General Gonzo S. Patton shared this post via CopBlock.org’s submit page.
Given the government’s trend towards unleashing the various Alphabet Agencies, be it the FBI, the DEA, the FDA, the IRS, or other agencies and their various armed SWAT teams, upon We the People here in the United States of America. It is imperative that we understand our rights when confronted by a member of the FBI or one of these other agencies. There are almost as many varying opinions about how to handle a situation when confronted by an agent from one of these various agencies as there are Alphabet Agencies within the government. To paraphrase H. G. Wells: ‘Modern history has become a race between education and miseducation. There are very few people around who really don’t know anything, but there are multitudes who know many things that don’t happen to be true.’ Knowing things that are not true when it comes to dealing with matters of liberty is just as dangerous as knowing things that are not true when it comes to the handling of venomous snakes, alligators, and other threats to your life.
Several common misconceptions cause people to succumb to the interrogation techniques of the FBI and other agencies. There is no legal obligation to cooperate with them. You will not gain any advantage by cooperating. If one or more of the people who are attempting to befriend you, offend you or interrogate you suggest, entice, or promise that you have something to gain by going along and getting along, they are lying to you. The FBI and other agencies will lie to you to get you to talk and if you do talk they will lie about what you said. You cannot outwit them. You cannot mislead them with false information, and you will not be able to outwit them and extract information from them. Do not be so foolish as to think that you are smarter and better trained than they are even if you have gone to FBI interrogation school. It is different when you are on the other side of the table. They will ratchet up the emotion and drag you down the trail until you become emotionally involved in what is happening so they can close the gate behind you and say, “Gotcha.”
One common FBI method is to directly approach their target or victim. If one day you respond to a knock on your door and you find two government agents there from the FBI or another agency (and they always work in pairs), follow one simple rule: NEVER TALK TO THE FEDS. There is no law or regulation that requires you to do so. Yet the prestige, the power, the fear, and the pressure that they bring about is such that many have the mistaken idea that they have an obligation to talk to the Feds no matter what agency they belong to. This is not true. You do not have to talk to anyone you do not wish to speak to no matter what they say to you. Never believe you can outwit the agents. They are highly skilled, highly trained, and void of any sense of humor. They may be pretending to want information about you but their real purpose may be to extract information about your friends, your family, your neighbors, or your co-workers. NEVER TALK TO THE FEDS.
Imagine an agent asks you, “Did your brother register for the draft?” and you answer, “I think he did. At least we talked about it.” Several things happened in this simple exchange. First, you told them or confirmed with them that you have a brother. Second, you have made two statements about your brother. One, that he was supposed to register for the draft, and, two, that he knew he was supposed to register for the draft. You have given the Feds information that, fitted together with other information, may make a prosecution more likely. Third, you have begun a conversation with the Feds. DO NOT TALK TO THE FEDS. Once you begin to talk to the Feds, it makes it easier for them to keep you talking.
If your father answers the door and the FBI agent says he wants to talk to you about your son’s failure to register for the draft, or your son’s involvement in the Tea Party, or your son’s involvement with Anonymous, or whatever the excuse is that he gives to your father, and your father replies, “Damm it, I told him _____,” he has given the FBI, in one sentence, a vital bit of information – that the alleged criminal, his son, had knowledge of what he was doing and that it was wrong. Proving knowledge is one of the requirements of a successful prosecution. Thank you, Dad!
If the Feds offer to let an alleged non-registrant register later or a violator of some other law correct things by taking action to make things current, up to date, or right, the response should be, “I’m going to talk to my lawyer. Go away.” If you wish to comply with the agent’s request, your lawyer can set it up. More importantly, the advice of an attorney at this time may be what keeps you out of prison. Yes, you must act, but the action that you take will be driven by what your attorney recommends that you do. Remaining free and keeping your behymen intact is imperative at this juncture.
There is real danger in having any conversation with the Feds no matter what Alphabet Agency they are with. Statements such as, “I told him not to register,” or any kind of statement that can be construed as “counseling, aiding, or abetting” the commission of a felony gives the agents needed information to provide leverage to get you to talk even more and become a no-good, cheese-eating, filthy, rat bastard snitch. The Feds could use any such statement to threaten a parent, counselor, or friend into rolling over and assisting them in their investigation. The Feds will say things like, “You admit that is indictable…”
Their next step is to say, “If you have nothing to hide, then you certainly shouldn’t be afraid to talk to us.” Or, more bluntly, they will say, “What are you afraid of?” You may think that you would not be susceptible to such an obvious tactic. You are smarter than that. You are better than that. But when you are nervous, your palms are sweaty, your heart is racing, and you are confronted by two hostile federal agents, be it in the early morning hours, late evening hours, at work, leaving work, or on your lunch break, your reaction may be quite different. You may not be totally prepared and may be taken off guard, and that is why it is imperative that you never talk to the Feds.
