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New Book: Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement’s Rise and Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People’s Vote, 2000-2008

Bob Fitrakis
October 5, 2012

CICJ Books has just released “Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement’s Rise and Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People’s Vote, 2000-2008” by Marta Steele.

Marta Steele has done yeoman work for the election integrity movement. She has plowed through more websites and blogs than one can even imagine. She set out with the nearly impossible task of writing the definitive historical narrative of the folly of electronic voting in the United States between 1988 and 2008. More shockingly, she accomplished that task.

Electronic voting machines are perfectly designed to steal elections. That’s their principle purpose. Ireland has just gotten rid of them altogether. Germany, Japan, Canada, Switzerland all use paper ballots. Why? Because you can actually count them in public, and then count them again.

But here in the US, elections are corporate-owned and operated. Anyone who experienced pushing the e-spot for John Kerry and having the name George W. Bush light up—as happened so often in Ohio 2004—knows all too well that what Marta Steele documents in this remarkable book has become the defining reality in American election theft.

What she has done by way of documentation is truly impressive. Never again will those who question the validity of electronic voting be called “conspiracy theorists.” Through sheer tenacity, the author has scoured the vast morass of cyberspace and brought back all the essential data and assembled it in an understandable and analytical fashion. Readers can only draw one conclusion from her work – those who deny the death of democracy are foolish “coincidence theorists.”

She accumulated mountains of incidences that show the so-called “red shift” in favor of the Republican Party is not an anomaly or computer “glitch,” but evidence that there is systematic tampering of computerized voting machines by private companies connected to the Republican Party. Although our newspaper, the Columbus Free Press, and our website freepress.org published plenty on the flaws of electronic voting and election irregularities, we were nonetheless overwhelmed by the research documented in this volume. Those who read this book will no longer fall for the easy propaganda lines and talking points put forth by Karl Rove and his cohorts in explaining away impossible election results.

This book is important because its research is so detailed, its history so clear, and its analysis so convincing. The book destroys the mythology that “it can’t happen here” – that our system is an old and infallible democracy that can’t be corrupted. This powerful work will force all who read it to take a side, but more importantly, to take action, perhaps even direct action.

A key breakthrough that the book allows is to shatter the absurd notion that the empire of the United Stated may very well meddle in and steal election abroad, but would never use these tactics at home. The fact that the Bush family, with their patriarch George Herbert Walker Bush being the CIA director, is so inextricably linked to the rise of electronic voting and improbably election results, should be no surprise. That’s why it is no coincidence that she starts her history of election voting irregularities in the year that George H.W. Bush wins the New Hampshire and becomes president.

The Bush family ascendancy corresponds to black box, nontransparent voting in America. The more we’ve privatized our software and hardware and called it “trade secrets,” the better the Bush family candidates have done, against all odds. Their presidential victories, with the official exit polls falling well outside the margin of errors and predicting victories for their opponents, would easily be denounced by election observers in a Third World country.

Small wonder that when push came to shove, Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell refused to allow United Nations observers into the Buckeye State polling places to check the veracity of the 2004 balloting.

We believe this book does more than any other to expose the evils of electronic voting. The endnotes alone amount to a giant step forward in revealing the crimes of privatized e-voting in our nation.

As Al Gore and John Kerry refused to do, we must now face the reality that as long as our balloting process is dominated by electronic machines, the outcome of any election can be flipped by a governor or secretary of state with a few late-night key strokes. Considering the hundreds of millions the rich and super-rich are willing to spend to control the government, would you ever doubt they would hesitate to buy an election?

What Marta Steele has done is to confirm far beyond any reasonable doubt that as long as electronic machines are at the core of our vote count, there is no such thing as democracy in the USA. What we have instead is an electronic corporatocracy….proprietary, secretive, anti-democratic and for sale (or lease) to the highest bidder. The real question is: now that Marta had made this all perfectly clear, what are we going to do about it?

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~ with Harvey Wasserman

Buy this book at the Free Press Online Store

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Protect the Vote! Election Protection & Video the Vote volunteers needed

Election Protection Observers
The Free Press (Freepress.org) in conjunction with the Green Party will be placing observers for the 2012 election. We need volunteers. All observers must be eligible voters in Ohio.
If you are new to this, you may not know that we can appoint one observer at the county level. County level observers can observe in a different county from their county of residence. County level observers can observe at any precinct throughout the day, and also can observe the vote counting* process in the evening of election day (approximately 7:30 to midnight) Our goal is to place one county level observer in 44 of the 88 Ohio counties, and have that county level observer spend the evening at the county BOE.

