How FBI Entrapment Is Inventing 'Terrorists' - and Letting Bad Guys Off the Hook By RICK PERLSTEIN at RollingStone
"The antiwar movement soon learned whom to be afraid of: people who don’t quite fit in, who always seemed ready to volunteer for anything (if you’re on the FBI payroll, you don’t need a job), people pressing violence when everyone else in the room preferred peace. In the 1972 "Camden 28" trial of Catholic left conspirators who tried to steal and destroy registration records from a local draft board, the star witness got his breaking-and-entering training from the FBI and swore in court that the accused never would have raided the building absent his leadership. Although the people the FBI preferred to recruit were the sort who had trouble keeping jobs anywayI heard a short version of this years ago ... "The person who is urging you to do something violent is the FBI agent in the room."
This is the advantage of non-violent protest. The movement and the people within the movement are the more strongly protected from such FBI targeted attempts to entrap them because a non-violent and peaceful and even generally law-abiding protest movement is automatically going to say no and no again to the FBI provocateurs.
And then, if the FBI break in and claim that home brewing equipment is really a plot to make molotov cocktails because you have empty beer bottles in your possession and because you bought gasoline while living in an urban society based on internal combustion engines, then it will be easier to make this look ridiculous if you have an open track record of non-violence and a willingness to stay within the laws as much as you can and still protest and act politically in a society where that is increasingly being made completely illegal.
And the sad thing is that while the FBI is entrapping dumb anarchists who think its cool to sit around and talk about acts of violence with an FBI provocateur wearing a mic, there really are people out there planning real violence. These are the people who gun down abortion doctors, or who plant bombs in parks during concerts at the Olympics. They are really out there. They are the groups like the people who blew up the Oklahoma City Federal Building. There really are domestic terrorists in our midst.
But when the FBI picks its targets for political means and not based on a real analysis of exactly how big a threat some people really are, then this is what you get. FBI agents in photo-ops with some sucker's home brewing kit, while the people who really want to shoot you or blow you up go about un-molested.
So, how do we change this? If we don't like this as the people who compose this society, then how do we change it? Well, elections are coming. We know this sort of FBI behavior stays exactly the same through Republican and Democrat Presidents and through Democrat and Republican Congresses. That is self-evident after the last 12 years or more. Thus you know a vote for either party is a vote for more and more of this misguided law enforcement. At this point, isn't it obvious that to get change you are going to have to vote for one of the other names and parties that are almost always on an American ballot.
And the good news for activists is that political campaigns are an excellent place to organize peacefully and non-violently and still pretty much legally. Think of a political campaign as essentially a long protest and series of events based around a central object of electing a certain person for elected office. What's the difference between a protest outside a Wall Street bank and a political candidate wanting to hold an event or rally outside a Wall Street bank? And if a city won't give you a permit to have your campaign rally, well now you have a message for your campaign about how they won't let you protest outside a Wall Street bank which should give you plenty of opportunities for you and your supporters to say why you want to protest outside the Wall Street bank.
So how about it ... how about we all get real political this year and try to see how much we can do as opposition campaigns to House, Senate and Presidential candidates all across this country?
Change comes suddenly. From the Soviet Union to Berlin to Cairo, we see it come when all of a sudden all the people realize that they can go out into the streets and demand change, that they can do so relatively safely because of the numbers, and that they can really affect change because of their great strength in numbers that they only then realize that they have.
In America, the Obama campaign of 2008 won because everyone heard the words Change and Hope and rallied to his side. It wasn't their fault he was lying. The lesson is that Americans are hungry for Change and Hope. A movement that provides even a hope of that Change and Hope could really catch fire in the America that still desperately needs some Change and Hope.
The warning signs are there. We saw what was essentially a controlled burn in 2008. But if anything four years of rule by the Democrats and Obama have only stacked the timber higher as nothing changed and there's even less hope and the only thing we got is the sure knowledge that the Democrats are liars. In 2011, we saw that dry brush spark and smolder with the Occupy movement. It certainly inspired quick and violent acts to make sure it was stomped out as thoroughly as they could.
The American landscape is ready for Change. What it needs is a movement that can convince Americans that they can achieve it. We know they want it. We know they are willing to vote for Change and Hope. We know they are willing to come out in numbers and volunteer and donate to a rising movement. What we need to do is to provide the opportunity. We don't even have to provide the movement. They'll do that when they come, and we'll need to be willing to let them do that then. We just need to provide the opportunity. The opportunity is starting up opposition, anti-war, anti-Wall Street political campaigns in every House, Senate and Presidential race in this country. Build it, and they will come. And then everything will change and be possible.