Eco-terrorism: FBI spends millions harassing artists and activists

  • Published on May 17th, 2011

Shocked, SHOCKED to discover there is gambling going on hereIn Seattle, The FBI and local cops spent millions of dollars infiltrating hang-outs for local artists and activists.

And most of the activity they ended up charging people with was stuff the undercover agent desperately encouraging them to do  – stuff they never would have done on their own.

Brendan Kiley at the Seattle alternative weekly, the Stranger, has done a long and scary report on the investigation that is worth reading in full.

Rick’s (un)American Cafe

It all centered around Rick Wilson, a nice guy who ran an after-hours club where bohemians would gather and talk about art and politics, drink, sometimes play a little cards.

Somehow the Seattle Police decided that it was a hotbed of eco-terrorism, and spent hundreds of thousands of man-hours investigating. In the end they arrested him for being the driver to a cocaine deal – a deal that was entirely set up by the police informant, and a deal that Rick had repeatedly told him he wanted nothing to do with. Again, something he NEVER would have done on his own.

Kiley describes the scene on the DVD of Rick’s post-arrest interrogation, as the officers try over and over to get him to give them information on terrorists, on drug dealers, on corrupt politicians – ANYTHING to make the investigation worth all that time and effort.

But there’s no “There” there…

And so it goes, for hours and hours on the grainy DVD, while Rick tries to figure out just how fucked he actually is. His interrogators, Rick later remembers, were unusually interested in environmental groups and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), which totally bewildered him. Here he was getting hauled in for trying to cover a friend, and the police want to talk about radical politics?

Years earlier, Rick had been the singer for a protest band called ¡Tchkung!, which toured to places like El Salvador and had ties to radical, revolutionary causes with an emphasis on indigenous rights. In the ¡Tchkung! song “Solidarity,” Rick sings: “Wealth and justice, great disparity/Stand together, answer the call/What we need is solidarity/Injury to one is an injury to all… What part of ‘fuck you’ didn’t you understand?/There ain’t no compromise, it ain’t your land!”

Rick points out that even if the FBI had gotten to him eight years earlier, when he was closer to that world, he wouldn’t have been much help. ELF operates in a fundamentally nonhierarchical, cell-based way so that nobody can flip anybody else whom he or she hasn’t directly worked with on an action. A person doesn’t join ELF with any kind of process or ceremony. A person commits an action (burning down a McMansion, spray-painting slogans on Weyerhaeuser headquarters, whatever) and then attributes that action to ELF (via a letter or graffiti), and boom—it’s an ELF action. But the FBI, despite years of experience, tries to investigate, infiltrate, and bring down the group like it’s an old-time mob.

“I wish I could say I was surprised,” says Seattle attorney Amanda Lee when I explain this years-long investigation and all the futile effort that went into it. Lee is familiar with this kind of case, having argued several entrapment and radical- environmentalist cases during her career, representing defendants from Operation Backfire (a notorious FBI investigation against people associated with ELF by putting the screws to a guy facing narcotics charges) and a detainee at Guantánamo Bay accused of being involved with the 9/11 hijacking. But, she says, the FBI keeps trying to hammer at ELF through whatever tangential, specious means it can, following weak leads that cost it—and taxpayers—much time and expense.

“FBI domestic terrorism investigations,” she says, “are frequently out of proportion to the danger of the crime involved.”

In the end, they charged a few guys with illegal gambling for their penny-ante card games, and nailed Rick, who was unlucky enough to have been talked into buying a few guns to send to Mexico’s Zapatista rebels years ago.

Not getting the real job done

And Kiley does a good job of linking this to the big picture.

Former Chicago Tribune reporter Will Potter, author of Green Is the New Red (just published by City Lights), says that after years of looking into these kinds of cases, he’s never figured out exactly why the FBI is doing this: “The best explanation I ever heard was from a former FBI agent. She said: ‘In the 1980s, it was drugs; in the ’90s, it was gangs; and post-9/11, the institutional focus of law enforcement is terrorism.'”

…”This has happened quite a bit,” Potter says. “I don’t mean to be too glib, but if it can’t find people committing so-called ecoterrorism, the FBI seems willing to create ecoterrorism and then arrest people for it…

For example?