If you are willing to help, we need some feedback.

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Bob Representing Madeline ffitch Arrested Protesting PA Toxic Frack Water In Ohio

Bob Fitrakis represents Madeline ffitch in Athens who was arrested and charged with a felony for chaining herself to cement barrels to protest toxic water brought into southern Ohio from Pennsylvania’s fracking industry. (btw Madeline prefers her last name spelled this way)

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Election Assessment Committee Houston 2005

Bob Fitrakis testifies with Richard Hayes Phillips and the late Bill Moss before the Election Assessment Committee in Houston in 2005. The testimony was submitted to the Carter-Baker Commission which was looking at improving U.S. elections.

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How the GOP could steal America’s 2012 election: corporate vote theft and the future of American democracy PART ONE

  by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
July 24, 2012

The Republican Party could steal the 2012 US Presidential election with relative ease.

Four major factors make it possible: the continued existence of the Electoral College, the systematic disenfranchisement of millions of American voters over the past decade, the widespread and growing use of electronic voting machines, and GOP control of the governorships and secretary of state offices in the key swing states that will once again decide the election.

To this we must add the likelihood that the core of the activist community that came out to protect the vote for Barack Obama in 2008 may not do so again in 2012.

Towering over it all, of course, is the reality that corporate money has come to totally dominate the American electoral process. The John Roberts US Supreme Court has definitively opened the floodgates with its infamous Citizens United decision. But for well over a century, at least since the 1880s, corporations have ruled American politics. Back then the courts began to confer on corporations the privileges of human rights without the responsibilities of human decency.

Citizens United has taken that reality to a whole new level. As the 2012 election approaches we are watching gargantuan waves of unrestricted capital pouring into political campaigns at all levels. The June recall election in Wisconsin saw at least 8 times as much money being spent on protecting Republican governor Scott Walker as was spent trying to oust him.

Nationwide this year, the corporate largess vastly favors Republicans over Democrats. But since both parties are essentially corporate in nature, that could change in coming elections, and may even vary in certain races in 2012.

We do not believe that once given the chance, the Republicans are any more prone to stealing elections than the Democrats.

And that is a major point of this book. On its surface, the prime focus of our nation’s sorry history of stolen elections has to do with Democrats stealing elections from Republicans and vice-versa. In 2012 it will be primarily Republicans using gargantuan sums of corporate money to take control of the government from Democrats, and democracy be damned.

But in the longer view, the more important reality is that the corruption of our electoral system is perfectly geared toward crushing third and other parties whose focus is challenging a corporate status quo deeply entrenched in war, inequality, and ecological destruction.

So as we trace the stories of election theft dating all the way back to John Adams and Tom Jefferson, we do fret over the corruption that defines so much of the back-and-forth between Democrats and Republicans. But we hope that you, the reader, will always remember that whatever the corporate parties do to each other separately pales before what they will do together to crush non-corporate forces like the Populist Party, the Socialist movement and the grassroots campaigns for peace, justice and ecological preservation. This applies to both candidates running for office and referenda aimed at directly changing policy.

Yes, we are concerned with the injustice and corrupting nature of the reality that corporate money could fund a series of anti-democratic tricks that will steal the 2012 election away from the intent of the American electorate. Given the choices facing us, this means Mitt Romney could well become president despite the possibility of a legitimate victory by Barack Obama.

But far more important in the long run is that the ability to do this by either corporate party (or both of them) means no third party will be allowed to break through in future elections to make meaningful change in this country—at least not through the ballot box.

No reality could be more grim for a nation that long-ago pioneered modern democracy and seemed to bring to the world the possibility of a society in which the possibility of continually making meaningful, life-giving change was guaranteed along with the right to vote.

American history is chock full of election abuse from both parties, dating at least back to 1800, when the Democrat-Republican Thomas Jefferson wrested the presidency from Federalist John Adams based on the “votes” of African-American slaves who were allowed nowhere near a ballot box.

That Adams spent the next six years muttering about that theft before he opened a legendary exchange of letters with his former friend and rival did nothing to rid the country of the Electoral College that made it possible. Nor did it prevent his son, John Quincy, from using it to steal the 1824 election from a very angry slaveowner named Andrew Jackson, who then formed the Democratic Party that now claims Barack Obama.

