portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements united states

imperialism & war | police / legal

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.

homepage: homepage: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/06/341029.shtml

The Interview 14.Jun.2006 21:02


I can never understand those who voluntarily
submit to law enforcement "interviews".
Virtually 100% of the time, they are on a fishing expedition or
and are eager to have you implicate yourself or others.

If they had all the evidence they needed, you'd be in a cell,
with charges already having been brought against you.

Before you EVER decide to speak to them, ask yourself this simple question,
it's a very important question:
How will this interview (interrogation) benefit ME?

If you can't think of one reason, decline.
Say that you do not wish to make any statements.

They will, of course, claim that "this is your last chance",
"we're here to help you", "you can make this easier on yourself",
say they already have all the evidence they need, or someone's already implicated you.
They'll pull the old standby: good cop/bad cop - one cop's a bastard to you,
the other cop cares about you, comforts you, and reigns in the bastard cop.
You now have a "friend" you can confide in. A very old ploy, but it works again and again.
REMEMBER they can and will LIE. YOU can be put behind bars for lying to them.
So don't - Silence is golden.

Hang up the phone, close the door or walk away.

How many are in prison solely because they opened their mouths?

I would highly recommend those active in clandestine
groups thoroughly read training textbooks like
"Techniques of Interviewing for Law Enforcement Professionals"
and similar books and manuals. They're quite enlightening.

Knowledge is power.

show up with a LeCarre novel 14.Jun.2006 22:45


I doubt whether this advice is worth much to many people. If the fbi/cia wants you, they're going to get you, or ruin your life trying. They're everywhere they want to be, and in most cases, nowhere you could identify quickly enough to escape disater. Really, they're comprised of functional psychotics. The cloak and dagger games that blossom in the heightened paranoia of the surveillance world just happen exploit that functional psychosis very well.

The animal activist speaker....I read the repost from the earlier indy article....didn't sound like a dolt. The speaker seemed to be quite conscious of the superficiality of the bureau's explanation. The speaker seems to have proceeded, knowing what a bunch of cranks they were, with the idea that some information could be constructively revealed to the public, as has been done.

What a bunch of clowns. What can you say? I remember hearing somewhere along the way, that mormons were popular candidates for the bureau. No surprize there. Just being a mormon qualifies you as certifiable. Hoover or somebody dug those guys.

I don't care where the info comes from as long as its good. That of the animal activist seems to have something worth thinking about.

DON'T Talk to THEM!!! 14.Jun.2006 22:48

little red hen

Fredric raises an interesting point in that the animal rights activist who was flown out to D.C. for a chance to "educate" the FBI about animal issues, philospohy and intent, was extremely gullible (or worse).

Yes, individual FBI agents may be capable to sympathizing with the idea of animals lives being important (but it's unlikely).

To be asked to fly across the country to give a lecture on the subject would sound highly suspicious to most of us.

FBI utilize every tactic in the book to get more information about those they would like to investigate or arrest. ANY tiny piece of information could be useful in helping the pieces fit together. In her presentation, this woman animal activist probably unwittingly 'gave away the store'.

Best to not talk to them, or at the most deal with the FBI with extreme caution.

Don't be stupid and get seduced into thinking you can convert them.
Keep your comrades safe- don't talk!

[ 15.Jun.2006 00:15


"Yes, individual FBI agents may be capable to sympathizing with the idea of animals lives being important (but it's unlikely)."

It does not matter. If that person is sympathetic, they are still gonna arrest you when ordered to do so. They are still gonna tap your phone, read your emails and try to take you down. That is their job. That is the stated mission of the FBI.

There is nothing to gain by talking to the FBI. They use such things to their advantage. The person talking has no means to gain any advantage. It is a foolhardy thinking, self-arrogant really, to think that you can somehow gain more from them than they gain from you.

It is sheer stupidity to talk to them. If you want to talk, go to city councils, and neighborhood meetings. Talk to neighbors and friends, arrange local meetings with businesses. There are all sorts of places to go talk. The one place not to go is to the FBI.

John LeCarre 15.Jun.2006 09:32

Off Topic

It's hard to say how the fbi might respond to your carrying a LeCarre novel. If they've only read his novels, you might be welcom. But if they've read some of his essays or articles you might be branded as a seditionist.

He says, "America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War."


Their job is to take us out?... 15.Jun.2006 17:04


Our "job" is to "get taken out," to "get along, little doggie," to "step in line."
And you don't think that the American people will do that, will you, Comrade. Neither do I.
And you think that we're all created equal, don't you. So do I.
The spooks and such are the same as you and me, and they are trying to do something worthwhile with their lives. The only difference between us and them is that they imagine things and we don't. It would be too crushing psychologically for some of them to admit that they have been led down the rabbit hole, thinking they're a high-status hero, but some of them can and will see clearly.
Sure, there are enough of us that we don't need any of them on our side. But, those of them who have not lost their humanity are in a special position to rock the nation. Think of the impact of Cindy Sheehan---she was symbolically on "the other side" and look at how she reached the hearts and souls of America.
Plus, think how good it feels to be free. Think of how the truth sets us free. Do you want to deny that to a fellow human being?!?!?!
If we cannot even follow our own dictates, then what good are we? We are just dangerous, empty, machines, then.

"The spooks and such are the same as you and me" 15.Jun.2006 20:01


No, they are not the same as you and me. Well, maybe they are the same as you, whoever you are, but they sure as hell are not the same as me. You see, I have this thing called empathy. I can feel the pain of others and I care about how others feel. They don't. They are psychopaths (literally).

