltrators. This time in Occupy history represented the first major effort by the 1% to tar Occupy as a violent movement; prior to the forceful violence inflicted upon it during the evictions that occurred later.

Despite this, the founding principle of Occupy that brought people together was in fact non-violence. This was stipulated time and time again in the founding documentation of Occupies throughout the world. It was the basis for the solidarity occupations. Those who claim Black Bloc are a core component of the movement, forget the founding premises.

They similarly need to question the gap in time between the inception of the movement in September 2011, and the appearance of organised Black Bloc immediately prior to the 1st West Coast Port Shutdown/General Strike in November.

The targeting of livestreamers for suspicion was one of the many minor successes of the counter-Occupy COINTELPRO. With Black Bloc they neutralised the “peaceful protester” images from their Antony Bologna/Brooklyn Bridge P.R. disasters; which had recruited countless thousands more occupiers to the cause.

However with the attacks on livestreamers, saboteurs in several cases successfully dismantled some Occupy Media groups or sufficiently pressured key members of legitimate Occupy Media into dissipating, or turning away from the movement.

The Twitter hash-tag #WithoutLivestreamers was our community response to attacks on Occupy Live-streamers as perpetuating “surveillance” or “supplying evidence”. The anti-Live-streamer attacks came from a sector of false-Occupiers within the movement, proven the greatest of folly in light of the #TrapWire revelations, that indeed, security cameras are being actively used against democratic protesters.

Not only by civil and police authorities, but by third parties including corporates/”private” contractors and potentially their subcontractors, as revealed in the TrapWire scandal that implicated “corporate intelligence”, “market intelligence” and “asset tracking” agencies like Cubic Defense, Abraxas Corp, and potentially countless other similar military-industrial-complex interfacing companies around the globe.

We have seen proof that yes, modern surveillance cameras can zoom. Yes, they can pan. Yes, they can tilt. Yes they can target specific individuals/groups for both audio and visual reconnaissance and yes, their footage is potentially going off-shore and/or circulating around private & governmental intelligence agencies worldwide.

Yes, it is all happening on public dollars. Happening TO the public. We are the unwitting purchasers of technology that turns us into international commodities for the incestuous trading of for-profit intelligence agencies.

In this light, the idea that Joe Bloggs filming on his cellphone is going to be of any more use to law enforcement than their military-grade state-of-the-art capabilities, is ironic at best.

The truth is, Livestreams are Occupy’s single greatest recruitment tool.

Droves of new occupiers are brought into the movement by the viral nature of the live-streams, which allow us to eye-witness what the corporate media do NOT put in their made-for-TV fairy-tales dressed as news broadcasts.

Occupy Wall Street was suppressed by the global corporate media for over three weeks.

Those of us eye-witnessing the live-streams then visiting corporate news websites only to discover the blackout, were irrevocably shown that our conventional world view of the status quo is wholly malleable; and indeed is manufactured by corporations.

It appears that blackouts are created whenever events on the ground outpace the information systems that the elite 0.1% rely on, to maintain societal control.

The blackout occurred because the international media monster took time to be fed tactical instructions on how to dress and package what was unfolding in a way that would inhibit or prevent its further growth, creating an information vacuum that was filled by ordinary people.

This was a golden period of time for Occupy, one reflected in its high intake of donations and its fast growth around the globe.

However, the corporates-that-be soon got a handle on the situation and out came the Reuters and A.P. faxes to the international media who used untold thousands of outlets to saturate media markets with suitably derogatory soundbytes and vacant stereotypes, simultaneously.

The constant “24 hour news echo-chamber” post-eviction monotone drone of “Occupy is dead, Occupy is dead, Occupy is dead“, wasn’t just a voice that came from the corporate media. It was a voice which came from within the movement itself. Upon reflection, we notice the individuals who most fervently purport that the movement is over, are the same people who made and/or supported proposals to G.A.’s to deconstruct & not to construct.

To constrain and not to free. To centralise, and not to decentralise. To usurp key infrastructure. To fire media teams wholesale. To control and usurp finances.

Their malignancy flew in the face of the resources, time, care, love and attention poured in by genuine Occupiers around the world.

These subversives are people with names (albeit often fake ones), and often self-styled titles, who court an obviously corrupt corporate media for their own ends. Who stage Astroturf events, who create new media that ostracises participants, derides/degrades the movement or violates its core principles.

Sometimes even the alternative media that we love so dearly and promote with such fervour, and in all fairness have largely legitimately served us well under the most trying of circumstances, still, in some cases fail us.

Our most early experience of this was back in November of 2011, when the first photos were emerging of DHS presence at Occupy events and evictions.

We had a tweet exchange with Alternet editor Joshua Holland who called it a “non-story” and Mother Jones contributor Gavin Aronsen thought the situation confined to PERF. The general overtone from Joshua was that the fears were unfounded, despite the tweets of pics and videos from eye-witnesses on the ground.

Photos like this make it unlikely DHS participation was limited to an advisory role.

Joshua Holland subsequently publicly raked Naomi Wolf over the coals for suggesting as much, then after she responded over the sourcing of an article questioning DHS in an Occupy context, he did so again, through Alternet.

Witnessing the exchanges on-line, a member of Occupy Auckland Media Team made a short video questioning the vitriolic nature of Joshua’s “articles”, and noting the stark discrepancy between the 24/7 Occupy info spread by Naomi, by comparison to the relatively benign “going to walk my dog”-esque timeline of Joshua Holland.

Indeed, search @NaomiRWolf on Topsy.com then sub-search “DHS” and you’ll find a wealth of fascinating related information, whereas if you search @JoshuaHol then “DHS” you’ll see 6 total tweets, three of which are denials of stories. Search @JoshuaHol then “Dog” & there’s 6 pages.

