It's disappointing that Naomi Wolf's response to my criticism of her November 25 Guardian column – and earlier blog-post -- doesn't address the many misstatements of fact, logical leaps and baseless assertions which I highlighted. -- Joshua Holland
My take to-date:
Joshua Holland is suggesting that Group Think was not at hand.
Naomi Wolf said that the selfishness and even greed in Congress and elsewhere all conspired to the cascade of green-lighted crackdowns. Does Joshua Holland need the "smoking gun" memo? Is there no pattern of behavior available to him? Are the Fusion Centers a mere fiction? Are they subjected to daylight oversight by non-crony legislators? Honestly, I can't understand what's going through Joshua Holland's mind other than that he might be out to get Naomi Wolf for the sake of the Democratic Party machine in the upcoming election. I just don't know enough about him to say.
Joshua Holland is right to push Naomi Wolf to be more careful with her characterizations concerning her sourced materials, but what he is suggesting is almost to say, if not to say, that the federal government had to issue an overt order to the cities to crackdown before Joshua Holland will see the collusion and green-lighting -- the expectation, the understanding. What would have happened to the city that refused to crackdown, nothing? The whole federally directed machine would have allowed a city to demonstrate unmolested that Occupy could not only not have been shut down or moved but rather facilitated with social services, as I suggested before the crackdowns? The idea is preposterous. There's no way the feds could allow Occupy to work that way. It would be contagious, and they know it only too well. The shadow-government's (in the American sense; the real government, the banksters, behind the curtain) job is to protect the rich, not enforce and facilitate the First Amendment.
I think Naomi Wolf's mention of the elites is right on. We do live in a plutocracy that is a kleptocracy. We have seen an on-going consolidation of law-enforcement breaking down all of Frank Church's work. What does Joshua Holland think they do, sit around being the centralizers but taking care to leave full autonomy to the locals? Everywhere I've seen locals pass laws in support of the Bill of Rights, I see the state and/or federal government covertly or overtly working to undercut those efforts. Does Joshua Holland not see the same?
I see Joshua Holland as couching Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) as some benign thing and not part of the whole Military Industrial Complex. Sure, it's policing and not military until one sees the militarization and de-facto federalization of municipal police, which is painfully obvious. Just look at what the Republicans in the Senate just pushed through: disappearing US citizens via the US military displacing local police in matters of "battlefield America." Again, is there no clear pattern of behavior that screams out that Naomi Wolf's basic position is fact?
What is Total Information Awareness? It didn't go away. It only changed its name. What does the recent revelation by WikiLeaks about all the hi-tech spying on the world citizenry, including all Americans, mean if not that the power elite exists and will persist, etc.? The idea that the local reaction to a national, even global, Occupy Movement wouldn't be at least coordinated at the federal level in the US is, frankly, a ridiculous concept in the face of all that's been happening.
Perhaps this is all a bit too subconscious for Joshua Holland though. Perhaps the economic incentivizing and all the deal-making and going along to get ahead or to just survive doesn't register with Joshua Holland. Based upon his prior work though, that just doesn't seem consistent. He's been a scathing critic of the elite at times, even often.
Something is going on here about Naomi Wolf in particular and her following versus Joshua Holland's ideological clique that requires more flushing out.
Joshua Holland wrote:
In her November 22 blog post, Naomi Wolf claimed that "municipal police are being pushed around by a shadowy private policing consultancy affiliated with DHS," in reference to the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). She added: "municipal police are being forced to comply with brutal orders from this corporate police consultancy, by economic pressure."
I noted that PERF – a non-profit whose most recent available tax filings reveal a modest $6 million annual budget for 2009 – is a research and membership organization that organizes meetings and conference calls and issues reports.
Now, I have a difficult time believing that Joshua Holland doesn't know what Naomi Wolf was saying there. A think tank/consultancy doesn't need a huge budget if it is well-connected and is going to tout the company line. It's only the liaison for a general ideology that is decidedly not pro-First Amendment but rather directly for the protection of the corporatist from whenst it ultimately gets the butter for its bread. All of its members may not be J. Edgar Hoover reincarnates, but there's no way they are Martin Luther King reincarnates either. The point should not be lost. They are part of the establishment that is brutalizing Occupy. They are "The Man," albeit it retired in many cases from public salaries for the larger incentive from greater capitalism.
