FBI/DHS Attempt to Seize Colorado Indymedia Server and Silence Our Users

UPDATE JULY 09 2012: Some public records requests were made about this investigation and have been posted to http://colorado.indymedia.org/no...

On Jun 17, Colorado Indymedia was contacted by Special Agent Adam Kowalski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)/Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As part of an "ongoing investigation" by Federal Protective Services, they attempted to seize the Colorado Indymedia server, believing that we kept logs (such as IP address access logs) that could identity users on our site. Our servers are graciously hosted at Denver Open Media who was approached by Kowalski. Kowalski claimed he had a court order but refused to leave a copy at Denver Open Media. He was told to contact the system administrators in order to obtain the logs as Denver Open Media does not have the ability to consent to a seizure or search of our property.

As of this date, we do not have a copy of the court order if it even exists. It's likely that this was just a bluff as it's well-established that cops, the FBI, and other law enforcement can lie in order to illicit consent and lying about court orders is no exception.

We told the FBI that "Colorado Indymedia does not retain this [identifying] information because we strongly believe in the First Amendment right to free, anonymous speech. Frequently communities outside of our society's mainstream feel more comfortable expressing their views in an anonymous setting. Like all Independent Media Centers, Colorado Indymedia exists to serve these communities, and thus strives to maintain the anonymity of its users."

In particular, the FBI was looking for information that would identify a user(s) who had used the "spamsucks" account. This account's username and password are posted on the main page of our site for users who would like to post and remain anonymous. Given the time period of the logs they were seeking, we believe they are looking to identify the individual(s) who posted the two communiques that claimed responsibility for the recent attacks on Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) offices. (See "ICE Facility Attacked in Loveland" http://colorado.indymedia.org/no... and "ICE Office Attacked" http://colorado.indymedia.org/no...).

This request is part of an investigation by Federal Protective Services, the agency which is tasked with protecting the security of Federal property (such as buildings). Communiques posted by the same account claiming direct action attacks against other places such as a Wells Fargo branch (http://colorado.indymedia.org/no...) have not attracted similar reactions from the agency. It appears as if the ICE attacks prompted additional attention and heat due to their status as Federal buildings even though the attack on the Wells Fargo branch seems related to their funding of private ICE prisons through the GEO Group.

While this may look to many as a run-of-the-mill investigation, there are several things that bring this into question. Firstly, it is a well known and widely publicized policy of Colorado Indymedia that we do not retain logs that can identify individual users. For instance, our privacy policy (http://colorado.indymedia.org/no...), which is linked to twice from our main page, notes that we do not log such information. The FBI is well aware of this policy but still decided to ask us for logs they know we do not keep. This could be a simple "fill in the box" task that has to be completed, but then why not approach DOM's Internet service provider, which almost certainly does retain logs of this nature (as all major Internet Service Providers and the NSA do)? Additionally, the FBI seemed intent on seizing our server when they came to Denver Open Media, indicating their goal may have been the disruption of our service instead of simply identifying users.

Given this, it seems likely that the government is upset that we provide a venue for anonymous speech and is retaliating for this. We allow people who ordinarily cannot speak to tell their story to the world including those who took credit for smashing up the ICE offices. In any democratic society, it's important that all members of society can have as much available information in order to make informed decisions, including decisions about whether to support the actions that these communiques discuss. If places like COIMC did not exist, it could be that nobody would have heard why this office was attacked and people would be forced to make evaluations based on coverage from mainstream media outlets who act as a police mouthpiece. In retaliation for providing this service and working to give everybody a voice, we have been targeted.

This targeting is no surprise and something we expect from law enforcement. Police are a tool of those who are in power who use them to maintain that power through force. Behind every law is a charge, behind every badge is a gun, and behind every subpoena is the possibility of being kidnapped and held hostage for contempt. This type of targeting is done every day against those who assert their right to privacy, who do not have societal privilege, who lack the money to defend themselves in court or conform to society's norms, and who choose to defy and change those norms themselves or challenge the power structures that control society. We are not treated differently than anybody else and the targeting of Colorado Indymedia is business as usual. If the Department of Justice had their way (based on their actions and lobbying efforts), the right to anonymous speech would completely disappear. The services that we provide are a critical part of fostering social change and democratic discourse in this region. For this reason and many others we will not be intimidated into maintaining investigative records on our own users or shutting down our service. As far as we know, we are the only media outlet that has provided coverage on the attacks against ICE offices.

It's important when things like this happen we not internalize this repression and that we let people know we are being bullied. The majority of a bully's power is derived from their ability to keep their victim's silent. This is true whether those bullies are police, rapists, the bully who steals your lunch money, or an abusive parent. This enforced silence keeps the victim feeling powerless and alone. When we are silent, we cannot find others who have faced the same treatment and speak out about it or fight back. Police are a tool of those in power which they use to enforce their rules, laws, social codes, and ultimately maintain their place at the top of the hierarchy. They do not want to hear about people challenging their authority. Most of all, they want to make sure that nobody sees or hears about those actions and chooses to support those individuals or becomes inspired to challenge authority on their own.

You may view our privacy policy at http://colorado.indymedia.org/no... which contractually binds us to protect your information. We would like to thank Denver Open Media (http://denveropenmedia.org) for continuing to host our server and recognizing the importance of the service we provide. We continue to look for people who are willing to help with website/server administration, moderation, legal problems, and other things. Please see http://colorado.indymedia.org/no... for more information. The original letter from the FBI can be found below including our response (with minor formatting changes for your viewing pleasure).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Kowalski, Adam J <adam.kowalski@dhs.gov>
Date: Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 4:16 PM
Subject: Request for information on Open Media Foundation server / Colorado Indymedia
To: jeff@openmediafoundation.org
Cc: Tony@openmediafoundation.org, "Kowalski, Adam" <Adam.Kowalski@ic.fbi.gov

To: Open Media Foundation Executive Director Tony Sawcross [sic] and Business and
Finance Director Jeff Villano


Gentlemen,

Pursuant to our discussion today, the Colorado Indymedia organization, as found at http://colorado.indymedia.org/, and/or IP address 129.19.150.17, is utilizing an Open Media Foundation computer server maintained on the premises of 700 Kalamath Street in Denver, Colorado to host its webpage.

Through my discussions with you today, it is your belief that Open Media Foundation representatives are unable to obtain any of the information described below on the applicable Open Media Foundation server and that only representatives of Colorado Indymedia are able to access the requested information.

In order to minimize any adverse impact this request for information may have on either organization, I request that the organization able to access the requested information be identified as soon as practicable to receive the appropriate legal process for release of the requested information.

If the requested information is no longer available, I request that the responsible party issue a return correspondence noting the negative results of the search and identify the standard retention period that information of this type is typically retained.

