IT WAS PAINFUL ENOUGH for the community when the Minuteman Defense League murdered two members of the Flores family. And that was before we knew the FBI could have prevented it.
IF EVER THERE WERE A STARK EXAMPLE of the cruelty and inhumanity that powers so much of the white supremacist/anti-immigrant/neo-nazi movement, it is the manner in which a sweet little nine year old girl was shot dead in her own home, in the middle of the night.
Shawna Forde and her lackies pulled the trigger in this case, in June of last year. Many of us relate to and deeply feel for the Flores familia—whether it be because we are all humans; because nobody wants to be shot in their own bed; because we agree that children must be spared the spiritual sicknesses that adults trade back and forth like baubles; or because we are Mexicano or otherwise under the crosshairs these days. Those of us who do fit into one or more of these categories are often frustrated beyond belief that while the antics of boys in balloons or Ladies Gaga or Sad Sack Gibsons prove to be prime-time material, home invasions and murders tied to the current anti-Latino hostilities in the USA aren’t worth even two minutes on our major news channels.
This is institutionalized racism. As is the fact that nothing good or benevolent is ever reported about Mexicans or Mexicanos. Only a constant spew of criminality and demonization. Some might not care. And then, others might drown in their own blood in their own bed because so many don’t care. As our dear Brisenia did.
Does this institutionalized racism reach into the FBI? Or was it simply lackadaisical sloppiness that inspired them not act to either closely monitor or apprehend Forde and her ilk, even when warned ahead of time about the murderous plans of the Minuteman Defense League?
This is the news that just broke:
The FBI was told that Shawna Forde was planning a home invasion in the Arivaca area weeks before a man and his 9-year-old daughter were shot to death there.
According to documents filed this week in Pima County Superior Court, two confidential informants for the FBI say they told agents in April 2009 that Forde was recruiting people to raid a house she believed was filled with illicit drugs, money and guns. …
In a phone conversation taped by the FBI, Forde tells one of the informants that future jobs would be something of a test for a new recruit, saying: “Our hands are already dirty. We’ve got to know he can pull the trigger.”
Earlier this week, Forde’s defense attorney, Eric Larsen, filed a motion asking Judge John Leonardo to force prosecutors to hand over all FBI documents pertaining to the two confidential informants. The documents indicate neither was paid for his information, nor were they cooperating to avoid prosecution in any unrelated cases.
The documents include transcripts of separate interviews conducted by Pima County sheriff’s Sgt. Jill Murphy and by defense attorneys. Also included are nonconfidential FBI reports summing up what the informants told agents.
While the men say they told the FBI about Forde’s plans before the slayings, the FBI reports don’t reflect when it received the information.
Dave Joly, a spokesman for the FBI’s Denver division, said the bureau received the information “after the fact.” He declined to comment further because the case has not yet gone to trial.
So the informants claim they told the FBI, and now the FBI is covering its ass and saying “Hunh??”
Ass-covering is a human response. The problem is that this ass-covering that the FBI is doing will damage the prosecution’s case against Brisenia’s killers. So it’s a failure to protect on top of a failure to protect.
Larsen said that, assuming the FBI actually was aware of the alleged plot, he wants to know what the FBI thought about the information because, he said, if the agency chose not to act on the men’s information, that damages their credibility.
“If the FBI didn’t believe (the informants), why should the jury?” Larsen said.
Indeed. And why should the news cycle care at all about any of this?
Echoes of Noam Chomsky in my mind…about how terrorism is defined by the directions in which the guns point.