This article was first published by PRWatch.org on December 31, 2012, while we were writing our report "Dissent or Terror: How the Nation's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street," published by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy in May 2013. We re-release it now as part of a PRWatch series on the new report.
Records obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy (DBA/CMD) through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request indicate that the FBI employed tactics under a "counter terrorism" initiative called "Operation Tripwire" in the monitoring of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activists.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a nationwide "homeland security"/"counter terrorism" apparatus emerged. Components of this apparatus include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Counterterrorism Center, and state/regional "fusion centers." Fusion centers, by and large, are staffed with personnel working in "counter terrorism"/ "homeland security" units of municipal, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement/public safety/"counter terrorism" agencies. To a large degree, the "counter terrorism" operations of municipal, county, state and tribal agencies engaged in fusion centers are financed through a number of U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant programs.
Last week, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the first bipartisan legislation aimed directly at putting an end to "too big to fail" financial institutions and preventing future bailouts of America's behemoth banks.
With President Obama fielding cynical cuts to Social Security to appease the Fix the Debt crowd and reach a budget deal, groups are teaming up to point out that there would be a lot less concern about the budget deficit if corporate America did what average Americans have to do and actually pay taxes. Taking advantage of loopholes, tricks and deductions, many U.S. companies pay far below the required 35% tax rate, and some, like General Electric have a negative tax rate. New web resources are shining a light on the firms and individuals that manipulate the U.S. tax system to their benefit, putting more of the burden on America's middle class.
A JPMorgan Chase employee stepped onstage at a black-tie gala on Wall Street last week to accept a "best crisis management" award given by an investor relations magazine. The bank, which was recently the subject of a U.S. Senate investigative hearing and an ongoing FBI probe into $6.2 billion in trading losses known as the "London Whale" fiasco, is not the subject of ridicule -- but praise -- from its cronies on Wall Street.
Campaign for America's Future writer Richard Eskow puts two important headlines together from this week, about the budget cuts which will go into effect on Friday harming average Americans and the poor and the ongoing corporate welfare the U.S. government is handing out to the "too big to fail" banks on a daily basis.
Americans always feel charitable around the holiday season, giving some $300 billion to a diverse array of charities in 2011 alone. Now there is new way Americans can help their neighbors in need, by purchasing and forgiving their debt.