But in 2012, the GOP controls the registration rolls and the swing state vote count in ways that the Democrats do not.

It will be the Republicans’ choice as to how far they are willing to go to put Mitt Romney in the White House. But as this book will show, they have the power to do it if they’re willing to use it.

They did not have that option in 2008, when Barack Obama and Joe Biden defeated John McCain and Sarah Palin. Ohio had a Democratic governor and secretary of state that year. Obama safely carried the usually decisive Buckeye State in 2008, along with enough additional swing states to put him in the White House.

But when John Kerry failed in Ohio 2004, he handed George W. Bush a second term in ways that paralleled Bush’s initial coming to power in the bitterly disputed election of 2000. In both elections, the defeated Democrat refused to raise the issue of widespread corporate-sponsored fraud. This book lays out much of the evidence that both elections were, in fact, stolen, and shows how the same means used to do it back then are likely to be repeated this year.

The difference in Ohio 2008, as in much of the nation, was that candidate Barack Obama inspired millions of young, committed, active supporters to work overtime for his election. They came out in droves to promote and protect voter registration, monitor polling places, challenge faulty and discriminatory ballot procedures, scrutinize voting machines and otherwise guarantee a more fair and balanced vote count.

In his four years as President, Barack Obama has alienated much of the grassroots activist community that put him in the White House. Due to his stances on nuclear power, bank bailouts, social justice, civil liberties, medical marijuana and other issues that are near and dear to grassroots activists, Obama has prompted the progressive press to be filled with “disappointment” at the very least. As usual, the left community—infamous for its circular firing squads—has already begun tearing itself apart over whether to vote for Obama’s re-election.

But that debate is beside the point. Given the delicate corporate balance on the US Supreme Court, and a wide range of tipping point issues that include women’s rights and the environment, many or even most of those who worked for Obama in 2008 are likely to vote for him again this year.

But just their votes will not make the difference, any more than they did in 2008.

What was decisive in that election was the presence of tens of thousands of committed activists who were willing to devote hours, days, weeks to registering voters, getting them to the polls, making sure they survived challenges to their right to vote, watching over the ballots, doing exit polling, monitoring electronic voting machines and the counts they rendered, making sure the media was aware of resulting abuses—or spreading them through the internet—and otherwise guaranteeing that what had happened in 2000 and 2004 did not happen again in 2008.

Their presence is what put Barack Obama in the White House. But his policies there have done little to encourage those activists to come back to work for him in 2012. Their ballots will probably go his way, but the ardent commitment that defined the 2008 election is clearly missing. So is ACORN, a key long-standing grassroots voter advocacy organization that was destroyed by a concerted GOP attack that succeeded through the cynical but highly effective use of entrapment and disinformation that succeeded in its purpose while Obama stood silent.

Without that activist core to protect the voter rolls, balloting procedures and vote counts this year, Obama and the Democrats are highly vulnerable to a re-run of what was done to Al Gore and John Kerry in 2000 and 2004.

We do not yet know if Obama’s policies, so widely perceived as pro-corporate, will yield him enough corporate cash to match what Mitt Romney will raise. That both parties are dominated by corporations is a forgone conclusion. In 2008 Obama managed to balance that reality with a hugely successful portrayal of himself as a man of and for the grassroots.

At least among the activist community, that perception is long gone. It remains to be seen whether Obama’s decision to court the corporations at the expense of the grassroots will yield him a financial war chest larger than what Mitt Romney can raise.

We also can’t pinpoint the exact advantages—if any—the additional corporate dollars might yield Obama and the Democrats in their attempt to keep the White House.

But simply put: even if he succeeds in winning a legitimate majority of the American electorate, there are not likely to be enough grassroots activists inspired by the hard realities of Barack Obama’s presidency to put in the grueling work that will be needed to guarantee a voter turnout and ensure a vote count fair enough to give him a second term.

In this book, we show why such a national grassroots effort to guarantee a fair election will be necessary to Barack Obama’s re-election. And why without it the GOP is virtually certain to put Mitt Romney in the White House come January, 2013.

That such an effort would also be key to what happens in the races for the US Senate and House of Representatives goes without saying, and we’ll discuss that after we deal with the presidency.

