Friday, July 23, 2021

SWC Re The Whitmer Case

Shipwreckedcrew has a lengthy series of tweets on the Whitmer kidnapping case--or whatever it was. I'll select a few of his tweets, because he has a particular axe to grind, but you can read the entire unrolled thread here.

One of SWC's major points is that the entire case was what he calls a "confederacy of dunces". I certainly won't dispute that. What he focuses on in that respect is that the indictment is significantly flawed in an important respect: 

The indictment lists 16 overt acts to further the kidnapping conspiracy, between June 6 and October 7. However, the FBI's main informant has stated that there was no agreement on what crime to commit before August 9. The point is this: six of the overt acts alleged in the indictment to be in furtherance of the kidnapping conspiracy occurred before August 9. That means those six acts--supposedly in furtherance of a conspiracy--occurred before there was any conspiracy! How can anyone act in furtherance of a conspiracy before there's a conspiracy?

I'll accept SWC's contention that that's a problem, and that it probably points to bigger problems down the road. All that is fine. However, SWC's major target is this--he wants to argue that, because the case was a trainwreck from a legal standpoint, there cannot be any connection between the Michigan case and the January 6 Event. My contention is not that there ever was such a connection--we can't know that at this point, despite suggestive connections of some of the players. Rather, I contend that the fact that the case was a trainwreck doesn't mean there wasn't any connection between the two cases. By the same token that we don't have the facts to actually prove a connection, neither do we have the facts that would disprove the connection. Why is it so hard for SWC to simply admit that?

So, he writes:

It is comical and entertaining how much the legal "pundits" are getting wrong in their analysis of the FBI's conduct in the investigation of the Whitmer kidnapping plot. The case is a trainwreck, the FBI handled it like morons, ... 

and the prosecutors are either 1) doing the best they can with a burning bag of feces, or 2) are as pathetically inept as was the FBI.

But the big failure of the FBI was in trying to hold together a case that had fallen apart. 

There was no brilliantly executed multi-dimensional plan to ensnare a bunch of true-blue patriots because of their politics.

Could SWC please explain why the FBI could not have handled both cases "like morons"?

And while I have no brief for the FBI in this matter, is SWC really suggesting that line prosecutors bringing a high profile case involving a governor of a major swing state just before an election get no guidance or supervision from their superiors in the local USA office or even from DoJ? The FBI didn't write the indictment--that's totally on the prosecutors. If the case had fallen apart, or was never "together", the prosecutors could have and should have dropped it. This points to a bigger problem in our  criminal justice system--collusion of investigators and prosecutors to "make cases" no matter what. Why can't SWC acknowledge that problem and discuss it? Just a bit?

As for his claim:

There was no brilliantly executed multi-dimensional plan to ensnare a bunch of true-blue patriots because of their politics.

that's a very obvious straw man argument. It doesn't matter whether the entrapment plan was brilliantly planned or whether the prosecutors fell into an entrapment scenario out of sheer stupidity. There was nothing stopping them from backing out of it. There is still nothing to prevent them from backing out of it.

So what if the "moronically" executed plan to ensnare a bunch of knuckleheads wasn't a "brilliantly executed multi-dimensional plan to ensnare a bunch of true-blue patriots"? Either scenario, if true, is wrong. It's wrong to entrap true-blue patriots with a "brilliantly executed multi-dimensional plan", but it's also wrong to entrap knuckleheads with a moronically executed plan. It's simply wrong to entrap people. Where's the problem with acknowledging that?

But the same argument applies to the FBI. In the scenario as we know it--a kidnapping plot against a swing state governor in the context of a national election--who believes that the FBI in Michigan didn't get guidance all the way up the chain of command, even to Chris Wray, a highly experienced former prosecutor? The case agent sure as hell did get guidance and supervision. 

The flaws in the case were well known to anyone with half a brain months before the January 6 Event. And yet the FBI and DoJ went ahead, instead of dropping the case like a hot potato. SWC's argument boils down to this: The FBI and DoJ could not have screwed up one case and then used that case as a model for another case:

All the pundits selling you on the idea that Michigan was some preview or dry run for what the FBI and DOJ had planned for Jan. 6 are just soaking their online followers who don't know better.

Then again, most of the pundits don't know better and are just making stuff up. 

But go right ahead believing people telling you Michigan was a perfectly executed preview of what was planned for Jan 6 and those in charge were promoted to Washington to repeat what they had executed so flawlessly in Michigan.

That's not an argument against the possibility that Michigan was a perfectly executed preview (or simple repetition) of a legally flawed strategy that the FBI and DoJ have used repeatedly in the past and attempted to use again with regard to the January 6 Event. FBI and DoJ went ahead with this mess of a case because they figured they could get away with it. It's that simple. They could get away with it and earn all sorts of awards and public plaudits. Also get media gigs later. Maybe even a book deal or two.

