#ows Re: DHS, Congressional economic-incentive for Occupy crackdowns: Naomi Wolf v. Joshua Holland

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

via AlterNet: Occupy Crackdowns: Naomi Wolf's Response to My Critique Largely Evades the Issue at Hand.

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: "From Occupation to "Occupy": The Israelification of American Domestic Security," 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.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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    • Anonymous

      Joshua Holland is suggesting that Group Think was not at hand.

      That's not a very good take.

      I am suggesting that: A) there is no evidence to support the claims that Wolf makes, and B) city and police officials should be held accountable for their actions, and blaming some modestly funding police think-tank or Congress for their actions deflects focus from were it should be. 

    • Anonymous

      If, by "group-think," you mean that the establishment, for lack of a better word, holds protest movements in disdain, then not only do I deny that, I take it as a given. 

      • Hello Joshua,

        By Group Think, I was referring to the global-war-on-terror-excuse Group Think on the part of the vast majority of those trained as big city police in the US these days and right on up the chain-of-command to the chiefs of police and police commissioners and many, if not most, mayors. They aim to please.

        I can't for the life of me believe that you do not know that what is going on is only knowable by what they do as opposed to what they say they are thinking and doing or meaning by what they do.

        Why do you say there is no evidence rather than term it circumstantial evidence? I say that there is known circumstantial evidence and that the sheer preponderance of it is damning of the federal, state, and local, big city, governments.

        Naomi Wolf and you should find ways of moving closer together by way of carefully chosen words. She has conceded ground. You though have not, even though you are being way too much the stickler considering that you know the empire exists and has a huge history of blatantly lying and such.

        You were right but only up to a point. Where you went wrong is as I said above. You didn't say where you agree or would qualify more. I would not have worded things as Naomi Wolf did, but in taking her to task somewhat, I believe I would have said things pretty much along the lines I've outlined above.

        What's most interesting to me about your two comments is that you didn't answer so many things I raised in my post. Was that just due to time-constraints? There are some heavy questions you left hanging out there unaddressed.

        What's your beef about Naomi beyond her article? Maybe you don't have any, but how long would it take to say that?

        Are you worried about Obama's chances if DHS and others at that level and above are tied directly to the nationwide decision to crackdown? Again, maybe you're fed up with the Two-Party System and would rather see a real progressive, a la FDR in office.

        Are you really just against circumstantial evidence? It's not as if Naomi Wolf just made up the elites. It's not as if we don't have the goods on them. I know you know that the banksters, corporatists, militarists have been calling the shots much more than they haven't.

        Lastly, I don't know why your comments went to moderation. It is set not to moderate. Yours are the first that have done that. Only suspected spam has been held back.

    • I wonder if the Chip Berlet syndrome is afoot.

      There's something about a certain clique of "leftists" where the federal administration is always sweetness and light under a Democratic President.

      Perhaps it's an overreaction to anti-government capitalists.

      It comes out heavily from the Northeast US, especially the big cities and particularly New York (The Empire State: speaks volumes; the bankster state).

      All one has to do is look at the lies of, say, LBJ though to see that Democratic administrations are not to be trusted first but rather have to earn it.

      Johnson lied about Vietnam. He lied about the USS Liberty. He likely lied about JFK's assassination. He certainly didn't keep his word that he would continue Kennedy's programs. He dump the Silver Certificates ASAP. The banksters loved that move, and that's why Johnson made it, obviously.

      Obama has done nothing to move to protect the First Amendment rights of Occupy. I think even Eisenhower would have perhaps been prepared to send in the National Guard to do it.

      Why has Joshua Holland taken this attitude of laying all the blame at the feet of the cities?

      Where's his investigative reporting on DHS involvement? Why isn't he digging and reporting? Why didn't he answer my questions above? I did notice he down played ideological differences in his latest post on Alternet -- interesting that.