July 26, 2021

"If it's true they are saying anti-government right-wing groups or domestic extremist groups are THE greatest threat to national security, which is what Biden and the intelligence community are saying..."

"... greater than ISIS or al Qaeda or China or Russia, why do they need to manufacture a plot — and put in people's heads — the idea let's go kidnap Governor Whitmer? There should be tons of plots that they are detecting? That leads to the question people on your network and others have asked to the horror of the liberal sector of the corporate media, which is: What did the FBI know about the planning of the January 6 attack? How embedded were they in these groups? Because what happens is when these kinds of attacks happen, the FBI and the security state seize on them to say See? there are grave dangers, we need more money, more power, more surveillance authorities in order to keep you safe. And so if they are the ones driving it, it leads to the question of what those motives are."

Says Glenn Greenwald talking to Fox New's Jesse Watters. Video at Real Clear Politics, with a transcript that I've touched up based on the video.


Ann Althouse said...

Temujin writes:

"Our entire DoJ and State Departments seem to look at us as the enemy these days. And by us, I mean the rank and file citizenry of this country. The FBI is particularly clumsy, and in some instances, criminal at doing their job, but they can be because they have massive cheerleaders via the corporate media. They cover for them, prop them up- even when it is clear the FBI has broken the law and appears to be fully corrupt.

"These days I'm constantly reminded of a phrase I used to hear more decades ago. Today it seems more relevant than ever: Who's going to protect us from our protectors? When they insist they need more surveillance powers, more security measures to keep the 'evil' at bay, and when they are the ones who get to define who the 'evil' is, then who is truly secure? And if you think you're immune, then you don't know history."

Ann Althouse said...

Bart writes:

"For "domestic terrorism", just as with "racism" and the "gun problem" demand for such things vastly exceeds actual supply, so the incidents must be manufactured as assorted false flag operation, entrapment, hyperbolic intensity, and outright alteration, distortion, and erasure of the genuine facts.

"Every bit of it directed at decent and law-abiding white folks, usually males."

Ann Althouse said...

Washington Blogger writes:

"If the government does not want its people to lose trust in it, maybe it should stop doing things that violate that trust.

"I keep thinking of a quote attributed to James Madison.

""All power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people. That government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty and the right of acquiring property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their government whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purpose of its institution."

"If the government Isn't operating as described above, then I suppose it should be concerned about its citizens. Maybe one day they will be the threat the government thinks they are today."

Ann Althouse said...

b writes:

"Consider another line of thought: perhaps anti-government, right-wing groups are the greatest threat. Given the incredibly miniscule actual (as opposed to psychological) damage done by such groups this is great news! Al Qaeda, China, Russia reduced to the threats presented by bumbling angry old white guys trading fantasies on social media.

"Sounds like we can safely defund most or all of the CIA/NSA and reduce the FBI back to its pre-2001 size/responsibilities. Oh, and let’s cancel the TSA too.

"Think what we could do for the children with all that money…."

Ann Althouse said...

Joe writes:

"It's not just that they may be instigating events to 'solve' crime, it's a bigger deal I think to be seen as the enforcement agency of the Democrat party. It doesn't help that these 'super secret' agencies work hand-in-glove with favored media outlets to leak information on a daily basis. And when an Inspector General's report points out wrong-doing within these agencies, the perpetrators are either not punished, or are allowed to retire with giant pensions intact, and in some cases lucrative consulting gigs on left-leaning news networks."

Ann Althouse said...

J writes:

"FBI corruption:

"Random thoughts:

"Is it any wonder the corrupt machine want to find a way to eliminate Fox news and in particular – Tucker Carlson? Tucker is one of only a few honest journalists these days. Is it any wonder the corrupt machine are spying on Tucker? No wonder.
Is it any wonder the left want to censor, silence, humiliate, and lie about & imprison their non-supporters? These are the same creeps who built the Russia Russia lie. We are all terrorists unless we support Potemkin Joe and his corrupt family and his corrupt puppet-masters. Democrat elite remind me of every leftwing dictator around the globe. The Pelosi-Biden-Clinton nexus of insider corruption – and all of the highly paid lackies who surround them. + state run corporate media complex who run interference and act as a propaganda machine on the corrupt left’s behalf.
Pelosi family wealth rivals Castro family wealth. Ill-gotten.

"Most of the folks who showed up at the rally for Trump on Jan 6th – normal law abiding citizens. Many people who attended the rally – did not venture into the Capitol. And video (now taken down) showed very clearly that people were allowed to casually walk in. The only broken glass probably busted out by a guy named NAME DELETED. Who was paraded around the media like a hero. Was the FBI in the crowd? Were Antifa provocateurs in the crowd – I’d bet on it. Certainly a strong possibility.
Yes – there are idiots who support Trump – delusional types who blindly adore Trump. Yes – there are normal people who support Trump. It’s not illegal to be either. Not one of the INSURECTIONISTS! HAD A GUN. That’s odd?
According to the corrupt leftist machine - ALL Trump supporters must be shamed and made to understand there are consequences to supporting an outsider.

"Meanwhile – Antifa thugs – the democrat party’s zit faced brownshirts – are allowed to cause as mush property damage and actual terror… etc… as they want."

I'll add:

Somebody just sent me the link to the video you might be referring to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5s_9ECm5_E

Ann Althouse said...

