UnicornRiot Deprogram: Episode 23 interview covers information security and mobile encryption

My colleagues with the new activist oriented news service interviewed me about encryption and privacy/security and it went pretty well overall. Check out the video and please support their efforts!! (original post) Deprogram airs every Wednesday night around 8PM central.

Ep. 23: #NSA #GCHQ #TPP #AirFrance #Kunduz #Calais #NoBorders #HaciBirlik #Turkey #Brazil #ClimateChange #MMIW #Palestine #DariusPinex #SouthCarolina #SCFloods #IndigenousResistance #Surveillance #Encryption

After the 12 topic rundown and music video, we had two interviews. In the first interview, we were graced with the presence of Kanahus Manuel to discuss Indigenous environmental issues in so-called Canada.

For our second interview, we were joined by Dan Feidt, who discussed privacy protection options for computer and phone users in the growing surveillance state.

“Deprogram”, a live show hosted by Zo and Niko that attempts to examine the roots of the struggles that preside throughout different communities. “Deprogram” airs live every Wednesday night at 9pmEST.

Straight Outta Compton, Bastards of the Party & Freeway: Crack in the System

"Straight Outta Compton" is pretty good but kind of corny. Good review here.

I think the evil Suge Knight got off relatively easy with this portrayal. Near the set of this film, he killed one man and nearly killed technical consultant Cle "Bone" Sloan. ( ) Knight may have been the police counterintelligence plant in the scene, as he violently rips NWA apart in the film (see ).

Sloan directed the must-watch documentary on roots of street gangs, CIA drug trafficking & COINTELPRO disruption in Bastards of the Party (2005) & happily I found full version here >> pt1 pt2 .

Also Freeway Ricky Ross​'s Freeway: Crack in the System about LA CIA drug trafficking is available here: pt1 pt2 These films provide really important context that Compton touches on only briefly. Lots of other interesting movement videos here >

The "authorized" film doesn't really cover Dre's pretty well documented violent streak. See more here.

After the film I checked Twitter and of course the first tweet was about the cops wasting another random person of color. Almost thirty years go by and politically almost nothing has changed. :(

Minneapolis police attack child with pepper spray at #mpls2madison march

#MPLS2Madison – May 13, 2015 – Minneapolis, MN

The Black Liberation Project organized a #MPLS2Madison rally in solidarity with Tony Robinson, an unarmed black man killed in Madison, and other black lives taken by the police.

The night rally started at the Government Center in downtown Minneapolis and turned into a march that snaked through the streets stopping at the First Precinct. The police repressed the march with pepper spray as it marched back to the Government Center. Victims of the pepper spray included 10 year old Taye.

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Heroes in "(T)error": Urgently necessary documentary turns FBI sting inside out in War on Terror exposé; similar operations now escalating in Minnesota


I was fortunately able to catch a screening of the new documentary "(T)error" at the Boston Independent Film Festival. It exposes a whole level and mode of our political reality, the closest thing to an accurate domestic war on terror doc that has yet been done. (official website)


As a film it has some technical shortcomings, but it covers a lot of ground including important community history of the Black Panther Party and intelligence probes of Muslims in New York City. In showing how the real machinery of domestic intelligence operations really work, it's an invaluable, quite original film and one sure to blow the minds of many viewers. At 93 minutes, its length works well with the often low-energy, weird situations, without wearing people out through excessive tangents.

For the first time (T)error brings the viewer within an active FBI sting as 15-year self-described "civilian operative" Saeed Torres moves to Pittsburgh and attempts to sting Khalifah al-Akili (below), a Muslim-American who mainly makes relatively militant Facebook posts, which draws the Feds' attention to him.


In the bulk of the film. with massive guilt and exhaustion hanging over him like a raincloud, Saeed (below) chainsmokes blunts, exchanges lots of texts with his FBI handlers and tries to lurk his way into the local community. Social media engineering attempts and the entry of another veteran informant operative define the midst of the story.


