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         I'm posting the following information for author Nancy Miller Saunders. Because she was a part of the film crew that documented different aspects of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) movement, she has advice for you who will attend the Democratic Convention..

         Nancy has been reading the comments posted in response when I questioned the protests to the Democratic Convention in my diary "Provocateur or Real Protest?" (She will register as a DailyKossack soon.)

         To learn about the protests and efforts to stop the Vietnam War through the eyes of a young woman who was there -- who participated -- is captivating, and sometimes very emotional and sad. But they had impact as her book reveals. (I have no connection to Nancy or the book other than the concidence of having a brother who participated in some of the events that she helped to film. I learned these details 30 years later through her manuscript.)

         Please read Nancy Miller Saunders' message with care and heed her advice. All of the names and places mentioned in this diary are in her book. They will be published and are already available through various FBI files.

       Regarding all the discussion about demonstrations in Denver at the Democratic convention this summer, I have to caution everyone that this could end up being a delayed version of what was planned for the 1972 convention when there were plots afoot to provoke a repeat of Chicago only bigger and nastier. No, I’m not being paranoid.

       I lay the 1972 plot out and point to current parallels in COMBAT BY TRIAL: AN ODYSSEY WITH 20TH CENTURY WINTER SOLDIERS, (ISBN 978-0-595-50591-3), which should be available in July. Those plans could easily be put in play again, and I don’t put it past the Bush-Cheney administration to do so. Can you honestly see them handing over to Obama all the power they have accrued in the last 8 years? To McCain, maybe. To Obama, never.

        As I explore and document for the first time in such detail, the real reason for Watergate was an attempted coup d’etat by Nixon. He had struggled mightily to become president and was not about to give up the office. He didn’t risk his presidency on a stupid "third-rate burglary." No. There was a lot more at stake. Besides being bungling burglars, the Plumbers were recruiting provocateurs to stir up riots to be blamed on convention protesters, or "nondelegates" as we were called.

        While the 1972 Republican convention was still scheduled to be held in San Diego, a police and FBI informer in Los Angeles, Louis Tackwood, described a plan to round up demonstrators and provoke riots.

        Plumber and White House aide, G. Gordon Liddy, developed, under the supervision of then-Attorney General John Mitchell, plans to round up demonstration leaders so that provocateurs could stir up riots.

        During the spring of 1972, a Floridian named Vincent Hannard swore that Plumber Frank Sturgis (a.k.a., Frank Fiorini) and three others tried to hire him to discredit activities of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), which was responsible for keeping the peace among nondelegates. The Democrats were holding their convention in Miami Beach.

        A Miami resident, John Eck, said he too was approached around that time, but would not go into details.

        After the Republicans moved their convention to Miami Beach, a Miami police and FBI informer who worked with Plumbers on at least one caper, Pablo Manuel Fernandez, tried to sell automatic and other weapons to VVAW. The offer was declined.

        Alfred C. Baldwin was hired by Plumber James McCord to, among other things, infiltrate VVAW for the purpose of "embarrassing the Democrats" if the veterans demonstrated at the Republican convention. In this context embarrass is one of those conveniently ambiguous words that can be interpreted in a multitude of ways, from an off-color remark to provoking riots blamed on Democrats.
 

        In COMBAT BY TRIAL I also tell of my adventures with an FBI informer and provocateur, Bill Lemmer, who had a number of us convinced we were about to be rounded up and incarcerated somewhere during the conventions.

        VVAW’s southern leadership, which was responsible for keeping the peace among demonstrators, was rounded up and held 500 miles away from Miami Beach throughout the Democratic convention, so were unable to provide security. Happily combat veterans instinctively cover for each other.

        When no riots erupted, seven of the leaders and a conscientious objector were indicted for conspiracy to riot at the still-to-come Republican convention, where I saw for myself the vets keeping the peace even when being beaten by aroused demonstrators. (The charges were so absurd that they were acquitted of all charges without even having to put on a defense.)

        Safely in the wings an obscure aide, Dick Cheney, was studying the mistakes Nixon and crew were making, learning not to make the same ones when he got his chance to impose an "imperial presidency" on us.

        Read my book. It’s all in there.

        And, all of you heading for Denver, please, for all our sakes, keep your cool.  The vast majority of you will be sincere protesters with valid complaints, but it only takes a few provocateurs to turn a peaceful demonstration into a riot.

        If you believe the Bush-Cheney administration wouldn’t do such a thing, then you are dangerously naïve and in denial.

Originally posted to b tex on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:18 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  what the? (5+ / 0-)

    I read about 2 paragraphs in and just skimmed to the actual "denver convention" stuff.  I didn't know what you were talking about at first.

    That being said, I highly doubt the real provocateurs will be democrats. (just saying).

