Who’s Paranoid Now?

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens, and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” –Harry S Truman

So here’s a surprise! Or not — just confirmation of things we knew. We’ve seen so much of this shit, at least those who’ve been around long enough. Deja vu ain’t what it used to be.

Talk is cheap and plentiful, of course. And we’ll no doubt hear yet another belly-full of patriotic rhetoric this Memorial Day weekend, touting our boundless love of freedom, democracy and fair play, with interminable, predictable praise for the courage and noble sacrifices made by our military in support of exceptional American ideals.

But the overwhelming, ruthless response to peaceful protest — this reveals the true nature of our power structure. Let enough of us question the status quo, and see what happens, see how quickly the claws come out. Joe McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover would be so proud. And pleased.

“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.” –Voltaire


Revealed: Government Used Fusion Centers to Spy on Occupy
Published on Friday, May 23, 2014 by Common Dreams
New report exposes US government’s treatment of social movements as ‘criminal or terrorist enterprises’
Sarah Lazare, staff writer
U.S. government Fusion Centers, which operate as ill-defined “counter-terrorism” intelligence gathering and sharing centers, conducted spy operations against Occupy protesters involving police, the Pentagon, the FBI, military employees, and business people.
So finds a report released Friday by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund based on 4,000 public documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The release was accompanied by an in-depth article by the New York Times.
“The U.S. Fusion Centers are using their vast counter-terrorism resources to target the domestic social justice movement as a criminal or terrorist enterprise,” PCJF Executive Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard stated. “This is an abuse of power and corruption of democracy.”
“Although the Fusion Centers’ existence is justified by the DHS as a necessary component in stopping terrorism and violent crime, the documents show that the Fusion Centers in the Fall of 2011 and Winter of 2012 were devoted to unconstrained targeting of a grassroots movement for social change that was acknowledged to be peaceful in character,” the report states.
Police chiefs of major metropolitan areas used the Southern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center to produce regular reports on the occupy movement.
Furthermore, “The Boston regional intelligence center monitored and cataloged Occupy-associated activities from student organizing to political lectures,” according to the report. That center also produced twice-daily updates on Occupy activities.
The New York Times notes:
The Boston Regional Intelligence Center, one of the most active centers, issued scores of bulletins listing hundreds of events including a protest of “irresponsible lending practices,” a food drive and multiple “yoga, faith & spirituality” classes.
Nationwide surveillance has included extensive monitoring of social media, in addition to a variety of spying methods used across Fusion Centers.
“The Fusion Centers are a threat to civil liberties, democratic dissent and the social and political fabric of this country,” said Carl Messineo, PCJF Legal Director. “The time has long passed for the centers to be defunded.”
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.


About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
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16 Responses to Who’s Paranoid Now?

  1. carolahand says:

    This is such important information, Linda. I appreciate hearing about it, but this is the second time today that I couldn’t hit the “like” button — this is really creepy stuff! I remember one of my students, a minister in Montana, was targeted by DHS in 2007 because she delivered sermons about peace.

    • Carol, Yes, so much is deeply worrying these days. Note that your ‘like’ for this post did come through, I’ve seen that WordPress glitch before … if that’s all it is. And such things do make us uneasy. Which is useful in itself for our power elites — keeping us on edge, encouraging us to self-censor to maintain a lower profile just to avoid trouble. How do we get past the justifiable fear of consequences? It can be tough. For myself, I’ve decided I may as well hang for a sheep as a lamb — chances are, I’m already on record as a dubious quantity, so there’s little point in being circumspect now. Not that I’ve ever done much to make the world better, far from it. But as you note, we need not be tremendously radical to be noticed these days.

      Scary shit. And yet … if they are so afraid of little old us, of a simple sermon advocating peace, of a few folks wanting to raise the minimum wage, or whatever our just cause may be — well, maybe things are not quite hopeless. They seem to have nearly endless money and power, but still feel the need to spy on and crush peaceful dissent? Maybe they just take no chances. But maybe … their power is not as impregnable as they want us to believe. Thanks for your good comment. – Linda

      • carolahand says:

        I love your responses, Linda! It is telling that those in power spend so much time and so many resources to quash any dissent — and the more little bloggers there are like us who do what we can to raise awareness, the harder it will be to for them hide behind lies. I look forward to your posts, even though the news you share may not paint a false rosy picture of a world at peace. Reality provides a foundation for small acts of resistance in our everyday lives. So I thank you for your thoughtful posts 🙂

      • Jeff Nguyen says:

        “But maybe … their power is not as impregnable as they want us to believe.”…This is an important distinction. The illusion of an all-knowing, all-powerful state is part of the theater we call American politics. Keep digging up the dirt and uncovering them bones, Linda.

