Friday, July 3, 2009

If its July 4th, its time to think of traitors

How do you know it's a holiday? It's because I crawled out of the woodwork.

Anyway, something to consider from This American Life that was broadcast last month: Turncoats
Brandon Darby was a radical activist and one of the founders of the incredibly effective relief organization Common Ground. Michael May reports on how Darby changed from a revolutionary who wanted the overthrow of the U.S. government into an informant working with the FBI against his former radical allies.
The event in question is related to the RNC Welcoming Committee that was formed in opposition to the August 2008 Republican Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. One of the things that protest groups struggle with is the presence of police or federal provocateurs whom insinuate themselves undercover into the groups and then either provoke or initiate violent or destructive acts. The assumption is that the agents are working with the knowledge of their superiors or handlers. I think that's probably too clear cut - with the extreme personalities attracted to these roles or missions, how often do they go out on their own either to inflate their own self-importance or so they can be heroes and kick ass?

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