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.
Chris Hill of the Three Percent Security Force has been working with Kessler to this day.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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” aka Chris Hill (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.