How could a libertarian anarchist become a police informant, you ask? It’s quite simple really. According to the grapevine, a bright college-age libertarian lady studying in Philadelphia stands accused by Pennsylvania state police of selling drugs they don’t like to an undercover cop on seven occasions. She’s looking at seven [reportedly now thirteen (13)] felonies.
Faced with a disaster of these proportions, the young lady reportedly accepted an opportunity to expedite her release from jail (and possibly reduce her sentence) by going to work as an informant. Three people have been arrested as a result of her collaboration, I am told.
If you’d like to support these victims of her informant work and survivors of the war on (some) drugs, please donate whatever you can here. Every little bit helps.
Libertarians and anarchists around the country are denouncing her, as I’m sure you can imagine. Cups of righteous indignation from uninvolved third parties are running over right and left. “Just let her know that she failed as an anarchist,” opined one comfortable Facebook commenter. “God damned whore-swine. No empathy possesing [sic] Nazi monster,” roared another one. Luckily he was unhurt by the weight of his own irony.
Yet another anarchist went so far as to speak for the entire community saying, “Yeah we don’t fuck around when one of our own turns traitor.”
As sad as this situation is, it’s also rife with learning opportunities. Here are my takeaways: (1) This could happen to any of us; (2) Illegal activities and public activism are not compatible; and (3) The evolution will not happen like Atlas Shrugged or Alongside Night.
Prison is a different world – cold, concrete and alien. Your every move is watched and limited. You have no control over the air you breathe, the water you drink, the clothes you wear or the food you eat. It is literally unreal. And until you are in there, you can’t imagine what it is like or what you will do to recover your illusion of being in control of your own life.
The criticisms of the young lady amount to so much Casablanca-style “I’m shocked!”s. Here’s why:
- Our most prominent and admired leaders encourage us on a regular basis to engage in agorism (unsanctioned or illegal commerce) as a part of our activism.
- Some of us, including impressionable young people, actually follow their suggestion!
- When you engage in illegal activities, you become vulnerable to police oppression and manipulation (because they can hang prison time over your head).
- The police are an aggressive bunch and as such have ways to coerce you into doing what they want – kind of like when someone has a gun to your head.
Simply shocking that these circumstances would lead to a libertarian turning informant, right? Who could have imagined an agorist being targeted by the cops and pressured to do their bidding!?
The simple fact is that any one of us can be turned at any time by any sufficiently aggressive entity. We all have just one shot at life. None of us wants to rot (or worse) in prison. Many of us have families that depend on our continued economic and sentimental activities. We, more than the rest of the population, hold dear our day-to-day freedom. Pending court dates, felony charges, house arrest, lawyers and tracking bracelets wear harder on our psyches. This young lady got caught, but you could be next.
A Public Agorist is an Oxymoron
You can’t be a prominent and public anarchist activist and engage in illegal activities on a sustained and significant basis at the same time. The two roles just aren’t compatible in today’s political climate. As activists, we arouse resentment and a desire to hurt us. As agorists, we make ourselves vulnerable to being hurt under color of law. Choose one role or the other, but never both.
Your Life is Really Happening
We can’t expect to engage in risky behavior like drug dealing without having to suffer the state’s punishment sooner or later. This is not a philosophical novel. There is little glory in prison and you won’t be able to skip over the boring parts.
I find myself (and others) frequently living in the fantasy world of ideology. X should exist today so I’m going to live as if it already does. We should live our philosophies now – fully and completely. But we must also temper our idealism with real-world practicality. You can have a bigger impact on the outside than you can in prison.
Can She be Trusted?
One topic that’s being hotly debated is whether the young lady can ever be trusted again. This is not a yes/no question. It’s a sliding scale. And the answer may change over time. Given enough pressure, even the most militant of us can cave under state pressure. For example, if I had to choose between my son being in the hands of social workers or snitching on a friend, I can assure you that I would seriously consider snitching on you! So I’m not writing off the young lady. Nor am I looking to conduct any business with her either!
None of Our Lives Will Ever be the Same
“This isn’t a game,” lectured yet another critic of the young lady. “She got people who trusted her in deep, deep trouble. Their lives may very well never be the same again. That is NOT acceptable. That is despicable.”
