I’ve written previously, & voluminously, on the concept of extra-legal harassment & how these tactics are used against minority activists – myself included. Even before Witchunt 2010, I had seen instances of mysterious waves of black propaganda, false-flagging, planted rumours… a certain pattern that would begin at a fairly well-defined spot and play out with a certain rhythm to it. Nothing one could pin down, explicitly: traces of traces. But, I’m “on the spectrum,” as the au courant phrase has it, and my autistic gift is pattern recognition. I could smell the pattern, and it was a pattern repeating itself…
Comes today Glenn Greenwald’s piece today in The Intercept, exposing the raw truth of spy agency disinfo, black propaganda, false flagging, and extra-legal info-harassment. It’s based on a detailed slide deck from GCHQ, but anyone who doubts the NSA is balls-deep in the same shit is living a fantasy version of reality. The most recent source document is 50 pages of… well, read it. Seriously. Here’s the link – take 10 minutes, and flip through it:
Next, flip back through this piece I published in 2600 Magazine, back in 2012, entitled “Extra-Legal Harassment,” if I may ask for a bit more of your time investment:
I’m tempted to quote, side-by-side, from each article – making painfully explicit the reality underlying things: the same tactics I could sense, or impute, or see the pattern of for years – the same tactics used against me, most viciously during Witchunt 2010 – are a routine, standard, well-funded, widely-deployed part of the toolset used by rogue military spy agencies with billion-dollar budgets to harass, intimidate, hinder, demoralise targeted activists.
This is real. ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι
Only those who have been targeted by such a campaign can really understand the impact. Four years later, the months-long orgy of Fed-sponsored smears, false flags, black rumours, and disinformation threads still resonates in my daily life – as it was intended to do. It drove away friends, scared off allies, and left a lingering sense of… something. A shit-bomb, thrown into the middle of one’s life. The scent of it is impossible to eliminate fully. It becomes a part of one’s reality.
And more: every day, I lead my life not knowing if a SWAT team is going to come back to our home, smash my life physically to pieces again, and lock me back in solitary confinement… because I continue to write about these disgusting black propaganda tactics, because I continue to stand up against the system that developed and deploys them against activists, and because I continue my work as an activist in both data privacy and cross-species symbiosis. Because, when it became clear in 2009/2010 that I was “one of those people” – someone willing and able to shine a small but intense spotlight on these illegal tactics used to target dissidents by the U.S. Feds – they sent physical violence against me (and a bought-and-paid for stooge/snitch sent to set me up): Nineteen heavily-armed SWAT assault officers.
Full-auto weapons. Body armour. This is what happens when you “use your words” to shine a light on the illegality of the U.S. spy regime. They didn’t kill me – some have bemoaned (anonymously) since that they didn’t – but they destroyed my life. Abducted my family. Murdered some of them, mutilated the rest. Words have power. In this case, the power to cause a spy regime gone rogue to send a squadron of military-ops LEO goons to physically abduct me & physically isolate me in a tiny prison cell, cut off from all outside access to the world.
What’s stopping them from doing it to me again? Is there another rollicking SWAT-goon raid scheduled for tomorrow morning, to abduct me again? Will they “accidentally” pull a trigger on me, this time? Will someone drop a “weapon” in my home when nobody’s looking, and try to bring a decades-long criminal charge against me – or just shoot me because I was “armed?” What’s stopping them, really?
It’s not consequences that result from being caught red-handed breaking the law. There are none. The goons who did this to my family & I in 2010 haven’t faced a single legal consequence. Nobody has been fired. Nobody’s been demoted. And certainly nobody’s been charged for their crimes & sent to prison. Indeed, when I wrote an article suggesting that prosecutors who break the law go to prison, I was again subjected to a short wave of threats and intimidation by the Feds – just a few months ago.
What has stopped them, so far anyway, is two things. First, there’s some decent people in these evil bureaucracies. Some people who see this kind of rage-driven campaign against a solitary political dissident and, perhaps, think “that shouldn’t be happening in America… not against anyone.” Some people who see a certain line, and won’t cross it – even if, previously, they flirted with far worse.
Second, the real cheerleaders for these campaigns against dissidents fear exposure. They fear their names being published, their seedy, illegal acts being posted publicly for the world to see. They fear, in an irony too deep to capture in words, the very sort of publicity & public lynch-mobbing that they’ve so casually unleashed on who-knows-how-many targeted dissidents, in the past. But it makes a certain sense: they know how powerful the tools are. They use them every day. What if someone turns the tables on them? How would they like to be on the receiving end of it? They turn tail and run.
Like all bullies, they love throwing punches but when they take a bump in the face it’s all tears and cry-mommy-stop.
Well here’s the thing. When it comes to Witchunt 2010, I don’t do black propaganda. I don’t have to. I just do facts. The facts of who did what, back then, are damning enough that simply exposing those is more than enough to make the point, and serve as deterrence. I’ve spent years documenting and helping to publish those facts – who did what, when and where. I’ll keep doing it, for years. Naming names – even though I’ve been warned under threat of violence that merely typing the names of certain unelected Fed goons is enough to result in retributive violence against my family and I. Those threats are real, issued by real people with government-issued firearms riding on their hips. Those threats haven’t stopped or even slowed my work, which by now must be painfully clear to all involved. But the threats are still real, and still part of my everyday life.
