How Cointelpro Works
by Susan Basko, Esq.
The other day, a true troll lawyer who is suing "half the people on the internet" posted a link to a cointelpro-created blog article that is supposed to cause people to think ill of me. The article, which is several years old, is a classic example of cointelpro. In this age of the internet, cointelpro smear pieces have lasting power.
The cointelpro smear piece against me emanates from early Occupy Los Angeles and keeps being revived by the cointelpro agents and their dupes. Before the OccupyLA camp started, there were planning meet-ups. Some of my family and friends were involved, and I gave some legal advice, such as to get porta-potties and that it is legal to sleep at night on the sidewalks in Los Angeles. After the OccupyLA camp got situated in the park by City Hall, it soon was infiltrated by paid agents. Some of those agents formed a group that was supposedly more radical. This is a common technique to draw in the fringe elements and often, to entrap them. That supposed radical group was engaging in hardcore smear campaigns against many of the people who were doing the most positive work in running the camp, the media, and the finances. I was quietly advising many of the people who were being smeared by this supposed radical group. The supposed radical group had (and still has) a tumblr that is used to attack others, in typical cointelpro fashion.
Now watch how cointelpro works: One day, I was doing some trademark work and I noticed that 2 different people had applied for trademarks on the OccupyLA name. One was an application by a person who was trying to "own" the OccupyLA name for himself as an organization and the other was trying to own the name for commercial products. I thought it was important for the OccupyLA group to retain its own name and trademarks and not allow ownership of the name to be usurped by individuals looking to make a profit.
I emailed my findings about the trademark applications to the editor of the OccupyLA website, for which I wrote many articles. The editor asked me to put it in writing what could be done about the trademark applications and to list how much it would cost to deal with it. I wrote him a simple explanation of the range of possibilities: I could keep an eye on the situation and wait and see if the two trademark applications that were pending made any progress and report back to him as any changes took place, and this would cost nothing. I could mount challenges to the two trademark applications by writing and filing letters and this would cost whatever the fee was for that, with my time donated. The most aggressive tact would be to challenge the pending applications as well as to file trademark applications for the main real OccupyLA group, in the same categories that were in the pending applications. The government filing fee on each category is $300. So while I was willing to donate a good chunk of my time, this aggressive proposal would still cost a few thousand dollars. Depending on the available budget, the group could choose the wait-and-see approach, the aggressive approach, or somewhere in between.
The editor of the OccupyLA site forwarded my emailed report to a few people, among them at least one of the cointelpro agents in the supposed radical group. Soon, this person was creating a fantasy that I was greedy, that I was hoping to be paid "big money" that increased with each time he wrote the smear story. First it was $1000, then $3000, then $10,000. And the smears became outlandish.
When one is dealing with cointelpro agents, there is no dealing. If you tell cointelpro agents that the thing they are saying is untrue, they simply create more lies. I had been watching for months as these same cointelpro agents worked hard to chase off the most productive people at OccupyLA. The victims of the cointelpro smear campaigns were concerned for their reputations, and rightly so. I too, was concerned for my reputation. I knew the cointelpro agents who were working OccupyLA were fierce, highly trained at disinfo campaigns, at stopping productivity, and at causing rifts and divisions.
The same cointelpro tumblr and twitter account are still up and running and still maintained by obvious cointelpro agents. They still post links to their smear articles to try to harm the reputations of the people who helped productively with OccupyLA.
The reality is that I gave many hours to the people of OccupyLA and continue to give free legal advice and assistance to those who ask. This happens behind the scenes. The other reality is that while the camp was going, I was the one steering in many of the donations. Donations were money, food, water, tents, blankets, clothing. I never asked anything of OccupyLA, but rather, offered to assist with the trademark situation and told what the costs would be.
The important thing to understand is that cointelpro agents weave their fantasies to scare off productive people, to create divisions, create confusion or fear, all to stop societal change from taking place.
Here is an interesting catch: Whenever I see this ludicrous cointelpro article claiming I somehow tried to make money by helping OccupyLA, I know that the person posting it is in touch with or working with the cointelpro agents. Or the cointelpro agents see an ill-informed dupe and send them a link to their defamatory smear piece. That's because any of the real people who actually helped with OccupyLA also had this same bunch write a smear piece on them. Or many smear pieces.
Last I checked, new smear pieces were still being created by these same cointelpro operatives. One of the agents often uses twitter to post a short, outlandish smear. I saw one where he posted saying a man I know was a rapist. Just that. A 140 character tweet with no further info, just labeling a very good, kind man a rapist.
There is little to nothing that can be done about cointelpro agents, other than to make people aware of what is going on, make them aware of the presence and work of the agents, and to gather the good, productive people into a safety net for each other. Understanding the mechanisms of cointelpro and disinfo campaigns is important when trying to build a community or movement. The powers that be very much want to control the people, the events, and the outcome. Challenges to the status quo, challenges to have a better, happier, more fair society are frightening to those whose livelihood or luxury depend on quashing new ways of thinking and being.
So, when a person copies, quotes, or links to any of the cointelpro-created smear articles, this is a sure way to tell the person is either a cointelpro agent, a dupe, a fool, or just very naive and new to protest.