[News] ABCF & FBI - The chase is on...for a straw dog

Anti-Imperialist News News at freedomarchives.org
Wed Sep 7 12:31:59 EDT 2005


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original article can be found online at this link
http://www.bayareapoliticalreview.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=26&Itemid=60



The chase is on...for a straw dog

The Aryan Nation is actively trying to collaborate
with Al Qa'ida. The Federal Building in Oklahoma City
was bombed by an associate of the Michigan Militia;
Eric Rudolph, a member of the Army of God has been
charged with carrying out the Olympic Park Bombing in
1996. Robert S. Mueller was involved in the
prosecutions of John Gotti, Manuel Noriega and the
Lockerbie bombers.

But what has the ABCF done?

Like all questions, there's a simple answer and a
complicated answer. In this case the simple answer is,
nothing.

In fact no one is even claiming that they have. But
unfortunately for them, that's not keeping them out of
the limelight.

The chase is on

Last month Robert S. Mueller, the head of the FBI,
gave testimony to the Senate Committee on Intelligence
of the United States Senate. The speech was a telling
summation of his organizations goals, within the
confines of an hour's time he managed to use the word
terrorism 37 times, and the name al Qa'ida 20 times.

Buried beneath all of the emotional detritus those
cultural hot buttons stir up, were some meaningful
warnings, and anyone less than pleased with the
emerging political zeitgeist should take note.

After summarizing what the FBI believes to be the
greatest threat to the US government, "international
terrorism" Mr. Mueller cast his cold gaze on domestic
soil and outlined the US's domestic threats."White
Supremacists, Black separatists, Animal rights/
Environmental terrorists, Anarchists, Anti-abortion
extremists and self-styled militia."

Out of these 6 categories of "threat" only the left
flank get any name mention.

So, though there are at least 615 active right wing
hate groups in the US, and an uncounted number of
militia, only 3 organizations were deemed important
enough for mention. The Animal Liberation Front (ALF),
Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Anarchist Black
Cross Federation (ABCF).

Not to be outdone by the FBI, the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS) recently circulated an
internal paper titled "Integrated Planning Guidance,
Fiscal Years 2005-2011." In this paper, priority is
placed again on the ELF/ ALF and no mention is given
to the much larger and better-organized groups on the
right of the political spectrum.

For who?

The ABCF is a small prisoner support organization.
Within this small organization there is a small
caucus, the Tactical Defense Caucus. This TDC trains
interested parties in armed self-defense. They offer
courses in several different types of firearms; sell
videos of the same, and they put out a single issue of
a gun magazine in 2001.

It's not possible to know the size of the ABCF's TDC.
BAPR requested comment several times, but never
received any response, and they don't publicize their
membership. They do self-describe as a small "but
active" caucus, and seeing the Left is rarely humble
about membership, it seems safe to guess that they
have no more than 20 members.

Given that the average US gun owner owns 2 guns, we
could make an estimate of 40 guns between them, just
to put a number on it.

That's potentially 40 guns out of 258 million
currently in the US; not even a percentage point. But
reality not withstanding, the head of one of the
best-funded policing organizations in the world has
them in his sights.

The ELF/ALF are dedicated to the liberation of the
Earth and Animals respectively, but neither could be
described as an organization in the classical sense.
Neither has a centralized decision-making process, or
membership per say and each are bound only by a
loosely accepted set of rules. Amongst those rules,
the DHS note's is, "publicly promoting non-violence
toward human life."

The groups do pursue massive property damage, and have
been credited with a $50 million arson in San Diego.
Neither group has been charged with the loss or damage
of human life.

Who else is out there?

Well...lots of people.

Among the groups not deemed important enough for
mention by the FBI and the DHS are some pretty famous
names. Such as, the Michigan Militia; famously
attached to Turner Diaries salesman Timothy Mc Veigh.
The Army of God, moral compass for Eric Rudolph
abortion clinic/ Olympic Park bomber. The Libertarian
National Socialist Green Party, who dialogued with
Jeff Weise before he killed 7 people at the Red Lake
Senior High School last week. The Aryan Nation, whose
leader August Kreis recently told CNN that he wants
his organization to make common cause with al Qa'ida.

The list goes on. The KKK, National Alliance, White
Revolution, American Nazi Party, White Power
Liberation Front, Imperial Klans of America, World
Church of the Creator; and on and on.

If we've ever lacked anything in the US, it wasn't
white supremacists, political extremism or the
willingness to kill people.

Though each of these groups, and the many others whose
names I have spared you, is better funded and mostly
better armed than the ABCF or the ELF/ALF. None of
them get a mention as an emerging threat. They and the
600 plus other groups widely acknowledged as active
hate groups all get upstaged by the 5 chapters of the
ABCF, and the non-entities of the ELF/ALF.

If it seems like a miss-allocation of resources, it
is, if it seems abnormal, it's not. In fact, at the
FBI it's tradition.

Tradition

Lots of people smarter than this writer have been
studying the development of popular left wing movement
in the US, for a long time. I won't make you suffer
through my observations.

Suffice to say, movements develop, they gain a place
in the public dialogue and then federal policing
organizations react. At the times when US political
movement has hit it's high water marks the FBI has
been right there with them.

