TBR News July 24, 2020

Jul 24 2020

The Voice of the White House
Comments, July 24, 2020: Trump is not only a narcissist, he is a closet Nazi, a pathlogical liar and a practicing racist and active bigor. He has been using clear-cut Nazi tatics in fighting any group of American citizens he views as opposed to him. He has his active, uniformed SS-type goon squads trying to break up and terrify possible opponents into silence. This has become painfully obvious to the great mass of the American public. Trump is so crazy that he believes this repression will actually work and guarantee his reelection in November. As in so many things, Trump is wrong. Vote.


The Table of Contents

  • Federal agents’ use of force at protests faces internal U.S. government probes
  • The Truth About Antifa
  • Trump lies about Antifa
  • This is what happens when the war on terror is turned inward, on America
  • US army retreats from Twitch as recruitment drive backfires
  • Department of Defense-Domestic Counterinsurgency
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons


Federal agents’ use of force at protests faces internal U.S. government probes
July 23, 2020
by Sarah N. Lynch and Mark Hosenball
The Guardian

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. federal watchdogs on Thursday launched probes into the use of force by federal law enforcement agents in Portland, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., during recent protests against police violence and alleged racial bias in the justice system.

The probes address both the response by camouflage-clad federal agents to the Portland protests over the past month and a June incident when federal agents on horseback used tear gas to clear a square near the White House to allow President Donald Trump to pose for a photo holding up a Bible near historic St. John’s Episcopal Church.

The inspectors general of the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security launched the probes, as officers from both departments were involved in the crackdowns.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said his office would look specifically at whether officers in Portland had proper identification and if they complied with federal policies on using force in law enforcement, in a case that could lead to criminal charges.

Trump, who is seeking re-election in November, has been stepping up the use of federal officers to respond to a wave of protests across the United States sparked by the death in May of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. He has targeted Democratic-run cities, provoking criticism that he is using law enforcement resources for political ends.

The White House did not immediately comment on the announcement.

“Unidentified forces in military fatigues using tear gas and weapons against peaceful protesters are scenes from an authoritarian crackdown, and have absolutely no place in America,” Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon said.

The move followed a letter from Democratic lawmakers raising concerns that Attorney General William Barr and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf were using federal agents to suppress free assembly, which is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, part of the Department of Homeland Security, has come under fire after videos surfaced online that appeared to show camouflaged officers in Portland carrying guns without clear insignia on their uniforms identifying them as legitimate law enforcement officers.

Wolf has previously defended Homeland Security’s actions, saying all federal agents had been making lawful arrests and properly identifying themselves as law enforcement.

“We are only targeting and arresting those who have been identified as committing crime,” Wolf told a Tuesday news conference, noting that “all officers are identified as police law enforcement officers.”

The inquiries could raise Trump’s ire against agency watchdogs. In recent months, Trump has fired or demoted a number of inspectors general, including one who played a key role in his impeachment by the Democratic-led House of Representatives last December. Trump was later acquitted in the Republican-led Senate.


Horowitz said that in addition to the Portland investigation, his office would review actions taken against protesters in Portland and in Washington’s Lafayette Square on June 1.

Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari opened an investigation into allegations that DHS officers on July 15 improperly detained and transported protesters in Portland, according to a letter he sent to congressional lawmakers.

A Customs spokeswoman on Thursday declined to comment on matters under investigation.

The Justice Department inquiries could lead to vastly different outcomes.

Its investigation into the actions in Portland, which was also requested by the U.S. attorney in Oregon, could lead to a referral for criminal charges or disciplinary actions.

The reviews in both Washington and Portland are designed to assist department managers by providing recommendations to improve government operations and protocols going forward and to help learn from past mistakes.

The Inspector General’s Office for the Department of the Interior will be coordinating the review into the actions in Washington.

Cuffari said he was also forming a team to review whether DHS law enforcement had proper legal authority when it was dispatched to Portland.

Representatives for the Justice Department and U.S. Park Police, part of the Department of the Interior, could not be immediately reached.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball, Susan Cornwell and Steve Holland; Editing by Scott Malone, Rosalba O’Brien and Peter Cooney

The Truth About Antifa
July 23, 2020
by Paul Rosenberg

Trump inadvertently outs himself

Violent instigators have hijacked peaceful protests and demonstrations. — U.S. Attorney Nick Trutanich

Early on in the wave of Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the police murder of George Floyd, Donald Trump, in a signature move, tried to shift blame onto a personal bogeyman

“It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!” he tweeted on May 30. “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization,” he tweeted the next day.

It was just one of many conspiratorial narratives spread via Fox News and social media as public opinion changed dramatically, baffling Trump and his supporters alike.

Experts quickly refuted Trump, noting that Antifa isn’t even an organization, but rather an organizing philosophy — militant anti-fascism — much less a foreign, international organization, which it would have to be for that designation to apply. What’s more, the story on the ground was precisely the opposite.

“Violent instigators have hijacked peaceful protests and demonstrations across the country, including Nevada, exploiting the real and legitimate outrage over Mr. Floyd’s death for their own radical agendas,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Trutanich, the son of former Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, on June 3, as he announced charges against three rightwing extremists. “Law enforcement is focused on keeping violence and destruction from interfering with free public expression and threatening lives.”

The arrests came from the Joint Terrorism Task Force involving the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Clark County District Attorney’s Office and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. A press release identified the three men as “alleged members of the ‘Boogaloo’ movement — a term used by extremists to signify a coming civil war and/or collapse of society.”

More precisely, most “Boogaloo Bois,” as they call themselves, look forward to a racial civil war — the exact opposite of the historic shift in public consciousness shown by demonstrations in the wake of Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police.

The arrests had been made on May 30, the same day as Trump’s baseless tweet. But the pairing of Trump’s conspiratorial Antifa fantasy and the cold hard facts of Boogaloo terrorism was hardly an isolated occurrence. Trump’s fantasy was all-encompassing, while the facts were all against him — despite a flood of false rumors about mythical busloads of bloodthirsty Antifa protesters out to pillage lily-white communities from Curry County, Ore., just north of California on the Pacific Coast, to Sparta, Ill., “where they will be directed to target rural white Americans by burning farm houses and killing livestock,” according to Mike Adams from NaturalNews.com and other equally preposterous targets.

Rightwing Terrorist Threat is Real

On June 16, the Department of Justice announced two more Boogaloo arrests for the May 29 murder of Pat Underwood, who was guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland. Another officer was wounded in that attack, and a Santa Cruz County Deputy Sheriff was killed apprehending one of the suspects a week later.

Then on June 23, San Antonio Fox affiliate KABB announced the June 8 Drug Enforcement Administration’s arrest of a “Boogaloo Bois” body-builder for steroid trafficking, with further charges possible. Another “Boogaloo Bois” body-builder had been arrested two months earlier, on April 11, in a different part of Texas, after he reportedly used Facebook Live to show himself attempting to murder police.

But none of this was surprising to the consortium of 17 spy agencies collectively known as the U.S. Intelligence Community, according to a Department of Homeland Security report secretly published on June 1, and leaked to The Nation magazine six weeks later. It bluntly began:

“The Intelligence Community reports that Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) who support ‘Boogaloo’ could exploit the current political and social environments to conduct attacks in the United States, and pose a potential threat to law enforcement.”

