The Keene Activity Center (KAC) is a place where (mostly) young libertarians and anarchists in Keene, New Hampshire congregate to talk philosophy, plan activism (including civil disobedience), and generally relax and socialize. Apparently the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been trying very, very hard to infiltrate the KAC, judging from this account of the arrest of one of the club’s members, Rich Paul, on marijuana charges.
Paul is going on trial for petty marijuana distribution offenses pursuant to testimony by an undercover FBI informant. It looks as if the trial is on state charges, but what’s interesting and disturbing is the interest the federal government has taken in the case. FBI agent Phillip Christiana apparently tried to pressure Paul into wearing a wire into the KAC and luring people into pot transactions, offering him immunity from prosecution in exchange. Follow the link to read more about how the FBI agent tried to coerce and trick Paul into waiving his right to counsel.
Here are some questions the FBI ought to answer, that is, if they were in any way accountable to those of us who are paying their salaries under duress:
- Why is the FBI taking such a keen interest in these small-scale marijuana offenses?
- Is the FBI targeting Keene libertarians, anarchists, and “voluntaryists” for their political views?
- Does the FBI countenance or authorize the deceptive and coercive interrogation tactics reportedly used by this agent?
I’m hoping Paul finds himself a good lawyer and negotiates a good plea bargain. His trial starts April 16th, though, so time is short. The local activists seem to be aiming for jury nullification. They shouldn’t bet the house on that. The prosecutor will paint Paul as a big-time drug dealer and scary anarchist.