Sometimes You Wake Up and It's Different: Statement on Brandon Darby, the 'Unnamed' Informant/Pr
Wednesday, December 31 2008 @ 03:38 PM CST
Contributed by: scott crow
Brandon now publicly acknowledges that he is working with the FBI and has been for some time. Sometimes You Wake Up and It's Different: Statement on Brandon Darby, the 'Unnamed' Informant/Provocateur in the "Texas 2" Case from Austin, Texas
Dear friends and allies,
Below is a statement by a group of Austin-based community organizers that documents that a local activist, Brandon Michael Darby of Austin, is a government informant/provocateur.
Brandon now publicly acknowledges that he is working with the FBI and has been for some time.
Sometimes You Wake Up and It's Different: Statement on Brandon Darby, the 'Unnamed' Informant/Provocateur in the "Texas 2" Case from Austin, Texas
As part of the wave of government repression against activists protesting at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota in September, 2008, the FBI arrested two men from Texas, Bradley Crowder (22) and David McKay (23), and indicted them for allegedly possessing molotov cocktails. Crowder and McKay have been in jail since the RNC. They have not been granted bail and their trial has been postponed indefinitely. They are facing 7 to 10 years in federal prison.
As outlined in the affidavit against Crowder and McKay (found here: http://media.houston.indymedia.org/uploads/2008/09/090808_mckay_affidavit.pdf), the case was built almost entirely on the statements of two informants covertly working with the FBI, identified in the affidavit as "Confidential Human Sources" or just "CHS".
One of these informants was working in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area ("CHS 2" in the affidavit) and has been previously identified as Andy/Panda by people familiar with the situation and the informant. This statement ends speculation and anticipation concern about the identity of the other informant who was operating in Texas and Minnesota.
Using FBI documents previously unknown to us, but recently provided by one of the defendant's defense teams, we have positively confirmed the identity of the unnamed informant ("CHS 1" in the affidavit) as Brandon Michael Darby of Austin, Texas, based on the following evidence:
1) The FBI documents detail private conversations between Darby and several individuals named in the documents, including scott crow and Lisa Fithian, who have closely reviewed the documents and confirmed that they had the conversations in question with only Darby. In addition they can confirm his participation in events reported in the documents.
2) In verbatim reports from the informant to the FBI, the language, personality, skills, and interests of Darby are readily apparent to those who know him.
3) Cross-referencing the time line provided by the FBI in the documents with people familiar with the situation and course of events shows that Darby was in a position to have the incriminating conversations with McKay referenced in the affidavit.
4) In all of the documents Brandon Darby's name is conspicuously absent from any and all meetings and events which he attended and was involved in. In fact Darby's name only appears at the end of all the documents in a confession made by David McKay upon his arrest in Minnesota.
Numerous people familiar with both Brandon Darby and the legal situation of Crowder and McKay have verified this information.
Over the years Brandon Darby has established strong ties with individuals in many different radical communities across the United States. While it is not yet clear how long or to what extent Darby has been acting as an informant, the emerging truth about Darby's malicious involvement in our communities is heart-breaking and utterly ground-shattering to those of us who were closest to him.
Darby operated in and around the Austin community for about 6 years, and this is the same Brandon Darby who participated in the Common Ground Collective in New Orleans during 2005-2006. Based on the evidence we have, Brandon has been giving the state information since at least November 2007, but there is also information that suggests his informant activities may go back further, at least to 2006 or earlier. In the documents, Darby makes numerous remarks that are inflammatory and often untrue or grossly taken out of context. There is also compelling evidence to suggest that Darby, more than just reporting on Crowder and McKay's activities, was actively encouraging, enabling, and provoking the two men to take illegal action.
We recognize that suspicions and accusations of Darby have been circulating for some time now, including one corporate media article by David Hanners in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on October 29, 2008. Our aim in releasing this information is to clear the confusion that has circulated in the last few months.
We want to point out that while the conclusions of these suspicions and accusations turned out to be correct, these conclusions were not based on any verifiable facts, and thus, their public airing was inappropriate and irresponsible. When these accusations surfaced, we did what we could to quash them, trusting what we believed to be true about people in the absence of any compelling evidence to the contrary. Having been presented with new evidence, we are acting on it promptly and deliberately.
Through the history of our struggles for a better world, infiltrators and informants have acted as tools for the forces of misery in disrupting and derailing our movements. However, even more dangerous to our communities than setting people up, turning them in, or gathering information, informants sow seeds of fear, paranoia, and distrust that fester and grow in paralyzing and destructive ways. We must be forever vigilante against deceptive, malicious and manipulative actors, while we defend the trust and openness that give our communities cohesion and power.
Now we must get on with the work of supporting the "Texas 2". In light of these revelations and what we know about Brandon Darby, we believe they were set up and that the charges should be dropped. We urge you to join us in a campaign to "Free the Texas 2"
The Austin Informant Working Group
For questions , comments or concerns please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org