But the “Boogaloo Bois” are simply the latest variation on a much older theme.

In mid-June, the Center for Strategic & International Studies issued a report stating that “right-wing attacks and plots accounted for the majority of all terrorist incidents in the United States since 1994. In particular, they made up a large percentage of incidents in the 1990s and 2010s,” and that “the total number of right-wing attacks and plots has grown substantially during the past six years.”

Specifically, they perpetrated two-thirds of the terrorist attacks and plots in 2019, and over 90 percent of them between January 1 and May 8, 2020.

Similar figures came from the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Murder and Extremism report, released in February, which found that 38 of the 42 extremist-related murders in the United States in 2019 were committed by right-wing ideologues, including white supremacists. They also accounted for “330 deaths over the course of the last decade,” 76 percent of the total due to domestic extremist-related murder.

The New Conspiracism

But Trump’s style of minimalist conspiracist assertion is ideally suited to disregarding facts. It typifies what’s described as the “new conspiracism” in the 2019 book, A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy, whose authors I interviewed for Salon last year. This “new conspiracism,” co-author Nancy Rosenblum told me, “offers an opportunity for people to assent” not “to a theory, an explanation of something,” but “to the aggressiveness and the targetedness of the conspiracists’ claim.”

Because there’s no specific content at the heart of Trump’s Antifa conspiracy fantasy, it’s impervious to factual refutation. And it serves as a perfect cover story for his own authoritarian scheming. At the same time he tweeted his Antifa accusation, he pushed farther, tweeting out a threat:

Crossing State lines to incite violence is a FEDERAL CRIME! Liberal Governors and Mayors must get MUCH tougher or the Federal Government will step in and do what has to be done, and that includes using the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests. Thank you!”

Thanks, indeed for threatening to violate the 1877 Posse Comitatus Act, by using the military as domestic police. It’s arguably the favorite federal statute of Trump’s hard right white supremacist supporters, since it put an end to the use of U.S. Army troops to protect against racist terror in the South. But since the threatened violation was aimed at their common enemy — the militant anti-fascists of Antifa — there was barely a whisper of dissent.

Trump’s Jack-Booted Thugs

Six weeks later, on the streets of Portland, we saw what Trump had in mind: an unidentified secret police force, kidnapping citizens at will, like a Latin American dictatorship during the Nixon or Reagan administrations.

In justification Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf issued a July 16 press release condemning “The Rampant Long-Lasting Violence In Portland,” repeatedly blaming “violent anarchists” without any evidence of who they actually were, for a long list of grievances, including 20 incidents of spray-painting graffiti and 13 of setting off fireworks.

A unified chorus of state and local officials — including U.S. senators — condemned the actions.

“Authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters,” Oregon U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley tweeted that same day. “These Trump/Barr tactics designed to eliminate any accountability are absolutely unacceptable in America, and must end.”

“As best as I can tell, this is an effort — a last gasp effort — by a failed president with sagging polling data, who’s trying to look strong for his base,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro on July 19. “He’s actually using the federal police function in support of his candidacy.”

“We don’t have a secret police in this country. This is not a dictatorship,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown told NPR on July 19. “Trump needs to get his officers off the streets.”

Rather than listening to others, Trump played misunderstood.

“We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it,” he tweeted that same day. “Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!”

But again, this stood reality on its head. The size of protests had dwindled to a few hundred over the course of seven weeks, but rose to about two thousand in response to the federal presence, according to media reports. On July 19, a “wall of moms” aka “momtifa” formed to protect the protesters. It was organized by Bev Barnum, 35, after seeing videos of the federal forces in action.

“We are about protecting peaceful citizens’ right to protest,” Barnum told BuzzFeed News. “We wanted to look like we were going to Target, like normal people.”

The moms’ presence subdued the federal forces for several hours, but eventually, Trump’s troops attacked with tear gas, flash-bangs and pepper spray.

And the next day, Trump doubled down even more.

“We’re looking at Chicago, too. We’re looking at New York,” he said from the White House. “We’re looking at Chicago, and New York, and Detroit, and Baltimore, and all of these … Oakland is a mess. We’re not going to let this happen in our country.”

What’s happening is mostly peaceful protests — the most broadly-supported protest movement in American history, according to recent polls. And Trump is on the wrong side, along with his white Christian nationalist base. His utter failure to protect the country from COVID-19 is only making matters even worse.

But the confusion he’s sown around Antifa remains a dangerous distraction that needs clearing up — first about Antifa itself and then about how his conspiracy mongering mixes with and supercharges other sources of disinformation.

Antifa Demystified

In early July, Natasha Lennard wrote a useful introduction to Antifa, for Vice.

“Antifa is not an organization. There are no official ‘antifa leaders;’ there are no official members. There is no centralized leadership board or committee,” she wrote. “Antifa is best understood as a practice, or a set of tactics, which groups can take up and deploy; and sometimes certain collectives use the label ‘antifa’ to describe themselves.’” (This is far more common in Britain, where scores of such groups can be found online.)

Lennard introduced an analogy from historian Mark Bray, author of Antifa: An Anti-fascist Handbook. “To call antifa an organization, he wrote, is ‘like calling bird-watching an organization. Yes, there are bird-watching organizations as there are antifa organizations, but neither bird-watching nor antifa is an organization.’”

While Antifa’s origins stretch back to anti-Nazi street-fighters of the 1920s and 30s, “Physical force is just one string in the antifa bow,” Lennard explained. “The whole bow is focused on doing whatever is necessary to render racist extremists unable to gather, organize, and spread hateful ideologies.”

Some liberals abhor this, under the banner of “free speech,” but Europeans — especially Germans — who have experienced the horror of fascism first-hand, have long seen things differently, and Antifa activists share that understanding.

“Antifa practices understand that the desire for fascism is not something based on reason, so it is not something to be reasoned out of.” Lennard wrote. “The point at the very heart of antifa action is to make unpleasant, real-life consequences for those people who would engage in fascist organizing. If the sense of power, domination and belonging is what makes fascism appealing—why young white men are jumping on board—militant anti-fascist action is about shutting down that appeal.”

One might disagree with this argument, but it’s clearly a principled one, and one that doesn’t sanction widespread violence, as it’s often mis-portrayed. Of course, it can be corrupted and abused — as any principled position can be. But it is not inherently lawless, irrational or senseless in a “mirror image of fascism” as too many ignorant critics allege.

New and Old Conspiracism Combined

So, what about Antifa conspiracy theories? Trump’s ‘new conspiracism’ is perhaps the easiest to understand, as noted above: there’s nothing to it but broad emotional/attitudinal appeal.

“They’re bad people” has no more real empirical content to it than racism does. “I don’t like them and you can’t make me,” is all that it really boils down to.

But there are also classic conspiracy theories to consider. The essence of them is that some small group of people are pulling the strings to secretly and malevolently control history, and that only a dedicated band of fearless truth-tellers can expose them and thus save the world.