Information sought:

Pursuant to an ongoing federal investigation, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Protective Service is seeking the following information, if available, as data files on CD-ROM or other electronic media or facsimile:

1. The following customer or subscriber account information for each account registered to or associated with the “spamsucks” screen name on Colorado Indymedia’s website for the time period May 17, 2010 through May 26, 2010:
1. subscriber names, user names, screen names, or other identities;
2. mailing addresses, residential addresses, business addresses, e-mail addresses and other contact information.
3. local and long distance telephone records, or records of session times and durations;
4. length of service (including start date) and types of service utilized;
5. telephone or instrument number or subscriber number or identity, including any temporally assigned network address; and
6. means and source of payment for such service (including any credit card or bank account number) and billing records.
7.
2. All records and other information relating to the accounts(s) and time
period in Part A, including:
1. records of user activity for any connections made by the screen name, including the date, time, length, and method of connections, data transfer volume, user name, and source and destination Internet Protocol address(es);
2. telephone records, including local and long distance telephone connection records, caller identification records, cellular site and sector
information, GPS data, and cellular network identifying information (such as IMSI, MISISDN, IMEI, MEID, or ESN)
3. non-content information associated with the contents of any communication or file stored by or for the account(s), such as the source and destination email addresses and IP addresses.
4. correspondence and notes of records related to the account(s).

Again, thank you for your cooperation and timely response in this request.

Special Agent Adam Kowalski
(303) 210-7629

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mr. Kowalski,

This email is a response to the email sent by you to Tony Shawcross on Thursday June 17, 2010 as a representative of the Federal Protective Service of the Department of Homeland Security. That email requested that Colorado Indymedia disclose information related to the identity of persons who posted using the "spamsucks" user name during the period of May 17, 2010 through May 26, 2010. A copy of the original message is included below this reply.

Colorado Indymedia does not retain any personally identifying information, such as IP addresses or telephone numbers, of any of our site's users. IP addresses
associated with user names are never logged, and web server logs are discarded after 48 hours. Because of this, we do not possess the information sought by the DHS, et al.

Colorado Indymedia does not retain this information because we strongly believe in the First Amendment right to free, anonymous speech. Frequently communities outside of our society's mainstream feel more comfortable expressing their views in an anonymous setting. Like all Independent Media Centers, Colorado Indymedia exists to serve these communities, and thus strives to maintain the anonymity of its users.

The "spamsucks" account was created to preserve this anonymity after we experienced a surge in anonymous spam articles and comments which forced us to temporarily disable the ability of user to post in a truly anonymous fashion. It is used by multiple individuals - both the "spamsucks" username and its password are publicly available at

http://colorado.indymedia.org/no...

You can also read our privacy policy in full at

http://colorado.indymedia.org/no...

Colorado Indymedia is a collective, and as such decisions about its policies are made by consensus amongst all of its members. However, if you have any future questions about our website, you may contact me directly by emails at
nathan@coimc.org or by phone at 303.807.0086.

Yours in solidarity,
Nathan Acks
COIMC Webmaster
On behalf of the Colorado Independent Media Center collective

And how do we know...

And how do we know the ICE office and Wells Fargo were even attacked at all? One thing I noticed about those postings, the ones claiming that an ICE office and a Wells Fargo were vandalized, is that there were no pictures and nothing to substantiate the claims being made. Those postings could just as easily have been agents logging in with the "spamsucks" account. Were they just part of a setup or did anything actually happen? I haven't noticed any damaged Wells Fargo buildings, and they're pretty visible downtown. I didn't see any of these attacks, not in Loveland, nor the Springs and Denver, in the news. You'd think vandalism like this would have been seized upon by the corporate press to demonize May Day participants or what have you. But there was nothing that I can remember. Anyone remember seeing any reports of these incidents in the corporate press? Did S.A. Kowalski provide any evidence whatsoever that such incidents even occurred? The posts afforded responsibility for these events to "anarchists" and provided no other information to that effect besides being related to immigration issues, and even with regards to that the posts just muttered typical and predictable cliche slogans that anyone could have thought up, especially someone who monitors radical websites or conducts what is known as "data mining," say at the Colorado Information Analysis Center or somewhere like that perhaps?

http://coloradoindependent.com/4...

Affording credit for vandalism to an undefined and unspecified group of people identified by vague generalizations like ideological labels is rather suspicious. What would be the point? To cast a dark cloud over everyone who may have expressed their beliefs in those terms. A method of disrupting political movements that explicitly challenge power. 

Evan

While your comments are sound but speculative at best, I find it a tad irresponsible to diminish the fact that there are combative, aggressive anarchists willing to act directly against oppression in this area. Your pondering that some kind of "false flag" operation to take down indymedia took place instead of coordinated radical action reeks more of paranoia than sensible analysis. The corporate press rarely reports on direct action unless arson was involved or the target has sustained multiple attacks for the same reasons. I am as shocked as you are these incidents didn't make the mainstream press, but remember there is probably a reason for that as well: to keep the fact that there are militants out there striking blows hushed, especially because of the explicit ideological identities. Colorado is home to a wide range of above-ground and "legally operating" anarchist groups and attacks like these (which one could commend, simply for the timing, targeting, tactics, and apparent execution) raise the visibility and relevance of these groups to a huge swath of the population. Of course the press, as mouthpieces for the police departments, are going to stay silent about "a few broken windows" when there is this much political implication as well as opportunity for escalation and generalization of revolt.

Evan, if you are really curious as to whether these events took place, get a hold of the police reports. Visit the sites and ask somebody. If they really took place, it's likely the owners of the buildings filed for insurance claims or made police reports. Maybe that won't satiate you, however, as I imagine that you'd jump to the conclusion that agent provocateurs attacked these places in order to fit everything into your neat little conspiracy; once again shitting on the courage comrades found to act at risk and discouraging more radical folks out there from staging attacks themselves. Your conspiracies hinder the movement and over-complicate easily replicated actions taken by brave individuals. Until somebody gets off of their ass to see if these things all really happened as they were posted, the motives of the FBI won't be completely clear. Throwing bullshit into the wind and clouding the dialogue with jacketing anonymous possible comrades is reckless and stupid.

Here is the story as reported in the Gaztte of Colorado Springs

Even the story was carried in the mainstream media as well as on COIMC Her is a link to the story in the Colorado Springs Gazette. http://thebroadside.freedomblogg... If you had done a google search you would have found it and a couple of others.

I have to agree with the commentator above that you false flag theory does seem on its face to speak more to paranoia. I would also like to point out that as a site administrator here at COIMC I personally try to verify all claims of direct action by searching the mainstream media and asking around. There are times when a contributor posts a story that I can not find anything about or in any way verify and that distresses me. As a community based news outlet where people can say and publish what they wish (Stories are not published after all by COIMC but by people in the community we are just an outlet) I and other editors and administrators here take a special interest in at least trying to know a little about the veracity of the posts on this site.

