During the waning days of the Occupy movement, a FOIA request was submitted by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund in 2013, in regards to the Houston chapter of the movement. In return, they received a heavily redacted document from the FBI that carried some rather disturbing information.
Unbeknown to the peaceful agitators of the Occupy movement, there was a plot to assassinate their leadership, and the FBI knew all about it.
The most damning segment of the document reads:
An identified [DELETED] as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors (sic) in Houston, Texas if deemed necessary. An identified [DELETED] had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. [DELETED] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles. (Note: protests continued throughout the weekend with approximately 6000 persons in NYC. ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests have spread to about half of all states in the US, over a dozen European and Asian cities, including protests in Cleveland (10/6-8/11) at Willard Park which was initially attended by hundreds of protesters.
As of now, we have no idea who this person is that was preparing to engage in these attacks, or if it even was person. For all we know it could have been a group of people or a state-sanctioned organization. We don’t know if this is information the FBI received on a suspect, or if this was a communication between themselves and one of their own assets.
The language of the document certainly sounds pretty creepy. Terms like “if deemed necessary” and “received intelligence” have led many to believe that this unknown person was officially sanctioned to act by the government. And if that isn’t true, if the FBI had just received a tip that a lone gunman was about to start killing peaceful protesters, what measures did they take to prevent that from happening? By all appearances, they didn’t do anything. So, best-case scenario, the government knew something could happen, and decided to ignore it; and worst-case scenario, they were playing an active role in this plot.
And there’s a good chance that we’ll never know the exact truth of the matter. Some activists are still trying to get the FBI to turn over the unredacted documents, but the FBI claims that they are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act:
The bureau claimed several exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), primarily that the withheld information was gathered through cooperation with local law enforcement agencies investigating matters of national security surrounding the Occupy movement. The FBI argued that releasing data gathered on protesters constituted: interference with ongoing law enforcement proceedings, interference with personal privacy of law enforcement personnel, interference with law enforcement proceedings involving confidential informants and disclosure of enforcement techniques not generally known to the public–all exemptions under FOIA.
Shapiro pointed out that the FBI had denied any engagement with law enforcement over the Occupy protests, and that no major laws were broken by protesters, putting into question the existence of ongoing law enforcement proceedings. Nonetheless, a judge upheld the bureau’s claims last week, allowing the names of the plotters and any further information about the plot to remain unreleased.
All this for a bunch of idealistic college kids. I will admit, there’s a chance that we’re misinterpreting these documents, but they sure make the FBI look insane. Like I said before, it appears that they were either plotting to assassinating Occupy leaders, or they were going to look the other way while somebody else did the deed.
Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the government cooks up these plans for every movement that threatens the establishment. They just keep them in place as a last resort, while they use the combined efforts of the media, informants, and provocateurs to quietly neuter these movements before they become a problem. We may have just gotten lucky by stumbling onto one of their premature plans.