We’ve been busy over at Leech City with local content articles that, individually, weren’t worth posting for the national reader. However, enough material has accumulated since the Godbee interrogation which can help with the planning and conduct of your own local civil affairs programs that a guided update is in order. In the past months, we’ve started quite a few concept threads while waiting for a couple of key events to pop. These unfinished conceptual threads include the use of a combined civil affairs program, the “Welcome to Leith” mockumentary, and controlling the local narrative through your own media. While we plan on looping back to those threads eventually (the 2017 “year of pursuit” has been very busy and productive thus far), we can at least hit the highlights on topics which affect a wider civil affairs audience.
Combined Civil Affairs
As you will recall from the post on a combined approach to civil affairs, many tools are available to a local civil affairs effort, including open meetings laws, open records laws, running your own website, posting videos, HUMINT techniques and teams, the use of an attorney, and others. We advocate using these in a combined effort, much like a combined arms military effort where each element overcomes weaknesses in other elements.
Now, the utility of this strategy is becoming apparent in several ways. First, after our Godbee interrogation in January, in February the city reacted by banning unscreened questions. If our only means of extracting information or influencing city operations was attending meetings and asking questions, this prohibition would otherwise cripple our efforts. As it is, it triggers other components of our combined civil affairs efforts, including giving us the moral high ground to expose more city business and asking probing questions via our website instead.
The second development is that the city has begun to become very evasive and deceptive when answering open records requests. You will recall that we gave an example of a live-fire open records request back in January, regarding grants. As it turns out, the city’s response to this specific request was evasive. We’re still following up on some details before nailing them on this one, but once again you’ll see that a combined effort avoids what would be a crippling lack of cooperation. Instead, their response will turn out to be not only futile, but help us achieve a goal that would not have been possible if they had cooperated openly and fully with that request.
Less important, but telling, a councilwoman has started snapping photos of us, possibly in reaction to our posting photos on Leech City. The silliness of this effort indicates, to me, at least, that the city officials are probably regular readers of our website(s). It may also indicate that they may be getting very concerned about the huge body of video and other information we are sitting on, and the light in which they are cast by all of this material. Again, without a combined effort, neither the video nor the Leech City website would be of much effect. Not immediately obvious in that video is what another council member was doing at the time. More on that later.
Welcome To Leith Learning Point
You will recall from our “Welcome To Leith, Georgia” post that certain actions by city officials indicates a frustration on their part that we are not falling into the reactionary (and thus easily controlled by arrest) citizen paradigm. Instead, our actions have been calm and deliberate, almost unnervingly calm, in fact. You can see this in our conduct of the Godbee interrogation and the February council meeting where my questions were cut off by the mayor. Unlike the activist characters in the Leith mockumentary, my calm and almost jovial interaction with the city officials is an approach to which they have yet to adapt. No hostility necessary, just calmly pick apart their deceptions and evasion.
Controlling The Local Narrative
The introduction to our local narrative series makes it clear that a website under your control, and getting it local exposure, is essential. We can clearly see the benefits of that approach already, especially since we have the ability to shape each development as serious, silly or other combinations. If you haven’t seen the Mayor Yertle post, for example, you have got to treat yourself to that post and the embedded video. Without a website under our control, such a message would be impossible; certainly a local paper would be reluctant to publish such a thing. We have also been able to interdict local harassment efforts (including a ridiculous and pointless theft of a log), humiliate and discredit the regional crime and corruption syndicate while exposing typical criminal strategies, expose an attempted budget end-run, give airtime to local public interest events, and provide exposure to a number of unsavory activities as already mentioned. We’ve also been able to give responsible local officials some kudos, and have more of that in the pipeline as well. Presenting the good alongside the bad not only justly rewards and motivates good behavior, it creates an even greater contrast to highlight the degenerates. Plus, there is MUCH more to come about the degenerates, including archived material as well as events unfolding as we speak. If you are going to have an effective civil affairs program, there simply is no substitute for a website that you control.
That’s enough for now. As things heat up in the next few weeks, you’ll see much more over at Leech City, and we’ll tie those events in to useful ideas for your own civil affairs program over here.