The DHS has reinvented itself as a secret police unit to spy on political activists
Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
The Department of Homeland Security feared that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations would turn violent during their height last year, according to a leaked document obtained by Rolling Stone Magazine.
Whether you support the goals of Occupy Wall Street or not, this is yet another example of how the federal agency, which was created under the auspices of protecting the United States from terrorist attacks, is primarily concerned with keeping tabs on citizens who express their First Amendment rights.
“The five-page report – contained in 5 million newly leaked documents examined by Rolling Stone in an investigative partnership with WikiLeaks – goes on to sum up the history of Occupy Wall Street and assess its “impact” on everything from financial services to government facilities,” writes Michael Hastings.
The document also details how much of DHS’ information was obtained through monitoring Twitter feeds from OWS activists, underscoring once again the fact that the federal agency is spying on social media as part of a chilling effect on free speech, belying claims made earlier this month by DHS representatives that the agency is only concerned with messages relating to natural disasters.
Homeland Security’s fear that the demonstrations could lead to violence is summarized in the final paragraph of the document.
“The growing support for the OWS movement has expanded the protests’ impact and increased the potential for violence. While the peaceful nature of the protests has served so far to mitigate their impact, larger numbers and support from groups such as Anonymous substantially increase the risk for potential incidents and enhance the potential security risk to critical infrastructure (CI).”
Not only did Homeland Security monitor the development of Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, many of the raids on OWS camps across the country were “coordinated with help from Homeland Security,” according to a Justice Department official.
In addition, the Federal Protective Service, a component of the DHS that is tasked with providing security for government buildings, arrested photographers at Portland’s Terry Shrunk Plaza during an ‘Occupy’ event, illustrating how the FPS is now operating as Homeland Security’s secret police unit. Since 2006, the FPS has been used to spy on dozens of peaceful advocacy groups and monitor scores of lawful protests and political rallies in the name of national security. In 2004, the FPS arrested a veteran for the crime of complaining to his local VA office in Des Moines.
As part of its broadening mandate to crack down on free speech, the DHS is also targeting activists from the other side of the political spectrum.
In one case, the DHS hired a private Israeli security firm to spy on anti-tax protesters in Pennsylvania, characterizing the group as a terror threat.
Given the fact that the DHS has reinvented itself as a secret police force whose primary objective is to spy on political activism, it’s unsurprising that Egypt’s notorious state security service, complicit in the imprisonment and torture of anti-regime activists, last year decided to re-brand itself as “homeland security”.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.
This article was posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 5:06 am