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|Protesters affiliated with Occupy Wall Street demonstrate during an Occupy the Courts protest outside Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse on January 20, 2012 in New York City|
Anonymous promised that after hacking the intelligence firm Stratfor, called by some a “shadow CIA,” they’d prove that they were more than just a consulting firm.
Now it looks like the private company worked along with law enforcement in attempting to bring down the Occupy movement.
In some of the latest pieces of correspondence made public, however, information that many had already suspected about the role law enforcement played in infiltrating the Occupy Wall Street movement is brought to light. In an exchange of emails between Stratfor executives that has been published by hackers involved in the matter, employees of the firm go back-and-forth with one another in detail over information that Texas law enforcement supplied the firm after investigating an Austin Occupy meet-up.
In the emails, Strafor employees discuss intel about the Occupy movement that was supplied to them by a “Texas DPS agent,” or an officer within the ranks of the Lone Star State’s Department of Public Safety. The DPS is a state-wide law enforcement agency that investigates suspicious activity and allegations of terrorism within Texas. The question of why state law enforcement shared that email with a private intelligence firm is open to interpretation, but certainly suggests that attempts to understand and perhaps undermine the local OWS chapter was more than just a minor operation.
According to the documentation, which includes correspondence from late 2011, Stratfor employees discuss both Occupy Austin and the Deep Green Resistance, or DGR. While DGR is not directly affiliated with Occupy Wall Street, it is a similar movement — to a degree — that encourages environmental activism that isn’t present in more mainstream campaigns. In a press release, the DGR attacks both Texas authorities and Strafor for their newly revealed roles.
“Deep Green Resistance condemns the surveillance and infiltration of activist groups by law enforcement and private corporations and calls on activists and their allies to expose and protest this violation of all of our constitutional rights,” the group says in a statement published Thursday.
Rachel Meeropol, a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, adds that she is outraged over how Stratfor and the DPS were in cahoots over infiltrating Occupy Austin.
“Law enforcement sharing information about local activism with private intelligence firms should be a huge scandal,” writes Meeropol in Thursday’s statement. “Privately funded surveillance and infiltration of activist groups is especially chilling, as time and again we see such corporations operate as if they are above the law and accountable to no one.”
In the emails, Stratfor staffers discuss how one of their own men went undercover to an Occupy Austin General Assembly and attempted to gain insight into how the group operates. Stratfor’s Scott Stewart writes that the movement is considered by some to be “a terrible threat to corporations,” but adds, “in reality, due to the history of anarchists, animal rights, anti-war and anti-globalization protesters, companies are well prepared for such hippy hijinks.” As the Occupy movement continues to thrive more than three months after Stewart shared such words with other Stratfor employees, it is clear that that isn’t the case.
In a separate email sent a month later in November, Korena Zucha of Stratfor writes that a Texas DPS agent has shared information about both movements. In it, Deep Green is linked with Occupy Austin, which DGR shrugs off as speculation. Representatives for DGR believe that the correspondence suggests that surveillance of both groups was ongoing.
In the back-and-forth, Stratfor staffers suggest that sources within Occupy Austin describe some of the DGR members as crazy, to which one adds, “that bothers me, because these Occupy people will tolerate just about anything.”
Stratfor’s Marc Lanthemann, who signs his email as a “Watch Officer” for the firm, suggests that coordination between the DGR and Occupy movement could have dire consequences. Lanthemann writes in one email that he thinks Deep Green is an “eco-terror group is focused on creating a situation where violent confrontation will be the ultimate outcome.”
“It doesn’t require an agent to get simple facts correct. Both of these assertions are just plain false,” responds DGR.
A look at how a former beacon of booming development and social prosperity has been plunged into economic desperation.
Ireland has been one of the largest casualties in the global financial crisis, which began during the banking collapse of 2008 and has continued to impact markets and destabilise the developed world ever since.
Following a government guarantee to underwrite the country’s six major banks shortly after the crisis broke, Ireland’s population of 4.5 million was shouldered with an enormous debt of €400bn ($515bn), proportionately the highest per capita commitment in the world.
Yet with bank liabilities accounting for an eye watering 309 per cent of GDP, it quickly became apparent that Ireland would fail to find its own way out of the economic downturn. As a consequence, in 2010, the EU and IMF stepped in to offer Ireland a rescue package worth €85bn ($109bn) – then one of the largest bailouts in history.
How different it had been only a couple of years earlier. Then the country was riding high, revelling in its reputation as the ‘Celtic Tiger’.
