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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

False flag in WI; pseudo-assassins in Denver...

By now, you've probably heard of Carlos Lam, the Republican prosecutor and activist who wrote Wisconsin's Governor Walker an email suggesting the use of a "false flag" operation to discredit the pro-union protestors. The wording deserves our attention:
As an aside, I've been involved in GOP politics here in Indiana for 18 years, and I think that the situation in WI presents a good opportunity for what's called a "false flag" operation. If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions' cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the public unions.
The phrasing suggests that Lam has seen the play in use on previous occasions.

Try to envision the details. How is the false attacker chosen? How do you get this person into place? What promises do you make to cajole him into carrying out his part of the plan?

Most importantly -- and this is the part no-one considers -- how do you manipulate the legal system to make sure that your secret helper does little or no jail time for attacking (or threatening to attack) a public official? You can't pull off a "false flag" of this sort unless you have a friendly judge or prosecutor on your side.

If Lam's suggestion had given rise to an actual operation, Walker's next step would have been to "cast" someone to play the part of the attacker. In all likelihood, he would have chosen someone busted for drugs who wanted to make a deal to reduce jail time.

Keep that scenario in mind as you mull over a larger issue: On what previous occasions has the false flag ploy been used? (Lam's wording carries a we-do-this-all-the-time vibe.)

One possibility concerns the bizarre foiled plot to kill Obama during the 2008 Democratic convention in Denver. Supposedly, a far-right nutjob named Tharin Gartrell was pulled over while driving a truck filled with assassination gear (rifles, scopes, disguises). Gartrell immediately confessed to an assassination scheme. He then ratted out his two accomplices, Shawn Adolf and Nathan Johnson, both of whom had appropriately scummified backgrounds. There were also reports of links to biker gangs.

The story possessed many ultra-strange characteristics, as detailed here. One of the things that always seemed odd about this tale was the suspects' helpful penchant for self-incrimination. of the suspects "was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama. He responded in the affirmative."
A third man -- an associate of Gartrell and Adolph, Nathan Johnson, 32, was also arrested. He told authorities that the two men "planned to kill Barack Obama at his acceptance speech."
These guys might as well have had "OBAMA ASSASSINATION SQUAD" t-shirts printed up. At the time, my questions were:
Do the cops stop every pick-up truck in Denver as a matter of routine? (Another story mentions erratic driving.) If the conspirators made such elaborate efforts to get away -- the fake licenses, the disguises -- why would Tharin volunteer the information that he hoped to kill Obama? And why would he give up his comrades?

Also, why did Tharin show his real Driver's license, which was expired? Why not use one of the fakes? If he didn't consider the fakes convincing, then why have them at all?
After a short while, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver decided that there was no evidence to charge these guys with conspiracy or with making threatening statements. The plot was called "more aspirational than operational." This, despite the fact that Tharin rolled through town in a vehicle laden with rifles and scopes and disguise kits, and had announced his intent to kill Obama.

These lowlifes had booked into a rather nice hotel -- not great, but not a fleabag. They must have made the booking quite early on, since vacancies disappear fast during a political convention.

At the same time, a young Canadian Muslim (originally from Somalia) named Saleman Dirie was found dead in a Denver hotel room, which also contained enough cyanide to kill hundreds of people. Investigative reporters in Denver suspected that the local cops were covering up Dirie's death.

At the time, I wrote these words:
Is there a pattern here? Young men who make perfect "central casting" patsies -- swastika-adorned racist meth heads on one hand, and a "scary" Muslim on the other -- make their way to Denver and show definite signs of being up to no good. Yet the authorities downplay any suggestion of impending violence or an organized plot.

I have an uneasy feeling.
One of the "aspirational" Denver plotters, Shawn Adolf, had a reasonably impressive criminal record, while the other two had drug charges in their backgrounds. One need not stretch one's imagination too far to posit that they made a deal to avoid prison stretches.

They certainly seemed to have found a protective spirit in U.S. Attorney Troy Eid, who saw no evidence of actual planning on the part of the trio. Apparently, the booking of the room, the amassing of weaponry, the acquisition of disguises and false I.D. and the announced intent to commit an assassination do not constitute "planning."

Tharin Gartrell and "aspirational" co-conspirator Nathan Johnson are free today. Adolf is in prison on an unrelated robbery charge.

Can you think of any other possible "false flag" ops? Let's not go for the obvious choices, such as Lee Harvey You-Know-Who.
Almost certainly the 2008 planned "anarchist attack" on the GOP convention was such an exercise -

As the above recent story shows, the vile Governor Perry is also trying to railroad them on the arson of the Texas governor's mansion in 2008.
The plot was called "more aspirational than operational."

Thats funny. Most of the "terrorists" arrestsed in the UK these days, appear to be young fantasists who get nowhere near executing their evil but rather cartoonish plans. I have gotten the impression that these days aspirations can be criminal and will be prosecuted.

