Informant (2012) Movie Script

Newswoman: We turn now to a
story out of Austin, Texas,
that's shocked social justice
activists nation wide.
Brandon Darby has admitted
to wearing recording devices
and wearing a transmitter
embedded in his belt.
He's expected to testify in the
trial of two Texas activists
who were arrested on charges of making
and possessing Molotov cocktails.
Newsman: Two Texas men are charged with plotting
to attack police with Molotov cocktails.
Newswoman: David McKay and Bradley Crowder
could face up to ten years in prison.
Man: To say that Brandon Darby
didn't give those guys a fair chance
It's a travesty what he did.
It's a travesty what he did.
Where am I looking?
Look straight into the camera.
It's not looking
straight at me.
You're looking
straight at it right now.
- Am I?
- Yep, yeah.
- Tell me when.
- We're ready. We're rolling.
I'm gonna start over.
I'm sorry, man.
I've received a lot
of direct death threats.
I've had to go to trial
and testify
against someone
sending me death threats.
People put images of me
with "kill him" on the Internet.
The U.S. Attorney's office
offered me
the witness protection program,
but this is my home.
This group, they use Molotov cocktails,
they threaten violence.
No it doesn't work, man.
Because it's not about them,
it's about the whole fucking Left
and their support
of these fuckers.
Okay, let's just get you,
just talk, speak your mind.
- Okay...
- And just try to focus on this...
- and just tell it to us.
- Okay, go ahead, man.
This is my home.
I'm not going to leave.
(helicopter blades whirring)
as the founder of the New Orleans-based
group Common Ground Relief,
which he helped start after
Hurricane Katrina.
How's this?
- What is that?
- Interviewer: Interview...
Where do I look?
- Always in the camera.
- Into that thing?
One second for the focus.
All right,
I'm ready.
My name is Brandon Darby and I work
with the Common Ground Collective
in New Orleans, Louisiana.
We're in the Lower Ninth Ward.
We've been here between
four and five months,
working with... with people from
around the country, and with locals.
To get water and food
and medicine, medical care...
The people here
were left to die.
What I saw was awful.
You know?
If I'd had
an appropriate weapon
I would have,
I would have attacked my government
for what they were doing to people.
I honestly would have.
Newsman: Much of New Orleans is flooded,
and now we're having to deal with it.
Newsman 2:
It's just this incredible misery.
We were at the New Orleans
Convention Center today...
You turn the TV
on and you see these images,
and you're like,
what's going on?
Newsman: ...with their babies,
literally living in raw sewage.
Brandon: It was like wow,
this is fucked up.
You know, this is wrong.
How could this happen?
Just a horrible scene down there.
And my friend's there, and I couldn't
get him to leave before the storm.
I had no idea
if he was alive or dead.
And it bothered me...
'Cause you can't really know the
guy and not, not care about...
you know not like the guy, you know,
like he's one of those people.
I began to call people,
and I said hey,
"You know, we should go get King,
you know?"
We're talking and he says,
man, let's go get him.
So we arrive.
We had gone through
what used to be a neighborhood.
And we saw
dead bodies everywhere.
I wasn't even
ready to deal with it.
Brandon: Some people had returned,
to look for loved ones.
There was a guy whose dad
stayed in a yellow house.
A little ways up the road
we saw a part of a yellow house,
and we had this big debate
on whether we should go tell him
or let him find it
for himself?
And we decided that emotionally
we couldn't handle it.
So we let him
find it for himself.
And we had a lot
of those experiences,
going into the city
of New Orleans.
And it was really fucking sad,
you know?
Scott: So he gets in his truck
and he goes across the bridge.
I was just determined that,
there was no way in hell
that I was not go and get King,
or at least know if he was dead,
you know? There's no way.
That's it there.
So this was all underwater.
I parked my truck
and I started walking.
I ended up under an overpass.
The law enforcement on the overpass stopped
me and told me I couldn't be there.
And I said you're up there,
I'm down here.
Tough shit, you know?
And they talked and they were like,
let us call you an airboat.
I get in the airboat...
it's Army Rangers.
And they're like, well,
this is gonna take too long.
And I started getting this really weird
feeling that they weren't actually
trying to help me
go get my friend.
