Civil Liberties

Portrait of a Provocateur


The Minneapolis City Pages last week presented an interesting, detailed profile of the local antiwar activist Karen Sullivan who was likely really an FBI provocateur and helped turn her buddies into the Feds back in September. Apparently, radicals need to be wary of new recruits who are suspiciously helpful and hardworking, and keep an eye out for unlikely lesbian couples.

I blogged about the raids on the antiwar activists that Sullivan spied on in an alleged terror investigation when they happened in September. Radley Balko the other day blogged on how the government thinks we might all be terrorists.

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  1. keep an eye out for unlikely lesbian couples

    Don’t need to tell me twice – this is a feature

    1. best movies ever

        1. Can anyone put together a Steve Smith rape joke for the above link? I’m fresh outta ideas.

  2. You know who else used informants and provocateurs?

    1. The French Resistance?

    2. KAOS?

    3. The Obama administration?

      1. *cough*

        No comment.

  3. Just the other day, I asked if the FBI was on the terror watch list; they certainly seem to feature prominently in all the terror plots I’ve heard about.

  4. The Philadelphia City Paper did an article like this back when there was a GOP convention in town. Two philly cops infiltrated some hippy group. Upon reflection, the protesters noted two odd things about the recruits: (1) they were the only ones who knew how to build anything (like puppets, signs, banners, etc); (2) when the rest of the protesters went to buy vegan gruel and tea for lunch, the “recruits” only wanted hoagies and yuengling.

    It was really hard being sympathetic to the hippies after reading that.

    1. I hate cops, but that’s still hysterical.

  5. When I clicked on the link and saw the pictures, it spoiled my fantasies of the movie version with Jessica Alba and Scarlette Johansson as the FBI agents lesbianing their way through the activists Kate Hudson and Charlize Theron.

    1. I like your version better.

    2. Well that does it, I’m not clicking on the link. Thanks for the warning.

    3. Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  6. OT: I’m not sure if this guy is giving his “CLAW” impression, but I love that T-shirt.

    1. It’s the CRAW!

      1. It’s sad to be old enough to get that reference, AND have useless shit like that cluttering my brain.

        But I laughed.

        1. +86

      2. Not “craw”, C?aw!

    2. I saw a news story about that meeting last night. It got pretty heated. Hopefully the SPD will get the message, especially with the DOJ (maybe) breathing down their necks.

      People are pissed, and rightfully so. The SPD is out of control.

      1. Got to keep the streets safe! There are whittlers and jay-walkers out there!

      2. I saw a news story about that meeting last night. It got pretty heated. Hopefully the SPD will get the message,

        The message I’m afraid they’ll get is “wait until he turns all the way around before killing him.”

        It’s all about procedure.

  7. This article is clearly just a part of the War on Cops.

  8. The terms terrorist and terrorism have been left undefined and vauge by police and lawmakers for a reason. If the War on Terror gives you unlimited power to do anything you want, then keeping these terms vauge allows them the greatest amount of power. After 9/11 and the Patriot Act, I recall hearing some sheriff call a group of kids who had been running around smashing mailboxes terrorists, and that they were terrorizing the neighborhood. Before the Patriot Act I wouldn’t have thought anything about that since it’s such a generic term, but after 9/11, hearing law enforcment using the term terrorist so broadly scares the crap out of me.

    1. They have to use the term “terrorism” very loosely, because it is pretty much impossible to have a generic definition for terrorism that doesn’t include actions routinely undertaken by governments.

  9. The article said the activists were worried about material support charges. Is here any indication about what they were doing or what evidence was found? This seems like an overboard LEO excursion, but I would hate to condemn them if these guys were terrorists. Again, that seems unlikely, just don’t want to jump the gun.

    1. Ofcourse with the way anyone the government doesn’t like can be labeled a terrorist, I guess talking to the wrong nonviolent dissident group can be considered supporting a terrorist group in our police state.

    2. At this point, giving a talk on non-violent civil disobediance to the wtong group can get you hit w/ a material support charge.

  10. Another old mantra of the State: if you don’t have a crime, create one.

    1. I’m surprised the agent didn’t offer to supply the explosives and training on how to use them.

      That’s how they did it with numerous Muslims and the Hutaree.

      1. Radicals need to read more history of radical groups. I think someone quipped back in the 1960s that you could always tell who the undercover agent was, because he was the one who kept trying to get you to blow up something.

        In retrospect, the FBI looked as shoddy as cops always do (remember the BATF agent “college students” at Waco who were in their 40s, wore gold watches, and couldn’t explain their class schedule?) and the protesters were as clueless as people usually are (I was reminded of a mid-20th-c. espionage case in which no one questioned why a low-paid military intelligence clerk suddenly started driving a new sports car). But I have to say, we usually do cut our friends a lot of slack.
        -Oddly expensive car? Surprising, but I guess her boss really is that cool.
        -Spends a lot of time “out of town”? Well, some people’s jobs are like that.
        -Shows up out of nowhere and gets super gung-ho? Hey, who wants to piss off an enthusiastic volunteer?
        and so forth.

    2. No man. No problem.

  11. Remember “Terry” and his “Libertarian militia”? I wanted to tell him “hey dumbass, don’t post from an IP at” – just to see what his response would be.

    1. I found the fact that he tried his shtick on a systematically on every libertarian or classical liberal site that I read and then dissappeared -never to be heard from again- after noone bit quite telling

  12. “I didn’t even think Daniela was a lesbian. But what can you say? You can’t say, ‘She’s an 8, you’re a 4, this doesn’t make sense.'”

    What the fuck is she talking about? Outside of porn pretty much EVERY lesbian couple consists of a 4 and an 8. Frankly, I would be more likely to think something’s up if they were BOTH attractive…

  13. The City Pages is a piece of shit rag with the objectivity of Rosie O’Donnel and the integity of Bernie Madoff.

  14. radicals need to be wary of new recruits who are suspiciously helpful and hardworking,

    So your bona fide radical is lazy and good for nothing, I take it?

    1. Yeah, most of the time.

    2. And clueless. On the level of, “Let’s put the portajohns over there by where we get water out of the river so they’ll be handy.”

    3. So your bona fide radical is lazy and good for nothing, I take it?

      Think “dj for a college radio station” level of reliability. That’s your target demographic.

  15. Lol:

    In early 2008, the members of Minneapolis’s Anti-War Committee were starting to plan their licensed protests against the upcoming Republican National Convention.

    “Licensed protest”. Tax us! Regulate us! Set us free!

  16. “We were pretty excited that here was this person who seemed pretty reliable,” Aby says.

    Yeah, my experience with most young lefty activists, reliability, showing up on time, let alone at all– very rare.

  17. Ok, I finished the whole linked article. Were the activists charged with anything? If you take the article at face value it was a bunch of protesters cutting out signs passing out leaflets. Where’s the terror connection that justified an FBI raid?

  18. If it were me, I could just see myself afterward, “Can we still be friends? What if I paid you to keep pretending to be that character?”

  19. I thought 100% of potential domestic terrorist violence was caused by right-leaning anti-something groups… shit, the SPLC and Keith Olbermann told us as much.

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