Targeting the RNC Welcoming Committee: A Case Study in Political Paranoia - WikiLeaks

Targeting the RNC Welcoming Committee: A Case Study in Political Paranoia
From WikiLeaks
February 9, 2009 Tom Burghardt (Antifascist Calling)[1] (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL2FudGlmYXNjaXN0LWNhbGxpbmcuYmxvZ3Nwb3QuY29tLw==) Political repression comes in all shapes and sizes: from the beat cop smashing the head of a demonstrator to the bureaucrat adding a name to a watch list. While the former has an immediate and shocking effect, the latter, more insidious and far-reaching in its probable consequences to the individual, is less amenable to redress. Once indexed, always indexed. Certainly one of the more sinister trends in America today are the multiplicity of partnerships among state security agencies and their analogues in the corporate world. Indeed, many CIA or FBI officers upon retirement join the highly-lucrative and unaccountable world of corporate spying. Nowhere are these revolving-door relationships more toxic to a democracy than in the area of political intelligence. A March 27, 2008 document (http://www.wikileaks.org/leak/dhs-rnc-transport-infra-2008.pdf) prepared by the now-defunct Highway Watch (HW (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5oaWdod2F5d2F0Y2guY29tLw==) ), a "public-private partnership" administered by the virulently anti-union American Trucking Associations (ATA (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL3d3dy50cnVja2xpbmUuY29tL1BhZ2VzL0hvbWUuYXNweA==) )--a key member of the oxymoronic Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5teXByaXZhdGViYWxsb3QuY29tLw==) --and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Operations Center (DHS (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5kaHMuZ292L2luZGV4LnNodG0=) ) has been published by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks. Authored by Cory Kutcher, a former intelligence analyst with HW's Information Sharing & Analysis Center (ISAC (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5pc2FjY291bmNpbC5vcmcvYWJvdXQvaW5kZXgucGhw) ) and now a government analyst "in the Defense and Space Industry" according to LinkedIn (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saW5rZWRpbi5jb20vcHViL2Rpci9jb3J5L2t1dGNoZXI=) , the dossier is a veritable case study in political paranoia and pseudo-academic posturing. Breathless allegations and dire pronouncements abound which helped set the stage for wholesale repression. The focus of Kutcher's report was the anarchist/anti-authoritarian RNC Welcoming Committee (RNC-WC (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5ub3JuYy5vcmcv) ). Right from the outset, misrepresentations served the purpose of eliciting a harsh response from police. Kutcher warns "it is likely that they [RNC-WC] will target transportation infrastructure." In HW's paranoid scenario, blocking traffic and civil disobedience was transformed into a scenario where hordes of masked anarchists utilizing a "diversity of tactics" threatend chaos in the furtherance of "terrorism." Background

The Republican National Committee (RNC) held its quadrennial convention in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 1-4, 2008. As I reported (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL2FudGlmYXNjaXN0LWNhbGxpbmcuYmxvZ3Nwb3QuY29tLzIwMDgvMTEvcHJlZW1wdGl2ZS1wb2xpY2luZy1uYXRpb25hbC1zZWN1c in November ("Preemptive Policing & the National Security State: Repressing Dissent at the Republican National Convention," Antifascist Calling, November 18, 2008), the Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency (HSEM (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5oc2VtLnN0YXRlLm1uLnVzLw==) ), in tandem with the United States Secret Service (USSS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM) conspired to squelch dissent during the far-right conclave. Having declared the RNC a National Security Special Event (NSSE), one that derived its "authorization" to target activists and journalists from the top secret 2006 National Security Presidential Directive-46/Homeland Security Presidential Directive-15 (NSPD-46/HSPD-15), local, state and federal law enforcement entities, the U.S. military, intelligence agencies such as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and corporate partners in the telecommunications industry and elsewhere, preemptively disrupted legal political dissent by a score of protest groups. Prior to and during the Convention, local and state police and the FBI, raided the homes and organizing spaces of activists and media workers, seizing video equipment, cameras, cell phones and computers that were to be used to document the event. Under the pretext of preventing "terrorism," agencies selectively targeted organizers on the basis of information provided authorities by informants and provocateurs. The extent of state operations against dissenting citizens was revealed when Wikileaks published a leaked planning document, "Special Event Planning: 2008 Republican National Convention," a 31-page schematic compiled by HSEM.

As I reported (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL2FudGlmYXNjaXN0LWNhbGxpbmcuYmxvZ3Nwb3QuY29tLzIwMDkvMDEvYmV0cmF5ZWQtZmJpLXByb3ZvY2F0ZXVyLXNldHMtdXA in January ("Betrayed! FBI Provocateur Sets-Up Anti-RNC Activists on Trumped-Up 'Terrorism' Charges," Antifascist Calling, January 7, 2009), one FBI asset, Brandon Michael Darby, "carried out a thorough surveillance operation that dated back to at least 18 months before the Republican gathering," according The New York Times (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5ueXRpbWVzLmNvbS8yMDA5LzAxLzA1L3VzLzA1aW5mb3JtYW50Lmh0bWw=) and a sworn affidavit (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL21lZGlhLmhvdXN0b24uaW5keW1lZGlhLm9yZy91cGxvYWRzLzIwMDgvMDkvMDkwODA4X21ja2F5X2FmZmlkYXZpdC5wZGY=) by his handler, Special Agent Christopher Langert.