Does Joshua Holland have some interest he hasn't disclosed, a friend or relative in PERF? He's so defensive, and the absence of simultaneous condemnation of the whole Goddamned system is conspicuous (to me anyway).
Joshua Holland also wrote:
In her November 25 Guardian column, Naomi Wolf claims that Rep Peter King, R-New York, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, "told the DHS to authorise mayors to order their police forces – pumped up with millions of dollars of hardware and training from the DHS – to make war on peaceful citizens."
I noted that while the committee has oversight of the agency, the chain of command goes up to Janet Napolitano – Congress doesn't have any control over day-to-day operations and can't order DHS to do anything. I also noted that mayors require no "authorization" to order their police forces to do anything – the authority is theirs.
Naomi Wolf's only substantive response to this criticism is to note that members of Congress "also draft legislation." That's indisputably true, but wholly unresponsive to the point.
It is not even slightly unresponsive to the point. The very reason Barack Obama didn't push for Single-Payer was said to be because Congress wouldn't go along. If DHS goes being 100% Bill of Rights and First Amendment protecting and enforcing, war-mongers in the Congress would go ballistic. They would do anything and everything possible, fairly and unfairly, to undercut the DHS. They would pull out all the stops of the Zionist media machine to ruin that DHS effort. Naomi Wolf's point is that nothing happens in a vacuum, that all things are interconnected, that deals and double-deals are constantly in the offing, and that all of that should be brought to a grinding halt.
Rather than 1) nick-pick against Naomi Wolf and work to sabotage her efforts to break the hypnotic spell of the false-propagandists and fascists and 2) avoid reinforcing those things and point she made and makes concerning the more than budding fascism in America, Joshua Holland should point out where he thinks Naomi Wolf needs more substantiation, support everyone's effort to get the information (leaks, etc.), and qualify his critique by inserting a huge dose of anti-establishment facts of his own. I'd then have much less reason to suspect his motives, which I don't want to suspect.
"...we should keep our focus on the city and police officials who appear to be wholly responsible for these often violent crack-downs," says Joshua Holland. We should keep our focus on them but definitely not even slightly to the exclusion of state governments and the federal government that have, at best, gone missing when it comes to enforcing the First Amendment rights of Occupy.
Oh, right on cue. No sooner than I had posted this, I ran right into this: "," by Max Blumenthal. Now, that does what I was suggesting above. It not only ties the federal government of the US to Zionist, fascist tactics and super coordination and mindset, it ties state and local law-enforcement to it as well and all under one big tent, just as Naomi Wolf has been saying.
Max links to "Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper on Paramilitary Policing From WTO to Occupy Wall Street," (video below) in which "Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a national police group that organized two national conference calls with police officials to discuss how to respond to the Occupy movement" participates. He hems and haws, but supports Joshua Holland's characterizations. What he doesn't do is shoot down Naomi Wolf's position as to influence and even "orders."
How could law-enforcement be as even somewhat warm and fuzzy as Chuck makes them out to be and still be doing what they are doing to the people? It just doesn't jibe. With all of the integration with the fascist Zionists of Israel and what with all of the neocons in the US, Naomi Wolf's points just seem to be completely supported by the "facts on the ground."
You will note that Chuck Wexler kept repeating "not on our conference call(s)." What about before and after? The question should have been what is the relationship between PERF and the Department of Homeland Security and/or its fellow federal agencies? There should have been follow-ups to that question to dig for specifics. What has DHS said to PERF and vice versa that was part of the whole coordinating process?
I do agree that Naomi Wolf should have qualified her statement that PERF "ordered" the police. She should have made clear that she was suggesting that it was not a proven overt order, not a chain-of-command order a la the military but rather at least giving directives that theoretically, if they wanted to brave the ire of the feds and Zionists, the cities didn't have to follow.