Carried along by the tsunami of corporate cash now pouring into American politics, there are four key factors that could allow the Republican Party to steal the 2012 presidential election:

The continued presence of the Electoral College;

The systematic disenfranchisement of millions of legitimate American voters, most of them likely Democrats;

The widespread use of electronic voting machines.

The Republican control of the governorships and secretary of state offices in the key swing states should decide the 2012 election for Romneys.


Originally published by The Free Press, http://freepress.org

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Fight Back Interview with Derrick Jones Producer, “The Great Incarcerator” and film event

Still from Trailer

See podcast audio player bottom of article.

Bob Fitrakis on the air Podcast! WVKO 1580AM on the prison industrial complex! Interview with Derrick Jones, filmmaker. “The Great Incarerator – the Dark Little Secret” (Trailer) on the racist nature of our prison system.
11am-12noon Saturday July 21
or on the website wvko1580.com

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The Great Incarcerator, part 1: Dark Little Secret
Documentary on the United States prison system

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
7:30pm
Drexel Theater
2254 E Main St
Bexley

The Great Incarcerator, part 1: Dark Little Secret examines the United States prison system and its unprecedented explosion in population and the exploitation of dark, poor faces, intentionally relegated to second-class citizenship otherwise known as continued, legal slavery.

Featuring:
Michelle Alexander, Kunta Kenyatta, Dr. Michelle Brown, Cynthia McKinney, Dr. Angela Davis, natural, Mansfield Frazier, Niki Schwartz, Esq., Saadiqah Hasan, Sen. Nina Turner, Judge Daniel Hogan, Alvin Valentine.

Discussion with filmmakers and members of Lucasville Amnesty group following the film.
The 35-minute film co-sponsored by the Columbus Film Council and The Free Press. It is free and open to the public.

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Wisconsin: None dare call it vote rigging

Bob Fitrakis

June 14, 2012

If vote-rigging prospers, none may call it vote-rigging. It simply becomes the new norm. Once again, the universal laws of statistics apply only outside U.S. borders. The recall vote in Wisconsin produced another significant 7% discrepancy between the unadjusted exit poll and the so-called “recorded vote.” In actual social science, this level of discrepancy, with the results being so far outside the expected margin of error would not be accepted.

When I took Ph.D. statistics to secure my doctorate in political science, we were taught to work through the rubric, sometime referred to as HISMISTER. The “H” stood for an explanation of the discrepancy rooted in some historical intervention, such as one of the candidates being caught in a public restroom with his pants down and a “wide stance” soliciting an undercover cop. The “I” that came next suggested we should check our instrumentation, that is, are the devices adequately reporting the data?

Here’s where U.S. elections become laughable. A couple of private companies, count our votes with secret proprietary hardware and software, the most notable being ES&S. Every standard of election transparency is routinely violated in the U.S. electronic version of faith-based voting. How the corporate-dominated media deals with the issue is by “adjusting the exit polls.” They simply assume the recorded vote on easily hacked and programmed private machines are correct and that the international gold standard for detecting election fraud – exit polls – must be wrong.

They are not going to go through the rest of the acronym and check to see if the Sample makes sense, that the right Measurements are being taken, or whether or not there’s been a breakdown in Implementing the exit polling. They won’t check to see if the representative Size of the polling numbers are accurate, or if there are problems with the pollster’s Technique, or if there was human Error, or if there’s just bad Recording going on.

Of course, the machines could be recording wrong because they are programmed for an incorrect outcome. The easiest people to convince regarding the absurdity of electronic voting with private proprietary hardware and software are the computer programmers across the political spectrum. Statisticians and mathematicians also readily comprehend the obvious nature of rigged elections.

One of my favorite mathematicians is Richard Charnin, who on his website using readily available public information, calculates the odds of the so-called ‘red shift” occurring from the 1988 to 2008 presidential elections. The red shift refers to the overwhelming pick up of votes by the Republican Party in recorded votes over what actual voters report to exit pollsters.

In Charnin’s analysis of exit poll data, we can say with a 95% confidence level – that means in 95 out of 100 elections – that the exit polls will fall within a statistically predictable margin of error. Charnin looked at 300 presidential state exit polls from 1988 to 2008, 15 state elections would be expected to fall outside the margin of error. Shockingly, 137 of the 300 state presidential exit polls fell outside the margin of error.

What is the probability of this happening?

“One in one million trillion trillion trlllion trillion trillion trillion,” said Charnin.

