By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “You’ve got to kind of wonder what kind of provocateurs were in their midst, what set these guys up to do stuff like this?”
I told reporter Judy Thomas of the Kansas City Star in response to questions about arrests in the Crusaders case.
“Every time these kinds of guys get in trouble, you’re talking about low-hanging fruit, you’re talking about people that talk to people they shouldn’t be talking to, making noises they shouldn’t be making. It’s just stupid.”
Thomas, who wrote a definitive “real” media report on the death of Mike Vanderboegh, also quoted New Mexico militia commander Bob Wright, who had joined me at his funeral in memorializing our friend. Note I linked to the Wichita Eagle site above because the original at the KC Star is behind a paywall (which I'm told you can access if you disable cookies, but that can create a whole ‘nother set of access issues).
I expanded on the “low-hanging fruit” observation and provided some cautions against entrapment in a recent Oath Keepers column. One of the dangers warned against — even if you exercise caution in personal conduct and associations — is if you're a member of a group, one loudmouth making bellicose comments (someone you may not even know if it's a large group) can put you all on the radar. And that someone may be an infiltrator or just a tiger-talking moron.
A Facebook friend reading my Oath Keepers piece asked why I don't give proper credit to undercover ops that cull such people from our midst. Do we not all benefit from excising cancers?
That could be the topic of another article, but not that one, written as a caution against finding yourself directly — or sometimes more insidiously, indirectly, a target of entrapment. Each of the groups I mentioned were infiltrated and egged on, in more than one case where the supplier of a “bomb” was a federal agent.
Remember that after all the hoopla, the Hutaree case ended up with three guys getting released after time served on gun charges. As for Malheur, particularly with the prosecution's one-sided “terror” allegations hinging on self-interested “CIs,” we need to keep in mind that the government routinely throws everything it has at the wall to see what sticks, and that as far back as the Bundy standoff in Nevada, the experienced and knowledgeable among us were warning against provocateurs. (Remember the heat Oath Keepers took when they'd seen and experienced enough? Now that up to 15 infiltrators have been pegged, do you see any of their armchair critics acknowledging they were right to disaffiliate after their counsel and support were rejected?)
So while it may turn out to be a good thing that some low-hanging fruit was picked (depending on the results of their trial and not forgetting a presumption of innocence), it's easy to get distracted. Especially considering how government, “progressive” and major media emphasis is focused on the patriot community while portraying imported Islamists as victims of intolerance.
The purpose of my piece was not to praise embedded assets — especially those performing “law enforcement” functions unsupported by the Constitution and/or principles of federalism, and thus properly the province of state law.
It was to caution those of us involved in virtual and meatspace activism, preparation and training to keep our wits and our morals about who and what we involve ourselves with.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.