Sunday, June 15, 2014

DoD's Minerva Program: Why Do Pentagon/University Research Programs Conflate Nonviolent Activists With ‘Supporters Of Political Violence’?

This damned good question is posed by The Guardian's Nafeez Ahmed (H/T bobswern at Kos), along with related questions about why nonviolent activists are pigeonholed as "social contagions" and other questions aiming at Pentagon preparedness to beat the shit out of you, me and other nonviolent protesters in the coming conflict they see as both inevitable and violent. To me, it appears that's exactly what the DoD is seeking to justify in the coming decades, and it's paying universities large chunks of your tax money to study and crank out such justifications. Mr. Ahmed posed a version of my subject question to Minerva staffers and received essentially no response:
I contacted the project's principal investigator, Prof Maria Rasmussen of the US Naval Postgraduate School, asking why non-violent activists working for NGOs should be equated to supporters of political violence – and which "parties and NGOs" were being investigated – but received no response.

Similarly, Minerva programme staff refused to answer a series of similar questions I put to them, including asking how "radical causes" promoted by peaceful NGOs constituted a potential national security threat of interest to the DoD.
If you think I am unduly personalizing these programs and their targets, please read carefully:
One war-game, said Price, involved environmental activists protesting pollution from a coal-fired plant near Missouri, some of whom were members of the well-known environmental NGO Sierra Club. Participants were tasked to "identify those who were 'problem-solvers' and those who were 'problem-causers,' and the rest of the population whom would be the target of the information operations to move their Center of Gravity toward that set of viewpoints and values which was the 'desired end-state' of the military's strategy."

Such war-games are consistent with a raft of Pentagon planning documents which suggest that National Security Agency (NSA) mass surveillance is partially motivated to prepare for the destabilising impact of coming environmental, energy and economic shocks.
That's hitting pretty close to home, isn't it? (Bolds mine.)

This reminds me a great deal of another era in American history... you got it... that of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. Oh, and COINTELPRO. Somewhere, Hoover's shade is grinning at us all.


  1. Yes, Indeed.
    Sent to every body 3 days ago!

    1. Enfant, nothing I've ever done is outside the centuries-old tradition of American nonviolent protest. Nonetheless, as I look around at what happened during the Occupy movement and the last few party presidential conventions, I think it's all too possible that cops will begin regularly... routinely... using pepper spray, billy clubs and rubber bullets against nonviolent protesters. I'm already crippled, mostly from side effects of old age... I don't look forward to more injuries from police brutality. But I've never been very good at just shutting my mouth. We'll just have to see what happens.

    2. Yes, let's see what happens next..
      "Address URL should include name of central computer"
      I am signing as anonymous..
      This is ridiculus!!!

    3. Enfant, I haven't made any changes to the comment system. It must be something Google/Blogger has done. FWIW, my "Reply as" selection is "Steve Bates (Google)" ... maybe you need to check your selection.

    4. No, You haven't made any changes, indeed..
      I have a second HP portable computer besides my Central-Office desktop computer.

  2. Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, RIP, The Bill of Rights

    How the ‘War on Terror’ Became a War on the Constitution

    1. Enfant, thanks; two great articles. The phenomenon of the "unitary executive" in America may have started with Junior Bush, but by now it is firmly entrenched in American government, in practice day-to-day, contrary to all the theoretical protections to be found in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The news is all bad, and it gets worse. Is it because Obama is an evil person or a bad president? He is neither; he is a product of the times, and we are victims of the times.

      I shall write a compact post pointing people to the two posts you sent me. Again, thanks.

    2. No need to thank me, Steve!
      As I have already said, I am followin nearly 600 hundred sites (greek-english-french) via



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