Sunday November 27th 2005, 12:51 pm
The Washington Post reports today:
White House is considering expanding the power of a little-known
Pentagon agency called the Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA,
which was created three years ago. The proposal, made by a presidential
commission, would transform CIFA from an office that coordinates
Pentagon security efforts—including protecting military facilities from
attack—to one that also has authority to investigate crimes within the
United States such as treason, foreign or terrorist sabotage or even economic espionage.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, defines treason as follows:
of allegiance toward one’s country or sovereign, especially the
betrayal of one’s country by waging war against it or by consciously
and purposely acting to aid its enemies.
are to believe this news item, the freshly minted and tasked CIFA will
investigate people with questionable "allegiance" to the Bush
administration. Princeton University’s WordNet defines allegiance as
"the loyalty that citizens owe to their country (or subjects to their
sovereign)" and a synonym is fealty, defined as fidelity owed by a
vassal to a feudal lord.
Of course, we long ago issued a
Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights precisely
to throw off a tyrannical monarch. Now we have another one.
abilities would increase considerably under the proposal being reviewed
by the White House, which was made by a presidential commission on
intelligence chaired by retired appellate court judge Laurence H.
Silberman and former senator Charles S. Robb (D-Va.). The commission
urged that CIFA be given authority to carry out domestic criminal
investigations and clandestine operations against potential threats
inside the United States.
Be afraid. Laurence H.
Silberman "is a long-time, right wing political activist closely tied
to the neo-conservative network that led the pro-war propaganda
campaign," according to Jim Lobe.
"In 1980, when he served as part of former Republican president Ronald
Reagan’s senior campaign staff, he played a key role in setting up
secret contacts between the Reagan-Bush campaign and the Islamic
government in Tehran, in what became known as the 'October Surprise’
controversy." In other words, Silberman is a criminal co-conspirator
who helped Reagan fix the 1980 election by entering in an agreement
with the Iranians (who were supposedly enemies of the United States) to
not release the hostages (mostly CIA agents) until after the election.
Silberman also served as deputy attorney general under Nixon. It should
be remembered the Nixon White House targeted the civil rights and
antiwar movements for disruption, using on-campus informants to
infiltrate and in many cases to disrupt legal protests and activism
(under the FBI’s COINTELRPO, members of the Black Panthers and the
American Indian Movement were victims of targeted assassination; see COINTELPRO: The Untold American Story).
is little more than an excuse to get the military back in the business
of "investigating" (subverting the Constitutional rights) of Americans.
"The [Bush stacked] commission urged that CIFA be given authority to
carry out domestic criminal investigations and clandestine operations against potential threats
inside the United States," including the threat of "treason" (not
paying fealty to our feudal lord, George Bush, and criticizing his
policies—note the accusation Dubya wanted to bomb Doha-based al-Jazeera
for not censoring news and you get a pretty good idea what our
ill-tempered monarch thinks of people who disagree with him).
Our new COINTELPRO, run by military intelligence and probably the CIA, will make the old COINTELPRO pale in comparison.
should be noted that the U.S. military is no stranger to domestic
snooping and subversion of constitutional rights. "By the late 1960s,
the direct political nature of military intelligence operations was
quite explicit," write Morton Halperin, Jerry Berman, Robert Borosage, and Christine Marwick (The Lawless State: The crimes of the U.S. Inteligence Agencies, Penguin Books, 1976).
telling indication of this was the February 1968 annex to the army’s
Civil Disturbance Plan, where "dissident elements" and "subversives"
were clearly identified as primary targets of surveillance. The
activities of the peace movement were judged "detrimental" to the
United States, and American antiwar activists were viewed as possible
conspirators manipulated by foreign agents.
The Army created "master plan" operations code-named Cable Splicer and Operation Garden Plot. As for the latter, Harry Helms (Inside the Shadow Government: National Emergencies and the Cult of Secrecy, Feral House, 2003) writes
produced by the [Directorate of Military Support, established at the
Pentagon under the Department of the Army] acquired the name "Operation
Garden Plot," first publicly uttered in 1971 when Senator Sam Ervin
(D-North Carolina), chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional
Rights, held hearings about allegations of Army spying on U.S.
civilians. The hearings revealed that the Army had indeed been keeping
records on hundreds of thousands of American citizens connected with
antiwar and radical politics, and that such activities were part of
Operation Garden Plot. The Subcommittee also found that the Army had
trained civilian law enforcement workers with simulated battles against
rioters and large groups of protesters. It also found that Army units
went on alert in May 1970 for possible response to campus
demonstrations in the wake of the Kent State shootings.
Splicer "was developed in a series of California meetings from 1968 to
1972, involving Sixth Army, Pentagon, and National Guard generals,
police chiefs and sheriffs, military intelligence officers, defense
contractors, and executives from the telephone company and utility
companies. One meeting was kicked off by Governor Ronald Reagan,"
writes Ron Ridenhour.
participants played war games using scenarios that began with racial,
student, or labor unrest, and ended with the Army being called in to
bail out the National Guard, usually by sweeping the area to confiscate
private weapons and round up likely troublemakers. These games were
conducted in secrecy, with military personnel dressed in civvies, and
using non-military transportation. Although the documents on Cable
Splicer covered only four Western states, Brig. Gen. J. L. Jelinek,
senior Army officer in the Pentagon’s National Guard Bureau, knew of
"no state that didn’t have some form of this [civil disturbance
control] exercise within the last year" under different code names.
appears the military never actually stopped spying on Americans.
"Several months ago the Army’s inspector general and the California
State Senate launched investigations of a California National Guard
intelligence unit that had 'monitored’ an antiwar demonstration at the
state capitol this past Mother’s Day, partly organized by Cindy
Sheehan’s Gold Star Families for Peace," John S. Friedman
reported in September. "A report not yet publicly released by the
inspector general found that there were other cases of domestic
intelligence activity by the California Guard. Democratic State Senator
Joseph Dunn, whose budget subcommittee oversees funding for the
California Guard and who is conducting the state investigation, said
financial improprieties may have occurred, as state and federal laws
forbid such activities. Dunn told The Nation that he is looking into
reports that the Guard in some ten other states, including New York,
Colorado, Arizona and Pennsylvania, may have set up its own
intelligence units and conducted similar monitoring of antiwar groups.
Such controversial directives could be coming from the Pentagon, he
Last month, the Senate Intelligence Committee
approved a request from the Pentagon to snoop on Americans (and of
course subvert and possibly assassinate—as COINTELPRO did
previously—those deemed a threat to the neocon master plan for world
domination). According to the Christian Science Monitor,
"the committee included two … controversial amendments in the [2006
intelligence spending authorization bill]: one that would allow
intelligence agencies greater access to databases on US citizens, and
one that would grant the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency the
right not to disclose 'operational files’ under the Freedom of
Information Act." In other words, the DIA does not want to be
answerable to the American people, the same way Stalin or Stasi were
not answerable to the people.
According to the Pentagon, it
does not want to spy on "innocent" Americans, according to the
Christian Science Monitor. Of course, this depends on the Pentagon’s
definition of "innocent." If the Pentagon’s past (and recent, in
relation to Cindy Sheehan) activities are any indication, "innocent"
Americans are those who do not criticize the government, who dutifully
wave little plastic American flags made in China, and encourage their
kids to become cannon fodder for the neocons.