What I'm saying is also argued by a guy who claims to have spent ten years prosecuting terrorism cases--which probably gives him ten more years of experience in that regard than SWC:

The Whitmer Kidnapping Case Reveals The FBI’s New Counterterrorism Target Is You

What’s interesting about the revelations from this week is not that the FBI is up to some new, clever gambit to combat the wily insurrectionists in our midst.

This week included interesting revelations about the FBI’s case against the handful of people charged with plotting to kidnap the governor of Michigan. Of 14 people indicted, five (or more) were working as informants for the FBI.

As Revolver has noted, the five people who seem to be the FBI informants were also the people who seemed to have all the kidnapping ideas and access to all the equipment needed for a paramilitary assault on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s vacation home. At one point, the leadership of the conspiracy met, and three of the five people in that discussion were FBI.

I worked in counterterrorism for more than 10 years, so I understand all the reasons a federal agent would argue this isn’t technically entrapment. The people didn’t know they were surrounded by fedsx and continued to take overt actions that advanced the fantasy conspiracy, and that’s illegal. Okay, fine.

But this got me thinking about some of the old ISIS and al-Qaeda cases I reviewed when I was helping prosecute terrorists who actually killed people. I remember giving my buddies in the FBI a hard time when they would “win” a domestic terror case and all they had was a kook who had been running his mouth on the internet.


The Intercept did some marvelous reporting on this in 2017. They noted, quite correctly, that in hundreds and hundreds of cases the FBI and Department of Justice had brought to trial there were no victims of violence, and the FBI informants were the primary driving characters in the fictional worlds the suspects had been caught up in.

In case after case, it’s the FBI that creates the illusion of the ability to do harm. There are no bombs, no ability to launch an attack. There is no group ready to meet and support them, no weapons smugglers, or expert marksmen. There is only the anger of a lonely person screaming into the void of the internet, and the only one who answers that screaming is the FBI.

So what’s interesting about the revelations from this week is not that the FBI is up to some new, clever gambit to combat the wily insurrectionists in our midst. What is interesting is they are right back to pulling the same tricks they used on wannabe al-Qaeda and ISIS dopes for the last 15 years.

Why is the assistant director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office—Anthony D’Antuono, who is heading the investigation into the January 6 riot at the capitol and was previously in charge of the Detroit Field Office—doing these things? He’s never known another way. He had been an FBI agent only three years on 9/11, and all that time he was a forensic accountant. This is how the FBI has run these kinds of investigations his entire career.

The problem is not that we’re going to find out that the January 6 case is going to be full of FBI agents and informants, just like the Whitmer kidnapping case. The problem is we are starting to understand this is standard procedure for counterterrorism. This is a 20-year-old charade the FBI brass has been pulling.


OK. I'm not going to claim that I have inside knowledge that Braun's fairly blanket statements are true for the majority of domestic terrorism cases, nor will I offer a guess as to how many such cases there have been--not numerically, not in percentage terms. However, we do know that there have been such cases in the past, and the Whitmer case looks suspiciously similar. As I said above, there is no possible way that this Whitmer case didn't receive a ton of scrutiny and supervision from on high in the FBI and DoJ. I'll repeat that: No possible way. Given that, is it so hard to believe that the same--or some similar variation on the theme--may turn out to be true with regard to the January 6 Event? After all we already know about FBI and DoJ activity in the Russia Hoax cases? 

The only reason we're not deriding the Russia Hoax conspirators at the FBI and DoJ as morons is because they were politically protected by the anti-Trump establishment. It's not because they had some "brilliantly executed multi-dimensional plan to ensnare" Trump--as SWC might well say. They were caught, and they did dumbass things in an absolute sense. The difference between them and the knuckleheads in Michigan is that Comey and the other Russia Hoax conspirators knew they could get away with it. Probably because they'd gotten away with other stuff in the past and seen others do the same. That's privilege, something the Michigan plotters didn't have.


  1. Q: "Why is it so hard for SWC to simply admit that?"

    A: Because SWC is an insufferable apologist for the DoJ and his old corrupt colleagues. And I might add unreadable for the past 9 months or so. His love of acronyms and buzz words to show off his deep inside knowledge is annoying.

    Somehow I always imagine him taking his former coworkers to lunch with him always picking up the check while they walk away laughing at him.

  2. "All the pundits selling you on the idea that Michigan was some preview or dry run for what the FBI and DOJ had planned for Jan. 6 are just soaking their online followers who don't know better."

    I have a theory on this... It's peer/site traffic related. Or it's the opposite, getting dragged through the coals by the readers / commenters.

    Mark you are one of the few guys left out there that isn't bothered (or doesn't seem to be) by...

    A. Pushing definitive narratives for click bait pay checks.

    B. Caves to peer / reader pressure. (Fear of being beat up)

    C. Poorly chooses a side due to A or B and rail roads that narrative off a cliff regardless of whatever facts develop later on.