Mysteriously, our direct Twitter exchanges with him from that time, have disappeared from Topsy entirely. So has his most recent tweet on the subject; a 180 degree turn that suggested he had been somehow vindicated by the March & May 2012 FOIA responses.

Time warp back to this Counterpunch article: “there was and is a nationally co-ordinated campaign to disrupt and crush the Occupy movement.” A far cry from Joshua’s original position; spot on Naomi’s.

Well Joshua is right that the FOIA’s cleared up the issue. Indeed they did. With the added bonus of exposing that even some members of the alternative media were involved in suppressing what was happening, as it was happening.

That even the most extreme of “tin-hat conspiracy theorists” couldn’t concoct the full extent of the reality on the ground.

Yesterday’s Vinny “GuerillaMedia MrNews” Eastwood interview of activist Penny Bright in the wake of her expulsion from several major Auckland movements, is another example of the alternative news that should represent us, being used to promote a personal agenda that is ultimately detrimental to the interests of the movement as a whole.

The interview with Penny is billed as “Exposing NZ Cointelpro”. Unfortunately it does nothing of the sort. Just harps on about her beef with one woman. Completely ignoring the larger geopolitical picture, and wasting the opportunity to inform listeners of it.

As with Holland’s Alternet pursuit of Naomi Wolf, Penny Bright’s use of an alternative media source postured as friendly to Occupy, as a tool of revenge in her personal crusade against Occupy and the uber-successful “Aotearoa Is Not For Sale” campaign, completely and utterly misses the wider plot.

Occupy does not face the work of singular saboteurs; unless they are of the unwitting variety. What it faces is the systemic application of state-sanctioned public-funded anti-terrorism networks and resources; whole “Fusion centres” co-ordinating teams of operatives infiltrating meetings and surveilling activists’ convergence points, staging events and arrest situations, and reporting back to the central government hive for resources and further instruction.

Whether Occupy is infiltrated by these teams of paid saboteurs is no longer a debatable question. Whether or not we can re-embrace our core concepts of non-violence and decentralisation sufficiently to (non)combat it; is.

Chris Hedges said that as high as it was, the ratio of Stasi informants to genuine protesters couldn’t prevent the fall of the Berlin Wall. In articles like this, Hedges defines Occupy with every fibre of his being.

Hedges, Wolf, and Occupy New Zealand share something in common. All are compelled to speak, spread and share the messages of Occupy. To awaken others as we ourselves awoke. Therefore related information bursts from us at every possible opportunity.

The infiltrators demonstrate no such compulsion.

They live by sound bytes, endlessly self-promote and betray themselves in their own speech and actions.

It takes less than 2 minutes of the Vinny Eastwood interview for Penny to give herself away. “I’ve never been treated this way by police. By local or central government. These are people who want to have a better society? I think I’d rather have what we’ve got now actually.” Penny Bright. Self-styled #1 NZ anti-corruption campaigner and ex mayoral candidate.

Sound anything like Chris Hedges? Or Naomi Wolf? Or Occupy Media? Or even, as she claims to be, “a professional protester”?

Not even slightly.

Hopefully reading this article will bring her up to speed with what Occupy has REALLY been facing, and we will include the rest of the Cointelpro links we harvested at the end of the article for reference.

—————————————————————————————————————-

Occupy needs to leave the “anti-livestream”-type whining in the dust. To stop giving traffic and hits to corrupt corporate/MSM news sources. Even when they outrage us with their widespread and all but transparent self-hypocrisies.

We must find a way to re-engage the purity of our original mission – to find and institute a better societal framework for humankind and for the sake of the entire Earth, in order to attain lasting progress for Occupy.

We have long-since said that Occupy is a “true truth-and-reconciliation process” due to its ability to bridge massive social, racial, ideological and geographic divides.

We have also long said: “Global Solidarity – Local Governance”.

The decentralisation of power and control guarantees sovereignty at a local level & the rights of the inhabiting peoples as being above the rights of corporations. It also insulates against a “One World Government” scenario, while we break down the walls of prejudice and competition, built by our corrupt modern materialist/consumer social conditioning.

Global Solidarity is what has ultimately held the Occupy movement together. It is the super-glue that once experienced cannot be unstuck. It pushes the snowball of the awakening, and makes Occupy invincible to the types of pettiness above.

Because Occupy is not a single person; who can be pressured to quit. Permanently smeared or culled.

Occupy is an idea that never stops evolving. An idea that belongs to all of civilisation.

An idea that has spread like a virus. An idea which cannot be killed.

An idea whose time has come.

Expect us. 🙂

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM
———————————————-

Further related links:

The Freedom Archives – Documentary

The Freedom Archives – Cointelpro Resource list

Cointelpro Documentary Circa Dr Martin Luther King+

Anonymous Hack Reveals LEA’s Spied on Occupy & Shared Info with Stratfor

FBI Training Classifies Animal Rights Activists, Environmental Activists, Anarchists, As “Domestic Terrorists”

FBI Vs. Indigenous Movements & The Black Panther Party

“The War At Home: Covert Action Against Activists And What We Can Do About It”

“How Your Government Destroys We The People”

Sabotage At Occupy Sydney

Thompson Clarke Investigations Ltd Involved In Subversion Of Climate Change Movement

& 1000s more if you web & video search. The truth is out there.

An Elementary Guide To The #TrapWire Global Surveillance Revelations

We anticipate the subject of #TrapWire and it’s global government-corporation intelligence software will continue to garner massive attention in the coming weeks. This is a list of basic reading for anyone who is interested in beginning to understand the subject.

