As detailed in "Dissent or Terror: How the Nation's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street," through 2011 and 2012, "fusion centers" and other "counter terrorism" agencies engaged in widespread monitoring of Occupy Wall Street activists. This article examines some instances of this counter terrorism monitoring of activists.
The primary fusion center discussed in this article is the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC). ACTIC's establishment and function is further described here. Perhaps the most widely utilized feature of ACTIC is the Terrorism Liaison Officer Program. The function of ACTIC Terrorism Liaison Officers is to disseminate ACTIC intelligence and "critical infrastructure/key resources" "threat and vulnerability assessments" within their respective law enforcement agencies, and to feed intelligence gathered by these agencies back into ACTIC, for the use of other ACTIC-engaged entities (both in the public and private sectors).
There are roughly 800 active Terrorism Liaison Officers active in Arizona through ACTIC member agencies.
Where's Jesse?: Phoenix "Counter Terrorism" Personnel Struggle to Locate Jesse Jackson
Throughout 2011 and 2012, Phoenix counter terrorism personnel employed at ACTIC, as well as at Phoenix metropolitan area law enforcement/counter terrorism entities such as the Phoenix Police Department Homeland Defense Bureau (PPDHDB), heavily monitored the activities of both Occupy Phoenix and the Occupy Wall Street movement nationwide. Interestingly enough, records indicate that various entities active in ACTIC, including PPDHDB, had been preoccupied with the presence of Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. in Phoenix during December of 2011.
Jackson was scheduled to be the keynote speaker of the "We Are One" conference on December 2, 2011. The conference, sponsored by a number of African-American, Latino community/civil rights organizations and labor unions (including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the National Council of La Raza), was to be held at the Phoenix Convention Center from December 1 through 4. Issues to be discussed by speakers at this conference included voter suppression, unemployment, job creation, housing, health care, public education, immigration and labor rights. Featured speakers, aside from Jackson, included Tucson Congressman Raul Grijalva (D), Phoenix Human Relations Commission Chair Diane D'Angelo (D'Angelo also served at this time as one of two de facto spokespersons for Occupy Phoenix), and numerous representatives of various labor and civil rights groups.
Records obtained by DBA Press (DBA) and the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) show that this event had been on the radar of PPDHDB personnel as early as mid-November, 2011. In a November 15 email to PPD Downtown Operations Unit (PPDDOU), Community Relations Bureau (PPDCRB) and PPDHDB personnel, Assistant Police Chief in charge of the Homeland Security Division Tracy Montgomery stated that she had received word from the City of Phoenix Department of Public Works that the "Black Trade Workers Union" and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had requested a reservation for the use of Cesar Chavez Plaza on December 4.
"[T]hey want to join the Occupy Protestors for the day to show their support [sic]," wrote Montgomery. "There doesn't appear to be a reason that Public Works would refuse the reservation. It doesn't appear the event will be of a nature or duration that will require electrical power or the need for port-a-johns so these will not be required or provided. [...] They state that 200 of them will march from their conference to [Cesar Chavez Plaza] that day."
Montgomery went on to ask PPDCRB personnel to come up with a "plan for this event." In response, PPDHDB Commander Geary Brase joked (with derisive humor, in an email to PPDHDB Sgt. Pat Kotecki and Lt. Larry Hein), "I think this event calls for an IMT [incident management plan] and EAP [emergency action plan]. your thoughts? [sic]"
Despite Brase's attempt at humor, records indicate that this event, and the potential involvement of Jackson in Occupy Phoenix ALEC protests, coinciding with the "We Are One" conference, did remain an issue of concern for Phoenix Police Department (PPD)/ACTIC personnel through November and the early days of December, 2011.