None of our lives are the same. None of us are what we should or could be. And the reason is the cooperation and sanction we give to aggression (including the governments of the world). While we worry about possible prison time for a few, the planet is burning due to oppression and injustice. Our struggle is so much bigger than this – and none of us have clean hands.
Playing the blame game is what slaves do. To argue amongst ourselves whether it is the gunmaker’s fault or the soldier who pulled the trigger’s or the general who gave the order or the victim who failed to resist “enough” is a pointless circle jerk.
The government can and does make all kinds of people commit all kinds of self-destructive actions every single day. Who is to say you won’t fall victim too? Are you really qualified to throw the first stone?
If you want to live in a world where young libertarians don’t inform on their friends, set aside your judgment – and your illusions. Live liberty, and it’s counterpart, love. You can’t have one without the other. And you can’t love and judge at the same time. The power of aggression is limitless as long as we remain fearful little mice, scuttering in the shadows and covetous of the creature comforts we’ve managed to carve out for ourselves.
Other Blog Reactions
Tom Knapp: When the Comrade Beside You Falls …
David Zemens: It’s all fun and games until you’re faced with the difficult proposition of martyring yourself for a cause
Deanna Aeanad: In Response to “Everything” (or What Really Happened and Why I Have Made the Choices That I Have) (Facebook)
James Tuttle: C4SS and Stacy Litz
62 replies on “How a Libertarian became a Pennsylvania State Police Informant”
Excellent points as usual. There are already so many lessons in this saga, and it’s just begun. One additional takeaway: cooperation with the state will not protect you. “Just do what we say, for as long as we say, and things will go easier for you” is a crock. This lady’s cooperation has resulted in nothing but misery for all involved. I can’t imagine facing the state AND a rebellion from my community at the same time. Deals with the devil always backfire.
Hopefully, this will become a story of redemption, and a wake up call for many.
Thank you, George.
I don’t know much about the situation besides what you wrote and hope to never be such a predicament. But it sounds to me like the activist was at a genuine moral impasse, so I would consider her choice outside the realm of moral judgement.
Honestly, this is her own personal issue which I feel we should stay out of. She fucked up, sure, but which one of us hasn’t at some point in our lives? Let her learn her lessons herself. She’s a good person who made a few mistakes, but it’s not for any of us to judge.
Jim, nicely said and that’s an excellent point. They really can’t be trusted. Kind of like in Star Wars Episode 4 where Leia gives up the rebellion’s base but the Empire destroys Alderaan anyway.
Justin, I agree, under coercion it’s hard to quantify how responsible one is for one’s actions.
This couldn’t happen to any of us.
Plenty of people do the time when caught for the crime as that is the noble and just thing to do, not ratting out your friends who trusted you and destroying the lives of innocent and peaceful people.
But, thanks for coming out as a possible snitch.
To all reading, I would suggest no business or other affiliation with George Donnelly for your own safety and security.
I am the chapter leader for a Students for Sensible Drug Policy group right outside the city. I have close friends involved with the SSDP group at Drexel University, that this young woman you speak of started. Students for Sensible Drug policy is a grassroots student movement for a more harm reduction based and just drug policy in the United States. We are a group committed to ending the drug war. The three arrests that were made due to this young ladies information were members of SSDP themselves. It is, therefore, without a doubt that her actions were disgusting and absolutely hypocritical.
ALL THREE of the arrests that were made on her behalf REFUSED to give information to the police officers. They are now a student who may suffer expulsion, a temporarily homeless young man, and a young man forced to move out of the city. THEY CAN THROW ALL THE STONES THEY WANT. They did NOT become vulnerable to police oppression and manipulation – because they each had their own FIRM belief in putting an end to the drug war and NOT PERPETRATING IT LIKE SHE DID.
This young woman also perpetrated the Drug War through giving the police FALSE information. A hypocrite AND a liar in the name of her very own self interest. I am NOT shocked, and neither were the three young men who were arrested due to her selfish actions. Her tendencies were constantly more than self indulgent – whether it be having multiple boyfriends or frivolousness with designer drugs.
