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Making Sense of "Anna's" Posts

A few thoughts on "Anna's" posts.

Making Sense of "Anna's" Posts

Stephen DeVoy

"Anna", the successful FBI infiltrator of at least a dozen anarchist events/movements, left a trail of posts on various IndyMedia outlets. Interestingly, search engines do not turn up any posts by "Anna" outside of IndyMedia. Evidently, the FBI considers IndyMedia to be the communications lifeblood of the anarchist movement.

In this article, I will examine the four posts we have uncovered. The posts contain information that is useful from several standpoints. There is content that will aid in improving security against future FBI infiltration, content that reveals FBI assumptions about the mindset of anarchists, and content that reveals the FBI's strategy for creating a "credible" activist out of thin air. This article is a follow up to my previous article on Anna and, as in the previous case, it represents my best guesses and best inferences. It does not represent a definitive and complete analysis of "Anna." To the best of my knowledge I have never met Anna and I did not attend any of the events to which she refers in her posts.

I think it is of value to place Anna's posts into two categories: (1) credibility posts and (2) mission posts. It appears to me that the primary reason for the credibility posts is to create references intended to support the notion that "Anna" is a credible activist. Mission posts, on the other hand, have been made to forward operational goals. Each mission post is a shot into the dark seeking contacts to use as stepping stones to a mission.

The credibility posts reveal information about Anna's access to information, inform us on what the FBI believes to be the mindset of activists, and instructs us on the airs that an FBI infiltrator are likely to assume as cover. The mission posts reveal goals of the infiltrator, modus operandi of the infiltrator, and cover mechanisms of the infiltrator. For me, the last category (i.e. the mission post category) is more interesting and so I will save it for last.

Credibility Posts

Chronologically, the first credibility post uncovered is a post on Miami IndyMedia entitled Philly BIO Protest Write-UP!. (I am intrigued that only Miami IMC's posts by Anna were still online. I am especially intrigued given this very recent post by the two most active members of Miami IMC, which, interestingly, was posted today.) The lead-in to the article reads: "I spent a week in Philly with my collective in preparations for the annual BIOTECH meetings, held this year in Philly. The Streets rose up! WHAT an Event!"

Reading "her" article, it occurred to me that there is very little reason to believe that "Anna" actually wrote the article. The article seems far more detailed than the average IMC article. It is chock full of information. Indeed, so much information I am inclined to believe that it was written by a team.

What strikes me is the frequent use of emotional outburst with the intent of attributing to the author a passion for the cause. For example, we have the following "WHAT an Event!", "which was an amazing experience", "How empowering!", "Yeah for Hugs!!", "We love you, FNB!", and so on. These exclamations of emotion do not flow well with the piece and I have a strong impression that they were inserted after review by whatever FBI committee wrote the piece. The intent appears to be to cast Anna as a true believer filled with passion for the cause. However, as a real anarchist, this frequent and gratuitous sprinkling of emotionalisms rings hollow. They set the bells of intuition ringing an alarm.

Anna refers to her fellow protesters as "kids." In fact, she refers to them as kids no fewer than seven times in one article. When I was her age, I did not refer to my peers as "kids." However, I can imagine a committee of FBI agents using the term "kids" to describe protesters. The same diminutive and general glossing is not applied to police in the article. In fact, she names more kinds of police than I could have come up with in the time it takes me to write an article. Here are all of the different kinds of police she mentions in this one article: "security escorts"," undercovers", "bike cops", "plainclothes", "feds", "civil affairs officers", "Riot Police", and "Philadelphia's Strike Force". "Anna" has about as many words for cops as the Inuit have for snow but her terminology for protesters seems to be constrained to kids, kids, and kids. The intent of the article seems only as a means to establish "Anna" as an activist. She makes one noteworthy comment at the very end of the article: "Hopefully, pictures will be added soon - I need to get my act together and develop the film!" Most activists intending to post images in the Internet use digital cameras for that purpose. Since we know she was working for the FBI, we should assume that her film was being processed when the article was published. It was being processed by the FBI.