Business Insider: Wikileaks; Surveillance Cameras Around The Country Are Being Used In A Huge Spy Network

RT.com: Stratfor Emails Reveal Secret, Widespread TrapWire Surveillance System

FireDogLake: TrapWire; Welcome To The Police State, Where You Must Fear For Your Freedoms

Ben Doernberg’s TrapWire Storify: TrapWire; International Surveillance Coordination Network

Salon: Biggest Story You Missed

 

 

 

 

 

What A Tangled Web They Weave; FBI And DHS Involved In Questionable Events In New Zealand

How FBI & DHS Interference In New Zealand Has Brought A Government To Its Knees – Thanks To Their Persecution Of Kim Dotcom & Occupy.

Occupy New Zealand Media sews together the continually unfolding drama of which key players include:

1. Kim Dotcom; founder of Megaupload.com; German self-made multi-millionaire, legal resident of New Zealand.
2. The FBI; who (allegedly without sufficient due process) flew 10,000+ miles to New Zealand to raid Dotcom’s New Zealand residence, confiscate his belongings & threaten him with extradition to the U.S., branding Dotcom a criminal, ala Julian Assange of Wikileaks
3. John Banks; ex New Zealand Minister of Police, Local Government, Tourism, Sport and Civil Defence, ex Mayor of Auckland, current sitting Minister of Regulatory Reform (!!) and Small Business . Also happens to be the elected official for the electorate seat that holds the balance of power in the current New Zealand parliament. His most recent in a string of scandals is the result of doing some “small business” with Kim Dotcom that has landed him in extremely hot water politically.
4. John Key; Prime Minister of New Zealand, leader of the National Party, ruling by a shaky coalition that is a seat or two away from oblivion. Ex Merrill Lynch trader, Bank of America shareholder, ex Member of the Federal Reserve Bank of America.
5. Janet Napolitano; Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and recent visitor to New Zealand. On May Day, to be precise.

It is only characters of the above renown and prestige that could provide a more riveting plotline than any mere fiction could produce. What we report here is a sequence of media events; the progression of the story in the eyes of the New Zealand public and the experience of helping to break the story internationally.

ACT ONE: This entire story runs parallel to the Occupy movement establishing in Auckland and many other cities in New Zealand; and the violent police & private security evictions of them. US Marines establish a 2,000 strong base in nearby Australia, and it is reported in the mainstream media that US marines arrive in New Zealand to train New Zealand Police to use beanbag shotguns and other “less lethal weaponry”. Tension begins to heat up in the population due to a restrictive domestic political agenda of corporatisation, privatisation, austerity and the general bleeding of public assets into private hands. Seemingly out of the blue, the FBI arrive in New Zealand and raid Kim Dotcom. He is held in jail in Auckland Central Remand Prison. He retaliates for poor prison conditions and lack of attention from John Banks who he had financially supported by outing him for corrupt fundraising tactics.

SCENE ONE: April 28: It begins.
Domestic political scandal had been quietly brewing around John Banks for some time, with a high-profile Occupy Auckland activist & anti-corruption campaigner, Penny Bright, openly calling for his prosecution over the signing of incorrect financial statements involving an investment company, Huljich Wealth Management, which was a part of a slew of financial institutions that went under during the “financial crisis” in New Zealand, resulting in substantial losses to public investors. Despite the grass-roots knowledge of his corruption, the corporate media largely bury it as Banks is seen as somewhat of an institution of New Zealand politics, a favourite of Prime Minister John Key and seemingly untouchable. Until Kim Dotcom, from prison, discloses that John Banks had not only solicited Dotcom for campaign contributions, but instructed him to divide sums up into multiple parts, so that he could declare them as… ANONYMOUS!

When this news emerged, normal, every day, middle of the road New Zealand got a glimpse of the common depravity of stalwarts of New Zealand politics that shook them to their roots. En masse, they decried Banks & in the following domestic media flurry that immediately ensued, Occupy New Zealand, through the power of social media, played a major role in documenting & vocalising the outrage of the public.

Courtesy of Occupy New Zealand Facebook: www.facebook.com/OccupyNZ
” John Banks in major political corruption scandal – his conviction could force NZ by-election. John Banks is currently facing a triple whammy situation. Firstly; his having signed off on false financial statements as a director of Huljich Wealth Management; closely followed by the revelation that he received a $15,000 campaign donation from Sky City, who he is currently supporting in having laws changed for their commercial benefit; and now thirdly, Kim Dotcom has come forward with the allegation that Mr. Banks schooled him on how to break up campaign donations so that he wouldn’t have to declare them.

All of this on the back of the now-famous “cup-of-tea tape” where John Banks & John Key tried to hide from the public, the contents of a conversation they had, at a press-conference THEY had themselves called. ”

According to the NZ Herald: “(Banks) said his contact with Dotcom was limited to a total of 20 minutes conversation and he had been to Dotcom’s mansion in Coatesville only once for dinner. But film of the event – Dotcom’s birthday party – showed Mr Banks making a toast to the tycoon. Footage showed Mr Banks raising a glass and saying, “I’m going to propose a toast to Kim Dotcom. Please fill your glasses and stand. Happy birthday and best wishes to Kim Dotcom, Mona and his family.” “Staff at the mansion said it was one of three visits.” So he is lying about the depth of his relationship with Kim Dotcom to distance himself from the charges against Kim? Shady.

“Bodyguard Wayne Tempero was present, as was one of Dotcom’s butlers. His company chief financial officer also attended briefly. “He mentioned the elections were coming up [and] he was raising money for his campaign,” Dotcom said. “He said it was hard to raise money in New Zealand, the mayoral campaign was coming up and he’s trying to raise funds for that. I kind of liked the guy. I said, ‘I’m happy to help.’ I told Wayne to write a cheque for $50,000. His [Mr Banks’] eyes got a little bit bigger at that moment.”
Mr Tempero asked the chief financial officer to come into the room to write the cheque.
“John said, ‘Wait a minute’,” Dotcom recalled last night. “‘It would be good if you could split it up into two payments of 25 [thousand dollars], then I don’t declare publicly who made it’.”
Dotcom said one cheque was made out in his own name, or the name of his company Megastuff Ltd, and the other in Mr Tempero’s name. “He [Mr Banks] called me a few days after the cheques entered his bank account and he thanked me personally.”

