By Thomas Neuburger
I'd like to put a few ideas together and let you decide if they belong on the same page.
First, consider the video above, which details the way the FBI appears to have manufactured the "Widmer Kidnapping Plot." Turns out, the government may have engineered it almost by themselves, leading many to ask, if undercover FBI agents weren't encouraging and aiding the other participants, would the plot have occurred at all, or even been hatched?
Buzzfeed is the source for this story:
An examination of the case by BuzzFeed News also reveals that some of those informants, acting under the direction of the FBI, played a far larger role than has previously been reported. Working in secret, they did more than just passively observe and report on the actions of the suspects. Instead, they had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception. The extent of their involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them.
A longtime government informant from Wisconsin, for example, helped organize a series of meetings around the country where many of the alleged plotters first met one another and the earliest notions of a plan took root, some of those people say. The Wisconsin informant even paid for some hotel rooms and food as an incentive to get people to come.
The Iraq War vet, for his part, became so deeply enmeshed in a Michigan militant group that he rose to become its second-in-command, encouraging members to collaborate with other potential suspects and paying for their transportation to meetings. He prodded the alleged mastermind of the kidnapping plot to advance his plan, then baited the trap that led to the arrest. [emphasis added]
Second, you have to look really hard to find this story on non-rightwing news outlets. Do a simple search, for example, on "gretchen whitmer plot" and, at least as of this writing, mainly rightwing sources like the NY Post come up, with just a sprinkling of more mainstream sources like Mlive and Newsweek. Even (or especially) Wikipedia, a bastion of liberal rightthink these days, barely mentions it.
Third, none of this behavior by the FBI, or indeed any of our nation's national "security" forces, is new. Again I refer you to the video above, which does a good job of referencing this history.
Entrapment, especially of left-wing groups, but not only them, by government forces has a long long history in the U.S. In a recent piece, "FBI Using the Same Fear Tactic From the First War on Terror: Orchestrating its Own Terrorism Plots," Glenn Greenwald first details the inordinate love given to the story by the "liberal" media like MSNBC and CNN:
The [CNN] article ["Inside the plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer"] never once hinted at let alone described the highly active role of these informants and agents themselves in encouraging and designing the plot. Instead, it depicted these anti-government activists as leading one another — on their own — to commit what CNN called “treason in a quaint town.” The more honest headline for this CNN article would have been: “Inside the FBI's tale of the plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer.” But since CNN never questions the FBI — they employ their top agents and operatives once they leave the bureau in order to disseminate their propaganda — this is what the country got from The Most Trusted Name in News[.]"
Then he works back to George Bush's original "war on terror":
For anyone covering the FBI during the first War on Terror, none of this is new. So many of the supposed “terror plots” the FBI purported to disrupt over the last twenty years were — just like the Michigan plot — ones that were created and driven by, and would not have happened without, the FBI's own planning, funding and direction.
Just as they are doing now, the FBI used those plots to elevate fear levels and justify more domestic surveillance power and funding for the U.S. security state. While the targets then were typically young American Muslims with anti-government views rather than young right-wing white men with anti-government views, the tactics were identical.
The examples are far too numerous to count. As one illustrative example, in 2015, the FBI flamboyantly praised itself for arresting three Brooklyn men on charges of “attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq.” Then, as now, outlets such as The New York Times promoted the FBI's maximalist-fear-mongering version of events: “3 Brooklyn Men Accused of Plot to Aid ISIS’ Fight,” blared the headline.
But even that largely pro-FBI Times article raised the question of whether this plot was real or manufactured by the bureau[.] [emphasis added].
Check Greenwald's piece for full details on this and similar Bush era atrocities. They are many.
Fourth, even though federal agents are implicated in birthing or promoting many "terrorist" plots, both by the left and the right, it's the left in America that has become their go-to victim. In the words of many students of the civil rights era, for example, J. Edgar Hoover "waged war" against Martin Luther King. And its worth noting that the actual King assassination story has never been publicly resolved:
G-Men followed King everywhere, non-stop, including on the day he was assassinated (though they somehow failed to notice a sharpshooter in their midst).
The King family and others believe that the assassination was the result of a conspiracy involving the U.S. government, the mafia, and Memphis police, as alleged by Loyd Jowers in 1993. They believe that [James Earl] Ray was a scapegoat. In 1999, the family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Jowers for the sum of $10 million. During closing arguments, their attorney asked the jury to award damages of $100, to make the point that "it was not about the money". During the trial, both sides presented evidence alleging a government conspiracy. The accused government agencies could not defend themselves or respond because they were not named as defendants. Based on the evidence, the jury concluded that Jowers and others were "part of a conspiracy to kill King" and awarded the family $100. The allegations and the finding of the Memphis jury were later disputed by the United States Department of Justice in 2000 because of the lack of evidence.
The U.S. government almost certainly had a similar role in the murder of Malcolm X in 1965 (see "Deathbed Confession Reveals FBI and NYPD Responsible for Malcolm X Assassination"). As I wrote of that event, "The American security state commits murder in every other country in the world. Why would it stop at murder in its own?"
Fifth, consider the almost-certain-to-come collapse caused by climate change, a collapse whose beginnings are visible now and will almost certainly ramp up in earnest in the next twenty to thirty years — within the lives, in other words, of this generation.
Then consider that many people may believe it is necessary to "take matters into their own hands" (so to speak) to mitigate the worst of the crisis, because nothing else has worked.
People like these women:
Jessica Reznicek, an immensely strong & courageous Water Protector, was sentenced on Wednesday to 8 years in federal prison for her actions to stop #DAPL.
She said, “I am saddened to be preparing for prison...my spirit remains strong, however, as I feel held in love, support & prayer by so many near and far. Regardless of my sentence I am hopeful that movements to protect the water live on in the struggles against #Line3 and #MVP.”
The judge sided with Federal prosecutors and applied a domestic terrorism enhancement to Jessica’s case, saying it was necessary to discourage others from taking similar actions.
The enhancement increases Jessica’s sentence, but also has far reaching implications for broader social justice movements. This use of this enhancement interprets non-violent actions that challenge corporate profit as acts of terror against the government. [emphasis added]
The full story is here.
Finally, if you're a member of the pro-climate community (those who want to keep earth's climate within the current livability spectrum), and especially if you're an activist in that community, put this all together.
What will the government's almost certain response to your activism be?
To fight you from the outside, yes, using police, Pinkerton-like thuggery and the courts.
But will they also almost certainly fight you from within, using undercover agents and tactics like in the Whitmer "Kidnapping" plot (or indeed, in the Malcolm X assassination)?
Food for thought.