Wednesday, May 21, 2008

You will take my carrot when you...oh, nevermind

Have you heard about this?

The FBI is reportedly recruiting 'moles' to infiltrate protest groups in Minnesota in anticipation of the Republican National Convention there in September.

"What they were looking for...was an informant—someone to show up at 'vegan potlucks' throughout the Twin Cities and rub shoulders with RNC protestors, schmoozing his way into their inner circles, then reporting back to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership between multiple federal agencies and state and local law enforcement."

And then there's this:

The effort’s primary mission, according to the Minneapolis division’s website, is to “investigate terrorist acts carried out by groups or organizations which fall within the definition of terrorist groups as set forth in the current United States Attorney General Guidelines.”

Vegan potlucks? Are hotbeds of domestic terrorist activity?

Are they planning on tossing tofu into Lake Minnetonka a la the Boston Tea Party?
Now. I'm not a professional journalist. But I've had a bit of schooling/experience in this area.

So I am compelled to point out that the only source for this story is a student and admitted petty criminal named 'Paul Carroll', who didn't want his real named used in the City Pages article. Everyone else involved - the U of M Police Sgt. Erik Swanson who initially contacted Carroll and FBI Special Agent Maureen E. Mazzola - declined to comment for the story.

Between the peculiar vegan potluck reference and the mysterious Ms. Mazzola, this sounds like the makings of either a) a fabulous stir-fry dish or b) an excellent story for The Onion.

Don't get me wrong, I believe Bush & Co. are fully capable of something this ridiculous, but one flimsy story does not a conspiracy make.

I just think it's rather cute when typically rational, intelligent people take a tiny, poorly sourced story and turn it into the 'birth pangs of a police state'.

C'mon, people. Let's leave the hysteria to the right-wing creationist whack-jobs.
I am listening to: Jason Mraz - I'm Yours
I am reading: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko by Daniel H. Pink and Rob Ten Pas
And I am: Having a salad


Little Bald Bastard said...

PZM is a lot of great things, but a great journalist, he's not.

Thank you, on behalf of those of us who didn't have the time, for pointing out the shaky foundations of the story.

the dilf said...

1.)Sargeant Swanson?....I don't know about you people, but I'm telling you...Don't EVER trust ANYONE named Swanson!
Swanson in Norwegian means...trampy...left winging "libertarian"...oreo eatin...punk

Hedy said...

Dilf: You forgot large-breasted.