By Kyle Rearden
The following is a mirroring of Gary Hunt‘s series about Mark Kessler’s infiltration of the American patriot community. Hyperlinks to the original articles will be provided at the beginning of each section. For other examples of similar miscreants, please be sure to also read, “May You Live in Interesting Times…”
Benedict Arnold began his military career with accolades for his ability to gather fighting men and win battles. Somewhere along the line, disenchanted with not receiving the recognition he sought, he switched sides and joined the British against the American colonists. Mark Kessler appears to have been, at least, an advocate of certain rights, though he, with other motivation, turned against American patriots.
We will follow some of his controversial career, and detail some recent events, that should be a lesson to all true patriots. There are techniques that are used to establish “credentials” (a presence), which might induce some to trust someone who is not really on their side, eventually leading to their downfall. This process is explained, rather briefly, in Vortex, though this story is far more detailed and is a real life education in that process.
According to Linkedin, Kessler was Chief of Police in Gilberton, Pennsylvania (a borough of about 1.5 square miles, population approximately 800 in 2010) from July 2000 through February 2014. As Chief, he was the only full time employee in the police department.
On Linkedin, he claims to be Founder/CEO of CSF (Constitution Security Force) from February 2013 to present (more about CSF, later). Without explanation, he claims “Reality TV” from January 2014 to present. Finally, claims to be CEO of III% BOG (Boots on Ground) from January 2014 to present. He fails to mention his work for the government, but, then, that is the purpose of this article.
A number of articles indicate that Kessler began his working career as a coal miner. Depending on sources, he became Chief of Police in Gilberton in either 1998 or 2000. Regardless, he was law enforcement in Gilberton for over a decade before his first instance of questionable competence.
On Saturday, August 27, 2011, while off duty, Kessler was in the Second Street Pub in Girardville. He was wounded by his own weapon when he intervened in a scuffle and shot himself in his left hand (link). A friend then drove him to the hospital, and it is reported that Kessler took the pistol with him. The Sheriff’s Department has never found the firearm to complete their investigation (link).
Then, in 2012, we find that the Borough of Gilberton Mayor, Mary Lou Hannon, and police Chief Mark Kessler were ordered to pay $15,000 to settle a federal lawsuit that alleged Councilman Robert Wagner had been unconstitutionally arrested, strip-searched, and imprisoned because he used profanity toward the mayor. Wagner filed the lawsuit after Kessler arrested him for two counts of harassment for calling Mayor Hannon to complain about youths riding quads and dirt bikes at late hours. Hannon had directed Kessler to arrest Wagner (link).
Support of the Patriot Community
After these two questionable events, Kessler stepped up his support of the Second Amendment when, on January 24, 2013, he obtained unanimous council approval for his “2nd Amendment Preservation Resolution” (link), which nullifies all “federal, state or local acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations regarding firearms, firearms accessories or ammunition [that] are a violation of the 2nd Amendment along with Article 1, section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution”, within the Borough boundaries. After passage, Oathkeepers member Larry Liguori presented Chief Kessler with an Oathkeepers t-shirt. It seems that Kessler had begun activism as an American Patriot. (Image of Resolution)
By January 2013, Stewart Rhodes, of “Oathkeepers”, had Kessler as a guest and praised his efforts (link, 1 hr 16 min). Interestingly, using the Revolutionary War as an example, Kessler says that we should have automatic weapons, since the government has them. He did not distinguish beyond firearms, and he did not address the fact that people could own any weapon the government owned, back then. This omission will be addressed, later.
On February 4, 2013, Kessler registered an Internet domain, “chiefkessler.com“, and posted the following:
“ALERT! Anyone interested in joining a reserve force with the Gilberton Borough Police Department ,contact Chief Kessler immediately for details! Due to our Country’s current situation I’m compelled to form an auxiliary force, DHS (Department of Home Land Security) is stock piling ammunition, Stock Piling Machine guns at a alarming rate! I believe we have no choice for what MAY OR MAY NOT happen shortly!, Ask yourself this one question, can you walk into any sporting good store and purchase 22LR, 9mm, 45ACP , 40 caliber, 5.56/223 , 7.62×51 or 308 ammunition in quantity’s more then[sic] a box or two ? (OR ANY AT ALL) if you answer No, ask yourself why ???? I’ll tell you why because the GOVERNMENT is STOCKPILING BILLIONS of rounds of ammunition! (for what ????) even the police can’t get ammo ! DHS has enough weapons and ammo to wage a 30 year GROUND war, (BUT ON WHO and WHY) what is wrong with this picture???, Maybe the tyrants want to take as much ammo off the civilian market AS POSSIBLE! either way it’s very disturbing!”