More proof of Republican operatives and sympathizers is found in the fact that 132 of the elections fell outside the margin in favor of the GOP. We would expect eight.

Say you have a fair coin to flip. We would expect that if we flip that coin there would be an even split between heads and tails – or in this case, Republicans and Democrats. Election results falling outside the margin of error should be equally split between both parties. Yet, only five times, less than expected, did the extra votes fall in the direction of the Democratic Party.

So what are the odds? According to Charnin, of 132 out of 300 state presidential elections exceeding the margin of error in the direction of the Republicans – one in 600 trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion.

The corporate-owned media does not want to mention that the problems with the exit polls began with the ascendancy of the former CIA Director George Herbert Walker Bush to the presidency in 1988. It is also that year when the non-transparent push-and-pray voting machines were introduced in the New Hampshire primary by Bush ally John Sununu. Bush, who rigged elections for the CIA throughout the Third World did unexpectedly well where the voting machines were brought in.

In any other election outside the U.S., the U.S. State Department would condemn the use of the these highly riggable machines based on the discrepancy in the exit polls. It’s predictable what would happen if an anti-U.S. KGB agent in some former Soviet Central Asian republic picked up an unexplained 5% of the votes at odds with the exit polls. A new election would be called for, as it was in the Ukraine in 2004. We would not have accepted the reported vote from the corrupt intelligence officer.

The CIA Director’s son wins with laughable exit poll discrepancies in 2000 and 2004 and the mainstream media sees no evil. The media’s perspective is to discredit the exit polls, which they sponsor, and call any who point to the polls “conspiracy theorists.”

In 2004, 22 states had a red shift to the CIA Director’s son, George W. Bush. Usually such improbably results are signs of a Banana Republic. Now we have a too-close-to-call neck and neck recall race in Wisconsin that show an obvious red shift for a right-wing red governor. Nobody wants to look at the non-transparent black box machines. Electronic election rigging has prospered. Long live the “adjusted” vote totals.


Originally published by The Free Press, http://freepress.org

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Fight Back Saturday @ 11AM With Rob Kall OpEdNews and Cointel Event

Dr. Fitrakis and Rob Kall

WVKO 1580AM FIGHT BACK radio show with Bob Fitrakis and Rob Kall as guest and Cointel Discussion Event

This week – COINTELPRO rises again! Interview with Rob Kall, OpEdNews
And a report from an activist at the NATO protest in Chicago
http://www.wvko1580.com/listen/
Saturday, May 26
11am-12noon
Call-in 614-821-1580

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Memorial Day Weekend
COINTELPRO WorkShop
And Discussion

What: We grew up believing we had the legally protected right to petition our government for redress of grievences. However in the 1960’s-70’s COINTELPRO disagreed. This government-run program targeted and harmed many individuals and organizations who are now recognized as visionary & heroic (Dr Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Albert Einstein, NAACP, CORE, Southern Christian Leadership Council, etc.) Since then both the Bush & Obama administrations have passed legislation further erroding our rights to dissent and eliminating many vital “due process” protections for both American Citizens & Foreign Nationals.

Why: Remember those who have fallen in the struggle for human rights. Discuss COINTELPRO and other anti-democratic programs used to surveil, infiltrate, disrupt and harm civil rights activists & their organizations.

Who: Speakers include Bob Fitrakis, noted Civil Rights Attorney & Green Party Candidate for Congress (12th District). Suzanne Patzer/Columbus Free Press. Ben Turk/Redbird Prison Abolition.

When: Saturday, May 26th. Doors open at 6:30pm with free food & music. Speakers begin at 7pm. Admittance is free.

Where: InfoShop. 172 East Fifth Ave. About 3 blocks off High St. Between Summit & North 4th Street.

Disclaimer: Today’s Human Rights Struggles are peaceful and democratic. However the 1% against whom we struggle are not. This may be the most important workshop/discussion you attend all year. Come join us.


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From the Kent State killings to Occupy Cleveland, this is the face of the new COINTELPRO

Bob Fitrakis
May 5, 2012

Recent events in northern Ohio underscore the new COINTELPRO assault on activism. On Tuesday, May 1, federal authorities arrested five “anarchists” charging them with conspiracy in trying to bomb property used in interstate commerce, according to the Associated Press (AP). The target of this alleged plot was a bridge running through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 15 miles south of downtown Cleveland.

