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Dirty tricks unleashed on Occupy Wall Street?

US history is filled with powerful companies and agencies breaking the law to discredit and destroy popular movements that threaten their interests. And so today comes news of powder hoax mail sent throughout NYC, timed to coincide with legitimate May 1 protest.

Sending powder hoaxing mail is a felony. Not only is it screwing illegitimately with the business and processing of the US post service, but in states it is also a felony to make a hoax weapon of mass destruction.

From the wire, news of corn starch in envelopes mailed to banks, media outlets and the mayor, timed just for the top of the news day and protest coverage:

"Three new envelopes containing suspicious white powder were sent to New York City banks and news organizations on Tuesday, along with notes suggesting the sender sympathizes with the Occupy Wall Street's Day of May 1 protests, police said.

"A total of ten letter-sized envelopes were sent over the last two days, and at least some contained an identical note saying 'This is a reminder that you are not in control' and 'Happy May Day,' police spokesman Paul Browne said ...

"Five envelopes were sent to Wells Fargo, while one was sent to J.P. Morgan, and another to Citicorp. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp was also targeted, with one envelope addressed to the Wall Street Journal and a second "possibly" addressed to Fox News, police said.

"Another letter, addressed to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was processed at city offices at 100 Gold Street ... "

For the last decade powder hoaxing has evolved into a niche national sport. Those who are caught at it do serious jail time. There is a constant dribble of powder-laced letters going to local and federal government offices, officials, celebrities and media outlets. Notoriously, when caught, powder hoaxers are never -- that's never -- on the side of the left or from any cause deemed even remotely progressive.

They are invariably garden variety right-wing extremists, crazies, gun nuts, or ex-jail birds.

This on the same day morning news was clogged with announcements over the arrests of five "anarchists" planning to bomb a bridge over the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland.

The anarchists, announced the FBI, had been infiltrated in October when they were spotted in Occupy protests by an informer.

Early news stories indicated the "anarchists" were not capable -- one talked of making bombs from bleach. And the FBI delivered unto them the usual packs of fake dangerous implements, whereupon they were arrested.

"The suspects had bought fake explosives and placed them near the bridge Monday." reads one report. "The suspects were arrested after 9 p.m. Monday ..."

"The local Occupy crowd said they were a part of their operation, but have now distanced themselves," the piece added.

Just in time for May 1, the day of nationwide protests by Occupy.

Coincidence? Sending a message? Or news conveniently aimed at discrediting a nationwide group engaged in legitimate protest?

It is not a secret the FBI's counter-terror intelligence operation includes infiltration and communications intercepts.

It's early history, as depicted in Tim Weiner's history of the agency, Enemies, shows its principal operation was counter-intelligence against domestic groups, prominently American labor during a time of great inequality, protests in the streets, and a subsequent growth of Communist Party membership. J. Edgar Hoover made it his business to smash the Communist Party in the US, as well as anyone even remotely associated with it. And so the FBI did.

Jumping forward decades, prior to 9/11 the FBI had allowed its counter-terror intelligence operation to evaporate. Al Qaeda brought it back out of necessity, the agency rebuilding its domestic spying to root out terror plots in the United States. In pursuit of that end it now has many assets to bring to bear on all manner of domestic groups suspected of harboring terrorists or simply causing what is viewed as unacceptable and troublesome unrest.

This does not mean the FBI is setting up Occupy Wall Street. But it would be naive to think it has not heavily infiltrated the group.

And the diffusion of counter-intelligence operations into the private sector has resulted in an infrastructure of corporate security services vended back to local and government entities, all done under the banner of protecting the homeland during the war on terror.

This quote, made a few days ago to a reporter for Bloomberg illustrates a security mentality that goes way back in US history -- the utilization of corporate security to attack legal domestic protest (or in the view of the buyer, defend itself from potential terrorists):

"The world's biggest banks are working with one another and police to gather intelligence as protesters try to rejuvenate the Occupy Wall Street movement with May demonstrations, industry security consultants said ...

"After evictions and arrests from Manhattan's Zuccotti Park to London that began last year, the movement against income inequality and corporate abuse will regain strength, said Brian McNary, director of global risk at Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations ...

"Banks cooperating on surveillance are like elk fending off wolves in Yellowstone National Park, he said. While other animals try in vain to sprint away alone, elk survive attacks by forming a ring together, he said."

Banks are like peaceful forest elk protecting themselves from the nasty wolves, the Occupy movement.

Consider the warped sentiment in that.

Prior to the creation of the FBI, the Pinkertons were America's foremost para-military counter-domestic terror corporate police force.

From Tim Weiner's Enemies:

"Four nineteenth century presidents had turned to the nation's most powerful private police force, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, as an instrument of law enforcement, a source of secret intelligence and a tool for political combat ... The agency's founder, Allen Pinkerton, had run espionage operations during the Civil War and helped create the Secret Service for President Abraham Lincoln. Its detectives served steel and railroad barons by spying, breaking strikes and cracking skulls to defeat labor organizers ... They did not shrink from breaking the law to uphold the law ..."

In that era, Weiner writes the US government eventually banned the hiring of the corporate security agency after a deadly battle erupted at a Carnegie Steel plant in Homestead, PA, one in which the Pinkerton private army confronted a labor strike.

In my old neck of the woods, Pennsylvania, Pinkerton, at at the behest of the Reading and Lehigh Valley Railroads, was famous for infiltrating the Molly Maguires, an armed group of Irish-American coal miners who rebelled and struck back against employers during a time when labor vigorously fought business. The Maguires were subsequently destroyed.

The National Anthem.

This article was originally published at Dick Destiny blog.

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