Two canonical examples in the Western world are anti-Semitism — dating back at least to the Middle Ages — and the Illuminati conspiracy theory, dating back to the 1790s, when they were blamed for the French Revolution. Tellingly, the Illuminati did not exist, having been disbanded under severe criminal penalties almost two decades earlier. European Jews certainly did exist, but the power they had was extremely limited, defined almost entirely by powerful Christian elites, who used t hem as middlemen, intermediaries and scapegoats.

Conspiracy theories involving Antifa take on multiple forms, including both of these classics. First, a la the Bavarian Illuminati are claims about its very existence. Of course, unlike the Illuminati, Antifa does exist. But, as Lennard and Bray explain, not in anything like the way it’s assumed to. Antifa brings together people with diverse political and ideological views around a shared opposition to fascism.  It typically comprises local groups, not top-down regional, national or international organizations — the most inhospitable way to run a conspiracy.  And, its planning revolves around responding to specific threats, not long-range world domination. Because it’s a coalition of diverse ideologies it couldn’t possibly be otherwise.

Second, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are second nature where fascists are concerned, so naturally Antifa is a target for them. A good example in circulation today is that George Soros is funding them. He was also accused of funding the entire wave of George Floyd/Black Lives Matter protests, so why not Antifa as well?

In fact, accusations of Antifa’s involvement opened the floodgates, so that any conspiracy theories about the protests could mutate or adapt to include Antifa as well. Rumors hyping Antifa’s supposed omnipresence and/or string pulling are examples of classic conspiracism in action, tropes that have been around for so long, they can be feed from a wide range of sources. The rapid, unexpected spread of Black Lives Matter protests — even to some overwhelmingly white communities — surely helped prime fears, which conspiracy-peddlers preyed on. And those peddlers, in turn, ran the whole gamut, from the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, whose role was spotted early on, to self-described democratic socialist Adam Rahuba, a prankster unmasked by The Washington Post, who recently explained that he antagonizes far-right extremists mostly for his own amusement.

Such is the nature of conspiracy theories: because they’re unmoored from reality, they can be harnessed to do almost anything — at least, in the minds of those who deploy them. But how they end up in practice can be a whole other matter.

Right now, Trump is using the fantasy threat of Antifa to justify the lawless deployment of federal troops in Portland—and who knows how many other cities to come. In doing so, he’s acting out the fascist playbook that first gave rise to Antifa almost 100 years ago. We can only imagine what this will look like 100 years from now.

Trump lies about Antifa
July 21, 2020
by Daniel Funke

Instagram stated on July 18, 2020:

“Since Trump labeled ANTIFA a terrorist organization their rights were stripped by the Patriot Act which states if someone is labeled a terrorist they are not afforded due process.”

Despite Trump talk, antifa has not been designated as a terrorist organization

Antifa stands for “anti-fascist.” It’s a broad, loosely affiliated coalition of left-wing activists that has not been designated as a terrorist organization.

Americans suspected of terrorism are afforded due process rights granted by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.

Federal officers in unmarked vehicles have detained some people protesting against police brutality in Portland. It’s unclear to what extent those detained ally themselves with the antifa movement.

You may have heard that federal officers in unmarked vehicles have detained people protesting against police brutality in Portland. According to some reports, officers have given no explanation for the arrests.

Why? One Instagram post has a theory.

“Here is what is going on since Trump labeled ANTIFA a terrorist organization their rights were stripped by the Patriot Act which states if someone is labeled a terrorist they are not afforded due process,” reads the July 18 post. “PS: Obama suspended habeas corpus too!”

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.

The Instagram post is a screenshot of a Facebook post from a comedian named Sam Tripoli. We reached out to him for a comment, but we haven’t heard back.

Antifa stands for “anti-fascist.” It’s a broad, loosely affiliated coalition of left-wing activists that’s been around for decades, but has had a resurgence since the election of President Donald Trump.

The Trump administration has repeatedly blamed antifa activists for the violent protests that erupted after the death of George Floyd in late May. There’s no evidence that antifa played any significant role, but Trump said May 31 that the United States would designate the movement as a terrorist organization.

The post is inaccurate. Antifa is not a designated terrorist organization, and even if it were, American activists would still have due process rights.

Antifa isn’t a terrorist organization

Despite Trump’s tweet, antifa has not been designated as a terrorist organization. It is not listed on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

National security experts told PolitiFact there is no legal process for designating domestic groups as terrorist organizations. If the Trump administration did try to designate antifa as a terrorist organization, it would likely be challenged in court.

Also, antifa is not a structured organization — it has no leaders and is organized into autonomous local groups.

Second: If antifa groups were designated terrorists, American activists would still have due process rights thanks to the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The Patriot Act, which passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, does not give federal officers the right to detain suspected terrorists who are U.S. citizens without probable cause. The legislation mainly expanded law enforcement’s ability to use wiretaps in counter-terrorism investigations. It was re-authorized and revised in 2015 to place limits on how much telecommunication data intelligence agencies can collect from Americans.

What’s going on in Portland?

If antifa isn’t a terrorist organization, then why are law enforcement officials detaining protesters in Portland? It has to do with the federal government’s response to ongoing protests over police brutality.

Demonstrators in Portland have been protesting against police brutality and racism against Black Americans since the death of George Floyd in late May. On July 14, reports surfaced that federal law enforcement agents were using unmarked cars to detain protesters in Portland. Over the next few days, videos shared on social media showed the detentions.

Federal agents in Portland include members of the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and a unit from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. U.S. Border Patrol told CNBC that agents were deployed to Portland in support of a June 26 executive order from Trump and a new Homeland Security task force for protecting American communities.

The Trump administration says the officers are needed to restore peace in Portland, where protests devolved into rioting July 18. But Oregon officials and Democrats have criticized the federal government’s crackdown.

The Oregon attorney general filed a lawsuit July 17 that alleges the federal government violated citizens’ rights by detaining them without probable cause. On July 19, House Democrats called for an investigation into allegations that federal officials were unlawfully arresting protesters. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley — all Democrats — have criticized the Trump administration’s use of force against protesters.

It’s unclear to what extent antifa activists are among the protesters detained in Portland. The city is home to the oldest antifa cell in the country, and activists associated with the movement have been involved in recent protests there. One purported antifa activist faces charges for alleged crimes that took place during the demonstrations.

Our ruling

The Instagram post claims that, since antifa is a terrorist organization, its members’ due process rights are stripped by the Patriot Act.

That’s wrong.

Antifa is not an organized group and has not been designated as a terrorist organization. Even if it were, American antifa activists would still have due process rights afforded to them by the Constitution. The Patriot Act does not give federal law enforcement officials the right to detain suspected terrorists who are U.S. citizens without probable cause.

The Instagram post is inaccurate. We rate it False.


This is what happens when the war on terror is turned inward, on America
July 24, 2020
by Hamilton Nolan
The Guardian

Astrange and necessary ingredient of America’s descent towards fascism is that it will have little impact on the majority of people. As militarized federal agents are deployed into major cities to snatch protesters and charge them with harsh federal crimes for daring to deface the ruling party’s monuments, most Americans will continue living their normal lives with no discernible changes, at least for the time being. People wake up and eat breakfast and spend their days doing mundane tasks in fascist countries, too.

If there was ever a tipping point, we are past it. Trying to stare hard at the daily news to determine the exact point at which we slip into fascism is like staring at a baby to see when it turns into an adult. By the time you perceive it, it’s already happened. It is important to understand that the crackdown phase that we are now in – the unaccountable government forces, the riot police, the teargas, the targeted political prosecutions that will come next – are not something new, but something old. This isn’t about Donald Trump. This is about America, baby. This is what we do.

Trump, a fool ruled by impulse rather than strategy, did not build the fearsome machine of government oppression that is now being aimed at his political opponents. This machine was systematically assembled and lovingly tended to by generations of presidents before him – Democratic, Republican, Whig. Trump is only broadening its aperture. All of these tools have been sharpened on the bones of Native Americans and Black people and immigrants and Muslims overseas. America has always needed someone to oppress. Mostly so that we could steal their stuff, but also so that the rest of us didn’t turn against one another. This country has managed to avoid a class war by giving poor white people an array of minorities to abuse, a trick that has benefited rich white people for centuries. We have used injustice not just as a way to get ahead, but as a release valve. Our leaders have long calculated that it is safer to subjugate and mistreat a minority of the population than to risk dissatisfaction in the majority. In doing so, the government has become very adept at creating enemies and wielding power against them in flagrant shows of force.

These are trivial observations, basic facts that will only be disputed by those who are destined to land on the side of fascism anyhow. The question is what they mean for our present moment, which is distinguished not by the existence of government oppression but by its direction. We are finding out what happens when the war on terror is turned inward on ourselves. In addition to the federal agents already in Portland, more are coming to Chicago, Albuquerque, and Kansas City; that may well be just the beginning of a national rollout. “Protecting federal property” and “maintaining law and order” are twin fig leaves wafting in a cloud of teargas. The Department of Homeland Security has effectively become a White House-controlled paramilitary and domestic surveillance service unaccountable to anyone except Trump and his loyalists. (If we’re being honest, this moment has been inevitable since DHS was panic-created in the days after the September 11 attacks. If there is any more fascist word than “homeland”, I haven’t heard it.)

The basic logic behind gun control is that if there are a bunch of guns lying around, sooner or later someone will get shot. The same holds true for the security state. If you build it, it will eventually come for you. Cloaked in the banality of federal bureaucracy, we have tolerated the creation of a terrifying set of powers that now rest in the small hands of a man who has been waiting his entire life to take revenge on each and every enemy who has slighted him. Barack Obama sat in the White House for eight years and did nothing to dismantle this bureaucracy of soldier-cops. He was too busy using it in foreign drone wars. It’s too seductive to have that power, when you are the one who controls it. Now a worse president has it, and it will be turned, at last, against a bigger chunk of us than ever before.

Every new outrage is a test of what we will tolerate. If the government can roll out troops to a large swath of major cities and shoot the eyes out of protesters with rubber bullets all under the guise of stopping some kids from spray-painting some courthouse, it is a fairly good indicator that the spirit of the broader American public will not rouse itself to stand in the way of fascism’s tightening grip. In a nation this big, you can make 100 million people official Enemies of the State and still leave a comfortable majority blissfully unaffected. The trick now is convincing that tranquil, all-American majority that their interests are actually more aligned with the protesters wielding spray-paint outside the courthouse than with the militarized cops in fatigues.

That shouldn’t be an impossible task. When there is actual justice being done inside the courthouses, the protesters and the storm troopers will both disappear.


US army retreats from Twitch as recruitment drive backfires
Withdrawal follows criticism over alleged use of game streaming site to attract recruits
July 23, 2020
by Alex Hern UK technology editor
The Guardian

The US army has retreated from Twitch after a series of guerrilla actions by critics rendered its military recruitment drive untenable, and potentially unlawful.

Both the US army and navy have been active since 2019 on the video game streaming site, where their official esports teams share footage of them playing competitive games such as Rainbow Six and Counterstrike to help with “making connections between prospects and recruiters”, according to a leaked social media guide.

In recent weeks, their presence on the platform had drawn significant criticism. Led by the Twitch user Jordan Uhl, waves of viewers began following the accounts, waiting 24 hours to evade spam filters, and then asking the soldiers and sailors to comment on everything from Eddie Gallagher, a former Navy Seal charged with war crimes, to the My Lai massacre, when American soldiers killed hundreds of South Vietnamese civilians.

The army’s Twitch channel banned the offending users, prompting some lawyers to point out that they may have had their first amendment rights violated.

“The government can’t try to engineer the conversation of the public by saying ‘only people who agree with us can respond’,” Katie Fallow, a lawyer at the Knight First Amendment Institute, said on Monday. “The first amendment means the government can’t kick someone out or preclude them based on their viewpoint.”

At the same time, the channels came under fire from Twitch for allegedly running fake giveaways to entice users to click through to recruitment pages. When users clicked the links, which told them they could win an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller, they arrived on a recruitment form with no extra information about the prize draw. The army said giveaways were enabled for some users, but was nevertheless asked by Twitch to remove the links.

On Wednesday, the New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined the opposition voices, filing a draft amendment to a bill that would prevent the military from using funds to “maintain a presence on Twitch.com or any video game, esports, or livestreaming platform”. The bill, which allocates spending for the US government, may not pass with that amendment intact, but it seems to have been the final straw for the military esports teams.

On Wednesday evening, an army spokesperson confirmed the decision, first reported by the esports expert Rod Breslau, to stop streaming on Twitch. “The team has paused streaming to review internal policies and procedures, as well as all platform-specific policies, to ensure those participating in the space are clear before streaming resumes,” the spokesperson said.

In June, the British army awarded a £121,000 contact to the company Ayozat to recruit through platforms including Twitch. The contract calls on Ayozat to run four events over the next year “involving army gamers or having army messaging at key gaming competitions, and by using key influencers from the urban music scene to deliver key messages about ‘army confidence’”.


Department of Defense-Domestic Counterinsurgency
NUMBER 3005.20
July 10, 2020 USD(I)
SUBJECT: DoD Domestic Military Order-Counterinsurgency Overview : See Enclosure 1
Domestic Military Order – Counterinsurgency Overview

Part 6



Commanders employ PSYOP (as an element of IO) to influence target audience behaviors that support US national policy objectives. Planning includes personnel with expertise in the region’s culture. PSYOP missions roles include—

  • Influencing the attitudes and behaviors of foreign populations.
  • Advising commanders of target restrictions during the targeting process (planning for application of effects) to minimize reactions that may adversely affect PSYOP objectives.
  • Providing public information (in coordination with the public affairs office) to foreign populations to support humanitarian assistance and to restore or maintain civil order.
  • Countering enemy propaganda and disinformation.

To execute the PSYOP mission, the JFC may create a psychological operations task force, a joint psychological operations task force, or a PSYOP support element. Mission requirements dictate the composition of the task force.