Now, since the FBI must have been processing the film, this is an interesting matter to consider. If an activist whose presence causes the alarm bells of intuition to sound and if that activist is taking photos with a traditional film based camera, one might want to insist that she develop the film immediately at one of those "hour" film processing places. If she's an FBI agent, she just might resist this suggestion for the FBI may need to be able to certify that they had possession of the film throughout the process should the question of doctoring come up in a trial.

In another post on Miami IMC, Response to first one, Anna comments to defend the intent of the Black Bloc. Her post seems to have one and only one purpose: create the illusion that "Anna" is a real anarchist. I'm an anarchist and I've never been part of a Black Bloc. I have no problem with the idea of a Black Bloc, but I find it interesting that the FBI wishes to create credibility for Anna amongst members of Black Blocs. This implies that infiltrating Black Blocs was a goal that the FBI had set for "Anna." Moreover, I see no reason to believe that this statement by Anna is true: "I will proudly join and fight with the bloc, as I have in the past." Is there any evidence that "Anna" was ever part of a Black Bloc? What the statement hopes to achieve is to get "Anna" into a Black Bloc. Now, since Miami has about ZERO Black Bloc's, what the hell is this post doing on Miami IMC and why isn't it posted in, let's say, Boston, NYC, or some other city where Black Blocks are common? Surely, not many anarchists read Miami IMC.

Mission Posts

As I stated above, I find the mission posts far more interesting. I actually learned a few things by reading them. I think we should all take a very close look at what they reveal. Consequently, I will post them here in their entirety.

[Imc-uk-video] Looking for Videographers from USA G8, Georgia
AnnA annadavies99 at yahoo.com
Sun May 8 12:33:20 PDT 2005

* Previous message: [Imc-uk-video] Anti-war Protest Footage
* Next message: [Imc-uk-video] video meeting feedback - sat
* Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

Greetings!

I worked on the American Organization Committee, G8
Planning Committee and G8 Carnival, for the G8 last
year in Georgia. There were a variety of problems, but
we had something.

I met two Videographers last year, from the UK, who
were workgin on a documentary/training video/info
video/ ?? and shared some drinks with them and partied
one night. They were awesome people and I regret not
getting their contact info. With the G8 is being held
'cross the pond, I'm trying to locate those two and
maybe set up a reciprocal event. I'd like to try and
get over there and do some filming of my own, and
hopefully plug into some of the activities.

If anyone knows who those two guys were, could you
please pass them along this e-mail? I'd love to get in
touch with them again.

Thanks

Comments

The post to the left was posted by "Anna" onto the IMC-UK-VIDEO piper-mail stream. Anna is attempting to establish or re-establish contact with videographers that she met from the UK. She hopes to connect with them and use them as hosts for a mission to the UK where she will, it seems, be working on behalf of the FBI or an intelligence agency.

Now, remember, she may have never met these people. The claim that she did may be a ruse to establish contact even if she has not met them. After all, if they were in the US, they would have met a large number of people and she can easily rely upon this to make these videographers feel comfortable contacting her.

The fact that she wishes to hitch up with videographers is telling. In my previous article on Anna, I speculated that Anna may have been using the production of documentary videos as a cover. This lends more evidence to that speculation.

Also, Anna seems to have access to a lot of equipment. We see from the previous post that she had access to a camera (probably a good once since the FBI is her employer). Now we see reason to believe that she has access to video equipment. From the affidavit released which uses her as a source, we also know that she was a frequent text messenger. She was able to procure a house for her collective. Put in few words, she had access to all sorts of things the average activist would love to have. Despite this, there is no explanation for her wealth and there is no explanation as to how it is that she has the time and the money to travel so much. The next post by "Anna" attempts to provide a solution to this last point, but it reveals something about the FBI in the process.

Above we see that Anna wants to go to Europe and videotape demonstrators at the G8. She intends to use a group of legitimate videographers as cover for her crimes against protestors. How does she plan on getting to Europe? Well, the FBI has that figured out.