This quickly evolved into what is claimed to be an national effort to establish “reserve forces” under the name of Constitution Security Force (CSF), and was picked up by the alternative media (link), beginning a broader “presence” in the patriot community. In an April 2013 video, Kessler explains his creation of the CSF. Claims were made that 38 states had adopted the CSF concept and was recruiting members. It seems that Kessler tired of the CSF, since many of the designated state representatives seemed to have lost contact with Kessler.
In an April 18, 2013, article, “Spooks Threaten To Assassinate Patriot Police Chief Mark Kessler“, Kessler claims that he has been targeted and received death threats. The article states that he received a call, “with the caller warning he is going to get a bullet to his head if he doesn’t stop the work he is doing. The call was traced by the Gilberton police to a pre-paid cell phone purchased and activated anonymously.” Interestingly, the Gilberton police is Kessler, himself, though he provides no proof of the investigation and its results. However, receiving threats creates an image that would be suitable to impress other patriots. Another article (link) states that Kessler said that he “couldn’t tell you how many death threats that they have been receiving at borough hall where I work,” on his then Spreaker radio show.
By August, the people of Gilberton were really fed up with Kessler’s erratic behavior. Kessler was suspended from his duties as Chief of Police for thirty days, beginning on the 1st. In such a small town, where everybody knows nearly everybody, the extent of displeasure of Kessler’s activities was amply demonstrated when there was little opposition to a sign put up by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
Termination of Kessler
With the suspension nearly over, on August 30, and Kessler and his attorney failed to appear for the meeting; as a result, the suspension was continued, indefinitely. At question was Kessler’s $30,000 annual salary and whether the Borough would have to pay him, even if he was fired (link). That final decision to fire him would have to wait. Even Mainstream media outlets were beginning to cover the story. Kessler was getting far more than his “fifteen minutes of fame”.
On September 19, 2013, the Borough Council met in a closed-door disciplinary proceeding, considering allegations that Kessler had improperly used a state-administered program to buy discounted tires for his personal vehicle, failed to submit required crime data, and made derogatory comments about borough officials. The decision was to fire Kessler (link).
On October 10, the Borough Council held a required public hearing. Kessler and attorney were present when one of his supporters “accidently” dropped a loaded pistol on the concrete floor, just inches away from where Kessler sat. The supporter was asked to leave and the meeting was “continued” (link).
On February 21, 2014, a final settlement was reached with regard to Kessler’s discharge. He would receive $30,000 over 11 months. He had been suspended without pay since August 1. He also agreed to withdraw his demand for a public hearing over his suspension and the borough would not challenge any attempt by Kessler to obtain unemployment compensation. Further, he agreed to not to have any contact with past and present Gilberton officials including the mayor, council members and their families, not to attend any borough meetings or comment in any manner on the settlement. Should he not abide by those terms, and return all borough equipment, Gilberton has the right to stop payments. He was also prohibited from any type of legal action related to his suspension and termination (link). The Council then voted to do away with a Borough Police Department (link).
Kessler’s new future
Due to the apparent lack of success with Kessler’s first venture into organizing patriots, the Constitution Security Force, on February 24, 2014, he announced that his new venture, III% BOG (Boots on the Ground) had already achieved membership in the thousands, in chapters around the country. He will “vet” all members, to assure that they are acceptable to the organization (or, perhaps, for other nefarious purposes).
In describing III% BOG, Kessler’s attorney says:
“Say there is some sort of a civil riot. Mr. Kessler’s group would not be part of the individuals who are promulgating the overthrow of government… He would be on the side of trying to assist government that there isn’t any kind of unruly behavior, the breaking of laws…”
During the events that occurred on the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, Ryan Payne and I were talking about the future of OMA (Operation Mutual Aid). OMA was the first real call to arms on behalf of the Ranch. At the time, OMA’s leadership consisted of two people, Ryan Payne and Jerry Bruckhart. The responders were a diverse assemblage of individuals from across the country.
Ryan had arranged to be liaison between the Bundy family and the militia. This was a necessary element in protecting Cliven Bundy from possible criminal charges (See The Bundy Affair – Answering the Most Common Question).