If you look through the site you will find times when the comments reflect a strong skepticism as to weather a post is true. Posts like your post. You are a smart man Even who has been around a while and I would have expected you would have checked around, done a little homework, before making your statement.

Linking item to legitgov.org (CLG) website

I'm linking this item to the Citizens for Legitimate Government website. I'm glad Colorado Indymedia (essentially) told the DHS to go f*ck themselves. They spend so much time on the CLG site, I think they should pay a portion of our webhosting bill.
Cheers,

Lori Price
Managing Editor
Citizens For Legitimate Government
http://www.legitgov.org/

 

Thanks for linking This

Thanks for linking this story to your site. Alternative news outlets need to stick together and in the spirit of shared struggle share information and tactics.

Colo. Indymedia item

Thank you, Phil.
I also included a summary of the item (and link) in Saturday's CLG Newsletter. Oh. That and Agent Kowalski's email addy. <g>
Lori Price (www.legitgov.org)

... uh, ok ...

First of all, to the person who logged in using the "spamsucks" account (as if anyone couldn't guess who that is by the rhetoric), you're not paying attention to the question I simply brought up. I did not present any theory, I merely expressed suspicion at the integrity of the FBI's claims and intentions. Why does that bother you if you don't mind my asking? If the Wells Fargo and ICE office were damaged by someone who is militant, anarchist and ready for a good time, a revolution, call it what you want, well then GOOD! Next time burn the whole f*cking building down. Then leave a note that says "well if it's on motherf*cker then it's on G," paraphrasing Eazy E. Or something like that, don't sell your imagination short. However, I don't trust SA Kowalski, and had you bothered to read the story to which these comments are attached you would understand why you can't trust what a pig says, namely because they have the right to lie to illicit consent, and gather leads and evidence. All cops are trained to listen for incriminating information when so much as talking to a person. The questions I presented were merely pertaining to what evidence is there that SA Kowalski's claims are substantial, and I did not ask for any "anarchist" to provide evidence of anything. 

Furthermore, I'm obviously not the one implying that someone wants to take down indymedia, that is explicitly expressed in the article which I did not post nor write or contribute to in any way. Whether or not it was a "false flag" is a question I posed, a serious one, and that is it. There is no "neat little conspiracy" presented here, and quite frankly I'm getting tired of this revolution fantasy you keep pretending is underway. I wish it were, but I haven't seen it yet. In your comment you have presented more than one theory as though it is factual reality, and they are not even your theories. One is Marx/Fanon/Sartre (typical), the other is not one I can place a name upon, however, it is a theory I remember from undergraduate political science classes that cover the common tactics of most activists, and the class I took specified environmental activism. It was well illustrated in J. Layzer's Environmental Case, that would be the one about raising the salience of an issue, however what you're implying is the raising of the salience of a revolution, which is a spin back to the Marx/Fanon/Sartre theory of piercing through the illusion of the bourgeois facade by provoking repression and then stepping back and pointing at it to call out the criminality of the state. The problem is that only amateurs would assume this crap would work in today's world. This has all been done before (Ernesto "Che" Guevara ring a bell? He was confident and successful, unlike the Weather Underground). In fact these tactics which you think are so important, enough to call me "irresponsible" for questioning their integrity even as far out of context as you did, were described by Chairman Fred Hampton of the Illinois Black Panther Party as "child's play" and "folly," and that was more than 40 years ago. So I'm glad you've decided to go to school and get an education, even to do your homework, but really you should wait until you've studied to the at least the Bachelor level before you boast yourself as an expert of 1) the nature of corporate media (which stories they cover and why), 2) the concept of solidarity in militant action, 3) piercing through the illusion of the political facades and 4) proper analysis. I did not target, nor attack, nor insult, nor even mildly criticize anyone but SA Kowalski and the FBI/DHS assholes who hassled the folks at Denver Open Media! When are you immature suburbanite wannabe rebels going to learn the principle of the street, "don't start nothin', won't be nothin'?" Those of you who may be young, not experts, from the suburbs and "white" (a racial identity is a social construct not backed by biology or physical science in any way), and actually do want to be a revolution and create one (one of Che's most pertinent theories that I like to reiterate again and again), please know that my harsh comments are not directed toward you and thank you for being committed and having that kind of compassion. To those who always try to start a pissing contest with me, the statement is for you, and you know who you are as well as most of us could guess. This wouldn't be the first time, in other words. 

And, to Phil, who said "the story was carried in the mainstream media as well as on COIMC" then provided a link to the following article: "Possible terrorist attack disrupted by observant ICE agents," by Seth Richardson (June 7th, 2010) in the Colorado Springs Gazette. The article does not even remotely mention anything related to these alleged incidents. It is a completely unrelated story. It is about a false claim that an Iranian-Canadian tried to smuggle weapons into the USA, and it praises ICE for catching him with weapons for a gun store without a license. So, Phil, I'll take your advice and google it. Lo and behold there is nothing. I found no articles anywhere prior to this one. The Westword reported on this article after the fact. There are no independent reports prior to this one, which is not about the vandalism but the FBI's inquiry. Remaining on the subject, this story regarding the FBI's inquiry is possible to find via google search, and the story of the alleged attacks/vandalism on ICE offices and a Wells Fargo are not. Plain and simple. So why don't you try doing a google search and see if you can find it. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Let us all know what you come up with, by all means, be my guest. 

Oh, and by the way, the demonizing methods used by pigs in general to cause disruption and divisions in political movements is well documented. Ward Churchill wrote about it, as did Noam Chomsky, and even Ernesto Vigil (Ward and Ernesto don't get along at all, as is also documented to some extent, although I don't want to bring that issue up beyond this point. It's depressing.) wrote a book about Denver Police's similar shenanigans against the Crusade For Justice. Also, the Spy Files is a well known case, as was the JTTF case, both documented by Colorado ACLU and Copwatch watchdogs, and I provided a consistent link to the article in Colorado Independent by a journalist I happen to know personally, not well, but she's an acquaintance, about the "fusion center" set up during the DNC. Go read it, please. 

And last but certainly not least, to the FBI, DHS, and FPS - can't you people find a better way to spend American tax dollars? Really, how does this crap "keep the nation secure"? Most Americans probably wouldn't feel much safer knowing you're wasting your time and our money hassling indymedia rather than investigating actual threats. Have a nice day.