“At the very top of my list is the Eric McDavid case out of California,” Potter says. After an FBI investigation of at least three years (from 2004 to 2007), during which McDavid developed a romantic attachment to “Anna,” the alter ego of an FBI agent, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for “conspiring to damage or destroy property by fire and an explosive.” Potter describes the sentence as “mind-bogglingly insane.”

“The guy didn’t do anything,” he says. “At the worst, he hung around with a group of people who talked tough. In court, Anna actually complained that the group spent too much time hanging around and smoking pot.” All the while, Anna was on the FBI payroll and was “supplying the group with bomb-making materials and supplies and traveling around on the FBI’s dime.”

Protecting Americans from actual terrorists

And it’s not just lefty journalists and dirty hippies who have been objecting. It’s the Department of Justice, too.

The DOJ’s 95-page audit report from 2003 opens and closes with the inspector general basically saying that the FBI has been doing a crappy job of protecting American citizens from terrorism because it’s not good at sharing information with other agencies, and it’s been too busy busting the likes of vegans, hippies, artists, anarchists, and other low-risk dissident American subcultures.

From page 63 of the DOJ report: “Frequently, the information being shared on terrorism could be described as background; often the subject of the FBI’s communications is not the high risk of radical Islamic fundamentalist terrorism but social protests or the criminal activities of environmental or animal activists.”

On the 11th page of the report’s introduction, the DOJ suggests that the FBI concentrate on “actionable information on the high risk of international terrorism and any domestic terrorist activities aimed at creating mass casualties or destroying critical infrastructure, rather than information on social protests and domestic radicals’ criminal activities.”

In other words, the DOJ is telling the FBI to stop wasting its time with the vegans, the hippies, and the anarchists. They’re fine—people are allowed to be weird in America. Those people aren’t a threat, anyway. The FBI should spend its time looking for murder- minded international terrorists instead.

Read Kiley’s full, disturbing story at The Stranger.

(Shocking gambling picture by Andy Pixel, from The Stranger)

About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.
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  • loisfreeeh

    see link for full story
    CNN exclusive: FBI misconduct reveals sex, lies and videotape

    By Scott Zamost and Kyra Phillips, CNN Special Investigations Unit
    January 27, 2011

    Editor’s note: Some content in this report may be offensive to readers. For more on this CNN exclusive story, watch Kyra Phillips’ full report on “The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer” tonight starting at 5 p.m. ET.

    Washington (CNN) — An FBI employee shared confidential information with his girlfriend, who was a news reporter, then later threatened to release a sex tape the two had made.

    A supervisor watched pornographic videos in his office during work hours while “satisfying himself.”

    And an employee in a “leadership position” misused a government database to check on two friends who were exotic dancers and allowed them into an FBI office after hours.

    These are among confidential summaries of FBI disciplinary reports obtained by CNN, which describe misconduct by agency supervisors, agents and other employees over the last three years.

    Read the FBI documents obtained by CNN

    • loisfreeeh

      annotated bibliography

      Bari, Judi. TIMBER WARS. Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994.
      The F.B.I. attempted to stop the political activity of Judi Bari and Daryl Cherney by exploding a
      bomb under their car. Daryl Cherney and Judi Bari filed a Civil lawsuit
      against the FBI and Oakland police. A jury awarded them $4.4 million
      dollars in 2003. see

      Bowen Roger. INNOCENCE IS NOT ENOUGH: The Life and Death of Herbert Norman
      New York USA M.E. Sharpe Inc 1988
      Looks at FBI assassination of Herbert Norman, Canadian Ambassador to Egypt.

      Buitrago, Ann Mari. F.B.I. FILES. Grove Press, 1981.
      Covers the procedures for obtaining and interpreting your F.B.I. file.

