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Re: Anonymous and Occupy the Iowa caucuses

Released on 2012-03-02 01:00 GMT

Email-ID 1586970
Date 2011-11-10 14:15:47
occupying the caucasus themselves would be impossible -- as Sean noted its
direct participatory democracy...each congressional district is split into
not-so-small number of precincts, withe separate meeting places for
democrats and republicans

so my home town -- population 26k -- had 12 caucasus locations

the greater des moines are (cue the laughter) would have something like 25
times that

and there is one other nice thing about Iowa -- the roads leading out are
in immaculate condition


From: "Sean Noonan"
To: "CT AOR"
Cc: "Peter Zeihan"
Sent: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 9:30:51 PM
Subject: Anonymous and Occupy the Iowa caucuses

Ironically after all my Anonymous bashing, i want to point out a very
minor development. Mainly because it's funny to me.

I mentioned the Occupy Des Moines protest last week sometime. It is very
small, and a lot like Austin's. They have been planning for a few weeks
to Occupy the Iowa caucuses. For those of you that don't know about the
practice of the most important local democratic process in the world, the
Iowa Caucuses are the first round of true competition between presidential
candidates. Unlike voting in a primary, it's more like a town hall
meeting with much debate and discussion--a very open democratic form. A
candidate doesn't have to win Iowa necessarily to get the presidential
nomination, but it serves to weed most of the bad ones early on in the
race (Iowans are fallible, they have made mistakes too). It's the one
time that Iowa has an influence on politics, and I often say it is Iowa's
one good thing. I think it's January 3.

Back to the protestors. Their plan has been developing to "occupy"
candidate's offices. That really means protest in front of the offices,
which if you think of all the little shitty strip malls you see around,
one small section would be a campaign office. They have no security, and
allow a lot of access to candidates if they choose to campaign in Iowa.
The Occupy Des Moines group are not at all planning to disrupt the
Caucuses functioning. Though I wouldn't be surprised if they protested
outside caucus meeting places, or more likely, brought their signs and
slogans in with them. These people are experienced organizers (as it
comes to des moines), and know that if they have a political impact, one
of the best places to aim it is the Caucuses.

Now here comes "Anonymous." Those of you that read the Wired background
know that their real effect has been in popularizing "memes." One of
these was actually Occupy Wall Street-
The mob of computer users and protest movement have been running on
parallel tracks for awhile, and have served to mutually reinforce each

Whoever from Anonymous made this new video about the Caucuses has made an
ass out of themselves. The video recommends actually shutting down the
Caucuses. That is both tactically dumb for the Occupy movement, but also
totally antithetical to its general ideology. For example, a Caucus
functions very similarly to the Occupy General Assembly meetings--direct
participatory democracy.

The Des Moines organizers have already spoken up- saying they have nothing
to do with this "Anonymous" bullshit. I'm happy to see I left them with
some sense of realism. This little event is not going to matter very
much, but it shows how uncoordinated Anonymous is.

See the article below, the video is at the link.

Video calls for shutting down Iowa caucuses; the group Anonymous claims
Jason Clayworth
4:55 PM, Nov 6, 2011

An anarchist-style movement that has caught the attention of the FBI and
taken credit for hacking into military and corporate websites has now
claimed responsibility for creating a video that urges its supporters to
shut down the Iowa caucuses.

Local authorities say they are aware of the video, are preparing for
possible action by the group and are in contact with the presidential
campaigns about the issue.

A computer-generated voice in the online video, which had received more
than 1,600 views by Sunday evening, says, a**Both parties are desecrating
the American democracy and committing crimes against humanity on behalf of
the American people.a**

It continues: a**The primaries and caucuses put on by these parties are
part of an elaborate scam that deceives the public into voting for
candidates that serve the private interests of the mega corporations.
These parties have deliberately driven tens of millions of people into

It later says: a**We are calling upon you to occupy the campaign offices
of presidential headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 27, and
peacefully shut down the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3.a**

The group is believed to have no centralized operational leadership and
appears to be piggybacking on the Occupy Des Moines movement.

But Occupy Des Moines leaders say therea**s a difference: The Iowa
groupa**s planned sit-ins at presidential campaign headquarters are not
intended to shut down the Iowa caucuses, they say. Rather, they want to
target presidential candidates and big-moneyed corporations that activists
say are pulling the strings behind the scenes.

