Monday, 02 May 2005

Agents Provacateurs

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Robert MillarVirtually all governments use undercover agents and informants in their police and intelligence agencies. As a society, we recognize that this often is necessary in order to combat organized crime, foreign espionage, drug cartels, subversion, and terrorism. However, the political powers that be often abuse their powers and misuse these intelligence assets not to protect society, but to endanger it; and in so doing provide a pretext for increasing their own power. History is replete with examples of governments using agents provocateurs to justify eliminating the opposition and assuming dictatorial powers.

Adolf Hitler consolidated his power on the infamous “Night of the Long Knives” of June 30, 1934, an assassination blitzkrieg in which he wiped out his erstwhile friend Ernst Roehm (who had become a competitor) and the top leadership of Roehm’s brownshirted storm troopers. Using his own agents within Roehm’s organization, Hitler fabricated evidence that Roehm was plotting a coup.

Josef Stalin used a similar deception to attain totalitarian power in Soviet Russia, destroying two of his Communist Party competitors in one fell swoop. Stalin had his agents murder Sergei Kirov and then used the murder to justify the claim that Russia was beset by a massive conspiracy plotting assassination and terror to overthrow the Soviet regime. Stalin fixed the blame for the Kirov murder on Grigori Zinoviev, providing an excuse for “purging,” i.e. killing, all who were deemed part of the “Zinoviev faction.” Ultimately, Stalin expanded this into the “Great Purge,” in which millions were executed or sent to the gulag (the Soviet prison system).

In 1989, Tibetan independence protesters were embarrassing their brutal Communist Chinese occupiers. The Communist regime in Beijing ordered 300 police agents to disguise themselves as Tibetan nationalists and discredit the protests. The Communist agents provocateurs joined the marchers and turned a peaceful protest in the Tibetan capital of Lahsa into a wild melee. This provided the government troops with an excuse to open fire on the protesters, slaughtering 450.

In Russia, the hand of Vladimir Putin’s KGB/FSB in various “Chechen terrorist” incidents has become obvious. Even some reporters and pundits for the Western press who regularly fawn over “Putie,” our dear “ally,” have felt compelled to note the evidence that incidents such as the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings were actually provocations by Putin’s agents. Putin has used the incidents to justify seizing more power and instituting more police-state measures.

“Discredit From Within”
So-called democratic governments also have been known to instigate elaborate provocations to justify measures aimed at concentrating power and eliminating checks and balances, in the name of security. In Germany, for instance, in 2002, it was revealed that the National Democratic Party had been financed by Germany’s intelligence services for more than 40 years. As the country’s leading neo-Nazi front, it could be counted on to stage ugly racist and anti-Semitic demonstrations that would give impetus to “hate crime” legislation that could be used against all political dissent. The National Democratic Party extremists also helped to taint all German political conservatives by making statements that would associate conservatives with neo-Nazi positions. National Democratic Party co-founder Wolfgang Frenz and Udo Holtmann, editor and publisher of the National Democratic Party newspaper, along with three of their younger NPD lieutenants, were identified as government agents. The NPD was completely a government operation.

In Canada, the racist Heritage Front served as the counterpart to Germany’s National Democratic Party. In the mid 1990s, Grant Bristow, the notorious co-founder of the Heritage Front, was exposed as an undercover agent of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). While on the CSIS payroll, Bristow had committed acts of violence and sedition and built the Heritage Front into a menacing band of racist misfits who provided the pretext for Canadian “liberals” to enact oppressive legislation that has drastically undermined the freedoms of all Canadian citizens.

The November 4, 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was used to vilify religious and political conservatives and to provide a pretext for clamping down on all civil liberties. The assassin, Yigal Amir, a young law student, was described as a “right-wing extremist” and a “religious fundamentalist.” However, it later turned out that Amir and his “handler,” Avishai Raviv, were actually agents for Israel’s intelligence agency known as Shin Bet, or General Security Service. Avishai Raviv was the head of a “right-wing extremist group” called Eyal. One of his purposes was to “discredit from within,” that is, make statements and conduct himself in a way that would bring religious and political opponents of the ruling socialists into disrepute. The assassination of Rabin certainly accomplished that.