While Saeed is mainly narcing for the money, he also has contempt for Muslims that are messing things up, as he sees it. His regretful severe social isolation, a consequence of his actions, is not downplayed at all - and unlike some films it seems sincere, even as he performs the role of a lying sociopath for envelopes of cash from the feds.


I won't get into the details here, though they have been well-publicized. A 45-minute Democracy Now segment brings everyone up to speed, key spoilers included: FBI Informant Exposes Sting Operation Targeting Innocent Americans in New "(T)ERROR" Documentary | Democracy Now!


Parallels are connected between the Pittsburgh op and Saeed's earlier FBI sting campaigns since 2000. The story also covers in-depth the very similar sting and prosecution of musician Tarik Shah, whose mother Marlene presents the strong front reminiscent of so many other family members of those targeted previously.


The work that Steve Downs does in attempting to bring transparency in the case is highly commendable and necessary - contact this man's org if you credibly think you are really getting put into a sting:


Shahed Hussain, the informant involved in the Newburgh Four case from 2006 and another case in Albany, started working for the bureau in 2002 and makes quite a splash of fake reality spam in this film. (NY Post neutrally notes HBO doc The Newburgh Sting - 2014. Wiki page notes )



It's impossible to watch this film without vividly recalling the wave of federal informant activity around the 2008 Republican National Convention and the antiwar movement, culminating in surprise grand jury raids in 2009. I ran into at least four people somewhat like Saeed over about two years and these are the kind of encounters burned in your memory within a whole separate category of social & political reality. For some viewers the 2009 G20 conference in Pittsburgh will echo through this story as well, although it's not discussed in the film.

Adding to this film's urgency, in recent weeks Minnesota's primarily Muslim Somali community has gotten snared in another high profile sting. Early indications are pretty clear that the informant was someone who was under pressure from compelled secret grand jury testimony that went bad, showing how these operations generate the raw power necessary to compel informants into action.

See: Feds charge six Minnesotans with trying to join ISIS | Minnesota Public Radio News (Apr 20 2015), some constitutionally dubious new charge: Man charged for sending threatening tweets in ISIS case | Minnesota Public Radio News (Apr 24 2015 - wut?!), Informant's role emerges as key in counterterror sweep | Minnesota Public Radio News (Apr 20 2015), Defense challenges use of paid informant in Minnesota ISIS case - CBS News (Apr 23 2015), Defense calls case against MN terror suspects weak; judge allows it to move forward -


This whole realm is totally alien to most Americans, and I certainly hope that it gets aired as widely as possible. Ideally via another national PBS program distribution deal like Better This World (2011: Dirs Katie Galloway & Duane de la Vega), which covered the "Texas Two" molotov cocktail case and grandiose informant Brandon Darby -- who soon thereafter entered the Breitbart conservative media fold. [I contributed some help to BTW] Review here.


Another film Informant (2012: Dir Jamie Meltzer) more or less let Darby expose himself in his own words.


It also brings to mind the huge series of semi/fictionalized informant characters in movies - how often the Hollywood films end up getting told from the perspective of people that rolled.

Most recently, the skillful and vivid Pynchon adaptation Inherent Vice (2014: Dir Paul Thomas Anderson) features the anxious Owen Wilson as a semi-private COINTELPRO informant circa 1970. Wilson confesses he found out they "want to use us to keep the membership in line" - that is, keep the hippie revolution within boundaries. Helpfully, this film shows the psychological toll that being rolled into the game as a plant really takes, helping drive much of the plot.


Goodfellas (1990: Dir. Martin Scorsese) is getting attention now at its 25th anniversary. Goodfellas' real-life Henry Hill, who was paid handsomely by the film production - ultimately leaving witness protection and dying peacefully in 2012:


American Hustle (2013: Dir David O. Russell) gave a glossy, color saturated Jersey yarn of rolled con man Irving Rosenfeld.


As studios so frequently do, it was paired off Scorsese's indulgent and somewhat saggy The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). Jordan Belfort undeservedly gets the privilege of introducing himself, played by Leonardo DiCaprio - and his sporting of the wire to expose his co-workers is quite condensed from reality in the film plot.