THIS, ladies & gentlemen, is a simple example of the thousands of ways per year that our country gets sold out by corrupt politicians. Time to end the ridiculous charade that is the Act Party & get someone into the job who isn’t there just for the $$$$$$$. SHAME ON YOU JOHN BANKS!”

SCENE TWO: April 29: Banks dodges the media.
“According to the NZ Herald, John Banks isn’t returning their calls. Wonder why? Maybe John Key hasn’t worked out what to make John Banks do yet? Surely once the orders come down, he’ll hold a press conference. Hopefully some of the mainstream media at said press conference will ask the hard questions? Or will they just whitewash it? Will you ask him about his directorship of the Huljich Wealth Management Fund, anyone? John Banks signed prospectuses containing false information that resulted in massive financial hardship if not bankruptcy, for many New Zealanders; yet remains in a powerful position in NZ politics.

Now we discover not only has he declared a $15,000 donation he knew full well was from Sky City (Casino) as ‘Anonymous’ – a corporation that he is currently campaigning to have government regulations changed for, for their express financial benefit – but it turns out that of all people, he took $50,000 from Kim Dotcom?

After Dotcom was arrested, John Banks claimed to have barely knew him. So why was John Banks chauffeured around in private helicopters to Dotcom’s palatial estate? Making toasts at his birthday party? Telling him to cut checks into $25,000 “anonymous” pieces?
Now let’s not forget the good old Teapot tapes. John Banks was caught out by media he and John Key had called to a press conference which they turned into a quasi-private bitching session and then went to ridiculous lengths to cover up. Just as they will now try to cover this up.

John Banks isn’t some first term list MP… he is the former Mayor of Auckland and Minister of Police. If he’s managed to pull off all of the above, in only a couple of years; what the hell did he do to our city & country in the rest of his career? That we may never know about. It seems Mr. Banks is entirely symptomatic of an Old Boys Network gone wild – cocooned in their own perceived invincibility, but now getting their world’s rocked by the 99%.
If we can get even one mainstream journalist to actually investigate the above issues further, we are about to be down by at least one corrupt politician. Congratulations Aotearoa!! ”

SCENE THREE: April 30: Right-wing mainstream media burst into defensive action. Occupy New Zealand retaliates via Facebook.

“Listening to NewstalkZB right now – Leighton Smith is in the middle of a full-blown damage-control divert-and-cover-up propaganda operation in defense of John What-Helicopter Banks, whose political future is currently teetering on the edge of oblivion after his being busted for a sequence of dodgy shonky $$$-hungry dealings.

Leighton opens his show by claiming that he doesn’t want to talk about Banks – he wants to talk about anonymous donations. Then goes on to wax lyrical about the many reasons why political donations should be allowed to be anonymous; slipping in a caller or two that say exactly the same thing as he, then conveniently reading several emails he claims to have received (probably straight from Banks electoral office!!) reinforcing the same principles.

“But what about the right to privacy?” Leighton asks. Doesn’t a person have the right to privacy anymore? He draws parallels between donating to politicians and donating to charity – claiming that if the SPCA will let you donate anonymously that you should be able to anonymously donate to politicians.

Well I have news for you Leighton Smith. Read it twice then read it thrice. SKY CITY IS NOT A PERSON!!!!!!!

When Sky City donate a figure that ends in a bunch of zeros to a politician; then that politician (in this case John Banks) runs around campaigning for regulatory change that will enhance the profits of Sky City at the cost to the health and wellbeing of the New Zealand public – the issue isn’t whether they should be anonymous. The issue is when that politician should resign. And the answer to that question is: AT 9AM THIS MORNING.

Instead, said politician is being openly applauded by Barry Soper; who himself is supposedly a political observer & investigative journalist, yet who frequently appears on NewstalkZB bestowing sage wisdom upon shonky politicians who have got themselves in a jam.

Soper’s advice to John Banks on this morning’s program? “If he continues to claim he doesn’t know where it came from then he is within the law.”

Everyone who saw John Banks on Q & A on TVNZ yesterday knows full well he is lying. To see the clip for yourself Google TVNZ On Demand then go to the Q & A program for yesterday, Sunday 29/04/2012.

It is a rare sight these days to see Paul Holmes put in a credible performance as an interviewer; but even Paul was emboldened by John Banks utter refusal to address any question containing legitimate queries about his situation. His answers were obvious diversions from the questions and most tellingly, he refused to contradict anything that Kim Dotcom has said about him to date.

At this point two things are patently obvious –
1. John Banks is a political dead duck in the water
2. National & ACT (foolishly) didn’t see this coming, and will try any desperate undertaking that might either delay the inevitable ousting of John Banks while they frantically scramble to find an equally pliable Plan B for Banks’ ministerial portfolios, for his Epsom electorate, and to hold together their shaky coalition majority, lest this all spiral into them losing the big prize – the Beehive.

While Leighton Smith probably thinks he is doing a stellar job of convincing the last remaining portion of NZ society that doesn’t have access to the freedom of information of the internet – his own diversion tactics & fallacious arguments only show his contempt for the intelligence of his audience; the degree of his own political corruption and the lack of journalistic fibre of the organisation that employs him.

We can do much better than NewstalkZB New Zealand, and in the coming years we will. Thanks to the rising tide of new media eclipsing corporate media; these clowns are on their way out.

