Jacob Ferguson, Lead ELF Arsonist, Interviews with CNN

by Will Potter on October 5, 2009

in Terrorism Court Cases

Jake Ferguson was the lead arsonist in the “Operation Backfire” Earth Liberation Front actions in the Northwest. He was involved in more than a dozen arsons, more crimes than any other defendant. But he is walking the streets, free, because he became a government informant. He wore a wire and entrapped his friends into make statements about the actions.

By the government’s repeated admission, this is the only reason that the FBI and Department of Justice were able to successfully prosecute the group of activists the Feds called “The Family.” Without Ferguson, none of this would have been possible. “It was essential,” said assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Engdall.

The FBI has overwhelmingly been incompetent in going after the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front. They’ve had few successful prosecutions, which would never have been possible without snitches. It’s part of the government’s seven step process for convicting activists as terrorists.

Ferguson was recently featured in a CNN “exclusive” about the case. Even by mainstream media standards, it was a pathetic excuse for journalism. CNN repeatedly played up the “terrorist” rhetoric as much as possible, and had no questions about Ferguson’s character. (For instance, Ferguson wore a hat during the interview to cover up the tattoo of a pentagram on his forehead. And according to all of the other defendants and attorneys I have interviewed, he had a serious drug problem that made the FBI’s offer to turn snitch more palatable.)

Ferguson received 5 years probation for his crimes. His co-defendants received 3-13 years in prison, with the “terrorism enhancement.” One co-defendant, Daniel McGowan, is now in a secretive prison facility called a Communication Management Unit because of this “terrorist” status.

The reporter also did not press Kirk Engdall, the U.S. Attorney. There is one question regarding Jacob Ferguson that the government needs to held accountable for, and it is this: If the ELF is the “number one domestic terrorism threat,” if it is “violent” and “dangerous,” and if Ferguson was the lead arsonist of the most destructive ELF cell in U.S. history… how is he walking free? If these activists are truly national security threats, Ferguson, of all people, should be behind bars.

To use the government’s rhetoric, that’s kind of like arresting Osama bin Laden, and then agreeing to let him walk if he wears a wire and entraps some of the other Al Qaeda operatives. It’s a sham. The government let Ferguson walk, regardless of his crimes, because he helped them declare a victory in the War on Terrorism.

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