The March 11, 2004 Madrid train bombings have raised the specter of another deadly provocation. Although the reports are not conclusive, the Spanish press reported that at least two of the lead suspects in the terrorist acts that took nearly 200 lives (and caused a radical Socialist government to sweep to power three days later) were undercover operatives for Spanish police agencies. Rafa Zouhier, reportedly, was an informant for the Unidad Central de Operaciones, an elite unit of the Guardia Civil. Jose Emilio Suarez Trashorras, apparently, was an undercover operative for a narcotics unit of the National Police Corps. Zouhier and Trashorras allegedly supplied the explosives that were used in the attack.

Federal Infiltration
Does the U.S. government use agents provocateurs to carry out illegal activities and to discredit opposition? The record shows that it does. Over the past decade, some of the most notorious racists and violent extremists in the U.S. have been revealed as government “assets.”

During the Clinton administration the federal government launched an intensive campaign to create the impression that a large conspiracy of “right-wing extremists” posed a terrible terrorist threat to national security. In April 1996, the national media served up frothy reports about the arrests in Georgia by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) of two militia members, Robert Starr and William James McCranie, Jr. A search of the men’s property yielded a cache of pipes and chemicals that were reported as a “pipe bomb” find. The arrests were used to underscore President Clinton’s assertion two days earlier that “we must do more to help police keep suspected terrorists under surveillance.” The problem, as it was later revealed at trial, was that it was the ATF’s undercover operatives, not Starr and McCranie, who had hidden the pipe-bomb materials on the property. The two accused men apparently were not even aware that the materials were on their land.

During the previous year, the Oklahoma City bombing had provided the Clinton administration with a convincing pretext to push for more federal police powers to deal with the supposed burgeoning threat from violent “anti-government” forces, and so-called anti-hate groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Center for Democratic Renewal, and the Anti-Defamation League pointed to the Aryan Nations, the Aryan Republic Army, the National Alliance, and the Ku Klux Klan as proof of the growing menace. As it turns out, virtually all of those groups were heavily infiltrated with federal agents, who often were responsible for leading and initiating the actions that were being pointed to as justification for further restrictions on citizens and more power for federal authorities.

One of the regular gathering places for some of the most violent of these elements was the rural Oklahoma compound known as Elohim City. ATF undercover informant Carol Howe warned her superiors weeks before the OKC bombing that leaders at Elohim City were planning a major terrorist offensive. What she didn’t know at the time was that several of the suspects she was watching were also working with federal authorities. The difference was she was truly trying to prevent the terrorist attacks, while the other “informants” apparently were planning to carry them out.

Howe specifically fingered as the prime instigators of the terrorist plot Elohim City founder Robert Millar, White Aryan Resistance leader Dennis Mahon, and Andreas Strassmeir, a German illegal alien with high-level connections to the German government of Chancellor Helmut Kohl. The FBI later admitted in sworn court testimony that Robert Millar was a longtime government informant. Evidence strongly indicates that both Mahon and Strassmeir also were government operatives.

A Provocateur’s Full-court Press
On the day of the Oklahoma City bombing, April 19, 1995, Lawrence W. Myers showed up in the offices of Media Bypass,  an Indiana-based alternative “patriot” news magazine and offered them his expertise to investigate the OKC terror attack.  What Media Bypass didn’t know was that Myers was a convicted felon and a fugitive from justice who had been committed to a mental institution for making extortion and murder threats. And Myers was working as an informant for the Justice Department.

One of his first tasks was to compromise federal grand juror Hoppy Heidelberg and get him kicked off the grand jury. Heidelberg was upsetting the Justice Department because he was convinced federal prosecutors were covering up evidence that pointed to additional accomplices in the bombing. Mr. Myers also served as the government’s witness against another bothersome problem for the Clinton administration: former CIA agent Charles Hayes. Hayes and a number of other former CIA agents were exposing misdeeds of the Clinton regime.

Myers gained Hayes’ confidence by doing a favorable cover story on Hayes for Media Bypass. Then he served as the government’s witness in a murder-for-hire charge against Hayes, a charge Hayes says was completely fabricated.

Photo of Robert Millar: AP Images