Even a little power corrupts absolutely

It is a travesty when the lives of young people doing little more than trying to make a point are tossed aside in order to make the likes of federal prosecutors, FBI agents, state investigators, and the occasional mayor and governor feel like they have larger than average dick. Which is pretty much what happened in Saint Paul in relation to the RNC last year. Shame on them.

Eventually it had to come out in the trials for alleged crimes at the Republican National Convention(RNC) that the so called “anarchists” of the RNC Welcoming Committee were being influenced by provocateurs. Basically the worst that happened at the RNC was broken windows, slashed tires and one dropped sandbag. However, the worst alleged planned incident that was an alleged fire bombing by three people. The stories that are now coming out point to the leader of that group as Brandon Darby, paid by the FBI. Brandon had the strongest political activist background. Brandon was not a person just sitting in a meeting taking notes, he was a person teaching people in martial arts how to fight the police. Brandon was a leader! Informants don’t lead, provocateurs lead. Yet this provocateur is getting off scot-free and even being called a hero by the Powerline Republican blog. Brandon suckered two naive young people into doing acts that will put them in jail for a long time. David McKay and Bradley Crowder, from Austin, Texas are scheduled to go on trial in Minnesota on Jan. 26, and are facing a possible 30 years in jail if convicted on all counts.

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Comments

  1. #1 Jim Lippard
    January 11, 2009

    If Darby was acting as an agent of the government, then the defendants will have an entrapment defense. But if he wasn’t, then that defense is not available to them.

    It sounds like there’s a stronger case for prosecuting Darby than for defending McKay and Crowder. Being dumb and gullible is not a defense to going along with a plan for firebombing.

  2. #2 Phillip
    January 12, 2009

    I have known Brandon Darby for years and have the greatest respect for him and his years of activist work in groups such as Common Ground. I know that his decision to work with the FBI was made after a lot of thought and soul searching. It wasn’t made lightly, or to hurt the greater community of activists, it was made to stop a small contingent of violent people from carrying out potentially lethal activities at the RNC.

    A look at the facts shows that Brandon’s concerns were well founded. Over a period of months the group made riot shields by cutting up traffic barrels and driving deck screws through the plastic to serve as spikes. The group then drove across the country with a trailer containing 35 of the spiked shields plus baton and helmets. I don’t think anyone can say that spiked shields, batons and helmets are the tools of peaceful protest. After the trailer of goodies was confiscated, two of the group purchased the materials for, and assembled, a number of gasoline filled firebombs. The eight firebombs recovered weren’t ‘alleged’, or ‘hypothetical’, they were real. And they had the potential to injure or kill a number of people. These firebombs are what the ‘Texas 2′ were arrested for, not for exercising free speech. And, remember, one of the Texas 2 plead guilty this week to the charges against him.

    Many in the Austin activist community, including Lisa Fithian and Scott Crow, knew of the group’s plans to violently disrupt the RNC but they chose to stand idle and not prevent the violence. They are now trying to make Brandon the scapegoat rather than admit they should have done more to self-police the group.

    Brandon wasn’t the leader of the group, Crowder was. Brandon is a good person who made a tough choice because he could not stand by and let people get hurt.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    January 12, 2009

    I believe that Darby’s involvement with these Austin dudes AND his regular provision of info to the FBI predates any of the activities for which they are charged. Is that not true?

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    January 12, 2009

    BTW, here is Brandon Darby’s open letter, which should be read by anyone who wants to explore this issue.

    Open Letter

  5. #5 Pyre
    January 12, 2009

    Wikipedia: agent provocateur

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