The regional combatant commander’s staff performs initial PSYOP planning with assistance from a PSYOP assessment team. The PSYOP assessment team deploys to a theater at the request of the combatant commander to assess the situation, develop PSYOP objectives, and recommend the appropriate level of support to accomplish the mission. Both the psychological operations group and regional PSYOP battalion are capable of forming the nucleus of or establishing a PSYOP assessment team or joint psychological operations task force.

Tactical PSYOP battalions provide tactical support to corps-, division-, and lower-level units and below.

Tactical PSYOP companies provide tactical support to division-, and brigade- level units and below. Tactical PSYOP teams detachments support brigade-sized elements.

Tactical PSYOP teams are attached to battalions companies to provide loudspeaker support and to disseminate leaflets and posters.

The combatant commander or JFC level usually retains PSYOP C2 and product approval. National objectives, however, may dictate that product approval be retained at national level. PSYOP approval authority can be sub-delegated below regional combatant commander and JFC with approval from the Secretary of Defense.


The special operations coordination element acts as the primary special operations staff officer and advisor to an Army corps or Marine expeditionary force commander and staff on SOF integration, capabilities, and limitations.


CMO include activities that establish, maintain, influence, or exploit relations between military forces, governmental and nongovernmental civilian organizations and authorities, and the civilian populace in a friendly, neutral, or hostile area of operations. The purpose of CMO is to facilitate military operations and consolidate and achieve US objectives. Designated CA units as well as other military forces may perform CMO, or a combination of CA units and other forces may also do so. CMO include—

  • Coordinating foreign nation support.
  • Managing dislocated civilians.
  • Conducting humanitarian assistance and military civic action in support of military operations and US national objectives.

The regional combatant commander or JFC may create a joint civil-military operation task force to conduct CMO. CA Soldiers assigned to this task force provide specialized expertise

in the areas of support to civil administration, foreign humanitarian assistance, populace and resources control, and military civic action. CMO personnel coordinate with HN civil authorities to increase the credibility of the local law enforcement with the people.

Four civil affairs commands exist within the US Army. The command designated to support counterinsurgency provides the combatant commander with teams that have government administration expertise, planning teams to augment staffs or subordinate headquarters, and teams to provide staff augmentation, planning, and assessment support at the tactical level.


As described earlier, ARSOF and conventional ground forces may operate in close proximity to each other during counterinsurgency operations. While JFCs may place ARSOF under a conventional ground force, they normally maintain a centralized, responsive, and un-ambiguous SOF C2 structure under the JSOTF. Through assignment of missions and supported or supporting command relationships, the JFC provides the JSOTF commander freedom to organize and employ forces to satisfy both JFC requirements and those of supported commanders. The tactical commander considers SOF capabilities and limitations, particularly in the areas of tactical C2, sustainment and overall counterinsurgency mission accomplishment.

Historically, commanders have employed SOF before conventional force follow on operations to ensure the timing and tempo of the overall campaign are maintained. During extended operations involving both SOF and conventional forces, combined control and decon fliction measures take on added significance. Because situations change rapidly, conventional unit commanders may find themselves under SOF units, or SOF units under a conventional unit. Thus, during counterinsurgency operations, it is essential to integrate and synchronize SOF with other joint and conventional forces through a joint command operations and intelligence fusion cell.

Special operations often involve air operations that transit theater airspace control areas, air defense areas, and artillery firing patterns. Therefore, coordination of ARSOF operations is extremely important to prevent duplicate targeting and fratricide. The JSOTF and conventional force headquarters coordinate closely to prevent these actions.

Integration of ARSOF with conventional forces is always a major concern for ARSOF commanders. Factors they consider typically include, but are not limited to—

  • Target deconfliction.
  • Command and control.
  • Political concerns.
  • Civil populace.
  • Possible linkup of ARSOF with conventional forces.
  • Intelligence collection efforts.
  • Airspace deconfliction.
  • Fire support coordination.
  • Graphic control measures.
  • Coordination of logistics and theater support.
  • Combat search and rescue.

The exchange of liaison elements between the staffs of appropriate conventional forces and SOF further enhances integration of all forces concerned. This normally is accomplished through a special operations liaison element. This element typically works with the Army special operations task force commander to accomplish this integration, but works for the joint force special operations component commander. These liaison elements aid mission execution, preclude fratricide, and eliminate duplication of effort, disruption of ongoing operations, and loss of intelligence sources. These efforts are crucial to maintaining the com-mander’s overall unity of effort, coordination of limited resources, and campaign tempo.



There are many organizations and extensive resources available to aid in the repression of counter government actionists.All forces assigned an AO or function should determine which departments and agencies are assisting in that AO and coordinate actions so that there is no duplication of effort. Such departments, councils and agencies include—

  • National Security Council.
  • Department of Defense.
  • Department of State.
  • Department of Justice.
  • Department of the Treasury.
  • Department of Homeland Security.
  • Department of Agriculture.
  • Department of Commerce.
  • Central Intelligence Agency.
  • Department of Transportation.
  • Various governmental departments directly administer or support other governmental
  • Examples of these US agencies are—
  • The US Coast Guard (under Department of Homeland Security).
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (under Department of Justice).
  • Immigration Customs Enforcement (under Department of Homeland Security).
  • Federal Communications Commission.


The proper application of force is a critical component to any successful counterinsurgency operation. In a counterinsurgency, the center of gravity is public support. In order to defeat an insurgent force, US forces must be able to separate insurgents from the population. At the same time, US forces must conduct themselves in a manner that enables them to maintain popular domestic support. Excessive or indiscriminant use of force is likely to alienate the local populace, thereby increasing support for insurgent forces. Insufficient use of force results in increased risks to US and multinational forces and perceived weaknesses that can jeopardize the mission by emboldening insurgents and undermining domestic popular support. Achieving the appropriate balance requires a thorough understanding of the nature and causes of the insurgency, the end state, and the military’s role in a counterinsurgency operation. Nevertheless, US forces always retain the right to use necessary and proportional force for individual and unit self-defense in response to a hostile act or demonstrated hostile intent.

In planning counterinsurgency operations, it is imperative that leaders and soldiers understand that military force is not an end in itself, but is just one of the instruments of national power employed by the political leadership to achieve its broader objectives. A military commander is never given the absolute authority to act without ultimate accountability. Military action and the application of force are limited by a variety of political and practical considerations, some of which may not seem sensible at the tactical level. Leaders and soldiers at all levels need to understand the nature of such limitations and the rationale behind them in order to make sound decisions regarding the application of or restraint in the use of force.

Determining the appropriate level of military force is one of the most difficult issues confronting leaders and soldiers. Tactical decisions regarding the application of force can often have strategic implications. Typically, US forces look to the ROE as the primary method to determine the appropriate application of force. Rules of engagement are directives issued by competent military authority that delineate the circumstances and limitations under which United States forces will initiate and/or continue combat engagement with other forces encountered

ROE impose political, operational, practical, and legal restrictions on the otherwise permissible use of military force. The nature and extent of restrictions contained in the ROE vary dramatically based on the justification for the initial involvement of US forces, the tactical situation, the presence of civilians, and the type of terrain in which forces are operating (urban or rural). Leaders conducting counterinsurgency operations are likely to find themselves operating with a much more constrained set of ROE. Soldiers may find it difficult and frustrating to conduct offensive operations because of the restrictive ROE. For example, defense of designated non-US Forces or designated foreign persons and their property requires approval from the President or Secretary of Defense.

