Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Britain's Avishai Raviv

I read this and Avishai Raviv* came to mind:

Bob had been a member of the Special Demonstrations Squad, the domestic-intelligence-gathering arm of the Metropolitan Police. The S.D.S. was established in 1968, after the Grosvenor Square protests against the Vietnam War. Conrad Hepworth Dixon, the squad’s first chief, when ordered by his superiors to do something about the protests, is said to have replied, “Give me a million pounds and ten men, and I can deal with the problem for you.”

The unit’s mission—to provide “sufficient and accurate intelligence to enable the police to maintain public order,” according to an internal document obtained by Evans and Lewis—was as broad as its techniques were particular. Officers, known as “deep swimmers,” transformed themselves into facsimiles of their targets, taking on new identities that they inhabited for years. They got perms and new passports; they acquired tattoos, accents, and, if necessary, drug habits. “For the whole time they were undercover they would never wear a uniform or set foot in a police station, unless, of course, they were dragged in, kicking, screaming, and handcuffed,” Evans and Lewis write. “They would find flats or bed-sits, preferring those at the back of houses in case fellow activists went past at night and noticed the lights were off and no one was in. They would take up jobs with flexible working hours and travel, such as laborers or delivery van drivers, so they could disappear for, say, a day with their family without arousing suspicion.”
...In October, 2011, Bob was a speaker at a conference organized by anti-racist groups in London. In front of an audience of four hundred people, he delivered a lecture on extremist political violence. During the question-and-answer session, a man stood up and raised his hand. When called upon, he spoke:

“I have one question from the floor. David Morris, London Greenpeace. Is he going to apologize for organizing disgusting undercover police infiltration of campaign groups including anti-fascists and my own group, London Greenpeace, for five years as Bob Robinson?”

The lecture’s moderator tried to quell the mutiny. Morris, who had come with a group of activists, continued to shout from the floor, pressing Bob to apologize. He added, “We want to ensure that you are not informing on groups that are here today.” According to “Undercover,” “Lambert sat impassively, giving nothing away. He sipped from a glass of water.”

...The revelation of the extent of the British police’s spying, and the dubiousness of some of their tactics, caused a scandal that has yet to be resolved. Reporters and activists have confirmed that at least nine police officers—including one woman—conducted sexual relationships with unsuspecting citizens during their undercover deployments. At least twelve women, including Jacqui, are suing the Metropolitan Police for deceit, assault, misfeasance in public office, and negligence. Those whose relationships began after 2000 are also bringing suit under the Human Rights Act, arguing that the Met’s “systemic abuse of female political activists” breached Articles 3 and 8, which forbid inhumane treatment and guarantee the right to private life. Jacqui has said that she feels as though she were “raped by the state.”


"Avishai Raviv was an agent of Israel's Shin Bet or Shabak, Israel's domestic intelligence service whose mission was to encourage and fabricate activities of right-wing extremists. His code name was 'Champagne'.
Raviv was a student at Tel Aviv University and was expelled for violent behavior. He was later a student at Bar Ilan University.
Under orders from the Shin Bet Raviv created Eyal to perpetrate acts of violence to discredit the Israel right wing. Raviv recruited Yigal Amir, a religious law student from Bar-Ilan University, who fiercely opposed the Oslo Accords.
At one protest, Raviv was filmed with a picture of Rabin in an SS uniform prior to Rabin's murder. Raviv allegedly knew of Yigal Amir's plans to assassinate Israel's prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, based on a controversial classification of handing over Jewish land in the category of "din rodef" ("law of the pursuer"). According to Jewish law, anyone who is classified as a pursuer, must be killed immediately...Uri Dan, a journalist close to Ariel Sharon, wrote that witnesses heard Raviv tell Amir: "Be a man! Kill him already!"
After Rabin was assassinated, the journalist Amnon Abramowitch revealed that Raviv was an agent of the Shabak.
Raviv was brought to trial in 2000 for not preventing Rabin's assassination. Raviv mounted a successful defense on the grounds that he had just been doing his job and events had spun out of control.

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