The commencement of the "We Are One" conference coincided with the final day of the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) States and Nation Policy Summit, held in Scottsdale at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa from November 28 to December 2 (this resort, while technically in the city of Phoenix, is generally accepted as being a part of the wealthy Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, as the resort is situated on the municipal boundary between Scottsdale and Phoenix). As discussed in "Dissent or Terror: How the Nation's 'Counter Terrorism' Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street," Phoenix counter terrorism personnel had worked closely with private sector personnel employed by, and working on behalf of, ALEC in the monitoring of potential protest actions in the weeks (if not months) leading up to this ALEC conference. Protests against the ALEC conference were organized by members of Occupy Phoenix, as well as other Phoenix area activist groups.
Given the fact that the "We Are One" conference and potential for former presidential candidate Jackson's participation in Occupy Phoenix ALEC protests was monitored closely by law enforcement/"counter terrorism" personnel, while members of the ALEC conference worked closely with ACTIC/PPDHDB personnel to counter any protestor action, these records illustrate a disturbing double standard at work within the Phoenix law enforcement/"counter terrorism" community.
According to records obtained by DBA/CMD, at 11:29 on the evening of November 30, PPDDOU Sgt. Joseph Hallums reported to a number of PPD personnel-- including DOU, PPDCRB and PPDHDB personnel:
For the early part of the day most of the attention was focused on the ALEC conference at Kierland so there were no issues at Cezar Chavez Plaza [sic]. The group size fluctuated to a maximum of approximately 30 to, at last count, 11. At 1800 hours the X79 squad made two arrests, booking one and giving the other a CLD [citation]. A couch, small cabinet and a pop-up [tent] were seized as evidence. Approximately one hour later the group brought in two more couches and a couple of chairs and placed them among the protest. The officers did not see who brought them in and no one would claim them so they were removed. [...] At approximately 2100 hour Jessie Jackson and a few staff members arrived at the protest and spoke with the demonstrators [sic]. He stayed for a little more than an hour and a couple of media outlets arrived and filmed the visit. Car 4 was advised.
Records indicate that, up to this point, PPD/ACTIC personnel had believed that Jackson would only be marching, along with representatives of other civil rights/labor groups, to Cesar Chavez Plaza to meet with members of Occupy Phoenix on December 4. As such, records indicate that this late night visit on Jackson's part with members of Occupy Phoenix on November 30 induced a state of panicked confusion amongst Phoenix law enforcement/"counter terrorism" personnel.
According to records obtained by DBA/CMD, at 9:07 on the morning of December 1, Phoenix Fire Department Homeland Defense Bureau (PFDHDB) Division Chief Danny Seville sent out the following email to City of Phoenix Office of Emergency Management personnel, PFD Terrorism Liaison Officer Rickey Salyers, PPDHDB Sgt. Kotecki, Deputy PFD Chief Brian Tobin, and others:
Just and FYI... news reporting he [Jackson] will be present at Freeport building but Occupy Phx sites saying he will be at Kierland at same time. We will track this down.
Records obtained by DBA/CMD show that Seville had been acting, in concert with a "PPD liaison" and a "PPD Intel analyst," as a coordinator for ACTIC law enforcement/public safety/"counter terrorism" personnel during the course of the ALEC States and Nation Policy Summit (SNPS) and related protests. In a November 30 "overview" of ALEC protest events, sent out by Seville to a number of PFD personnel, Seville detailed ACTIC (primarily PPD and PFD Homeland Defense Bureau) preparations for an "operational response" to a planned Occupy Phoenix march from Cesar Chavez Plaza to the downtown Phoenix offices of Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold (located within Freeport-McMoran Center), to be held as part of Occupy Phoenix's ongoing ALEC protests at 4 p.m. on December 1.
Further illustrating Seville's role in the Arizona "counter terrorism" community's preparations for the ALEC SNPS, records indicate that Seville had been part of meetings held in preparation for ALEC protest at ACTIC on November 16 and 23. These were the same previously-mentioned ACTIC meetings at which Phoenix Police Department Major Offenders Bureau (PPDMOB) undercover detective Saul Ayala and PPDMOB Career Criminal Squad Sgt. Van Dorn were present. The November 23 meeting is the same meeting to which, as previously discussed, PPDHDB Terrorism Liaison Officer Rohme had invited Kierland Director of Security Black.