[Imc-g8-2005] 'Cross the Pond
AnnA annadavies99 at yahoo.com
Mon May 9 12:06:00 PDT 2005

* Previous message: [Imc-g8-2005] convergence next weekend....
* Next message: [Imc-g8-2005] g8 media invite
* Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

Greetings from America!

My name is AnnA and I've been quite heavily involved
with actions over here. I'm tryign to finance my way
to Scotland for the G8. I was a part of the outreach
and organizing DA committee last year when America had
the G8.

I subscribed to the UK INdymedia VIdeo List a few days
ago. I would like to participate in the G8 in a
variety of ways. I'd like to do some filming
specifically on British and European protest tactics
and organizing strategies for my Amerikan
counterparts, as well as direct participation in DA.
One of my collective partners was planning on coming
to the protest as well, but is currently undergoing
some heavy shit in her personal life.

Is there a way I can plug into some events, do some
filming and have a good time? ;) What would be the
best time to arrive? I fly courier, so I have to try
and be as flexible as possible. Also, is there housing
set up?

Best of Luck to you! If you need anything from us,
give a hollar! :)

Resist,

AnnA

Comments

Anna, once again, tries to reach out to unsuspecting activists in Europe, hoping to use them as cover for her mission to destroy the lives of anarchists. Anna attempts to make herself seem like a normal cash starved activist by stating "I'm trying to finance my way to Scotland for the G8." The "trying" part implies that it is a difficult thing for her to do. However, later she states "I fly courier, so I have to try and be as flexible as possible." The words "I fly courier" as opposed to "I am planning on flying courier" mean that she flies often and does so using courier. It is something she has done, does, and will be doing. This, my friends, is what we call "a cover." Her cover is that "Anna is a courier."

Lets think about the brilliance of this cover. First of all, it explains how a woman with no job and lots of time on her hands can get around on a global scale. It also explains why no one can pick her up at the airport or meet her when she deplanes. After all, couriers, like FBI agents, fly on someone else's dime and they need to meet with someone immediately after getting off the plane. That means that you can't just show up, meet them, and go off to your ground transportation. The fake activist flying as a courier has a built on excuse about why she needs to meet with someone just after getting off of the plane (her FBI handlers). Since she must be "flexible", she probably can't tell you ahead of time to meet her at the airport. This conveniently prevents you from seeing her arrive. She'll call you when she get there (and after she's finished being debriefed by her FBI handler).

What does she want to videotape in Europe? Well, here's what she says: "I'd like to do some filming specifically on British and European protest tactics and organizing strategies for my Amerikan counterparts, as well as direct participation in DA."

This is all very interesting. She intends to videotape Europeans for the US Government. Why? She also wants to videotape her "Amerikan counterparts." That would be nice, wouldn't it? You can't even protest in Europe without the American Stasi following you to Europe to film you. Even worse, this agent provocateur wants to participate in direct action in Europe. Sounds like she's intending to provoke the arrests of her American counterparts. Nice woman!

From the above, it looks like this blows the FBI's "courier" cover once and for all. It also should give you pause about responding to requests by unknown activists, even foreign activists, for direct support that includes allowing them to blend in with you. You just might be the target of exploitation by an intelligence agency. Of course, you could turn around and google the activist's name, but then you would find their "credibility" posts. In sum, this means you should not rely on information posted online to determine that someone is a real activist. You need real flesh and blood people that you know and trust to vouch for the person before you even consider taking an unknown under you wing.

For me, the most compelling reasons to have suspected that Anna was an infiltrator are:

  • Anna had too much time on her hands.
  • Anna always found the means to go anywhere and everywhere she wanted to.
  • Anna always had all of the equipment she needed to film and videograph.
  • Anna attended far too many major anarchist events to be a normal activist.

We need to be more careful. The FBI has invested a lot of time and money in setting us up to be used as an excuse for their increasing repression.


