presence of mind

The FBI Knocked on My Door!
Social justice Now, YouTube, May 9 2010

The Joint Terrorism Task Force Division of the FBI Visits an Austin Peace Activist to Question About Pre-Crimes.

On Apr 21 2010, two agents of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) came to my house to talk to me, a part time peace volunteer for Palestine. After verifying that they really were with the FBI, I asked them to wait. I shut my door, took a deep breath, and grabbed my video camera. I want to thank Jeffry Zavala for:

  • Helping me remain anonymous in this video,
  • For creating something to help you if the FBI ever knocks on your door to question you about pre-crimes,
  • For helping me to tell others about my number one cause: Promoting the “One-State” Solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict, instead of the apartheid-like “Two-State” scenario.
  • For more information about what to do if the FBI knocks on your door, go to
    What-to-Do-if-the-FBI-Comes-to-Your-Door and
    This is a ZGraphix production. Produced by Jeffry Zavala.


    1. niqnaq
      Posted June 11, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      I suppose she might have been wiser to simply say “No, I don’t know of anybody planning to damage property or hurt people.” But the reason she was unwilling to do so may be that she felt correctly that she should not be obliged to answer questions which are obviously mere trawling for info, based on a mindless and invidious concept of guilt by possible association. If she had answered “No,” I imagine there would have been a follow-up request: “Will you inform us if you do hear of any such plans?” Now this is tricky, because to refuse to do so could conceivably constitute an offense of some sort. And to agree to do so, simply to get rid of them, might have the opposite effect, in that they would start calling her up and pressing her for reports.

      There is some discussion on this on Mondo Weiss:

    2. Hoarsewhisperer
      Posted June 11, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      May we assume that yours is the voice of experience in matters pertaining to close encounters of the third kind – with one or another manifestation of Mr Plod?

    3. niqnaq
      Posted June 11, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Just anthropology-style participant observation. That’s my excuse for everything I do 😉

      I did come up with yet a further suggestion on the MondoWeiss thread, but the people there sound pretty glum about it. The USA seems to have much more intimidating law enforcement techniques than the UK does.

    4. DICKERSON3870
      Posted June 11, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      RE: I suppose she might have been wiser to simply say “No, I don’t know of anybody planning to damage property or hurt people.” – niqnaq

      MY COMMENT: It’s a felony to make a “false statement” to federal investigators. That was one of the charges against Martha Stewart. When a “federal investigator” asks if you know (of) anyone who plans to “harm someone” or “damage property”, any answer you might possibly give is theoretically a “false statement”. Our “troopers” are killing Afghans every day. Is there a ‘battered wife’ in this woman’s neighborhood? Every time this woman or her children walk across the floors of their home there is some microscopic damage to the floor. You don’t take ANY chances with THE FEDS!

    5. BillWade
      Posted June 11, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      shutting the door behind herself was the smartest thing she did, in the USA if you leave your car/home door open it will be construed as giving permission to enter and search. Always shut and even better lock your door before talking with them. Also, if you have a dog, put it in another room and shut that door so the dog can’t get out, they will shoot it if it comes out “self defense”. Her mistake was in talking with them at all, it’s best to say “unless you are here to arrest me, I have nothing to say” and then don’t say a damn thing.

    6. Hoarsewhisperer
      Posted June 12, 2010 at 6:07 am | Permalink

      and then don’t say a damn thing.
      Good advice, Bill.
      It has the very real advantage of placing Mr Plod in the position of having to fill the silence himself.

    7. hp
      Posted June 13, 2010 at 2:59 am | Permalink

      But, but, but, all I did was just say no.

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