Anonymous has been picking some fights…

Lately, I have been intrigued by Anonymous, and have blogged my thoughts about them here and here.

They seem to be very busy lately.  Here are just two of the little fights they have picked lately:  Fox TV (because Anonymous does not approve of their coverage of the #occupy movement) and a Mexican drug cartel (for kidnapping one of their own).

Both of these are rather troublesome, though each for a different reason.

Threatening an attack on Fox (pretentiously scheduled for ‘remember, remember, the 5th of November’), just because they don’t like the way they are describing the #occupy folks, is very ‘easy’ to condemn.  The very idea that someone should be shut up (through being shut down) simply because someone else does not like their opinion (whatever that opinion is) is odious and despicable and all kinds of other really bad, more colourful expletives.

It runs contrary to the principle of defending freedom of speech – and is dangerously close to being diametrically opposite to the founding principles (if I may stretch the term in this manner) of Anonymous itself…at least, judging from their past actions and condemnations of corrupt organizations like Scientology.

This is the type corruption which one associates with ‘absolute power’:  at first, one considers themselves to stand for justice and all that is ‘right’ but as one begins to feel all-powerful, one begins to defend one’s position/reputation even though it means compromising the very principles that brought one there…

Well, it looks like at least some parts of Anonymous are drinking their own Kool-Aid.

Of course, this shows that the very thing which made Anonymous strong may be its undoing:  it is a hydra, with many heads.  Is this what happens when one of the heads gets so big, it turns against the more principle-minded parts of the collective?

Because as much as Anonymous or anyone else may wish, we – humans – do NOT have a hive-mind!

We may be capable of acting collectively, when necessary:  but to be effective in an extended collective action, we do need a hierarchical structure, if only to keep from interfering with things that other bits of the collective are doing.  This is both the strength and the weakness of our species and no amount of technology will deny our nature.

The very autonomous-ness of its members may be the undoing of the whole Anonymous collective if the loose canons among them drag the name of the collective into unfortunate actions like this and thus devalue its brand and sully its reputation.

The second fight Anonymous has picked is much more intriguing.

In a nutshell, this is my reading of it:

  • a guy works in a pamphlet campaign to raise awareness about Anonymous
  • said guy gets kidnapped by the Zetas, a drug cartel in Mexico (I am given to understand this is one of the ‘traditional’ ways these drug cartels raise cash – through kidnap-for-ransom and not because of any action of the kidnapee)
  • Anonymous threatens to expose names of Zeta collaborators unless their guy is released
  • nearly three dozen Zeta collaborators are killed and dumped on a Mexican highway, apparently killed by a rival cartel

Well, this teaches us some things:  Anonymous is willing to stand up for their own (good, very good) and they are not afraid to get people killed (bad, very bad).

While I do appreciate the ‘wild justice’ angle Anonymous has taken in the past, there is a big difference between messing up someone’s online life or even forcing them to sell their business  – and getting almost 3 dozen people killed.

There is no coming back from ‘killed’!!!

And being killed by a rival gang – not usually a ‘clean kill’, either.

Extrajudicial killings, too – so the information on which these people (yes, people!!!) were killed has never undergone any kind of a judicial oversight or indeed any kind of a test to prove its accuracy!!!  That, in my never-humble-opinion, is beyond bad.

If Anonymous is willing to go there – probably justifying it to themselves that they did not do the killings directly, but used the rival cartel as proxy – it is not inconceivable that they would be willing to instigate violence on a greater scale.

That is troubling, to say the least.

H/T:  Just Right

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4 Responses to “Anonymous has been picking some fights…”

  1. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    I don’t think #opcartel has denounced anyone yet.

    It’s possible that the message

    “Gustavo Rosario es Zeta
    Anonymous México
    OpCártel continúa”

    which, since October 28, has appeared when one tries to go to the web page of Gustavo Rosario Torres, a former state prosecutor from Tabasco, is the work of Anonymous. If so, it seems to be the only move they have made since they originally posted their ultimatum nearly a month ago.

    Where did you get this information that three dozen Zeta collaborators were killed and dumped on a Mexican highway? I can’t find anything about it. Stratfor’s latest dispatch on the situation, which can be found here, makes no mention of any wholesale butchery of Zeta collaborators.

    According to this page on neglectedwar.com, Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown said the vendetta against Los Zetas, which has been widely reported as cancelled, has been resumed, so the November 5 deadline for release of the kidnapped person presumably still stands.

    Now, here is a new conspiracy theory for you: is it possible that the Zetas are the new al Qaeda, and Anonymous is the new controlled opposition?

    It seems to me that this interpretation is rendered credible by Operation Fast and Furious, in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms armed Los Zetas, and by the role Anonymous has played in the various astroturf uprisings, from Arab Spring to #occupy.

