In a previous post, we talked about Bill Warner, the Florida private detective who instantly pegged James Holmes, the "Batman" killer, as a member of Occupy Wall Street -- or rather, of the alleged Black Bloc
faction within the larger OWS movement
Warner's accusation remains strikingly unburdened by evidence or reason. His argument comes to this: "Mass murder is bad. OWS is bad. Therefore, OWS is responsible for this act of mass murder."
Warner's "proof," if we may use that term, is onionskin thin: The Black Bloc anarchists wear black, and James Holmes wore black when he attacked those theater patrons. That's it
. That's all Warner has. Of course, by this reasoning we could just as easily say that Batman
is an OWS mass killer.
Nothing we have learned about Holmes supports Warner's absurd theory. On a dating site, Holmes claimed to have "middle of the road" political views. No friend or acquaintance interviewed by the news media has offered any recollection of Holmes spouting off about politics.
Despite the lack of proof or logic for Warner's contention, right-wing media mavens have pushed his scenario endlessly. He's the new Allen West.
At the same time
, the right continues to howl at ABC News because Brian Ross (whom I never liked) confused James Holmes, the killer, with another Denver-area James Holmes who favors the Tea Party. I will agree that ABC's error was extremely foolish, and I would shed no tears if they fired Ross. But at least ABC News offered a rapid apology. The radio rightists and FOX and these clowns
will never apologize for promoting Warner's inanity.
Conservatives just don't do
apologies. If a conservative steps on your foot, he'll blame you for putting your foot there.
So who is
this Warner guy? What motivates him? Daniel Hopsicker
has made some effort to find out. Some excerpts...
Warner has stated that he expects the “Occupy Wall Street Black Bloc” group (whose very existence is disputed) to engage in widespread violence at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa.
"Tampa Republican National Convention is going to be a big problem, you're forewarned,” he said, in an interview with FOXNEWS in Tampa.
If true, his prediction offers this chillingly plausible scenario: There is going to be a “game-changing” attempt by someone influential in Republican circles to engineer an attack at their own convention.
On behalf of Mitt Romney’s dwindling chances to capture the Presidency, someone is planning to engineer an “August Surprise,” to highlight the Republican Party’s “law and order” credentials, and simultaneously blame violence in Tampa on the Democratic Party.
What set Bill Warner’s accusation apart is the fact that (as this reporter knows from personal experience) Warner is no dummy. He has in the past done yeoman work ferreting out real live left-behind Islamic terrorists in Florida after the 9/11 attack.
He’s also been a researcher for respected author John Loftus (a frequent Fox News analyst) who won plaudits for exposing the complicity of US Government officials in allowing former Nazis with blood on their hands to emigrate to the United States.
So if Bill Warner, a self-declared expert on Occupy Wall Street, is likely too smart to believe his own tall tale, what was he doing publicizing it by making the rounds of right-wing television and talk radio shows, like Laura Ingraham?
My mistrust of Loftus (whom I once admired) set in about halfway through his book Unholy Trinity
. Some of his claims in that book were quite bizarre -- so much so that I began to check his footnotes systematically. Every assertion that struck me as sensible, or at least plausible, traced back to a series of documents released via FOIA. Every assertion that struck me as dubious originated with a group of nameless "Old Spies" who were feeding stories to Loftus.
That pattern told me much about the crowd that Loftus had fallen in with.
Later, Loftus came out as a supporter of George W. Bush and the Iraq debacle. Over the years, Loftus has backed Israel so blindly that I used to call him the first Irish sayan.
Let's get back to Hopsicker. He takes pains to note that "Black Bloc" is not really the name of a group; it's the name of a tactic. As this New York Observer article
(quoted by Hopsicker) notes:
A black bloc is a tactic for protests and marches, whereby individuals wear black clothing, scarves, ski masks, motorcycle helmets with padding, or other face-concealing items.[...] The clothing is used to avoid being identified, and to, theoretically, appear as one large mass, promoting solidarity.
Black Bloc protests first came about in the 80s in Europe and were a part of the anti-World Trade Organization demonstrations in Seattle in 1999. Protest techniques are disruptive and volatile. They include rioting, vandalism and fighting as well as assistance to fellow protesters in fleeing police. These techniques are probably why many who casually mention Black Bloc protests online often include the word, “anarchists.”
In some instances Black Bloc protesters may actually be cops, as demonstrated by the Quebec police who went undercover during protests there in 2007.
Is Black Bloc protesting a part of OWS? The consensus from Twitter users who appear to support OWS is no. However the Occupy movement’s flagship website may have essentially invited Black Bloc-style protest with its announcement about today’s actions, titled “Solidarity Sunday–Wear Black Fight Back"...
In a previous post, I expressed my outrage at this kind of idiotic, self-defeating, otiose anarchism. The Black Bloc protesters disdain anyone who counsels working within the standard political framework. They believe that making common cause with any elected official would injure the purity of their snit-fit.
I believe the exact opposite. I am convinced that OWS must grow up, must morph into a genuine political
movement, must overcome its phobia for traditional representative democracy. The problems in this country are not caused by electoral politics but by the subversion
of electoral politics.
Right now, I would say that the Black Bloc tendency does the handiwork of Roger Ailes, the GOP and the financial industry. The Black Bloc is the left that the right wants
Are these anarchist rebels paid
to discredit all who would protest the Wall Street looters? Probably not. One should not resort to conspiracy theory when stupidity offers a sufficient explanation.