This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Open Thread: Fake Peace Activism Tied to the Military and CIA

This is a continuation of the discussion that took place here. Feel free to say whatever you want.

9 comments:

socrates said...

First of all, apologies for the subpar level of my previous posts. I can do better than that.

To Meno: You've a great command of the English language. I'm assuming it's not your native language. I am lucky to have been born in an English speaking country, in that it is known by so many people. I wish I knew Spanish better to return the offer.

I don't have a problem with rebels using violence in self-defense. How can anyone say otherwise? The Freedom House type people had no problem in using it to put down Hitler. Patriotic Americans are proud of the use of force used to drive out the British. The French Revolution is another example. The American Civil War is up there. Also, many Americans are quite ready to defend the use of nuclear bombs dropped on Japan. Their main reasoning is that it prevented further bloodshed. I think a lot of the people calling for an end to violence in resistance movements are forgetting about such historical examples making them appear as hypocrites.

I agree with you that it is bad public relations for oppressive regimes favourable to American intelligence agencies, the army, and capitalism to rule with an iron fist. They are supported by the US, but can only be if there is a squeaky clean image that can be sold to Congress. I see nothing wrong with anyone being cynical about this newfound call for civil disobedience.

It is similar to how some in my country use the legacy of Martin Luther King to argue against affirmative action. That is apples and oranges. If people were truly judged on the content of their character rather than the colour of their skin, there wouldn't be a need for corrective laws to enforce equality.

I hear you on the IRA. They kind of spun out of control. I think what saved them politically was that the Protestant paramilitary groups surpassed them in acts of violence. I look at the terrorism going on in the middle east. That has hurt the Palestinian cause. If there wasn't that type of activity, perhaps more international pressure would be placed on Israel. Israel has been practising asymmetrical warfare. No doubt. Nonetheless, the violence committed against Israel has backfired, in my honest opinion.

Conundrum is the perfect word. I'm not saying there haven't been valid reasons for Palestinians and the Irish to strike back at their oppressors. It just doesn't seem to have advanced their causes. Perhaps the opposite.

Ireland seems to be on the mend. There are the peace trains. I'm not sure why I am so hopeful for the world. I do not deny your right to feel cynical.

Thanks for clarifying what happened with Al. Obviously he is into censorship, unless yourself, Eric S., and David Sketchley are lying. I am very cynical in regards to the blogs. I too have a desire for dialogue. Our Bill of Rights ensures our rights to freedoms of speech and association. Yet blogs are looked on as private property. It'd be one thing for Mr. Giordano to censor trolling and porn, but to censor sincere folks on-topic yet with varying thoughts is cowardly.

I agree with you that just because we believe we are on the right side of history, we are also susceptible to seeking out echo chambers. I try my best to not get too fidgety, but I admit I can be flawed. It would be a breath of fresh air for Al Giordano to show even a hint of humility. Ultimately, I believe he is a small fish. He may be bigger than us, but in relation to the big picture, he is quite vulnerable to having his fifteen minutes of fame elapse.
(continued)

socrates said...

I relate to your idea of wondering where his continued revenue is coming from. It is a tough economy. Sporting arenas are no longer selling out. People are looking for bargains. I think people would be more willing to donate to homeless shelters, food for the poor, environmental groups, etc. than to provide revenue to self-described internet muckrakers. I think that was a business model which worked well during the early GW Bush years. But the shine is clearly off of the progressive blogosphere. Some of my entries have been critical about Brett Kimberlin who runs the Velvet Revolution with Brad Friedman. At some point, the well runs dry, especially if there are puzzling questions concerning such people. If people become aware that some are merely making money off of the "progressive" label, they are going to stop making donations. Maybe people like Al are triangulating their positions in order to widen their pool of potential donors.

So this PedroX guy ratted you out to the military. I think with America, a few years back that type of approach might have kept people quiet. But it is a big bluff here. So I reckon guys like Al have to resort to censorship at his own place and then go to small places like this and throw out the libel word. But as a reporter told me, it isn't libel if it's true. You take care of yourself. I do not for one minute equate what we Americans who speak out are going through anything near what it's like in countries with oppressive militaries and police.

Al does seem to be living off of his reputation. The arrests. Working with Abbie Hoffman. But now word will get around about his ties to Ackerman. Folks will hear about his running interference for Wall Street bailouts. They will be able to see how he supported John McCain for John Kerry's 2004 running mate.

I think he has fled this forum, because he realises he can't compete with our ideas backed up with links. Maybe he thought he could show up, throw down some of that McCarthy spiel, ludicrously paint us as cointelpro counter-insurgents. But that doesn't work when the people posting are admitting they are total nobodies and merely seeking the free exchange of ideas. The reader decides. Al can't win, because Al can't afford to interact with the ideas presented.

Again I don't blame you for being cynical. One of the thinkers I got into was Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his idea of the noble savage. I am a counter-enlightenment thinker. But then again, maybe I am a pompous ass with a fat belly thinking my words mean something. It's a tough world. It can get very confusing. There is a need for a big blog that doesn't censor. But I also see your point that even if we the people found success in that, it would be another data collection point for Big Brother. Then there would also be the problems of human nature, infiltrators, round and round. Too much information like you said.

If we are not careful, we can become caricatures of leftier-than-thous, thus making Al Giordano the winner by default.

There are many who will agree that Al is correct and we are trolls. But they will come from the limousine liberal to conservative spectrum. I think we have made an important contribution with this thread. I'm not saying we're walking on sunshine, and everything is now hunky dory. It's an easy way to metaphorically stand in front of a tank. I realise my life is not in jeopardy by posting these things. I realise being a keyboard commando isn't the same as getting in the trenches and making a real difference. But I do think it's worth the effort. I do think it makes a difference, though it's difficult to quantify. There's the phrase when good people do nothing. If the few of us didn't share what we have come across, there would be nothing in opposition to Al and Ackerman to forwarn others that they are merely tools promoting kinder and gentler imperialism. I do believe there is merit in creating pockets of awareness.

socrates said...

