For the first time (that we know of) drones will be used for a political convention for “intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to government agencies”. “Wraiths” will also be used, ground-based robots that can be armed with lethal or non-lethal weapons. The manufacturer of these vehicles has crosshairs and a skeleton as their logo.
A bulletin was issued jointly by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security on August 21st, warning law enforcement agencies about anarchist extremists and the report uses words and imagery that are usually reserved for terrorist insurgents. They invited the media to learn about their operations control center at an “undisclosed location” and today the fearmongering and demonization of “anarchist extremists” is blazing across the airwaves along with news about the drones that will be used.
CNN did a video report that is particularly egregious as it quotes from the report saying that the extremist anarchist protesters might use IEDs, and they explain that IEDs are the things used by terrorist insurgents in Afghanistan. They generously supply video clips of an explosion in Afghanistan and another one that is a military vehicle being blown up, with the shoulder of a soldier in camo coming into the view of the camera at the end. While the report explains that not all protesters are expected to be violent, CNN adds some video footage of Occupy Wall Street protesters chanting “this is what democracy looks like” and just in case you didn’t make the connection, they throw in some people in Guy Fawkes masks from some supposed Anonymous videos about the convention. The words and imagery used by the media and the government are meant to cause conflation of Occupy Wall Street protesters and terrorists, in my opinion, and to preemptively justify the excessive use of force during the upcoming conventions and extreme use of militaristic equipment.
The report also mentions that law enforcement should look out for anarchists who might be doing weapons training or buying explosives and they mention that they have used the internet for research and organization in the past. In the CNN video though, they say that the feds told them they are not watching any particular anarchists. No. And then after all of that fearmongering and set up, they say that no specific threats have been made.
It’s funny that the FBI/DHS waited until six days before the RNC convention to issue this warning, isn’t it? This report was made for the media, in my opinion.