But no one that I'm aware of has touched the notion in fiction or reality of an ex-black revolutionary & Muslim who is a repeat player for the Feds, rather than another smooth-talking pushy hustler folding under charges. (Although you might say The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973: Dir. Ivan Dixon) portrays the reverse of this operation. Full film here.).


I would be remiss in failing to note a couple new informant-related stories from WhoWhatWhy: the Boston bombing case and the late Ibragim Todashev remains locked away. As is so often the case, the American public is not privy to secret documents that could indicate earlier federal activity in the circle of acquaintances of the Tsarnaev brothers. The Unexplained Connection Between the FBI and Two Muslim Friends Killed by Law Enforcement - WhoWhatWhy. See this relatively new heavily redacted document:


Additionally, the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City continues to emit interesting new informant information nodes, with "CI-183" at Elohim City a new awkward data point of interest in understanding the case better: Exclusive: Oklahoma City Bombing Breakthrough, Part 1 of 2 - WhoWhatWhy // Exclusive: Oklahoma City Bombing Breakthrough, Part 2 of 2 - WhoWhatWhy. Kudos to WhoWhatWhy for publishing well sourced new material in both the Boston and OKC cases in the last few days, April 22-25th.

After seeing (T)error it should be easier to understand the kind of shadowy context informant type operations may have intersected with these tragedies, and at least the stubs of the paper trails of those intersections.


See another review: Sundance Doc (T)ERROR Is This Year’s Citizenfour - Vogue. As noted, the regret-bound Saeed really just wishes he could apprentice to a master baker and cook cupcakes. "(T)ERROR should be seen as ancillary viewing to Laura Poitras’s Citizenfour, both of which touch on issues of surveillance and the right to privacy versus the imperative to prevent terrorism."

Saeed pegs his map of Pittsburgh, cryptically:


Follow the Terror documentary on Facebook here. As protests uptick across America again, the film also gains relevancy in looking back at how revolutionary movement's like Saeed's former Black Panther Party, the Nation of Islam and American Muslims got put under COINTELPRO pressure. Saeed never really seems to recant his former revolutionary beliefs, at least on camera. Aptly enough, a Le Carré novel and many other items of political and spy literature dot the scenes in Pittsburgh.

It gives us some better grasp of how the government interfaces deep into the lives of communities living in political and economic tension, making it among the most perfectly relevant things one could hope to see on the screen right now. One can't conclude anything else but that Saeed is another misguided "hero in error", to borrow Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi's phrase, a memorably awful defense of his own transgressions.

JFK 51 years later: Keep the Flame Burning

A little over 51 years ago Albert Thomas, chair of congressional subcommittee for defense appropriations, winked at Lyndon Baines Johnson aboard Air Force One immediately after Pres. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas. [Thomas' underling Jack Valenti went on to run MPAA for many years.] Thomas went on to hand out billions for the Vietnam War.


51 years later the American public is still as infantilized by the national security state as ever. Tons of documents around the assassination are still classified for decades, setting the pattern for managing perceptions of 'deep state events' clearly intersecting with intelligence players like Iran-Contra & 9/11.

The surest sign that Watergate majordomo Howard Hunt's deathbed confession recording is accurate is how thoroughly mainstream media ignored it, while instead promoting discredited plagiarist shills like Gerald Posner. Hunt said that LBJ was at the "head of a long line of people waiting for some change in the executive branch" and had "an almost maniacal urge to become president," with Rolling Stone, Coast to Coast and the alt media among the very few to take this seriously.

Hunt said CIA's Cord Meyer led the task for LBJ, embittered because Cord's wife had been one of JFK's mistresses. He also ID'd David Atlee Phillips, "in Miami and elsewhere" referencing JM/WAVE CIA station, Watergate alumnus Frank Sturgis, "Operation 40" mercenary David Morales, all players within the nucleus related of intelligence operations diligently identified by researchers since 1963. "In short it was a very mobile experience" said the Watergate chieftain, "I was a benchwarmer on it."

