Has the FBI Launched a War of Entrapment Against the Occupy Movement?
Continued from previous page
Peskar says jobs weren’t the only thing Azir was hooking them up with. Baxter admitted to him that he was taking Adderall, a widely abused prescription stimulant. Peskar says, “Connor was also taking it, and mentioned, ‘I have a connect for Adderall.’ Both Wright and Baxter said the connection for the Adderall was Azir. I asked Baxter where he got it from, and he said ‘Doug’s boss.’”
The warehouse was also buzzing with rumors that something was afoot. One individual told me that someone asked him, “Did you hear that Doug is trying to blow up a bridge?” The individual said, “I literally laughed it off. I said Doug is a moron. He doesn’t know how to do anything like that.” Another person fingered Ryan as the source of the rumors. Ryan allegedly told them in early April, “The warehouse is going to get raided. There are people who are going to do something dangerous with explosives. It’s sitting at a house.”
I pointed out to the warehouse group that after such a dramatic incident like the arrest of the five on terrorism charges, there is a tendency to see everything that happened over the previous months in a paranoid light. Julia Boyd, who is active with Occupy Cleveland, says, “A lot of the detrimental effects of this is everyone is suspicious of everyone else.”
I suggested maybe Ryan is just crazy, not an FBI operative. One person got Ryan on the line and put him on speaker phone. After a minute of small talk, Ryan claimed someone they all knew had been arrested. Everyone was concerned this signaled a wider sweep of activists on terrorism charges. Except hours later I met up with the person in question who was never arrested and was adamant that Ryan is an FBI operative. I was able to find Ryan’s number and called him. A male answered who claimed he wasn’t Ryan and hung up after a minute. Subsequent attempts to contact Ryan by phone were unsuccessful.
It remains to be seen if Ryan is on the FBI payroll or just mentally unhinged, but lawyers told me that at minimum Ryan would be of interest for the defense lawyers for the five and it might be possible to determine if he is a paid agent. Another lawyer, who has been handling high-profile political cases like the Cleveland 5 for nearly 40 years, mentioned that in addition to the use of undercover agents and informants, the FBI employs "agent provocateurs" to infiltrate and discredit political movements, changing the name of programs to make it appear as if it has reformed its underhanded ways.
In the case of the five Chicago activists who have been swept up on terrorism charges, defense attorneys charge that two police informants nicknamed “Mo” and “Gloves” were the masterminds. In the post-9/11 era the FBI has up to 60,000 informants and spies around the United States, according to an expose by Mother Jones. The FBI cut its teeth as a repressive police force during the Red Scare after World War 1, raiding homes and deporting thousands of legal foreign-born radicals in the labor, anarchist and socialist movements. After World War II, the FBI destroyed thousands of lives and decimated the left during the McCarthy Era. The FBI famously spied on Martin Luther King, Jr., during the 1960s and at one point thousands of agents were devoted to disrupting and sabotaging the anti-Vietnam War, student and black liberation movements.
During the 1980s the FBI spied on Central American solidarity activists. Since Sept. 11 the FBI has snared hundreds of Muslim Americans in cases involving informants who supplied the ideas, motivation and means for a terrorist plot. In recent years the FBI has termed “animal rights and environmental extremists,” as well as anarchists as some of the main domestic terrorist threats. It has used infiltrators, most infamously one code-named Anna , to entrap environmental activists. In 2008, the FBI sent a snitch by the name of Brandon Darby on a fishing expedition, and he managed to cajole and push two Austin, Texas youth into agreeing to make Molotov cocktails at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. These were all political cases as are the two against the Cleveland 5 and the Chicago group.