Bill writes:

As a newspaper copy editor, I read a number of articles about the FBI infiltrating and breaking up plots, and it always followed the same template:

1. FBI hears about disaffected group of men (particularly Arabic men after 9/11).

2. They send someone to join the group.

3. A plot forms, and their guy offers to get the explosives / weapons they otherwise wouldn't have gotten.

4. They meet to transfer explosives / weapons and all get arrested.

In every case, it was the FBI who played a pivotal role in the conspiracy. The defendants, given a choice between a one prison term and a longer prison term, opt to plead guilty.

It would be fascinating to watch an attorney wanting to make a name for himself take on a case like this and let a jury decide. Risky, too, no doubt.

Ann Althouse said...

Jack writes:

"In September/October 2019, the FBI obtained Hunter Biden’s laptop from the computer store owner where the laptop went unclaimed. Purportedly, the FBI was investigating Hunter for money laundering and unregistered lobbying for foreign countries. Their investigation was stopped so it would not hurt Joe Biden’s presidential run. In October 2020, the FBI visited Mark Zuckerberg and told him to restrict access to posted contents from the Biden laptop because they may be Russian disinformation. Yet a UK newspaper validated the contents of the laptop simply by using public records from the Secret Service on Hunter’s travel. The FBI is not incompetent - they are corrupt operatives of the Democrat party. The next time a Republican president comes to office, there needs to be massive firings and new laws governing FBI policies, procedures and practices. Think Church Commission scale. Take no prisoners. Our democracy is at stake."

Ann Althouse said...

Lloyd writes:

"In a way the security state has been the same since the 60s. They will violate privacy and break the law if they somehow deem it necessary. They spied on MLK Jr. along with the Black Panthers and Weatherpeople. Now it seems more likely the targets will be on the right. Presumably the federal agencies know which side their bread is buttered on. In the 60s there was still a lot of anti-Communism in Congress, among union leadership and so on. With today's worship of China and to some extent even the pathetic old Castro regime, things are different: the centre in Washington, if not the country, is further left. The Big Tech companies working with the media to silence dissent; that I'm pretty sure is new.

"Is there a change when it comes to competence? J. Edgar Hoover was never as competent as his reputation suggested. The Rosenberg case was dropped into his lap by the Brits, and he still screwed it up: frying Ethel based on no evidence, and completely missing the actual spy ring Julius led. The FBI never came within a million miles of finding Alger Hiss. Politicians made movie stars cry, and that was about it. There was a lot of confidence that most people had no reason to fear that they would be spied on. I would just say the Watergate hearings were models of competence, fairness, and professionalism, guided by a determination to find the truth. Lots of the people in Congress who were involved did not particularly want to find the President guilty, but they did their jobs. Every project Adam Schiff touches is a disgrace by comparison, and there is a sense that the security state, led by Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Mueller, and so on, cheers Schiff on more, the more disgraceful his work is. The pursuit of the lonely, to some extent damaged Jan. 6 people is an example."

Ann Althouse said...

JamesL writes:

"“Because what happens is when these kinds of attacks happen, the FBI and the security state seize on them to say See? there are grave dangers, we need more money, more power, more surveillance authorities in order to keep you safe.

"I would feel more safe if some people had been fired after the January 6th attack.

"By the way, what determines the difference between a demonstration and an attack?"

Ann Althouse said...

MikeR writes:

I understand Greenwald's point, but I'm conflicted. How does he expect the FBI to catch terrorists exactly? The FBI infiltrates them enough to get evidence against them; it's kinda impossible to do without playing along with what they're doing. They need trust.
As he pointed out in his article, there were cases where the judges stepped back and say, Whoa. These guys weren't going to do this crime except for you, period.
So it needs to be on a case-by-case basis, which I don't think Greenwald is doing. For him, the fact that the FBI had people in the group is all the evidence you need.
That said, it sure seems like an important datum. How many people exactly did they have in each of the major 1/6 groups? What were their roles exactly? Did they know what was going to happen? If they did, why did they let it happen? Don't they usually arrest people before they blow up the subway?

Ann Althouse said...


It's one thing to infiltrate, quite another to take the lead and move people toward violence that they were not already talking about.

Ann Althouse said...

gpm writes:

"A somewhat different concept, perhaps, but here's Juvenal from the 1st Century AD (or whatever they're calling it these days): Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Part of a dactylic hexameter (scan it for yourself!) and, literally, "Who will guard against the guards themselves." Referring to the guards of the women's quarter protecting the virtue of the inhabitants (Juvenal was quite the misogynist).

"I believe I wrote that phrase in large letters in a circular fashion on the first page of my constitutional law(!) exam along about 1977 or 1978. Class taught by Richard Parker. Don't remember anything else, but I got a decent grade."

Ann Althouse said...

MikeR writes:

""It's one thing to infiltrate, quite another to take the lead and move people toward violence that they were not already talking about."

"Yeah, that's what I was saying. But I don't think Greenwald is taking that into account. He had a few examples in his article of the FBI clearly pushing the crime forward, and a lot more examples where all we seem to know is that they had infiltrators. Michigan remains to be seen, sounds like it might have been one of the former type. 1/6 completely remains to be seen.

"But Greenwald's default is that there was entrapment."

I'll add:

This is the #1 thing I'd like the 1/6 committee to figure out.