Wall Street Pepper Spray Incident (take one)

September 30, 2011

Viewing live news events through video, even video taken from multiple angles, is sort of like watching the world through a funnel. One does not always get the full context of the event, even with multiple camera angles a certain amount of peripheral vision is lost to the viewer. Even more perspective is lost when the viewer does not fully understand the events in question or the duties, requirements, and motivations of all of the participants.

That being said, we’ll carry on with what we can see of the events around the protests in New York City on Saturday 9/24/11, and with a slightly different political viewpoint from that of the far-left DailyKos, where a Kosling named Charlie Grapski engages in spin, innuendo, conjecture, and outright propaganda. And in some cases, Charlie just flat out lies to the Kos readers…

===

This 5:55 minute video begins half a block and across one intersection away from the first pepper-spray event.

Immediately one can see that the already screaming protestors are not following police requests for an orderly march on the sidewalks, and are repeatedly running into the street, blocking traffic, and preventing the Right of Free Passage to ordinary New Yorkers and tourists. We can also see outnumbered police squads attempting to maintain order and remove protestors from the street.

At the 0:05 mark we see a pre-printed protest sign mentioning cop killer and homeless person beater Troy Davis and reading, “Dismantle this unjust system” “WorkersWorldParty.” We’re not likely to see any such signs protesting the 9/21/11 execution in Texas of Lawrence Brewer. Nor are we likely to see any such signs regarding the impending execution of Iranian Christian priest Youcef Nadarkhani.

By the 0:11 mark we can see protestors racing ahead to bypass the police line and temporary fences and we can see blocked cars as the protestors repeatedly surge into the street and ignore police directions. At the 0:13 mark we first see the temporary fencing the NYPD was attempting to use to fence off the intersections and separate the street from the sidewalk. At this point it’s already clear that this is no longer a peaceful assembly and the protestors have already begun to violate the civil rights of ordinary passers-by and tourists. Note the taxicabs, they get paid by the mile, the protestors are interfering with the drivers right to work.

At the :014 mark the camera person has begun to enter the intersection and we can see more protestors filling up both cross streets while other protestors both run and walk into the middle of the intersection of two one-way streets, against and blocking the free flow of traffic. We can also see a USPS truck blocked in the intersection, which means the protestors in the street are also intentionally impeding the free flow of commerce (another civil rights violation) and federal mail carriers (which is a felony).

At the 0:24 mark we see the first take down and arrest shown on this video, in the middle of the intersection. A male protestor in a pink shirt and shorts. Highlighting the viewing through a funnel effect, the camera person, who seems to be the same person repeatedly screaming “the whole world is watching,” is looking/filming in completely the wrong direction, so we don’t get to see what precipitated this arrest, although it seems obvious that it is the refusal to follow lawful police orders to stay out of the intersection. That protestor is very clearly attempting to resist arrest as the uniformed officers and at least two plainclothes officers subdue him. The camera person switches to hollering, “what are you doing?” as the crowd begins to close in around the struggling officers. Other officers arrive and begin to form a circle around the struggle, preventing other protestors from joining in or hindering the arrest.

At the 0:34 second mark we see the first Guy Fawkes mask (hello Anonymous) perched on the head of a protestor wearing a green jacket and we see the police temporary fencing forming a line to block off the side street. At the 0:35 second mark the protestor wearing the Guy Fawkes mask is pushed away from the arrest scene and immediately surges back, wielding an umbrella like a club, but due to shoddy camera work, we don’t see what happens next. When the camera returns to the scene at the 0:40 second mark all of the participants have moved on and the uniformed police are still attempting to string the temporary fence across the side street, we can also hear protestors cursing the police for doing their job (and the continuous screaming, “what are you doing?”).

At the 0:45 second mark we see a protestor carrying a decorated acoustic guitar fall to the ground, dropping his guitar. Again, we have no idea if he was pushed, or just fell, because the camera person is looking the wrong way. However within the next 4 seconds it strongly appears that there are no officers within arms length of him. He gets back to his feet and retrieves his guitar from under the police fence without any police interference shown on camera. This in spite of the fact that both he and his guitar are no where the police are trying to form a temporary traffic barrier.

At the 1:04 mark the protestor is visible again, on his feet, standing behind a uniformed female police officer and wielding his guitar like a club. This is far from the normal method of carrying a guitar, and under the circumstances, could very quickly be construed as a threatening posture towards the police. We also see (by the 1:07 mark) that more officers have arrived, together with white shirted commanders, to restore order to the intersection. (the screamer begins screaming “shame” over and over again).