One of the defendants in the so-called "Texas Two" trial who were Darby's targets, David McKay, was freed on $25,000 bail February 3, after a mistrial was declared in his case according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zdGFydHJpYnVuZS5jb20vcG9saXRpY3MvbmF0aW9uYWwvY29udmVudGlvbnMvMzg4MjU1OTcuaHRtbD9lbHI9S0Fya3NVVV . A re-trial is set for March 16. McKay's codefendant, Bradley Crowder, pled guilty January 8 to charges of manufacturing explosive devices. Both face 10 years in prison. The Wikileaks disclosure of Highway Watch's "Plans to Target Transportation Infrastructure Surrounding Republican National Convention," provides further



a new hybrid methodology of repression emerges in the 21st century. The UA website posts copies of its own strategies. explains domestic intelligence far more convincingly than either the "pure" or "preventative" intelligence thesis. HW cites the RNC-WC's collaboration with "other anarchist/anti-authoritarian groups. While some activists willingly engage in "self-defense" of blockade zones. The "workshop" discussed topics "ranging from street tactics to supporting protests" and even had childcare available for its participants." this "layered approach" is indicative of nefarious intent. that the RNC-WC's legal organizing made them doubly suspect in the eyes of securocrats. FBI IIR 4 201 1401 08 and FBI IIR 4 201 0748 08." It contains information that may be exempt from public release under the Freedom of Information Act.and state intelligence agencies against political activists. in the context of HW's discourse social network. public rules of disclosure and accountability do not apply. or planting stalled vehicles. such as Unconventional Action (UA). WA. a networked structure is discernible. The group also disclosed plans to use dump trucks to spill dirt or other large materials onto the road. state and corporate targeting of political dissent in America under the guise of "national security. one amenable to infiltration and disruption by a security agency. at least one protest/anarchist group (i. transmitted. Knopf.org/wiki/Targeting_the_RNC_Welcoming_Committee:_A_Case_Study_in_Political_Paranoia 2/3 . after the completion of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).e. general anarchist guides/principles and a list of anarchist contacts across the country. Civil disobedience and blockade tactics have long enjoyed a prominent place amongst left-wings groups and organizations. 177) In the context of a private entity such as Highway Watch ("an autonomous system of power"). "Social Networking" as Political Paranoia As a subset of applied mathematics. HW avers. The origin of these unsubstantiated claims most probably were provocateurs who themselves advocated these tactics as a means to set-up the RNC-WC for preemptive action by the Bureau. as did the late civil liberties scholar Frank Donner. 552). The amount of information researched about the transportation infrastructure in the area is high (see Appendix 1 & 2). funded by a public (though largely unaccountable) agency." as evidence of the group's illicit activity. members will travel to Minneapolis to assist with the RNC effort. On Feb. One can argue. frustration. become an invasive tool deployed by private. As evidence of conspiratorial intent. (HW. To complete the picture of an out-of-control conspiracy. either in written or verbal form. These methods include setting vehicle tires on fire underneath expressway bridges. A wide diversity of tactics ensure the broadest participation. PNC2RNC) is using an "open" wiki (accessible to the public. members have suggested spreading large metal chains across highway lanes or placing star-nails (caltrops) on access roads to restrict access to the RNC. This will provide a quality venue for sharing information concerning general security procedures and effective counter-measures. A central tenet guiding the organization of protest activities is the proviso that participants only engage in activities for which they are prepared--morally and legally. Exempt from oversight by the citizens who fund it. HW cites the group's open.. Planned injury. or other personnel who do not have a valid "need-to-know" without prior approval of an authorized DHS official. Indeed. and disposed of in accordance with DHS policy relating to FOUO information and is not to be released to the public. exercise a purely support function. The FBI's assertedly modest intelligence function as an early warning alert to prosecutors and a decision-making resource masks its true role as a weapon against threats to the existing order. Highway Watch and associated groups.. "private" wikis (only members can access and edit) may be in use to share tactics and/or wikileaks.C.S. to limit thoroughfare access. to decrease motorist visibility. 9. However for HW "intelligence analysts. Investigation and accumulation of information are at root merely the means to the ends of punishment. (HW. their dissident stance transformed them into dangerous "others. Law enforcement should consider monitoring all potential methods to restrict or block traffic." Donner wrote. combine the plausible deniability of intelligence agencies with a twist: as a private organization. Also. legal political organizing. HW asserts: The following document is "FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY" and "LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE. No portion of this report should be furnished to the media. horror and devastation currently experienced by the world and its peoples" by the Republican Party. by monitoring the communication patterns between various targeted nodes. The case of al-Qaeda triple agent Ali Mohamed (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5sb2JzdGVyLW1hZ2F6aW5lLmNvLnVrL2FydGljbGVzLzktMTEuaHRt) is certainly one of many illustrative examples. the media. 2-3) The sources cited by HW for the RNC-WC's alleged plans to "target infrastructure" through sabotage? Two FBI Intelligence Information Reports. Furthermore. In so far as the group's stated goal was to expose the "enormous amount of . using the transportation infrastructure. According to the theory. the U.S. RNC-WC endorsed disruptive but nonviolent tactics to bring the Convention to a halt. p. 2008.8/8/13 Targeting the RNC Welcoming Committee: A Case Study in Political Paranoia . (5 U.and link analysis was applied for mass surveillance of dissident groups such as the RNC-WC prior to the Republican Party National Convention." as a significant factor that rendered the group a legitimate target for surveillance and disruption. distributed.WikiLeaks documentation of extensive federal. RNC-WC's members have proposed numerous methods of disrupting or closing the RNC. Right up front. New York: Alfred A. (The Age of Surveillance. Any requests for further dissemination outside of the intelligence and law enforcement community should be referred to the HWW-ISAC. others may not wish to risk arrest and therefore. photographs placed on the RNC-WC website show a pattern of bridge and roadway pre-surveillance (Figure 1). handled. but only members can edit) as its website. including obtaining "financial support" and "increased membership via the internet" as well as "public appearances at various locations across the US. p. Department of Homeland Security. intimidation. This document is to be controlled. pp. social network theory purports to uncover hidden links and relationships amongst social groups and networks and has over time. through the Antinuclear. ranging from the Labor Movement of the 1930s to the Civil Rights and Antiwar Movements of the 1960s. Having identified the RNC-WC as an enemy to be contained at all costs. 1980. the two groups co-sponsored an event called the "Northwest DNC/RNC Resistance Conference" at the Evergreen State College in Olympia. implemented by an illegal autonomous system of power. Overall. 1) As a direct action organization." Long-time readers of Antifascist Calling are certainly aware of the protection afforded actual terrorists by the Bureau when it served the geopolitical interests of the national security state. Antiapartheid and Central American Solidarity Movements of the 1980s and continue to do so today. Unconventional Action states that." ripe pickings for "aggressive intelligence. and defeat of movements for change of any kind. Therefore.