I can't agree with your 28.Jan.2006 02:41

-

suspect list...in my experience activists have more time on their hands than the average person - they frequently arrange their lives so that it's like their "part time" job, and they tend to live cheaply in order to be able to support this and to go places to meet up with other activists. When people get really caught up in the work world and have families that take a lot of time, responsibility, etc., they tend to fall out of activist communities by default. I know several well-known activists who survive on family money; are students with loan money; have jobs that pay pretty well so they don't need to work that much, etc. I know people who are quite poor who have amazing video equipment that they got as gifts or when they had more money, etc. It's partly a priority issue. If I followed your list, at least half the activists I know would be suspect!

Posting this to other sites 28.Jan.2006 09:07

me

Hey there. Thanks for the post. Have you already posted this to sites in other countries--specifically in the UK and Scotland and such? Anyways, thanks again...arielle

FBI's International Scope 28.Jan.2006 09:17

citizen

The FBI was sending a covert agent to the U.K. to do research on British and European protest tactics? Does the U.K. know this - do the people there know this? Aren't these countries supposed to be allies?

I think that this could be an enormous story internationally. It's pretty terrifying in its scope. Europeans should be warned that the FBI is doing this; its pretty clear that its not just 'anna'.

my god this is so fucked up.

Kids 28.Jan.2006 10:05

Cassette

I don't know if I any the only one who thinks calling protesters, "kids" is totally normal. "young till i die"

Article Mentioning "Anna" found on rightwing website. 28.Jan.2006 10:31

@

This is amazing. Here's a photo linked to by Portland IMC of Anna in Fort Lauderdale. Here's a link to an article mentioning this women. I believe I am the first to link the photo with the description of the woman:

 link to www.globalresearch.ca

ANNA FBI SPY
ANNA FBI SPY

The Straight Dope 28.Jan.2006 12:07

Chuck0 chuck@mutualaid.org

The above mess is an exercise in paranoia by somebody with too much time on their hands.

Let me give people the short version: the FBI uses people who look like you to infiltrate groups. Don't even bother trying to guess who the Fed is, because a) the person they are using will blend in pretty well; and 2) your group is not important enough to have an undercover or informant.

Just use your head, folks. The FBI and the authorities are not all powerful or omniscient. They gravitate towards groups which use violent rhetoric or plan illegal activities. The response to these facts is NOT to stop doing activism, but just to be more cautious as an activist. Another problem involves activists who are really activists, but who are irresponsible, immature, and say or do things that jeopardize other activists. It's just as important to get these bad activists out of your groups as it is to be careful about the cops.

So, look on the bright side of what activists are doing and don't get too obsessed with paranoia.


I don't agree with you Chuck Munson 28.Jan.2006 12:16

@

Many people report an intuitive feeling about infiltrators. I've experienced this myself and have been correct. Many other's that have been interviewed report the same thing and turn out to be correct. You're just plain wrong, Chuck.

Paranoia is also a natural instinct with an important purpose. Provided it is used correctly, it is essential to survival during wartime and we are at war.

Proof counter to Chuck Munson's analysis 28.Jan.2006 12:36

Question Chuck

Antiwar Group Infiltrated by the FBI

Infiltrated by feds, antiwar group turns on photographer

The first time federal agents infiltrated the Broward Antiwar Coalition was in July 2003, two months before a planned protest against President George W. Bush, according to one member of the South Florida activist group.

The second time was in September 2003, two months before the infamous Free Trade Area of the Americas meeting in downtown Miami, which resulted in several lawsuits against the Miami Police Department for using excessive force against protesters.

And the third time was less than a year ago, just days before the Organization of American States meeting in downtown Fort Lauderdale, said Ray Del Papa, one of the original members of the activist group.

Each time, it was a different person who had joined their group or befriended one of its members, asking prying questions and knowing just a little too much personal information about the activists. Each time, the individual seemed to contradict statements they had made about themselves and their background. And each time, that person would disappear within a few months, never to be heard from again.

So last month, when NBC revealed that the federal government had been spying on antiwar groups around the country, including several in South Florida, it confirmed what Broward Antiwar Coalition members had suspected for more than two years: that Big Brother had been watching all along.