This woman is NOT a victim of the drug war. This woman is a victim of her own stupidity. She has made young men who were stripped from their beds victims. She deserves absolutely no remorse.
An Open letter to Stacy Litz, from A friend of Murray
Hi Stacy. I just read about your situation. It’s a very sad story. And a familiar one. I want to tell you about my friend who was in a similar situation. Let’s call him Murray. Murray was a drug dealer. He’s also a libertarian anarchist. Coincidence, huh?
He was at his house one fine afternoon when 40 or so imperial storm troopers hopped out of their APCs and kicked his door in. They arrested him and his room mate. The cops say they found a lot drugs, some guns, and a lot of money. Silver and FRNs. It was all taken by the cops, if any of it existed.
After systematically destroying the house and everything he owned, the pigs took Murray and his room mate to jail. They demanded each of them to ‘flip’. To snitch. To become and informant for the state.
His room mate passed the buck and played dumb, as planned. The pigs were very sure they had arrested someone big. Piggy told Murray they had his phone bugged. He knew that was not true, though. They did have his voice on tape. On tape with the snitch who sold him out. He heard the tape. They sold out their snitch in a heartbeat. Piggy used Murays phone to try to dig for info. They made calls, sent texts, replied to texts, etc.
Murray played dumb. You, see he couldn’t cough up anyone if he wanted to. He, like you, was an internet person. He didn’t use The Road, though. It’s not safe.
Murray devised a plan. He agreed to go get them a Big Fish. But, in order for him to do this, Murray and his room mate would need to be released. After much Verbal Kint hustle talk, Piggy agreed to cut them loose.
Once they were free, they knew what they had to do, although it broke their hearts. Like you, Murray had a lot going for him. The love of his life had to moved a thousand miles to be with him. He owned a successful agorist business that was more ‘legitimate’ than the alleged drug dealing. He was a student at a top-notch private university. He was in talks with a major publisher for a book deal.
He couldn’t go to jail, he knew that. So what did he do? He knew it would hurt a lot of people, but…
He ran. He left it all. Him and Roomy both. He left his family, his love, his business, everything. Everything.
His friends smuggled him out of the country. He ended up in a jungle thousands of miles away from the life he wanted and made. How did he do something so extreme? How could he bring himself to do such a thing?
Because his liberty and his soul are not for sale. Because he believes in the principles he professes. Because he lives them. Because it’s the only kind of life worth having. Because he could never to to anyone what was done to him. He especially couldn’t do that to his friends. He couldn’t do that. Could. Not. Because word is fucking bond, Stacy.
Murray is not a snitch. Murray’s not a co-operator. Murray, is an Enemy of the State.
I hope you see the fate that a ratfucking snitch deserves. I hope your friends all hate you, coward. I hope your family is forever disappointed and suspicious, liar. I hope you fail in every endeavor you undertake, loser. I hope you rot inside and die of heartbreak you fucking rat. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.
Sorry, I did time for major trafficking and didn’t tell. If you’re going to participate in illegal activity, you take risks. If you trade someone else’s freedom for your own because you cannot face the consequences of your actions, you are a very low form of scum known as a “snitch”. I don’t care what your circumstance is, but if you cannot accept the consequences, do not partake in illegal activities. Period.
And the tone I’m getting from this article and a couple of the comments is “poor girl”. Screw that. If we’re going to seriously push for equality of the sexes, all of this sympathy because she is a she is hypocritical and weak.
Barrence, amen Brother.
HELL YEAH, BARRENCE!
While I do feel terrible sympathy for someone whose naïveté first encounters harsh reality, the fact is that she had no principles to which she could adhere, other than her own self-gratification.
While anarchists, agorists, voluntaryists, libertarians, objectivists, et al. all agree that it’s moral to serve one’s own self interests, that has to a be a *rational* self interest. It’s irrational to believe that turning informant could ever actually serve your own self interests.
Randy Weaver, of Ruby Ridge, was approached by an informant. He turned him down at almost every turn. When he finally shortened a shotgun to (allegedly) sub-legal length, the feds then tried to turn him into an informant.
