A person walking past a tent

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Homeless encampment in Los Angeles. [Source: commondreams.org]

The CIA-linked Cicero Institute’s campaign to make it illegal to be homeless.

A confluence of horrific policies is converging that threatens the freedom of homeless people in the United States. Governors and big city mayors across the western United States are demanding the “right” to drive the homeless from view and have pushed for the Supreme Court to remove the Martin v. Boise restrictions on criminalizing the unhoused.

The case of Johnson v. Grants Pass, based on the Martin decision that bans as cruel and unusual punishment the charging of people criminally if there is no shelter available, was heard on April 22, 2024, at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

The Supreme Court’s decision is likely to be announced by the end of June 2024, potentially impacting a growing number of cities and states which have passed harsh laws making it a crime to sleep outside. At the same time the number of Americans becoming homeless is increasing.

“A 2023 survey conducted by Payroll.org highlighted that 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, a 6% increase from the previous year,” Forbes magazine reported in April 2024. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there was an 11% increase in the number of Americans who became homeless in 2023. This crisis is likely to increase and America’s intelligence agencies are among those willing to provide a solution.

One such organization is the CIA-linked Cicero Institute that is pushing a “solution” to the homeless crisis that could lead to governments coercing people into FEMA camps. The Cicero Institute provides a “Model Bill” it calls “Reducing Street Homelessness Act” to state and city legislators, which the institute’s website notes is legislation based on Missouri’s HB 1606 from 2022.

Billionaire Joe Lonsdale started the Cicero Institute in 2016. His institute focuses on government policy and the problem of homelessness. He also co-founded CIA contractor Palantir Technologies with several others, including PayPal’s Peter Thiel. He also co-founded Addepar, OpenGov and is a partner at 8VC, his venture capital firm. Palantir’s first backer was the Central Intelligence Agency’s venture capital arm In-Q-Tel.

A person in a blue suit

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Joe Lonsdale [Source: ciceroinstitute.org]

Lonsdale’s Palantir is an AI military contractor known for three projects: Palantir Gotham, Palantir Apollo, and Palantir Foundry. Palantir Gotham is used by counter-terrorism analysts at offices in the United States Intelligence Community (USIC) and the Department of Defense. They are providing help to Israel in targeting Palestinians in Gaza.

Google and Amazon are also collaborating with U.S. defense contractors like Palantir to migrate Israel’s war-fighting capabilities onto their cloud services and, additionally, are helping to reshape the battlefield in Ukraine by improving drone-strike capabilities and targeting.

The Nation magazine reports, “As one of the world’s most advanced data-mining companies, with ties to the CIA, Palantir’s ‘work’ was supplying Israel’s military and intelligence agencies with advanced and powerful targeting capabilities—the precise capabilities that allowed Israel to place three drone-fired missiles into three clearly marked [World Central Kitchen] aid vehicles.”

A building with trees in the background

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[Source: buzzfeednews.com]

While Lonsdale’s Palantir is aiding in bombing Palestinians and eastern Ukrainians into homelessness, he is also coordinating a nationwide program to “solve” the homeless problem here in the United States. The Cicero Institute website offers “A New Way on Homelessness.”

“The United States has a growing homelessness problem—and bad policies at the local, state, and federal level exacerbate that problem.”

“For nearly two decades, failed, ideologically driven policies promulgated by HUD and embraced by local bureaucrats and activists have resulted in more and more spending on homeless services—for worse and worse results. That must change.”

“The Cicero Institute offers the strongest reform package to state leaders who want to fix bad incentives, hold service agencies accountable for results, and get the homeless the help they need instead of doubling down on failure.”

His signature policy change is the criminalization of those forced to sleep outside:

“1. States should ban unauthorized street camping.”

“Street camps are dangerous to the public and the vulnerable homeless alike. They are often hotbeds of violence, especially against women and children—especially those who are homeless themselves.”

“The public widely supports enforcing ordinances against dangerous street camps and moving individuals into emergency shelters.”

So far, the Cicero Institute has placed ten bills in at least nine state legislatures: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Texas became the first state to pass such a law in 2021; Tennessee and Missouri followed in 2022.

Cynthia Griffith wrote about Wisconsin’s Assembly Bill 689 and Senate Bill 669 on the Invisible People website: “Concentration camps and secret committees, out-of-state lobbyists, and flat-out lies—as unbelievable and terrifying as it sounds, this is a glimpse into what’s happening behind closed doors in 2024 Wisconsin.”

