Congressional Profiteering and Occupy?

Naomi Wolf explores “The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy” for The Guardian.

Using information gathered from a survey of activists, Wolf examines their three main demands:

The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.

No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.

Wolf continues, suggesting that the coordination of 18 mayors across the country (including Oakland and New York) by the Department of Homeland Security led to violence, and how members of Congress and President Obama had an interest in the crackdown.

Joshua Holland responds for AlterNet:

DHS is a cabinet-level executive branch agency. It does not “report” to Homeland Security Chair Peter King in some kind of chain-of-command – in fact, it doesn’t “report” to Congress at all except for a handful of official reports required by law. King can hold hearings and call DHS officials to testify before his committee, but he has nothing to do with the day-to-day operations of the agency.

The allegation is that DHS offered local cities advise on evicting their local camps. I don’t know what she means by “freelance” in this context, but that is the kind of action, like thousands of actions DHS initiates each and every day, that wouldn’t require any sort of high-level sign-off. DHS was created in part to facilitate greater communication and intelligence-sharing between federal and local law enforcement agencies – advising local authorities is one of its defining roles.

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