After the conflict

Evan,
All the talk about anarchy is fun and gets the anger out but what if there is a fight and the anarchists win? All wars are fought to control the peace after the war. I hear all the talk about "The Man" and the elites, all the time. I too am sometimes envious of their wealth and power. My point is there still needs to be control regardless of who is in power, and when trigger happy megalomaniacs like Che get any kind of power they don't know what to do with it because they are only about destroying what others have and they want. They can't do constructive things because that takes true intellect which they don't own so they resort to killing anyone that makes that point apparent to all. Don't get me wrong here, I'm for good government and throwing the crooks in jail or just terminating them if there is no relief in that effort from government because they are bed fellows. The US Constitution is the blueprint that we in America follow. I want good government based upon our constitution and what the founders thought. If we must fight the bad government to get back there then so be it. Any diversion from that is un-American in my book and if that is the kind of government you prefer, anarchy, then bring it on. We're waiting only happy to accommodate you. When the laws don't protect us then they no longer restrain us and you will be the first to be screaming for the police when the shit storm comes. You can have all the anarchy you want, but get it somewhere else, because when anarchy reigns supreme here in America, don’t count on any protection from lethal force. At that point it is a target rich environment and I will be hunting you.
Bring it bitches!
 

Get A Grip dude

When the writers of the constitution said "all people are endowed with certain rights among them......" They meant people like them. Landed gentry. They could care less about blacks or Indians or the poor who where not landed. You need to read a little honest history and not propaganda being told as history. I recommend Howard Zinn's A Peoples History of the United States.

The US constitution is the Blueprint? what a foolish statement!!! I chalenge you to show me where it has been obaid in any case where it whent against business intrest on a National scail. I can think of at least 10 times in our history where it has been ignored. I laughed all the way through your post at the ridiculous assumptions. Oh, I guess slavery does not count as an example. The Haymarket killings, the textile mills in the 1840's don't count either in your mind. Let me see if you can rationalize the deals made by two presidents in the railroad expansion/land grabs of the 1840's and 50'sored by government.

Get a grip! US History is very very ugly and the constitution has only served the rich. I will not call the police. There is no such thing as a good cop! The US with 4.7% of the worlds population has 25%+ of all the prisoners on the planet! We are a police state and all cops are part of that. All DA's are part of that. All are bad.  I bet your proud of the fact that the US incarerates more the the USSR or China. 

 

Barbarism can be no worse then the teriny we are already in today.

In China and Russia they just

In China and Russia they just take you to the trench along the edge of the soccer field and give you your justice. Case closed. There are thousands of instances where bad people have abused good rules and gotten away with it, in America and around the world. We're not perfect but having a good plan to approach it is a start rather than no plan at all. I have no problem with people getting rich. I wish I was ambitious enough to get rich but I don't want to work that hard. I just work hard enough to live a good honest life. The constitution serves us all. It allows us to engage in this dialog without fear of government reprisals. The fact that the G men are all riled up about what someone said in the blog is a clear sign of the times and the need to restore the constitution. It also allows us to bear arms to throw off tyranny when it presents itself. Getting stopped by a cop for drunk driving or speeding does not identify itself as tyranny. You are dead wrong about all cops being bad. Those generalizations make your argument just a simple minded rant. You're hopefully smarter than that. All cops are government workers and have government pensions so they also have a vested interest in keeping that system working well. When all hell breaks out soon, see how many are still vested.

Remember also, the victors write the history because they control the peace ....or the war. Have it whatever way you want. It is entirely up to us now.

Oh and did I remind you to behave so you don't end up in prison? It's a lot easier to stay out of trouble than to get out of trouble. Burning cars and breaking windows like a spoiled child won't get your point across any more than this blog will. It just gets you thrown in jail so you too can be in that 25% statistic because the Constitution allows for dissent but not vandalism.

top it off

This is about an 11 on my Wierdsh*t-o-meter, which I suppose only went up to 10 before this. Look, I had a simple question to post in the comments section. I don't want to debate philosophy. 

Philosophy?

"Affording credit for vandalism to an undefined and unspecified group of people identified by vague generalizations like ideological labels is rather suspicious. What would be the point? To cast a dark cloud over everyone who may have expressed their beliefs in those terms. A method of disrupting political movements that explicitly challenge power."

Why should you or your group be any different from any other group. The press is in the tank with big business because they are big business. Look at every other political group that challenges the status quo. Look at the Tea Party people, characterized as racist and ignorant. How about all the religious groups, bible thumping homophobes. Tell me you don't buy into these stereotypes that the press spews out because they don't fit the nice little mold that big government and big business has for us all. It's the truth when it's the other guy but it's a lie if it's about me. Welcome to mainstream, but continue to be paranoid because you may in fact be right one day.

The fascist State lies

This is interesting in many ways. The fascist State would like to ensure that information about even stupid, pointless, minor vandalism is suppressed so that nobody can see news coverage of such events and be encouraged to either do likewise else be encouraged to do something legitimately defensive against the fascist State.

My opinion is that this minor vandalism was irresponsible and stupid and does nothing to further human rights, equality, and does nothing to resist oppression, all it did was mildly annoy a few people who had to make phone calls to get a worker out to repair the damage and annoy someone who had to write a tax-payer-funded check to repair the minor damage.

But the fact that the theofascists are motivated enough to lie about having a subpoena and worried enough about even an idiot stunt like this minor act of vandalism speaks at high volume how worried the fascist State is that eventually their rich white corporate masters *will* be dragged out of their offices and their mansions to be given fair trials in the streets.

When it comes to being anonymous, I'm not, I have up that privelage long ago even before the Internet was the Internet, even before we voted to expand the DARPANet in to allowing commercial access. But freedom of speech relies heavily upon anonymous speech, and increasingly since the 1900's those who would inflict fascism upon civilizations must deny people their rights to speak freely and anonymously.

Re: Evan

Evan wrote...

"One thing I noticed about those postings, the ones claiming that an ICE office and a Wells Fargo were vandalized, is that there were no pictures and nothing to substantiate the claims being made. "

Digital cameras and any pictures from them, or scanners can be traced through the data contained in the image file. Hence nobody posted a picture.

"You'd think vandalism like this would have been seized upon by the corporate press to demonize May Day participants or what have you."

Actually I find that like other posters said there is (more often than not) a blackout on any political actions or vandalism.

"the posts just muttered typical and predictable cliche slogans that anyone could have thought up, especially someone who monitors radical websites or conducts what is known as "data mining," say at the Colorado Information Analysis Center or somewhere like that perhaps?"

On the contrary, posters may have kept the post short to avoid data mining and langugage analysis from identifying those responsible by their style of writing, as was used on a German citizen after 9/11.

 

Cut back on the Alex Jones Evan

Another Perspective

I got the impression that the FBI actually went out of their way not to interrupt the COIMC operations. As was the situation with the Tattered Cover case a few years ago, the FBI had authority from the court to take the server, if necessary, to get the information they want. The Open Media Foundation staff would not have helped them, but they wouldn't have stopped the FBI from seizing the server. In the end, it is clear to me that they just wanted the information and were not interrested in interrupting the COIMC.