**(Shonky dealings known of thus far; Banks signing of Huljich Wealth Management Fund false financial statements; the Teapot saga; failure to declare Sky City donation while advocating regulatory change to suit them; and now finally, sucking up to Kim Dotcom for $50k, getting chauffeured around in his private helicopter then claiming to not even know him.)

ACT TWO: It had been common knowledge for some time that John Key is effectively a Wall Street shill of a Prime Minister; he had sided with Hollywood and bartered New Zealand tax-payer dollars in a union-busting move against a potential labour dispute; but he had sold himself as the poor child of a state home who had made good and enjoyed extremely high levels of public favouritism due to a domestic media grown utterly complacent to the point of negligence. The icy hand of privatisation had reached even the state media organisations, who discovered their staff being cut in all the wrong places, and investigative journalism eventually became purely reporting whatever came off the AP fax or whatever their few meagre crews are pre-assigned by bosses to attend. Although that complacency served the 1% in initially suppressing the size, spread and achievements of the Occupy movement in New Zealand, the lack of ability to get decent coverage forces a new wave of journalism into existence; one staffed entirely on a voluntary basis, by average citizens, ourselves included.

SCENE ONE: May 1: The DHS comes to town for May Day. New Zealand bloggers explode.

” Well surprise surprise. Our Wall Street banker Prime Sinister got his economic policies from… Wall Street, according to this article. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1201/S00050/nz-asset-sales-policy-began-on-wall-street.htm

” From Tumeke – John Banks Must Stand Down!!! http://tumeke.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/mr-key-stand-down-john-banks-or-you-are.html

May 2: ” Pic of Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security & our Prime Sinister John Key, taken today. Cos now the US Marines got done training our police in Oakland/NYPD-style police tactics; she’s here training him.

“02 May 2012. Prime Minister John Key with United States Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.”

” A RECENT HISTORY OF SUSPECTED AMERICAN FBI & DHS INTEFERENCE IN NEW ZEALAND SOVEREIGNTY. Lets see how long this post can stay visible on the main page for. Drilling aside; immoral as it is. Mining aside; immoral as it is. Has anyone else noticed: (in chronological order)

1. FBI arrive in NZ & raid Kim Dotcom. He is threatened with extradition to the USA.
2. Occupy Auckland’s four 24/7 simultaneous occupations (Aotea Square, 2.0 Queen Street, Te Huinga Waka aka Victoria Park & Occupy Albert Park) are aggressively steamrolled by police and private security forces working together; some of whom are wearing fake badge numbers (at least 3 officers wearing “Z557” as captured on amateur video here (from approx 07:30: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rarpSu2Iw-c ).
3. During the evictions police arrest Penny Bright – one of the most visible campaigners for justice over John Banks & Don Brash signing incorrect financial returns as directors of Huljich Wealth Management Services
4. All personal belongings seized during the evictions are transported to a hangar at Hobsonville Airbase for “storage” despite the fact that this is MILES away & there is probably hundreds of closer facilities. This is the same airbase FBI choppers & other air transport vehicles were seen flying in & out of.
5. Shortly after the evictions it is reported that Occupy in New Zealand is over & that the FBI have returned to the U.S.
6. Kim Dotcom, after months of remand time served & having all his possessions & wealth ceased by the authorities, leaks the fact that John Banks is one extremely shady politician, to say the least.
7. After making a fool of himself in the media repeatedly, Banks finally issues semi-denial of the accusations of the content of his phone calls / meetings with Kim Dotcom.
8. Kim Dotcom says the contents of the conversations are on tape.
9. The NZ Herald reports that the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – despite there currently being 135 cities in General Strike in America and massive domestic American police operations ongoing – arrived in New Zealand yesterday (1st May NZST)
10. Late last night it is reported that Kim Dotcom is getting a bunch of his vehicles and stuff back. HMMMMMM……..food for thought. ”

” The clowns we call our political leaders. From left to right – John Key’s lackey, John Banks; George Wood’s lackey, Lesley Opie; George Wood – current Auckland Council member, ex mayor of the North Shore, current Chairman of the Community Safety Board & frequent Occupy Auckland Facebook troll; and finally, John Key. My what a foursome.” “Occupiers and a few others will understand the full significance of this image… ;-)”

SCENE TWO: It emerges the FBI did not follow correct legal procedure & the certainty of Dotcom’s conviction becomes increasingly less likely. The viral Banks-Key-Dotcom memes begin.

May 3: ” And the plot thickens… they never should have arrested Kim Dotcom in the first place. Apparently it was a gross abuse of resources for the FBI to storm on in here & attempt to take everything from him. Wonder where that leaves good old John Banks & JK? http://torrentfreak.com/megaupload-prosecution-is-lawless-and-unconstitutional-law-professor-says-120502/

And please enjoy this comprehensive assessment, containing a ton of related information about Dotcom’s notoriety, and the M.O. of National when doing an Allan Hubbard on unsuspecting successful independent businessmen; http://laudafinem.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/kim-dotcom-john-banks-the-invisible-ministers-and-the-unraveling-of-yet-another-national-party-conspiracy/

Reading between the lines of this NZH opinion piece: “Banks took in $520,086 in anonymous donations that year. But Brown, who beat him, also used measures available to local candidates that parliamentary candidates do not enjoy. His return included $499,000 from a trust set up to take donations without revealing the donors.”

So Brown could have had those donations from ANYONE? Say, from donors who were ALSO backing his opponent? Seem far-fetched?

In the USA corporations & rich-listers are well-known for hedging their bets by backing both candidates. Surely that couldn’t happen in little old New Zealand?

Would that explain why Len Brown is about as left wing as sitting Chairman of the Community Safety Board George ‘They should bring in the water cannons’ Wood?