Kennedy was no saint, but Dallas was a display intended to traumatize the American public into accepting that a brutal machine behind the scenes would now more openly, literally, call the shots, and as our country continues to spin along an ugly trajectory, achieving some kind of tangible political freedom from these forces of intelligence intrigue and social control has never been more necessary.

Keep the flame burning, champs.

(listen to Hunt's audio confession here > - and remember so much about Dallas is *still* classified)

Also: Credit to Abby Martin for covering the classified document issue:

Libertarian Party candidate for MN Governor arrested, injured at Minneapolis' Lake Calhoun collecting signatures for ballot access; Parks apologizes


Today's local moment of maniacal fascism comes from the Minneapolis Park Police who arrested a candidate for governor from the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, Chris Holbrook. Minneapolis Park Police & regular city police arrested the candidate for noncommercial political activity. Basic facts are still unknown but emerging right now…

UPDATE 6PM Saturday: Wider coverage from major media on story: City Pages cites this post for a relevant city ordinance; FOX9 interviewed people at Lake Calhoun about MPD officer's demand for ID in detail: Libertarian candidate for Minnesota governor arrested - KMSP-TV // AP story carried as far as Texas: Police sorry for detaining Libertarian candidate. KARE11 also did video report: Mpls. Park Police apologize to libertarian candidate. Well done everyone who contacted the media about this story - it's precisely stories like this about democratic processes getting chomped by the state which need to reach a wider audience. Hopefully this won't happen any more!

UPDATE 1PM Friday: I heard about another incident of harassment towards ballot signature gathering -- NOT from the Libertarian Party crew. If anyone has more of this, try to get video & tweet @hongpong or email hongpong @ . Remember signatures are due Tuesday 5PM!!

UPDATE 2AM Friday: It seems from the next two videos (they are pretty short) that the Holbrook campaign posted on FB tonight, that it was what looked like an MPD officer who really instigated the situation, after the Park Police had essentially called upon the MPD 'district' officer to figure it out.

Park police earlier, waiting on MPD:

Then the MPD officer got ticked off at Holbrook and arrested him, & the officer clearly understands it's a political, not commercial activity. Video: -

Video mirrored at

Video Still here:


UPDATE 9:30PM: The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board says they've apologized, while Holbrooks is seeking medical attention according to the LP Facebook page. Parks statement via Chris Steller:


Verified by same email sent & posted by @Sen_B_Petersen as well (scribd).

VIDEO posted by Libertarian Party of Minnesota at: copied to youtube:

I sent this to my city council member:

I was rather shocked to see a video of the Minneapolis Park Police arresting a candidate for governor, Chris Holbrook of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, on Lake Calhoun, posted a couple hours ago. URL here:

The Park Police state he "can't advertise in the park… you need a permit for it" but this is wrong. Minneapolis Ordinances Chapter 332.20:

(1) Non-commercial door-to-door advocates. Nothing within this chapter shall be interpreted to prohibit or restrict non-commercial door-to-door advocates. Person engaging in non-commercial door-to-door advocacy shall not be required to register as a solicitor under this chapter.

This is a really major affront to the processes of democracy, specifically the onerous ballot signature access collection process which has to be performed in public places. I would hope that the City Council can make clear to the Park Police that petition signatures do not require permits, and indicate to Minneapolis' members of the Legislature and the Secretary of State's office that a candidate was unlawfully impeded from their Constitutional, statutory & ordinance recognized right to do noncommercial activity in public parks in Minneapolis. The independent candidates only have until next Tuesday to collect signatures and this is really just terrible.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.

..Dan Feidt, .. resident .

Thanks to "Iam B" on the thread for the cite on city ordinances.

I don't support various elements of the LP-MN platform but I strongly support them getting on the November ballot statewide, especially because they are adamantly fighting against drug war policies and cannabis prohibition. I definitely think Minnesota voters need options like Libertarians (and Independence and Greens etc) in order to pressure the prohibitionist corrupt Boomer Democrat level to drop their ever-profitable prohibition schemes. [I've also been working with MN NORML lately because dang it, it's time!]