However, Jerry, back at home in Pennsylvania, had different ideas than Ryan, especially as to when the event was over, from the OMA standpoint. This, and other conflicts, demonstrated the need to overhaul the structure of OMA so that decisions could be made by a board, with a majority, rather than the conflicting 50/50.
OMD & BTFA
In June 2014, Ryan and Jerry came to terms on a breakup of OMA whereby Jerry would retain the name and would be supportive of a new organization that would be known as “Operation Mutual Defense” (OMD), more descriptive of the role it was intended to play in providing defense against overbearing governmental intrusions.
My role was to assist, as an advisor, though not a voting member, as my primary role is writing about events. I was also to be a media advisor, since in my over twenty years of experience, I have learned, well, how to use carefully written articles that can have an effect on even mainstream media’s presentation of stories.
We also determined that a sister organization needed to be created to deal with funding. If the government went after OMD, they could possibly confiscate any funds held by OMD. This would preclude any possibility of OMD providing financial assistance to those who participated in an OMD event.
We know well from the Bundy event that tens of thousands of dollars were raised, purportedly to support that cause, though very little was actually used to support the activities at the ranch.
Perhaps the largest organization, who claimed to have raised tens of thousands of dollars to support the effort, was Oathkeepers. However, with the exception of some direct support to members of Oathkeepers, there was nothing to demonstrate that any of the raised funds provided any necessary material support to the operation. Further, Oathkeepers has admitted that most of their membership is comprised of active and retired Law Enforcement Officers. That would explain why the “officer safety” aspect of law enforcement was applied when the Oathkeepers abandoned their mission to protect the Bundys when there was a threat of a drone strike at the ranch. (See The Bundy Affair – Oath Keepers vs. Militia – Part II).
To alleviate the confusion over the proper recipient of contributions, so that contributors would know that the proceeds would go where intended, without preference to “members”, rather to provide to all that responded to the call, a new organization was warranted. And, as many members of Oathkeepers had, based upon the failure of Oathkeepers as described in the above linked article, been more concerned with “officer safety”, it was determined that this new organization should be one that was based not on education, as Oathkeepers claims, rather, on being committed to the oath previously taken.
This led to the conception of “Bear True Faith and Allegiance…” (BTFA), based upon the wording within the oath one takes upon entry into military service. Anyone with any law enforcement experience would be excluded from membership, except when the advisory board saw fit, based upon demonstrable actions, to override the prohibition. It would also be open to any person who chose to take an oath, in the presence of a notary public, and provide the notarized certification of the oath to the board. This opened the door to many thousands of patriots who have not had military service, though believe in and are willing to Protect and Defend the Constitution against all Enemies, Foreign, and Domestic.
The BTFA would hold a primary responsibility to raise funds, secure them in a trust account, and distribute, as needed, to any OMD event, as well as other events that might warrant consideration. This would be the sister organization to complement OMD, and to provide the funding, which was lacking in Nevada.
Taken together, these two organizations were, potentially, a serious threat to the government going beyond its constitutional authority in undermining the rights of the People. It was anticipated that both would immediately come under government scrutiny.
The selection of potential members of the advisory board for both organizations was left to Ryan Payne.
My dealings with Kessler
One of Ryan’s choices for the OMD board was Chief Mark Kessler, based upon telephone conversations where Kessler provided verbal support and encouragement during the Bundy Affair. Kessler never did go to the ranch.
Kessler, having been invited to sit on the OMD board, while on a July 2, 2014, board conference call, suggested that Rick Light was bad and that he would have nothing to do with him. This was rather interesting in that Rick Light was a guest on Kessler’s radio show (59 min) on Guerilla Media, back on January 17, 2014. During the show, they both talked about not bad-mouthing fellow patriots and patted each other on the back.
I had asked what Kessler knew that proved that Rick Light was bad, and he said that he “just knew it.” So, in an effort to help him, and the others, understand why Rick Light was bad, I posted a link to the Committee of Safety Common Law Court Unanswered Indictment of Rick Light, so that they could see evidence of Light’s relationship with the FBI.
Unfortunately, it appears Kessler “knew” everything and refused to read anything that might challenge his beliefs. What I had posted was supportive of, and would have enhanced his understanding.