Care must be taken to ensure that the mission drives the ROE and not vice-versa. The ROE may exercise a significant influence on a unit’s ability to accomplish its mission. Therefore, it is imperative for commanders and staffs to critically evaluate the ROE in light of their mission. The impact of the ROE must be fully developed and addressed in staff estimates. ROE should be used to assist in course of action development, analysis (war-gaming), and selection. The commander should aggressively seek modifications to the ROE if the ROE are inadequate in light of the mission and anticipated threat level. The development, modification, distribution, and training of ROE must be timely and responsive to changing threats. Changes must be distributed immediately.

Leaders remember that the ROE are applicable in all situations. While ROE govern the use of force in all situations, they do not dictate a certain amount of force to be used in all situations. ROE often identify specific circumstances where the use of force is required. However, ROE do not identify every possible situation soldiers may encounter in a counterinsurgency environment. Instead, leaders and soldiers rely on their knowledge and understanding of ROE, and apply sound judgment, a thorough understanding of the mission, commander’s intent, and operational environment, situational understanding, and sound procedures and practices to determine the level of appropriate force permitted by the ROE. Finally, leaders must balance the safety of their soldiers with the safety of civilians.

Knowledge of the ROE itself is not sufficient to help Soldiers make informed decisions regarding the appropriate application of force. Consistent and effective application of the ROE requires extensive training and discipline to develop the judgment, depth of knowledge, skills, and procedures necessary to apply force in a counterinsurgency environment. Leaders stress basic troop leading procedures and situational-based training, comprehensive planning and rehearsals, effective precombat checks and mission-related patrol briefs, back-briefs, and debriefs. Effective communication is equally essential. Leaders must ensure that every soldier completely understands the mission and commander’s intent, and has comprehensive situational understanding at all times. The appropriate level of situational understanding, realistic training, and disciplined adherence to basic troop leading procedures equips soldiers with the tools necessary to make informed decisions regarding the decision to use or refrain from the use of force. ROE are most effective when they are simple, clear, and able to be condensed onto a small card.


Counterinsurgency is a war of ideas and is punctuated by moves and counters based on flexible and agile thinking and calculation. Yet, if counterinsurgency is predicated on ideas and thinking, then influence over the medium that most easily and effectively gains access to and influences ideas, thinking, and those related processes would seem to be essential. This medium is the information network, the media—print and broadcast. The media is a source of a large portion of the information a population receives and can greatly influence their collective thinking. The media have access to government leaders, decision makers, the public in most nations, and our own Soldiers to influence and shape opinions. The media is neither friend nor enemy. It is a tool to create effects and conditions in which counterinsurgency operations are successful. However, adversaries may use it directly and indirectly against those same operations. Planning for all exigencies must include the media.

The media, print and broadcast (radio, television and the Internet), play a vital role in societies involved in a counterinsurgency. Members of the media have a significant influence and shaping impact on political direction, national security objectives, and policy and national will. The media is a factor in military operations. It is their right and obligation to report to their respective audiences on the use of military force. They demand logistic support and access to military operations while refusing to be controlled. Their desire for immediate footage and on-the-spot coverage of events, and the increasing contact with units and soldiers (for example, with embedded reporters) require commanders and public affairs officers to provide guidance to leaders and soldiers on media relations. However, military planners must provide and enforce ground rules to the media to ensure operations security. Public affairs offices plan for daily briefings and a special briefing after each significant event because the media affect and influence each potential target audience external and internal to the AO. Speaking with the media in a forward-deployed area is an opportunity to explain what our organizations and efforts have accomplished.


The media—the printed medium, radio, television, and the Internet—have a vital role in societies directly and indirectly involved in counterinsurgency. The news media and other information networks’ increasing availability to societies’ leadership, bureaucracies, and populace means members of this news and communication medium have a significant impact on political direction, achieving national security objectives, policy formation, and national will. Media scrutiny of military operations, journalists’ desire for immediate footage and on-the- spot coverage of confrontational events, and the increasing contact with units and soldiers (including embedded reporters) require that commanders and public affairs officers provide guidance to leaders and soldiers on media relations. The media affect and influence each potential target audience and personnel external and internal to the AO. Speaking with the media in a forward-deployed area is an opportunity to explain what our organizations and efforts have accomplished, but be prepared to field questions regarding perceived negative impacts also.

In addition to these general guidelines, leaders should always consult the public affairs

office guidance related to the current operation.

Points to Remember When Doing Media

Interviews What to Do When the Media Visits Your AO:

  • Be relaxed, confident, and professional.
  • Be concise: think about what you will say before you speak
  • Avoid using colorful or profane language.
  • Stay in your lane. Confine your discussions to areas in which you have firsthand knowledge or where you have personal experience
  • Deal in facts–avoid speculation and hypothetical questions
  • Label your opinions as opinions. Don’t get into political discussions.
  • Stay on the record. If you say it, they’ll print it.
  • Don’t discuss classified information.
  • Don’t argue with the reporter. Be firm, and be polite.
  • Speak plainly. Don’t use military slang or jargon.
  • Protect the record. Correct the “facts” if they are wrong.
  • Do not threaten the media representative.
  • Politely move the media to an area out of harm’s way where they do not interfere with the performance of the mission.
  • Notify the senior person present so he/she can determine what the media wants.
  • Cooperate with the reporter within the limits of OPSEC and safety.
  • If there are OPSEC or safety concerns that make the interviewing or filming impossible at this time, let the reporter know up front.
  • At no time should a media representative’s equipment be confiscated. If you feel a security violation has occurred, notify your chain of command.
  • If you have problems with the media, don’t get emotional. Report the incident through the chain of command to the area public affairs officer.

Counterinsurgency Operations


Military operations in support of counterinsurgency fall into three broad categories:

CMO, combat operations, and IO. CMO are primarily oriented towards the indigenous population in villages, cities, and regions. Combat operations are oriented against insurgent leaders and cadre, smaller units, and insurgent main force organizations (battalion-, brigade-, and division-sized units) depending on the phase of the insurgency. The operations should deny the insurgents freedom of movement, access to the population, and access to safe havens. IO potentially assure a common operational picture appropriate to every level of an organization, down to the individual soldier. Commanders also use IO to shape the information environment to reinforce CMO and combat efforts. The overall mission of all military operations in support of counterinsurgency is to provide a safe and secure environment within which governmental institutions can address the concerns of the people.

Commanders consider the following when conducting (planning, preparing, executing, and assessing) counterinsurgency operations:

  • Military operations for countering insurgency must all be completely integrated with the US country team or established governing authority throughout planning, preparation, execution, and assessment.
  • Counterinsurgency must be initiated as early as possible. An escalating insurgency becomes increasingly difficult to defeat. Intelligence, civil affairs, and PSYOP are vital parts of all programs. Effective local government is vital to carrying counterinsurgency programs to the local populations.