He refused. They killed his wife, his son, and his dog. They shot and wounded him and his close friend. He still never turned, even when he faced decades in prison.
I’ve known, professionally, thousands of people who faced that decision. I’ve seen more Stacys in prison, than Randy Weavers. And sadly, I’ve seen more who were hit with decades for being too lowly to have anyone to snitch on — that’s probably the worst aspect of the plea bargain lotto.
Marc, you are a wise man. You should definitely avoid association with someone who can be so easily compromised such as myself.
Genevieve, I hear you. I don’t actually want to make this a personal thing about the young lady, her character or her personality foibles. I can understand why the people closest to this would venture into those topics tho. I totally get it.
My focus is on making this a learning experience for the whole community.
The three victims of her informant work definitely deserve our admiration for their fortitude. We can learn a lot from them as well.
This seems reasonable on its face but is a bit flippant and cavalier in my opinion.
(1) Given the proliferation of laws in recent years, not everyone knows when they are engaging in illegal activities.
(2) Not everyone knows or can reliably predict exactly what the consequences are going to be because the state is often arbitrary and capricious in its actions.
Kevin, good points. At the same time, is it really fair to compare a college-age girl from a well-off suburb of Philadelphia to Randy Weaver? That’s almost like comparing Jar Jar Binks and Luke Skywalker.
yeah, way to further expose yourself as an ethically and intellectually anemic liability, George.
have fun telling yourself that an abject lack of principles could “happen to anybody”….
oh, and when *I* said “we don’t fuck around when one of our own turns traitor” I meant to that that those of us who understand how necessary it is to have and live by principles and actually adhere to the NAP, understandably balk when someone who claims to understand liberty directs SWAT teams to people’s houses for the sake of her own comfort.
sorry if that whole grouping of people with principles doesn’t include you…
Josh, how nice to hear from you. Have a great day!
Cheers to everyone here that has endured the physical and mental torture of the “justice system” and maintained your integrity. For everyone else, I hope you are never tested. I suspect many would fail.
Amen. And if you are tested and you do fail, don’t take it overly seriously. Come on back and share your experience so the rest of us can learn from you.
If you did not intend to make this a personal thing about Stacy, then you should not have written about and involved yourself in a matter that is personal for those whose lives are deeply effected by her hypocritical actions.
I wrote about this on a movement level, not a personal level. This is entirely possible to do and in fact I consider it very important work. It is quite important to learn both from our successes and our failures.
If it’s personal for you, that’s your decision. But that’s where it ends. It doesn’t make it personal for others just because you decided to make it personal for you. No one gets to make those kinds of decisions for others until or unless explicitly granted that kind of authority.
I’m about as personally involved in this matter as any journalist who gets involved in things he or she writes about, which is to say that I’m not. :)
Having gone through something similar when I was 17, and didn’t roll over, I can say she is a weak person.
I don’t need to know the details to say that she obviously valued her freedom more than she valued her friends freedom. Pure selfishness.
She took the police at their word. I even saw it on her long post “I found out that they did not have to include that information and fucked me over seemingly on purpose. They are total idiots at their job and they made a mockery out of the warrant. ”
The fact that she even trusted the police to begin with should show where her head was at.
And James, I have to disagree. I think most people in the liberty movement are principled enough to be responsible for their own actions. As they say “You do the crime, you do the time”.
As others have said, I’ll echo, you can’t be a liberty activist and a drug dealer.
(2) Illegal activities and public activism are not compatible;
“I think most people in the liberty movement are principled enough to be responsible for their own actions. As they say “You do the crime, you do the time”.”
I do not disagree with this statement. Trying to understand her failure is not the same as excusing it.
Yeah, Snitching is understandable. it’s always understandable to aggress against innocent people to save their own ass. We should encourage more of it! Seems like a great tactic for voluntaryist and agorist communities. Nothing helps to circumvent state power like snitching!!!
I choose to act as if there is a cop in the room when I engage with others, especially other anarchists. I won’t crucify the poor girl. She was up against something threatening and frightening.