Well, yeah, precisely. The 2008 "anarchist" plot against the GOP convention was itself far more aspirational than operational. Basically, two dumb kids, in night-time frenzy, made some molotov cocktails. The next day, they wised up and left the cocktails behind. Later that day, in a display of macho asshole-ness, they bragged about their prowess as cocktail mixers to an FBI narc in their group. For this, they went to prison.

I cannot understand why they went to prison and the guys in CO did not.
Paul, you are right about Perry being vile. I don't know a single person who claims to vote for the guy, yet every election he just crushes the opposition. I always vote against him, but to be honest, while he is vile he is much, much, much better than the other GOP candidates that usually run against him in the primaries.

As for the false flag operation it doesn't take a stretch to think it goes on. It isn't incredible or anything like that simply because we have a populace filled with morally corrupt and ideologically inspired cowards. In this country, people go out of their way to do the wrong thing all of the time and they think nothing of those who get injured in the process. Just business is usually the mantra or I am right even if you prove me wrong.

What Walker is accomplishing as Governor of that state is truly depressing and infamous. I don't know why he has such hatred towards other people but he needs to be recalled sooner rather than later just to minimize the damage. As it is I think it is going to take Wisconsin years to fix the mess he is creating.

As for false flag operations I don't think they have to be illegal or violent. I've always thought of what Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp did as some sort of false flag operation. Send in a young, pretty girl who seemed innocuous to exploit the sitting Presidents one true weakness in an effort to discredit every good thing the man accomplished. Heck, Monica may not even have known she was being manipulated and used for the purpose. Tripp certainly knew what was going on.
Monica was genuinely in love. Tripp was an operative.
On a State level, I find the whole motivational factor questionable. Let's say you've got some pending drug charges and an ideological bent to pre-dispose you to acting as a false-flag patsy. What guarantees can realistically be offered to such an individual? It's one thing when the CIA, NSA, et al make promises of protection - they've got a proven track record of keeping their assets away from prison. But a State governor? Were I the false-flagist, I'd be worried that the promised protection would evaporate once the fecal matter hit the air conditioner.

And on the other side, the governor - how do you find someone who's A) Willing to participate, provided they get a friendly judge who cuts them loose, and also B) someone who's trustworthy enough that if the fix falls through they still keep their mouth shut?

The only way for this to work effectively is for the governor to have judges, and the judicial process itself, in his (or her) pocket. I could be wrong, but my understanding was that criminal cases generally go to different judges on a lottery basis.

On the other hand... and let me say that I don't believe such false-flag operations are particularly rare (see: Seattle, Genoa, et al)... the most sophisticated false-flag operations - the ones orchestrated by artists of the form - would involve unwitting patsies, aka "agents provocateurs." In such a scenario there's no concern about the actors turning on their patrons; they're unaware that there ARE patrons - or, they're aware they've been made patsies, but cannot identify/prove who is patsy-fying them. An "Arms-Length" principle, if you will. The chances of a state governor - no matter which state - pulling off such a coup is, to me, implausible.

My money would go to the explanation that the emailer in this case is also a conspiracy theorist who has read allegations of this sort and wants to see it implemented for his ideological agenda - NOT based on past, successful usage of the tactic.

Can anyone provide a previous example, during this man's public service in Indiana, where such an event could have plausibly occurred? If not, I lean towards it being a case "put theory into practice" email rather than a "this is how we do it in Indiana" email.
Joe -- two possible false flags not that well remembered. 1) The Iraqi assassination attempt on Bush 41, according to Sy Hersh, was likely an attempt by Kuwait intelligence to keep Clinton on the hook (and in Kuwait to keep pressure on Sadaam) once GHWB left office. Hersh uncovered intel files that suggested the band was a group of smugglers, not assassins.
2) And how about Squeaky Fromme? SF was surely nuts (and now living in arctic Marcy, NY) but could have been, should have been under serious surveillance. In '72, the known Manson babe, was all over a murder scene in Stockton CA. while hanging with various boyfriends from the Aryan Brotherhood, Charlie's prison protectors. So three years later, wandering around Sacramento, she pops her gun out when Jerry Ford hits Capitol Park. I've always thought this was a way to get a very crazy character off the streets while giving Jerry a hero's halo -- threatened by a shade of Manson, no less. Just as the '76 Presidential campaign kicked off.
I never could work up a "Theory of Squeaky" that made much sense. I couldn't come up with a theory for Sarah Jane Moore, either...although it is worth noting that she was an FBI informant spying on leftist groups.
Thanks for this one, Joseph...I noticed that "false flag" wording, too. Another bit I found chilling was the sign off "God bless." Ugh. When I see that these days it sounds a lot like "heil Hitler!" I don't have any false flags to offer, but watch for "God bless" as code. There is a sizable Christian element planning to "take back" America as a "Christian nation." South Carolina was the first state they began migrating to, with an eye to carve out a chunk of the US for themselves....and now it's Montana. They call it a "gathering of eagles" and they're looking for a remote area to grow in both numbers and influence.
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