American Spectator editor admits being Agent Provocateur at D.C. protest pepper-spray incident

Agent Provocateur — a person “employed by the police or other entity to act undercover to entice or provoke another person to commit an illegal act.”

In the U.S. anti-labor forces used agent provocateurs (better, but very French plural: agents provocateurs). In the anti-hippie 60s — you remember don’t you? That horrifying period that brought you litter-free America and sex without shame — the FBI used agents provocateurs extensively in the COINTELPRO program. (Click the link; for you police defenders, this is why people don’t trust cops. Here’s another reason.)

So you may have heard that there was a protest at the Washington D.C. Air and Space Museum, and people got pepper-sprayed because some of them charged the building (while many others did not).

Why this museum? Because it was an anti-war, anti-drone protest, and the Air and Space Museum was “celebrating the use of drones” through an exhibit made possible by the “generosity of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.” Nice tie-in, by the way; care for a Coke® with that?

The story, from the AP (my emphasis):

The National Air and Space Museum in Washington was closed Saturday after anti-war demonstrators swarmed the building to protest a drone exhibit and security guards used pepper spray to repel them, sickening a number of protesters.

Smithsonian spokesman John Gibbons said a large group of demonstrators, estimated at 100 to 200 people, arrived at about 3 p.m. and tried to enter the National Mall museum. When a security guard stopped group members from entering, saying they could not bring in signs, he was apparently held by demonstrators, Gibbons said. A second guard who arrived used pepper spray on at least one person and the crowd dispersed, he added. …

David Swanson, 41, of Charlottesville, Va. … who says he has been part of the Freedom Plaza protest, says protesters were not looking to shut down the museum but to make a point about the massive military spending and the use of deadly drones. He said the security officers got aggressive after some protesters unfurled a protest banner inside.

David Swanson is the After Downing Street guy, by the way.

Now there’s credible evidence (as in, photos and an admission) that at least one of the protesters entering the building was Patrick Howley, an assistant editor at the rightwing publication (and rag) The American Spectator.

Great catch by Charlie Grapski at FDL:

The following photograph taken by opednews.com shows a confrontation in the lobby of the National Air and Space Museum between two individuals and an officer shortly before video shows officers with the Museum’s security forces rush outside indiscriminately pepper-spraying numerous individuals. … It appears that one of the two in the confrontation with the security officer is Patrick Howley, Assistant Editor of The American Spectator. [See the following photograph in which Howley’s Facebook Profile Photo is side-by-side with the person pictured at the Air and Space Museum]

Crapski’s article also quotes Howley’s admission. Click here to see both the photos and the Howley quotes.

It’s clear from Swanson’s story that more than just Howley wanted to enter the building. It’s clear from Howley’s story that he was among the most confrontational:

According to Howley’s story he joined the group in its march toward the Air and Space Museum but the protesters on the march were unwilling to be confrontational. He states “they lack the nerve to confront authority.

As Raw Story points out, “unclear if Howley actually incited the clash with security guards.” True enough. But the intent was there in Howley’s printed admission.

So a word to the wise; the [insert reference to rodents here] has begun. And I wouldn’t be surprised if those patriotic police didn’t find a way to join forces with every patriotic junior G-man American to screw up Occupy Wall Street as well.

Be warned. Half the rightwing crazies are James O’Keefe wannabes; and this is always the way it works.

GP


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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