Scott Horton Interviews Trevor Aaronson

Scott Horton, August 23, 2011

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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.

41 Responses to “Trevor Aaronson”

  1. Scott,

    A couple of years ago you had a female (iirc) reporter talking on the same subject. I think she was going to write a book on it. One of the quotes I remember from that interview is that she, or someone else, asked the FBI in how many of the sting operations did they manage to obtain a conviction or a plea, and the answer was: all of them.

    Among other reasons for the entrapment is that once an agent starts such an operation, it would be bureaucratic death to his career if he didn't succeed. Can you imagine his annual review. Boss: So you started this terrorism incitement operation. What happened? FBI agent: Oh, I tried & tried & tried to get him to do it, but he just wouldn't bite.

    If you remember the interview & could provide a link, I'll check back later.

  2. What's going to happen when one of these FBI terrorism creation cases ends up killing people bc FBI, having started it, ends up not stopping it in time. Ooopsie.

    Not to mention that every second that the FBI wastes on this ridiculous activity is time spent NOT going after real terrorists.

  3. eCAHNomics, Hmmmm interesting. Very.

  4. Wasn't that the case with regards to the first Trade Center bombing? As I recall the "fake" bomb went off during this so-called operation.

  5. on 8/25 did a segment on this, with Aaronson as guest.

  6. here's the Mother Jonees link.

  7. Russian TV (oh, the irony!) published an excellent article on this subject yesterday. It's a must read:

    FBI organizes almost all terror plots in the US

  8. What´s the difference? It would never be investigated. Who would investigate them?

  9. Interesting.

    I recall an article by the BBC, where they asked a similar question but framed it in a different way. See for yourselves:

    In this article, the hack draws parallels between the case of Bradley Manning and the case of Israeli agents Rosen and Weissman. Hilarious. Is this topic of debate now part of the grand strategy? lol

  10. [...] Source: [...]

  11. [...] Rozhovor s Trevorem Aaronsonem o jeho článku o informátorech FBI [...]

  12. Hi, i have to admit fantastic website you have, i stumbled across it in Yahoo. Does you get much traffic?

  13. I am no longer positive the place you’re getting your information, however great topic. I needs to spend a while studying more or understanding more. Thank you for fantastic info I was in search of this information for my mission.

  14. Thank you for the good writeup. It actually used to be a leisure account it. Look complex to far delivered agreeable from you! By the way, how can we keep up a correspondence?

  15. I’ve read some good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to make such a great informative web site.

  16. They couldn’t have picked a a lot more deserving and fitting identify to present these kinds of an awesome vessel. May perhaps the Lord bless and safeguard PV Kristine Fairbanks and all who serve on her.

  17. A different level is the fact that in the beginning a great deal of brewers (including large swathes of your Large Six) switched above not to full-on keg, but to top-pressure cask, which inside a sense would be the worst of both worlds. You’d normally go in the pub and come across the “premium keg” for instance Red Barrel alongside ordinary mild and bitter on top-pressure.

  18. Hi to every body, it’s my first pay a visit of this webpage; this website carries remarkable and really fine stuff in support of visitors.

  19. Well, this is my first visit for your blog! We’re a group of volunteers and beginning a brand new initiative inside a community within the exact same niche. Your weblog provided us useful information to work on. You’ve done a marvellous work!

  20. It surely does take quite some time to find awesome info. such as this. Thanks a ton.

  21. Major thankies for the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

  22. “Great, thanks for sharing this article post.Really thank you! Really Great.”

  23. Thanks for the article post. Much obliged.

  24. You completed a few fine points there. I did a search on the issue and found nearly all people will go along with with your blog.

  25. Whats up very nice site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally¡KI’m satisfied to find numerous helpful information right here within the publish, we want work out more strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  26. I quite like reading through a post that can make people think.

    Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!

  27. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site. I’m hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own web site now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a great example of it..See check

  28. The ignorance of Mr Aaronson is stunning. These tactics used by the FBI go back to the very beginning of the Bureau. Does he know nothing of cointelpro? The Palmer raids? Nothing about what the FBI did to target the antiwar movement in the sixties, the Black Panthers, the IWW? Hard to believe he could write a book about the FBI and know nothing about this. Coercing people into becoming informants and using agent provocateurs is standard operating procedure and always has been.

  29. Russia and China weren't fooled into going along in Libya. They didn't go along but weren't willing to do enough to stop it. Syria is much closer to them politically and geographically, so they might try harder this time.

  30. The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

  31. I have enjoyed this article so much that I have read it multiple times and plan on coming back for any other articles you may publish.Its not the situation that reader should be totally agreed with author's views about post.

  32. There are so many different prospects when it comes to this subject. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this particular aspect and making it easier for us.

  33. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.

  34. You are great source of free knowledge. I'm very Thankful to you for keeping us update.

  35. Very efficiently written story. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including yours truly :) . Keep up the good work – i will definitely read more posts.

  36. Some genuinely good information, Gladiola I observed this. “‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ — that is allYe know on Earth, and all ye need to know.” by John Keats.

  37. Helpful information. Lucky me I discovered your web site by accident, and I’m stunned why this twist of fate did not came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

  38. Thank you so much regarding giving me an update on this theme on your web site. Please realize that if a fresh post becomes available or when any changes occur about the current article, I would consider reading more and finding out how to make good use of those methods you talk about. Thanks for your efforts and consideration of other men and women by making this blog available.

  39. This is a good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Short but very accurate info… Many thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read post!

  40. Hello everyone, it’s my first go to see at this web site, and
    post is really fruitful designed for me, keep up posting these types of articles or reviews.

  41. Useful information. Fortunate enough me personally I came across your web site by chance, with this particular stunned precisely why this kind of chance couldn’t occurred ahead of time! My spouse and i saved as a favorite it

Leave a Reply