I’d like it to be known that I am not in with this noise condemning her.
An anarchist drug dealer knows what they’re up against before they ever make a sale.
Of course you aren’t. You’ve never been on the receiving end of a snitch’s weakness. I have. It’s easy to be sympathetic when you are insulated from people like her. Not so easy when you spend nearly ten years locked up and have to spend the next five years after under the system’s thumb.
My PO has specifically told me I cannot protest or I go back to prison. It is hell having to sit on the sidelines because participation will result in being away from my daughter for another two or three years.
So, be sympathetic for weak people who cannot face the consequences of their actions and pawn them off on others.
I don’t think a failure to join the “You’re going to libertarian hell, you #$*^@#$” squad is the same thing as sympathizing with, condoning or excusing what is increasingly becoming obvious as shockingly craven behavior.
When we judge others, it tends to hurt the judger as well as the judged, so maybe the less judgmental among us just want to avoid the whole blame game trap. Maybe we want to move beyond that, learn from this and keep fighting the good fight.
@Marc: big difference is that George appears to have distanced himself greatly from such risks.
Okay, I’ve been reading through more of the details about this whole ordeal which keep coming up. I read Deanna Aenead’s note. I’ve talked to other left-libertarians who know Stacy personally (I don’t, mind you) who have told me they feel she’s no longer trustworthy. One of my friends told me that she “outed” herself because she wants to write a book about everything. Another told me he no longer feels comfortable letting her into left-libertarian groups or events.
The thing is, she’s resorting to this quasi-stirnerite egoism as a means of justifying what she did – “It was in my self-interest to do so, so you can’t blame me”, etc.
“The simple fact is that any one of us can be turned at any time by any sufficiently aggressive entity.”
Not true. One way to insulate yourself from being turned is to make sure that if you’re ever arrested, you very loudly and publicly proclaim the fact that you’ve been arrested. People engaged in agorist buying know (or should know) well enough to never trust buying from an agorist seller who’s been arrested, so now you’re useless as an informant.
Using something like Porc411 at the moment of arrest ensures that word of your arrest gets out even before the thugs have a chance to threaten you into silence or coöperation.
Libertinism and Liberty are simply incompatible. While the Calvinistic paternalism of our terribly misguided government is an awful thing indeed, it is unwise to engage in reckless behavior and forget that one’s actions as a member of a slowly (but surely) spreading youth movement reflect upon that movement as a whole, fairly or unfairly, and that if one is to sell a philosophy of freedom to a bigoted public one’s attempt must include a calm refutation of paternalism, not a self-destructive, wild bucking of tradition and the current of thought which dominates the culture. In matters of style, swim with the current, in matters of principle, stand like a rock. We can’t get the general public behind us with self-absorbed hedonism. There are plenty of agoristic actions which are perfectly safe, sane, and legal which we can take, and which won’t doom the movement to fringe status. I suggest those left-libertarians to consider all this before engaging in such behavior. As was mentioned earlier, it is a lot easier to influence culture from the other side of the bars, than in the cage. Personally I find the same, sad sympathy with this young woman’s moral failure as I do with all such things, members of the state included. Human beings are never totally good, nor evil, but tending toward one or another, does not change their humanity into something else entirely, and thus deserve scorn and empathy in equal measure.
I would love to see Stacy’s reaction to this:
This document is being proclaimed as “the truth,” which I do not believe can exist from this one-sided source that is filled with interpreations of the facts. Many consider this document as a Godsend, but you can ask each of the many players to write their own Docs, and they won’t add up to all be the same. This can possibly be a personal attack, too, on Stacy’s character from OUTSIDE events, not this informant business.
The point is that Stacy made a mistake and she is sorry. Her intentions were not malicious, she is not a sociopath who does this for some kind of sick pleasure.
Angela, she can be sorry all she wants, doesn’t change the fact that three people are now facing a very horrible thing because she was a coward.
Each of us has a piece of the truth. Let’s keep this in mind. Even if you have trouble respecting an individual, respect the truth they carry.
