No, don't talk with the FBI.
Cooperating with the FBI is a mistake -- more so when you don't have your attorney present at all times.
The URL above details a first-person account of an animal activist who was invited to speak at the FBI's primary headquarters. Without a doubt the speaker meant well but, if I may be annoying with an unsolicited opinion, is a bit gullible and I'd like to explain why as nicely and professionally as I can.
Rule of thumb: Don't cooperate with the FBI unless you're reporting a crime or working to assist in a crime you are certain has actually taken place. Even then have your attorney present at all times. Federal officers are trained to lie and they acquire experience in the classroom as well as on the job. As such, it would be foolish to consider anything and everything a Federal agent says as entirely factual.
The FBI's primary job is to acquire the funding it needs to exist, and any actual crime fighting is a much lower priority. To be sure politically hot issues and operations crop up often (bank robbing, murder, counterfeiting, kidnapping) however the justification of the agency's budgets and the justification of the agency's crimes are the agency's primary focus.
The FBI isn't alone in this phenomena. BATF, NSA, ONI, pick any law enforcement or intelligence agency known and unknown operating within the United States and Job #1 is the perpetuation of the agency, the agency's charter comes next.
Toward that end, the FBI's criminal activities and core criminal ideologies are enshrined. "Andy's" suggestion that agents don't commit crimes and have high ethical standards... Well we all know that's not entirely accurate or factual, don't we? FBI agents get fired if they expose crimes committed by fellow agents, or expose massive incompetence (such as the Arizona Memo wherein the FBI knew that Islamic extremists were acquiring flight training and deliberately did nothing about it.) The FBI doesn't fire fellow agents who commit crimes at the behest of their supervisors or even at the behest of their District Attorney's offices.
When the FBI invites someone to file a complaint, provide "background information," and to offer a formal speech such as this one, the stated motivations for doing so are going to be invariably false. The primary motivation is to further the FBI's justification for its existence, its budgets, and its violation of the laws of this nation.
If actual crimes have been committed, cooperating with the FBI might be legitimate; each case would have to stand on its own merits. Providing background like this -- well, in my opinion it's a gross mistake. The author was probably somewhat honored, feeling important to some degree by being asked to speak. The FBI counts on people's desire to feel important, and the FBI counts on people who cooperate under the guise of being able to "inform the opposition" in order to "maybe change a few minds."
A case in point:
There were a large number of denial of service attacks being conducted against a large number of computers located across the United States in an attack that became known as "sporgery" (which Google will turn up.)
I was part of the investigative and technical team that successfully acquired evidence pinpointing who some of the participants in the computer crimes were. Indeed, one individual working on the crimes had acquired a photocopy of a money order purchased at a postal office which was used to acquire computer access which was then used in the denial of service attacks. We even acquired videotape of one of the female individuals, taken in the course of her purchase of computer access.
At the same time those working on the crimes acquired cooperative assistance from the security and technical departments of the Internet Service Providers who were being attacked, acquiring minute but assertive log fragments of the telephone calls, names, addresses, telephone numbers, and other information about some of the individuals committing the crimes.
In the course of the investigation I'd asked a volunteer to conduct a few minutes of surveillance of a residence in Texas which yielded a link to organized crime via a vehicle driver with an invalid driving license. Numerous crimes were being committed and there were ancillary crimes being committed in the course of the computer attacks (purchasing a money order from a postal office under an assumed name for purposes of committing a crime is itself a felony.)
When a great deal of hard evidence was accumulated, I packed the information up in the rather infamous "green folder" (which was eventually stored in a bank vault and then disappeared without a trace) and went to a little known FBI Field Office in West Covina, California, after being invited by an FBI agent (whose name I will gladly divulge via email) who had been contacted by a friend of his who worked at one of the Internet Service Providers that had been attacked.
The FBI agent I met with was cold, distant, and virtually inhuman in her demeanor and behavior. Such agents are afforded detailed and somewhat rather lengthy training in human psychology as a matter of course, acquiring such skills for efforts to obtain information from people while training them never to divulge any of their own. The FBI asks the questions and the supplicant answers them. The FBI doesn't answer questions posted to them from, well, peons.
During the course of presenting the information, I was asked questions, all of which were designed not to take a look at the computer crimes that were being committed, and few of which actually addressed the pile of evidence that had been accumulated. Instead the FBI office was investigating my own criminal investigative efforts. They were investigating whether I myself was hacking into computer systems or otherwise inappropriately acquired technical and detailed information about the individuals who were committing the computer crimes.