      Burnham, David. ABOVE THE LAW. Scribner, 1996.
      Looks at secret deals and fixing of cases by the Justice Department for corporations.
      Burnham was the New York Times reporter who broke the story about New York City cop Serpico and Police corruption.
      He was the reporter on route to meet Karen Silkwood when she was found murdered. Read his other book A LAW UNTO ITSELF.
      It details how FBI agents collaborate with the IRS to target political activists.
      see his important website about the FBI

      Burnham, David A LAW UNTO ITSELF Vintage January 30, 1991 ISBN-10: 0679732837
      Exposes FBI agents using the IRS to cripple political activists.

      Buttino, Frank. A SPECIAL AGENT. William Morrow, 1993.
      Investigates F.B.I. attacks on gay FBI agents .
      This book is written by a FBI agent who is gay. It details how other FBI
      agents tormented him .

      Carson, Clayborne. MALCOLM X: THE F.B.I. FILE. Carroll & Graf, 1991.
      Looks at the evidence for the F.B.I. assassination of Malcolm X.

      Cashill,Jack, Sanders,James. FIRST STRIKE Thomas Nelson Press, 2003
      Overwhelming evidence presented by Dr. Cashill on the downing of TWA
      Flight 800 by a missle over Long Island and the ensuing cover-up by FBI
      agents.One of my favorite books. see their documentary about the same
      subject called SILENCED here

      Charns, Alexander. CLOAK AND GAVEL. University of Illinois Press. 1992.
      After reviewing thousands of pages of FBI documents the attorney author
      exposes the FBI illegal phone tapping of the Supreme Court and how the
      FBI fix court cases and work behind the scenes to get “their man”
      appointed to the Supreme Court. Written by a lawyer active in Human

      Churchill, Ward. AGENTS OF REPRESSION. South End Press, 1988.
      Professor Churchill gives first hand accounts of F.B.I. death squad
      activities. This book is a classic and is a must read along with THE

      Churchill, Ward. THE COINTELPRO PAPERS. South End Press, 1990.
      Explores how the F.B.I. disrupts legitimate political activities and engage in Death Squad activities.

      Criley, Richard. THE F.B.I. VS. THE FIRST AMENDMENT. First Amendment Foundation, 1990.
      Looks at the destruction of the First Amendment by the F.B.I.

      KENNEDY. McGraw-Hill, 1989.
      A must read book in understanding how the FBI has used the Mafia to carry out the assassination of President Kennedy.

      De Camp, John. THE FRANKLIN COVERUP. AWT Publishers, 1992.
      A former Republican state senator from Nebraska writes about a
      pedophile ring involved in the kidnaping, sexual torture and murder of
      children that went all the way to the Bush White House.
      Attorney DeCamp discusses the FBI role in the coverup of this case and
      the murder of a special prosecutor appointed to investigate the
      pedophile ring.This book will keep you awake at night and is an active
      barometer for evil indexing how the FBI crime family operates.

      Foundation, 1999. Examines FBI campaign of terror to undermine civil
      liberties. Attorney Dempsey worked for Congressman Don Edwards who was
      a former FBI agent.

      Diamond, Sigmund. COMPROMISED CAMPUS. Oxford University Press, 1992.
      Professor Diamond attempts to get F.B.I. files showing collaboration
      between F.B.I. agents and professors at universities from 1945-1955.
      The FBI created the Patriot Act , in part, because of this book.

      Donner, Frank. PROTECTORS OF PRIVILEGE. University of California Press, 1990.
      Looks at the death squad collaboration between local police and F.B.I. agents to stifle the Bill of Rights.

      Dwyer, James. TWO SECONDS UNDER THE WORLD. Diane publishers 1997.
      The most important book you will read on understanding FBI agents Floyd
      and Anticev creating the 1993 terrorist act at the World Trade Center.
      This book lays out in detail how the FBI engineered
      the 1993 World Trade Center explosion.

      Emerson, Steven and Brian Duffy. THE FALL OF PAN AM 103. G.B. Putnam’s Sons, 1990.
      Oliver Revell was the number 2 man at the F.B.I. until he was demoted
      by F.B.I. Director William Sessions to the Dallas Field Office. His son
      Chris Revell had tickets for
      Pan Am 103, but he changed his flight two days before the plane
      exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. See Ross Gelbspan’s book, BREAK-INS,
      DEATH THREATS AND THE FBI to get a fuller picture of Oliver Revell.