At the 1:08 mark we can see that the first protestor shown being arrested is still struggling with the arresting officers, and we see a man in a grey t-shirt with a black backpack attempting to “unarrest” him. (“shameshameshame”)

1:09 a blue shirt officer shoves the grey shirt protestor back away from the arrest. Grey shirt protestor attempts to return to the fray but is shoved back yet again by other blue shirt officers. Even as this is happening (1:22 mark), still more protestors attempt to surge into the arrest scene and are repeatedly shoved back by the newly arrived, yet still outnumbered officers. Also at the 1:22 mark we can see that at least one of the reinforcing officers forming a circle around the struggle with the pink shirted protestor has drawn his billy club and is holding down at waist level in a blocking posture. By 1:24 we can see the blue shirt officers forming a line across the side street and in front of the fence line with white shirt commanders moving under the fence line. We also see the protestors again surging towards the police line.

At the 1:28 mark the guitar wielding protestor returns to the scene, still wielding his guitar like a club.

At the 1:35 mark we can see that protestors are still trying to force their way into the intersection from at least three directions and all vehicle traffic is still halted as the police continue attempting to form a barrier between the protestors and the street/intersection itself. We can also see numerous people being allowed free passage across the fence line by the uniformed police.

At the 1:36 mark Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna makes his first appearance on this video, moving through the police line and by 1:38 he has confronted the guitar carrying protestor, who has lowered his guitar into a non-threatening posture, but still has to be repeatedly pushed back away from the police line. At 1:42 the guitar carrying protestor retreats while looking directly at the camera.

By 1:52 more officers have arrived, including NYPD cameramen, and the side street protestors have been pushed back from the intersection by at least two car lengths. This side street is where the first pepper spray incident takes place, later in the video. At this point both protestors and civilians are still moving relatively freely on the sidewalks, and protestors are still surging into the street, blocking traffic.

2:00 mark (“are you fighting for business or the people?”) We can see a restaurant called Japonica, which is located at 100 University Place.

2:23 mark Police moving the temporary fencing down the street, between the sidewalk and the street. Stopped vehicle traffic waiting for the protestors to clear out of the street.

2:25 mark White shirt commander orders to “hold everybody” just past Japonica restaurant. This is the location of the first pepper spray incident. Blue shirt police form a line on the sidewalk.

2:46 mark Blond haired female protestor makes first appearance, insisting that the protestors are “pedestrians” and that it’s illegal to hold them up. She is confronting a blue shirt female police officer who is at least three inches shorter then she is.

2:57 mark Camera person and others move past the hold line as the police move the fence over to that sidewalk. Camera person scream unintelligibly as fence line officer shoves her back towards the hold line.

3:08 mark Fence line is fully across the sidewalk. Short brown haired female protestor makes first appearance on video.

3:20 mark Fence line is moved up to first hold point. Short black female protestor makes first video appearance with backpack and begins screaming repeatedly in the face of the female police officer, “1943” “I didn’t know this was a nazi party thing” “fascists.” Somebody else repeatedly screaming, “get his badge number.” For what? Forming a traffic hold point?

3:50 mark Male protestor in green shirt with red bandana resists arrest for being in the street, breaks away, swings at officers, is tackled and subdued as the shouts of “shameshamshame” return. This little event is seen more clearly on other videos.

4:00 – 4:11 mark Crowd behind fence line, including all three females previously identified above, surges towards fence and arrest scene, held back by a handful of struggling blue shirt officers. Police officer shouts, “hold the line” Unseen on this video, but visible on other videos, short black female protestor (fascists) assaults blue shirt officer, striking him repeatedly, is grabbed, dragged behind the police line, subdued, cuffed, and arrested. This is the claimed hair pulling incident, but other videos clearly show that she was grabbed by the strap of her backpack.

4:20 mark At this point two people (green shirt guy and fascist woman) are on the ground in the street being subdued for assaulting police officers and resisting arrest. They are directly in front of where the first pepper spray incident occurs moments later. (“what are they doing what are they doing”)

4:32 mark White shirt commander, “You guys hold it together” 4:38 “Hold the line.”

4:33 mark Pepper spray is first fired. Line holds. Crowd retreats.

4:40 mark Police directing protestors back up the street towards intersection. Some protestors following directions, others refusing.

5:00 minute mark Second police fence line visible across the intersection, crowd exits visible on both ends.

5:09 Both arrested protestors, handcuffed, moved past exiting protestors.

5:20 mark Police presence in the intersection area much larger, officers blocking entrance to University Place.

5:30 Solid police line across University Place intersection, billy clubs out.

===

Moral of the story: Don’t assault NYPD in a mob.

I don’t see any police “brutality” at all. I see three protesters violently resisting arrest and a potential riot averted by a quick thinking commander.

WANT
MORE?,
R


He’s Done it One More Time…

September 27, 2011

Gates starts to say what he really thinks

ORLY?