A subsequent email, sent by PPDHDB ACTIC "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" Brenda Dowhan to PPDHDB Sgt. Kotecki and PPDHDB Lt. Hein (and other personnel) at 1:15 p.m., December 1, show that Dowhan had followed up on these reports of Jackson's potential to join in Occupy Phoenix ALEC protests.
"As most of you now, Rev. Jesse Jackson visited the Occupy Phoenix movement last evening and is scheduled to join the march/rally at 1600 hrs today at Cesar Chavez Plaza," wrote Dowhan. "One blog speculated Rev. Jackson's attendance at the ALEC, but Occupy Phoenix does not mention it."
This confusion regarding Jackson's plans and whereabouts persisted well into the afternoon of December 1. Records indicate that, at 2:43 p.m., Phoenix Convention Center Security Systems Manager Travis Wauneka emailed a copy of the "We Are One" conference agenda to PPDCRB Sgt. Mark Schweikert, PPDDOU Lt. Jeff Lazell, PPDHDB/ACTIC Threat Mitigation Unit (TMU) Det./ACTIC Community Liaison Program coordinator O'Neill, PPDHDB Det./ACTIC Terrorism Liaison Officer CJ Wren, United States Department of Homeland Security (U.S. DHS) Protective Security Advisor Christine Figueroa and FBI Phoenix Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) Special Agent Marcus Williams.
The Phoenix Convention Center was the venue selected by "We Are One" organizers as the site of their conference. It is important to note that, as previously mentioned, Phoenix Convention Center is a DPP member, and most likely-- given the amount of interaction between Wauneka and ACTIC personnel-- an ACTIC Community Liaison Program (CLP) member entity. Wauneka had shown an early interest in the activities of Occupy Phoenix, having been invited, as a guest of PPDHDB Sgt. Kotecki, to an October 7 (or possibly October 6) PPD "Occupy Arizona Event Planning Meeting."
In the email to these law enforcement/"counter terrorism" personnel, accompanying the "We Are One Agenda," Wauneka wrote:
Jesse Jackson to speak tomorrow. [new line] Congressman from Tucson on Saturday. [new line] Planned march with Occupiers on Sunday.
Records indicate that, upon receiving this intelligence from Wauneka, a relieved PPDHDB Det./ACTIC Terrorism Liaison Officer Wren responded:
Travis, [...] Thank you for sending this... it answered a lot of questions. I have already forwarded this to our new analyst Brenda Dowhan (I don't think you have had a chance to meet her yet)... if there are future emails on this event, could you please also add her to the distro list? Sgt. Kotecki and Lt. Hein have made her responsible for putting out daily briefings on the goings on of Occupy Phx [sic].
I appreciate it Sir [sic]. we are long overdue for catching up over lunch. Name a time and I will bring Brenda to introduce the two of you as well.
Nevertheless, for all the relief expressed with the arrival of the Phoenix Convention Center intelligence, records indicate that confusion over Jackson's whereabouts continued to prompt head-scratching, and possibly the furrowing of brows, within PPDHDB/ACTIC through the 3 o'clock hour of December 1. Records indicate that the Wauneka intelligence had made its way to PPDHDB Sgt. Kotecki, who, at 3:28 p.m., forwarded the information on to PFDHDB Division Chief Seville, PPDHDB Lt. Hein and other PPD CRB/DOU personnel.
"Travis is stating Jessie Jackson [sic] plans to march on Sunday..." wrote Kotecki.
Hein responded, "That is a planned march with the group he is speaking to. The Occupy people think he is coming today as well. He may have said something to them last night. We shall see."
