Documents obtained by CNN reveal that the Missouri National Guard referred to Americans in Ferguson as ‘enemy forces’ and adversaries’ in briefings as they prepared to quell protests.
The internal briefing documents, secured under a Freedom of Information Act request, reveal that the National Guard, called in to Ferguson under already tense circumstances, used heavily militarized language to describe protesters, many of whom were merely lawfully executing their First Amendment rights.
The documents highlight that the guard was worried “adversaries” would use phone apps and police scanners to find out about and compromise operational security. Guard higher ups also expressed concern that protesters may use “militants tactics”.
“Counterintelligence operations are directed at supporting an information campaign. Their audience does not require the information to be accurate and is easily swayed,” one document reads.
Commanders were briefed to use intelligence capabilities to “deny adversaries the ability to identify Missouri National Guard vulnerabilities upon which threat forces may exploit, causing embarrassment, or harm.”
While referring to use of social media and public information by protesters, the documents state “Adversaries are most likely to possess human intelligence (HUMINT), open source intelligence (OSINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT), technical intelligence (TECHINT), and counterintelligence capabilities,”
In another document, those on the ground in Ferguson were divided into “Friendly Forces,” such as police and community leaders, with the rest being labeled”Enemy Forces.”
“General Protesters” were also described as ‘hate groups’ and lumped in with known members of the KKK, the RgB Black Rebels and the New Black Panther Party.
“Rioters likely have constructed home-made protection like goggles, gas masks, and plywood shields. Further, select individuals may have bullet proof vests and may carry firearms.” the documents warn.
The documents are seen as highly disturbing by critics, who have noted that they read like a strategy for going to war against the American people.
“It’s disturbing when you have what amounts to American soldiers viewing American citizens somehow as the enemy,” said Antonio French, an alderman in St. Louis.
Indeed, the documents show that even some within the National Guard hierarchy took exception to the terms.
Col. David Boyle, Army chief of staff at the Missouri National Guard sent an email two days after deployment expressing concern to superiors that the wording could be “construed as potentially inflammatory.”
Within the same week, further notification was passed to commanding officers instructing that “all reference of ‘enemy’ were changed to state ‘criminal elements’.”
Others within the National Guard, however, were defensive of the terms used to describe protesters.
National Guard Capt. John Quinn maintained that the language is standard, telling CNN the Ferguson mission briefings were “a generic military planning format utilized in a wide range of military missions, so the term ‘enemy forces’ would be better understood as ‘potential threats.'”
Quinn claims that the Guard would also use the same wording to describe other ‘potential threats’, including “inclement weather, heat, failing levees, etc.”
Quinn did not explain how inclement weather would employ “militants tactics” or be capable of “counterintelligence capabilities.”
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.