With low interest rates, upwardly spiralling property values and seemingly inexhaustible lines of credit available from the banks, for a decade the Irish economy had seemed to be a pin-up for the new age of market deregulation. With money so easy to borrow and fantastic returns apparently offered by even the most speculative investments, property developers became the new heroes of the economy – lauded for their ability to magic profits out of thin air.
According to one of them, Simon Kelly: “We didn’t think we were borrowing it, we thought our businesses were borrowing it for the purposes of owning buildings or building hotels or doing commercial activities, which we all did.”But it was not just the developers who were enjoying the boom; the country’s rapidly expanding middle classes felt richer too and enjoyed spending the money that seemed to flow so easily into their hands. With more consumers came more retail outlets, more hotels, more developments ….
Of course, like all bubbles, it had to burst eventually. And when it did the liabilities of Irish banks were so huge they threatened to take the whole economy with them – hence the government’s decision to prop them up.
The problem is that all this debt now has to be paid for, by higher taxes, reduced pensions and a shrinking public budget for things like social security, education, health and jobs.
The EU and IMF loans required the Irish government to hack public spending to the bone – by €12bn ($15bn) over the next three years. That may not sound like a huge sum of money in these days when international financial commentators talk blithely of trillions and quadrillions of dollars, but for a small country, with a population of only 4.5 million it is a huge sum.
And as the public sector has tightened its belt to meet these cuts, so the public sector has felt the pain too – businesses have closed, jobs have been lost and unemployment has soared. And inevitably the public mood has soured too.
In 2011, the Fianna Fail ruling party was comprehensively crushed in a general election dominated by angry recriminations over who was responsible for the crisis. But the problems facing Ireland have not gone away and as the years of austerity and cutback stretch out ahead, increasing numbers of young people are emigrating overseas, something that earlier generations of the Irish had been forced to do but which during the boom years had never seemed necessary.
Against this background, filmmaker Sinead O’Shea investigates how Ireland, once a beacon of booming development and social prosperity, could have reached such a point of economic desperation and asks whether the country can ever turn its fortunes around.
There have been a lot of people over the last twenty years of my life who have told me that I should say those words, others only hoped I would and more still believed that I never would. But here I am with them writ large as the title, you see, they are just words and it will only become clear as you read through this exactly how I mean them. Let me just say for clarification,( because I’ve had a few people recently tell me that I tar all Americans with the same brush, which I don’t) that when I say America, I do not mean every man woman and child that lives on the continent of America, I mean the Administration (and whomever happens to be the picture in front, presently it’s Obama) with special mention to it’s foreign policy. As the last troops pull out of Iraq to KUWAIT (so far away) but leave behind the biggest US Embassy in the world in Baghdad, you can’t help but see that it’s all just words. Recently when the Iraqis made comment about the 3,000 staff and 21,000 security that the American Administration were leaving in the Embassy in Baghdad they were told that if they didn’t like the US Army as security for the Embassy they (the US) could replace them with civilian staff (mercenaries). Somehow, somewhere, someone misinterpreted the whole idea of “leaving”. Leaving is everybody leaving, not 24,000 staying. But then, I have said it before, America never goes somewhere and leaves, look at Germany and Japan for instance it’s 66 years since the end of the Second world war yet they still have a presence in those countries. Sometimes I really do just sit and wonder, this isn’t news, so why do we not care? Why is it okay for America to get on it’s high horse about Human rights in other countries when compared to Europe for instance it doesn’t really have any and the great irony is that America never signs into Human rights legislation. Why have we let America become the police of the world? Historically America has never attacked a country that it knew could really fight back, Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, it’s military capabilities and population were severely weakened after 13 years of sanctions, Iraq was a soft target, but I am proud to say not as soft as the American’s first thought. So after 8 years in Iraq they are “leaving” they have “installed a democracy” that’s a misnomer in itself and after all their drum beating about Iran have left them in charge of Iraq! If you don’t believe me, just the other week when Noori al-Maliki visited the graves of US soldiers, something I might add that he has never done for the soldiers of Iraq, instead of flying straight back to Baghdad he flew to Tehran to discuss what he did in the States and get the “Okay”. So Thank You America for getting rid of Saddam Hussein and replacing him with an Iranian government, and 300 members of Parliament who all want to be Saddam and act accordingly. Thank You America for finding, training and supporting Saddam Hussein in Egypt in 1958 just so you could oust the socialist President of Iraq. Thank You America, for being in Iraq for 8 years, leaving 24,000 soldiers and staff behind at your embassy and moving next door to Kuwait. Thank You America for not rebuilding Iraq, leaving it to the new assholes in charge who haven’t built a wall, let alone an infrastructure, Iraqis are very happy that they don’t have water, electricity or proper sewerage. Thank You America, because of the invasion of iraq in 2003 there are nearly 1.5 million Iraqi deaths, Saddam didn’t manage that in 35 years. We have 5 million refugees around the world of which only a few thousand are actually in America because America