Local political authorities bridge the gap between the remote and sometimes impersonal national government and the people. To the extent that these authorities are able to satisfy the aspirations of the people and create the image of a responsive and capable government, the openings for subversion will diminish. The military works with the local civil authorities, the populace, and NGOs through CMO. Military participation is accomplished through military civic action and populace and resource control. The leader must be ready to propose civic action projects based on the capabilities of the unit advised and must be prepared to give guidance on the techniques of applying these capabilities in accordance with an overall counterinsurgency plan. To perform these functions, the leader must be aware of the objectives and principles of CMO

  • Objectives of CMO in counterinsurgency operations are to—
  • Make substantial contributions to national development.
  • Gain the support, loyalty, and respect of the people for their government.
  • Principles of CMO include—
  • Conserving resources and developing an integrated economy. As such, all projects must proceed within the framework of a coordinated plan.
  • Conformance to guidance issued through command channels.


. The insurgent’s primary target is the people; therefore, counterinsurgency must separate

the insurgent from the people and their resources. Population and resource control is implemented as required to support counterinsurgency operations. Leaders must be knowledgeable regarding the principles, concepts, tasks, and techniques of population and resource control in order to train and work with their counterparts on their implementation. The primary objectives of population and resource control are to separate the insurgents from the populace and to identify and eliminate the insurgents, their organization, their activities, and influence while doing so.

Civil control measures are very similar to police functions. Civil police should initiate

controls because—

They are best suited by cultural background, training, and experience.

Their area orientation results in a closer relationship with the local population.

They permit military forces to concentrate on offensive counterinsurgency operations.

Where local police require reinforcement or are ineffective, local paramilitary forces—

including home guards, village militia, and police auxiliaries—are mobilized or created, organized, and trained as reserves. Military forces are used only as expedients since extended assignment to this duty detracts from their main mission of offensive operations.

Continuous PSYOP are mounted to—

  • Counter the effects of insurgent propaganda.
  • Relate controls to the security and well-being of the population.
  • Portray a favorable governmental image.
  • Control measures must—
  • Be authorized by national laws and regulations (counterparts should be trained not to improvise unauthorized measures).
  • Be tailored to fit the situation (apply the minimum force required to achieve the desired
  • result).
  • Be supported by effective local intelligence.
  • Be instituted in as wide an area as possible to prevent bypass or evasion.
  • Be supported by good communications.
  • Be enforceable.
  • Be lifted as the need diminishes.
  • Be compatible, where possible, with local customs and traditions.
  • Establish and maintain credibility of local government.


A control program may be developed in five phases:

  • Securing and defending the area internally and externally.
  • Organizing for law enforcement.
  • Executing cordon and search operations.
  • Screening and documenting the population (performing a detailed census).
  • Performing public administration, to include resource control.


Cordon and search is a technique used by military and police forces in both urban and rural environments. It is frequently used by counterinsurgency forces conducting a population and resource control mission against small centers of population or subdivisions of a larger community. To be effective, cordon and search operations must have sufficient forces to effectively cordon off and thoroughly search target areas, to include subsurface areas. PSYOP, civil affairs, and specialist interrogation teams should augment cordon and search forces to increase the effectiveness of operations. Consider the following when conducting cordon and search operations:

Allocate ample time to conduct thorough search and interrogation of residents of affected areas.

Operations should be rehearsed thoroughly, whenever possible.

  • Firm but fair treatment must be the rule. Every effort must be made to avoid any incident that results in unnecessarily alienating the people.
  • Cordon and search operations may be conducted as follows:
  • Disposition of troops should—
  • Facilitate visual contact between posts within the cordon.
  • Provide for adequate patrolling and immediate deployment of an effective reserve force.
  • Priority should be given to—
  • Sealing the administrative center of the community.
  • Occupying all critical facilities.
  • Detaining personnel in place.
  • Preserving and securing all records, files, and other archives.
  • Key facilities include—
  • Administrative buildings.
  • Police stations.
  • News media facilities.
  • Post offices.
  • Communications centers.
  • Transportation offices and motor pools.
  • Prisons and other places of detention.
  • Medical facilities.
  • Search Techniques include—
  • Search teams of squad size organized in assault, support, and security elements.
  • One target is assigned per team.
  • Room searches are conducted by two-person teams.
  • Room search teams are armed with pistols, assault weapons, and automatic weapons.
  • Providing security for search teams screening operations and facilities.
  • Pre-search coordination includes—
  • Between control personnel and screening team leaders.
  • Study of layout plans.
  • Communications, that is, radio, whistle, and hand signals.
  • Disposition of suspects.
  • On-site security.
  • Guard entrances, exits (to include the roof), halls, corridors, and tunnels.
  • Assign contingency tasks for reserve.
  • Room searches conducted by two- or three-person teams.
  • Immobilize occupants with one team member.
  • Search room with other team member.
  • Search all occupants. When available, a third team member should be the recorder.
  • Place documents in a numbered envelope and tag the associated individual with a corresponding number.


  • Screening and documentation include following:
  • Systematic identification and registration.
  • Issuance of individual identification cards containing—
  • A unique number.
  • Picture of individual.
  • Personal identification data.
  • An official stamp (use different colors for each administration region).
  • Family group census cards, an official copy of which is retained at the local police agency. These must include a picture and appropriate personal data.
  • Frequent use of mobile and fixed checkpoints for inspection, identification, and registration of documents.
  • Preventing counterfeiting of identification and registration documents by laminating and embossing.

Programs to inform the population of the need for identification and registration.


Public administration at local levels is normally performed by the mayor and police. It is at this level that resources are managed and controlled. After screening has been completed, action must be taken for continuation of governmental functions, and the following factors should be considered:

Combining internal security and defense activities under a public safety office.

Employing population surveillance (overt and covert) based on area coverage.


Overt surveillance is the responsibility of the police patrol division. It is conducted with conventional police procedures, using the officer on the beat as the lowest official of government in contact with the public.

Police patrols—

  • Vary routes and movement frequently to avoid establishing a predictable pattern.
  • Should not be limited to the confines of the community but should include adjacent areas.
  • Must be coordinated with the activities of military and paramilitary forces to avoid duplication of effort and confusion.
  • Use military dogs to contribute to overall effectiveness.


Covert surveillance is a collection effort with the responsibility fixed at the intelligence/ security division or detective division of the police department. Covert techniques, ranging from application of sophisticated electronics systems to informants, should include—

Informant nets. Reliability of informants should be verified. Protection of identity is a must.

Block control. Dividing a community or populated area into zones where a trusted resident reports on the activities of the population. If the loyalty of block leaders is questionable, an informant net can be established to verify questionable areas.


There are two types of offensive operations employed against insurgent forces. The first is at the local level where US forces (SOF or trainers) work with local authorities to find, fix, and destroy local insurgents who seek to exert control in the communities, cities, and regions. These forces are normally small but well armed. Examples of this type insurgent force include the Viet Cong in South Vietnam, the FMLN in El Salvador, and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Chechnya. They move freely within the population and use raids, ambushes, and small hit-and-run attacks intended to drive out occupation forces or destabilize established authorities. The second type of offensive operation is conducted by regular army formations against main force insurgent units. An example of this type of insurgent force is the NVA that infiltrated into South Vietnam.