it represents the number of times that a node lies along the shortest path between two others. UA. Consequently. As such. Consequently. (HW. (HW.pdf File | Torrent | Magnet Retrieved from "http://www. or individual group. Source documents: dhs-rnc-transport-infra-2008. security will likely be more to difficult to maintain than in previous years.wikileaks. betweenness refers to the number of groups that a node. marginalizing dissenting citizens and portraying them as violent extremists to be repressed. HW purport that hyperlinks on various websites are indicative of the "power centrality" of the RNC-WC and UA to anti-Democratic and Republican Convention organizers. the national convention anarchists are following the pattern of most terror networks in this aspect. comprehensive membership drives. Protest RNC 2008. these networks are more difficult to disrupt due to their loose connections and easy ability to replace damaged or compromised nodes. has indirect ties to through the direct links that it possesses. First appeared in the Antifascist Calling Blog (/wiki/Special:Jump/aHR0cDovL2FudGlmYXNjaXN0LWNhbGxpbmcuYmxvZ3Nwb3QuY29tLw==) . That like-minded groups pursuing a goal--the disruption of the political conventions of the major capitalist parties--would actually communicate with one another comes as a shock to these jokers! The RNC-WC also possesses the highest amount of betweenness in this community. and DNC Disruption 08 represent to the rest of the community. 4) And in order to buttress its charge that RNC-WC and related anarchist groups are intent on violent confrontations rather than hard-edged civil disobedience. it does possess several important hubs. 5) In the minds of HW analysts however. 5. In other words. the national security state's response was to initiate a preemptive strategy that targeted activists.org/wiki/Targeting_the_RNC_Welcoming_Committee:_A_Case_Study_in_Political_Paranoia" Categories: Analyses | United States | 2009 | 2009-02 wikileaks. Nodes with a high degree of betweenness act as liaisons or bridges to other nodes in the structure. Overall.8/8/13 Targeting the RNC Welcoming Committee: A Case Study in Political Paranoia . and flexibility will likely result in a more robust and balanced effort than in recent conventions. however. Thanks to Tom Burghardt for covering this issue. emphasis added) Utilizing social network and link analysis to underscore their claims. HW ominously declares: The community at large appears to be a decentralized network since it does not possess one central hub. p." But as we have seen. The Protest RNC 2008 and UA groups directly follow it. Consequently. (HW. "the RNC-WC's early formation. p. journalists and the public in order to keep the lid on.org/wiki/Targeting_the_RNC_Welcoming_Committee:_A_Case_Study_in_Political_Paranoia 3/3 . strategic partnerships. p. Copyright remains with Tom Burghardt. the concept shows the potential importance and information sharing capabilities that the RNC-WC.WikiLeaks strategy among these individuals or groups which are located across the United States.

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