Big Bro, Indeed

August 23, 2011

“Listen, if anything happens to Yoko and me, it was not an accident.”
John Lennon (The FBI assembled around 300 pages of files on John Lennon in 1971-72, part of President Nixon’s effort to deport Lennon to silence him as a critic of the war in Vietnam).


(Illustration found here).

Yesterday, I posted about the nefarious undercover operations of the FBI into US Muslim communities and how these investigations are dumb-ass bogus while overlooking one case staring me straight in the face — the FBI investigated/continues to investigate antiwar.com for activities which constitute a threat to National Security on behalf of a foreign power.
Another coughed-up pile of bullshit.

And from all indications, the FBI were including antiwar.com in investigations because of either a jab at a search for Israeli spies, or another jab at finding out who had posted terrorist watch lists online — either way, the whole thing smells of shit.
Along with the site itself, writer/editor Justin Raimondo, along with the site’s Webmaster, Eric Garris, where under the FBI spotlight.

One of the best investigative journalists around, Marcy Wheeler, checks out the situation at emptywheel.
Wheeler wonders at this from the FBI file:

There are several unanswered questions regarding antiwar.com.
It describes itself as a non-profit group that survives on generous donations from its readers.
Who are these contributors and what are the funds used for?
[two lines redacted] on www.antiwar.com.
If this is so, then what is his true name?
Two facts have been established by this assessment.
Many individuals worldwide do view this website including individuals who are currently under investigation and [one line redacted].

And concludes:

Now, it’s bad enough the FBI doesn’t consider Antiwar.com a journalistic site at all.
It’s also pretty appalling that they used pretty unnecessary questions to justify further investigation.
And remember, the bar for the FBI to use First Amendment “protected” reasons to investigate someone have been lowered since 2004.
Apparently, for the FBI, advocating for peace and making a publicly available PDF available constitutes sufficient threat to conduct a counterintelligence investigation.

Raimondo explained the problem in a column yesterday and reports the FBI files were posted out of the blue.
He says the content of those files can only be called ‘bizarre.’

According to a memo stamped “Secret,” marked as “routine,” and dated April 30, 2004, we apparently drew the attention of the feds when we posted a copy of a “terrorist suspect list” [.pdf] which had been supplied by the US government to various corporate and governmental agencies, both here and abroad.
These documents — including one posted on the web site of an Italian banking association — contained the names of those on a “watch list,” the product of an FBI operation dubbed “Operation Lookout.”
The memo acknowledges the list “was posted on the internet” in “different versions,” but says the FBI “assessment was conducted on the findings discovered on www.antiwar.com.”
These guys are using us a resource — so why haven’t they contributed to our fund drive?

Yes, indeed.

In a somewhat related piece at Mother Jones is an examination of FBI informants.
A collection of more bullshit.
Read the whole post (a long one but worth the time).
A money bit:

The bureau’s strategy has changed significantly from the days when officials feared another coordinated, internationally financed attack from an Al Qaeda sleeper cell.
Today, counterterrorism experts believe groups like Al Qaeda, battered by the war in Afghanistan and the efforts of the global intelligence community, have shifted to a franchise model, using the internet to encourage sympathizers to carry out attacks in their name.
The main domestic threat, as the FBI sees it, is a lone wolf.
The bureau’s answer has been a strategy known variously as “preemption,” “prevention,” and “disruption”—identifying and neutralizing potential lone wolves before they move toward action.
To that end, FBI agents and informants target not just active jihadists, but tens of thousands of law-abiding people, seeking to identify those disgruntled few who might participate in a plot given the means and the opportunity.
And then, in case after case, the government provides the plot, the means, and the opportunity.

Another sense of leaving keys in the car and walking away.

And in the Mother Jones/Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkeley look into this scheme found this:

Sting operations resulted in prosecutions against 158 defendants.
Of that total, 49 defendants participated in plots led by an agent provocateur — an FBI operative instigating terrorist action.

Where does the crime start?
Terror of terror.

And by the way, all the stories above can be found at the antiwar.com site — will the FBI now know when my bowels will move next?

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