Unfortunately for the men and women of the Phoenix "counter terrorism" community-- who had fretted so much over the whereabouts of one man-- Reverend Jackson appeared at Cesar Chavez Plaza at 4 p.m. that afternoon and marched with approximately 50 members of Occupy Phoenix to Freeport-McMoran Center. Records indicate that ACTIC/PPDHDB personnel likely did not obtain any conclusive advance confirmation of this appearance. No arrests were made and no acts of "terrorism" took place during this march.
"Fusion Center" Obsession With Occupy Wall Street: Fears of Extremist Intervention, Public Safety and Officer Safety
One thing is clear: a reading of fusion center and FBI records obtained by DBA/CMD shows that "counter terrorism" personnel employed in the complex web of the nation's "homeland security" apparatus have been all too eager to monitor-- to the point of obsession-- the Occupy Wall Street movement and report even the smallest possible sign of any potential threat to public safety-- be they perceived hazards to "public health," perceived hazards to law enforcement officer safety, or the possibility of "extremist" intervention in the movement.
By and large, the most commonly expressed theme of "counter terrorism" personnel concern with the Occupy Wall Street movement was that of potential "anarchist," "hacktivist," or other "extremist" intervention. An example of this "anarchist"/"hacktivist"/"extremist" theme is as follows:
A FBI Phoenix Division "Situational Information Report," ostensibly detailing "potential hacktivist activity and anarchist participation in the 'Occupy Phoenix' and 'Occupy Tucson' Arizona protests," had little to do with any actual "hacktivist" or "anarchist" threat-- and, in fact, the report noted that "no specific threats" had been received by FBI Phoenix regarding potential for this activity in Arizona. Instead, the report dealt largely with the OWS movement's heavy, and entirely legal, use of social media in event coordination. As previously noted, this report defines "hacktivism" as follows: "a broadly used term referring to activists who use computers and computer networks as a means of protest and/or to promote political agendas." Note the complete absence of actual 'hacking,' or any illegal activity, in this definition.
Another example of the "extremist" theme is found in an advisory sent out by Transportation Security Administration (TSA, a component of U.S. DHS) Office of Intelligence Field Intelligence Officer Larry Tortorich concerning a planned Occupy New Orleans march, scheduled for October 6, 2011. Essentially, the advisory stated that no credible threat was known to exist at the time-- but that "awareness" and "vigilance" should be maintained, as "the potential always exists for extremists to exploit or redirect events such as this or use the event to escalate or trigger their own agendas. [...] Jihadists recently discussed how they can benefit from the Occupy Wall Street protests that have been ongoing in New York City, and suggested 'that their continuation will make the enemy lose focus on the wars abroad.'"
Despite this speculation, Tortorich identified no clear or direct threat of "extremist" intervention.
It is also worth noting that TSA had been monitoring plans for OWS protests prior to the September 17, 2011 launch of the movement. According to records obtained by DBA/CMD, Tortorich distributed a "situational awareness" advisory to fusion center/"counter terrorism" personnel nationwide on September 15, 2011. This TSA advisory, stating that the "Days of Rage" and planned "occupation" of Wall Street were being organized by "Hacker Collective Anonymous," expressed similar concerns over "extremist" exploitation.
[Note: both the October 4 and September 15 Tortorich advisories were obtained through records requests submitted to PPDHDB. These Tortorich advisories had evidently been received by PPDHDB Det./ACTIC Terrorism Liaison Officer Robert Bolvin and distributed to other Arizona "counter terrorism" personnel]
[Note: in the September 15 TSA Office of Intelligence advisory, Tortorich advises "counter terrorism" personnel that "former day of Rage [sic] protests were the triggers behind the overthrow of the Egyptian and Libyan governments," and warns "this event might incite or influence violence in other U.S. cities."