This is the same Robert Gates that called the F-22 and F-35 “legacy aircraft.”

This is the same Robert Gates that when USAF generals insisted we had to have a minimum of 300 plus F-22’s to replace aging F-15’s, fired those generals and promoted USAF generals who would agree to less then 190 F-22’s.

This is the same Robert Gates who used the excuse that we would have thousands of F-35’s available to overcome the fighter gap, and then repeatedly cut the F-35 production numbers while threatening repeatedly to cancel the entire project.

This is the same Robert Gates who told us that reducing the number of B-52 squadrons was actually an increase, in an aircraft that hasn’t been built since 1962.

This is the same Robert Gates who cancelled the USMC’s EFV, rather then fix the projects flaws, leaving the Marines to wallow at eight miles per hour towards the beach in forty year old AA7V’s whose service life ends in 2012, with no replacement in sight.

I can go on and on about the worst Secretary of Defense that the US has had since 1947, but I won’t. Because I’m itching to take the chainsaws to this latest piece of red meat (the WashPoo Walter Pincus link above) that the Mil-Left is so in love with…

===

“As a result of several long-building, polarizing trends in American politics and culture, we have lost the ability to execute even the basic functions of government, much less solve the most difficult and divisive problems facing the country…”

R – Electing an incompetent Marxist with no real life work or military experience strictly for racial reasons has been rather polarizing indeed. Hopefully collective America learns from its most horrendous election mistake and elects a real leader in this next election?

“The first was redistricting of congressional seats which, he said, created safe Republican and Democratic seats but led to party primaries “where candidates must cater to the most hard-core ideological elements of their base.” He wondered how this could be changed to “ensure that more candidates for Congress are forced to appeal to independents, centrists, and at least some members of the other political party to win election, just as presidential candidates must do?”

R – How about quit wasting time, money, and effort on redistricting at all? How about no matter what the party or ideology is, the elected officials, at all levels, do the jobs that they were elected to do and are well paid for, in the first place? Is this too difficult a concept?

“He also cited the role of an evolving news media. He looked longingly to decades past when three television networks and a handful of major newspapers dominated national coverage and “to a considerable degree, filtered extreme or vitriolic points of view.”

R – A handful of media outlets that dominated media coverage and force fed us filtered, limited, and often times, extreme and vitriolic points of view, without any other countering sources of information? Like when Walter Cronkite lied to us about the Tet Offensive? I happen to be be quite comfortable with the knowledge that Dan Rather got caught red-handed lying to us about a presidential candidate, before the election.

“Today, he said, “hundreds of cable channels, blogs and other electronic media” have given wide dissemination to “every point of view, including the most extreme.” The result, according to Gates, though more democratic, “has fueled the coarsening and, I believe, the dumbing down of the national political dialogue.”

R – Every point of view, no matter how extreme, should be heard. The alternative is political censorship. The dumbing down of the national political dialogue can be laid directly at the feet of the bulk of the nations educators, who seem to have forgotten basic civics and history, in favor of political correctness and “social studies.”

“He described these two trends, along with some other factors, as polarizing the country at a time when the need is for “more bipartisanship, and more compromise to deal with our most serious problems.”

R – Bipartisanship and compromise? Why would anybody want to compromise on bi-partisan politicians intentionally putting millions of people out of work while our golf-amateur president is enjoying $30,000 a plate fund raising dinners? There are an awful lot of Americans who, in spite of their education levels, have never made $30,000 a year in their lives, while the Secretary of Defense is making well over $100,000 a year to lie to us about our interests.

R – What if our interest is that we have a strong and well-trained military, capable of fighting and winning a two-front war, or multiple small wars simultaneously? What if our interest is that our military can respond with help and medical aid world-wide to natural disasters, making friends instead of new enemies? Is that too extreme an interest?

THINK
NOT,
R


Now We Have a Problem…

September 25, 2011

I see what you said there…

NOTED,
R


Who Stands Accused?

September 24, 2011

Netanyahu’s U.N. Address (9.23.11)

Hattip to my longtime friends at C2

“A sense of history that extends beyond breakfast.”

STAND
HERE
NOW,
R


Heavy…

September 20, 2011

Let’s look at something a little different…Heavy Armored Personnel Carriers.

Starting with the Israeli’s, who recognized the need decades before anybody else, (or decades after WW2 pointed out the need).

*I think the Canadian’s, with their WW2 turret-less Sherman based RAM Kangaroo’s and Defrocked M-7 Priest self-propelled guns, can fairly lay claim to the concept. But it is a concept that somehow got lost in translation during the post Cold War.

*The WW1 British Mark IX would somewhat qualify, had it reached full production.

=

Achzarit – Based on the Soviet Russian T-54/55 chassis.