    I think the objectivity is what brings a lot of us, were informed not baited or educated.

    You can't deny the *dots* in Michigan/DC Jan... But you also can't connect them at present either.

    1. Devilman- spot on. I’ve been reading the site since 2018 after following a link from Sundance, you expressed why better than I could explain
      Mr. Wauck - Thank you! You’re the only person whose site I recommend to others due to what devilman said. You and your site are unique.

    2. Yes, the Waukster is certainly due some love and accolades. Don't always agree w him but one of the best blogs for both content and reasonable analysis. And the comments usually add quite a bit extra without trollery or undue snark. Well done!!!

  3. Is the FBI and DOJ irrevocably corrupt?

    1. Yes. How these events don’t equate into a Reichstag “fire” moment escapes me. Yet another straw man/false flag operation to go with the Gulf of Tonkin “Incident”, JFK/RFK assassinations, 9/11? et al.

      What can’t continue won’t & I don’t see how this can; how can you have two irretrievably corrupt institutions- FBI & DOJ - go on like this especially after it’s becoming common knowledge among the populace?

      Call me tinfoil hat if you want but here we are.


    2. LOL! Is this predictable or what?

      Exhibit A:


  4. Mark, you're right about the typical 'domestic terrorist'! The Dems and left like SPLC try to make 'domestic terrorism' some big bogeyman so they can use government assets to go after their enemies, and make them out to be the big scary wolf in the red riding hood, and smart and omnipotent and such a huge threat, and then it's always a couple guys who have poor dentristy and no education and a very sad life story who just mouthed off to the wrong people.

    That was also my impression of the Michigan 'conspirators.' It didn't look like they could spell the word, even with all the vowels given to them, much less actually plot to kidnap a public figure. That doesn't even reach the question of why on earth would anyone with a quarter of a brain want to kidnap a public figure? The crime doesn't even make any sense. They'd then have to feed her and keep her out of sight while a huge apparatus was focused on finding her. Makes no sense. Feds ought to be embarrassed to have even plotted this one....

    You're also right about the connection between the two "conspiracies." How can anyone discussing a legal situation make any claims like that without hard evidence? This is example of a lot of crazies in law enforcement these days who like to make a case on 'how bad it might be, if it was really that bad' and not go out and follow the evidence. It's just the way they hounded the hero Richard Jewell to death. His only crime was being good hearted and poorly educated, kind of like a lot of their fictitious 'domestic terrorists.'

  5. Mark, you're assessment is spot on. For example, "FBI and DoJ went ahead with this mess of a case because they figured they could get away with it. It's that simple."

    Further, SWC is doing nothing but splitting hairs in his analysis. In my book, SWC has dropped a few notches. What was he like 1 for 12 in his Russia Hoax analysis, well below the Mendoza line.

    In addition, the running "spat" he and Hans Mahncke" have on Twitter shows me he's getting called out more and more. Even "Fool Nelson" combats his Tweets.

    1. It seems he's trying to build readership to boost his earnings at Substack. Apparently he thinks getting into childish running spats is the way to do that, that it will boost him as a legal expert. It's silly and, I think, a bad strategy.

    2. Mark, is he no longer contributing to RedState? Haven’t seen anything there for awhile.

    3. I think he does occasionally, but he's trying to make money off podcasts and subscriptions at Substack. That's fine, but he should knock off some of the childishness.

  6. Robert Barnes has been all over SWC's fog of disinformation for at least a couple months.

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  8. FBI seems the have a history of “issues” with terrorist cases…

    I read 17 of 20, but can’t find the article.

    Here is one with 5 cases:

    1. Right. I didn't want to point a finger without actual numbers or at least anecdotal first hand knowledge, but I would say that the nature of these cases lends itself to abuses. But remember--the FBI only investigates. Nothing happens unless the prosecutors go along with it.

    2. Today GG goes to town again, in a Substack post on “issues” with terrorist cases:

      "FBI Using the Same Fear Tactic From the First War on Terror: Orchestrating its Own Terrorism Plots.
      Questioning the FBI's role in 1/6 was maligned by corporate media as deranged. But only ignorance about the FBI, or a desire to deceive, could produce such a reaction...."

    3. And so deliciously ironic that the hippies that reviled J Edgar Hoover and his goons (and federal intel) in the 60s and 70s are oh so down with it now. Cui bono?

    4. Link to article aNanyMouse mentioned.

      It’s a must read.

      FBI Using the Same Fear Tactic From the First War on Terror: Orchestrating its Own Terrorism Plots

      Questioning the FBI's role in 1/6 was maligned by corporate media as deranged. But only ignorance about the FBI or a desire to deceive could produce such a reaction.
      - Glenn Greenwald

  9. This is only a big deal because of Whitmer.

    This has been going around 3/4 of a century or so.

    This is not new and will continue unless checked somehow.