Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

November 12, 2011

Op Cartel Update by Barrett Brown

Op Cartel
By Barrett Brown
Update 11/12/2011

1. I've arrived in Brooklyn thanks to individuals associated with Occupy DC, who paid for a last-minute flight I would otherwise not have been able to afford at this time. I am situated in a neighborhood whose residents are old friends and who tend to be well-armed, and at any rate I plan to be staying with assorted friends and colleagues in various other parts of NYC during my stay.

2. All of those media outlets and journalists who wanted the information I obtained on Asheville, NC District Attorney Ron Moore and whom I've deemed capable of pursuing the story have now received the entirety of that info. One local journalist, before having seen any of it, asked me whether a certain individual was among those named therein as having illicit connections to Moore. I confirmed that this was indeed the case; the reporter explained that this particular person, who is close to the city's criminal justice system, also has a criminal history. Note that this info, which was provided to me by an Asheville resident whose connection to the situation is significant and verifiable, also cites two other men as being involved with Moore; both are career criminals with ties to the Houstones gang. The info and many of the details involved will continue to remain non-public for the time being so that I and the half-dozen reporters looking into it may do so without tipping off the other subjects; meanwhile, the info in its raw form would expose the identity of the informant and a family member. However, the bulk of the account will be released when viable, perhaps by the end of the month.

3. Some Mexican Anons and other individuals working out of #Iberoamerica continue to scour some 25,000 e-mails for specific incidents of corruption within the Mexican government and other of the country's major institutions. Their new effort, #OpCorrupcion, has the potential to be wildly successful if it receives the attention and support that it deserves. Note that I am not involved in this operation and cannot provide any particular details on it, as I've told several journalists already.

4. I am continuing work on the creation of a private team of individuals who will be charged with pursuing an ongoing campaign against Mexican cartels. So far, participants include journalists, academics who study cartels and related topics, and hackers, although other skill sets may also be needed. Those who wish to apply should send a brief description of their skills and relevant backgrounds to Once this team is assembled, I will serve only in an advisory role as requested (if even that), as I hope to return to work on Project PM and our ongoing investigation into the intelligence contracting industry in the near future.

Note on Adrian Chen

On the whole, reporters have done a reasonably good job in covering a story that is fast-moving and often confusing. This is important for operations such as these, which are pursued largely within the realm of information and which thus depend on accurate and fair reportage to be successful; likewise, journalists who take the time to research the background and/or quote participants at length also help to ensure that those of us who are engaged in this work are not required to spend much time correcting false or misleading assertions. One ongoing incident, however, has damaged the viability of both OpCartel and OpCorrupcion, misinformed some unknown number of people, and unfairly hurt the credibility of myself and the Mexican Anons who are risking their very lives to assist the Mexican people as a whole. Adrian Chen of the online publication Gawker wrote an article several days ago entitled "It Pays to be the Face of Anonymous." (

a) Chen claims that the book on Anonymous that Gregg Housh and I are writing was "just sold" when it was in fact sold in September, as is public record, and incorrectly claims that reports of our meetings with publishers in NYC appeared "last month" when they actually appeared in the New York Observer just a few days before the sale of the book - again, in September, which Chen should know since he himself reported on it at the time. Setting aside the factual error regarding which months come when, referring to one event in late September as having occurred "last month" and another one that occurred a few days later as having "just" happened is either inexplicable or easily explained by Chen's intent to portray the book as being my motive for participation in OpCartel.

b) Chen seems to imply that I lied about the advance Housh and I received for the book by asserting that "Everything Brown says should be taken with a grain of salt." Chen promises to explain why later in the piece.

c) Chen refers to "Anonymous' bullshit anti-drug operation" before writing, "All week Brown has been spouting off to CNN, the Guardian and more about Operation Cartel, which was supposedly launched as payback for the Zetas kidnapping an Anonymous member. Even as proof that there had ever been a kidnapping continued to not exist, Brown upped the stakes, claiming that Anonymous had 25,000 stolen government emails they were going to use to expose at least 75 collaborators." I will note that I referred Chen to Bloomberg regarding evidence of the e-mails, as may be heard in the recording of that phone interview linked below. Rather than contact Bloomberg, Chen proceeded to write his article without even mentioning that I tried to provide him with evidence. Since then, Bloomberg reporter Michael Riley confirmed to The Atlantic - an actual news publication - that he'd received samples of the e-mails, which indeed involve corruption and payoffs, just as was claimed. But even when writing a follow-up piece about me yesterday (, Chen refrained from mentioning any of this. When I noted Chen's failure to admit error on Twitter, he replied, "I'll believe it when I see them." Presumably, Chen is now resorting to the implication that a veteran Bloomberg reporter has either been duped or is publicly lying.

d) At the top of the article are three screenshots taken from a video I made months ago and which appear to have been selected to make me look crazy and/or stupid, something easily accomplished by taking single shots from a video of most any person talking. The follow-up article uses another, even more ridiculous screenshot from the same video. Such things are not done by accident; they are done to make a person look bad without resorting to facts.

As it is, I am having to contend with several projects even in addition to the attempts that have been made to provide my location to the Zeta cartel and other parties. I have no choice but to ignore the majority of negative things that are said about me. But in this case, Chen and his editor have concocted a storyline that has since been picked up by The Daily Mail and other outlets of similar quality-to-reach ratios, thereby doing some unknown degree of damage to an effort for which I and others have risked our lives. And they have done so not just with irresponsible inattention to those facts, such as the confirmation of the e-mails, that would prove their stated position false; they have gone so far as to actively and shamelessly disregard that particular fact even as it confirmed by a respected journalist for a respected publication. This tells me that I am up against yet another party for whom truth and fair play are secondary to mediocre, "biting" rhetoric and the victory that presumably comes from poorly-composed libel.

This is the audio conversation I had with Adrian Chen before the first article in question. Although I record most of the interviews I do with journalists - and have had occasion to speak to plenty of them over the last year in particular - this is the first time that I can recall having felt the need to post the recording.

No comments: