"The most important thing
we can do right now is those of us in leadership letting people know
that we understand their struggles and we are on their side, and that
we want to set up a system in which hard work, responsibility, doing
what you’re supposed to do, is rewarded."
"And that people who are irresponsible, who are reckless, who don’t
feel a sense of obligation to their communities and their companies
and their workers that those folks aren’t rewarded."
His key words were: "we are on their side."
At the same time, FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Secret
Service agents were working cooperatively with local authorities to
infiltrate, disrupt, subvert, and destroy the movement in cities nationwide.
Celebratory hope accompanied Obama's election. After campaigning on
a promise of hope and change, betrayal followed. He expanded the worst
Bush policies. He usurped unbridled powers.
In June 2010, ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said Obama "disgusted"
him. Civil liberty infringements got worse. Rule of law principles faded.
Last year, Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin said "(w)e are witnessing
the bipartisan normalization and legitimization of a national security
His administration created a "parallel track of preventative law enforcement
that bypasses traditional protections in the Bill of Rights."
In December 2008, before he took office, James Petras called him "the
greatest con man in recent history." He compared him to Melville's Confidence
Man. "He catches your eye while he picks your pocket." He promises one
thing and delivers another consistently on issues mattering most.
A November 2008 Robert Fitch speech to the Harlem Tenants Association
revealed much about lay ahead. He said Chicago urban planners yearned
to make the city's south side developed like northern areas.
Demolitions for gentrification were wanted. Poor folks had to be driven
out. Most were Black. As an Illinois state senator, Obama represented
a targeted community. His "core financial supporters" and "inmost circle
of advisors" stood to profit.
"Obama's political base comes primarily from Chicago FIRE - finance,
insurance and real estate industry" officials. Other key supporters
included liberal foundations, elite universities, NGO community developers,
and "real estate reverends who (preach and) produce market rate housing"
at the expense of poor people kicked out for beneficiaries.
Together Fitch called them "Friendly FIRE....disguised by the camouflage
of community uplift, augmented by the authority of academia, greased
by billions in foundation grants, and wired" to provisions of the Community
Reinvestment Act of 1995.
Obama was their guy, a front man. As president, Chicago style hope and
change repeated across America. Before taking office in January 2009,
Fitch saw what lay ahead. He wasn't alone.
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) is a public service legal
organization. It's "dedicated to the defense of human and civil rights
secured by law, the protection of free speech and dissent, and the elimination
of prejudice and discrimination. Among the PCJF cases are constitutional
law, civil rights, women's rights, economic justice matters and Freedom
of Information Act cases."
Its work includes "landmark constitutional rights litigation, often
concentrated in the areas of free speech, assembly or other protected
political organizing activity."
According to PCJF's executive director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard:
"The major defining feature of the Obama administration on (core constitutional
issues) is the eagerness with which it embraced the stunning evisceration
of civil rights and liberties that was a hallmark of the Bush administration,
and then deepened those outrageous programs. He has successfully counted
on the acquiescent silence of the liberals."
In March, PCJF obtained heavily redacted Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) requested documents. They showed federal agencies began "coordinated
intelligence gathering and operations on" OWS last September.
On September 17, 2011, protests began in New York's Zuccotti Park. Secret
Service agents were there covertly. DHS was also involved.
Documents show its top officials "were preoccupied with the Occupy movement
and have gone out of their way to project the appearance of an absence
of federal involvement in the monitoring of and crackdown on Occupy."
"On the street it would be called “Three Card Monte,” a swindler’s game
to hide the ball -- a game of misdirection. The House always wins."
Before Zuccotti Park's first demonstration, the DHS Office Intelligence
and Analysis (I&A) prepared National Cybersecurity and Communications
Integration (NCCIC) alerts about planned OWS demonstrations.
At issue is ongoing spying since 9/11. America became a total surveillance
society. Millions are covertly watched. Their communications are monitored,
including phone calls, emails, and other online activity. Doing so alerted
authorities about coming plans. They were ready well in advance.
In response to FOIA, press, and public inquiries of its involvement,
one DHS official wrote:
"I understand we have already received some FOIA requests regarding
our possible reporting of the 'Occupy'....protests."
"I think should the FOIA experts find it appropriate to release information
about the manner in which this issue was managed with DHS, it could
only be perceived as a positive by those in the public who closely (observe)
DHS tried to evade and obstruct a complete FOIA search to conceal its
disruptive and coordinated activities with other federal agencies and
On April 30, PCJF "updated and made public the largest and most comprehensive"
ever FOIA obtained DC police documents. Years of hard fought litigation
got them. Washington police operate under a "cloak of secrecy." Sunshine
revealed some of what it conceals.
Society's most disadvantaged are harmed. It's true across America. DC
is a microcosm of authoritarian police serving powerful interests at
the expense of ordinary people. Willful legal violations occur. No one's
held accountable. Anyone challenging the system is targeted.
In part, PCJF cracked the District of Columbia government's wall of
secrecy. A trove of materials were gotten and made public. PCJF called
obtaining them "historic."
On May 3, PCJF headlined, "DHS Releases More Documents on Occupy to
PCJF." They reveal "massive (federal) nationwide" OWS monitoring and
information sharing between DHS and local authorities.
According to Verheyden-Hilliard:
"These documents show not only intense government monitoring and coordination
in response to the Occupy Movement, but reveal a glimpse into the interior
of a vast, tentacled, national intelligence and domestic spying network
that the US government operates against its own people."
"These heavily redacted documents don't tell the full story. They are
likely only a subset of responsive materials and the PCJF continues
to fight for a complete release. They scratch the surface of a mass
intelligence network" apparatus operating against the interests of ordinary
Documents gotten reveal "intense" federal monitoring of OWS activities.
Those involved are identified to include names, addresses, and other
relevant information. NORTHCOM's kept informed ahead of planned demonstrations.
DHS stays in direct communication with the White House regarding ongoing
operations and approved "public statements denying DHS's involvement
in Occupy actions."
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano runs its anti-OWS operations along with
FBI and other federal agency officials. Obama appointed her.
The man who told ABC News "we are on their side," in fact, oversees
a plan to disrupt, subvert, and destroy what they're working for. Imagine
what's ahead in a second term if he's reelected.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized
Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News
Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time
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