It is worth noting-- given the use of "counter terrorism" personnel in the United States in monitoring and suppressing OWS/Day of Rage activity, and given Tortorich's mention of Arab Spring protests-- that, during the January, 2011 Egyptian "Days of Rage," soon-to-be-deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak reportedly deployed elite "counter terrorism" police units in an attempt to quell demonstrations. It is also worth noting, given the amount of time and resources dedicated by U.S. "counter terrorism" personnel to monitoring the online activities of individuals and groups active in the OWS movement, that Egyptian "Day of Rage" protestors experienced widespread Internet service interruptions. As has been the case in the United States, activists in Egypt relied heavily on Internet social media in coordinating protest actions.]
An example of a report related to "public health" dangers associated with the OWS movement is as follows:
Records obtained by DBA/CMD show that an intelligence brief compiled by the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange (CFIX) detailing "Public Health/Fire Hazard Safety Concerns" was apparently distributed to "counter terrorism"/"intelligence" personnel nationwide through the Pentagon Force Protection Agency Threat Analysis Center in December, 2011. The brief detailed public health concerns associated with OWS encampments, as reported by law enforcement/public safety agencies in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Augusta, Maine. The brief painted such a dire picture of the situation that, in closing, its authors stated "public health officials and hospitals may potentially see an increase in cases of disease outbreaks and/or illnesses related to these events. Law enforcement and first responders should consider wearing protective suits when responding or evacuating a mass gathering/encampment location." [Note: the lead agency of CFIX is the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is not clear what role, if any, the U.S. Department of Defense had in drafting this brief.]
An example of a report relating to a perceived potential threat to officer safety is as follows:
Records show that personnel working with the U.S. DHS National Operations Center (NOC) sent out numerous advisories to "fusion centers" related to possible public safety/officer safety issues associated with Occupy Wall Street during 2011 and 2012. One such advisory was sent out to "counter terrorism"/"intelligence" personnel on February 27, 2012, detailing the "occupy vest," an article of protective clothing reportedly being sold on Ebay for $299. This NOC advisory stated that the vest's retailers described the article of protective gear as: "Taser proof, rubber/beanbag bullet resistant, tear proof, and provides tackle cushion protection for the upper body [sic]."
[Note: records indicate that U.S. DHS NOC regularly distributed intelligence and advisories to fusion center personnel nationwide relating to OWS groups. Records indicate that many of these U.S. DHS NOC advisories were supplied to NOC by state/regional fusion center personnel working as U.S. DHS "liaisons."
For example: on November 17, 2011, Miami-Dade Police Department Homeland Security Bureau (this bureau is known as the Southeast Florida Fusion Center) personnel sent U.S. DHS NOC an advisory relating to a planned Occupy Miami march. As stated in this advisory, Southeast Florida Fusion Center personnel monitoring Occupy Miami social media projected a total of 300 participants in this march, set to gather in a public park. Furthermore, this advisory stated that Homeland Security Bureau detectives would be "monitoring the event."
Not even the slightest trace of any terrorist threat or criminal activity was even hinted at in this Southeast Florida Fusion Center advisory. Nevertheless, records indicate that this advisory found its way to ACTIC, apparently through U.S. DHS NOC.
Similarly, records indicate that U.S. DHS NOC monitored news media reports on OWS and regularly distributed advisories based on news coverage to fusion centers nationwide.]
And, finally, one item that, according to records obtained by DBA/CMD from both the FBI and PPDHDB, attracted nationwide "counter terrorism" personnel attention, was a flyer reportedly recovered from an October 27 Occupy Phoenix rally, entitled: "When Should You Shoot a Cop?"
While the flyer does endorse the use of potentially fatal force in resisting what the unnamed author clearly viewed as regular law enforcement violations of civil liberties, no direct threats were made. As such, this piece of literature is perfectly legal and protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The discovery of this flyer was covered extensively by media outlets nationwide, and credited by critics of the OWS movement as proof that OWS was heading in a dangerous direction.
