In the wake of the killing of 12 young people in a theater in Colorado and the tsunami of feverish internet postings afterwards—which leaned heavily towards either “Too bad there weren't more guns in the theater,” and “The Government did it”—one notion received widespread publicity that strikes a more sinister note.
Bill Warner, a private investigator in Sarasota Florida, claims the Aurora Colorado theater shooter belongs to something he calls the “Occupy Wall Street Black Bloc.” He presented no evidence for his claim, and everything learned about the shooter since disproves it.
Yet despite being based on nothing but rank speculation, the right wing Fox News-led blogosphere went wild, and the idea quickly spread across the internet.
Why the surge of publicity for a notion with no basis in fact? The fact that this is an election years cannot be overlooked. But more important may be something else:
Is an August Surprise planned for Tampa?
Warner has stated that he expects the “Occupy Wall Street Black Bloc” group (whose very existence is disputed) to engage in widespread violence at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa.
"Tampa Republican National Convention is going to be a big problem, you're forewarned,” he said, in an interview with FOXNEWS in Tampa.
If true, his prediction offers this chillingly plausible scenario: There is going to be a “game-changing” attempt by someone influential in Republican circles to engineer an attack at their own convention.
On behalf of Mitt Romney’s dwindling chances to capture the Presidency, someone is planning to engineer an “August Surprise,” to highlight the Republican Party’s “law and order” credentials, and simultaneously blame violence in Tampa on the Democratic Party.
Unfortuntely, the idea is not implausible. Covert operations helping the Republican Party have happened before. The GOP's history of last minute electoral dirty tricks is well-documented. (Try searching October Surprise). So the question must be asked:
What is there to stop agent provocateurs infiltrated into protesters at next month’s Republican Convention in Tampa from inciting or perpetrating a bloodbath?
At this point, the answer seems: not much. How did we get here? Let’s take a look.
After Libya, maybe the CIA should be securing America's WMD
In the aftermath of the massacre in Colorado, the numbers of people offering opinions whose connection to common sense or consensual reality hung by the slimmest of threads was astonishing.
The shooting was regularly described as having been committed too close to an upcoming UN Conference on small arms for coincidence. Others found it suspicious that the slaughter had “conveniently” knocked the “investigation” of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio off the front pages.
Who knew there would ever come a time when people might long for the days when their “Facebook newsfeed” was filled with banal “updates:”
"The missus and I just missed the play The Tulsa Blues Challenge at VFW 466 but did hear some great music. Afterwards we headed to the Red Rose to hear One Damn Big Tree but stayed only 45 minutes cause it was too crowded to mingle."
One popular meme saw the slaughter as a deliberate attempt to pry guns from the cold dead hands of a well-meaning citizenry.:
“More and more, this shooting is looking like a deliberate plot staged by the government itself much like Operation Fast and Furious pulled off by the ATF which helped smuggle tens of thousands of guns into Mexico for the purpose of causing “gun violence” in the USA, then blaming the Second Amendment for it,” was a typical post.
In truth, it must be stated that there has been little mention of "gun control," and none from the President.
"As tragic as the circumstances of what we've seen today are, as heartbreaking as it is for the families," he told bereaved family members in Aurora, "it's worth spending most of our time reflecting on young Americans like Allie and Stephanie. Because they represent what's best in us and they assure us that out of this darkness a brighter day is going to come."
A portent of things to come?
What set Bill Warner’s accusation apart is the fact that (as this reporter knows from personal experience) Warner is no dummy. He has in the past done yeoman work ferreting out real live left-behind Islamic terrorists in Florida after the 9/11 attack.
He’s also been a researcher for respected author John Loftus (a frequent Fox News analyst) who won plaudits for exposing the complicity of US Government officials in allowing former Nazis with blood on their hands to emigrate to the United States.
So if Bill Warner, a self-declared expert on Occupy Wall Street, is likely too smart to believe his own tall tale, what was he doing publicizing it by making the rounds of right-wing television and talk radio shows, like Laura Ingraham?
“Sarasota private investigator Bill Warner told Ingraham that suspect Holmes fits the profile “to a ‘t’” of a member of the Black Bloc – a little known group of violent, black-clad and gas mask-wearing anarchists who piggy-back on the non-violent Occupy movement during anti-Wall Street protests.”
“My interest in this came when the Black Bloc first appeared in Sarasota,” Warner said. “I found that the group included convicted felons and drug dealers. Within hours, I was getting all kinds of emails about Occupy and these Black Bloc people.”
“(Holmes’) age, the black clothes and gas mask he was wearing, the facts he is white and underground, the facts he is a drifter prone to over-the-top violence, it all fits. Batman features an Occupy-type bad guy and this nut job may have taken it personally.”
“I guess Laura saw my work on this matter and called me to be on the air,” Warner told the site. “There’s no public information available on James Holmes anywhere. No car, no credit card, no nothing. I checked. Black Bloc members use cash and don’t buy cars so that they can go underground.”
“Based on my investigation of the Occupy Black Bloc terrorists, that began in November of 2011, and my interaction with Occupy Movement members in Florida, it is my opinion that James E. Holmes fits the profile of a 20 something Black Bloc terrorist and that his shooting up of the Aurora Co movie theater was payback for the Batman movie slamming the OWS(Occupy Wall Street.”
That clinched things for The Western Center for Journalism, home (for those with long memories) to Reed Irvine’s flagrant attempts to smear then-President Bill Clinton in the long-ago 1990’s. The Center immediately reported the story as if it had already been confirmed.
Discovering the joys of "Quantum Leaping"
Among hundreds of examples, several stuck out, because the sites themselves did not seem political. Yet they were vying to outdo each other in carrying the ‘story’ to new heights.
One is the website of the “Astar Command Crew.” There one can discover the joys of “Quantum Leaping,” as well as learn “Why Thousands of People are "Jumping" to Change Their Life.”
“James Holmes, DOB 12/13/1987, was caught up in the OWS movement took it upon himself to strike back against “THE MAN,” they “reported.”
Another site worth mentioning—if only because it seemed like hundreds of Facebook posters were clogging newsfeeds with their urgent message, is called The Natural News. It too seemed to have no political agenda, unless you were counting the hundreds of headlines on the topic of “vaccines” (the site is against them).
Their headline introduced yet-another new element: “Colorado Batman shooting shows obvious signs of being staged.”
The so-called "Black Bloc": a tactic, not a group
But The New York Observer had this to say about the so-called "Occupy Wall Street Black Bloc"
"A black bloc is a tactic for protests and marches, whereby individuals wear black clothing, scarves, ski masks, motorcycle helmets with padding, or other face-concealing items.[…] The clothing is used to avoid being identified, and to, theoretically, appear as one large mass, promoting solidarity.
"Black Bloc protests first came about in the 80s in Europe and were a part of the anti-World Trade Organization demonstrations in Seattle in 1999. Protest techniques are disruptive and volatile. They include rioting, vandalism and fighting as well as assistance to fellow protesters in fleeing police. These techniques are probably why many who casually mention Black Bloc protests online often include the word, “anarchists.”
"In some instances Black Bloc protesters may actually be cops, as demonstrated by the Quebec police who went undercover during protests there in 2007.
"Is Black Bloc protesting a part of OWS? The consensus from Twitter users who appear to support OWS is no."