And it left them with a simmering rage -- and paranoia from being spied upon -- that exploded on the streets of Miami earlier this month when one of its members allegedly attacked a photojournalist, landing the activist in jail. The incident revealed the untold price of domestic surveillance: that people who feel they are being spied upon are liable to turn on each other.

Kate Healey, 44, was charged with one count of misdemeanor battery. She declined to be interviewed for this article.

Photographer attacked on suspicion of surveillance

The incident began during a demonstration against Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito Jan. 9 in downtown Miami. Members of the Broward Antiwar Coalition were among several groups protesting against Alito. As usual, a number of counter-protesters, including a group of pro-lifers, had shown up to voice their opposition to the activist groups.

Photojournalist Danny Hammontree said he was taking pictures of a screaming argument between an anti-Alito protester and a pro-life woman waving a Bible, when the anti-Alito woman turned to him and demanded: "Who the fuck are you?"

Hammontree told her he was a freelancer who specializes in shooting protests. The woman, later identified as Healey, told him he was not allowed to take her photo because it was against the law, he said.

"I said, 'I have as much right to photograph you as you have to be here protesting,'" he said.

"Then she attacked me."

Hammontree said that Healey stormed up to him as he was holding the camera up to his face and shoved the lens hard into his eye.

"Then she started punching me in the chest and body," he said. "It didn't really hurt me. It was really more of a threat against my equipment than against me."

Watching the whole incident unravel was a member of Miami's Civilian Investigative Panel, a watchdog group that was established to monitor the Miami Police Department, after a series of questionable police shootings on civilians that eventually landed several cops in jail.

"A lady from the CIP came and pulled her off me," Hammontree said.

Dean Lautermilch, another South Florida photojournalist who specializes in protests, said Healey initially confronted him before turning her anger towards Hammontree.

"She was screaming at one of the Christians and during a pause, I tapped her on the shoulder and said hello," he said. "Then she started screaming at me, 'Don't you understand, we got infiltrated by the FBI. We don't know who to trust anymore.'

"Danny then took a photo and she turned on him."

After taking statements from witnesses, police asked Hammontree if he wanted to press charges against Healey, which he did.

"I did it out of principle because I want them to know that in the future, I'm not going to tolerate them attacking me," he said. "Especially with all my equipment. I work for myself so I don't have a company to replace my camera gear."

Suspicion festers among group members

Meanwhile, Del Papa, who was furious at watching one of his fellow group members arrested, accused Hammontree and Lautermilch of being spies for the FBI.

"He was getting all crazy, the cop had to hold him back," Hammontree said. "He was saying, 'I know you guys are with the FBI' or some crazy shit like that. So I took his photo."

Del Papa said he is suspicious of Lautermilch because of an incident last year when the photojournalist refused to photograph another Broward Antiwar Coalition member getting arrested during a protest against the Central America Free Trade Agreement in July 2004.

"He tries to tell me he is exercising his right to take photographs, but when it comes to taking a picture of one of our guys getting arrested, he refuses," Del Papa said. "And he likes to take a lot of portrait shots, real close up photos of our faces. If you're photographing a protest, why do you need portraits?"

Lautermilch said Ft. Lauderdale Police intimidated him and Hammontree from taking the photo of the arrest that day.

"It was clear from their body language that if I took that photo, they would have come after me," he said. "We felt terrible and we apologized several times, but I'm not going to lose $5,000 of Nikon equipment over the incident that happened in the tunnel."

Christian Minaya, 25, said he was initially arrested for "prowling", even though he was on a public sidewalk. That charge was later reduced to trespassing. Minaya said he does not suspect the photographers of being informants.

"I've seen the cops confiscate cameras so that is probably why they wouldn't take the photo," he said.

Both photographers laughed at the idea that they are FBI informants.

"I've never even gone to any of their meetings," Lautermilch said, adding that he takes portrait shots because that is his photography style. "I always try to make them look good."

Hammontree said that he is likely to have his own FBI file because he grew up in a hippy commune.

"The whole irony is that I'm on their side," Hammontree said. "I am antiwar and anti-Bush. But I'm against anyone who is going to attack me for taking their photo."