A series of emails going through the maillist for the OMD Advisory Board demonstrates the immaturity of Kessler, and his propensity to use name calling, poor language (potty-mouth) and grammar, and circuitous (private emails to me) that I forwarded to the board so that they could see his true character. What is not included, since I don’t record private phone calls, is the dozens of calls I received from Kessler, during this period, where he would throw out a couple of sentences, vulgar, accusatory, and baseless, and then hang up, just like a child prankster.
In the emails, you will note that some of the members, even after the display by Kessler, wanted him to remain on the board which would decide whether an event was worthy of a call up for patriots to participate, as they did at the Bundy Ranch. This brought question as to whether the board could function as it was intended to, since there was not a common mindset to go deep enough to make the kind of determinations it would have to make.
At this time, BTFA was still separate from OMD, though there were three members who sat on each board. Mike Frye was aware of the membership of each board. On July 29, he started a group PM on Facebook. The conversation included members of both boards, and, of course, Kessler.
A couple of years ago, Randy Mack, on You Have Tread On Me Radio (2 hr 18 min), did a radio show dispelling the nearly two-decade-old accusation, by Bill Cooper, that I was John Doe #4 in the Oklahoma City bombing. That information was readily available to anyone who chose to “investigate” the validity of Cooper’s allegation. Chief Kessler failed, in investigative skills. Even though he had my email address and phone number, he chose not to ask me about the accusations. Kessler failed in both interrogation and investigation skills.
The image of the conversation that occurred during this second Kessler tirade is shown, in its entirety, at the right (pdf of chat conversation). You can see that his character has not changed; however, it did have the effect of making ineffective all of the effort that went into bring some patriots together into both organizations — that would have surely been an objective that the government would want to see accomplished.
Some may question why all of this information is being presented. I have been active in the Patriot Community since Waco. In that time, I have had friends go to prison, and, in every case, except one, there has been an informant involved. That insight, and having had a friend that was offered a plea bargain, turned it down, and then provided me, against the government’s explicit instructions, a copy of the entire plea agreement (See Informants Amongst Us?), have, perhaps, provided me more insight into the workings of such activity than most (See Vortex – The threat that keeps us apart). It is to share that information so that, hopefully, many will be better informed and will raise questions, when such behavior becomes apparent in someone with whom they are associated.
Now, let’s proceed on to other activities of Chief Mark Kessler, again, to understand just how these infiltrators create a “presence”, so that they appear to be as much a patriot, or more so, than those hard workers who are doing what they are doing, with the best of intentions. It is those who really are doing that need to understand just how the operatives (informants, agents, etc.) work so that they can protect themselves and continue the good work that they do.
Kessler and the Southern Border
On July 7, 2014, Kessler expanded his now shattered groups (CSF and III% BOG) to include border operations. His first call out was in a Facebook posting (saved copy, if the page is taken down). This post, reads in part:
“Kessler here… we’re expecting to make contact and be engaged by heavily armed cartel escorts trucking dope into Arizona, Feel free to join if you want, but be prepared to get contacted by heavily armed cartel members with automatic weapons, & possible grenades… so I suggest those who live in az come to the front lines and assist in stopping the traffickers, murderes[sic], rapest[sic] from entering! Instead of bitching about it on social media.”
Well, perhaps he is just going to go to the border, where he has never been before. However, in talking with those I am aware of that have been actively working the border, there was no prior discussion or invitation for Kessler to come, especially under the circumstances outlined in that Facebook post.
In the years that those who have been protecting the border, there have been no grenades thrown, nor has there been any real contact with the cartels, though some of the people that they have made contact with may be cartel members. Most, however, are coyotes, drug runners, or illegal immigrants. Firefights have not erupted, though it seems as if Kessler wants to make that happen, or, it is false (amateurish) bravado, or, simply to entice people (of the wrong sort for border operations) to join him in his quest for fame and glory.
I have spoken with two leaders of border operations, one from Texas, the other from Arizona. Kessler contacted both, and both refused to extend the desired “invitation”, as they saw that he had no desire to learn how to run such operations, and determined that it would be dangerous to even have him in their Areas of Operation.