More interesting, perhaps, is the fact that records obtained by DBA/CMD from PPDHDB show that the PPDMOB undercover officer who had infiltrated the Phoenix activist community under the assumed name of "Saul DeLara" had been present at Cesar Chavez Plaza on the day this flyer appeared. According to these records, the undercover officer claimed that he had spoken with an individual at the event whom he believed to be the likely source of the flyer. Available records do not indicate to what degree this "intelligence" was followed up on (though it should be noted that records relating to this would fall under the scope of public records requests submitted by DBA/CMD to PPDHDB). It is also worth noting that records show some confusion within the Phoenix law enforcement community as to which law enforcement agency actually recovered this flyer at the October 27 event.
Records indicate that, on October 28, the day after the flyer was reportedly discovered at Occupy Phoenix, Ezra Kaplan, a representative of the Occupy Phoenix media group, contacted PPD and stated that Occupy Phoenix had no involvement with the distribution of the flyer and that the group did not condone violence of any kind.
According to records, in his contact with PPD personnel, Kaplan stated that he had run across a copy of the flyer, in the form of an ACTIC bulletin, on the Internet. When asked, Kaplan provided PPD personnel with the web address for this ACTIC bulletin. Records indicate that this information was passed on to PPDHDB Lt. Hein-- who, rather than following up with Kaplan, or any other member of Occupy Phoenix, in regard to the content or origins of flyer-- stated that "no further action is necessary. AZDPS is looking into how their bulletin got out."
The content of the "When Should you Shoot a Cop" flyer had actually been published on CopBlock.org on June 28, 2011-- four months prior to the flyer's appearance in Cesar Chavez Plaza-- by an individual using the name "Larken Rose."
Cop Block bills itself as a nationwide police watchdog group (that is not based in Arizona) and does not appear to have any direct relationship with Occupy Phoenix. Nevertheless, in neither FBI or PPDHDB/ACTIC records obtained by DBA/CMD relating to this flyer-- or in any account of the Occupy Phoenix flyer incident trumpeted by the mainstream media-- does any mention of the true origins of the flyer appear.
The Road We Are On: NDAA and the Potential Realization of Activist Fears
Signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 31, 2011, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 asserted the ability of the president and U.S. Armed Forces to indefinitely detain, without legal counsel or trial, any individual-- including American citizens-- suspected of aiding, committing, or plotting acts of terrorism/"belligerent acts"/"hostilities" against the United States.
Proponents of the bill argue that the NDAA only provided congressional affirmation for executive powers that had long existed. Critics of the NDAA, including a number of civil liberties organizations, argue that the wording of the bill is too broad in that concepts such as "terrorism," "belligerent acts," "hostilities"-- and "aid" to these ambiguously-defined activities-- are not well defined.
Given the fact that such wording could result in the stripping of some of the most fundamental rights from citizens-- resulting in the loss of freedom for any person even suspected (as opposed to convicted) of "aiding" in "hostilities" against the nation-- it is worth noting that all of the monitoring, surveillance and even infiltration of Occupy Wall Street activist groups discussed up to this point was conducted by agents of the "counter terrorism" apparatus that emerged following the events of September 11, 2001.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that some activities carried out by Occupy Wall Street groups had apparently been viewed by "counter terrorism"/"homeland security" entities as potential threats to "critical infrastructure"/"key resources" vital to national security and economic stability.
For example, records obtained by DBA/CMD from the FBI show that law enforcement/"counter terrorism" agencies expressed deep concern over Occupy Wall Street attempts to shut down ports along the nation's coasts in November and December, 2011. These records indicate that, as a result of this perceived threat, the FBI engaged in the monitoring of activities of coastal Occupy Wall Street groups, with a focus on the potential for port worker union support. Indeed, according to records obtained by DBA/CMD, law enforcement/"counter terrorism" agencies obviously viewed this planned port shutdown as a serious threat to "critical infrastructure/key resources" ("CI/KR" protection is deemed to be one of the top priorities of "counter terrorism"/"homeland security" personnel).
