On May 20, 2013, DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy released the results of a year-long investigation: "Dissent or Terror: How the Nation's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, In Partnership With Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street.” The report, a distillation of thousands of pages of records obtained from counter terrorism/law enforcement agencies, details how state/regional "fusion center" personnel monitored the Occupy Wall Street movement over the course of 2011 and 2012.
The report also examines how fusion centers and other counter terrorism entities that have emerged since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have worked to benefit numerous corporations engaged in public-private intelligence sharing partnerships. While the report examines many instances of fusion center monitoring of Occupy activists nationwide, the bulk of the report details how counter terrorism personnel engaged in the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC, commonly known as the "Arizona fusion center") monitored and otherwise surveilled citizens active in Occupy Phoenix, and how this surveillance benefited a number of corporations and banks that were subjects of Occupy Phoenix protest activity.
While small glimpses into the governmental monitoring of the Occupy Wall Street movement have emerged in the past, there has not been any reporting -- until now -- that details the breadth and depth with which the nation's post-September 11, 2001 counter terrorism apparatus has been applied to politically engaged citizens exercising their Constitutionally-protected First Amendment rights.I haven't read through the lengthy report yet, but the key takeaway from the synopsis is that (surprise!) corporations and government are one and the same entity. We're not in danger of becoming a fascist state: we're already there. Electoral politics is just the thin veneer that gives an ever-dwindling number of us the illusion that we still exist in a representative, participatory democracy.
This report chillingly coincides with the recent revelations that not only did the Obama Administration illegally seize the phone records of the Associated Press in a brazen effort to stifle the flow of information in the name of "national security", but that it also plans to prosecute journalists for the non-crime of attempting to solicit information from government sources. (We actually got a clue about this defacto policy during the Occupy crackdowns, when reporters had their cameras seized and their bodies thrown in jail to prevent their witnessing police brutality against the camps.) Our leaders have criminalized the First Amendment, and are casting a wide totalitarian net over whistleblowers and protesters and news organizations. They don't want their secrets revealed, because they don't want to be shamed and disempowered. They know that negative revelations will only create more dissent, more blowback from the victims of both capitalist predation at home and of imperialistic occupations abroad.
To the power elites, we are the enemy.The terrorist label can be applied to any one of us, at any time.
The Washington Post yesterday broke the story that the Justice Department may actually end up criminally charging the chief Washington correspondent for Fox News (!) based simply upon his asking questions about North Korea of a State Department official. As Glenn Greenwald lays out,
Under US law, it is not illegal to publish classified information. That fact, along with the First Amendment's guarantee of press freedoms, is what has prevented the US government from ever prosecuting journalists for reporting on what the US government does in secret. This newfound theory of the Obama DOJ - that a journalist can be guilty of crimes for "soliciting" the disclosure of classified information - is a means for circumventing those safeguards and criminalizing the act of investigative journalism itself. These latest revelations show that this is not just a theory but one put into practice, as the Obama DOJ submitted court documents accusing a journalist of committing crimes by doing this.
That same "solicitation" theory, as the New York Times reported back in 2011, is the one the Obama DOJ has been using to justify its ongoing criminal investigation of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange: that because Assange solicited or encouraged Manning to leak classified information, the US government can "charge [Assange] as a conspirator in the leak, not just as a passive recipient of the documents who then published them." When that theory was first disclosed, I wrote that it would enable the criminalization of investigative journalism generally.All of this coincides, too, with the next installment in the series of Obama's grandiloquent exercises in opaque transparency. In a speech scheduled for Thursday, he will attempt to justify his World is a Battlefield agenda, including his rationale for targeted drone strike assassinations and keeping people imprisoned without charge or trial for over a decade at Gitmo.
To get yourselves prepared for the coming onslaught of propaganda, here are two more must-reads:
First, Marcy Wheeler has taken the time to formulate a chilling day-by-day timeline of the White House's recent campaign of secrecy and subterfuge as prelude to the Big Speech.
And then, the indispensable Chris Hedges advises us that surrender is not an option, bluntly predicting that we either rise up, or we die.
I hope it's a nice sunny spring day where you live, whatever your geographical location in the great global Disposition Matrix.