I should underscore that: The FBI declined to even look at the individuals around the United States who were committing these denial of service attacks, using fake bank checks they'd printed, stolen credit cards, forged money orders, and cooperating nationally in a fairly small but dedicated conspiracy. Instead the FBI was solely interested in whether the individuals conducting the criminal investigations were themselves violating the privacy rights of the individuals committing the crimes.
That's the FBI. Or to be more accurate, that's the mindset of the agency. The paper and other evidence turned over without a doubt went into my own file and almost certainly the actual computer crimes that were being committed, nor any of the other more mundane crimes that were uncovered during my investigations were even looked over leave alone investigated.
When this speaker went to present background for the FBI at the behest of the agency, the probable motivation was not to "acquire mutual understanding" among FBI and animal activists. The FBI doesn't do "mutual understanding." They do budgets, funding, and self perpetuation. The higher probability is that the FBI was, as usual, fishing for ways to continue their unconstitutional and routinely criminal "Operation Backfire" which is rather indistinguishable from their older COINTELPRO.
As it stands, actual terrorism operating within the United States is extremely rare, and of that actual terrorism, almost all of it consists of right-wing extremists: white supremacists, Native American militants, Christian extremists, groups that fund their activities through bank robbing and other violence-prone crimes against people.
Some 80% of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) could be defunded and disbanded without any adverse impact on the agency's actual crime fighting and intelligence efforts. That's admittedly a strong statement however it's also undeniably true.
The JTTF lacks crimes to investigate and solve so the FBI justifies its continuation by pretending mundane crimes are "terrorism." At the same time actual violent criminals and organizations are simply infiltrated and "monitored" and allowed to continue (for reasons I suggest below.)
Animal activists and Earth activists don't constitute a threat to any actual people, nor do they constitute a threat against other animals. What they do pose a threat to are the economic bottom lines of a fairly small subset of Corporate America, the Berea of Land Management, and United States Forest Service.
Going after actual terrorists is risky, difficult, dangerous crime fighting, and politically it's difficult to raid widely known and well respected Christian ministers and priests, drag them from their pulpits, and stand them up in court to stand trial for fomenting murder, arson, and other RICO predicate acts. It's extremely difficult and dangerous to raid heavily armed white separatist groups and self-proclaimed "militia" Christian cults; people who have the desire and means of violent resistance when the FBI comes knocking.
When dealing with actual domestic terrorism, the aftermath of raids, arrests, and indictments are politically distasteful to the FBI and to the agency's District Attorneys. Political ramifications are widespread, few of which are favorable despite the fact that actual violent people are (however temporarily) removed from society.
Everyone remembers Waco and everyone remembers Ruby Ridge. Many of us remember Philadelphia and MOVE. Some of us remember the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the unsavory facts detailing the illegal activities committed by the FBI against the old Black Panthers Party. Going after actual dangerous groups and individuals is risky not only to life and limb but politically, and politics denotes budgets, funding, and continued employment -- not to mention advancements and demerits.
It's far easier and safer to proclaim tree-hugging, flower sniffing, moonlight dancing, politically and physically weak environmentalists and animal activists "domestic terrorists" and then make progressive, positive, and beneficial environment and animal activism equated to "terrorist acts."
The FBI proclaims that they're not interested in stifling or ending freedom of speech and freedom to assemble peacefully, nor (they state) are they interested in opposing people's Constitutional rights of picketing and protesting. We find such claims to be false.
The FBI and other Federal agencies routinely infiltrate and disorder such peaceful, law-abiding groups such as the Quakers, peace organizations, human rights groups and other progressive, left-leaning groups of people, none of which constitute an unlawful threat or hazard to anyone. We find that the FBI and other Federal agencies wiretap, bug, videotape, and all manor of other activities when targeting lawful groups and individuals, and that they do so without warrants, subpoenas, or court orders.
To be sure the arsons committed by environmental activists are serious crimes. To be sure the rescue of laboratory animals, the trespass and breaking and entering crimes committed to rescue those animals are serious. There's always the potential for the loss of human life in some of the criminal activities that such activists do beyond any doubt. But it's not "terrorism." These are mundane crimes elevated into the realm of fantasy by the FBI and the accompanying Bush regime solely because it sells well among the ignorant (which includes Senate funding committees and fellow governmental cohorts who mean well but are profoundly stupid and grossly ignorant.)
While I'm spewing unsolicited opinions, the speaker for this event might have considered declining the invitation to speak but might have demanded the right to sit in and observe as well as record the "seminar" instead. (The FBI would have declined, of course.) Another dupe would have been located, willing to stand up there and play the fool -- and if "fool" is too harsh a word, remember that I was fooled by the FBI during the computer crimes I was helping to investigate so certainly anyone can fall for what the FBI offers.
My opinions only and only my opinions.
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