    Xanthippa says:
    CodeSlinger, perhaps I am misreading the situation or perhaps I am presuming that Anonymous has done more than they have. The mention of the almost 3 dozen murders is in the link I supplied, though the author does not explicitly link it to Anonymous. The way I read it, the author is laying the blame on Anonymous without explicitly saying they are responsible out of fear of Anonymous… this technique of co-mentioning without drawing the link was often used by the more brave journalists behind the iron curtain,to say things without saying them, so I naturally – perhaps erroneously – applied it here as well. A taste of what will happen if their guy is not released…

    While it is not just a possibility, but a certainty that Al Qaeda has infiltrated/made connections with Mexican drug cartels (A Qaeda is, after all, using the derug trade to partially fund their movement – so a supplier/customer relationship here is inevitable), it would be much too neat and pat to see Anonymous as the righteous opposition to them.

    Plus I am not sure that Anonymous seeding of at least some of the Arab Spring movements would actually put it into opposition against Al Qaeda: both Al Quaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are the biggest beneficiaries of the Arab Spring!!!

    (I know you do not follow the videos from MEMRI, but they just released one showing the crowds last April in Egypt chanting ‘the people want to topple Wall St.’ – lending more credence to the claim that Anonymous seeded the Egyptian uprising, which was by far the most ‘electronically co-ordiated’ from them all. The Muslim Brotherhood is reaping the rewards there.)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouC898tHuPs

    And if the Palestinian flags flying over the ‘occupy Ottawa’ tents and the Islamist rant I got as a comment in response to posting about ‘occupy Toronto’ are something to judge by, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are also the beneficiaries in the #occupy movement here.

    This would hardly put them into opposition against Anonymous…

    It is much more likely the targetting of bloggers and the kidnapping of their member which has put Zeta into the crosshairs of Anonymous.

  2. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Sorry, I overlooked that link. Having read it, I see how it would be easy to misconstrue the writer’s intent. However, he does link to the news story on about the dead Zetas. They were killed by the Gente Nueva, and the bodies were dumped in Veracruz on September 20, but Anonymous didn’t post their ultimatum until October 6. So the deaths were part of an ongoing turf war, and had nothing to do with Anonymous.

    In any case, tomorrow is the 5th of November.

    I’m quite sure that the Zetas will not release the kidnapped Anonymous member. That person’s corpse, however, may turn up as a grizzly reply to the ultimatum.

    Either way, it remains to be seen what Anonymous will do tomorrow. If they do expose some Zeta affiliates, I doubt there will be a mass bloodbath or a wave of arrests. These people are mostly already known to each other, and to the police.

    A very cogent analysis of the whole affair can be found here.

    On the conspiracy front, you’re right about the connections between South and Central American drug cartels (not just Los Zetas) and Al Qaeda on the one hand, and between Al Qaeda and Anonymous on the other. Now add to that the fact that the CIA is deeply enmeshed with all of them, and you get a very confusing picture.

    Depending on which dots one is given to connect, one could become a very frightened Democrat, or a very frightened Republican.

    Either way, one may well be frightened enough to let DHS commit even greater infringements of one’s rights than they currently do…

  3. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Well, well, well…

    No sooner do I make a prediction than the Zetas make a liar out of me:

    ‘Anonymous’ hackers abandon campaign against Zetas drug cartel, say member freed

    Or did they?

    This just doesn’t smell right.

    I’m now convinced that no member of Anonymous was ever kidnapped by the Zetas.

    Do you think the Zetas would ever act like they have smaller cojones than a bunch of four-eyed, pencil-necked geeks?

    Not on your life. They would never live it down.

    But the emerging picture does fit my conspiracy theory rather well.

    Because, the only explanation I can think of is that this was a publicity stunt by Anonymous to make themselves look good, and brave, and strong to the hordes of internet warriors who constitute their following – mostly in cities and mostly in the West.

    This smells like the old good-cop/bad-cop routine – with Anonymous as the good cop and the Zetas as the bad cop.

    And the naïve throngs camped out in the #occupy compounds just got sucked into trusting the good cop.

    They now believe that Anonymous are the good guys, and they’re so awesomely tough they can even make the dreaded Zetas back down.

    Yeah. Right.

    Both cops work for the same shop.

    Xanghippa says:

    CodeSlinger – there is a lot to digest here…

    However, I am loath to ascribe a conspiracy where human incompetence will suffice for explanation.

    The key thing to keep in mind is that Anonymous is not a ‘body’ that acts in a consistent and coherent way – it is a loosly connected group of individuals, each of which can initiate an action that some of the others may (or may not) participate in.

    I am convinced that the challenge against the Zetas genuinely comes from some people who call themselves Anonymous. Not all, but some.

    I am also convinced that Anonymous is not in anyone’s pay or in any way profit-driven – rather, I think of them as idealistic individuals who think themselves ‘independent thinkers’, but who are the brainwashed products of their flawed education. Perhaps co-opted is a better term…

    Let’s see what today brings!

  4. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    I’m sure you’re right: Anonymous think of themselves as independent hacktivists.

    And Los Zetas think of themselves as independent contractors.

    And Al Qaeda think of themselves as independent freedom fighters.

    But they (and not just they) are all tangled in a global web, and at the centre sits a big fat spider, pulling strings. Some money goes here, some product goes there, a tip-off is made somewhere, and somewhere else a favour is called.

    And the web tightens. And the spider gets fatter.

    But yes, they are all independent.

    Technically.


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