The FBI has quietly declared October to be "Harass Anarchists,
Muslims and other Enemies of the State" month. Well, the FBI hasn't
exactly been quiet. The FBI is behind a recent article on CBS: FBI's Anti-Terror 'October Plan'.
No doubt the great chest pounding behind the article is intended to have a
psychological impact on activists, making them fearful of FBI harassment during
the weeks before the November elections. There is nothing the FBI would
like more than to keep its Dictator-in-Chief in power and this latest move is
intended to assist that goal by silencing those most likely to make a little
noise. If what the FBI states in the article is true, and we have no
reason to doubt it, the FBI will be overtly conducting surveillance of
"terrorist sympathizers" (read, those opposed to Bush as in,
"You're either with me or you're with the terrorists") to the extent
of parking in front of your house, visiting your neighbors, visiting your family
members, following you around town and perhaps, even, visiting your
employer. This, of course, will make you nervous and this is exactly what
the FBI wants, so I am here to suggest a new strategy for dealing with this
The first and most important thing to do is to talk with your
family. Explain to your family, if they do not already know, that you are
an activist and that the FBI is planning on harassing activists during the month
of October by visiting their families. Explain that you are not engaged in
any illegal activities and that if the FBI should come to visit it is for the
purpose of intimidation and information gathering only. Any information
gathered by the FBI will not be used to "prevent terrorism" but will
be used to terrorize and harass you and other activists. Make it clear to
your family that they are under absolutely no obligation to talk with the FBI or
to communicate in any way with the FBI. With that said, demand that they
do not, under any circumstances, allow the FBI into their homes, answer any
questions for the FBI or provide any information whatsoever to the FBI.
The FBI is likely to try to get a foot into the door. They will
attempt to find some pretext to enter the homes of your relatives. Let
your relatives know that they should not, under any circumstances, permit the
FBI to enter their homes. Once in side they are likely to snoop around,
gather information and search for reasons to obtain a warrant (even if they must
file a false report and lie about what they have seen in the home). For
these reasons the FBI should never be permitted to enter your relatives' homes.
Explain to your family that since you have committed no crimes, nothing
they say could assist the FBI in clearing you of anything. Make it clear
that the FBI, despite whatever they may say, are not interested in clearing
you. Their only purpose is to gather information for the purpose of
harassment. Since you have committed no crimes, any statement by the FBI
that "you are in trouble" or "that your family can help clear
your name" is a lie. It should be met with a door slamming, not
further conversation. Make it clear, as well, that they should provide
absolutely no information about anyone else.
Suggest to family members that they clear their homes of anything that the
FBI may view from the font door or from any windows and use as a pretext for
obtaining a search warrant. Encourage your family members not to discuss
personal information about you, where you work or what you are doing on the
telephone and not to send any emails including such information.
The next step is to deal with your friends. Advise friends that you
can trust of your concerns and ask them to follow the same protocol as your
family (see above). Ask both your family and your friends to inform you if
and when the FBI come to visit. Stress to your friends that you are in
need of no "help" that assisting the FBI could attain. The best
way they can help you is to not communicate with the FBI.
After you deal with your friends, consider your employer. More
likely than not you will have some misgivings about informing your employer, so
I suggest taking some preemptive steps at work. You should sanitize your
office. The first step is to delete any old emails that contain
information about your personal life or political activities that you would not
wish the FBI to obtain. Since your employer owns your work email, they
could turn it over to the FBI without a warrant if they chose to do so. Go
into your Internet browser and delete your web-browsing history. Remove
any and all cached Internet content from your machine. If you have a tool
to wipe all unused space on your hard-disk, use it. Delete any saved
messages on your work telephone or home telephone that you do not wish the FBI
to access. Go through your desk drawers and shred any information that the FBI
may use to harass you. Stop accessing your personal email from work.
Accessing your personal email from work, even through a web-based application,
can give your employer access to your passwords and email. If you have
already done this at work, they may already have collected this
information. To be safe, upon returning home, change your passwords and
remember never to access your personal email from work again.
If you are using Windows, your passwords may be cached on your work
machine. Change them all and when the system asks if you would like to
cache the password for future use, choose the "no" option.
If you have programmed the speed dial to your work telephone with personal
numbers, reprogram it to forget those numbers or to replace those numbers with
random numbers. Your personal connections could be revealed by using your
speed dial. There exist cheap tools to decode into digits the series of
tones used when a number is dialed.
The next step is to plant disinformation with anyone that you do not
trust. I cannot fabricate this information for you. You must do it
yourself. It must be believable. For each person that you have
contact with whom you do not trust, make up a small piece of disinformation
(i.e. a lie) that is believable and that you believe they might share with the
FBI. Keep track of these "lies". Assign one unique lie to
each person you do not trust. On a one to one basis, find a way of
communicating the unique lie directly with each untrusted person. Make
sure no third party knows the lie - only the untrusted person. When and if
the FBI visits everyone you know, these untrusted persons will share their
unique disinformation with the FBI. If this information ever surfaces in
the form of harassment, you will be able to identify the source as the untrusted
person with whom you entrusted the unique lie.
There is another edge to the disinformation sword. If this practice
becomes well known, untrusted people will fear sharing information with the FBI
under the fear that they possess unique disinformation that will reveal their
identities. This will make such people fear snitching.
If you believe that the FBI will obtain a warrant for your home, you
should act to sanitize your home BEFORE you have clear evidence that they intend
to. Any action you take after obtaining knowledge that you are the subject
of an investigation which removes evidence will be viewed as obstructing
justice. So long as you remove it before you have any reason to believe
you are the subject of an investigation, you are just being a good housekeeper.
Often, after such sweeps, the FBI attempts to justify its criminal
behavior by bringing its victims before a Grand Jury. At a Grand Jury you
do not have the right to remain silent. I encourage you to look deep
within yourself and decide whether ethics and morality are more important than
law. Most ethical and moral people will take the position that ethics and
morality are primary and law is valid only in so far as it conforms to ethics
One final piece of advice is to continue your political activities.
The primary goal of the FBI is to hinder you. Do not let them succeed.