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10803057

SCENE THREE: Pretty much every media commentator and freelance journalist in New Zealand jumps in the fray, but as usual Occupy New Zealand Facebook provided the most comprehensive summary of them all, with a plethora of associated links.

May 6: ” We grew up in a New Zealand with ethics. That stood up to U.S. political bullying; that retained our own sovereignty with regards to womens rights, gay rights, military regulation & our environment; that didn’t change our laws to mirror our imperial overlords but to embrace progressive social change. We were taught to be proud of those differences and also proud that such a small country could push back against huge empires. Inevitably, with each initially unpopular stance we took; other countries caught on, and we gained international respect for our geopolitical risk-taking.
Well now we live in a day and age where commentators on both the right & the left are outright saying that we have sacrificed our sovereignty to the Americans over the Kim Dotcom saga. That the NZ Government failed to protect a legal resident & now that a U.S. judge has indicated the case may never go to trial; our government may be found liable in civil court. You have to read Rodney’s Herald opinion piece to understand it. The level of rhetoric has been elevated to an extent where both Rodney, on the far-right, and Matt McCarten, of the left, are essentially saying the same things. Why? Because corruption is corruption, no matter where on the political spectrum you sit.

Rodney’s opinion here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10803744

Matt’s here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10803840

And this tasty morsel: apparently the dodgy dealings surrounding the Dotcom case are not restricted to politicians: the Crown Law office “knew” that correct procedures were not being followed, on the morning of the raid on Dotcom’s NZ rental property. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10803433

“I would have thought John Key would be a bit more pragmatic. I think John Key has been entirely out of step with the public.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10803602 You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the article to get to that quote, but its truth is undeniable.

John Key says he’d never heard of Dotcom til the raid; then refuses to stand down Banks during investigation? Tops it off with claiming to not know the Wellington Hikoi Against Asset Sales was happening on the very steps of the Beehive?

At this point we’re half expecting John Key to start denying knowing John Banks. Can things really get any more incredulous?

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10803831

ACT THREE: Due in part to the attention of the global Occupy movement, John Banks, Kim Dotcom and New Zealand go viral for all the wrong reasons. Again, Occupy New Zealand Facebook documented the media whirlwind that encompassed the globe – being carried in countless major corporate publications internationally. Yet astonishingly John Banks, openly protected by John Key, remains in power to this day.

SCENE ONE: May 7: ” KIM DOTCOM RELEASES JOHN BANKS MUSIC VIDEO CLIP!!!!!!! This is the FUNNIEST most utterly HILARIOUS thing we have seen throughout the John Banks saga. Spread far and wide. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6871058/Kim-Dotcom-releases-John-Banks-song

“Is John Key Having A John Howard Moment?” More like John Key is having a John Banks moment… http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1205/S00015/is-john-key-having-a-john-howard-moment.htm

May 9: ” Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee. “I can’t believe Key (and of course, his manipulative media muppet mates) continues to defend the indefensible in the case of that lying dog- Banks. Local body electoral law is clear, any donation over $25,000, cannot be anonymous and donations under this amount where the donor is known cannot be listed as anonymous.
The very reason for this law, is to give the public transparency around what entities are making large donations to political candidates and parties, so that any conflicts of interest can be identified.
What we have in the Banks/Dotcom case is what is beginning to look like exactly what the electoral law is there to prevent- a candidate effectively lobbying on behalf of a donor in return for a large stack of cash.
What it looks like here, is that Banks has said ” Hey Dot, we better break that donation up into 2 lots of $25,000, so that when i lobby my mate Maurice on your behalf nobody is able to see that i’ve been motivated to do so by your generosity, you sly old German sausage.”- and i paraphrase just a bit.
Banks’ position as a Cabinet Minister is now clearly untenable, he may still have the Prime-minister’s confidence but he no longer has the public’s confidence. What’s more he doesn’t have the necessary level of credibility and integrity to hold Ministerial office, if indeed he ever did.
The longer The King of Crony Capitalism, aka John Key stands by his man the more his perceived credibility and integrity will suffer.”

May 10: ” Oh dear… it appears Banks’ corruption & Key’s protection of him have finally hit the international media… *gasp*
Always interesting to see how our leaders are portraying our country to the world. We’ll be posting a selection of these international articles, starting with this one, from the British newspaper The Guardian. Enjoy! http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/may/07/kim-dotcom-john-banks-video

This one from a little closer to home… The Australian, on dodgy Banks, shonky Key & Kim Dotcom pwning them. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/nz-minister-john-banks-faces-his-own-dotcom-crash/story-e6frg6so-1226350163398

Ouch. From Bangkok to Spain to Britain to the States… ouc Prime Minister & John “What helicopter?” Banks are the laughing stock of the international political scene. http://newspano.com/news/kim-dotcom-donation-claims-rock-new-zealand-coalition

Here comes the right wing P.R. job – always be suspicious of an article that begins with the official corporate apologist soundbyte – and check out who owns the newspaper. This, the most corruption-friendly piece we’ve seen so far, comes from Bloomberg’s “Business Week”. (Yes, Bloomberg, as in, Mayor Bloomberg of NYC, who has just spent seven months having the NYPD beat, taser, detain, falsely arrest, and sexually assault unarmed peaceful protesters). It appears this piece is as good as its’ going to get for our own dodgy politicians. Good question for Key next time one of you journo’s who obsessively read this page (but are too scared to like/share it): “John Key, have you ever personally met Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City?” http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-29/dotcom-s-political-donation-up-to-police-says-n-dot-z-dot-s-key

This is the most comprehensive international print article we’ve seen so far, including links to Banks’ appalling media performances & a lot of background information. Never heard of this news site before but definitely one to bookmark. http://www.grab-all.com/news/new-zealand/1129439/maurice-williamson-banks-lobbied-on-behalf-of-dotcom