Nakpadon – Based on the British Centurion chassis.

Puma – Based on the Centurion chassis. More of a Heavy Combat Engineering vehicle then an infantry transport.

Nagmachon – Based on the Centurion chassis.

Namer – Based on the Israeli Merkava chassis.

=

From Russia:

BTR-T – Based on the T-54/55 chassis.

From Jordan:

AB14 Temzah – Based on the Centurion chassis.

From Serbia:

VIU-55 Munja – Another T-54/55 based heavy combat engineering vehicle.

===

Like their WW2 ancestor, the RAM Kangaroo, these are all converted from obsolete tank chassis’s, giving them much heavier armor protection then any of the current or projected APC’s and IFV’s (Infantry Fighting Vehicle).

There is no equivalent in the US military. Nor is there any equivalent obsolescent US tank chassis that can undergo such a conversion without a major redesign. Considering the number, type, and size of IED’s being used, and the prevalence of man portable heavy anti-armor weapons, this is an oversight that has already placed the US mechanized infantryman at a disadvantage on modern battlefields.

And it is an oversight not being addressed by the current M-113, M-2 Bradley, and Stryker replacement program known as the GCV Infantry Fighting Vehicle, which itself is a variant of the aborted Future Combat Systems fiasco.

This time last year Gen. Peter Chiarelli listed the “four main fundamentals” of the new vehicle: carrying 12 soldiers, operating across the spectrum of warfare, providing significant force protection and having the first production vehicle in seven years.

While the GCV might very well carry 12 soldiers, it will not be able to operate across the “spectrum of warfare,” it will not provide significant force protection, and given the current radical and massive military budget cuts it will be very unlikely to see production within six years, if ever. It’s still just a lightweight lightly armored battle taxi, albeit with lots of fancy expensive new electronic gizmo’s, and way more offensive armament then a battle taxi should have.

If it is expected to fight like a tank, it had better be armored like a tank. Or it will be yet another hellishly expensive aluminum death trap.

GO
HEAVY,
R


The War Issue…

September 14, 2011

In 1973 a nine year old American Jewish boy upset by the calls emanating from the black and white TV screen to “kill all the Jews” asked his father, “why do they want to kill us all?”

His father answered, “It does not matter why, all that matters is that they do.”

“It is simplistic and misleading to suggest that the Zionist Jews used the pretext of religion and ancient historical tradition to eject the legal occupants of Palestine from their homes by force and terror, and then illegally expropriated their land. It is equally simplistic to suggest that the sole Israeli answer to such accusations is that they made better use of the land than did the former Arab occupants. These interpretations ignore the facts that the original Zionists came legally to Palestine in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, that they legally bought the farmlands which they caused to bloom so spectacularly, and that until the late 1930’s their immigration into Palestine was a legal way for them to escape from the anti-Semitic environments of their former homes to a land where they were first welcomed, and later at least tolerated, by governmental authorities as well as by a majority of their new neighbors. These arguments conveniently forget also that the (1948) war was precipitated by Arabs who had as their avowed aim the extermination or expulsion of those peaceful Zionist settlers from their lawful property, and forget also that, during this war started by the Arabs, those who lost their property to Israelis fled the country voluntarily, while those that remained were allowed to keep their houses and land they owned and occupied before the war.”

-Trevor N. DuPuy Elusive Victory (1978)

I am that nine year old boy. I’m all grown up now.

They still want to kill us all and it still does not matter why, only that they do. And somewhere out there is another very frightened nine year old boy, trying very hard to be brave, who needs to know that it’s still not his fault.

I will stand in his place.

HAGANAH,
R


Meet Gabriella Coleman…

September 13, 2011

The following is an op-ed by one Gabriella Coleman, published by al-jazeera

All typos and misspellings in the quoted sections are original and reflect only upon the author and the editors at al-jazeera English.

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“The political movement known as Anonymous has managed to capture the attention of the media, the hearts of many supporters, and the ire of many spectators after an eight-month spree of political interventions, stretching from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) campaigns, to human rights technical assistance in Tunisia, to a more recent spate of hacks under the guise of Operation Antisec.”

R – The media’s attention was captured when their own servers were attacked, databases leaked, and their twitter accounts stolen and then used to tweet fake terror attack messages. Attacking the media will get the media’s attention. Prior to that only the journalists who specialize in covering Internet issues were paying attention for more then 15 seconds. The many supporters of Anonymous world-wide couldn’t fill the seats of a single NFL football stadium on game day. The many angry spectators are the hundreds of millions of people who had their internet and financial accounts compromised and/or hijacked by members of Anonymous. If you threaten hundreds of millions of people with financial ruin, you will earn their ire, among other things. Anonymous has done nothing for basic human rights in Tunisia, or any other nation. Not a single member of Anonymous has raised a finger to repair the Tunisian food distribution network, not one.

