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View Diary: Actually read the documents released by the FBI about OWS (319 comments)

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  •  The Sniper Report is what really gets me. (29+ / 0-)

    "If deemed necessary," seems like someone was working for someone else. "Suppressed sniper rifles," plural, sounds like an organization.

    I want answers for this. I don't know who they're talking about here.

    I hope the folks at the FBI were as horrified by this as I was, but I don't know, because that's not the information that I have.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:34:38 AM PST

    •  That seems like intel about a counter protest (18+ / 0-)

      but the other diary made it seem like it was evidence that the FBI contemplated assassinating OWS protesters.

      •  so (7+ / 0-)

        "planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors in Houston, Texas, if deemed necessary" doesn't seem the way the FBI would be talking about right-wing terrorists if that's what some people are suggesting. "If deemed necessary" sounds like language suggesting that some rational entity is making a reasonable judgment of possibly shooting at us.

        -- Ryvr
        END THIS WAR NOW

        by Ryvr on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:48:23 AM PST

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        •  I don't read it as the sniper being an official (10+ / 0-)

          It sounds to me like they were investigating some nutcase that was planning on taking down OWS organizers they saw as "leaders", if they showed up in Texas.

          The questions is what fills in that blank? Is it an identified potential domestic terrorist like some right wing nut job or is it an identified FBI or other security agent? It seems to me that if it was an official, it wouldn't be written the way it was.

          It looks like they were actually watching the person that was planning to act as sniper if anyone from OWS showed up in Texas.

          An identified BLANK as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors in Houston, Texas, if deemed necessary. An identified BLANK had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. BLANK planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles

          "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

          by Siri on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 11:42:02 AM PST

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          •  thought experiment (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Siri

            try substituting any of the following for protestors/protest groups in the statement:

            * president/cabinet
            * chief justice/supreme court justices
            * ambassador/diplomat
            * pope/cardinals

            etc.

            for instance:

            An identified BLANK as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against the president in Houston, Texas, if deemed necessary. An identified BLANK had received intelligence that indicated the president and  members of his cabinet met with diplomats in New York and Seattle to plan similar negotiations in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. BLANK planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the negotiating teams and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles

            just saying

            •  I really believe that the way it's written (9+ / 0-)

              shows that the person/group they are watching was external and not part of the FBI or other government organization. Yes, if you substitute anything else for OWS you start thinking about who might be targeting that person. It doesn't read like the report recounts an official plan, rather the surveillance of someone they deemed a threat to OWS organizers.

              I do hate what was done to OWS in painting them as some kind of dangerous group engaging in anything other than utterly peaceful protest. I hate the violence used against the protesters by police; the batons, the pepper spray, the horses, tear gas and bean bag rounds. It was brutal and unwarranted. They clearly targeted people trying to report what was happening. I'm sure that groups were infiltrated & monitored and that innocent people probably had all their communications under surveillance. It's abhorrent to me that people exercising their rights to free speech & assembly were targeted in that way.

              Having said that, I do not believe that the FBI or any other official agency was planning a sniper attack against OWS organizers. This document, in my estimation, shows that quite to the contrary, they were tracking someone that deemed to be a threat to OWS. We really don't know what happened to this potential sniper since the rest of the document is redacted. There were protests in Texas. This sniper scenario thankfully never unfolded. I would love to find out who this person/group was. I don't know if that's information we'll ever be able to get.

              "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

              by Siri on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 01:27:30 PM PST

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            •  I'm not sure my brain can perform the mental (5+ / 0-)

              gymnastics to imagine a government actor who will cheerfully contemplate assassination, yet at the same time honor a FOIA request that reveals those same musings.

      •  OWS has a lot in common with pro-gun people (11+ / 0-)

        No, not in actual weapons or plans to use them, but in their absurdly self-absorbed psychodrama. Second Amendment freaks have the silly belief that they are boldly standing in the way of government tyranny instead of being a bunch of suburban nobodies who basically don't matter. The OWS freaks have the same silly belief. And because they grossly overestimate their importance by several orders of magnitude, they have to compensate for the lack of serious opposition by inventing convoluted conspiracy theories to explain why the opposition is invisible.

        A perfect example, both in another diary and in a comment higher up in this one, is taking the FBI's investigation of potential sniper attacks against OWS and twisting it into an FBI plan to launch sniper attacks against OWS. Jesus fucking Christ, I loathe and distrust the FBI myself, but even if they were planning to engage in a terror campaign, they wouldn't calmly release the documentation of it to the public. Sheesh.

        OWS has done some good work, and they have been effective in drawing attention to our growing financial oligarchy. But they've also been a huge public nuisance, and they've engaged in a transparently cynical pissing contest with the notoriously thuggish police departments of several large cities to create drama. To judge from a non-insane reading of the FBI reports, federal law enforcement sure seems to be a lot more concerned with preventing violence, both from OWS and the usual anarchist opportunists who latch on to protests, and against them.

        It's not that there are no conspiracies here. It's just that they're operating in plain sight between the Federal Reserve, Congress, and Wall Street. The FBI is just doing its job, and doing it in a fairly perfunctory way, as one might expect from an agency that has vastly more important things to attend to than yet another round of narcissistic young people holding marginally coherent protests in public parks.

        And the bright side of the downward thermodynamic spiral is, um...

        by eodell on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:56:53 AM PST

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      •  I agree, sounds like they picked up other chatter (0+ / 0-)

        off the web from extremist armchair (or not-so-armchair) warriors.

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 12:49:52 PM PST

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      •  My Diary has been updated (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elmo, Nowhere Man

        to clarify our lack of knowledge of who was considering assassinations.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:28:28 PM PST

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    •  My immediate thought was a right wing militia (15+ / 0-)

      group.  There is another report that also refers to an individual who was going to shoot up the Leaders with sniper rifles.

      But yes, it doesn't read clearly who is behind it.

    •  "Suppressed sniper rifles" sounds like a group (5+ / 0-)

      a coordinated group using silencers on sniper rifles.

      Or, at least, that is what I think a "suppressed sniper rifle" is. A sniper with a silencer attached.

      Or, not necessarily a specific group, but many individuals (each equipped with one of these "suppressed sniper rifle" things) dispatched to the cities where Occupy was operating.

      And, a critical component of that "secret sniper report" released from the FBI is that U/LES acronym at the very beginning of the information.

      It seems that acronym mean "Going Dark" and refers to the possible LACK of authority of law enforcement.

      (U//LES) ‘Going Dark’is a Law Enforcement (LE) initiative to address the gap between the legal authority and practical ability of LE to conduct lawfully-authorized electronic surveillance.
      Am I reading that wrong? What does the U/LES stand for?


      One may live without bread, but not without roses.
      ~Jean Richepin
      Bread & Roses

      by bronte17 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 11:08:05 AM PST

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    •  Ollie (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey

      Sad to say but this kind of puffed up rhetoric is common on the extreme right. Employing the language of power feeds the desire of individuals to feel powerful.

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 12:42:07 PM PST

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    •  it could also be overuse of the passive voice (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, joe from Lowell

      the third sentence, "then formulate a plan" seems to contradict that.  i think recent events have made it very clear that rifles, plural, could easily be one person, and it's not at all clear there were other conspirators.

      The FBI, from this, took a threat seriously even before it was clear any "overt act" had occurred.  Not sure FBI agents ever get horrified - they must get numb to these types of threats.  I've seen people suggesting the FBI should have notified occupy, but I'm not sure that would work at this early stage - could indeed compromise the investigation.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 03:48:23 PM PST

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