Its my opinion that the COIMC is not active enough to really be on the radar of the FBI. I'd guess they found the "spamsucks" postings through a google search. I'm also fairly sure they don't know of our policy to not save any IP addresses, and from their perspective, we can't blame them for wanting those IP addresses. I was impressed and relieved that they agreed to take Nathan's message at face-value and not check the servers themselves. These are not the actions of an entity that wants to disrupt the COIMC.

I have seen the kind of disruption Ringo mentions at IMCs in other cities, and I know its not just paranoia. However, here in Colorado, we're all going to have to work on making the IMC much more effective before we should expect to be targeted by anyone.

Actually, no they don't

The FBI does not have authority to take our server, not even with a warrant.  Any warrant issued for such a purpose would be illegal.  The U.S. Privacy Protection Act of 1980 forbids any seizure of news content or media materials that may contain news content.  If any law enforcement or other government agency has or believes it has a need to inspect any media material, they must use the subpoena process to obtain the specific information or items they need.

A subpoena is quite different from a warrant.  A warrant enables immediate seizure of items by police.  A subpoena, sometimes called a "court order," gives the owner of the items time to find and provide those items.  The time period must be sufficient for the person to seek counsel from an attorney and to challenge the subpoena in court.  The statute is written broadly to extend protection to citizen journalists of every stripe.  It may be found at

http://uscode.house.gov/download...

A lot of police officers do not know of the existence of this statute, and apparently, there are quite a few judges who do not know about it.  This is probably because, until recently, police rarely had much interest in media work product.  But with the change in police priorities from crime to so-called terrorism, police now frequently attack journalists and seize their work.  This is never legal, regardless of the circumstances.

When the Democratic National Convention came to Denver in 2008, Colorado Indymedia kept a copy of the full text of the U.S. Privacy Protection Act in each of our media centers.  We also posted the statute on this website at

http://colorado.indymedia.org/no...

Though we cannot be sure, our proactive display of this law may be the reason why Denver during the DNC did not experience the kind of open warfare on journalists that took place in the Twin Cities during the RNC and has become common in other places since.

Tina Braxton

Editor and Business Affairs Coordinator

Colorado Indymedia


 

thanks Tina

That's really helpful information.  I did not see the court order/warrant since I was in Boston at the time.  But from your description, I'm sure it was a subpoena.  Perhaps the FBI agent wasnt as magnanimous as I had thought, but was working within the confines of his legal limitations. He showed the document to Jeff, but wanted to deliver it to a representative of the IMC, of which there were none at OMF/DOM.

This is getting tedious

Okay, spamsucks, the corporate press often reports incidents of vandalism specifically because that is their job, and of course they have to appear to be doing their job, don't they? And when vandalism occurs during large protests they usually cover it from a perspective of opposition to the vandalism. For example the Vancouver Sun has reported much of the vandalism during the G20 protests in Toronto and in their reports they demonize the vandalism and try to minimize it so it doesn't appear to be massive and widespread, which may make it appear to be popular. This is bias. Corporate media practically treats it as policy to claim the vandalism was done by a minority of people in the crowd. The following link is to an article that provides an example:

http://www.vancouversun.com/busi...

Of course the corporate press doesn't write it from their perspective in a news story because that would be an opinion piece, two different sections. I'm sure they have somewhere but the above link is a pretty common case. Now, that is during a large protest, but there was no large protest in Loveland, Colorado Springs or Denver under way when the vandalism occurred, although it was around the time of a few large demonstrations regarding the Arizona immigration law. The vandalism was not during the protests but in the same weeks and months, and ICE offices were allegedly targeted, so that one is obvious. 

Here is another example that was reposted from Vancouver Sun on the Denver Anarchist Black Cross blog:

http://denverabc.wordpress.com/2...

Denver ABC included some information in the disclaimer that calls into question the minimizing of the presence of anarchists in the protests in Toronto. 

Here is an article from Inter Press Service that shows yet another attempt by authorities to claim they found a cache of some homemade weapon of some sort in order to label anarchists as "terrorists," but one must consider the source of the information, namely the one group creating the most terror, the police. I say 'yet another' because we saw this tactic by local city government in Denver during the 2008 Democratic National Convention, although that claim was a great deal more amusing. They accused people of storing urine and feces. The source for that turned out to be a commentary in New York Post, another Ruppert Murdoch rag. 

So, when you say the corporate press would avoid a story about vandalism at a Wells Fargo to keep from inspiring further attacks on that wretched institution that has destroyed economies around the world, well I can understand the logic. Everyone hates Wells Fargo. Ever have an account there? Talk about excessive fees, holy sh*t! However, with regards to the ICE office attacks that point really doesn't hold up. ICE is actually very popular statistically speaking, and that is very unfortunate. So thank you to everyone who works hard to expose the criminality of ICE and demote their popularity, because it is necessary. ICE doesn't deserve to be popular in my book. However, popular sentiment has been manipulated a great deal over the past decade by right wing zealots intent on making scapegoats of Spanish-speaking immigrants from Latin American countries. Did Telemundo report the vandalism? I'd be happy to read the report if you can find it but thus far I have been unable to find such reports, and not even in the English-speaking press, which would predictably make ICE appear to be victims and targets of "terrorism." 

Now there is a strange link between the will of Toronto police to demonize anarchists as 'terrorists' and the issue of immigration that is a bit thin but I think it may be relevant, namely that Toronto has also had immigration raids and there have been large mobilizations there in response to these raids, as the following link shows:

http://toronto.nooneisillegal.or...

Now, spamsucks, you say that no one posted a picture because they don't want to be incriminated by it through digital data mining or whatever (I'll admit I'm not tech savvy and have no real desire to be so), however you state it as though we non-tech savvy types are to merely take your word for it. Could you at least provide an example, or credentials, anything so that people reading this whether tech savvy or not may have some reason to believe you have any expertise at all, or at least a reason to take your word for it? It is possible to take a picture, have it developed, then mail it to a liaison or spokesperson who is explicitly independent to have them post it somewhere online. The ELF used to do that. For that matter, politically speaking, wouldn't someone who did smash a window at an ICE office or Wells Fargo want to take responsibility, and therefore credit? How will they inspire an uprising against ICE and/or the big six banks (Wells Fargo is one of those big six banks) if no one has any reason to believe them? In fact the ELF took credit for an arson several years ago at a ski lift that they didn't even commit just to raise the salience of the issue they were organizing around. It was actually successful it some ways. Furthermore, spamsucks, you said:

"Actually I find that like other posters said there is (more often than not) a blackout on any political actions or vandalism."

The only other 'poster' who said this was some anonymous person who logged in under the same account you are using, namely "spamsucks." Also, what makes an anonymous person an expert on what media does or does not do? Again can you at least post an example? I'm not asking you to identify or incriminate yourself, but the least you could do is support your point with some relevant information, an example in the corporate press no matter how old would do fine I'm sure. 