“The state has now fully entered the fray with its own flurry of activity.”

R – The nation state(s) have not fully entered the fray, not by a long shot. That flurry you speak of, is little more then an idle crotch scratch by a very busy giant.

“In the past month, twenty-two alleged participants in the United States and the United Kingdom have been arrested, the bulk of them (14) in connection with a single operation: the spectacular wave of DDoS attacks aimed directly at protesting actions taken by Mastercard and Paypal in December 2010.”

R – Yes, from just that one operation by Anonymous. That likely means other investigations are still on-going and many more will be arrested and charged with felonies. Isn’t it interesting that Gabriella Coleman doesn’t mention the hijacking and theft of innocent customers financial accounts that also took place here? According to the Washington Post it’s 75 FBI raids and 16 Americans arrested in connection with criminal acts by the group known as Anonymous…so far.

“These were launched after these companies refused to accept donations for Wikileaks front man Julian Assange, soon after the activist organisation released a trove of diplomatic cables.”

R – Yes, Anonymous attacked financial companies for freely choosing who they would do business with. Anonymous attacked those companies on behalf of a fence of stolen information. They are not “activists,” they are griefers and e-thugs behind keyboards, and their behavior on various social media proves that conclusively.

“Hackers and activists supporting the DDoS campaign (and certainly not all do support the campaign) regard this act as legitimate protest activity, akin to a blockade or “digital sit-in”. Yet, if convicted, the participants of Anonymous could be charged with felonies and land in prison with excessive punishments.”

R – The black hat hackers involved set-up those activists with a fatally flawed tool (LOIC), then used those “activist” wannabe’s as cover to steal millions of people’s online identities and financial information. No activist has the legal right to prevent a legal business from doing business, or to damage that business in any way. Preventing financial customers from accessing their accounts is damaging to both the business and its customers. A blockade or sit-in that prevents the basic human right of free passage or commerce is a felony, for a multitude of good reasons. The US and UK penalties involved are not excessive by comparison and are designed to deter others from committing the same felonies and attacks on basic human rights.

“On July 20, 2011, a day after the US-based arrests, FBI officials offered a rare glimpse into its justification for the crackdown, citing a need to nip “chaos” in the bud: “We want to send a message that chaos on the internet is unacceptable,” said Steven Chabinsky, deputy assistant FBI director.”

R – Perhaps the members of Anonymous should listen more closely when the FBI chooses to speak about them? Maybe hacking the FBI is a really bad plan?

“Although most of the arrests were for the DDoS campaign, the FBI official never differentiated between hacking and DDoSing. The former is defined by computer break-ins or trespassing, while the latter refers to gumming up a server by bombarding it with too many requests. Curiously, this official also never went so far as to label the alleged participants criminals, terrorists, or vigilantes.”

R – Perhaps the FBI didn’t differentiate between the two because both took place at the same time? The FBI almost never “labels” the people and groups that it investigates and arrests, they generally leave the labeling part up to the media, activist college professors, and the courts.

“By complaining about Anonymous’ (hereafter Anons) tactics in the absence of any stated criminal offense, the FBI appears to acknowledge, if in a somewhat oblique fashion, that the hunt for some Anons is politically motivated.”

R – The FBI is not complaining, that’s not what they do. They investigate crimes and arrest criminals. Attempting to spin what the FBI does will not change the FBI’s mandate or its job title. At the very least Anonymous violated the rights of free speech, commerce, and free passage for hundreds of millions of people. Those are interstate federal felony crimes to be investigated, and that is what the FBI does. That Anonymous claims to have done so for various “political” reasons is irrelevant in the eyes of the law or hundreds of millions of victims.

“The FBI also appears to acknowledge that, in contrast to terrorists and criminals, whom the state is justified in prosecuting since they have violated the contract that ostensibly undergirds social norms in modern civil society, Anons are in fact exercising their rights as citizens to demonstrate on behalf of “causes” they believe in: “[Even if] hackers can be believed to have social causes, it’s entirely unacceptable to break into websites and commit unlawful acts.”

R – I see no such acknowledgment from the FBI. I see only an activist professor attempting to spin criminal acts into a political statement. Unlawful means criminal. If you commit the crime, then you should be prepared to do the time. Low level members of Anonymous should be made aware that certain upper level members of Anonymous think that they are going to walk away from this without punishment and with a book deal, leaving the lower level not-so-Anonymous peons to spend time in federal prisons.

“There has not been a large-scale trend toward using hacking to actually destroy websites, [but] that could be appealing to both criminals or terrorists. That’s where the ‘hacktivism,’ even if currently viewed by some as a nuisance, shows the potential to be destabilising,” insisted Chabinsky, in language that mirrors critiques of 1960s-era social movements.”