Media immediately identified the men as linked to the nonviolent anti-corporate Occupy Cleveland movement. The next day, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson refused to renew the permits for Occupy Cleveland’s downtown encampment site. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio questioned why the Mayor would revoke the permit the day after the arrests. “Individuals are responsible for their own actions, not the groups they affiliate with,” said James Hardiman, ACLU’s Ohio Legal Director.

An undercover employee of the FBI later identified as an ex-convict sold the Cleveland “anarchists” fake explosives to blow up the bridge, according to the AP. As an axiom in activist politics, if anyone approaches a demonstrator and suggests violent activities and offers to procure guns or bombs – they are in all probability a cop or working for law enforcement.

Friday, May 4 was the 42nd anniversary of the Kent State shootings. Recall that the shootings only occurred after the mysterious burning down of the Kent State ROTC building on May 2, 1970. Numerous accounts of the event indicate that the Kent State police never attempted to stop the arsonist and the University’s own investigative study reported: “The persons involved in the actual incendiarism were few, were separated from the main crowd, and could easily have been apprehended by the police.”

The Ohio National Guard would have never been called to the Kent State campus without the ROTC arson.

William A. Gordon’s book “Four Dead in Ohio” noted that the Kent State University police made no attempt to prevent the ROTC fire despite the fact that their own intelligence warnings alerted them to the impending arson. One detective even admitted telling a TV camera crew, “Don’t pack your cameras. We’re going to have a fire tonight.”

The special grand jury report done under the auspices of Portage County Common Pleas Judge Edwin W. Jones concluded that, “It is obvious that the burning of the ROTC building could have been prevented with the manpower then available.”

In 1976, Senator Frank Church and his Senate investigation committee exposed the government’s Counter Intelligence Program (CONINTELPRO). The FBI admitted to the Church Committee that on May 7, 1970 they deliberately set fire to an ROTC building in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Six pages concerning ROTC fires were redacted in the Church Committee report.

As Alan Canfora, one of the students shot on May 4, said “some of the students there did try to light the building on fire. It was like the Three Stooges trying to burn the ROTC building. When we left, that fire was completely out.”

In his book, Gordon noted that a biker showed up with a can of gasoline and gave it to a high school student, George Walter Harrington, who then burnt the building. Gordon and others have speculated as to whether the biker worked for the FBI or federal authorities. Despite the presence of fire and police officials, neither the biker nor Harrington were every prosecuted.

The original COINTELPRO ran between 1956 and 1971. Its purpose was to discredit any peace and social justice movements. The tactics they used were those of psychological warfare. Tactics included smearing the reputations of individual activists and organizations through planting false stories in the media; forging documents; planting evidence leading to wrongful imprisonments, sending in undercover agents and snitches to promote illegal activities and violence; and even assassination.

The initial evidence in Cleveland, as in Kent State 42 years earlier, points to a rejuvenated COINTELPRO movement designed to destroy the reputation of the highly successful Occupy Wall Street movement.

David K. Shipler, the author of “Rights and Risks: The Limits of Liberty in Modern America,” pointed out in an April 29, 2012 New York Times op-ed that most recent terrorist plots in the United States have been hatched by the FBI. Shipler wrote “But dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naively play their parts until they are arrested.”

Two days after Shipler’s words, the five anarchists are arrested with fake C-4 in Cleveland. As Shipler points out, “Some threats are real, others less so. In terrorism, its not easy to tell the difference.”

Shipler should have added, some terrorist threats are manufactured by the government to destroy social justice movements.

It has already been widely reported that Homeland Security was involved in harassing the Occupy movement. (See, Free Press, January 5, 2012)

A little known but highly influential private organization, The Police Executive Research Forum, an international non-governmental organization with ties to law enforcement and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, emerged last November as coordinating the crackdown on the Occupy movement. They were coordinating conference calls with major metropolitan mayors and police chiefs.

It should come as no surprise that five so-called anarchists, with no capacity to blow up a bridge on their own, were sold or given fake C-4 from an ex-convict working with federal law enforcement. And then, a big city mayor uses it to attack the Occupy movement. From the Kent State killings to Occupy Cleveland, this is the face of the new COINTELPRO, same as the old COINTELPRO. The 1% are still protected by the illegal activities of the security industrial complex that routinely violate the civil liberties of U.S. citizens seeking nonviolent change.