In a subsequent post, he says:
“This is why we need funding to get as many people to join our Arizona border Mission on July 19th, we can not wait anymore! this illegal invasion by Cartel controlled Mexican Military must stop , they are using hit and run tactics, straing[sic] out of guerilla war fair[sic] manuals, Border agents are on stand down orders from the Liar in Chief,
I can’t believe Americans are letting this happen right before their eyes and do nothing !!!! this it way out of control on JULY 19TH Pack your gear, weapons, ammo, first aid kits, MRE’s or canned food A lot of bottled water and roll out to rally point in sierra vista Arizona, if you can’t make this mission, please assist by donating, this mission is going to be longer then[sic] 5 days, we are asking for patriots to do rotations every week to re-leave current units that will be their[sic] from July 19th , as once said, ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country!
rally point in sierra vista,
The Windemere Hotel & Conference Center
2047 State Highway 92
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635”
So, now he is asking for funding, which would only take away from those sincere people that are actually doing something. He also expects that he can do in five days what others have spent years, to even put a dent in border crossings.
In yet another post:
“Anyone that has night vision monoculars or night vision scopes they want to donate towards the July 19th Arizona mission, we are in need of these items soft and hard body armor. if by chance their[sic] is a great American patriot out their[sic] that follows this situation on the border but wants to stay out of the lime light, and they have the ability to donate one of these thermal weapon scopes annonamusly[sic], it would be greatly appreciated, we are in need of gear like thermal scopes, night vision monoculars, night vision scopes, ammo, & MRE meals, soft & hardbody armor along with first aid kits , wet wipes & funding for gas and water. anyone willing to donate ammo we need the following for sidearms: 9mm, 40 cal, 45acp, for long guns we need 5.56 x 45mm, 223 caliber, 7.62 x 51mm, 308 caliber, 7.62 x 39mm, 5.45 x 39mm.”
He begins asking for high tech (expensive) equipment, and apparently has quite an arsenal in that he is asking for ammunition for 3 types of handguns and six types of rifles. Apparently, however, his entourage, when he arrived in Arizona consisted of himself and no more than 15 others.
After his trip, he reported:
“Learned a lot about how our border patrol protects our southern borders and that not everyone on the other side wants to jump the fence! They are perfectly happy living in their country! And not everyone is working for cartels! Not even the Mexican military.
‘I’m sure their [sic] are small pockets of military units assisting/working with cartels but not every single unit as it was portrayed to me and the crew with me!
‘I can say we were expecting to be attacked by heavily armed cartels and we drove 2500 miles to respond for assistance, willing to risk life and limb, not knowing what we were walking into, armed for an all out battle with drug smugglers… thank god[sic] that didn’t happen.”
From sources on the Arizona border, it appears that Kessler & Co. did go to the border, and spent no more than a few hours, at best. How he was able to determine the conditions, when those who have spent many months, or years, on the border to understand what those conditions are, is hard to say.
He also says that he was expecting to be attacked. And, even though that was his intention, from the earlier posting, he now thanks God that it didn’t happen.
This appears to be showmanship at its finest; Endeavor to present an appearance of knowledge of conditions, the willingness to initiate a fight, and the humility to thank God when that fight did not ensue.
Other reports I have received from those on the Arizona border indicate that local sheriffs and Border Patrol did pursue Kessler and his group in a helicopter. They were desperate to find him and “kick him out of town.” The local law enforcement people had developed reasonable working relationships with the militia units, and between what the militia units reported their opinions on Kessler to be, that of a loose cannon, and law enforcement’s own investigation, they wisely decided that he had to be removed from the area, as persona non grata.
In Texas, as in Arizona, many of the border protection groups are reluctant to have their names included in this article, and I honor those requests. However, K. C. Massey is willing to lend his name to what he has reported to me. In written communication, regarding his contact with Kessler:
“I was personally contacted by Mark Kessler on or about the first of September. He inquired about joining us at Camp LoneStar, situated on the Texas border near Brownsville. I exchanged several texts and telephone calls with Kessler. He was talking about wanting to “come kick wetback ass” and his attitude was not what I considered conducive to our mission on the border. I denied his request to join Camp LoneStar and he broke off communications with me.”
It is interesting to note that Kessler’s call to Massey was just a few days after the shooting event that eventually led to Massey’s arrest (See Camp Lone Star – The Arrest of K. C. Massey).
In a follow up conversation with Massey, he had been in contact with nearly all of the Texas border protection operations, and nobody seemed to want Kessler to visit their operations. They wanted to maintain distance from him, as well.
On December 2, 2014, Chief Mark Kessler came “out of the closet” as an FBI informant, or infiltrator. His exact status with the FBI is uncertain, though there is little doubt that he is cooperating with them to expose patriots to criminal prosecution, even to the point of entrapment.
He, at one point, claimed that he had gone to Langley, Virginia, to offer his services to the government. If true, it should be noted that Langley is where the CIA is located, and domestic involvement by the CIA is forbidden. However, it does appear that he did “hook up” with the FBI, though it is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
When Kessler started the CSF (Constitution Security Force), he had copies of all applications sent to him. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people gave pertinent information to Kessler, as they believed that as leader of this organization, Kessler would be a source of defense against government encroachment upon constitutional rights.
As explained previously, with the exception of obtaining copies of applications, Kessler did little more than simply solicit membership — he never really involved himself in the workings of CSF, nor did he propose a plan of action.
Due to lack of support from Kessler, some of the CSF groups simply dissolved, while others restructured themselves, often with minor name changes. The Georgia CSF renamed itself the “Georgia Security Force” (GSF) and adopted the “Soldier’s Code of Conduct”, the backbone Army personnel conduct, for decades.
- Article I
I am an American fighting man, fighting in the forces which guard our country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
- Article II
I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.
- Article III
If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
- Article IV
If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
- Article V
When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
- Article VI
I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.
Kessler’s next step was the seemingly more formidable organization, III% BOG (Boots on Ground), which had a more suggestive name, III% meaning those who will fight, and BOG, implying active duty in combat territory. Again, he obtained all applications, and did little to communicate or provide direction, except, when he saw potential groups or individuals that might be a bit more serious, with regard to acting in opposition to government activities (See The Other (not so) Thin Line). One of these was the XXX Minuteman Militia, based in Georgia, with supporters in other states.
Nearly every person who joined the III% BOG completed and sent to Kessler an application, sufficient in detail to positively identify hundreds, perhaps thousands, who joined his organization. The information requested is far more extensive than you would fill out for a job, and includes questions that are appropriate for psychological evaluation, or, profiling.
One of the key players in Georgia goes by the moniker “blood agent” (Source “BA” – as he asked to be referred to during our interview). He felt that Kessler could send people in his direction, as he and Kessler spoke frequently. In early 2014, Kessler appointed him national commander of all CSF groups. This was done since Kessler was more concerned with getting a reality TV show than working with the organization he had begun.
The Set Up
In January 2014, in online discussions, Williamson, Cannon, and Peace (the Trio) discussed preparations for a “guerilla warfare” operation targeting “TSA, DHS, non-emergency FEMA, road blocks, etc.” It is apparent, here, that the targets were government agencies acting in the capacity of a police state. Note that only “non-emergency FEMA” is mentioned, to exclude those portions of FEMA that actually provide assistance during disasters, rather than targeting patriots.
In early February 2014, a conversation took place in an online chat at the “Blood and Scorched Earth” Facebook (FB) page. Participating was an informant known as CHS-1 (TS), using the Thomas Short FB account, along with Cannon, using his own account, and Williamson, using his own account. A meeting was arranged to take place on February 5, in Memphis, Tennessee. TS advised that he might be late for the meeting, due to weather. Cannon advised that an “anonymous friend” would be providing funding.
On February 5, TS was not present for the meeting, so the Trio left and returned to Georgia, then arranged to get back with TS via another means of communication.
Note that the Affidavit shows that Cannon’s phone was traced through cell towers from Memphis, Tennessee to Rome, Georgia, on that date – be advised. Note, also, that Thomas Short was named in the Search Warrant to Facebook for records (April 1), though he was not named in the Criminal Complaint, filed on February 28. This would suggest that Thomas Short is CHS-1, or someone acting as Thomas Short was CHS-1. Thomas Short, from Pennsylvania, was mentioned by two of the people who were interviewed for this article.
Later that day, arrangements were made to utilize a free, secure, chat site, www.chatcrypt.com, to continue discussing the operation. That discussion was attended by TS, “Chief” (probably Kessler), and another, unnamed. Since Peace had requested the password, it was most likely him. The chats were captured for evidence.
Note that those interviewed for this article made clear that Kessler always wanted to be referred to as “Chief”.
The only reported conversation from that chat came from “Chief”:
“We will be using Guerrilla style warfare tactics. I have been arguing with myself on what level of violence or what level of damage is acceptable. I do not want to kill or injure fellow Americans. So, at least for the guys with me we will restrain the violence toward people and target infrastructure. Then respond to violence with reciprocal violence.”
“The group with me will move first mainly to make a point. I stand by what I say. The other groups should start within the next 24 – 48 hours in order to keep the operational tempo up so that when one unit is done another is hitting nonstop. As soon as we complete mission one, we will relocate and start mission 2 then 3, until all is done.”