Angela, that note from Deanna is actually the most factual and truth based account on the web to date, and trust me the person writing this has a very personal knowledge of the situation and George you made this a personal matter as soon as you published this; it’s personal to all of the players involved infact I would say you’ve completely lacked compassion for the other parties who were subsquently involved by default in this situation just because their house was raided.
I would also like to take a second and remind you george your “journalism” if you think you can call writing poor half factual accounts of problems with which you seem to have little to no knowledge on IE drug policy and drug law issues, can actually be detrimental to the actual legal proceedings being carried out as a result of all of the above issue; you’re possibly causing a problem by pushing this story when you are…. Any joe schmo out there can make a blog and start posting journalistic finds and ranting with their own opinions, do us all a favor and keep your useless opinions to yourself before you get hit with a law suit!
I would ask one thing of you on top of this all George did you ever meet the person you wrote this article on, did you ever meet any of the people she screwed over, you’re distancing yourself like you said you are makes it all the more enraging to read your opinion and accounts of this!
YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT
So, I either shut up or you use aggression against me? You don’t scare me. I’ve been threatened with aggression up close and personal by better than you.
Yes, I have met the young lady, on multiple occasions, in person and I have worked with her in admittedly small ways on certain projects of mine.
“No name,” who did I make this a “personal matter” with? Did I attack you personally? Anyone? Did I comment on someone’s personality or character? Only very tangentially, if at all. Perhaps you’d like to explain this accusation so I can understand it better.
You have no idea what you’re doing and it’s disgusting to me, you’ve made it personal for every and anyone loosely connected to this issue; you’re jeopardizing the ability of most of the people affected by this problem to properly handle the situation at hand.
Believe me if I could be honest about my situation I would be and you would understand just how fucking personal this is….
I cover stories of interest to my friends and associates in the liberty community. This is a story of interest to them. This is how free speech and the press works. If you want to shut me down, file your lawsuit, pass a law, put a gun to my head or just make a nice reasoned argument free of a desire to hurt and if it makes any sense (I doubt it) then I might be willing to hear any requests. This will probably be my final comment on this particular line of discussion.
“So, I either shut up or you use aggression against me? You don’t scare me. I’ve been threatened with aggression up close and personal by better than you.”
This is extremely childish language, George.
I think this is what the cops love the most about their snitch program. Sure, they get a few extra arrests and get to feel powerful. But, they love to see people turn on each other. They want us to tear each other down. They enjoy seeing communities in civil war. Divide and conquer. Make folks paranoid and distrustful.
We can disagree about how to respond, but there is no need to attack one another. To reference another sci-fi analogy. Remember the classic trek episode “Day of the Dove” where an entity feeds off the hostilities of the humans and klingons? I’m not going to play their game.
How can we use this event and the struggle of all involved to OUR advantage? Can we use this to build a more resilient opposition to the drug war?
Amen, Jim. I think security culture training and awareness is one useful thing that could happen as a result of this. Maybe a public service campaign, find some resources and organize a study group, a blog carnival about it, hire a videographer to record a sharp little video about it a la the Flex Your Rights vids. What else?
(BUSTED: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters)
Here is an interesting resource Nathan G shared on FB:
Security Culture: A Handbook for Activists (created by some folks in Montreal)
Who else has got resources we can learn from on this or related topics?
She’s been fired from C4SS. And the number of felonies she’s been charged with is now 13.
Part of this is her age. She hasn’t been tested yet. Sibel Edmonds has been through the fire. Irwin Schiff is in it right now. And countless others. I spent many months in their gulag for political non-violent activism (sit-ins). I know how horrible jail can be. I was fortunate that my first real time behind bars was with others and even though it lasted several days, it was tolerable because of them. Later I endured long stretches on my own. I never want to go back and feel sorry for the next of kin of any cop who tries to put me in a cage because my activist days are over and it will most surely be on imaginary charges since I am now “not pushing it”.
I understand her fear but even by her own admission she rolled over and was out of jail in under six hours. So much for being tested by the fire! She could have had some creativity with it by snitching on the mayor’s son or some other prominent person who uses drugs but no…. she ratted out her own.
