The headline in Mediaite read this way:
Kinzinger Derides Tucker Carlson’s Conspiracy That FBI Planned Capitol Riot: Carrying on Trump’s Legacy of ‘Blatant Outright Lies’
The article focused on a recent MSNBC appearance by Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger. It said this:
Though he didn’t cite Tucker Carlson by name, Rep. Adam Kinzinger called out the new conspiracy theory espoused by the Fox News host that somehow the FBI had planned the January 6th insurrection….
Carlson flatly stated on Tuesday night that “FBI operatives were organizing the attack on the Capitol,” added that there are still “basic factual matters” we still don’t know about January 6th, and asked, “Why is the Biden administration preventing us from knowing?”
This was too much for the Illinois congressman. He had in fact condemned Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar for remarks on the Jan. 6 events at the Capitol. Kinzinger went on to say that thoughts that there might have been FBI involvement in the attack was “insanity,” adding,
“It’s not even Paul. It’s our own — it’s not the far, far right, it’s just the right now. Where it’s saying that she [unarmed Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt] was assassinated. Now the new push is that the FBI actually somehow planned and assisted in Jan 6th.… And this is the legacy of Trump and Trumpism,” he concluded. “This is the legacy of blatant outright lies to people that are being abused for their raw noble patriotism.”
Stop right there. Does Congressman Kinzinger have any familiarity with the history of the FBI?
Tucker Carlson’s thoughts about potential FBI involvement in the attack is nothing if not a recognition that yes, in fact, the FBI has a very, very long history of doing things exactly like that. Tucker’s critics leapt on Twitter to attack and ridicule him. One can be startled if not surprised at just how clueless his critics are on basic American history about the FBI.
Over at the left-leaning the Intercept the other day was this headline:
A SHORT HISTORY OF U.S. LAW ENFORCEMENT INFILTRATING PROTESTS
For decades, local police and FBI have sent undercover officials to participate in — and escalate — protests.
Reporters Ryan Grim and Jon Schwarz wrote the following:
In May 1970, an informant working for both the Tuscaloosa police and the FBI burned down a building at the University of Alabama during protests over the recent Kent State University shootings…..
An FBI informant in the radical political organization Weather Underground took part in the bombing of a Cincinnati public school.
A prominent member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War — and FBI informant — pushed for “shooting and bombing,” and his advocacy apparently did indeed lead to a bombing and a bomb threat.
An FBI informant in Seattle drove a young black man named Larry Ward to a real estate office that engaged in housing discrimination and encouraged him to place a bomb there; the police were waiting and killed Ward.
Thirteen Black Panthers were accused of a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty after receiving 60 sticks of dynamite from an FBI informant.
After 28 people broke into a federal building to destroy draft files in 1971, an FBI informant bragged, “I taught them everything they knew.” All 28 were acquitted when his role was revealed.
All of which is to say there is a documented history of the FBI infiltrating this or that group and FBI informants actively participating in planning and/or executing acts of violence. From burning down a building to bombings to murder to breaking and entering a federal building to destroying federal draft records and doubtless more, it is historical fact that the FBI does in fact do things like this.
In his bestselling book The FBI, Ronald Kessler relates the tale of the FBI opening up a cellular phone company for drug dealers. The Bureau decided that “the service drug shippers most needed was cellular phones, and they decided to provide it.” Which, of course, immediately plunged the FBI into the drug-dealing business.
Kessler also notes that in the 1960s, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, under specific instruction from President Lyndon Johnson on investigating the Ku Klux Klan, directed the FBI to “pursue the Klansmen, penetrate their ranks, subvert them, and sabotage them.”
Notoriously, in March 1965, white civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, in Alabama for a civil rights protest in Selma, was driving at night with a black male passenger. Tim Weiner writes in Enemies: A History of the FBI that, as Liuzzo drove, “A car pulled alongside her on a dark highway and a gunman shot her to death…. An undercover FBI informer was riding in the car with three fellow Klansmen.”
As the informant’s FBI handler would admit, the FBI informant riding in the car was, in fact, “ a party to a murder.” And he was protected — by the FBI — for his participation.
In other words, what Tucker Carlson has suggested about potential FBI involvement on Jan. 6 is hardly some wacky, conspiratorial nonsense. It is not in the least unreasonable for Tucker to raise the question and demand that the Bureau’s role be investigated by the Biden administration.
History shows — and Congressman Kinzinger and Tucker’s critics should know — that the FBI has done exactly what Tucker Carlson is talking about.
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