Whether it was in the 20's when the FBI (then named
the BOI) raided the homes of any one even suspected of
being Left sympathetic in the Palmer raids. Or in the
60's and 70's when they ran counter intelligence
programs against every Left organization large or
small, they have been right there with us.

In each case there has been a larger and more powerful
organizational structure on the right, which by and
large gets a pass from the FBI et al.

The same pack

When you look at the history of US government
repression of Left movements, the release of these
last 2 reports and the focus on the Left is hardly
surprising.

But in this case it may be prescient. While many on
the Left look at our current capacity for movement
building disparagingly, the FBI and DHS seem to see
potential where we don't.

If the FBI were expecting social conditions to retard
the development of the Left over the next decade, they
wouldn't be paying as much attention.

They obviously are, and must be expecting big things,
cause you can be sure that Robert Mueller didn't take
down Gotti and Noriega just to sate himself with a
handful of people in Florida.

While this whole thing is clearly going to start with
a focus on the ABCF and the ELF/ALF, you can be sure
that it will ripple outward from there.

Directly after the remarks made by Mr. Mueller the
Boston Herald ran a story about how anarchists in
Boston are being watched by the FBI's Joint Terrorist
Task Force. Sgt. Tom Sexton of the Boston PD was
quoted in the article saying that ``Investigators have
been aware of this particular group, and we are
working collectively with our partnership on the state
and federal level.''

The "anarchist's" in question are that first ripple;
the group in question is a local Anarchist Black Cross
Network group. The ABCF and ABCN are completely
separate organizations, despite being only one letter
off in acronym.

In an interview with BAPR, John Riley, a member of the
Boston ABCN group reaffirmed that Boston ABC is "not
connected to the ABCF in any way. We certainly support
their work, however our politics are not in line with
their internal structuring."

"We live in a world of political witch-hunts and
massive surveillance/repression from the state. It
seems that those of us who have moved to defend those
targeted by the state have now become targets
ourselves." John said, when asked about what this
newly reinvigorated interest with the Left will mean.

Starting with a few easily isolatable groups, the FBI
wants to cut away at the Left, and at what they see as
our potential.

Make no mistake about their choice of targets. If
there were a large group with the political capacity
of the BPP or AIM around in '05, the FBI and DHS
wouldn't care a whit about 20 guys in Florida with a
few modified AR-15's. The ABCF is not the real target
in this, just a convenient one.

The real victory for the FBI and DHS in all this has
been the opportunity to mention Left organizations
along with al Qa'ida, Al Aqsa, and Islamic Jihad.

By painting the Left with the same brush as they paint
al Qa'ida the FBI seeks to cut the Left off from
potential sources of support. To scare away liberal
support from civil society, and politically and
socially isolate us in order to more efficiently
eliminate our potential as a political movement.

It is this goal that we need to keep our focus on,
because even though the ABCF may be a straw dog for
the FBI, we are all running in the same pack.

Bedfellows

The FBI and DHS can afford to be complacent to the
burgeoning right, in fact on many levels they're not
separated by very many degrees.

With the last 2 elections Christian Fundamentalism has
come several steps closer to the seat of power. In
many ways, throughout the history of the US the far
right and the federal government have shared political
views, members, and goals.

But over the next decade or so those goals will
diverge, as they have in the past periodically. As the
US seeks greater global connectivity and requires more
and more immigrant labor to keep the economy going,
the intellectual points of departure between the far
right and law enforcement will grow. When this chasm
becomes large enough the FBI and DHS will find
themselves facing the task of reigning in this
behemoth they helped create. The question then will
be, is it too late?

Will the FBI the DHS, or, the Left for that matter be
able to contend with this swollen right wing of the
future?

We've been warned

With a renewed interest in the Left from the FBI and
DHS, imprisonments are sure to follow. The last time
the FBI paid so much attention to Left organizations
we lost an entire generation of political leaders to
prison and pine boxes. The far right has not had to
contend with a similar campaign of terror and from the
looks of things they seem to continue to get a pass.

So as their growth is nurtured, and ours is retarded,
how do we plan to struggle against them in the near
and distant future?

The smaller, numerically, the Left seems to get the
more intellectually preoccupied we seem to be. The
more intellectually preoccupied we are the more we
seem to disagree with and distance ourselves from each
other.

And so it goes, that within a small social movement
volumes of people consider themselves to be going it
alone. A movement of Socialists who don't associate
with Communists, of Progressives who don't associate
with Anarchists, of Gramscians who don't talk to
Fanonists, etc. etc.

Unfortunately for us, in our Quixotic quest for
intellectual purity, we have taken our eye off of the
prize. We lost track of the fact that the people
paying the most attention to us don't care about the
finer intellectual points.

To them we are all running in the same pack, and we
will all bear the brunt of their efforts, whether we
are working together or not.

The first impact from this now fomenting offensive may
be in north Florida, but you can be sure we will all
be rocked by its wake.

We can be thankful, at least, that our foes telegraph
their punches, and we can't say that we haven't been
warned.

Colin Asher

colin at bayareapoliticalreview.org

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