only takes the Iraqis who worked for them in Iraq as refugees, Europe has taken the brunt. We have over 1 million widows and orphans, another 3 million refugees inside Iraq’s borders because of the civil war that no-one acknowledges because it would “look bad” on America. Thank You America, for bringing democracy in the shape of men who sat in the UK , US, Canada, Sweden, France, Germany, Ireland and other countries, lived on social welfare, swore allegiance to that country and upon their return to Iraq bought votes with blankets, generators and white goods. Thank You America, for finding the weapons of mass destruction that were such a threat to your homeland that you needed to travel halfway around the world to defend yourself. Thank you America for showing me the true meaning of “Human rights” when the CIA had me imprisoned and tortured for ten and a half months in Vienna because I wouldn’t co-operate. Thank you America for making sure that I have remained stateless since my flight from Iraq in 1991. Just like you promised, you’re certainly true to your word in this case. Thank You America for letting Al-Qaeda into Iraq, we never had them before. Thank You America for supporting and training Osama Bin Laden, he did a great job against those Russians in Afghanistan, it makes you wonder why he turned against you? Thank you America for making Terrorism the disease of this century, you will have plenty of “terrorists” to fight as you have created laws that make people who speak out against “America” terrorists, what happened to the “freedom of speech and Democracy” that you go around liberating other countries in the name of? Thank You America for getting the media so “on-side” that we only really see and hear what you want us to, the only Free speech is the speech you decide is Free. Thank You America for dragging the rest of the world into economic chaos, you try to arrest the 99% and leave the 1% free to do as they please that’s definitely democratic. More liberties are lost through the ballot boxes than they are by tanks! Thank You America for creating all the Dictators of the last century and today, we know you’ve been having great fun going around liberating us. Thank You America, you’ve really outdone yourself this time! A special thanks to Mr. Obama the President of America, during his speech in the White House with Noori al-Maliki who was visiting, he said the following:
A few months ago as you can see from the first date on his messages befriended me on Facebook, I get a lot of requests and added him. After I did he sent me the first message. I didn’t reply to it for two reasons, firstly Iw as very busy and secondly I don’t give out that kind of information to people that I do not know personally or have dealings with, you just don’t know who they are not matter what they tell you on Facebook!
What I want or should I say would like is for you to read everything and give me your opinion.
Here are his messages and my answer
Elliot Collier lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA.
• Al-Rashid 8/March/2011
Mr Yahia, I hope this message finds you and is not dismissed by an assistant. My name is Elliot Collier; back in 2005 and 2006 I lived at the former Al-Rashid training facility in Baghdad described in your book (I was not a soldier). I am writing to inquire if you would be willing to provide some basic information about the facility such as former uses of the various buildings and things of that nature. If so I have several maps I can send for reference. I appreciate you taking the time to read this, I am a big fan of your books and blog, and I would be honored to have your assitance in this matter. Sincerely, Elliot Collier PS: I have also sent a request through your website via Mr. Rolls.
After I posted a photo on my Facebook page and on Twitter that I received from a Solider in the American Army today, he sent me this message.
I’m ashamed of you Mr. Yahia. I sympathized with your past experiences, but even still, how can you of all people attack America like this without pause? You know better than anyone that the actions of certain leaders, agencies, or persons are not a reflection of their country. Look at the atrocities committed by Iraqis, Afghanis, Iranians, and other people in the middle east; yet you are not posting pictures of their soldiers with dead bodies or slamming their governments. Why are you not outraged about insurgents decapitating civilians? Why are you not protesting Al-Jazira for broadcasting these murders? These pictures and videos do exist… why are you not posting them and condemning the terrorists? Why are we not to assume all Iraqis are murderous, barbaric monsters because of what Uday did? You criticize the US for invading Iraq but might I remind you if we hadn’t Saddam would still be in power, and Uday would still be alive. You claimed it was Iraq’s war to fight and the US shouldn’t have been involved, but do you really think anything would have happened? Who would have stepped up to challenge his power? I will admit war crimes were committed, on both sides; but these are not the actions of a whole people. I spent a year being shot at (by whom?) in Iraq yet never fired a shot myself. We were all taught to take the diplomatic approach first. I have befriended many Iraqis and even assisted several in immigrating to the United States. Does this place me in the same lot as the man in that picture because of our birthplace? Not all Americans are evil, just as not all Iraqis are terrorists. You cannot judge a country based on the perverse actions of a few deranged individuals (which again, exist on BOTH sides). Your hatred and negativity is what is preventing you from finding asylum in another country. Who would want a man who continually spouts off hatred at every government he does not agree with? Yes, you’ve been through some terrible situations that I personally cannot even imagine, but positive actions will carry you a lot further in life. You claim that out of you, Saddam, and Uday, you were the only one left standing… but are you? You claim to support peace, but nothing you do supports this claim. You are a bitter, resentful man that has no future if you don’t follow your own teachings and start practicing tolerance and not hatred. You are different than Uday… but are you any better?