Now, to support my point I'd ask that you avoid listening to that lying, deceptive propagandist piece of closet-Nazi trash Alex Jones and read the book by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (Pantheon Books, 1988). Specifically I would suggest reading the chapter outlining the Propaganda Model, and more specifically two of the five media "filters," namely number 3, "the reliance of the media on information provided by government, business, and "experts" funded and approved by these primary sources and agents of power," and 5, "'anticommunism' as a national religion and control mechanism." The reason these are relevant is that there are myriad examples of media-police collaboration in demonizing dissident groups. I've already provided two examples above, from Vancouver Sun, and here is a link to a Canada Business Online report that lends some space to the Mayor of Toronto to praise his police for their brutality and slander what he says are a minority of several hundred, a somewhat inconsistent statement I think:

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/...

Of course many of us are old enough to remember the reports from Seattle in 1999 when terms like "black-clad anarchists" were spouted again and again by corporate press in attempts to condemn anarchists for smashing Starbucks windows, and a McDonalds, and a debate ensued following these incidents of vandalism over the media's coverage of these events. 

Here is a link to a recent article on The Star, which is probably the first time I've noticed corporate press acknowledging the "Black Bloc" is a tactic and not an organization, as was claimed again and again about the one in Seattle in 1999, and they still call it "violent":

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/...

And here is another link to a well known report in Denver Post about a window-smashing incident at the Democratic Party's headquarters in Denver. They certainly didn't avoid covering this incident, and even had the audacity to blur gender and sex (gender is a social construction, not backed by biological evidence whatsoever, and sex is blatantly biologically based - and did you know there are actually five sexes in the human species? Apparently Denver Post didn't) in an offensive way denying a person the right to identify her gender and define herself (the mentality of prejudice):

"Political Activist pleads guilty in window-smashing," posted and updated on 12/22/2009:

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_140...

Notice that Ariel Attack did take responsibility and won a good deal of respect for her movement, our movement, by doing so. Sure people love to hear that a Wells Fargo was smashed up but if it didn't really happen then it doesn't really help now does it? But the window the Democratic HQ did because it showed the Democrats do not have a monopoly on the left in the United States, which ought to even help their image as much as ours as it shows we exist and do not condone the Democrats' policy or actions, and it would help the Democrats refute Republican red-bating were they smart enough to use it to that effect (or maybe they're just hypocritical, crooked and dirty professional liars, that's what I tend to think these days), and it helped the anti-war movement because it narrows down on the Democrats hawkishness, which they use often to pander to the Republican moderates and law-and-order centrists, exposing their disinterest in left-wing support even after they have claimed a monopoly over the left. 

Here is an online excerpt from Manufacturing Consent:

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.co...

Yes, that is why I'd think vandalism like this would be seized upon by the corporate press to slander political opponents, and the press should not have political opponents by definition were it a "watchdog" as it is supposedly meant to be, so that alone is controversial. 

Also, spamsucks, what the hell is "langugage analysis"? Would that be how you knew how much I hate Alex Jones? And how would you have known that? Have we ever met? Did we talk about this ever? Or have you been reading my posts/blogs? And by claiming that I somehow rely on Jones's propaganda are you trying to incite something with me? Picking a fight, or trying to provoke me somehow? 

To end this ridiculous discussion I just want to reiterate one thing. Namely that all I know is that SA Kowalski is the one who has the burden of supporting his claims, and not any anarchist. 

Why did the posters claiming those incidents occurred only call themselves "anarchists" and not some even more vague, and less defined label? Why narrow down on 'anarchists' in other words? The Fascist State; and I say that in agreement with DamOTclese because this society has become quite disturbingly fascistic in many ways since the Reagan era, and I regularly refer to it as such; has an interest in minimizing or burying reports in the media that may shed a positive light on acts of vandalism by dissidents, however the the Fascist State also has an interest in incriminating dissidents by reports that shed a negative light upon such acts in order to provoke/justify (in the court of public opinion) crackdowns and repression of dissidents by police et. al. 

Lastly, I would like to express agreement with phil that romeosierra needs to calm down and "get a grip." Really romeosierra, you're creeping me out.

Yes, it is tedious

Evan, this was not a protest, so it was not high profile at all. 

There was no media at these things, presumably.  It suprises me that as an anarchist you rely so much on the corporate press and other authorities or "experts" to tell you what is true.

The Ariel Attack case was also highly visible and resulted in an ARREST! That's why she took responsibility.

I can't provide you with examples of things not covered in corporate press by recourse to the corporate press.  Honestly, I thought that someone as educated as you would notice the pattern of protests being barely covered if at all most of the time.  This is especially true if the target is unpopular, say BP or Neo Nazis or something.  My god, the lack of radical history in schools is quite an evident example. Why do you think that schools don't teach history of radical rebellions ala Howard Zinn, according to you it would benefit the government, by "deamonizing" such things.  However, I believe that teaching about radical rebelions encourages them, and that is why they are not taught about.  Perhaps you have not done enough vandalism to find this out for yourself yet.  You think that political attacks are a different matter?

For example, this was not reported upon in the main stream press as far as I know:

http://colorado.indymedia.org/no...

Do you have any idea how much vandalism happens all the fucking time?  Even political vandalism?  Do you think it get reported on every time?

And language analysis is just what it sounds like, looking at different pieces of writing and determining that they have the same author or not.

Attending a workshop on computer security by Ringo (a admin for this website) he discussed that picture files are not secure.  Ask him if you want.

I made the Alex Jones comment because you're acting exactly like Alex Jones, in that whenever anything violent or controversal happens you blame it on government provacateurs or in this case, a made up government story.

contradictions

First of all, "spamsucks," I don't know who I'm debating here. You won't use your real name, and I'm not about to ask you to do so, but if you are a different person than the others using 'spamsucks' and posting comments mostly attacking me and avoiding the issue presented by the article then I'd say you should at least differentiate yourself from the others, or you're contradicting yourself. As far as how you think I'm acting like Alex Jones, and I'm glad you're not fan of his but you clearly don't have any real understanding of his deceptive methods beyond the typical amateur assumptions, I don't blame government provocateurs for anything, and I've never actually met one. But then why would they need 'provocateurs' when they can just sit back and watch people like you do what you're doing now and they have confidence that we won't get anywhere, and probably a good laugh. Feel insulted? Good, you should. Grow a backbone and go tell them you don't appreciate it. It's your problem, not theirs, and I will not let you make it mine no matter what! They don't have to do anymore COINTELPROs as you quacks do a fine job of that for them. 

Now, had you paid attention to the article to which these comments are posted, even just the headline, you'll see it is about an FBI agent hassling indymedia. That is not a conspiracy theory and I didn't write the article anyway. I'm only asking a question, something Alex Jones rarely does if ever. Asking questions is how you find information. 