I’ve rambled, and I apologise for that. But let me close this rambling monologue with a turn-about question: how would you carry yourself? How would you handle being targeted by the tactics that Glenn & Ed Snowden’s latest documents reveal? Your reputation torn to shreds – branded a “collaborator” by a sophisticated, press-supported black propaganda campaign as free of facts as it is successful in making the label stick – and no way to really ever “set the record straight?” How would you do if you called “the press” – that means you, Mike Carter, at the Seattle Times – to correct obvious, blatant factual errors in a piece they’ve published and you were threatened point-blank by that “journalist” with additional disinfo smears in print if you “dare” to question what’s been done to you?
Think on that.
Could you get up in the morning and face that? How would you respond? When friends and colleagues see your name smeared through the dirt by butt-boy lackeys in the press (or by non-bylined HuffPo hit-pieces: nobody to even call and demand corrections from in those unsigned NSA-special weapons)… what do you say? Do you try to talk to everyone in your life, explain what’s going on? Will they believe you? Really… or will they say: “well, you know, we’d prefer you stay away from our home – it’s nothing personal and it won’t impact our friendship… but we don’t really want you here. Sorry.”
How will you respond?
Because for those of us who have been targeted by these tactics, that’s our lives. Day-in & day-out. It never stops. It’s our new reality. The weapons unleashed by the military goons (in my example, unleashed on me at the request of a corrupt AUSA who was/is trying to hide her crimes by burying me under a tsunami of hate) don’t stop working once the front line moves on. They keep detonating, over and over…
Those of us who have faced down these weapons of mass-media destruction, and survived – scarred & battered & bloodied but still alive – we’re a tiny, tiny group of activists. Our causes are wildly varied. We’ve not so much in common. Barrett Brown. Julian Assange (the fake “rape” case… makes alot more sense now, doesn’t it?), Weev, Jeremy Hammond. Scads of Anons who got in the crossfire of the global financial behemoths & saw the NSA/GCHQ unleashed on them secretly… even to a degree Ed Snowden himself. We’re vastly diverse (& no I’m not saying I’m “the same” as any, etc., &c.) but we’ve all been on the receiving end of the smear-machine. We all know the score.
Years ago, I’d be asked by close friends what could be done to protect against these kinds of tactics. I wrote up my best advice in the 2600 article, cited at the beginning of this post. But what I also said is this: basically, nothing. These tactics work because people don’t know enough to question whether they’re being used, in realtime, when they read things online. They don’t know… yet. But they will. Because these tools are being used more and more. They’ve jumped to private “hate entrepreneurs” like Jenny Edwards and Sharon McLeod. They’re becoming widespread. Sooner or later, folks will see them firsthand – a friend gets targeted, or a family member, or even themselves directly.
They they’ll know.
They’ll know to question what they see, to look for those patterns of structured deceit & targeted disinformation… to filter them out of their reality mappings. They’ll take it for granted that anyone who stands up against the NSA and the other spy-goons-gone-wild is being targeted with these tools. By definition. Axiomatic. It’s a given. Filter it out, or you’re being used by the rogue military spy machine to spread the lies further. Once a critical mass of people knows these truths, in their bones, then these tools become useless. Until then, those of us targeted by them know full well how it feels to be on the receiving end of info-artillery.
Those of us who have faced these attacks down, survived, and continued our work… we know what it means to weather the worst, and persevere. We are the spy regimes’ worst opponents: for, once hit with this stuff, one becomes functionally immune from further attacks. After all… what the fuck is some goon going to say about me, personally, to beat me down that hasn’t already been said in their earlier lie-campaigns? Seriously. That munition is spent.
Which, in closing, leaves them with the option of killing me, or locking me in the SHU forever. Options that have been considered, I know, by those with their fingers on the trigger. As to the latter – forever in the SHU – I know a certain AUSA who tried very, very hard to pull that off in 2012. She came very close, but in the end she failed. It’s all fully documented, and soon to be included in Uniquely Dangerous. Stay tuned, as they say on TeeVee… it’s a story that will chill your soul.
As to the former: killing me. I have no fear of this. If they do it, they do it. Everyone dies, eventually… even Madiba. Whether they fake up some scheme to make it look like “self defence,” or just a .50 from afar (a scenario explicitly mentioned to me by one Fed LEO in December 2012)… all the same. If they do it, they do it. So be it.
Until then, the risk of it happening doesn’t change my decisions day-to-day. I continue my work, knowing the SWAT team might reappear at any moment. No protections for dissidents, in the United States of NSAmerica. They might shoot me, or “only” kill my loved ones. They might loot my home, steal everything of value, smash my mementos, dump out the ashes of my dead friends & partners. They might do all this…
But they’ll never, ever beat me down. I go down on my knees for no tyranny, no despot, no spy regime, and no illegitimate power. Never. My work continues – kill me to silence me, but until then my work continues…