Here is my answer to Mr. Collier.
I am ashamed of you Mr. Collier. To spout off at me with no regard or understanding of what I am saying to you or the world except your own vision, that I am attacking all the people in America. If you had truly read anything that I have written you would know that I continually repeat that I am not against American people, but I am most definitely against American foreign policy.
You say that you have been shot at yet did not return fire, that is because you are not a soldier, but I ask the question what were you doing in Iraq? Why would you risk your life in a barbaric country like Iraq, if it were not for the love of your country or maybe the huge wage that you were being paid to be there, I guarantee it was not because you loved Iraq, the Iraqi people or wanted to see us a free nation. Ask yourself this, how can we be a free nation when we were invaded by a foreign force without provocation?
Yes, it was for Iraqi people to depose Saddam, how can you tell me that we would not have had an “Arab Spring” ? Who would have thought that Mubarak would have been brought down by his own people? I cannot say the same for Libya as we all know foreign hands were a part of that also.
If America had not invaded and Saddam was still in power there would not be Sunni on Shia killings, people would not be being beheaded, murdered or paid to change their name from Sunni to Shia, Under Saddam no matter how much I hated his regime, people had electricity, clean water and medicines, the only time that they did not was under sanctions, yet another weapon used by foreign hands against the people of Iraq.
You accuse me of being bitter etc. I am not bitter, I am telling the truth, just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean that I am wrong and maybe you should take your own advice. As for the people you helped to Immigrate to America, well done to you I hope that they make you proud.
As for Al-Jazeera TV if you don’t know who is behind them and paying their wages ask your government. All of these insurgents and militias were made after America invaded.
Ask yourself this, if I had posted a picture of Iraqis standing with “job well done” smiles outside of a car with dead Americans inside how would you feel?, no matter what your politics or feeling for your government? Why is it that every other life has more value and is entitled to more feelings of outrage than an Iraqis?? Also if I had posted that type of picture you would have accused me of being a supporter of the insurgents, so really it’s a no win situation for me isn’t it? the best example would have been the photos that were put on the internet of insurgents who had killed Mercenaries in Fallujah, what did the American army do to Fallujah? They fired everything legal and illegal at it until it was not much more than powder in the ground, anyone who survived will see generations of their children disfigured and deformed from the chemical weapons that were used and until now Fallujah has the highest cancer level in Iraq. Those mercenaries were not even American or legally attached to the US forces. So again many were killed for a few.
So I stay true to myself Mr. Collier no matter what you think of me.
If you want to tell me that Iraq is safer today under the puppets that have been installed by America and it is not controlled by Iran then I think you need to take a step back and let yourself see things clearly.
Where do you think that I get these photos? I get them from other Americans who disagree with what is going on with their own people but are not in a position to do anything about it.
This is a quote from your message above:
Firstly I am not seeking asylum, I have lived 20 years in the west and what I am seeking is Citizenship which I am entitled to by law. I do not spout off hatred at governments and even if I did what about freedom of speech or is that only for Western people? And if so, what is the point of bringing Democracy to the middle east if we are not truly allowed to practice it? Your words prove that anyone who had some sort of authority in Iraq be you a soldier/fireman etc (because let’s face it anyone who went to Iraq had authority over the Iraqi people) believes that anyone who had an opinion different to your American one is wrong! You see what I have learned in my 20 years in the West is that it is fine to criticize dictators, despots and tyrants but not democracies, which is strange because that is truly what democracy is all about isn’t it? So, although I understood perfectly well before, I am thankful that somebody finally said it out loud. It is more than clear now why people like Uday’s pimps, murderers from militias etc have attained Citizenship in the West, they are able to put their heads down and say Yes, yes, yes, that is until they get the citizenship and then you see them on Arabic TV (because after years they still can’t speak the language of their new country) saying things like “Uday was a Martyr” and “down with America”. What you see is what you get with me, I am not two faced.
As I said earlier, I HOPE THE IRAQIS THAT YOU HELPED TO IMMIGRATE TO THE US DO YOU PROUD.
Good day Sir.
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