I took off comment moderation.

socrates said...

The_last_name_left: I think it's fair to say Al didn't really answer much. I think once it became clear to him that the McCarthy spiel wasn't working, that it wasn't in his interest to continue.

He can't deny having supported John McCain. He can't deny supporting Ackerman. He can't deny sounding like a DLC political operative in regards to Wall Street bailouts.

People have spun me as a conspiracy theorist for the last couple years. I have been called Diebold, Mossad, and a multi-personality troll.

I never inferred anything about Al Giordano being intel, at least not until later on when more facts came to light. For all I know, he is a self-serving capitalist using the lefty radical peacnik slant as his business model. Picture a more sane Brett Kimberlin with a cleaner past.

I'm proud of coming up with the links I did for the main entry. I feel it gave a pretty quick overview of the strange connections. I think Al is small potatoes compared to Ackerman, Duvall, and Woolsey.

I think where your brilliance came into play was moving the discussion away from the ICNC to Freedom House and the other organisations. Giordano then used an example of Narco News critiquing Freedom House while downplaying Ackerman's ties to them. But then you showed how big a role Ackerman has had with Freedom House, and that is when Al seems to have disappeared.

I think his final parting shot was to make you out to be some unhinged, angry bugger. But for someone like Al to say that, and along with his claims of us being raving conspiracy theorists, it was the pot calling the kettle black.

Meno said...

I am sorry, I got into another thing for awhile and had to finish that project. What I will do is tomorrow I will write some more here to flesh out some things I would like to get done with in my own mind. I will of course answer those other questions you have also pointed out.

This is a great thread, very long, and i am happy you made a new page for it.

I will be back tomorrow afternoon sometime with a fresh mind... Also thank you for taking me off moderation. See you tomorrow.

the_last_name_left said...

Al's gone? Not surprising. He'd have been better off not responding at all, rather than how he did.

We say : "This is an issue......."

Al G says : "No it is not!"

The concerns are obvious......Al's dismissive looks simply unwise, at best.

Al wouldn't be tainted by an association with Ackerman et al if he didn't have the association.

I think it's ludicrous to imagine establishment figures such as Ackerman seek to undermine, let alone abolish the establishment. Look at Ackerman's profile? Is it the profile of someone with impeccable "progressive" credentials? So why should we believe in him at all?

And AL offers no reason to do so, beyond claiming Ackerman resigned from FH because of frustration at failing to push through reform.

Where did that information come from anyway? I can't find anything on Ackerman having suggested anything along the lines AL G claims. So is it true, and if so, how does Al G know? Ackerman told him? Getting cosier, if so, right?

Anyway - the concerns are real enough - one just wonders why AL G refuses to recognise it, and why he gets so uppity when others mention it.

socrates said...

Thanks for the post. I agree Al Giordano should have kept his mouth shut. He never should have posted here or other places similar questionsa are asked.

You should apply to Scotland Yard. Giordano wants it to seem it's a casual relationship between himself and Ackerman. That they give him $20,000 and supplies, because that is what rich government "peace" group do.

So I thought Al's defense was thanks for the money suckers. Of course he couldn't say that explicitly, for Ackerman's been buttering his bread.

But he took it a step farther and said that Ackerman had deep problems with Freedom House. I didn't find anything either to back that up.


Al wants us to think he isn't that close to Ackerman, yet it appears he has inside information concerning Ackerman and Freedom House. Of course he has run away after getting his panties in a bunch! Nobodies took him to task. He left while he was far behind.

I think it's quite possible Al Giordano is paid for his "work" on the internet. One can check out the truth about Hal Turner. Giordano could be the Hal Turner of the left. He could be receiving $50,000 a year from the FBI and another $50,000 from the CIA. That's just a guess. I extremely doubt Hal Turner has been the only internet personality working as an informant.

Picture a disinfo octopus with tons of tentacles flying all over the intertubes. That's how I see it.

Anonymous said...

Addendum;

This report here

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/01/spies-like-us-top-intel-officer-says-spooks-should-act-like-journos/

States that spies should:

For starters, have spies start acting more like journalists.

His pdf report can be be found here:

http://www.cnas.org/files/documents/publications/AfghanIntel_Flynn_Jan2010_code507_voices.pdf


I think this report is very interesting on how HUMINT is obtained using methods such getting journalists to go out and do the actual spy work for the intelligence community...

A+B=C

2+2=5

socrates said...

Thanks for the post. For those wanting to see the links, you can widen the window, and any chopped off parts of the urls can be seen.

My take is that those who join the military, police, etc. are the opposite of the best and brightest. It is no surprise, therefore, that intelligence relies on smarter people posting their stuff on open internet sources.

A Detective Powers of California actually made the mistake of doing so. He contacted a dubious Virginia McCullough of News Making News for information about the Alvarez murders and talk of an octopus. She then proceeded to stab him in the back by sharing his email with a reporter who then published it. If there was any website most likely to be a plant, it would be News Making News. Sorry to go off on a tangent, but I guess that's the point of an open thread. Thanks again for the info.


But back to your post. My sense is that the use of the term intelligence by the military is an oxymoron. I haven't looked into the story of 7 CIA dudes recently killed, but it appears they set themselves up for it. Also, look at how the FBI had no qualms working with that snake Hal Turner. Now we have a concrete example that cointelpro is alive and well on the net. If anyone believes that Hal Turner has been the only webmaster working for intelligence, they probably also believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or that Karl Rove threatened Michael Connell's life. That's the ticket.