  2. Linda, again! You have knocked it out of the ballpark! I hear you and I too am just so sick and tired of Memorial Day sales and hearing about cookouts and fireworks and laying a wreath on a grave and oh the damn hoopla! Despot Obadroner with much pomp and circumstance, will lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown and attempt to look all solemn about it as if he gives a damn. As if any of them give a damn. And hell! What do we care? Most of us will be grilling and having a great time and enjoying that extra day off because people died for some rich shits to acquire more, more and more! Like I always say, “I despair of us!”

    • Shelby, I don’t disparage courage or sacrifice. I do wish to hell we would put half as much energy and enthusiasm into the struggle for peace, justice and human dignity as we will give to killing and destruction. And the obvious mismatch between our pious words extolling freedom and equality, and the shameless reality that only power, money and privilege count for shit in this country are hard for me to take. Yet I refuse to despair, if only because that makes it even easier for them to steal the world from us … for our own good, or something. Thanks for your comment, as always. – Linda

  3. In Washington State, the fusion centers are targeting vegans as being dangerous terrorists. Activists first became aware of this because some of the security personnel were a little careless in bragging about their exploits in emails.

    • Well duhh! You know those vegans can’t be trusted. They clearly don’t respect genetically modified life the way real Americans do!

      Sheesh. If it didn’t ruin our lives, if it didn’t threaten the planet, this would almost be funny. Massive, unchecked, relentless power … trying to squash a few gnats. Thanks for a good comment! – Linnda

  4. tubularsock says:

    Well what can Tubularsock say to this, Linda? The positive side is that while you are being watched you can’t feel lonely. Or try, as long as you’re being watched you know somebody cares.
    I might sell these ideas to Halmark for a new “Surveillance series”. On the other-hand Tubularsock might just blow something up ……… decisions, decisions …

    Great post and powerful information, thanks.

    • Tubularsock, thanks for your kind comment. But tell me, how do you think of these things? Yet another bright shiny marketing idea! Though I wonder if people will be entirely ready for this one just yet. Then again, with my, um, talent for predictions, maybe they are! The craze for all the narcissistic social media might suggest folks are desperate for an audience these days. So … how about musical greetings? ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ comes to mind. And ‘Every Breath You Take’ which always sounded too damn much like a stalkers’ anthem anyway. I’m sure you can think of more …

      But if you choose that … alternative option … watch your back! Oh wait, they’re already doing that … Never mind. – Linda

      • My experience has been somewhat similar to Tubularsock’s. When I lived in Seattle, we knew some of our watchers personally, and my 7 year old daughter sometimes gave them cookies and homemade xmas decorations. A number of them were on Social Security or VA Disability and could get a few hundred dollars extra per month depending on the quality of the information. It’s piecework, like farm labor.

        • Wonderful. So that’s our snazzy jobs recovery program? Ratting out our neighbors, for fun and profit. There’s no place like homeland security, Toto. Thanks for this one — it will be so much help with the insomnia I’ve had since I read The Shock Doctrine. – Linda

  5. jtremaine says:

    “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens, and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”
    –Harry S Truman

    Great quote, unexpected from Dirty Harry. We are 99% down that path and informed rebellion is the duty of every citizen. Chris Hedges and Gene Sharp have the answers.o

    • “Informed rebellion”, yes — and it must start with our own attitudes and assumptions. I think many of us see what is needed now. The sticky part is getting ourselves to the point of collective action. I sign lots of petitions, and I see that it’s often a struggle to get even 100,000 signatures on anything — something taking a few seconds and no real effort. It will take much, MUCH more to bring about positive change. Thank you so much for your comment. – Linda

  6. Pingback: Who's Paranoid Now? | Occupy Wall Street by Platlee

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