Totally unacceptable. I have put a pretty good chunk of time in dealing with trying to get people on the ballot and stuff working for change in this system, and right in the home stretch of ballot signature collection the Minneapolis cops thrash Libertarians right here in the area. Not OK in any way.

Also the 2014 All-Star Game and 2018 Super Bowl are coming to Minneapolis as Rich Neumeister notes, could political speech be advertising without a permit? e will certainly see with all the dodgy deals cut (including with secret, undisclosed money flows) whether any freedom of speech will be able to withstand the silencing power of cold hard cash + police weapons. (Also: AP: more tax breaks!?)

@chris_steller sagely points out right away something I missed: in 2005 suppression against Jason Stone, a candidate for Minneapolis Park Board, see: Star Tribune: Minneapolis parks chief reverses flier ban (June 2005)

Star Tribune Letters: Stifling Free Speech

listserv items: [Mpls] Re: Jason Stone && [Mpls] An Ode to Jason Stone and Free Speech

Southside Pride background profile by Ed Felien

Minneapolis Park Board has pattern of problems with free speech | Twin Cities Daily Planet article by Chris Steller from 2009 Minnesota Independent helpful previous context.


libertarian-arrested-4.png libertarian-arrested-3.png libertarian-arrested-2.png


Fortunately there's a classic Atmosphere song "Between the Lines" (2001) relates well to overheated Minneapolis police on summer days & goes pretty damn well w. clips above::

VIDEO: Minneapolis Rally #Justice4Trayvon #Justice4Terrance

Here is live video from #justice4trayvon #justice4terrance rally Sat night ~12:30AM in Downtown Minneapolis >> (creative commons - interview w Mel Reeves!) - several FB events for Monday >>

Minneapolis residents hit the streets after Zimmerman acquitted in Florida murder trial. On Friday there was another march for late Terrance Franklin, killed by Minneapolis Police Department May 10th with five bullets to back of head according to a family member.

Video has several interviews including with Mel Reeves @ 17:20who has called for a rally on Monday at Hennepin Co. Government Center (Peoples Plaza). NOTE I heard earlier it was on SUNDAY but there is NOT a rally at Plaza on Sunday according to Mel.

Upcoming events - several posted: :/

Filmed shortly after midnight Sunday July 14th

Original via here: - please subscribe for more videos.

Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of The Spook Who Sat By the Door

I remember seeing Spook years ago on a rough videotape with horrible audio at the Soap Factory - shortly thereafter it was possible to obtain the DVD, based on a negative long-hidden in some film vault under a false name.


Spook is one of those incredible movies - a 1973 narrative of a black CIA agent turned domestic revolutionary. The FBI bullied United Artists into dropping the film -- based on an earlier book by Greenlee, which covers the global guerrilla strategies more deeply -- and the actors got blacklisted. Why would the FBI have a problem with a film where black gangs organize to demand autonomy, attack the police & seize military hardware?

Another key element, well done for such a low budget guerrilla project: the portrayal of the US military as a domestic civil repression force -- at least roughly similar to GARDEN PLOT National Guard style deployments seen more frequently back in those days. (GARDEN PLOT has been replaced with USNORTHCOM CONPLAN 3502 "Civil Disturbance Operations" as research here has documented)


There are plenty of funny moments in this film as well - the sense of humor strikes like a Cobra.



FULL MOVIE! YAY - The Spook Who Sat by the Door by Director & producer Ivan Dixon, written & produced by Sam Greenlee, 102 mins.

I found this followup documentary via the film Hidden Colors' FB. Need to see this!! Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door | Award Winning, Independent Documentary


Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door is an award winning independent documentary on the controversial and FBI repressed 1973 black film The Spook Who Sat By the Door. The Spook Who Sat by The Door is widely hailed as a cult classic and one of the most important underground black productions of the era. The film was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry in 2012.