Sometimes the agents will seem friendly. This is simply another interrogation tactic; a Federal agent is about as friendly as a new mother-in-law or a cobra. This technique will work, and work quite well when you are not thinking clearly and you are more susceptible to thinking that one of the agents is going to be your friend. The classic good guy/bad guy method that you see on television and think is so lame that it could never work in real life works all the time. Trust me; I have used it thousands of times on suspects and the reason I have done so is because it works. Sometimes the agent will be threatening, pretending to have information, or both. Oftentimes they will make stuff up. It is not uncommon for them to have reached into the recycling bin, taken out junk paper, stuffed a file folder full of that information that has nothing to do with you and was destined for the shredder, written your name in bold letters across the file folder, and shown up at your home or place of business in order to scare the hell out of you and make it look like they have a dossier on you that is outrageously thick and full of juicy information in order to make you believe that if you cooperate just a little they will share with you what all that good information is. In interrogations it is not uncommon for an agent to say, “We have information that you were involved with John Doe in connection with the recent terrorist activity.” You may be so bold as to answer, “I wasn’t even in San Diego then.” By not remembering, “DO NOT TALK TO THE FEDS,” you have just told them:
1. Terrorist activity was taking place and you may have known about it.
2. John Doe was involved or at least you believe that he was.
3. You probably know John Doe.
4. You know enough about the terrorist activity to know that it has happened in San Diego. The agent did not say so – you did.
5. You know when it occurred.
6. You were not in San Diego when it occurred.
If this last part is true, it may in itself be useful information for the Feds. If it is false, then you are interfering with a police investigation and you are adding more charges and giving them more leverage over you in order for them to flip you and turn you into a no-good, cheese-eating, rat bastard snitch. You must remember that if an FBI agent or other Federal agent were to be an ice cream flavor, he would be ‘Pralines and Dick,’ to quote Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World.
FBI agents know how to arouse a suspect’s curiosity or fear. They may try to make you believe that if you talk to them you might learn something that would be beneficial to you. Nothing could be further from the truth. Remember, they are highly skilled manipulators who have spent hour upon hour training and practicing their techniques at the academy and at skilled classes following up the academy classes, long before they were ever unleashed on criminals who are far craftier than you ever dreamed of being. If agents from one of the Alphabet Agencies lie to you, it is perfectly legal and perfectly acceptable, and you should expect it; if you lie to them, you are obstructing justice, interfering with an investigation, and potentially perjuring yourself depending upon the investigation, how it is being conducted, and by whom. There is one simple rule to follow when a Federal agent wants to talk to you; by now you should know what it is: DO NOT SPEAK TO THE FEDS.
Some of the more common harassment techniques used by interrogators include pretending that the agents are looking for you, and they will approach your friends, family, neighbors, or fellow employees, asking questions about you, knowing that news of the visits are going to get back to you, forcing you to become nervous, worried, and maybe even a little paranoid. You may even begin to wonder what it is that you could have possibly done. You might be prepared to confess to some trivial thing that they do not even know about and do not care about until they can hold it over your head and use it against you to get you to confess or flip on someone else and become a no-good, cheese-eating, filthy, rat bastard snitch. If an agent or agents from an Alphabet Agency are looking for you, they already know where you are at. They are merely putting psychological pressure on you. Do not fall for these techniques. A favorite tactic of theirs is to pull you off your job or out of class and interview you in full view of others to put pressure on you from your peers. Do not interact with them. Do not try and out-macho them. Do not attempt to do anything other than to say, “Do you have a warrant? Am I being detained or am I free to go?” If they have no warrant and you are not being detained and are free to go, go back to doing what you were doing. If they have a warrant or if you are being detained, immediately state, “I have nothing to say. I want my attorney.” Do not say another word, no matter what. Make a mental note of what time this is and what they say to you after you have made this statement. Continue to make mental notes of the time and what is said to you up to and including when they read you your Miranda warning – if they ever read it to you, as sometimes they forget to Mirandize you. By “forget,” I mean they intentionally do not, trying to keep you ignorant regarding your Constitutional rights – do not fall for it.
At this point in time, many of you may be wondering what is it that I do if the FBI or another Alphabet Agency sends their tools to come around to talk to me at home, at work, at the office, or somewhere else? The answer to that is: DO NOT TALK TO THE FEDS! The best response is to tell them, “If you do not have a warrant, I am not being detained and I am free to go, then you need to leave.” Close and lock your door in their faces. This is difficult for most people to do. If you lack the gravitas to say this, tell them, “My lawyer told me not to talk to the Feds.” This accomplishes several things. It tells them that you have consulted an attorney – maybe you have, maybe you have not, it does not matter. It transfers the responsibility for your silence to the lawyer who is not present and it lessens your feelings of guilt about not cooperating – after all, the lawyer told you not to do it. It may raise Miranda issues, at least in the minds of the agents. The U. S. Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona held that unless a suspect is first advised of certain Constitutional rights, including the right to have an attorney present during questioning, a suspect’s statements cannot be used against him or her in a criminal case. This oftentimes is enough to get the agents to back off.
It is fairly common for Federal agents to call on the phone or leave a message asking for you to come to their field office. Why? Because that is their home turf and they want home field advantage. The agents seek to make you as nervous as possible. They will make you wait in the outer office, and they will do whatever it is that they can to ratchet up the pressure on you while you are waiting, even if that means handcuffing and dragging another agent past you while you are sitting in the waiting room. Do not talk to the Feds. Call a lawyer. A lawyer can act on your behalf, most likely finding out what the purpose of the request is, and the lawyer can accompany you to the interview if you decide to appear. If they do not have a summons, if they do not have a warrant, you are under no obligation to appear. You do not have to talk to the Feds if you choose not to. If the lawyer tells you, “If you have not done anything wrong, why not talk to the FBI?” find another lawyer. The most important thing to remember from all of this is: DO NOT TALK TO THE FEDS.
General Gonzo S. Patton, Commander, 7th Division