    So we should all still keep our eyes open and looking out for each other.

    If you can't stand the heat, don't play with matches.

    by DawnG on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:22:01 PM PDT

    •  Exactly.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, soms, PvtJarHead

      You said "We should all still keep our eyes open and looking out for each other" is what you need to do.

      Read the remainder of the diary and you will see possible parallels.

    •  That's what the diarist is saying... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, b tex, corvo, deepeco

      Government thugs will be milling in the crowds pretending to be progressive democrats.  At some point as the protests reach a certain level of zeal these "agents provocateur" will attempt to start a riot by inciting violence.  Certain people will fall for the ruse and the violence will escalate giving police and government officials an excuse to retaliate.

      Once that begins...  chaos and perhaps death.  Get it?

      "War is a Racket" - MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC Ret

      by PvtJarHead on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:53:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tip'd & Rec'd (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    b tex, corvo, deepeco, jlms qkw, soms

    The Army already did night exercises over the city in black helicopters.  If the hotheads here don't get it, they'll get it in the head in Denver.  

    Some of the things I've seen in the 2 weeks I've been posting here have shocked and saddened me.  I just hope they heed your warning.

    Peace :)

    "War is a Racket" - MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC Ret

    by PvtJarHead on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 08:33:27 PM PDT

  •  Thanks, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, corvo, PvtJarHead

    pvtjarhead! Perhaps we can learn from the past.

  •  Could be. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, corvo, PvtJarHead

    I'll see what the response is tonight and maybe edit or post a follow up tomorrow. Thanks!

    •  I hate to say this, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas

      Maybe dumb it down...  Get some college kid to ghost write it for you.  Maybe tell it from some other angle.  Write it up as fiction then slam them with the reality.  What you've got is too cerebral.  Perhaps pictures would help.

      "War is a Racket" - MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC Ret

      by PvtJarHead on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:10:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Watch your image - avoid troublemakers (6+ / 0-)

    I did my share of peaceful protesting locally and in DC during  1968-71, with a fat FBI file as a result. I worked primarily as a crowd monitor - helping cool tempers, encouraging folks to back off a police line rather than resist and to accept arrest when ready, to ignore and avoid those who would throw things or curse police face-face, to stick to the message, and not give the cameras the kind of negative "action" they so desperately seek.

    Years later as a short haired business consultant I met a bearded long-haired radio DJ in bar where we ended up talking about his days as a military intelligence spie and provocateur at the same demonstrations I attended. It did happen, it soes happen, and it will happen again this year. High flying spie drones work over here, too....

    Personally, I would encourage those who want to protest at either convention to instead "educate" the press and the public with good-old fashioned "teach-ins" in each convention City. The facts are on our side, so let's shine a positive light on the truth by our actions and words.

    I will be watching from afar - make me proud to be a progressive liberal supporter of People power. See you in the voting both come November.

    •  Well said manlyj eom (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, b tex, JG in MD

      "War is a Racket" - MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC Ret

      by PvtJarHead on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:26:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      b tex, JG in MD, PvtJarHead

      "to ignore and avoid those who would throw things or curse police face-face, to stick to the message, and not give the cameras the kind of negative "action" they so desperately seek."

      Also, "high uintas", comment just below needs to be heeded.   Back in 71-72 several of us in VVAW developed a policy that everyone who owned a camera should bring it to the protests... taking photos has a subduing effect on the police who tend toward violence, and also can provide a defence if needed in court later.

      Good luck and Peace.  

      PeaceVet Photo: by Jeff Widener (The AssociatedPress), Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 "Tank Man" [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_Man]]

      by PeaceVet on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 05:53:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good point! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PvtJarHead

        EVERYONE bring a camera and use it. You who get to attend will want your own record, maybe even on YouTube, and it will be wonderful if we who won't be able to be there can see what you see.

        I do know that cameras have a calming effect.

  •  Lots of them during the Vietnam protests (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    b tex, JG in MD, PvtJarHead

    Lots of cameras taking pics and they weren't the local news. Now with video they will be much more sophisticated.

    Are you protesting the Repucklican convention? It seems that's the place to draw attention, just sayin.

    Edwards Democrat voting for Obama would like to remind you, "Concentration Moon, over the camp in the valley" Frank Zappa knew.

    by high uintas on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 09:33:26 PM PDT

  •  The folks protesting won't be Democrats (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    b tex, PvtJarHead

    mostly anarchists.

    I know some of these folks locally, and the irony is I am also a delegate. The protest area will be close to the Pepsi Center, by court order. So I may get to see some of my fellow peace activists, on the other side of the barricade.

  •  will Lieberman be at the convention? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    b tex, PvtJarHead

    that might be arkward.

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