      Foerstel, Herbert. SURVEILLANCE IN THE STACKS. Greenwood Press, 1991.
      Looks at attempts by the F.B.I. to get librarians to spy on the American public .The FBI created the Library
      Clauses in the Patriot Act because of this book.

      Gallagher, Dorothy. ALL THE RIGHT ENEMIES. Penguin Books, 1988.
      The F.B.I. utilized the Mafia to carry out its executions against Presidents and political activists from 1930 through 2000.
      Carlos Tresca was one of their victims.

      Gelbspan, Ross. BREAK- INS, DEATH THREATS, AND THE F.B.I. South End Press, 1991.
      This Pulitzer Prize winning reporter formerly with the Boston Globe,
      details the F.B.I. death squad collaboration with the death squads in
      El Salvador and their attacks upon American groups opposed to those
      death squads.

      Glick, Brian. WAR AT HOME. South End Press, 1989.
      Attorney Glick details the F.B.I.’s covert war against political activists.

      House, 1998.
      Contains detailed evidence about the FBI alliance with the terrorist
      underworld, and how FBI agent provocateurs are behind many of the
      current bombings that have plagued the United States since the fall of
      the Berlin Wall. Some current thinking has FBI agents creating these
      acts to fill the void caused by the downfall of communism and replacing
      communism with the new boogeyman Islam.

      Hougan, Jim. SPOOKS. William Morrow, 1978.
      Important book detailing the life of former F.B.I. agent Robert Maheux
      and his relationship with the Mafia. Groundbreaking book in
      understanding FBI collaboration with the Mafia, using it to carry out
      assassinations on President Kennedy, Martin Luther King and others.
      Maheux was the liason between the Mafia and the FBI when the FBI assassinated President Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

      Kaiser, Marty . Odyssey of an Eavesdropper( My Life in electronic
      countermeasures and my battle against the FBI) W Carroll & Graf 2005
      Author exposes wiretapping crimes committed by FBI agents as well as
      Business Fraud. He built the wiretapping devices for FBI agents that
      were later used in crimes committed against people like Martin Luther
      King and public officials.After exposing FBI agents kickback schemes to
      Congress the author became a target of retaliation by tax payer funded
      FBI agents. see

      Keith, Jim. OK BOMB. Illuminate, 1996.
      Explores FBI coverup in the Oklahoma City bombing investigation.

      Kelly, John F. TAINTING EVIDENCE. The Free Press 1998. The book is
      based on testimony of FBI lab Whistleblower Dr. Frederick Whitehurst ,
      an employee of the FBI for 17 years. Shows how bad the FBI Lab is run.
      Dr. Whitehurst was the chemist who analyzed Timothy McVeigh’s clothes
      for traces of ammonium nitrate and was removed from the case when he
      did not find any bomb residue.

      Lehr, Dick & O’Neill, Gerard. BLACK MASS. Public Affairs, 2000.
      Looks at the FBI’s collaboration in Boston with the Mafia and Irish Mob
      between 1960 and 2001 in which they collaborated in the murder of 21
      women,children and men. Important book showing how the FBI uses the
      Mafia to commit political and other assassinations .see

      McGhee , Millie WHAT’S DONE IN THE DARK Allen Morris 2005
      The author is a afro american relative of FBI Director J Edgar Hoover
      who is successful in presenting evidence that FBI Director Hoover is part African-American
      and related to her.
      The book details the research conducted by Ms McGhee and how FBI agents tried to stop her from writing the book. Photographs show reunion of white and black relatives united by the research in this book. FBI Director J Edgar Hoover was the descendant of Mississippi slaves.

      Melanson, Phillip. THE MURKIN CONSPIRACY. Praeger, 1989.
      Professor Melanson looks at the F.B.I.’s role in the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      Melanson, Phillip. THE ROBERT KENNEDY ASSASSINATION. Shapolsky, 1991.
      Professor Melanson was in charge of the Robert Kennedy archives at the University of Massachusetts.
      He detailed the F.B.I.’s role as one of the principal architects in the assassination of Robert Kennedy.