Through interviews, with author Sam Greenlee, Berlie Dixon, widow of director Ivan Dixon, Academy Award winning editor Michael Kahn, Melvin Van Peebles several actors from the film, investors, academics, Todd Boyd, Ed Guerrero, and Eric Pierson; archival footage and production documents, Infiltrating Hollywood tells the story of The Spook Who Sat by the Door from its inception as a novel to its release and repression.

San Diego Black Film Festival: Best Film, Sacramento International Film Festival: Best Film, Cine-Soul, Athens International Film Festival: Honorable Mention, Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival: Finalist HBO Documentary Competition, Saatchi and Saatchi Producer’s Award, International Black Film Festival of Nashville: Best Documentary, Hollywood Black Film Festival: Honorable Mention.

The Rise and Fall of The Spook Who Sat By The Door :Infiltrating Hollywood -Trailer for Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door, a documentary on the making of the cult film classic. A Film by Christine Acham and Clifford Ward.

// Pt 1 interview //

"The Spook Who Sat By the Door" filmmaker, writer and community activist SAM GREENLEE Answer questions from callers and talks about his LEGENDARY MOVIE. He speaks on the struggle and obstacles when trying to releasing the controversial movie, why they were banned from shooting in Chicago, the reason he and Jesse Jackson dislike each other and more!!!!

// pt 1 of 4 "Project Brotherhood Power Hour" Shot by Lyle Muse

// Pt 2 Spook interview/


Sam Greenlee on black filmmaking today (posted in 2008):


Anyway these items are just excellent. Thanks Mr Greenlee & the actors who got blacklisted as punishment, good careers crushed including lead Lawrence Cook or "Dan Freeman". And screw Hollywood for papering over how they let the government suppress a film without any accountability.

NEW VIDEOS: Interviews from Enbridge blockade in Leonard MN & Indigenous Canadians barred from their consulate by Minneapolis police

Got a batch of videos here from the last week to check out. Glad to have a little chance to bring these interesting projects, including Idle No More MN & the Enbridge Blockade near Leonard MN (also known as the encampment) going strong since late February. All these videos are basically unedited and you can remix them as Creative Commons at your leisure!

Interview w Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, the Native fight for natural world

Really fascinating interview, unedited, with Indigenous Environmental Network longtime organizer Tom Goldtooth inside the kitchen tent at the Enbridge Blockade/encampment near Leonard MN. Covers capitalism, colonialism, Indigenous organizing and tar sands resistance. Thanks Tom!


Interview with Tito Ybarra, Enbridge protest encampment organizer & Native comedian

Interview with Tito Ybarra, camped at Enbridge Encampment/blockade at Leonard MN. A popular native comedian has been bottomlining the camp protesting above several pipelines operated by Enbridge without an easement on Red Lake ceded land. Covers humor in politics, organizing the camp & more.

SUBSCRIBE: The 1491s:

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Learn the AIM Song: Singing lessons by the 1491s:

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So these are the videos from the March 20 Idle No More protest in Minneapolis. @tshirttoby also shot a livestream.

Canadian citizens barred from access to their Consulate in downtown Minneapolis as IdleNoMore protesters try to register their concerns with the Canadian govt.

This is related to a major Idle No More symposium happening Friday Mar 21st






Immortal Technique joins Alex Jones

This makes for some amusing Saturday afternoon viewing -- notable independent hiphop artist Immortal Technique joins Alex Jones for about 1hr20min. Getting right at the issues of Latin America, politics, immigration & moar. Format note: I would say that Jones interviews with a pretty wide cross section of subjects in the more mellow Infowars Nightly News setting works fairly well - it's more reflective than a quick newsradio news format. Good discussion of banks laundering drug money as well on HSBC and Wachovia/Wells Fargo.

Here is the trailer for Immortal's new movie:

Now available for purchase ~$17
IMDB page:
Announcement thread:

UPDATE: Here is a classic 2006 video by my friend FluxRostrum w ImmortalTechnique & Alex Jones on the 5th anniversary of 9/11. For moar Flux: &

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