Big hat tip to Barry Ritholtz, for posting about the 4,000 Obama administration documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice. The documents were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act filing, and reveal that Homeland Security treated calls by Occupy Wall Street in 2011 for a boycott of shopping on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, as a potential terrorist threat.
No, really, they did. Hard to believe, but look at the heading of the second document on Ritholtz's page, and what's listed underneath:
SPECIFIC KNOWN THREATSI have to wonder that if OWS had called for driving to malls in SUVs instead of "Alternative mass green transport" or had called for "Free, commercial street parties" instead of "non-commercial" street parties, if it would still have been flagged as a possible terrorist threat.
Public protests, especially at entrances to Malls
Credit card cut up....
Free, non-commercial street parties
Alternative mass green transport activities
Wildcat General Strike ..."green" strike, so use no power or fuel....
The Fusion Centers were established under the Department of Homeland Security after 9-11 to promote sharing of intelligence between agencies of the U.S. government, and between those agencies and local and state governments. It has since been revealed that the Fusion Centers also cooperate closely with corporations, especially Wall Street financial firms, in monitoring activity directed against those corporations and their interests.
Here is the link to the Partnership for Civil Justice report. According to the PCJ:
....There are multiple documents from across the country referencing concerns about negative impacts on retail sales.So, apparently the International Council of Shopping Centers is a center of expertise on terrorists and terrorist activity. Yeah, right.... Hopefully, they'll quickly track down hit with a drone strike the dastardly analyst who subverted the shopping public's confidence a few weeks ago by writing The Retail Death Rattle Grows Louder:
The Executive Director of the Intelligence Fusion Division, also the Joint Terrorism Task Force Director, for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department circulated a 30-page report tracking the Occupy Movement in towns and cities across the country created by the trade association the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).
He directed that the recipients of the document, who included top staff at the Washington, D.C. Fusion Center, “develop a one page product that we can send to our District Commanders to make them aware of the potential threat.”
The secret to retail success before 2007 was: create or copy a successful concept; get Wall Street financing and go public ASAP; source all your inventory from Far East slave labor factories; hire thousands of minimum wage level workers to process transactions; build hundreds of new stores every year to cover up the fact the existing stores had deteriorating performance; convince millions of gullible dupes to buy cheap Chinese shit they didn’t need with money they didn’t have; and pretend this didn’t solely rely upon cheap easy debt pumped into the veins of American consumers by the Federal Reserve and their Wall Street bank owners. The financial crisis in 2008 revealed everyone was swimming naked, when the tide of easy credit subsided.Wow! Can you think of anything more dangerously un-American than writing America has too many shopping malls?
The pundits, politicians and delusional retail CEOs continue to await the revival of retail sales as if reality doesn’t exist. The 1 million retail stores, 109,000 shopping centers, and nearly 15 billion square feet of retail space for an aging, increasingly impoverished, and savings poor populace might be a tad too much and will require a slight downsizing – say 3 or 4 billion square feet. Considering the debt fueled frenzy from 2000 through 2008 added 2.7 billion square feet to our suburban sprawl concrete landscape, a divestiture of that foolish investment will be the floor.
PCJF Executive Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard stated:
It is outrageous that counter-terrorism officials used their anti-terrorism authority and funding to "protect" corporate America from a consumer boycott.
As Ritholtz noted:
In fact – through both word and deed – the government has repeatedly demonstrated that it may treat anyone who questions mainstream ideology as a terrorist.We're getting to the point that you have to wonder how Time-Warner and Comcast are going to retaliate when you cancel your cable service after the next price hike. Will you be placed on the no-fly list?