      Messerschmidt, Jim. THE TRIAL OF LEONARD PELTIER. South End Press, 1983.
      Looks at the miscarriage of justice in the F.B.I.’s handling of the Leonard Peltier case.

      Oklahoma City Bombing Investigative Committee. THE FINAL REPORT.2001.
      The book providing evidence of FBI involvement in the Oklahoma City
      Bombing .

      Navasky, Victor. INVESTIGATING THE F.B.I. Doubleday, 1973.
      Contains material presented at a major conference at Princeton University in 1971 investigating
      crimes committed by the FBI.

      Neff, James. MOBBED UP. Dell Publishers 1988.
      Important book in understanding FBI collaboration with the Mafia
      especially how the Bureau uses the Mafia to carry out its political

      Nelson, Jack. THE F.B.I. AND THE BERRIGANS. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1972.
      Looks at F.B.I. death squad directed against Nobel Peace Prize nominee Phil Berrigan and his
      brother, Jesuit priest Daniel Berrigan.

      Doubleday, 2000.
      Provides supporting evidence for the idea of the F.B.I. as a death
      squad. Examines the F.B.I. acts of genocide against Afro-Americans .
      Looks at how FBI agents framed Geronimo Pratt, a Afro American Viet-nam
      vet who spent over 25 years in prison before a judge released him
      saying he was innocent and framed by FBI agents.
      Vermont filmaker has issued a 4 DVD collection of her films
      about the Black Panthers. She interviews retired FBI agent
      Wesley Swearingen who was part of the FBI Racial Squad in San Fransisco that put Pratt in prison see

      O’Reilly, Kenneth. RACIAL MATTERS. Free Press, 1989.
      Professor O’Reilly looks at a file called Racial Matters that the F.B.I. is keeping on Black America.

      Parenti, Michael. DIRTY TRUTHS. City Lights Books, 1996.
      Dr. Parenti looks at the evidence for F.B.I. involvement in the
      assassination of labor leader Walter Reuther while he was organizing
      protests against the Vietnam War. It includes the essay “Why the Left
      is Afraid to look at the Assassination of JFK” .

      Pepper, William. ORDERS TO KILL. Carroll and Graf, 1995.
      Attorney Pepper represented James Earl Ray in his bid for a new trial
      and won a landmark case in civil court in December 1999 for the Martin
      Luther King Jr. family. The jury in the case concluded hat the F.B.I.
      was involved in the assassination of King. His book details our
      government’s involvement and provides photographic evidence of the
      F.B.I.’s role in this assassination.

      Pepper,William. ACT OF STATE: THE EXECUTION OF MARTIN LUTHER KING Verso Press, 2003
      The evidence from the 1999 Civil Trial in Memphis brought by the King
      family in which the jury concluded FBI agents were principal architects
      in the assassination of Martin Luther King. Written by the trial
      attorney William Pepper.

      Powers, Richard Gid. SECRECY AND POWER. Free Press, 1987.
      A biography of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and his quest for power.

      Powers, Tyrone. EYES TO MY SOUL. Majority Press, 1996.
      Professor Powers an afro-american, talks about his 9 years working as
      an F.B.I. agent, and the racism in the FBI . Powers discusses the FBI
      FRUHMENSCHEN program set up in the 1920’s thru 2010 to target black
      politicians in sting operations without cause because the FBI feels
      blacks are incpable of governing. White agents tried to kill him when
      he was writing this book by blowing up his FBI issued car with him in

      Ranalli, Ralph. DEADLY ALLIANCE. Harper Torch, 2001
      Boston Globe reporter Ralph Rannali exposes FBI collaboration with the
      Boston Mafia from 1930-2009 where they ran a Murder Inc. President Bush
      asserted Executive Privilege in 2002 preventing
      Congress from seeing the Federal Prosecutor’s Investigative files on this case.

      Robbins, Natalie. ALIEN INK. William Morrow, 1992.
      Ms. Robbins acquired the F.B.I. files on the major writers and artists of the 20th century, and examines F.B.I. agents neutralizing them and their freedom of expression.

      Schultz, Bud and Ruth. IT DID HAPPEN HERE. University of California Press, 1989.
      Contains interviews with human rights activists who survived F.B.I. assassination attempts.