Furthermore, if the vandalism was not reported in the corporate press then your whole point about how I'm somehow deflating the salience of some rebellion you claim to be occurring, merely by asking a logical question, has just been nullified. If you are the same person who claimed that above then you are now contradicting yourself. How is the salience of any issue or action raised by those little posts on this website? 

Did you not say?:

"While your comments are sound but speculative at best, I find it a tad irresponsible to diminish the fact that there are combative, aggressive anarchists willing to act directly against oppression in this area." 

Yes I'm willing to accept 'speculative at best' as that is all I aimed to do, speculate a little. See what comes out. So why are you responding with such vigor? 

Then you said: "I am as shocked as you are these incidents didn't make the mainstream press." 

I'm not shocked at all that they didn't make the mainstream press, and wonder whether they ever happened because they weren't documented anywhere but police reports (police are allowed to lie, how far will they stretch that freedom? Again, a question and not a conspiracy theory) which is according to you and not the police or FBI, or anyone; and on the Colorado Indymedia website. I didn't even see police reports, nor insurance claims, but all of those can be altered and even fabricated - so that doesn't mean a conspiracy is underway but it does reduce the reliability of such information. An independent source would suffice. Just one single independent source of that information. Is that too hard for you?

Then you said "remember there is probably a reason for [a mainstream press white out] as well: to keep the fact that there are militants out there striking blows hushed, especially because of the explicit ideological identities." 

Are you telling me that isn't a paranoid delusion tantamount to a conspiracy theory? That's all it is. You don't actually know for a fact that that is true and are basing that one what exactly? The fact that it is historically documented by folks like ... well speak of the devil ... the same authors and professors I cited in above comments, but you didn't bother to provide citation, so now we can't even say that much. 

Then you said "attacks like these ... raise the visibility and relevance of these groups to a huge swath of the population." 

Sure that may be true were the story to be carried anywhere, corporate mainstream press or not, besides this one little website, the readers of which are pretty far from being 'a huge swath of the population'. That is a delusion of grandeur if I've ever heard one. 

Now you're saying, if you are the same person, and I can't prove that you are so we have only your honesty to rely upon:

"It suprises me that as an anarchist you rely so much on the corporate press and other authorities or 'experts' to tell you what is true." First of all you do not define me and I do not define you. I'll tell you if I'm an 'anarchist' or not, and I'll define what that means when it is a label I choose, but if I identify as anarchist and someone commits a crime affording responsibility for it to any and all 'anarchists' then I have to deal with the repression that person provoked. Don't go calling me "comrade" after you pull that kind of crap. That is antithetical to the notion of solidarity by logic. Logic is clearly a subject with which you struggle as you continuously use fallacious arguments to attack me while I'm really trying to pose a question on the FBI agent who showed up at Denver Open Media and not anyone else. Why are you so defensive of actions you can't even prove ever occurred which could be used to initiate a crackdown on dissidents? The only thing I'm trying to derail is any possible attempt to carry out a crackdown on 'anarchists' by cops. We have had enough of this and too many 'anarchists' are political prisoners now. Why are you trying to derail my questioning the FBI agent's integrity?

The corporate press never seems to have a problem reinforcing the stereotype of the "bomb throwing anarchist" which is all too often used to manufacture consent for repression of said political dissidents by the corporate press and their police cohorts. Even Howard Zinn's work documents similar occurrences. I have read A People's History of the United States more than once, and I can tell you are just reading it now for the first time. Furthermore, did you forget about the Green Scare? Or for that matter the Red Scare? I'm not citing Alex Jones but Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman, as well as Howard Zinn at this point. You, however, provide no support for your arguments whatsoever beyond fallacies and speculation of the speculator, which is me in this case. 

Phil even argued that I was wrong, I needed to do more of a "Google search" (Google is corporate) and he claimed the report had made the corporate media, however he provided a link to a story that was completely unrelated. I have not seen any reports anywhere but here. There, I made it clear. Understand yet? 

If this is the only media where the reports appeared then you are not raising the salience to a large portion of the population, plain and simple. I wish that weren't true but it is. 

"And language analysis is just what it sounds like, looking at different pieces of writing and determining that they have the same author or not." Oh, so my assuming that all the above comments by 'spamsucks' are the same person because of their writing style would be what you call 'language analysis'. And because any Bachelor degree holder should be able to do that, does that incriminate them all as somehow not trustworthy by what you arbitrarily define as 'anarchists' without any other anarchist's consent?

"I made the Alex Jones comment because you're acting exactly like Alex Jones, in that whenever anything violent or controversal happens you blame it on government provacateurs or in this case, a made up government story." And what example of my blaming 'government provocateurs' besides this one, although I didn't actually do that here either, can you point out? Saying that I do this 'whenever anything violent or controversial happens' is a pretty bold statement. Do you just speak from your gut and never bother to check your own statements? In fact, when have I ever explicitly blamed 'government provocateurs'? 

If Ringo says that picture files are not secure I'll take his word for it. I don't care if they're secure or not, but that information; which you provide and not Ringo, you merely sat in on a workshop he held; fails to satisfy my original question. I asked, and will hereby ask again, what other independent sources for the information that such and such places were attacked besides 1) random anonymous postings on one indymedia website and 2) an FBI agent? Thus far no one has bothered to look into that or much less consider it. To me that says the FBI agent is LYING! Get it? Or does that conflict with your ultra-rationalist cold war logic (or lack thereof)? Ringo also said the FBI is able to lie to illicit consent or information and you didn't need to ask him that, it's in the article! Why don't you read?!?

"Do you have any idea how much vandalism happens all the fucking time? Even political vandalism? Do you think it get reported on every time?" I don't know and I don't care. That is a red herring. What evidence exists that these incidents actually happened, independent of the person making the accusation, namely SA Kowalski? Quit with the fallacies already and try finding an answer to the question or shut up. It shouldn't matter to you anyway.

First people (mostly anonymous posters) say it was reported in the corporate press, then they say it wasn't and accuse the one asking a question of relying on the corporate press to get the truth for merely asking if it was in the corporate press, or ANYWHERE ELSE for that matter!

So, out of insecurity no doubt, you are pretty much defending the FBI agent. Way to go champ. real revolutionary of you. This discussion is ridiculous, and now over.

Dear Evan,       More than

Dear Evan,

      More than one person was using this account in this discussion.  I for one, was only trying to answer your questions, but apparently you are too skeptical to do that over this medium.  And I would bet that at least some of the people doing these actions

didn't know if it would be picked up by the press or not, but were willing to try, while others might have not cared at all, and done them solely for the sake of the limited effects of the action itself, and or its limited inspirational effect in the small group of people who read this site.  There are plenty of good arguments against the bringing down oppression criticism, but I don't care to go

into them right now.  Don't take stuff so personally.  Many of your insults were neither necessary nor accurate. Good night.