I am sorry for her but six hours is way too short of a time for her to roll over. I hope she grows up in jail and sees the real teeth of Leviathan. Maybe then she will have something more than hollow words to contribute to the cause of liberty. Jail could be a good thing for her. It has been for many. There is real spiritual power when one suffers “like a man” and shoulders it. From Christian martyrs to lefty liberal types like Mandela, jail can be a profitable experience which enables you to be of greater use in the future. And yes, God is in control. She needs to learn how to bear up under the load. It will be for her good. I hope she has faith because I know the suicidal thoughts she must resist. God be with you Stacy, this could be the richest blessing in your whole life.
So let me get this straight: Prison is so bad that it’s OK to get other people sent to prison to get out of it?
Thoughtful post, George. And some of the comments here are just so over the top, I have to wonder if these people have actually operated in the real world at any point in their lives.
Ayn Rand isn’t here to answer for Atlas Shrugged but I’m still here to answer for Alongside Night.
I’ve had a “Personal Statement of Information” policy posted on my website at http://www.pulpless.com/jneil/policy.html since 1998. It states in part, “I am a writer, a journalist, and a publisher. I consider that all information given to me is for my use in those professions … Persons conveying information to me do so at their own risk. Sources requesting secrecy are hereby given notice that I will maintain such secrecy at my sole discretion, according to my utilitarian considerations and personal ethics. If I make a promise to maintain secrecy or privacy on a particular piece of information, I will keep that promise except under duress, or unless in my judgment revealing that information will result in the net saving of lives or property. Don’t expect me to keep your secrets under torture, or under threats to my family. I won’t do it.”
The point is, as a writer/activist who’s undoubtedly had police files on him for the last three or four decades, it’s prudent for anyone communicating with me to regard any communication with me as communication with one or more police agencies.
That’s the firewall I’ve set up so that people who find my exposition on libertarian/Agorist principles, goals, and ideals to contain actionable merit know not to compromise their plans by sharing them with me. That way I can do my work and they can do theirs. Economists considers that division of labor.
Different people have different breaking points. Randy Weaver was a rugged individualist, a “tough man”, so he never came to the breaking point. There are persistent rumors (which he denies with an almost MacBethian stridency) that John McCain broke under the physical torture enacted upon him by his North Vietnamese captors. And here we have a teen-aged or nearly teen-aged girl who may very well never had anything but a suburban, privileged life before now.
Turning teens into informants on other teens is a long-practiced tactic by drug police. Turning perps into CIs has been a police tactic for hundreds of years. That someone with her background wilted under first pressure is unsurprising.
Claire Wolfe made a very important point: that you can’t be a public advocate for radical Agorism while practicing it at the same time, as the practice inevitably leads into activity proscribed by the State. If you talk, They will know who you are. If you also walk, They will know to try to get you because you talk. That isn’t a lesson learned early, but through either personal or witnessed (including through written accounts) experience.
That the young woman in question is doing her own MacBethian justification isn’t helping her reputation, that’s a certainty. Whether she will ever be trustworthy, I can’t know. I’ve never met her or even had heard of her until this mess started. I don’t blame anyone who is angered to the point of shunning her, and I don’t blame anyone who is of the opinion that she can reform.
In the long run, both she and those she turned in, are just that many more casualties of a war which should never have been declared. They are KIAs.
Oops. I see you also said the same thing as Claire Wolfe. My apologies for not acknowledging that.
Thanks for your comments, guys!
I’m frowning on comments of those armchair heroes who never was in her shoes.
Unlike most of you I spent two years in prison. It was a Russian prison btw. It is a world you can’t imagine from your happy position. So I know what I’m talking about.
David K. M. Klaus says “Different people have different breaking points.” Yes! But I have to add that ALL people have their breaking points. With no exceptions. There are not absolute heroes among mortals.
“They” can do with you everything “they” wish. If they want you to admit you had sex with Pope you’ll do it. If they want you to admit your mother is a member of Al Qaeda you’ll do it.
It’s a matter of their efforts, motivation, and imagination; not of your moral strength, get it! Our luck is that they ( mostly) are lazy, stupid, corrupted, and not very well motivated.