If one of them sees the light (which is highly unlikely), he or she can quit the FBI. However, anyone who is a member of the FBI, working for the FBI, a snitch for the FBI, or even paid entertainment for the FBI (see the post by the Animal rights activist who did tricks for the FBI), then that person is not one of us.

I also take issue with your contention that these FBI agents are in a position where they could shake the world. That's hogwash. They are prisoners of the FBI. If they speak out, they are nailed down, smeared, and ruined. Those within the FBI who speak out are reduced to dust and cannot shake the world.

Anyone who believes that a member of the FBI retains his or her humanity needs to look at studies of psychological experiments where ordinary people were made prison guards for a short while. They became monsters. Yes, some people just like us may join the FBI, but once they are a member, they are no longer like us. The hat they wear changes them.

Why are so many people posting here supporting the idea of talking to a bunch of heartless psychopaths who live and breathe putting free thinkers in prison? Oh, I forgot, the FBI posts here too.

There's a difference between 16.Jun.2006 12:29

Jody Paulson

not talking to the FBI and not giving them information that might end up compromising your aims and endangering your friends.

It's another thing altogether to deny them their humanity.

"It's another thing altogether to deny them their humanity." 16.Jun.2006 13:59


Considering the many murders committed by FBI agents, I find it easy to ACKNOWLEDGE their lack of humanity. There is more to being human than having 23 pairs of chromosomes, a specific body form, the ability to talk, and the ability to walk. One of things is empathy and it is something that FBI agents lack. I see no more reason to consider an FBI human than to consider a rock human.

A more appropriate Response 09.Jul.2006 09:02

would have been the following:

7 July 2006
Press Officer Turns Down FBI Offer to Speak at HQ in Quantico

Canoga Park, CA: Two weeks ago one of the North American Animal Liberation Press
Officers received an unsolicited offer by email from FBI Headquarters in Quantico,
Virginia to speak to a classroom full of "police executives".

As long as non-human animals continue to be oppressed, imprisoned, tortured and
murdered by humans for their personal pleasure and profit, the Press Office will
continue to support those brave warriors who risk their lives and freedom to fight
for animal liberation. And we certainly have no plans to educate state police
agencies on how to catch them.

The following reply was returned this week; the original request is reprinted below

July 4, 2006
Dear Mr. Bringuel:

While I appreciate your offer to speak to "police executives" from around the world
at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, I must decline to do so. My role as Press
Officer with the North American Animal Liberation Press Office is to explain and
support the liberation of animals who are imprisoned, tortured, exploited, and
murdered by the billions; the role of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other
state police agencies is to target, harass, imprison, or otherwise "neutralize"
those who break unjust laws that perpetuate the oppression and slaughter of
innocent, defenseless animals.

Because our goals are ideologically and diametrically opposed, there is no reason
to believe that any information I impart to your classes will be employed in any
manner other than to further your own illicit goals of suppression of liberation
activities. I have no intention of aiding and abetting your agency by providing
information and insights that might be used against activists.

I am aware that others from the animal rights/liberation movement have cooperated
with your agency, but I am not interested in doing so. As you are no doubt aware, I
have chosen in the past to speak to members of the U.S. Senate Environment and
Public Works Committee on the subject, but they constitute an elected body that
presumably can be educated to effect change that might benefit animals. Your agency
has goals pertaining only to the maintenance of the status quo (or - as you state
it so characteristically - the "social order") by quashing those who challenge
immoral and unjust laws.

Perhaps one day the state will recognize its obligation to stop the oppression of
non-human animals - not unlike governments that have been forced to recognize the
rights of various human groups in places like Algeria, South Africa, Viet Nam, and
here in the United States where black humans suffered (and continue to suffer) from
inhumane treatment by whites.

Some nations have stopped the most cruel practices of veal crates, chicken battery
cages, and cosmetic testing on animals - while others, like Barcelona, are
legislating rights for some non-human primates. Until that day when non-human
beings are afforded the right to be free of human domination, I will support those
who risk their freedom for the animals and will continue to educate the media about
why some activists decide to go underground to liberate animals and stop the
horrific crimes perpetrated daily - and with your express blessings - against


Jerry W. Vlasak, MD
Press Officer
North American Animal Liberation Press Office

"When a person places the proper value on freedom, there is nothing under the sun
that she will not do to acquire that freedom. Whenever you hear a person saying he
wants freedom, but in the next breath she is going to tell you what she won't do to
get it, or what he doesn't believe in doing in order to get it, he doesn't believe
in freedom. A person who believes in freedom will do anything under the sun to
acquire...or preserve his freedom."-- Malcolm X

Bringuel, Andrew wrote:

> Dr. Vlasak;
> My name is Andrew Bringuel and I am an instructor/researcher at the FBI Academy
at Quantico, Virginia. I teach a course that deals with understanding the motives
and tactics of activist groups/individuals and the governments response options.
The class is taught to police executives from the United States and around the
world through the FBIs National Academy program.
> The class studies both historical and contemporarily significant groups in order
to understand their motives and tactics. They also look at ways government can
respond to maintain social order while resolving conflict. The class is taught as
a graduate level course through a partnership between the FBI and University of
Virginia. I bring in different speakers representing many different world views.
I am looking to establish a speakers bureau so I have a ready group of available
speakers for future classes.
> I believe your insights as a leader in the animal rights community would be
beneficial for the students. I have hosted Anthony Nocella and Charlotte Laws.
Both provided valuable insight and felt the experience to be a positive one. I
dont have much of a budget for guest instructors but I can pay $600 for your
expenses and time. The block of instruction would be 2 hours and I am looking for
a speaker for the 2nd quarter of 2007 (February/March).
> Let me know if you are interested or if you have any questions.
> Thank you,
> Andy Bringuel
> 703 632-1927