The Cicero Institute website reported a recent “success”: “This morning [March 20, 2024] in Miami Beach, Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 1365 / SB 1530, which will make Florida a leading state in the fight against the failed homelessness policies that have wreaked havoc on so many American cities. HB 1365 will ban street camping and upend how Florida provides treatment and help to the homeless—and holds providers and cities accountable for failure.”

An encampment at North Terry Avenue at West Central Boulevard in Parramore, on Monday, February 6, 2023. A new camping ban law in Florida, developed through the work of a Texas-based think tank, will force cities to break up such settlements.
Homeless tent encampment in Paramore, Florida. [Source: msn.com]

In early April 2024 this movement against America’s poorest people had another “victory” in its nationwide campaign to make it a crime to be homeless: Kentucky Bill HB 5—the “Safer Kentucky Act”—passed. The 78-page bill criminalizes homelessness and decriminalizes the use of deadly force against individuals engaging in unlawful camping. Under this law, “if a property owner believes an unhoused trespasser is attempting to commit a felony or attempting to dispossess them, they can shoot the homeless person.”

House Bill 5 would ban street encampments in most public areas except those that public officials designate. Those designated areas must also include basic sanitation services like hand-washing stations and bathrooms.

The penalty is a violation for the first offense and a Class B misdemeanor for the second offense.

It is not difficult to imagine under such a law that county jails will reach capacity very quickly and other accommodations will be required. With world leaders talking about world wars interning the ballooning population of those forced to break these laws, a Japanese internment-style solution will seem humane or, as the United States grows more desensitized to the horror of state repression, governments may opt for a more World War II Dachau-type “useless eater” removal. Nothing is beyond them.

While the CIA has been fomenting conflicts in Europe and Asia, was it also preparing a response to a homeless crisis in America it knew their wars would cause? There sure could have been some coordination between intelligence agencies but that would not necessarily be the case. This system has its own logic guided by generations of aristocracy who believe they know what is best for all of us.

I would not be surprised if we learn that there were some in the intelligence industry who gamed this circus of cruelty. I know the mentality of the Victoria Nulands, Antony Blinkens, Henry Kissingers and Zbigniew Brzezinskis of the world who fashioned themselves as the special ones anointed by their sponsors in the task of being the masters of the universe.

My mother’s father, John Vanderpool Phelan, was a member of this special universe, a college football hero who played for the Crimson while studying at Harvard Law. He was caring and taught me the “real politics” that made the world turn with the intention of providing me with the foundation needed to join these hallowed ranks. I understand how the genocide of Gaza is possible. He had no qualms with inflicting horrific terror on millions of people for “a good reason” and that one “good reason” was always defending the interests of the oligarchs and their corporations. There are no limits to what these people believe is worth doing if it protects their economic system.

My grandfather was not shy about recounting his days directing the world’s most deadly bombing campaign, the firebombing of Tokyo or “Operation Meetinghouse.” His 63 framed 8 by 10 black and white photos that he took from 20,000 feet to gauge the campaign’s progress hung proudly in the den of his Needham, Massachusetts, home.

A aerial view of a destroyed area

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Tokyo after U.S. firebombing during World War II. [Source: allthatsinteresting.com]

I watched him argue over the phone for using a nuclear weapon on Hanoi, demanding that his friends (Secretary of Defense) Robert McNamara and (Air Force General) Curtis LeMay “send a message” to Communist Russia and China by vaporizing North Vietnam’s capital.

During the days that I was watching my grandfather argue for a nuclear detonation, his friend LeMay was encouraging President Kennedy to implement the terror plot “Operation Northwoods,” a false-flag attack on a Miami shopping mall that would be blamed on Castro’s Cuba, thereby providing justification for a U.S. invasion of the island nation. In April 2024 FBI Director Christopher Wray testified that his concerns over terrorism are at “a whole other level,” suggesting another false flag that could open the door for greater police powers.

A person in military uniform smoking a cigar

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Curtis LeMay [Source: atomic-annihilation.blogspot.com]

This spring the Supreme Court may rule in favor of the civil rights of the homeless, upholding the decision in Grants Pass v. Johnson that it is cruel and unusual punishment for people to face jail for being unable to secure housing indoors. On the other hand, in this political climate, a majority of Justices may find that it does not violate the U.S. Constitution and that cities and states will be free to jail Americans for failing to secure housing.

With the very real possibility of tens of thousands of families finding themselves homeless, flooding communities with people seeking shelter in their vehicles, doorways or in a cheap pup tent, municipalities may feel pressure to adopt bans on camping and institute “Obligation to Accept Shelter” laws that would justify the internment of America’s homeless. Tens of thousands of Americans may find themselves confined to FEMA camps on remote military bases or prison grounds. When the CIA is involved, there is nothing that is out of the question.

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