“We will get a post up after we complete our mission, then you will know the clock is started.” (Possibly suggestive that a number of teams were ready to jump in and begin a revolution.)
The affidavit reports that Chief talked about training, attacking small targets first, and then escalating to larger targets. Chief then described infrastructures as government vehicles, buildings, power, and communication… “If we can get decent intelligence could be obtained on roadblocks or VIPR, etc, then we go after them with the understanding it would be violent.” (VIPR is a TSA acronym for Visual Intermodal Protection and Response.)
Note that advocacy of violence came from “Chief”, not from Peace. The Trio had discussed targeting “infrastructure” and “TSA, DHS, non-emergency FEMA, road blocks.” It also appears that “Chief” was in a position to speak for a national, rather than local, participation.
On February 6, in an online chat, TS and Williamson discussed the need for ammunition and explosives. TS agreed to check with his “contact” to see what he could do to provide the necessary supplies.
On February 8, in a recorded telephone conversation, TS and Peace discussed what supplies were needed. The affidavit does not provide insight into what the wish list was. The only specific item discussed was “a thermite charge to go through the engine block of an MRAP” (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle). In that same phone conversation, Peace asks, in addition to the thermite, for 12 pipe bombs.
Also on February 8, a new “confidential human source”, CHS-2, has an unrecorded conversation with Cannon. In that conversation, Cannon states that they wanted to “start the fight” with the government by strategically planning to sabotage power grids, transfer stations, and water treatment facilities, with the intention of forcing the government into declaring martial law. This would put the patriots on the offensive rather than the defensive.
On February 9, TS calls Peace and advises him that the items can be produced, though it will take a few days. The meeting, to secure the items, would be held in Tennessee.
On Tuesday, February 11, BA received a call from Cannon, informing him that the revolution was going to begin in a few days, explaining, also, what would be occurring. Cannon also asked for Kessler’s phone number, which BA gave to him. BA then called Kessler and gave him all of the information that Cannon had just given him. Kessler responded, “I’ll take care of it.” He did not query BA over any details, nor was there anything that would indicate that Kessler was not already privy to what was going on. BA is of the firm belief, after reading the affidavits, that the “Chief” is Kessler.
On Saturday, February 15, the FBI visited BA and questioned him about what he had told Kessler. The told him that their concern was “protecting innocent lives”. He complied and answered their questions. He has stated that he will never talk to the FBI again, and that he will keep any concerns that he has within the patriot community.
Note that this is the first time that “innocent lives” has come up in any of the discussions. Perhaps a “warm and Fuzzy” to induce BA to cooperate.
Also, on February 15, TS advised Cannon that the items requested were available. After some discussion, it was decided that the items would be delivered in Cartersville, Georgia. TS met the Trio in Cartersville and provided the two thermite grenades. TS then went back to retrieve the remaining items.
Then, in an FBI-led operation that included FBI SWAT and the police departments of Rome, Floyd County, and Bartow County, raided 22 Tumlin Drive, Cartersville, Georgia and arrested Terry Eugene Peace, 45, Brian Edward Cannon, 36, and Cory Robertson Williamson, 28, charging them with receiving unlicensed explosive devices.
Much of the information used in developing this article came from an “Affidavit For Search Warrant“, filed on April 1, 2014, to secure a warrant for Facebook to provide information from their data to verify the various chats, PMs and other information stored in their database. Be advised that anything you say, or do, on Facebook, is retained and will be made available to the government.
Additional information was obtained from an Affidavit attached to the “Criminal Complaint“, also filed on April 1. It is rather interesting that the Affidavits were filed over a month after the arrests. Normally, a Criminal Complaint is the basis for the Arrest Warrant.
Other sources, who have asked for confidentiality, have provided information to fill in some of the details regarding Kessler’s escapades as an infiltrator, or, more likely, a provocateur.
Fox News Network’s Alan Colmes had a special guest on Tuesday, December 2, 2014. As so often happens on television, the guest was “coming out of the closet”, though this had nothing to do with sexual orientation.
The guest, Chief Mark Kessler, formerly chief of the Borough of Gilberton, Pennsylvania Police Department, explained why he got into going after patriots, apparently with a total disregard for the intention of the Second Amendment.
Here is an audio of the entire Colmes/Kessler interview.
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Following are some excerpts from that interview:
COLMES: And you used these videos as not an expression of your own views, but as a way to get other people to respond?