The nature of these concerns was perhaps best summed up in a report detailing events that took place on November 2 in the Port of Oakland, found in records returned to DBA/CMD through a FOIA request submitted to the FBI:
"Analyst comment: the protestors' actions shut down the port of Oakland for more than 14 hours. If this movement were to spread to the port of Long Beach, the second busiest port in the United States, the disruption of port operations resulting in cargo reaching their destinations late could have much more serious effects on the supply chain network in the United States."
[Note: it is not clear what agency originated this report. The report does apparently contain redacted information provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, an agency under U.S. DHS. Given the fact that these FBI records do contain reports similar in nature that had originated with the Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), and given the fact that DSAC is a partnership between the FBI, DHS and a number of private corporations, it is possible that this referenced report is a DSAC report (per the Coast Guard information, as the Coast Guard is a DHS component). Furthermore, the FBI FOIA request that prompted the delivery of these records to DBA/CMD specifically sought records relating to the Occupy Wall Street movement in possession of FBI DSAC personnel. However, it is unclear whether the FBI processed this request appropriately-- given the total lack of communication on the part of the bureau as regards this request.
DSAC is a public-private intelligence sharing partnership between the FBI, U.S. DHS (aside from the various U.S. DHS agency/departmental components that may be active in DSAC, U.S. DHS management of DSAC is administered by DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis) and several of the nation's leading corporate/financial interests. The DSAC Leadership Board consists of 29 corporations and banks, including several entities that have been the subject of Occupy Wall Street protests/criticism. Such corporate/financial interests include: MasterCard, Citigroup, American Express, Barclays, RBS Citizens and Wal-Mart.]
More ominous is that fact that multiple records obtained by DBA/CMD show that the FBI, DHS, U.S. Capitol Police "intelligence" personnel, and various other "counter terrorism" personnel, were actively engaged in the monitoring of protest activity related to the 2012 NDAA.
Records obtained from PPDHDB show that, on December 16, 2011, FBI agent Alan McHugh contacted ACTIC/JTTF personnel, including FBI Phoenix JTTF Special Agent Williams, U.S. DHS Intelligence Analyst Anthony Frangipane [Note: AZDPS Northern Intelligence District Commander, Captain Harrison, did not respond to inquiries seeking information relating to Frangipane's work at ACTIC, though it is clear Frangipane is a former AZDPS Intelligence Bureau analyst who is now employed by U.S. DHS at ACTIC] and ACTIC CLP Coordinator/ TMU Det. O'Neill, to advise them of a planned December 17 Occupy Phoenix protest to be held outside the Phoenix office of U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in opposition to Senate Bill 1867 (SB 1867).
SB 1867 was alternately known as NDAA 2012. The initial draft of this bill, containing the indefinite detention provisions, was reportedly authored by Sen. McCain and Senator Carl Levin (D-MI).
Interestingly, McHugh stated that he felt an "intel report for merely raising awareness" would be appropriate for this protest, "in light of the ALEC/SRP [Salt River Project] stuff a few weeks back."
As stated in the McHugh email:
Phoenix protestors will participate in the 'No Indefinite Detention Rally,' scheduled for Saturday, December 17th. The group is scheduled to convene at Senator John McCain's office [...]. The rally is an effort to voice opposition to Senate Bill 1867, which would permit the American military to arrest anyone, including American citizens, anywhere, including in the United States, upon suspicion that the person involved is a 'terrorist,' a term of uncertain definition, and then hold such a person without trial, without a lawyer, without due process, and without end. [...] Members of the group have expressed their intentions to continue with the protest indefinitely. Future marches and rallies should be expected.
Records show that ACTIC/PPDHDB "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" Dowhan promptly responded to the McHugh advisory:
Good Morning Alan [sic] [paragraph break] Tracking the activities of Occupy Phoenix is one of my daily responsibilities. My primary role is to look at the social media, websites, and blogs. I just wanted to put it out there so that if you would like me to share with you or you have something to share, we can collaborate [sic].