Sorry George but I think your advice “practice either activism or agorism” is not realistic. It’s just impossible. We can’t hide from risk, it’s like to hide from Life itself. Every entrepreneur should accept possibility of bankruptcy :(
Al, sorry to hear about your experience. Would you at least agree that public activists must keep their legal risk profile to an absolute minimum?
No George, I can’t agree. Because 1) the very conception of “absolute minimum” of risk is meaningless. The story about Henry Kissinger made me chuckle, the old bastard got his own medicine. But cases of old Bolsheviks like Zinoviev and Radek ( should I add Kennedy to the list?) are not so funny. There is not such a thing as a legal umbrella defending you from government’s abuse, and can’t be. And 2) so called public activists are just human beings, not some kind of Buddhist monks sunk in Nirvana and playing their glass bead games. They want real things from this life, for themselves and their loved ones. I can’t judge them, at least when I am not in their position.
The only thing I would agree it’s that public activists should be more prudent and careful than people who are under radar screen, it’s obvious. But even then, we can’t draw a distinct line between “legal” and “illegal” activities. Because we are not the geodesists! “They” are. C’ést La Vie.
It sounds like we agree on more than we disagree. If you’d like to write a guest blog post on this topic, I’d love to publish it here with a link back to your site.
Very insightful and I believe you are absolutely right.
t Yes, everyone has their breaking points, but American prison is nothing like Russian prison. I know first hand about the American penal system and I have friends that have done time in Russian prisons. Based on what they’ve told me American prisons are a cake walk compared to theirs.
She was knowingly engaged in illegal activity. There is know reason for her to think anything other than eventually ending up in prison. This is something that will happen when you take the risk she took. There’s no excuse for what she did. I grew up around an outlaw motorcycle club and one of the things you’re taught from the time your little is do your time. If you get caught then you got caught deal with it. If I had to guess she and most people like her weren’t raised like that and it makes it really easy for the state to flip them. When I was 17 I was convicted of 2 counts of CDS with intent, maintain a dwelling (saying I ran a dope house), and transporting a loaded fire arm. They did everything they could to get me to roll on people and I didn’t. They pulled me into a nice office and had a cop sit down with me and say “Off the record will we find a meth lab?”. Knowing damn well they wouldn’t find it, because it wasn’t there anymore I said no. Even if it was still there I would have said no, because nothing you say is really off the record. If a 17 year old kid can do this I don’t see why she couldn’t. Several years latter when I was released I was charged shortly after again for other things. My friend managed to get away, but I was caught. I walked into a court room expecting to get 5 years in prison, because I wouldn’t snitch. I ended up getting 5 years supervised probation. I would have received almost nothing had I rolled on my friend.
You say you have mixed feelings about her being trust worthy or not. To me it’s pretty clear that she isn’t. You use the example of having to tell on your friend to keep your kid out of the states custody as to why you have mixed feelings. You’re using that as an emotional appeal to people so they don’t think to harsh of her or people like her. Those situations are not even close to being the same. One situation you have a person knowingly breaking the law then telling on other people to save their own ass. In your situation the state is using the kids of an innocent man to attack another person. I could at least understand you telling on someone to save your kids. I can’t understand someone telling on someone else, because they were knowingly doing something illegal and got caught. Regardless of how you feel about drug laws they’re still the law until we get them changed and breaking the law will cause the state to attack you.
Very nice comment, thank you. Well said.
Not all of us can be turned. When the FBI arrested me, and threatened me with 80 years (I am 43, so that is more than life for me) if I did not wear a wire into the KAC, I went along with them enough to get released to consult with a lawyer, and then went to my people and told them what had happened, and then posted videos about it to Facebook and other sites. I thereby made it impossible for me to do what the FBI wanted me to do.
I have now gotten a plea offer, which was for 1 year instead of the original 80 … they lie, never forget that.
I am not going to accept the plea, however. I am going to continue to fight, using the new New Hampshire Jury Nullification law. Maybe I will go to prison for longer, but I will not change sides. I will not give up the fight. I will not turn on my friends, or turn in my friends.
If you want to help me fight, please consider a donation at http://420foundation.chipin.com/!