The Long Con By Brendan Kiley.
"The degree of surveillance and monitoring has been extremely expensive," the officer tells Rick, sounding equal parts intimidating and frustrated. "When you've gone to the QFC and Corsair and Tubs. Think over the last two years—everything you've done in private and on the streets, people you've talked to, what you've had in your possession, conversations, intentions, plans... I have to emphasize the level of surveillance we've run over the last two years. Tell us about all the drug deals in The Yard. You want me to tell you about the red cabinet where you keep the drugs? The cocaine? We have hundreds of hours of surveillance, wire, video..."
"That would seem to be an absurd waste of state financing and funding," Rick says. "And that actually scares me more than the charges... You guys aren't after anything bigger than this? This is it?"
Later, Rick asks them pointedly: "Didn't it, at some point in this investigation, get frustrating to discover that there's nothing?"
"We have enough to charge you with multiple crimes that could put you away for 30 to 40 years," the officer snaps back. Later, FBI agent Simmons says, "I hate to keep beating a dead horse, man, but we've been looking at you for a year at least."
"Well," Rick replies, "that must have been pretty unsatisfying for you."
The FBI agent doesn't answer.
The government was running a sting operation in Seattle where they ran and financed illegal 'after-hours' parties. Then, they busted anyone they could get charges on, and then tried to get them to talk about big ELF eco-terrorist-conspiracies in the US.
Here's the scary part ... how many people that they busted were tempted to make up fake lies about ELF plots to get the FBI off their back on the other charges? When places like East Germany have collapsed, the recovered files of the secret police are full of such stories.
Gee, if they were looking for terrorists in after-hours parties in Seattle, I guess its not a big surprise after all that it took them five years to find Osama's villa in Abbottabad. If the world's biggest terrorist is hiding in Abbottabad, isn't searching in Seattle just a bit off target? I was watching the classic movie "Major League" the other day, so I've got Bob Uecker's voice in my head saying "Juuuuust aaaaa Bit Outside" as the FBI counter-terrorism equivalent to Wild Thing Charlie Sheen bounces another fast ball off the backstop. I guess the FBI agents thought the coffee was better in Seattle. After all, who wants to be transferred to Abbottabad?
Simple career self interest of FBI agents mandates that they try to create terrorists in places that are good places to live and work for them and their families. If there aren't any terrorists in Seattle, then they risk being transferred to someplace like Pakistan where there really are terrorists. Good luck convincing the wifey that its good news that you are being transferred to Pakistan. Thus, better find some terrorists in Seattle.
The problem is, there seems to be a shortage of real terrorists in Seattle. After all, you haven't seen any video of planes crashing into the space needle-like building there, have ya?. So to get around that problem then I guess what you do is set up a fake speakeasy and just video small time gamblers and drug dealers and other hustlers. Then, you give them the choice of either spending the next 30 years in jail under our draconian sentencing laws in the nation that imprisons more of its people than anywhere else, or lying to help create some fake terrorists in Seattle where the schools are better and the wifey is happier than she would be in Abbottabad.
Meanwhile, Osama was only 6714 miles away, sitting in a villa, for five years, waiting for the US to come and make him a martyr. And waiting. And waiting ....
BTW, I'm a just old enough hippie to have talked to the older hippie activists from the 60's. The one basic rule that I've always heard about undercover FBI agents is this .... "The person who's trying to get you to go do something illegal is the FBI agent." Apparently, that rule is still true after all these years.