While there are similarities between the groupsa** beliefs, they are
separate, Occupy Des Moines participants emphasized Sunday.

a**I dona**t like it one bit,a** former Rep. Ed Fallon, a Des Moines
Democrat and participant in Occupy Des Moines, said of the video on
Sunday. a**It doesna**t fit with my definition of Gandhi- and Martin
Luther King Jr.-style nonviolence. The core of nonviolent action is truth.
And if you are doing everything you can to be truthful, then you should be
up front and transparent. No distorting of your voice or hiding.a**

FBI sees Anonymous as security threat

The Anonymous movement has become a potential national security threat,
according to an article published in September by the Associated Press.

The FBI has carried out more than 75 raids and arrested at least 16 people
this year in connection with illegal Internet hacking jobs for which the
group has claimed responsibility, according to the AP. One demonstration
disrupted traffic in San Francisco as a protest after the Bay Area Rapid
Transit system shut off cell service to deter a planned protest of a
police shooting on a subway platform.

The group also claimed responsibility for hacking the online payment
processing center PayPal after it had suspended WikiLeaksa** account after
WikiLeaks published sensitive U.S. government intelligence documents, the
AP reported.

Three of the Iowa campaign headquarters of presidential candidates are in
Urbandale a** those of Michele Bachmann, a U.S. representative from
Minnesota; former Godfathera**s Pizza CEO Herman Cain; and former
Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Urbandale police are aware of the video, and while they arena**t releasing
details of their security plans, authorities will be prepared should the
demonstrations take an illegal turn, Urbandale officer Randy Peterson said

a**Wea**ll just try to address any issue as they arise,a** Peterson said.

Occupy movement: We dona**t plan to interfere with voting

Occupy Des Moines, an offshoot of an anti-Wall Street protest group, last
week announced plans to launch nonviolent sit-ins inside campaign offices
in the final week before the Iowa caucuses. Some of the groupa**s members
have said they expect large-scale arrests, but they have emphasized they
do not plan to commit violence or interfere with voting.

a**There might be some overlapa** in what the groups believe, a**but
Anonymous speaks for themselves and the Occupy Movement speaks for
itself,a** said David Goodner, a demonstrator who often speaks on behalf
of Occupy Des Moines. a**Whether the public can understand that or not,
Ia**m not sure, but for me therea**s a clear difference.a**

State officials were preparing for a variety of public safety scenarios
associated with the Iowa caucuses before the video was released, said John
Benson, a public information officer for Iowaa**s Homeland Security and
Emergency Management Division

a**Obviously with the video that theya**ve put out and some of the other
work theya**re doing, that certainly increases your overall awareness,a**
Benson said. a**But to say wea**re going to do something specific in our
planning process, we cana**t say that right now, but it certainly has our

Party leaders: Let caucuses proceed

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn said the partya**s state
central committee will discuss the situation at its next meeting.

a**Successive generations of Iowans of both political parties have worked
awfully hard to make sure Iowans have this opportunity to participate in
this first-in-the-nation caucus,a** Strawn said. a**I certainly will do
anything in my power to keep outside agitators from ruining something that
a lot of people have worked very hard for over a long period of time.a**

The integrity of the Iowa caucuses would be eroded should attempts to shut
them down be successful, said Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue

a**If anyone is coming and planning to make it so the participants of the
caucus cannot have a civil and civic conversation, then of course that
would erode the integrity of the caucuses, and it flies in the face of
what the caucuses are,a** Dvorsky said. a**Theya**re the most basic
long-standing tradition in this country of neighbors coming together to
talk about political issues.a**

She continued: a**Ia**m hoping Iowans can protect their ability to speak
freely and respectfully with their neighbors.a**

About Anonymous

Anonymous emerged in 2003 from an Internet chat channel where members
organized web incidents for their own amusement.

By 2008, the prankster nature of Anonymous morphed into a**hacktivism,a**
where members sabotaged websites and leaked confidential information for
political purposes, according to law enforcement authorities.

The group has no formal leadership and is generally considered to be more
of a movement than an organization. As the name implies, its members
generally dona**t identify themselves.

The group has generally concentrated on Internet hacking. This summer, it
claimed credit for hacking into a Booz Allen Hamilton website and leaking
email addresses of 90,000 U.S. military personnel and hacking a Monsanto
Co. website and releasing personal data on 2,500 employees.

Sources: USA Today and the Associated Press

Sean Noonan
Tactical Analyst
T: +1 512-279-9479 A| M: +1 512-758-5967