Dowhan went on to state that ACTIC/PPDHDB was also concerned about the "No Indefinite Detention Rally," as well as other Occupy Phoenix events planned for coming days. In closing, Dowhan stated that she would continue to "monitor online activities to get an idea of what kind of participation we can expect."
This glimpse into the day-to-day working life of those in the "counter terrorism" world is, of course, hilariously ironic, since citizens protesting NDAA 2012 were protesting provisions of the law that would allow for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens who are even suspected of aiding, committing, or plotting acts of terrorism, "hostilities," or any other "belligerent acts" against the nation.
However, perhaps a much less humorous side of this reality is illustrated in the previously-discussed October, 2011 advisory sent out to fusion center/"counter terrorism" personnel nationwide by Transportation Security Administration (TSA, a component of U.S. DHS) Office of Intelligence Field Intelligence Officer Larry Tortorich. In this advisory, focused on a planned October 6 Occupy New Orleans march, Tortorich opined: "the potential always exists for extremists to exploit or redirect events such as this or use the event to escalate or trigger their own agendas. [...] Jihadists recently discussed how they can benefit from the Occupy Wall Street protests that have been ongoing in New York City, and suggested 'that their continuation will make the enemy lose focus on the wars abroad.'" [It is not known what "Jihadists" Tortorich referenced.]
This was not the only instance of "counter terrorism" personnel concern relating to NDAA protests contained in records obtained by DBA/CMD. On February 1, 2012, U.S. Capitol Police Office of Intelligence Analysis DHS Liaison Eric Orsini contacted PPDHDB Detective, DHS NOC liaison and ACTIC Terrorism Liaison Officer Ken Stefanisin and requested any available intelligence relating to planned NDAA protests to be held in Phoenix on February 3. Orsini's stated concern was that U.S. Senator John Kyl (R-AZ) may be traveling "in the area" on the date of the protest.
And, according to records obtained by DBA/CMD, at 7:43 on the morning of January 25, 2012, PPDHDB ACTIC "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" Dowhan issued an alert to ACTIC personnel regarding an Occupy Phoenix "Rally Against the NDAA," set to coincide with a campaign appearance by President Obama at the construction site of computer manufacturer Intel's new "Fab 42" microchip factory in Chandler (a suburb of Phoenix). The presidential visit, scheduled for January 25 (the day following the President's delivery of the 2012 State of the Union address), had been announced by the White House and promoted by Intel.
In this alert, classified as being of "high" importance, Dowhan wrote: "there are plans for Occupy Phoenix and fringe groups to 'Rally Against the NDAA' when the POTUS [President of the United States] arrives today in Chandler. They have a scheduled time of 0800 hrs to 1200 hrs, however they are trying to coordinate with the arrival of the POTUS."
At this point, the rally is loosely organized, but there is support. Comments [comments posted to a 'Rally Against NDAA' Facebook events page created by members of Occupy Phoenix] regarding the POTUS State of the Union Address varies from complete support to lambasting the POTUS.
Given the fact that records obtained by DBA/CMD show the nation's "counter terrorism" apparatus at work monitoring U.S. citizens concerned that they may be labeled as "terrorists" and stripped of their civil liberties as a result of their participation in Constitutionally-protected dissent, it is worth noting that in none of these exchanges in which "counter terrorism"/"homeland security" personnel discussed the monitoring of citizens protesting NDAA, was there any trace of doubt-- or concern for civil liberties-- voiced. In none of these instances did any agent of the nation's "counter terrorism" apparatus question whether they were crossing a line of demarcation between appropriate law enforcement/public safety activity, and something much darker. After all, these records do indicate that we, as a nation, have taken our first steps down the road that these citizens clearly fear.
On January 2, 2013, President Obama signed NDAA 2013, carrying the same indefinite detention language as NDAA 2012, into law.
Read the full report on SourceWatch, and read the full report on DBA Press. View the source materials archive for the report at DBA Press.