Consider your own contribution

At least consider that when you target me and me only with sarcasm, straw-man arguments and personal attacks I'm only going to respond the way any human would respond. You are calling my criticism "insults." I'll admit that in the last comment in response to the critical comments whoever you are made prior I was pretty harsh. My criticisms may have been insulting but no more or less, nor in any different way, than the insulting criticisms thrown at me in previous comments to which I was responding. If you don't want me to take it personally then don't make it personal. Anonymously posting attacks on my psychological well-being is a blatant personal attack and is also equally "neither necessary nor accurate." Elaborately attacking me over nothing and adding to it an attempt to back me into a corner by statements like:

"Your pondering that some kind of 'false flag' operation to take down indymedia took place instead of coordinated radical action reeks more of paranoia than sensible analysis."

Later, and most especially:

"Cut back on the Alex Jones ..."

Are, again, 'neither necessary nor accurate'.

These statements, which are nothing more than personal attacks against me and not actually criticism in any serious sense are not only short-sighted and arrogant, but they indicate a serious deficiency of observational skills. For one, I did not attempt to do an analysis in my first comment, rather I simply expressed my distrust and suspicion about the claims made by FBI Special Agent Kowalski and no one else. I would have slammed the posters of the articles on this website about the ICE office and Wells Fargo had I really cared whether or not they were true. I don't care, and if they are true then GOOD! Fuck ICE and Wells Fargo and then some. My point, reiterated yet again (because you are apparently not reading much before you respond), is that if the FBI claims such and such incidents of vandalism occurred and a blanket accusation against anyone who may be associated with a generalized ideological label like "anarchist" is made by FBI agents, whether explicitly or implicitly, then the burden of proof is on the agents and not you, and such blanket accusations could be used against anyone and everyone involved or associated with anarchist organizations and/or activity by political authorities (Police, DHS, FBI, FPS, ICE etc.), and you can count on them doing just that. I made the same point in the article about the Juggalos being blamed implicitly by corporate media for a stabbing that occurred outside an ICP concert. They paint the picture with a broad brush just so they can crack down on every political opponent they theoretically shouldn't have because theoretically they shouldn't be political, but we know they are. If one supposed 'anarchist' uses the title of 'anarchist' to take credit for an act of vandalism, regardless of whom or what was targeted, then that supposed 'anarchist' could be construed as selfishly and cowardly making patsies of her/his comrades. Rather than making that argument I chose to question the integrity of the claims made by political authorities, namely the one FBI agent whose name made the Indy news. That way we have a chance to deflate the trumped up hype-based case being developed by PIGS against people of conscience via semantics and hyperbole.

For two, my disgust with the likes of Alex Jones is something I never hide and knowing that about me is a good way to figure out how to piss me off and attempt to make me feel paranoid. This may serve an egomaniac by relieving the pain of their emotional insecurities briefly, but it is a foolish thing to claim that such is any form of honest and constructive criticism. It is nothing less than Chauvinist. It is also dangerously irrational because the perpetrator of such thoughtless criticism gains nothing and takes a major risk by doing so. The reason it is a risk to attack someone and try to evoke their paranoia is that when translated into the language of behavior, that is doing rather than just thinking, feeling or saying, the feeling of paranoia's behavioral equivalent is physical violence, and as I prefer to back up my points, the person who gets credit for this claim is a psychotherapist who worked in prisons by the name of James Gilligan M.D., in his book Violence: Reflections on a national epidemic (Vintage Books, Random House, 1996-1997).

Here is a link where you can order the book from Amazon if you don't find it at a bookstore or library.

http://www.amazon.com/Violence-R...

Because I maintain my self control doesn't mean you, or whomever, won't make the mistake of trying to intellectually emasculate someone else at some point in the same way who perhaps lacks self control, and how will they likely react? By causing physical harm, if not to you then perhaps to some innocent person with no knowledge of what set them off in the first place. So maybe you should think before you try to humiliate someone and evoke their paranoia just to boost your own ego. Obviously you do no one any good, including yourself, and may even be responsible, directly or indirectly, for your own or someone else's suffering as a result when you attempt to deflate someone's ego so far that they feel cornered and threatened, or exposed and thus humiliated. I'll take responsibility for my harsh comments, and I do genuinely apologize if I angered, humiliated or offended anyone, however it would be much appreciated if you would not accuse me of doing exactly what you are doing, and especially if you don't want me to take a personal attack personally. Just use a little foresight. That's all I ask of you. 

Furthermore:

"More than one person was using this account in this discussion. I for one, was only trying to answer your questions, but apparently you are too skeptical to do that over this medium."

This statement doesn't make sense. How is it my place to 'do that' when to 'do that' is defined as your answering my questions? Also, why are you answering my question? My question is for the FBI, and I asked it in the comments section of this article for reasons of substance (had I asked elsewhere they could respond by pretending to be ignorant, here they can't deny the context of my question, plus this is a public forum where everyone can read the question), and I don't recall asking you or anyone else but the FBI any actual questions of relevance, besides, the irrelevant questions (statements I put in the form of a question for purposes of respect and integrity) were never actually answered with any substance. Someone who logged in with the "spamsucks" account then claimed to be an administrator and stated that I was debating more than one unidentified 'spamsucks' person who contradict each other rather than one person contradicting her/his own statements, and stating that some want of avoiding detection by some technology was the reasoning without supporting that claim with say a link to some evidence that such technology exists rather than just dropping names, maybe an online article about the technology, anything really, followed by what I presume is support for this claim, namely something that happened to some unspecified "German" after 9/11 (at least specify which 9/11 - there was a 9/11 in 1973 in case you forgot) quite frankly doesn't prove squat, and certainly is not what I would consider convincing support for the argument you're making.

Now, getting back to the subject at hand, why should we believe the FBI agent whose allegations could be used against every anarchist whether they were aware of such vandalism incidents or not? We don't want to hand them (the pigs) some free ammo to use against us all in the press, the courts, the legislature and most detrimentally the executive power of the governments of this society, do we? How will that serve the success of our efforts and not derail them? If the FBI says anarchists committed a crime then we will all suffer for the acts of a couple of people, and if it never happened then we are suffering because of a lie. Power is premised on lies, so to defeat power we can refute lies with truth, but it helps if we actually do it, and timing definitely counts in many instances, and sometimes we don't know the truth or the lies because we have no reason or evidence upon which to do so, so that is when we can yank the truth out of the liars (in this case the FBI) by using inquiry - questions. That is all my first comment was. A question, not a critique, not an analysis, and not a pitch to start a pissing contest with freshmen students of poly sci or philosophy or whatever. If you aren't the FBI then why even chomp down on the bate set out for them and not you?