While Hammontree and Lautermilch were photographing protesters during the anti-Alito rally, members of the Broward Antiwar Coalition were also photographing people whom they believed to be undercover cops.

"There were like four undercover police officers there," said Paul Lefrak, one of the founding members of the Broward Antiwar Coalition.

"We go up and photograph them. They're always these lone, buff guys, standing in the crowd, looking around. They try to avoid getting photographed. We tell them we just want their photograph."

Lefrak said he did not witness the incident between Healey and the photojournalists, but he pleaded with Hammontree to drop the charges. Lefrak is fully aware the group has been infiltrated in the past, but would not go as far as to associate either of the two photographers with the FBI.

"I would only make an accusation of someone being a cop or an informant if I had strong evidence," he said. "But I'm not going to say I will vouch for (Lautermilch). It's a question mark."

Group was infiltrated three times

In the past, the infiltrators were usually more obvious.

For example, the first time the group was infiltrated was in 2003, when Del Papa was befriended by a new employee at his job in a hobby store.

"He would come in and work on Saturdays. He was an active duty officer stationed in Miami. And he knew a lot of stuff about me. What my interests were, people I associated with outside of politics.

"On his first day, he drops the name of a close friend of mine who lives in Baltimore. That was a red flag."

And as they got to know each other, the man kept prying into events that Del Papa attended with the Broward Antiwar Coalition.

"He told me he was a sympathizer to the cause and that his wife is a socialist," Del Papa said.

Del Papa, who is a professional model builder, said the man claimed to be a model aficionado.

"But as we started working together, I realized the man didn't know a whole lot about the hobby," Del Papa said. "I never trusted him. I always kept him at a distance."

Two months later, after the man stopped showing up to work, never to be heard from again, another man started showing up at the group's meetings. On Nov. 11, during the Free Trade Area of the Americas meeting in Miami, the man showed up with a woman they had never seen before.

"They were dressed in Black Bloc attire, but he was wearing Nikes," Del Papa said. "Nobody in the Black Bloc wears Nikes. And he said he was from Pittsburgh, but when I asked him about Pittsburgh, his knowledge was very limited.'

Not surprisingly, the man and the women disappeared after the FTAA protest.

Just last year, in the days leading to the protest against American States meeting in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Del Papa spoke on phone to another member about the need for a medic at the protest. Less than 24 hours later, a woman showed up out of the blue at a group meeting, claiming to be a medic.

On the day of the protest, the woman organized a group of young people to plant themselves in front of the police. The youths sat down less than 15 feet from a group of police officers, who were fully dressed in riot gear.

"It was 4 p.m. and we were supposed to disperse at 5 p.m. because that was when the permit was going to expire," he said. "We weren't sure if the kids were going to disperse and we didn't want to give the cops an excuse to do what they did in Miami."

They managed to get the young people to stand up before the 5 p.m. deadline without incident. The woman never returned.

Lefrak said the Broward Antiwar Coalition is a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights against the federal government over the spying.

"To me, it just shows that anytime the government resorts to oppression against popular movements, it shows they fear the mass movement," Lefrak said. "That is something that can encourage us. And we're not afraid of it. We will continue to do our part."


Paranoia Strikes Deep Chuck0 28.Jan.2006 13:57

Stephen Stills

"From NBC:


"A year ago, at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Fla., a small group of activists met to plan a protest of military recruiting at local high schools. What they didn't know was that their meeting had come to the attention of the U.S. military.

A secret 400-page Defense Department document obtained by NBC News lists the Lake Worth meeting as a "threat" and one of more than 1,500 "suspicious incidents" across the country over a recent 10-month period.

"This peaceful, educationally oriented group being a threat is incredible," says Evy Grachow, a member of the Florida group called The Truth Project. (...)

"I mean, we're based here at the Quaker Meeting House," says Truth Project member Marie Zwicker, "and several of us are Quakers."

The Defense Department refused to comment on how it obtained information on the Lake Worth meeting or why it considers a dozen or so anti-war activists a "threat.""


