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Monday, July 23, 2012

Who is Bill Warner? What is the Black Bloc?

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.
I think a lot of the time the black bloc are undercover cops - agent provacateurs. Wasn't this proven in Montreal a few years back?
Back in the day, I was part of the antiwar protests (Vietnam) and our campus had these oddly-dressed people - who obviously weren't students - who'd grab the mike and shout "Burn Down ROTC! Smash the State!"

We'd look at each other and ask, "Who the fuck are these clowns? They're not one of us." In a matter of months, we found out they were FBI and local cops, typically off-duty narcs in the LAPD. Out local antiwar organizers would keep these creeps away from the mikes after that.

OWS needs to have some of the street savvy of the antiwar folks. Off-duty cops and even more unsavory types are at every demonstration - you can count on it. If it was being done forty years ago, you can bet it's being done now, with far, far larger budgets and nearly unlimited discretion on how to use it.
nice piece. wish i didn't have to look up 'otiose' though.
Any writer who does not expand the reader's vocabulary is...uh...useless.
Back in the day I observed the same thing.
I don't know much about John Loftus except that he's become a fixture on Dave Emory's shows over the last 5-8 years. I used to listen to Dave Emory a lot, and have learned a great deal from him in the past, but during all this time, there always seemed to be something missing in his analyses. And then I did a bit searching and realized that, in 25 or 30 years of talking about Nazi's, fascism, conspiracies, assassinations and especially false-flag operations, Dave Emory has never, AFAIK, ever spoken the word "Mossad". This pretty well goes along with what you're saying about Loftus.
Johnny Cash was an OWS terrorist. Who knew?

"Capitalism is like rain. Too little and nothing grows. Too much and the harvest is ruined, the town is under water, and there's a whole lot of misery." --Will Rogers
Anon, we all have our blind spots. For years and years, I collected and read books about spies -- yet I never thought (much) about Mossad. I guess it was a case of self-censorship imposed at the subconscious level. Then I finally got around to reading Victor Ostrovsky's books. I figured: If HE can talk about this stuff, so can I.

Things change. Fifteen years ago, I would have tuned out anyone who yowled about "Wall Street bankers" because most of the people who yowled that sort of yowl were crude anti-Semites. Quite a few bigots used terms like "Wall Street bankers" and "international bankers" as code for "powerful Jews."

But now...well, sorry, but nowadays we HAVE to talk about Wall Street bankers. And, yes, international bankers. We're not using code. We are referring to a problem that has nothing to do with ethnicity or religion or race.

Your analysis of Loftus is right on the money in regards to the old spies.

That being said, you can go to Dave Emory's site and listen to a lot of his old broadcasts and lectures (many of them are excellent resources) and I think that there was a definite change in where he was coming from in the late 90s or so. He began having Loftus on in the mid-90s to discuss Loftus' book Secret War Against the Jews and this could definitely be part or all of this influence. Loftus was very much a repeated guest. If you look at some of his older radio shows, he does bring up the idea that he felt that Monika Lewinsky could have been a Mossad agent in his lecture about the Clinton administration and he does speak negatively of Meir Kahane in his broadcast called Strange Bedfellows. He never went to the point where he would promote the work of Ari Ben Menashe or Victor Ostrovsky or was he overtly critical of Israeli policies. One of his more recent radio shows with John Loftus, they discuss the invasion of Gaza and both of them agreed that Israel's conduct was "humane." I thought that it was ridiculous after reading the Amnesty International report. I still think that he does good work when he sticks to the assassinations of the 60s, the right-wing revisionism of Pearl Harbor, etc.
Well, I'm not going to get into anything with Emory. He has his site, I have mine. And that's pretty much my attitude toward everyone else online as well.

"Monica as Mossad" is a pretty ridiculous theory. Everything I've read about her indicates that she was young, vulnerable and emotional. I always liked her and felt sorry for her. If she were ten years older she might have been able to deal with a romance that was doomed to go nowhere. But it is in the nature of young people to give their whole heart.

Just as it is the nature of middle-aged guys to get stupid -- really, really stupid -- when they spend time around bosomy cute young things.

Really, I don't think the matter goes beyond that.
Warner is from Florida... ergo... dirty friggin' spook.
so we have to accept the official version of Pearl Harbor to be respectable here?
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