Oooh fascinating. According to New York Magazine; “Amnesia” is just the beginning. So Dotcom really isn’t done with Banks, Key et al. http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/05/kim-dotcom-working-on-movie-book-and-album.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nymag%2Fvulture+%28Vulture+-+nymag.com%27s+Entertainment+and+Culture+Blog%29

John Key & John Banks even made it into the Hollywood Reporter. For all the wrong reasons. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kim-dotcom-song-amnesia-political-scandal-320970

Wow. New York Magazine. The Hollywood Reporter. The Guardian. And even Radio Samoa!!!! Is there a country left in the world that doesn’t know we are run by morons?To finish up our international Banks & Key scandal print journalism collection, here is two fantastic opinion pieces we came across. The first, cleverly points out:

“I see that Mr Key has been complaining to anyone who will listen about how hard done by he is, and that nobody understands any more. Well let me remind you, John Key, that you didn’t become Prime Minister by accident. You made a lifestyle choice and now you have to live with it, and if you don’t like it any more you should take yourself off the generous taxpayer-paid benefit you’re on and go get a real job. These f***ing government beneficiaries are all the same.” http://www.imperatorfish.com/
*Cheer*!
The second comes at the issue from several new angles & is well worth reading: http://gregroughan.com/2012/05/09/the-dilbert-management-theory-of-john-banks/
Kia ora koutou, enjoy the rest of your evening Aotearoa 🙂

Penny Bright – asking the kind of questions that Leighton Smith didn’t have the guts to ask the Prime Sinister John Key when he appeared on Newstalk ZB today. Instead, they talked about why it is wonderful that the government is accepting bribes from corporations. They called it a “win-win” situation. We call it the death of democratic principles. In the meantime, the unfortunate electorate of Epsom is still under the representation of a political dead-weight while the M.P. for Helensville… doesn’t even live there. He lives on the opposite side of Auckland in a multi-million dollar mansion in Parnell. One of the many reasons they call him Shonky John Key.
Penny says – “The Banksie BRIBERY scandal is still bubbling away ………………..
What hasn’t yet had the MAN ON THE MOON headlines on this issue – is – what is the difference between Taito Phillip Field and John Banks?
Taito Phillip Field was sentenced to SIX years jail upon conviction of bribery and corruption charges, for providing immigration assistance to Thai nationals in return for work on his properties.
John Banks provided ‘immigration assistance’ and Coatsville property purchase assistance to a German/ Finnish national, in return for a $50,000 Auckland Mayoral campaign donation?
perception …. perception …. perception ….
The difference, Taito Phillip Field is ‘brown’ and ‘dodgy’ John Banks has political protection at the highest levels from NZ Prime Minister ‘shonky’ John Key?
(Please be reminded that John Banks and Don Brash have never been CHARGED, let alone convicted, as former fellow Directors of Huljich Wealth Management (NZ) Ltd, for signing Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered propectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009 which contained untrue statements….)
NZ is the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ – according to Transparency International’s 2011 ‘Corruption Perception Index’ – based upon the subjective opinion of anonymous businesspeople……
Penny Bright
‘Anti-corruption campaigner'”
http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com/give-a-grrl-a-banner/

SCENE TWO: As the New Zealand public hits the point of political scandal overload, the National Party and John Key begin an aggressive pre-Budget unveiling of draconian austerity measures, cuts to public services and advancement of their “partial” privatisation of state assets. All without so much of an acknowledgement as to the unravelling geopolitical situation and issues with corporate-capitalism, nor of the mounting domestic dissent and protest that is an ongoing backdrop to this saga. John Key gets caught out lying about being unaware of the location of a massive protest march that attracted thousands onto the very steps of his Parliament, involving many political parties, unions and concerned members of the public. His credibility continually erodes in the eyes of the public and the media, now realising that they were no longer solely driving the conversation, begin to shake off the dust and take them to task. For the first time since the establishment of Occupy in New Zealand, some issues begin to get a more open & fair coverage. Despite this, citizen journalism continues to provide a faster response and more comprehensive pool of information than mainstream media can keep pace with.

May 15: ” John Key taking swipes at a corporate media that dares question his intentions and failings. The media are “in a more aggressive and hostile mood towards us”, but Key does not worry about the media “despite what they think”. “I am not that bent out of shape about that – I expected it,” Key said. Although the mainstream media in NZ has a long history in mispresenting “reality” it’s comforting to see them make Key squirm…
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6924197/Key-bemoans-hostile-media  …not to mention the countless bloggers and citizen journalists keeping the pressure on.
Media By Us….Not Media Bias! ”

May 21: ” PROTEST TODAY! ‘Do the ‘Honorable’ thing John Banks! RESIGN! NOW! 12 noon till 2pm outside the electorate office of John Banks (27 Gillies Ave ) calling for his RESIGNATION of – the not so ‘Honorable’ MP for Epsom, because he is not ‘fit for duty’ as an MP – let alone a Minister. Have you seen http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com/give-a-grrl-a-banner/ This shows some of the banners we’ll have on display – today! 🙂
How come Taito Phillip Field got sentenced for SIX years for ‘bribery and corruption’, for providing ‘immigration advice’ to Thai nationals in exchange for work on his properties – while ‘dodgy John Banks gets political protection from ‘shonky’ John Key, after giving ‘immigration assistance’ and Coatsville property purchase ‘assistance’ to a German/ Finnish national, in return for $50,000 donated to ‘Banksie’s’ 2010 Auckland Mayoral campaign fund? What’s the difference – apart from Taito Phillip Field being brown?
Isn’t it painfully obvious? That this MINORITY National Government has only 59 out of 121 MPs – so has no mandate for assets sales. That’s why John Key continues to defend the indefensible, and ‘have confidence’ in the ACT MP for Epsom, who is helping to make New Zealand ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ and absolute laughing stock, as per Kim Dotcom’s John Banks song – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CvRSZxqk_I which has now had over 140,000 hits worldwide.