From today's Washington Post:


"FBI counterterrorism investigators are monitoring domestic U.S. advocacy groups engaged in antiwar, environmental, civil rights and other causes, the American Civil Liberties Union charged yesterday as it released new FBI records that it said detail the extent of the activity. (...)

The ACLU said it received 2,357 pages of files on PETA, Greenpeace, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the ACLU itself. One file referring to the committee included a contact list for students and peace activists who attended a 2002 conference at Stanford University aimed at ending sanctions then in place in Iraq."


From the Servicemembers' Legal Defense Network (h/t AmericaBlog):


"Only eight pages from the four-hundred page document have been released so far. But on those eight pages, Sirius OutQ News discovered that the Defense Department has been keeping tabs NOT just on anti-war protests, but also on seemingly non-threatening protests against the military's ban on gay servicemembers. According to those first eight pages, Pentagon investigators kept tabs on April protests at UC-Santa Cruz, State University of New York at Albany, and William Patterson College in New Jersey. A February protest at NYU was also listed, along with the law school's gay advocacy group "OUTlaw," and was classified as "possibly violent."

All of these protests were against the military's policy excluding gay personnel, and against the presence of military recruiters on campus. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network says the Pentagon needs to explain why "don't ask, don't tell" protesters are considered a threat."


So our government seems to be keeping tabs on: the Catholic Workers, vegans, Quakers, the ACLU, people opposed to sanctions in 2002, and people who protest 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' I'm sure every one of them presents a threat to this country. Why, I myself am a member of the ACLU and a vegetarian (though I've never had much use for PETA), and I oppose 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' to boot. Also, I listen to Bob Dylan a lot. Heaven only knows what fascinating tidbits have been added to my FBI file in recent years.

As conservatives above all should know, there is no earthly reason to think that when the government starts spying on people outside the law, it will behave in a trustworthy manner. The mere fact that it goes outside the law is usually proof enough that it won't. ('Usually' here is philosophers' caution, meant to allow for cases involving completely and totally extraordinary circumstances for which the law does not provide. Think: Osama bin Laden threatens to blow up the world unless some FBI agent steals a paperclip. The proper course of action in that case is, according to me, to steal the paperclip, capture bin Laden, and then turn oneself in for theft.)

There's a reason some of us were all bent out of shape about the administration's claims of absolute power when they first came to light. And there's a reason we did not accept any assurances that no doubt the administration would only use its powers to go after terrorists. That reason is the recognition that it is the law, not the virtue of any particular politician, that protects us against the abuse of government power, and when the government asserts that it is not bound by the law, we are all in danger.

***

* [Update: I do not mean to suggest that targeting people the administration thinks might be potential terrorists for unlawful searches would in any way be OK. I am just saying that if we are targeting, of all people, the ACLU, then we have gone after a quite different set of people, and thus that one of Arkin's assumptions is wrong. I am not making any claim about better or worse.]"

 http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2005/12/dangerous_quake.html

Good Analysis 28.Jan.2006 14:52

Majdur

"These exclamations of emotion do not flow well with the piece and I have a strong impression that they were inserted after review by whatever FBI committee wrote the piece. The intent appears to be to cast Anna as a true believer filled with passion for the cause. However, as a real anarchist, this frequent and gratuitous sprinkling of emotionalisms rings hollow."

Good.

To Chuck O Look fuCk o don't tell me I can't guess...don't even try... Fucko u oH

interesting read 28.Jan.2006 16:29

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I enjoyed reading the analysis of "Anna." However, I do think we need to be careful about being overly suspicious. I also disagree with the author regarding time and money--when I was in my early twenties I dropped out of school and made activism my life. I got by on odd-jobs, food stamps, things like that. In one day I attended three protests--that was a weird day.
I would add that there is something the author may have missed or may have been attempting to get at by focusing on money and time: "Anna" portrayed herself as someone with a finger in each pot--she was involved with a variety of different groups, was into black blocs (allegedly--yeah, I don't know about black blocs in Miama but I guess anything's possible), was a Medic (that's apparently with a capital M) and wanted to do all sorts of filming. She also supposedly lived in a collective. One thing I've learned is to be warry of someone who appears to "do it all," not so much because they might be an infiltrator but because they often end up being flighty people who waste your time. I know that there is always the possibility that you have run across one of those rare birds who have a multitude of talents and energy but often you find that you have just been dealing with someone who signed up for 10 tasks but can barely perform 1 before they flounce off to the next cool activist gig. I think that was a run on sentence but you see I am not one of those multitalented people.
Just a thought.