The one thing I had going for me was
everyone was afraid of the water.
And then I said, "You can get me at
my friend's house at this address."
I got on a fencepost. And I
think it's that fence post.
And I just held on to the fence post,
so I could stay up.
And they were saying things like,
"You're gonna get so sick from that water.
You need to get out the water now.
Come back."
And I was like, "No... Go get my friend,
and I'll get in your boat.
Sorry, go get him and
then I'll get in your boat."
And then I had
a cell phone call.
Cause I had my phone in my mouth
when I swam from here to over there.
And it was him.
He was like, "Brandon."
And I was like, "Oh shit,
where are you at?
You don't know what,
the situation I'm in.
Where are you?
Don't tell me you're in Texas."
And he was like, "No,
I'm in this boat with these Rangers."
And I was like, oh shit.
It was the Army Rangers who had
initially picked me up.
And they,
they went to his address and got him.
In a moment, in a, you know,
flash of an eye,
how the whole infrastructure
could just dissolve.
I had been surrounded by water by
this time about maybe ten days.
"Your friend sent us to get you.
Do you know Brandon?"
I said,
"Yeah" and I just laughed and said, "Wow."
Brandon calls. "I got King."
And man, I cried.
And I cried, like it was one of
the most joyous times of my life.
Cause I'd almost given up
hope that he would be alive.
You have all kind of signs
all over the community
saying that we kill looters,
but what constitutes a looter?
They put all these really hateful signs.
But then they decided
to take it on themselves
to have armed militia patrols.
These guys were
policing their community,
and they identified
enemy as black.
And so they had in fact
become racist and because
they were armed and they were using that,
they were using force,
they had become
racist militias.
Scott: We go and we cover up a
dead body that was bullet-riddled.
And the question is,
who killed this man?
And then there's
another one two streets over.
And I'm like,
who killed this man?
- Was it the vigilantes?
- We shot 'em!
Woman: They were looters!
- You had to do what you had to do.
If you had to shoot somebody
you had to shoot somebody.
Don't go into a white woman's home and
tell her you're gonna take it over.
Woman: No. You don't do that.
- No.
We don't allow
that around these parts.
No way is this happening.
Not in front of me, you know?
Not in front of me,
I'm not letting this happen.
Even if it kills me,
it's wrong.
It's just wrong,
I'd rather die saying hell no to this.
And that's what we...
that's the decision we made.
Brandon and I,
when we brought guns,
we brought a lot of
semiautomatic weapons,
we brought a lot
of high-powered rifles.
And we fucking...
and us and people from this community
sat on the porch
and said, "no more."
Get the fuck out of here.
This is not a place to fuck with.
Like this is...
it's over.
You know I was ready
for guerrilla warfare
and Scott was the one
who was actually
and he was like well we need
to be prepared for that,
if indeed something else happens and they
start trying to kill black people again.
But we also...
here's a chance to organize.
This is gonna be a chance for us
as anarchists to do something
that is not just fighting in the streets
or resisting corporate power, state power.
Scott and Malik really used their activist
connections in a really positive way.
They'd started a clinic,
I mean they did amazing stuff.
Man: They were giving out food,
If you had medical problems,
they were there with everything.
It was amazing.
We put it on the Internet
and we ask people that are activists
or organizers in those cities
to print as many of those out
and bring them to the churches,
bring them to the shelters,
and bring them to the hotels,
and bring them,
that will get the word out.
We want to get as many people
back home as we can,
as soon as possible.
'Cause they trying to put
a time limit on us.
We don't have a church
for people to organize it from.
This pastor right here, he says that
he's willing to open his home up,
it's called Eagle Wings,
open his church up for people to use.
So we already had had a lot
of support in the community,
but law enforcement
was not happy with us.
I'm Scott Crow,
I'm one of the co-organizers, co-founder.
You got any paperwork saying
officially who you are?
What kind of group
you are?
- I have my ID.
- Let me see that.
You know here are
a bunch of radicals hanging out
and associating with former
Black Panther Party members.
Frankly, I really felt... and the
literature that I read on Common Ground...
That... a mission to overthrow
the United States government.