R – Deputy AD Steven Chabinsky, speaking on behalf of the FBI, is being extremely lenient here. The FBI is well aware of the number of website defacement attacks that take place in the name of Anonymous. The FBI is well aware that massive criminal botnets were also used by Anonymous in several of its attacks. The FBI is hoping that many or all of the lower level Anon’s will wise up to what they are being used for and by whom. Because having ones bank accounts drained and/or their lives ruined, is not a nuisance, it’s a felony.

“Of course these brief statements should not be taken as the state’s sole, much less its final, words on Anonymous. They are interesting insofar as they gesture toward a social fact concerning Anonymous’ increasingly prominent role in social protest movements: Many of their actions are politically motivated and conscientious, and the December 2010 DDoS campaign, Operation Avenge Assange, was no exception.”

R – Of course those press briefings are not the state’s sole or final words on Anonymous. Those final words will come from the courts. Where We, the People, will have our final word on what Anonymous has done to us. Members of Anonymous, who are not so anonymous at all, should be very grateful that the courts will have that final word, and not a lynch mob of hundreds of millions of angry innocent citizens. Anonymous seeking vengeance on behalf of information fence and indirect mass murderer Julian Assange makes it somewhat difficult to claim there is no connection between Anonymous and Wikileaks, doesn’t it?

=

“DDoS campaigns can be legitimate tactics”

“Whether or not one agrees with all of Anonymous’ many tactics – some of them being illegal and disruptive, others falling in the province of peaceful and legal human rights assistance, and still others in a gray moral and legal zone – under certain circumstances, the DDoS can be considered as non-violent protest in line with well-recognised protocols for public assembly, the difference being the medium. Of course, as with any form of public assembly, some Anons are merely along for the ride. Others might in fact exhibit reckless behaviour.”

R – I have yet to see of a single action taken by or on the behalf of Anonymous that was not illegal and disruptive on some level or another. I see no evidence of a single act of “legal human rights assistance” by or in the name of Anonymous, not one. Perhaps Coleman would be so kind as to attempt to document those for us now, it shouldn’t take a book later. The right of public assembly does not preclude the rights of free passage or commerce. The FBI is hoping that those who are just along for the ride will take the hint, and get off of the short bus to prison.

“But this is an inevitable feature of Anonymous’ platform, open to seasoned activists and newcomers alike: Some novice participants cut their teeth on politics for the first time with their Anonymous brethren, forming, no doubt, an individual political consciousness, which has fed into a more robust sense of democracy in action, especially after Anons held campaigns in support of the uprisings in the Middle East and Africa that have helped to displace authoritarian regimes that had managed to exploit their constituencies for decades on end.”

R – Ah yes, “seasoned activists” like the Communist front group National Lawyers Guild, tin-foil hat freakazoid Alex Jones and his Jew hating minions, and of course, the terrorist group HAMAS, whose flag spent so much time as the Twitter icon of the former Anon/LulzSec leader known as Sabu (as I’ve already documented on this little blog bunker). Abject and open Jew hate has often been a matter of political consciousness, but it has nothing to do with democracy. Not one single uprising from the Arab Spring has resulted in anything that fits the definition of democracy, not one. The only results thus far have been a lot of violence, a lot of dead people, impending mass starvation, threats of war, wrecked economies, a mass of military heavy weapons disappearing into the black market, and even more abject and open Jew hate. Maybe We, the People, don’t like what you are indoctrinating those novice participants with…

“Even if the FBI is ambivalent about explicitly denouncing Anonymous as a criminal threat, its tactics of arrest and intimidation and their criminalisation of all tactics used by Anons, such as DDoS, constitute an approach to security and surveillance that deserves critical attention, especially if any of these arrests move to trials.”

R – The FBI is almost always ambivalent about its investigations, because it vastly prefers that those investigations reach the courts without being poisoned. If you are intimidated by the FBI, then perhaps you should not be committing federal felonies? Since Coleman has now shifted her op-ed to openly speaking on behalf and in defense of Anonymous, she should have some critical attention herself? I think so…

“There are many ways to think of the DDoS campaign against PayPal and Mastercard, but one way we might think of it is as digital direct action.”

R – Speaking as the friend and family member of several victims of Anonymous’s attacks on Paypal, perhaps there is only one way to think about Anonymous, its active members, leadership, and supporters. Consider yourselves damned lucky there is a legal system and social norms that preclude vengeful lynch mobs, even those over 100 million strong.

“Emerging organically, this movement did not wait for a judge, politician, nor a journalist to declare a legal or moral judgment. Citizens took matters into their own hands.”

R – See above. The bowel movement known as Anonymous is a stain on the underwear of the 21st century. In a decade it will be little more then a handful of crappy book deals. In 25 years it will be little more then a footnote in obscure history books. In five decades it will be utterly forgotten by all but the handful of living survivors who took part. Another Children’s Crusade meeting its inevitable end. Another Flower Power generation wasted and used up by cynical criminals, politicians, and perverse political pundits. Another failure by the Ivory Tower to properly educate, to provide the service that they are well paid to provide.

“In less than 24 hours, a large assembly of citizens took not to the streets where protest activity traditionally unfolds, but to the digital agora to act on their own accord, to loudly assert their opinion on a matter, and to act directly against those actors they felt were acting unjustly.”

R – A large assembly in comparison to what? Citizens of what nation? The bulk of those Anon’s arrested thus far are not US citizens. What right does some teenage punk in the UK, the Netherlands, or Turkey, have to freeze my family and friends Paypal accounts for almost a week? What human right is that? (BTW: The historical ancient Greek Agora was only for non-slave males and is supposed to be capitalized). Perhaps that was the wrong choice of wording by G Coleman? Anonymous was not acting on its own accord, asserting it’s collective opinion, or taking into account the hundreds of millions of people that it was effecting adversely. It’s very clear that there are bad actors, some outright criminal, in leadership positions in Anonymous. Anonymous, per its own claims isn’t supposed to have a collective opinion. Anonymous leadership very obviously did not take into account that those giant corporations, like Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, and Sony are giants because they each have hundreds of millions of customers, customers whose already difficult lives have been made even more difficult, thanks to the punks and e-thugs of Anonymous. That is what will be remembered about Anonymous by We, the People.

“If they happened to break laws, these laws were viewed, with good reason, to be unjust.”

R – So also speaks the several already revealed pedophile and convicted rapist members of Anonymous. We, the People have a vastly different view of such behaviors. Our courts will determine what is just and what is criminal.

“Like all traditions, direct action is diverse in its make-up, tactics, history, and purpose. At times, activists seek to block access in order to protect a resource, as with tree sit-ins in the Pacific Northwest or blocking Japanese whaling ships in the Southern Ocean as carried out by Sea Shepherd.”

R – Neither of those direct action protests have any relation or connection to anything that Anonymous has done so far. What exactly was Anonymous protesting when it defaced the Epilepsy website with flashing pictures?

“In the long tradition of Plowshares actions, the intent is to get arrested in order to publicise an issue.”

R – If that is the intent, then perhaps Anonymous leadership was negligent in informing the many script kiddies of exactly what they were getting into? Perhaps Anonymous leadership flat out lied to those kids about how anonymous online they actually are? Perhaps Anonymous leadership consists almost entirely of professional far leftist agitators bent on destroying a certain political system and has no qualms about sacrificing the freedom of several thousand impressionable teenagers to achieve that goal?

“Anonymous rendered Mastercard and Paypal’s webpages defunct for a number of days by flooding their servers with too many requests and did so to garner media attention, to make their platform visible, and to demand that Assange be given due process. In this sense, they were successful, no matter what the outcome of the case made against them.”

R – Anonymous got media attention for messing with the economic lives of hundreds of millions of people while the worlds economy is already struggling. Now Anonymous is visible, as individuals, and liable to prosecution for such acts (perhaps you should have expected that?). It very strongly appears that Julian Assange doesn’t want any due process at all for his myriad crimes against humanity and individuals. Fifteen years in federal prison and millions of dollars in fines doesn’t strike me as being particularly successful at anything, except gaining a permanent criminal record.

“What made the events of December 2010 unusual – and extraordinary – as a moment of direct action poses a challenge for prevailing theories of civil disobedience. Many of the most notable acts of civil disobedience, even virtual sit-ins, have been organised by small affinity groups in which participants are public and typically well aware of the legal consequences of their actions.Some participants in these actions even have their lawyer’s phone number written on their arm in permanent marker.”

R – There is nothing unusual or extraordinary about what Anonymous has done, the only new wrinkle has been the Internet. There is no challenge or comparison between identity theft and Rosa Parks, none whatsoever. It was and is absurd and damned insulting to read members of Anonymous attempting to make such a comparison. Small professional “affinity groups?” Yes, we see what you did there, and we know who you are. Nobody in Anonymous told those children that the LOIC was hopelessly compromised right from the start. Nobody gave them the chance to find a lawyer before they were encouraged to commit federal felonies on behalf of small freakish political affinity groups.

“Anonymous, which prides itself on not having a readily identifiable, corporate form, was powerless to defend itself using these methods. Thus, as the December events unfolded, I was glued to the computer watching how Anons would or even could minimise the risk and chaos that to some degree characterised these interactions.”

R – Yet within revealed Anonymous communications there are very clearly leaders and followers. Thus, as the December events unfolded G Coleman spoke not one word about what those followers were getting themselves into. Instead, G Coleman cheered them on, seeing book deal money signs all the way.

“Remarkably, “the hive mind”, as they refer to themselves, never spun out of control. They stayed on target and conjoined their disruptions with manifestos and videos explaining their rationales.”

R – The “hive mind” was never in control to be spun out of. It was always operating at the behest of e-thugs and/or professional criminals. Using misplaced protests as cover while they stole identities, financial information, and classified military and police documents.

“But at the time, one thing was clear and has been repeated by sympathetic and unsympathetic observers alike: Many participants were likely unaware of the legal risk they were taking, and did not have lawyers to contact in the face of a future arrest.”

R – I’m sorry, I cannot seem to find a single time during December 2010 where Anonymous supporter G Coleman made such feelings or warnings perfectly clear to the members of Anonymous. Perhaps somebody could provide me a link to such? Reading up above I see G Coleman attempting, and failing miserably, to spin those criminal acts into some sort of political cause.

“The spectacular events of December, combined with the recent arrests, have of course changed all of this; many of us have now been educated as to the risks at hand.”

R – Did you know that professional Islamic terrorists refer to attacks like 9/11 and the twin embassy bombings of 1998 as “spectaculars?” Perhaps this was yet another unfortunate choice of words from G Coleman? When G Coleman writes “many of us,” is she referring to herself? Is assistant professor G Coleman more then just an interested observer?

“The legal risks and the philosophical subtleties of DDoS as a disruptive direct action tactic no longer reside within the sole province of a smaller circle of activists who have practiced and theorised this tradition for over a decade. A much larger swath of citizens have subsequently entered the fray.”

R – A proper reading of the history of DDoS attacks would reveal that such attacks have hardly been within the sole province of a small circle of far leftist agitators. G Coleman is being so misleading with this statement that becomes extremely difficult to discern what is a lie, and what is simple political spin. The larger swath of citizens would be the hundreds of millions of innocent victims of those attacks, who I note G Coleman has not mentioned even once in this op-ed.

“In light of these arrests, whether or not DDoS campaigns are always an effective political sword to wield (and they are strong arguments to be made on both sides) is not the primary question that should concern us.”

R – Frankly, I think a lot of people should be concerned about such attacks, especially when they come from national governments, as a weapon of war. Again, I have to ask, who is “us?”

“The key issue is the evidence used to decide who is involved and to determine what they ought to be charged with doing.”

R – I fail to see where those two above sentences from G Coleman make sense, even without a question mark at the end of the second sentence. The evidence in question belongs to the investigative agencies and courts involved. The charges are clearly listed in the Grand Jury indictments and will no doubt soon appear on websites like The Smoking Gun, within hours of those charges being filed publicly, if not sooner. Unless of course, Anonymous DDoS’s those sites, like Anonymous has already done to Gawker and Talking Points Memo. (Hello Freedom of Speech? Anonymous hates you.)

“If a DDoS action is deemed as always and under every circumstance unacceptable – always a tactic of chaos – this will in the short term result in excessive penalties; in the long term, an excessive clamp down, such as felony charges for those that stand accused, could stifle these tactics altogether on the internet.”

R – Violating the rights of free passage and free commerce, like violating free speech, should always be unacceptable at the individual level. The penalties for such are hardly excessive and already exist in US law. Excessive would best be used to describe the financial damages, done in the name of Anonymous, to hundreds of millions of people world-wide. Such a clamp down would not only be deserved, it would be widely welcomed.

“This is damaging to the overall political culture of the internet, which must allow for a diversity of tactics, including mass action, direct action, and peaceful of protests, if it is going to be a medium for democratic action and life.”

R – “The overall political culture of the Internet?” There is no such thing. Unless, of course, Anonymous and G Coleman are of the opinion that the internet is solely the playground of far-leftists, professional agitators, tin-foil hat loons, and spam hackers. The Internet is only a reflection of the nations that already exist and already own its physical infrastructure.

“Gabriella Coleman is an Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. Her first book, Coding Freedom: The Aesthetics and the Ethics of Hacking, is forthcoming with Princeton University Press and she is currently working on a new book on Anonymous and digital activism.”

R – Remember what I said above about a book deal? Think about that young little Anon’s. You’re going to federal prison while G Coleman is making money off of your criminal actions, that she wholeheartedly supports. You are being used, by professional users, as their personal army, again. Maybe somebody should investigate just how deeply into Anonymous operations and leadership G Coleman is involved? After all, she stands to show profit from the imprisonment of others…

R – Put that in your book and smoke it…

THE
BIG
SAW,
R


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