kids, paranoia and privledged activists 28.Jan.2006 16:57

what's in a name

So anyone who posted with the name "AnnA" is the anna mentioned in the spy documents? Because only one Anna would have attended the G8 protest or the philly biotech? What criteria did you use to determine this was *the* Anna.


All the activists I know call the other activists "kids" regardless of their age 20s, 30s, 40s...this means nothing. For example, do a search on forest activist posts on indymedia and you'll find a huge percentage of the articles talk about the "forest kids."

Lots of folks have expensive equipment, plenty of time on their hands, and money to get some place. Plenty of activists are from priviledged backgrounds. This also means nothing. Some activist "kids" have trust funds. Others work for a couple of years at good paying jobs and then take 6 months or a year off. many get money from their parents. Some work jobs that they can make their own schedule for. Privledge doesn't mean the FBI is involved.

Yes - infiltrators and informants are out there. But all this post is going to do is making everyone more paranoid. It describes a huge percentage of the actiivsts I know as having suspicious traits. paranoia weakens our mvoements...not strenghtens it. It also makes movements more clingy and hard to join. One of the major reasons for the FBI to infiltrate a group is to make it less powerful by increasing paranoia.

We should be more paranoid. 28.Jan.2006 18:01

@

We should pay attention to our instincts. There are several accounts of activists coming into contact with "Anna" and sensing that something was wrong. These instincts exist because millions of years of evolution have put them in us in order to avoid danger. Listen to your instincts.

A great many mistakes are being made by sticking to some aspects of security advice which favor the police. One is the myth that one should not be concerned about infiltrators and should just act normally and go about what one ought to be able to without taking precautions. If you have ever lived or spent a large stretch of time in a police state, you know that you MUST be cautious and you MUST assume the worst about people you do not know. When a society is beneath a police state long enough, people learn to expect this and they respect your caution for they understand that it is necessary. If we follow the advice of those like Chuck0, we become more vulnerable to the police. We need to learn how to be harder, tougher, and a little less polite. We need to be less open with those we do not know. We need to learn to respect the reluctance of others to be less open with us. This is what is needed to survive within a police state and to successfully fight back against a police state. Chuck, to the best of my knowledge has NEVER lived in a police state. I have.

As for wealth, whoever wrote that is flat out wrong. I've seen infiltrators come up with the most amazing things that even the wealthy would have a difficult time getting. I've seen maniquines suddenly provided when needed for a stunt, amazing art work created on demand, cars sent to pick up the infiltrator so he wouldn't need to risk go back alone - in short, a great deal of legwork going on invisibly in the back. It is not about wealth, it is about access, time, and the ability to procure quickly and at will.

If, after all you have seen and learned over the last couple of years, you are not paranoid, then you are numb or have nothing challenging the state to say. If you encourage others to let their guard down, then I must question your loyalty.

Of Course the two "A" s are 30.Jan.2006 12:55

Jakie O

Of course the two A's stand for Agent Anna. Let's put it this way. Some of us are more capable of figuring these things out than others. We have discovered a number of informants. Saying we that it's impossible to do only empowers them.

They have investigations, we have them too.

The cops spied on Portland Activists 30.Jan.2006 17:32

Anon

Don't forget the cops were busted spying on activists here in Portland in the early 90's. Whatever happened to Squirel? I think I recall they were keeping files and sharing info with some Jewish Defamation League. My point is that it can happen here, it did happen here and they weren't just spying on people advocating violence.

Pacific (Green) Party organizers were also included in the survelience.