Trevor Aaronson, Investigative Reporting Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, discusses his article “The Informers” that looks at the FBI’s prosecution of terrorism cases in the US; the huge increase of government informants since 2004, and whether they are exposing terrorist plots or manufacturing them; why an “entrapment” legal defense simply doesn’t work, even when it really should; and several specific cases of informants-run-amok, from Lodi, California to Miami, Florida.
MP3 here. (20:37)
Trevor Aaronson is a 2010-11 Investigative Reporting Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, where he developed a yearlong project about the FBI’s informants in U.S. Muslim communities. He is also associate director and co-founder of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit journalism organization that produces reporting about Florida and Latin America in English and Spanish.
Aaronson’s independent journalism has been funded by the Carnegie Legal Reporting Fellowship and the Fund for Investigative Journalism.
Previously, Aaronson was an investigative reporter and editor for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, where his stories ranged from local government investigations to reporting in Asia, Africa and South America. He was also formerly a staff writer for Village Voice Media’s newspapers in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
His work has won more than two dozen national and regional awards, including from the Livingston Awards, Society of Professional Journalists and Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.