OPEN LETTER TO JOHN BANKS: left at his electorate office by members of the public protesting political corruption. Full details from Penny Bright:
“FYI – below is a copy of the letter that was pushed into the gap between doors at John Bank’s empty Epsom electorate office at 27 Gillies Ave, today, Monday 21 May 2012.
“OPEN LETTER TO THE ‘HONORABLE’ JOHN BANKS, MP FOR EPSOM 21 May 2012
Today, there is a protest being held outside your electorate office at 27 Gillies Ave, Newmarket from 12 noon till 2pm. The purpose of this protest is to encourage you to do the ‘honorable’ thing, and resign forthwith as the ACT MP for Epsom, and leave the NZ House of Parliament, before you bring it, and this country ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt in the world,(http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2011/results) into further international disrepute. How can you honestly consider yourself to be ‘fit for duty’ as either an MP or a Minister of the Crown? Why is it that former Labour MP Taito Phillip Field got sentenced for SIX years for ‘bribery and corruption’, for providing ‘immigration advice’ to Thai nationals in exchange for work on his properties – whilst yourself, the Minister of Regulatory Reform is effectively getting political protection from NZ Prime Minister John Key, after you have given ‘immigration assistance’ and Coatsville property purchase ‘assistance’ to a German/ Finnish national, in return for $50,000 donated to your 2010 Auckland Mayoral campaign fund, and gifts valued at over $500 which you failed to declare? Are you aware that Kim Dotcom’s ‘John Bank’s song’ has had over 140,000 ‘hits’ on You Tube,
in my opinion, helping to make NZ an international laughing stock? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CvRSZxqk_I
It is also of great concern to me, as a fighter also against ‘white collar’ crime, that ACT’s ‘one law for all’ has yet to apply to both yourself and Don Brash, current and former Leaders of the ACT Party.
As former fellow directors of Huljich Wealth Management (NZ) Ltd, you both signed Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009, which contained untrue statements, but you were never charged for so doing. This is a strict liability offence under s58(3) of the Securities Act 1978, but neither the old Securities Commission, the Finance Markets Authority (FMA), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) , nor the NZ Police arguably ‘did their job’ and charged yourself or Don Brash.
John Banks, you are now the Minister of Regulatory Reform, yet four different ‘regulatory’ bodies failed to act against you, someone, who arguably couldn’t properly run a Kiwisaver Scheme, yet now has a key Ministerial post and you are supposedly helping to run the country ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt in the world’
(Copies of this correspondence are available on www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz )
Have you been politically protected at the highest levels, because this minority National Government has only 59 out of 121 MPs, thus no mandate for assets sales, because there is not a majority of National MPs, so is dependent on your pivotal vote?
Is this why NZ Prime Minister John Key is arguably continuing to ‘defend the indefensible’ and still express ‘confidence’ in you, although former MPs, Richard Worth and Pansy Wong appear to have lost his confidence over a lot less?
Penny Bright
‘Anti-corruption campaigner’’
www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

SCENE THREE: With the impending delivery of National’s budget on May 25th 2012, a budget that Key desperately needs Banks to aid in pushing through, it becomes clear that despite multiple police investigations into Banks and protesters campaigning literally on the doorstep of his empty electorate office, he will not step down. The collateral damage to Key is enormous and the immediate political future in New Zealand, unclear. We will keep you posted. 🙂

What -is- clear to us is that Occupy, social media, citizen journalism, Kim Dotcom and you and I are part of a true emancipation of knowledge, information, shared existence, extra-communication and societal evolution of which few mainstream sources are prepared to acknowledge outside of a monetary context. Nine months ago, the vast majority of citizen journalists were not citizen journalists; the livestreamers were not livestreamers; the Occupy media teams were not accredited journalists who wrote about the DHS, FBI & global politics; we were unemployed students, geeks, stay at home mothers, grandmothers, amateur photographers, just wanting to contribute something meaningful to this unprecedented global movement.

Solidarity to all out there who are doing the same under strenuous conditions and thank you to the international Occupy movement for your amazing support. Much love.

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND – OCCUPY AOTEAROA – The Land Of The Long White Cloud

Drones in Texas and Tanks in Tampa

Stephen Salibury, from tomdispatch.com has released an article examining the US government initiated legislation “NDAA” that has initiated spy drones monitoring US Citizens on US soil as well as tanks now rolling through American cities.

It appears the US government has no qualms about using military technology against unarmed civilian populations – even its own.

 http://www.alternet.org/story/154404/drones_in_texas_and_tanks_in_tampa:_inside_the_out-of-control_weaponized_homeland_security_state/

Former FBI Agent: TSA is Useless

Steve Moore, who identifies himself as a former FBI Special Agent and head of the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force’s Al Qaeda squad, says that the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) is “useless”.

He says that they don’t catch terrorists. He says they won’t catch terrorists. He says that they can’t catch terrorists.

But wait, there’s more…..

http://boingboing.net/2012/02/29/fbi-anti-terrorism-expert-tsa.html

Voted #1 Best Documentary About OWS: “Rise Like Lions”

Voted #1 Best Documentary about Occupy Wall Street; it is an absolute MUST-WATCH.

The structure of the film follows the famous quote “First they ignore you, then the ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win” and covers most of the major events of Occupy Wall Street. There is also a brilliant section about mainstream media & how they should be dealt with by occupations.

http://www.openfilm.com/v/31578?c1=0x9461ca&c2=0x402061

“Rise like lions, after slumber
In unvanquishable number –
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you –
Ye are many, they are few.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley