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Kidnapping Dissent: The Whitmer Plot and the End of Freedom

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/10/2020 - 7:51am in

In “The Grand Chessboard,” Zbigniew Brzezinski warned his fellow ruling class cohorts that the onset of the information age would require disinformation strategies to mitigate any potential threat from an increasingly politically-aware population.

Five years before Brzezinski’s book was published, a white separatist and former Marine named Randy Weaver would be targeted by federal agents in what came to be known as the Ruby Ridge standoff; a landmark event in the formation of an anti-government subculture in the U.S., underpinned by a loose framework of White Supremacist ideologies rooted in the foundational myths of American settler culture and encouraged by their radical billionaire patrons who built a political machine at their expense and have set the stage for our current political reality.

Stoked for decades by an extremist capitalist oligarchy which has slowly and methodically disabled the levers of democracy to achieve its interests, the latent racial tensions that haunt America’s collective psyche are being exploited in ways never before possible with the advent of online disinformation mashups, like QAnon, Antifa, BLM and others along the spectrum of modern-day social media constructs.

As we near the 2020 presidential election, the skeletons in America’s closet are being dressed in the latest fashion and paraded before a terrified citizenry, whose health and peace of mind is under siege as a result of the pandemic crisis while simultaneously bombarded with apocalyptic scenarios of societal collapse and civil war, like the alleged conspiracy to kidnap and murder Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer as part of a larger plan to storm the Michigan State Capitol with hundreds of armed men.

But, considering the fact that all of the individuals charged in the plot had been under intense scrutiny by the Federal Bureau of Investigation months prior to the scheme being hatched, it is not surprising that suspicions of entrapment by the FBI have begun to swirl around the high profile case, which was filed before the U.S. District Court of Western Michigan last Tuesday.

 

Coloring over the lines

Ruby Ridge has long been a rallying cry for white separatists and is considered as the inspiration for the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh and Michigan native, Terry Nichols in 1995. Together with the tragedy at Waco, which occurred in 1993, these events form the holy trinity of the domestic terrorist narrative now crystallized into law at the federal level.

The standoff at Ruby Ridge stands as the most extensively documented case of overt terroristic procedures and techniques employed by the FBI and has been called a “dress rehearsal for Waco,” as many of the same agencies and personnel that participated in the seven-day siege at Ruby Ridge would turn their guns on the Branch Davidian complex soon thereafter.

In an apparently unrelated incident a few days before the FBI filed the affidavit against the alleged conspirators in the Whitmer case, FBI agents killed 43-year old Eric Mark-Matthew Allport during a shootout at a restaurant in a northern suburb of Detroit.

Allport had been at Ruby Ridge as a teenager and witnessed his friends and neighbors get massacred by federal agents. His death at the hands of police immediately lifted Allport into martyr status by members of the so-called Boogaloo Bois and other self-styled anti-government groups, despite the curious role Bill Grider, Allport’s father, played in the Ruby Ridge affair.

According to testimony by Deputy U.S. Marshal David Hunt, who used Grider to carry messages to and from Weaver’s cabin, Allport’s father offered to kill Randy Weaver for the feds. “He said he was going to kill him, and I wouldn’t have to pay him,” Hunt claimed under cross examination at the trial. While Hunt’s claims about Grider – who counted Weaver was a friend – were never confirmed, it is not uncommon to find infiltrated members of the armed forces and police among groups that threaten the state, but the ideological overlap between elements of law enforcement, military and secessionist groups also allows for a measure of sincere allegiance by such individuals.

Dar Leaf, the Sheriff of Barry County, which is located just south of Grand Rapids, reflected this reality in an interview with a local FOX affiliate on Thursday in which he unequivocally states that the kidnapping of Whitmer – in his eyes – should be treated as an attempt by concerned citizens to make a felony arrest of the governor for violating the constitution. Leaf had earlier been captured on video at a rally with one of the suspects.

 

A rising target

Prior to the 2018 midterm victory that put her in the governor’s mansion, Whitmer had served in the Michigan state Senate from 2006 until 2014. More recently, she had assumed the role of interim Ingham County prosecutor in 2016 after the serving prosecutor had to resign over a lurid sex scandal. Whitmer beat Republican Bill Schuette to take the governorship and after just one year in office, she came into the national spotlight for the first time when she was selected to deliver the Democrats’ response to the Trump’s last State of the Union address in February, which also coincided with the start of the FBI’s investigation into her would-be kidnappers.

In August, Whitmer again garnered national attention amid speculation that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was going to choose her as his running mate. By then, the FBI had compiled hours of conversations between the ragtag crew of convicted criminals and U.S. Marines, who in June, allegedly targeted Governor Whitmer as part of a grand plan to storm the Michigan State Capitol with 200 men and take hostages before the upcoming presidential election.

Gretchen Whitmer kidnappers

Suspects in the Whitmer case. From top left: Paul Bellar, Daniel Harris, Ty Garbin, Brandon Caserta, Kaleb Franks, Joseph Morrison, Pete Musico, and Adam Fox

The group’s motivation is said to come from Whitmer’s “unilateral” lockdown policies, extending the state’s coronavirus emergency measures beyond the original April 30 cut-off date through executive order. The move elicited an immediate reaction from conservatives in the state and the very influential Koch-funded Mackinac Center, which filed an injunction against the governor’s executive action in May.

After challenges to the governor’s orders were struck down in lower courts, the Republican-majority Michigan Supreme Court last week added fuel to the fire by ruling Whitmer’s executive orders to be unconstitutional and setting off a firestorm of controversy on the same day FBI agents murdered Eric Mark-Matthew Allport in Detroit and just before the FBI decided to submit their affidavit against the Whitmer plotters.

 

Truants and tyrants

The “tyrant bitch,” as aborted coup leader Adam Fox called Whitmer in a Facebook group later that month, was to be tried for treason in mock trial after which she would be executed, according to a recorded conversation that took place in the basement of a vacuum repair retail establishment owned by a long-time friend of Fox and former U.S. Marine, Brian Titus.

The term “tyrant” as used by Fox isn’t gratuitous but is yet another link to Ruby Ridge and the language adopted by white nationalists to refer to their enemy. The language used by Randy Weaver’s wife, Vicki, in letters where she quotes the founder of a White Supremacist prison gang organization called The Order: “Do you hear the approaching thunder?” she writes. “It is that of the awakened Saxon. War is upon the land. The tyrant’s blood will flow.”

After the conversation in the repair shop’s basement, the kidnapping plot seems to pick up speed. Less than a month later, the conspirators were getting together in Wisconsin for combat drills and an “alliance” with the White Supremacist Wolverine Watchmen group was effectuated soon thereafter in August after Adam Fox was introduced to one of their leaders at a gun rally.

Titus has been quoted in several stories about Fox, whom he now repudiates, despite knowing the young man since he was 17 and recently letting him squat in his shop’s basement. “I had no idea what was going on,” Titus told local CBS affiliate WWMT, though he conceded that Fox had “some dark secrets” and characterized him as an “anti-police, anti-government” man to another outlet.

On Sunday, CNN reported that military records confirmed two other suspects, Daniel Harris 23, and Joseph Morrison 26, are also former Marines. Morrison was actively serving in the reserve forces until last week, while Harris concluded his stint in 2019. The younger of the two is facing federal charges along with Fox and four other men. Morrison is among the seven facing state charges. Members of a Michigan militia known as the Wolverine Watchmen were also among those accused by state officials on Thursday of targeting police and helping to plan Whitmer’s kidnapping.

The generous interpretation of these events would credit the FBI with foiling the kidnapping plot against the Democratic governor of Michigan by a group of alleged domestic terrorists whose trail the agency had followed for three months short of a year and, despite knowing of the plan early in the summer of 2020, decided to sit on the case until less than a month before the presidential election and right on the heels of Trump’s “stand back and stand by” soundbite at the infamous presidential debate last week.

A more probable scenario is that the FBI, as it’s done time and again, led the subjects of their investigation down the road to entrapment by guiding their actions to the desired result and providing a narrative that politicians can use to further lead us down the road to an inescapable surveillance state where dissent is rebranded as a hate crime against our benevolent overlords.

Feature photo | Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at a campaign stop for Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., at the Detroit Pistons practice facility in Detroit, Sept. 22, 2020. Paul Sancya | AP

Raul Diego is a MintPress News Staff Writer, independent photojournalist, researcher, writer and documentary filmmaker.

The post Kidnapping Dissent: The Whitmer Plot and the End of Freedom appeared first on MintPress News.

Americans Afraid of Violence at Election Buying Guns and Ammunition

There was a report in this weekend’s I, for 10 – 11th October 2020, that the sales of armaments in the Land of the Free has gone up as people are afraid of violence breaking out between the supporters of Joe Biden and Donald Trump at the election. According to the report, ‘Fears it could all turn ugly fuel boom in arms sales’ by Andrew Hay, some are even afraid the violence could lead to civil war or social collapse. The article runs

Americans worried about possible violence after the presidential election are forming community watch groups or even taking up arms.

A common fear is that the 3 November contest between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden remains undecided, leading to protests that could escalate into civil unrest, or even sectarian conflict.

For Americans like financial adviser David Powell, the greatest worry is that they could be forced to take sides to protect civil rights, private property and even lives. “I’m not part of any group, don’t want to be part of a group, I’m your regular guy who is watching the news and is getting really concerned,” said Mr Powell, 64, or Raleigh, North Carolina. He said he worries about “Antifa thugs”, a term conservatives use to describe left-wing anti-fascist activists. He said he is prepared to “stand guard”. Some people are planning foreign vacations around election day or heading to rural retreats. Others have bought guns. Firearm sales hit a monthly record of 3.9 million in June, according to FBI data.

In Portland, Oregon, left-wing activist Dre Miller has reached out to leaders of the right-wing Proud Boys to set up a line of communication to resolve conflicts. “We need to be able to call a ceasefire when things get out of hand,” said Mr Miller, 37, an organiser with a Black rights group. “As a black man I cannot stand back. I’m standing up and standing by.” (p.13).

I’m not surprised. Although the Black Lives Matter protests have been described as mostly peaceful by the mainstream media, conservatives have posted videos on the internet showing violence and intimidation by BLM protesters, as well as mobs and individuals chanting racist slogans against Whites. This strikes at the racial and political fears that led to the emergence of the survivalist and militia movements in the ’80s and ’90s. They were formed by right-wing Americans afraid of social collapse and violence from Communists, the extreme left, and Blacks. There was a report on YouTube that Black Lives Matter protesters and a White militia faced off against each other a month or so ago. I’ve also seen reports that four members of a White militia have also been arrested for trying to kidnap the mayor of a town in Minnesota in order to start a civil war.

I don’t doubt that some of the fears of social collapse have been provoked by the emergence and collapse of CHUD, the autonomous anarchist commune in Seattle a few months ago. This lasted all of several weeks before it collapsed due to violence and lawlessness and the police moved in. But I’ve also no doubt that some of the fears also go back to some of the inflammatory, racist gibberish that the ultra-conservative right spewed against Obama. The conspiracy theorist Alex Jones ranted about Obama being the antichrist, and he and other members of the far right claimed that he was a Nazi, or communist, or militant Muslim, or atheist, filled with a genocidal hatred of White Christians. A couple of pastors running a church radio station told their listeners that he would start a ‘White genocide’ that would kill more people than Chairman Mao. Jones also claimed that Obama was plotting against the American people. America’s first Black president was going to declare an environmental emergency in order to imprison America’s people in FEMA camps as part of the globalist agenda to take over the world and turn us all into transgender cyborgs controlled by the evil, Satanic one-world government. Well, Obama’s been and gone for four years now, and Americans are as free as ever. But my guess is that those fears of a radical Black takeover are still lingering, and have been stoked by the BLM protests.

And there are parts of the American far right that would welcome a civil war before White and non-White, leftists and conservatives. The right-wing blogger Vox Day, aka Theodore Beale, posted a piece years ago expressing his view that America was going to disintegrate as the non-White areas split away from the White. I think he might have been looking forward to it, like many other extreme right-wingers, in the hope that it would mark the establishment of a White ethno-state.

So far tensions haven’t quite gone that far over this side of the pond. Britain has its fair share of gun freaks and shooting enthusiasts, but there isn’t the gun culture there is in America and paramilitary organisations like the militias are very definitely illegal over here. The NF/BNP used to organise weekend ‘self-defence’ courses, but these were shut down very quickly when the cops found evidence of weapons manufacture. When the contents of a garden shed was examined, the found a can of weed killer with its name crossed out and ‘Jew Killer’ written instead. Since then the BNP has collapsed and a slew of extreme right-wing, neo-Nazi organised proscribed as terrorist organisations.

Moreover, the Black Lives Matter protests over here have also been mostly peaceful, although this is challenged on YouTube by right-wing counterprotesters. The protests, like those in America, have been composed of both Blacks and Whites. One of the speakers at the protest in Cheltenham was a cute little girl, whose father was White. Black Lives Matter, or at least the branch in Bristol, also put out a statement that they weren’t trying to start a race war, but stop one. Whether these protests and the response to them would have remained peaceful had Sasha Johnson and her Black militia been active is highly debatable. As it is when the clip of her rallying her troops appeared on YouTube there were calls for government action from Alex Belfield amongst others. A right-wing backlash is now taking place against Black Lives Matter. Priti Patel and other members of the government have apparently denounced them so there is the potential for similar racial and political violence over here.

I honestly don’t know what can be done about the tense situation in America, except hope that the people with cool heads prevail and the protests, counter-protests and political rhetoric are toned down. The racial supremacists are going to be disappointed, as America is too old and stable for there to be a civil war. But there is the potential for serious violence and damage to people’s businesses and property, and obviously that needs to be avoided.

Let’s hope common sense and decency prevails against those seeking to provoke intolerance and violence.

‘I’ Feature on New Iranian Film about 1953 British-CIA against Mossadeq

Yesterday’s I, for 20th August 2020, published a very interesting piece by the Independent’s Kim Sengupta about a new Iranian film coming out today. It’s on the 1953 coup against Mohammed Mossadeq, the last democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran. Mossadeq was overthrown because he nationalised the Iranian oil industry, then the company Anglo-Persian Oil, now BP, which was majority owned by us. The result was the gradual establishment of the Shah’s personal dictatorship during his ‘White Revolution’, a brutal dismantlement of human rights and rule by torture and secret police, which finally ended with the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the equally brutal and repressive rule of the ayatollahs. The coup is yet one episode in the long list of countries, in whose politics we’ve interfered and whose governments we’ve helped to destabilise or overthrow in our long campaign to retain some vestiges of our imperial power. And as Sengupta’s article points out, it has left a legacy of distrust for Britain among the Iranian people. According to John Simpson, they’ve got a saying: ‘If you find a stone in your path, it was put there by an Englishman.’ In fairness, Simpson also says in his book on Iran that when he was there reporting, he found absolutely no personal animosity towards him or Brits because of our nationality. The hatred was directed against the British state and its leaders, like Thatcher, rather than the British people.

The I article was titled ‘How MI6 and the CIA overthrew an elected leader’. It ran

Iran has a deep mistrust about Britain, dating back to an event that is unlikely to be forgotten or forgiven in the near future, and is the subject of a new documentary. Coup 53, released tomorrow, examines the overthrow of the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossaddegh, and his replacement by the Shah of Iran, all instigated by London and Washington.

The film, a fine production by Iranian director Taghi Amirani, features interviews with many of those involved – Iranian nationalists who supported the prime minister, royalists loyal to the Shah, and British and US officials.

Mossaddegh, a progressive and secular leader, earned the antipathy of the British government chiefly by nationalising the Anglo-Persian Oil Company – now BP – in which the UK held 51 per cent of the shares. The company had exclusive rights to pump Iranian oil. As relations worsened, the Iranian government broke off diplomatic ties with the UK and expelled embassy staff.

The documentary recalls how the Americans were initially disinclined to support the UK’s plans to overthrow a democratically elected government that, they thought, would be a check against totalitarian communism.

Such was the British sense of entitlement that the US secretary of state, Dean Acheson, under President Harry Truman, condemned it witheringly as “destructive and determined on a rule-or-ruin policy on Iran”.