      Schultz, Bud and Ruth. THE PRICE OF DISSENT. University of California Press , 2001
      The sequel to IT DID HAPPEN HERE with more interviews with civil rights activists , union organizers and anti-war protestors who survived FBI assassination attempts and with family members of people who were murdered.

      Seymour, Sheri. COMMITTEE OF THE STATES. Self-published, 1989.
      The F.B.I. infiltrated the California Militia 10 years before the Oklahoma City bombing. The book illustrates how easy it was for the F.B.I. to infiltrate the group and get it to make bombs.
      Shows how easy it was for FBI agent provocteur to get Timothy McVeigh to make bomb and drive the truck. The exact same scenario
      occured in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. google floyd
      anticev salem

      Sharkey, Joe. ABOVE SUSPICION. Simon & Schuster, 1993.
      Looks at the F.B.I. coverup involving one of its own agents Mark Putnam, who murdered his informant after he got her pregnant.
      FBI agent Putnam was eventually sentenced to prison for their murder thanks to the dogged work of the Kentucky State Police.
      click link and scroll down to obituary of his wife.

      Suarez, Manuel. REQUIEM ON CERRO MARAVILLA. Waterfront Press, 1987.
      Looks at F.B.I. collaboration with local police in the arrest, handcuffing, and death squad execution of two teenagers in Puerto Rico.

      Summers, Anthony. OFFICIAL AND CONFIDENTIAL. G.B. Putnam and Sons, 1993.
      This is the book on which the PBS Frontline documentary on J. Edgar Hoover and his friendship with the Mafia is based. In my eyes, this PBS program was the turning point in the good fortune the FBI has enjoyed for over 80 years.

      Swearingen, Wesley. F.B.I. Secrets: An Agents Expose South End Press 1994
      Swearingen is a retired FBI agent currently living in the San Diego area who was a member
      of the FBI San Fransisco Office racial Squad.
      The FBI has Racial Squads in every major American City. The function of the FBI Racial Squad is to assassinate or neutralize
      black politicians and black activists who do not reflect the philosophy of American Corporations. Vermont filmaker Roz Payne has
      interviewed Swearingen and he is on her recently released 4 DVD about the Black Panthers see

      Swearingen,Wesley, To Kill a President: Finally – an Ex-FBI Agent Rips Aside the Veil of Secrecy that Killed JFK 2006
      According to Swearingen, Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in assassinating Kennedy as was claimed by the FBI, the Warren Commission and other investigating bodies. Instead, he argues that rogue CIA agents acting in concert with the mafia and certain Cuban exiles plotted to kill Kennedy. Swearingen contends that the conspiracy was covered up by the FBI, an effort that continues to this day through the agency’s unwillingness to disclose key details about the events surrounding Kennedy’s death. see

      Theoharis, Athan. THE F.B.I. Garland Publishers, 1994.
      Professor Theoharis has compiled a comprehensive listing of books and articles about the F.B.I. up to 1994.

      Thomas, Kenn. THE OCTOPUS. Feral House, 1996.
      Investigates the F.B.I.’s role in the killing of investigative reporter Danny Casolero while he was investigating the October Surprise.

      Turner, William. THE ASSASSINATION OF ROBERT KENNEDY. Thunder Mouth Press, 1993.
      Written by a former F.B.I. agent, it looks at the F.B.I.’s involvement in the assassination of Robert Kennedy.

      Turner, William. REARVIEW MIRROR foreword by Oliver Stone. Penmarin Books CA 2001.
      More updated information on FBI involvement in President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Assassination written by a former FBI agent.

      U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. WHO IS GUARDING THE GUARDIANS? A Report on Police
      Death Squad activities. 1981.

      Wiener, Jon. GIMME SOME TRUTH. University of California Press, 1999.
      Professor Wiener looks at the 14 year battle with the F.B.I. to get them to release their files on John Lennon.How many rock stars
      has the FBI assassinated?


      SILENCED Jack Cashill
      THE GREAT DECEPTION Barry Zwicker
      TRUTH&LIES 911 Mike Ruppert