KESSLER: Correct. We used them as a tool, and they worked overwhelmingly.
COLMES: Why wouldn’t your police force, since they are also a government agency, in Gilberton have been in on this so you wouldn’t have to lose your job?
KESSLER: I couldn’t tell anybody, I just couldn’t; it was complete deniability. I could not say a word to anyone about the operation. So again it was bigger than me. I seen an opportunity to advance my law enforcement career, and there was no way I was going to turn it down.
Observation: It seems that Kessler’s motivation was career oriented. Would this not be true, to some degree, for anybody in law enforcement?
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COLMES: Were you promised a job by somebody in the federal government to do this?
KESSLER: No, it was volunteer work.
COLMES: What was in it for you?
KESSLER: I got to save a lot of lives, I can tell you that. I got to do a lot of undercover work that I always longed to do at a national level, I mean, I don’t know any law enforcement officer… [that wouldn’t jump at the chance to do what I have done?]
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COLMES: Did it occur to you at the time that you would put your job in jeopardy, because you wouldn’t be regarded as a peace officer of all the residents of Gilberton?
KESSLER: Absolutely, but again, it was bigger than me. It was a lot bigger than me. I was given an opportunity of a lifetime to do work that I had always wanted to do, and I jumped on the opportunity. Unfortunately, it was volunteer work, because I was a law enforcement officer and you can’t get paid for that, but I got reimbursed for going different places.
Observation: This is the James Bond syndrome. Living in a fantasy world. However, Kessler was quite poor at what he did. If he had not come out of the closet, he may have had a career. Instead, he is out on both sides of the fence. He is no good to the feds, and, he is surely no good as a patriot.
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COLMES: How many people would you say came out of the woodwork, or how many groups came to you as a result of the bait that you threw out there?
KESSLER: Thousands and thousands and thousands; they have no idea…
COLMES: And what? You turned them over to the feds?
KESSLER: My job was to find out if they were dangerous or not. If they were a dangerous group or deemed a threat to society, well then, we took care of business.
Observation: Be advised that if you had contact with Kessler, there may still be a surprise in store for you, Prepare for it. Relocate any equipment he may have been aware of. Take precautions to protect yourself.
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COLMES: How is your name not attached to this? You don’t want to tell us what agencies, where you got this information, who you work for?
KESSLER: I was intel, I was strictly intelligence.
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COLMES: You also have a reality show, do you not, in production?
KESSLER: Well, it’s still in the works, but we didn’t sign yet; we signed to get one in the works, but we didn’t sign to actually get one started.
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COLMES: Where can the citizens go to see the results of this? Is there any place we can learn more about it?
KESSLER: My part is finished. I’m not at liberty, I can’t reveal which agencies…
COLMES: Will there to be a time when you will be able to reveal that?
KESSLER: Yes, I’m sure there will be, but right now, there are still pending investigations going on. I cannot reveal what’s going on…
Observation: There are still pending investigations. There is no telling how long that list is, or what may have been included in his reports. It is even possible that an exaggeration, on his part, might put someone at greater risk than their own circumstances warrant.
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COLMES: You don’t think the Left are a bunch of libtards?
KESSLER: No, that’s not my job as a law enforcement officer. That was specifically designed to attract groups of people that are extremists, sovereign citizens, insurrectionists, and it worked absolutely fantastic. Again I’m happy to say that we took down several plotted attacks that didn’t go through, we took down a group in Georgia. We took down a group in Texas.
COLMES: Can you name any of the groups you took down?
KESSLER: The Triple X Minutemen is one group.
COLMES: Triple X-Minutemen? Who are they?
KESSLER: They are from the Georgia area, and they were planning to blow up a federal building.
Observation: He has claimed that 53 people will go down. So far, we only have three that we know of. If anybody has information on the Texas group or others that have suffered the wrath of government because of Kessler, please advise the author of this article.
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By the evening of the interview, postings on the Internet, including Facebook, were being read or listened to. A hornet’s nest had been stirred up by Kessler, and it appears that he attempted to undo the damage he had brought upon himself when he posted, on his Facebook page, this comment (evening of December 3):
His coal miner background is apparent in both his grammar and word usage. However, his effort to distance himself from the truth failed, miserably, as the previous articles in this series clearly demonstrate.
There is little doubt that Kessler has “come out of the closet”, and though he tried to go back in, he has only managed to bring further discredit upon his name.