The FBI’s Whitmer Kidnapping Case Looks Like A Potemkin Terror Plot
Morton | The Federalist
With the help of snitches, the FBI rounded up
some unemployed, homeless, mostly alone and angry loudmouths to build a fantasy
football-style display of domestic terrorism fear-porn.
Over the past few weeks, there has been a slew of reporting
on the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, specifically, the
fact that the FBI seems to have played a far more considerable role in it than
had previously been reported. BuzzFeed
News produced an exposé on the case detailing how the FBI used 12
informants and undercover FBI agents to infiltrate the Wolverine Watchmen
militia group, which prosecutors allege planned to kidnap Whitmer in the run-up
to the 2020 national elections.
The problem with the case is that it appears the FBI,
through informants and undercover agents, hatched
the kidnapping plot, served
in the key leadership positions of the militia group, trained
the militia members in military tactics, actively recruited
funded much of the militia’s activities. Then, when various members of
the Watchman militia became uncomfortable with the kidnapping plot, with
several quitting, the FBI’s
primary informant pushed the plot along, eventually becoming the militia
The Primary Informant’s Story Doesn’t Add Up
The primary informant, known only as Dan, has been
identified in court documents as a former U.S. Army Iraq War veteran. Dan
reportedly volunteered to the FBI after stumbling across the Wolverine Watchman
group on Facebook.
Dan, whom court documents say earned a college degree in
criminal justice after his stint in the Army, stated he had previously worked
as an executive protection agent and a National Rifle Association firearms
instructor, and was a current employee of the U.S. Postal Service (the exact nature
of his duties at USPS is not publicly released).
He testified in court that he had been searching for
Second Amendment-related Facebook posts to find tactical training opportunities
to retain the
perishable combat skills he acquired during his tour of duty in Iraq.
After viewing the Watchman’s page, he applied for acceptance to their private
Facebook group and was admitted after answering a series of vetting questions.
At the time Dan applied for membership with the Watchman
militia, in March 2020, the Watchman militia had only a single member with
military experience: Joe
Morrison, a reserve U.S. Marines mechanic serving part-time with a reserve
logistics support group (according to court documents, a second military
veteran, Daniel Harris, was recruited into the group five months later, in July
2020). Morrison had no combat arms training beyond boot camp and zero combat
It is puzzling exactly what kind of “tactical training
opportunities” Dan, an Iraq War combat veteran, hoped to gain from a ragtag
group of largely untrained and inexperienced civilian militia. According to
Dan’s testimony, he participated in extensive, months-long, house-to-house
warfare in Sadr City during his 14-month rotation in Iraq. The question of why
someone with Dan’s combat experience would seek to join the Watchman
militia to receive training went unasked and unexamined during
depositions and court hearings.
This ‘Plot’ and These ‘Conspirators’ Are a
Federal and state prosecutors in this case have indicted
14 defendants from across the country; not just from Michigan, but from states
as far as away as Virginia, Delaware, and South Carolina. Some of the
defendants are less than sympathetic characters and have made inflammatory
statements in text messages, social media posts, and in front of wired FBI
informants who dutifully recorded their every word. Prosecutors repeatedly
claimed the defendants are dangerous threats to the public, but they have
presented no actual evidence of this beyond the defendants’ inflammatory
The prosecutors’ main claim that the defendants had
demonstrated their ability and intent to use explosives in the plot was derived
from their laughable attempts to ignite uncompressed black powder during a
group training event sponsored by one of the FBI informants—which in itself
proved how unskilled and incapable the defendants were in the handling or use
of explosives. In fact, the group’s only actual planning with regard to
explosives was done by an
undercover FBI agent who posed as an explosives expert and black
market broker for military-type explosives.
Reading through the court documents, text messages, and
transcripts for this case is like listening to the David Allen Coe country
song about pickup trucks, single-wide trailers, prison, and being drunk and
down and out—in the rain. To the nation’s elite class, the defendants in this
case are a collection of flyover America’s pile of broken toys: the surplus population who were
left behind in globalization’s destruction of working-class America.
With the help of a strong supply of snitches, the FBI
rounded up some unemployed, homeless, mostly alone, and angry loudmouths to
build a fantasy football-style display of domestic terrorism fear-porn. The
only thing more depressing than realizing middle America is now just a bunch
of NPCs in
the latest version of “Call of Duty: Rogue National Security State” is that
there are likely more of these manufactured cases coming to an America near
How Powerlessness Affects a People
In a republic like America, there is a designed tension
between the citizen and the state. The citizen, as the individual, is
protective of his natural rights, privacy, and liberty, while the state, as the
establishment, is ostensibly concerned with the prosperity, safety, and
security of the republic as a whole.
Our Constitution was designed to balance the friction
Hamilton’s “The vigor of government is essential to the security of
liberty” and John
O’ Sullivan’s “The best government is that which governs least.” When
that balance is disrupted, there is political conflict.
The elite and powerful can express their political
concerns with big-money donations to politicians and pithy outrage from their
blue-check Twitter accounts. The little people, the working-class flotsam and
jetsam of America, have to just suck it down. They can vent their frustrations
on social media, but no one is listening to them—except for people like Dan and
the army of informants employed by the government.
The powerless often cope with their powerlessness through
what can only be called LARPing, or live-action role-playing. This and
ill-advised braggadocio is a way to feel like they have some control over their
One LARP Faction Against Another
A majority of the defendants in this case were clearly
LARPing as revolutionary-style patriots. This was evident when, as the FBI
informants and agents pushed the plot along to more dangerous ends, many of the
group’s members got cold feet and quit, with some go so far as to move out of
In a better America, the FBI would recognize this and
dispatch an agent or two to deliver a wake-up call to these LARPers. After all,
is the FBI’s purpose in inserting themselves into these types of organizations
to avert political violence, or is it to manufacture cases that lead to
political headlines and promotions for those agents involved?
Obviously, in America now, it is the latter—and that is
the crux of the problem. Essentially, the FBI and its collection of law
enforcement partners in the Joint Terrorism Task Forces are also LARPing, as
For the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces and their army of
informants, there is money to be made in counterterrorism inflation. According
to the Department
of Justice Inspector General, the FBI spends more than $42 million per year
on paid informants. Some informants have earned upwards of $4.9 million for
their work. In this case, informant Dan earned nearly $55,000 for six months of
work, in addition to his U.S. Postal Service salary.
Counterterrorism is hard work. Finding an actual domestic
terrorist in a country with very few incidents of domestic terrorism is an even
harder task. It appears it is much easier, more profitable, and a much better
career move for all involved to create a Potemkin terror plot and then swoop in
to play the part of counterterror hero.
The trouble is, while they are wasting valuable time and
resources creating shocking headlines, federal agents are ignoring the real
threats to Americans, while meddling in and ruining the lives of the most
powerless in our society.