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Establishment Right and Left Call for COINTELPRO 2.O

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by Kurt Nimmo

Both heads of the two-headed establishment political hydra want to resurrect COINTELPRO, the FBI’s illegal subversion program, in response to speech they oppose and want outlawed.

In August, The Verge (owned by liberal Vox Media and founded by former CIA asset Markos Moulitsas) and the National Review, the failing neocon journal edited by Rich Lowry, posted articles on how to best undermine the First Amendment right of millions of Americans.

The Verge cites a recent paper by N. F. Johnson and a collection of academics. Johnson and his fellows compare online “hate and extremist narratives” to a chemistry project.

“We observe the current hate network rapidly rewiring and self-repairing at the micro level when attacked, in a way that mimics the formation of covalent bonds in chemistry,” they write.

Because of this dynamic, the authors suggest fighting “hate” (unacceptable political speech) by inserting a “population in a pre-engineered format” within a targeted “hate-cluster” and destroying it from within.

This is a tactic taken right out of the COINTELPRO handbook.

Branko Marcetic writes:

As the Church Committee, a congressional committee set up in 1975 to analyze the excesses of US law enforcement and intelligence agencies over the preceding decades, put it, what followed was a secret war against those citizens it considers threats to the established order…

The bread and butter of COINTELPRO operations was the use of wiretaps, anonymous letters, informants, and other means of subterfuge to, in the Bureau’s own words, foster factionalism and create suspicion within groups, bring individuals into disrepute before the American public, and create disruption and discord among such groups and movements in order to destroy the Left, or at least render it useless.

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Warning Against Efforts to Muzzle Citizens & Avoid Transparency, Rutherford Institute Issues 1st Amendment Guidelines for Public Meetings

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For Immediate Release: March 9, 2016

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. —Warning that representative government works best when the government’s actions are fully disclosed and citizens are allowed to speak honestly and openly to their elected representatives and other citizens without fear of retribution, The Rutherford Institute has issued guidelines for local boards, commissions and councils to consider and follow in order to best assure that the fundamental First Amendment rights of citizens are respected.

In recent years, numerous local boards and commissions have attempted to establish rules and regulations governing speech at public meetings that limit the content and manner of public expression in an attempt to “dial down” the intensity of these meetings and impose a more “civil” discourse. However, these restrictions on expression often run afoul of the First Amendment, making local officials self-appointed censors and arbitrary arbiters of what speech is and is not proper.

The Rutherford Institute’s Public Meetings Guidelines are available at www.rutherford.org.

“Until recently, local government meetings have remained one of the few legitimate forums available to citizens to personally address their government representatives about decisions that have immediate and substantial impact on their day-to-day lives,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “Unfortunately, officials at all levels of government have succeeded in insulating themselves from their constituents through the use of free speech zones, electronic town hall meetings, security barriers, regulations restricting what is said at public meetings, and other tactics that run afoul of the First Amendment’s safeguards for free speech, public assembly and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. These guidelines are intended to empower citizens to push back against those who would stifle the ardor of citizens, arbitrarily silence critics and impede efforts to assure transparency in government.”

The Rutherford Institute issued its guidelines after being contacted by residents of Charlottesville, Va., who were concerned about draconian changes to the City’s public comment rules regarding the content, duration and protocol for making public comments at City Council meetings. The City’s revised procedures include restrictions on video recording, a prohibition on “improper” comments, exclusion of individuals for disruptive or disorderly conduct, and limitations on who may be addressed. In denouncing the guidelines as overly vague and ambiguous, Institute attorneys have advised City officials that the changes to their meeting procedures violate the letter and spirit of Constitution by imposing obstacles to transparency and citizen engagement.

In calling on the Charlottesville City Council to revoke the rules it has adopted in order to ensure that Council meetings remain a forum for free speech, the Institute warned that if the City is serious about being a leader in the fight for open government, it must demonstrate a commitment to public participation in the democratic process. In 2015, Rutherford Institute attorneys advised the Greene County Board of Supervisors (also in Virginia) against rules adopted governing the open forum public comment period during Board meetings that could be used to censor unpopular but constitutionally protected speech.

The Rutherford Institute, a national nonprofit civil liberties organization based in Charlottesville, Va., defends individuals whose constitutional rights have been violated and educates the public about threats to their freedoms. The Institute has spent more than 30 years advocating for transparency in government and championing the First Amendment right of the citizenry to speak candidly and openly to their elected representatives and other citizens.

This press release is also available at www.rutherford.org.

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