.Counterinsurgency Operations

  • Concentrate on elimination of the insurgents, not on terrain objectives.
  • Maintain the offensive in all kinds of weather (for example, do not bog down during a rainy season—limited offensive operations are preferable to passive measures).
  • Provide guidelines for allocation of counterinsurgency forces.
  • Get counterinsurgency forces out of garrisons, cities, and towns; off the roads and trails into the environment of the insurgents.
  • Plan for and use all resources (both regular and special units).
  • Avoid establishment of semipermanent patrol bases laden with artillery and supplies that tend to tie down the force. (Pay special attention to prevent mobile units from becoming fixed.)
  • Emphasize secrecy and surprise.
  • Plans should provide for—
  • Effective and secure communications.
  • Constant indoctrination of the individual Soldier.
  • Variation of methods and the use of unorthodox tactics and techniques to avoid establishing patterns.
  • Emphasize that command and staff action should include—
  • Centralized planning of small-scale decentralized tactical operations.
  • Emphasis on unity of command.
  • Training programs that stress developing the offensive spirit, physical stamina, and a desire to seek out the insurgents and destroy them.
  • Extensive contingency planning for employment of reserve forces.
  • Detailed coordination of the intelligence collection effort accomplished by—
  • Coordination with civil and paramilitary intelligence nets.
  • Creating informer nets with the local population.
  • Interrogation of prisoners and suspects.
  • Detailed planning and coordination of activities with civilian officials in any AO where the civilian population is concerned.
  • Incorporation and monitoring of military civic action into the operational plan by—
  • Planning for and augmenting a plan of military civic action, propaganda, and population control to recover population under insurgent influence.
  • Requesting and distributing supplies for resettlement of population.
  • Training paramilitary forces for security operations and ensuring continuous support for these forces.
  • Detailed integration of combat support and combat service support functions (especially aerial supply) into all tactical planning.
  • Judicious application of the minimum destruction concept in view of the overriding requirements to minimize alienating the population. (For example, bringing artillery or air power to bear on a area from which sniper fire was received may neutralize insurgent action but will alienate the civilian population as a result of casualties among noncombatants.)
  • Consideration of the use of all means of mobility, to include aircraft, tracked and wheeled vehicles, boats, animals, and porters.
  • Providing for the rapid collection and dissemination of all available information and intelligence so that counterinsurgency forces can take immediate action to destroy fast moving insurgents.


Encyclopedia of American Loons

John Upledger

Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a type of alternative therapy that uses touch to palpate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium. It is often promoted as a cure for all sorts of health conditions, but is, of course, complete nonsense based on fundamental misconceptions about the physiology of the human skull. It was invented in the 1970s, following a familiar pattern, by John Upledger, an osteopathic physician, though it has its roots in an older form of pseudoscience, cranial osteopathy.

CST is, of course, pure pseudoscience. Medical research – like here – has found no good evidence that either CST or cranial osteopathy has any health benefit, and it may be harmful, particularly if used on children or infants. Moreover, it is founded on basic assumptions that are demonstrably false; to say that the core idea of CST, that there is a craniosacral rhythm, cannot be scientifically supported is an understatement – tests show that CST practitioners cannot in fact identify the purported craniosacral pulse – and practitioners notably produce conflicting and mutually exclusive diagnoses of the same patient. Like other alternative and new-age-inspired therapies, CST draws heavily on indefinable, pseudoreligious concepts such as energy (in the new-age sense), harmony, balance, rhythm, and flow – typical vitalistic nomenclature that in their application bears striking resemblances to medical ideas and practices in medieval Europe, even if practitioners often try to describe the characteristics as “non-Western”. Subjective validation is a powerful tool for CST practitioners, however: Who needs evidence, accuracy and facts when you’ve got anecdotes? (Yes, there have been some tooth fairy science-studies sympathetic to CST carried out, but even these fail to find anything to recommend the technique). There is a good, short introduction here, and even the Wikipedia article on CST is fairly decent.

Upledger himself, however, has become something of a celebrity in alternative medicine circles, and versions of CST have become popular among certain groups of chiropractors and “alternative”-sympathetic dentists (among the latter, CST has been particularly promoted by one Viola Frymann). According to Upledger, CST “works with natural and unique rhythms of our different body systems to pinpoint and correct source problems,” which is incorrect, but the basis for his apparently somewhat successful Upledger Institute of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. According to the institute website, CST complements “the body’s natural healing processes” and can cure almost anything, from autism to learning disorders to colic and neurovascular or immune disorders. It can even, predictably, boost your immune system. Indeed, CST for colic has apparently been a thing in the UK, where parents pay £30–£50 per treatment (you may need up to three) for osteopaths to lightly tickle their babies heads. Despite the simplicity of the technique you absolutely cannot do it yourself – the touches are very soft and have to be applied to very specific points. And the touching ostensibly make permanent changes, but not to the shape of the skull itself because that would be measurable (and bad).

Of course, CST was only the first stop on Upledger’s journey in the world of quackery, and he quickly moved on to things like energy cysts, sound healing, healing energy that could be transmitted from one hand to the other through the patient’s body, and dolphin therapy (dolphins touch the therapist and the therapist touches the patient). His books CranoSacral Therapy: Touchstone of Natural Healing and Your Inner Physician and You: CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release (reviewed here) go far beyond CST, with one of their most striking ideas being the not-entirely-coherent ideas of patients’ “Inner Physician” that Upledger can communicate with to help treat you. One such inner physician apparently appeared to a patient in the form of a seagull and asked to be introduced as “Mermaid.” In another case, Upledger was caring for a four-month-old French baby who was “as floppy as a rag doll”; although the baby had never been exposed to English, Upledger decided to see if  the baby’s “Inner Physician” would communicate with him via the craniosacral system in English, and it did: “I requested aloud in English that the craniosacral rhythm stop if the answer to a question was ‘yes’ and not stop if the answer was ‘no.’ The rhythm stopped for about ten seconds [remember that he is unable to measure it]. I took this as an indication that I was being understood. I then asked if it was possible during this session for the rhythm to stop only in response to my question and not for other reasons, such as body position, etc., The rhythm stopped again. I was feeling more confident. I proceeded.” Eventually he determined that the baby was exposed to toxins, but he nevertheless managed to heal it of toxins through consultation with the baby’s “Inner Physicians”. Yes, it’s … mediumship, but we like to think that even hardened loons who think they talk to the dead would be somewhat concerned about Upledger’s application of their ideas.

The connection between CST and dolphin therapy has been further developed, by one Rebecca Goff, into AquaCranial therapy, which is a good candidate for constituting the zenith of New Age nonsense.

Diagnosis: Garbled insanity, but apparently it’s possible to package it in a manner that makes it appealing to certain groups of people. Upledger is a true believer, surfing the pink, fluffy clouds of the astral plane, powered by subtle energies according to the Law of Attraction. He does have significant influence in the alternative movement, though, and his recommendations have had darker consequences than just parting people with their money for nothing.

Dr. Upledger passed away on October 26, 2012 at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida


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