Buzzfeed dropped a shocking report on Tuesday indicating the FBI played “a far larger role” than was initially revealed in a highly publicized story about an alleged plot to kidnap Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The kidnapping plot had allegedly been discussed at a meeting in Ohio around June of last year, and plans were hatched straight through until October when six of the men were first arrested.
14 individuals overall have been arrested in the bizarre plot, with 13 pleading ‘not guilty.’
Federal investigators described several of the men taken into custody as ‘anti-government extremists’ who were angry over Whitmer’s strict COVID-19 policies, according to the Associated Press.
But a review of the case has reportedly determined the bureau and their informants did more than serve as bit players to the plot – they were instrumental in getting people to take action.
“The government has documented at least 12 confidential informants who assisted the sprawling investigation,” BuzzFeed writes.
That’s almost one FBI informant for every person charged in the plot.
The FBI has a long history of using informants to infiltrate dissident groups, with mixed results. Some informants have coerced innocent people and falsified evidence. But defendants who say they were entrapped almost always see that argument fail in court.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) July 20, 2021
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FBI’s Role In Plot To Kidnap Whitmer
The report reveals prosecutors collected thousands of social media posts, hundreds of thousands of text messages, and over 1,300 hours of recordings that supposedly prove those charged were guilty in attempting to carry out the plot.
The defendants, though, counter that they were victims of entrapment.
BuzzFeed’s reporting seems to suggest their accusations aren’t without merit.
“An examination of the case by BuzzFeed News also reveals that some of those informants, acting under the direction of the FBI, played a far larger role than has previously been reported,” they reveal.
This case has emerged as a critical test for how the Biden administration approaches the growing threat of anti-government extremists. More than that, it epitomizes the ideological divisions that have riven the country. Did the FBI stop the plot, or fabricate it?
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) July 20, 2021
“Working in secret, they did more than just passively observe and report on the actions of the suspects,” BuzzFeed writes.
The report goes on to allege that the FBI “had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception.”
Including offering to procure explosives for the group.
“For six months, the Iraq War vet had been wearing a wire, gathering hundreds of hours of recordings. He wasn’t the only one. A biker who had traveled from Wisconsin to join the group was another informant. The man who’d advised them on where to put the explosives — and offered to get them as much as the task would require — was an undercover FBI agent.”
They add, “The extent of their (the FBI’s) involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them.”
— Krystal Ball (@krystalball) July 20, 2021
Defendants Allege Entrapment
Fox News host Tucker Carlson extrapolated what is being alleged in the BuzzFeed report to the events at the Capitol on January 6th.
Buzzfeed makes a similar note in their reporting: “The audacious plot to kidnap a sitting governor — seen by many as a precursor to the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol by hundreds of Trump-supporting protesters — has become one of the most important domestic terrorism investigations in a generation.”
“The conspiracy in the end,” Carlson said, referencing the Whitmer case, “looks like there were more FBI – snitches, informants, people working with the FBI – involved in the plot than weren’t.”
“It was an FBI plot,” he insisted.
Tucker Carlson & @julie_kelly2 Discuss The Buzzfeed Report About The FBI’s Involvement In The Governor Whitmer Plot & The Striking Similarities It Has To January 6th
Tucker: “So what does this suggest about January 6th, before you dismiss it as a ‘conspiracy theory?'” pic.twitter.com/f7WCV3zIp6
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) July 22, 2021
Buzzfeed asks the pertinent question about the Whitmer plot:
“The extent of their involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them.
A longtime government informant from Wisconsin, for example, helped organize a series of meetings around the country where many of the alleged plotters first met one another and the earliest notions of a plan took root, some of those people say. The Wisconsin informant even paid for some hotel rooms and food as an incentive to get people to come.”
There has been no indication thus far that the FBI or any other law enforcement authority was involved in the planning or actions taken at the Capitol incident.
For Carlson and others, like progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald, the Whitmer episode has all the hallmarks of abuses during the height of the War on Terror.
Northwestern University’s Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology wrote about the FBI’s actions back in 2015.
Greenwald has also done extensive reporting on the FBI’s tactics.
Also in 2015, Greenwald asked, “Why Does the FBI Have to Manufacture its Own Plots if Terrorism and ISIS Are Such Grave Threats?”
The court cases for the Whitmer defendants should provide more answers about the true involvement of the FBI in the planning and execution of the plot.
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