This changed, however, with the election of Dwight Eisenhower. Winston Churchill claimed to the new president that Mossaddegh – who had been openly critical of communism – wou8ld veer towards the pro-Russian Tudeh Party. And with the Cold War, and fear of Soviet expansion, at its height, the US changed its position.

Operation Ajax was launched in 1953 to depose Mossaddegh, initially through a propaganda campaign and proposed election interference, with the CIA chief, Allen Dulles, authorising $1m to be used “in any way that would bring about the fall” of the prime minister.

The coup succeeded. Many of Mosaddegh’s supporters were arrested, imprisoned and tortured; some, including the foreign minister Hossein Fatemi, were executed.

The prosecutors demanded a life sentence for Mosaddegh, but a tribunal jailed him for three years in a military prison. After that, he was kept under house arrest until his death in 1967. He was denied a public funeral because of apprehension that his grave may become a political shrine, and was buried under his living room.

Coup 53 features Ralph Fiennes reading the words of Norman Derbyshire, an MI6 officer based in Cyprus whom the British claim was the real mastermind of the coup.

Only one photograph of Darbyshire, in dark glasses, is seen in the documentary. He died in 1993 and his account comes from an interview he gave to Granada TV’s End of Empire film in 1985, which was not shown because he refused to appear on screen.

Fiennes’ delivery is melodramatic. Through him, Darbyshire is a sort of Roger Moore-ish version of James Bond, licensed to coup.

Darbyshire claims he organised the kidnapping of the chief of police in Tehran, Mohammed Afshartous. The general was tortured and strangled, and news of his death was met with shock and anger.

Darbyshire claimed that was not his fault. “Something went wrong; he was kidnapped and held in a cave. Feelings ran very high and Afshartous was unwise enough to make derogatory comments about the Shah. He was under guard by a young army officer and the young officer pulled out a gun and shot him. That was never part of our programme.”

One wonders what would have happened if the Americans had stuck to their initial sceptical instincts about the coup in Iran – and reports of weapons of mass destruction held by Saddam Hussein in Iraq. They did not, and we see the legacy of that in the strife and suffering that unfolded in the Middle East.

I think I first came across the 1953 coup in a long article about it in the conspiracies/ parapolitics magazine Lobster back in the ’90s. But it is established history, and very definitely not a ‘conspiracy theory’ in the derogatory sense. It’s mentioned, for example, in a very mainstream History of the World published by W.H. Smith/ Hamlyn in the early 1980s, and is one of the long list of similar coups, electoral meddling and destabilisation in Rory Cormac’s Disrupt and Deny: Spies, Special Forces, and the Secret Pursuit of British Foreign Policy, published by the Oxford University Press in 2018.

And some of the same dirty tricks have been used in this country by the secret state to smear left-wing politicos, like Tony Benn, with accusations of pro-IRA and communist sympathies. It was done by the IRD before that was wound up, and carried on against Jeremy Corbyn by the Institute for Statecraft, ostensibly a private company but with extensive links to the British intelligence establishment.

And I would not be at all surprised if British and American intelligence aren’t involved in the apparent news blackout of the latest Israeli aggression against Gaza and the Palestinians. All to defend our ally in the Middle East, which seems to be done solely through libellous and malicious accusations of anti-Semitism. Because Israel’s actions are absolutely indefensible in themselves.

The late Labour MP Robin Cook wanted an ethical foreign policy. Unfortunately, he served under Tony Blair. It’ll never happen, not under New Labour, and not under the Tories. Which is why the establishment did everything they could to smear and vilify Corbyn and his supporters, because he did take such noble goals seriously.

The Tories would like hide shameful episodes like the 1953 coup under the imperial carpet, in order to retain an approved historical view of British imperial benevolence. Which is why films like Amirani’s are so vitally important.

 

They Are Not Going to Take Me

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/08/2020 - 4:46pm in

According to media reports, a hodgepodge of federal agencies are contributing to an identified goon squad roaming the streets of cities like Portland and Seattle. They are kidnapping, not arresting, protesters. Unidentified men are not policemen. No one has to go with them. No one should go with them.