This came out a few days ago from the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund:
How Homeland Security Is Hiding the Feds’ Role in Occupy CrackdownI certainly do find it odd.
A trove of documents released today by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to a FOIA request filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, filmmaker Michael Moore and the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee reveal that federal law enforcement agencies began their coordinated intelligence gathering and operations on the Occupy movement even before the first tent went up in Zuccotti Park on September 17, 2011.
On September 17, 2011, a Secret Service intelligence entry in its Prism Demonstrations Abstract file records the opening of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. The demonstration location that the Secret Service was protecting? The “Wall Street Bull.” The name of the Protectee? The “U.S. Government.”
American taxpayers might find it odd to learn that the Secret Service was on duty to protect the Wall Street Bull in the name of protecting the U.S. Government …
First, the Wall Street Bull was never in jeopardy from anyone.
Second, the Wall Street Bull belongs neither to Wall Street nor to the Federal Government. Who does own it is a good question, but the two main contenders are sculptor Arturo Di Modica, and the City of New York.
Third, the U.S. Government was neither in peril, nor the focus of the protest. If we’ve gotten to the point where a protest aimed at Wall Street is perceived as putting the U.S. Government in jeopardy, then Houston, we have a problem.
Fourth, the Department of Homeland Security is supposed to prevent or respond to terrorist attacks, man-made disasters, and natural disasters. It has no authority to act as a general police force, and certainly doesn’t have the authority to interfere with legitimate citizen protests. This has enormous potential implications. The DHS has way too much power and way too little scrutiny when it’s just going after terrorists. Imagine the whole country operating under airport rules.
Fifth, the same goes for the Secret Service, which was also involved. If the DHS has zero jurisdiction in these matters, the Secret Service has less than zero. Their official job is to (a.) protect the president and vice president and their families, plus presidential candidates, foreign embassies, and visiting heads of state; and (b.) to safeguard the Treasury and national financial systems, which used to mostly mean counterfeiting, but these days includes financial institutional fraud, computer fraud, electronic transfers and money laundering, and other criminal activities of that sort. They should not had had anything to do with the Occupy Wall Street protests.
I find it disturbing that the Secret Service didn’t even bother to invent a bllsht link between their involvement and some hoked-up threat OWS might present to national financial institutions. It tells me that acting completely outside their constitutional powers is nothing new for them.
If the Secret Service is supposed to go after financial institutional fraud, they’re one of the primary institutions that failed in their duty to protect us from the financial chicanery that brought down the economy. Now we see them acting illegally as Wall Street’s defenders and enforcers. I cannot believe that these circumstances are unrelated.
Sixth, it appears from the documents that these federal agencies began acting against the Occupy Wall Street movement before the first protests even happened. This, if you don’t mind my saying so, is a complete fckng outrage, a violation of numerous constitutional rights, an extremely dangerous precedent, and — judging from the actual documents — not at all unusual.
I object to this, strenuously and without cease. It’s exactly the kind of Secret Police bllsht the Constitution explicitly prohibits — and with good reason. If you don’t know why, ask the thread.
Addendum, because SamChevre reminded me:
My seventh objection is to the paragraph which follows the one I initially quoted:
These documents, many of which are redacted, show that the highest officials in the Department of Homeland Security were preoccupied with the Occupy movement and have gone out of their way to project the appearance of an absence of federal involvement in the monitoring of and crackdown on Occupy.Operational security is justified in legitimate investigations. This isn’t operational security. DHS is trying to cover up the fact that they’re acting way outside their already overbroad authority. That kind of secrecy is not legitimate in a government whose authority is derived from the consent of the governed.