Chief Bryson, the head
of the Fifth District showed up,
and he had two
U.S. Marshals with him.
He just said "Okay,
what the hell are you doing in my city?
What are you doing here?"
And I told him, I said,
"I'm trying to foment radical social
change, that's what we're trying to do."
We're gonna shine a light on the neglect
that has happened in this community.
Lisa: Common Ground was
this convergence.
There's the anarchist influence,
obviously the Black Panther influence.
We're showing the city of New Orleans
that the days of old is gone.
That a new progressive city
will be built.
Malik: Brandon Darby,
one of the true heroes of Katrina,
is staying in the Lower Ninth Ward,
in an act of civil disobedience.
Woman: I first met Brandon Darby
two months after the storm,
and my first impression of him
was that he was an ego-maniac
who was pretty full of himself.
Very, very strong.
Very direct.
Very alpha male,
kind of top dog.
I do hope that you all figure
out a way to communicate
with the people of the Lower Ninth Ward
and make sure their needs are addressed,
make sure they're not
kicked out of hotels,
Scott: Brandon had never
organized anything in his life.
Because of what
he and I had done,
dealing with the vigilantes
and coming to find King,
Malik elevated him to a status
that was beyond anybody else.
My name is Lisa
and I work with Common Ground,
and some folks
from Common Ground,
Brandon Darby who's been
coordinating this project...
I think Malik trusted me,
and he just said,
well I want you to do
the Ninth Ward project.
We're willing to do
whatever we need to do,
to be in solidarity with anybody in
this area, in the Lower Ninth Ward.
I appreciate
the people that are here,
because I'm gonna tell you,
without you... shhhh...
Brandon: The Lower Ninth Ward was
the most affected area from Katrina,
and it was on the other side
of the industrial canal.
And that's where people saw
the image of the barge,
and every day there were news helicopters
seeing this barge sitting on the land,
where there had been homes,
you know?
And no one was allowed no matter what
to be in their houses after dark.
So you couldn't, you couldn't even
move back and stay in your house.
So we had to figure out a way
to challenge that,
and get residents
back to their homes.
I'm gonna be in this house every night.
I'm gonna try to challenge that law...
the curfews
they're doing to people.
So for residents
that wanna stand in the homes,
and they wanna stand in the homes
even if a bulldozer's gonna come,
Caroline: I wouldn't say that I've
changed my mind about his ego.
But I've seen him use that ego to
achieve some pretty incredible things.
I mean look around, you know?
These are people,
these people have nowhere else to go.
I think if we could get
one house on each block rebuilt,
I think that that'll
do a lot to inspire people.
That was the glory days of Common Ground.
And also of Brandon.
If your stuff got damaged,
and you wanna help your neighbors,
you wanna help...
the tools are gonna be here.
For several years after the storm,
Brandon was considered
this hero, this god.
We're gonna have everything
people need in this area.
Caroline: He was the symbol of
what radical activism could do.
Brandon: I can't really get into when
I became politicized, so to speak,
without acknowledging
some of my past,
some of my history.
And I was raised in an area
where there wasn't a lot
of political awareness.
I'm from Pasadena, Texas.
It was a refinery town.
I had a situation in my life
where I have a mother and several
relatives that are very sick,
because of a Brio Chemical site.
The people bury stuff
and then they built
a subdivision on it,
and they know
they did it.
I watched no one
get in trouble for it.
And I remember at a very early age
thinking, uh-uh, that's not cool.
And so I have, intense experiences
to draw from that push me,
with my activism.
At a fairly early age,
when my parents divorced,
I began to run away a lot.
When I was a kid,
I used to come down here and,
so miserable about stuff
with my family and my life,
And there's a lot that comes with that,
there's a lot that happens
as a runaway 13
and 14-year-old.
Like the concept of people taking
advantage of 13-year-olds,
you know runaways,
kind of pisses me off, you know?
Those experiences I had,
as a runaway,
had a lot to do with why
I had a strong disdain
for people abusing power.
I moved into Austin,
which is more
of a progressive community.
I was exposed
to a lot of different people,
a lot of different ways
of thinking.
I met this Black Panther,
Robert King Wilkerson.
Brandon idealized King
in a lot of ways,
and the struggles
that King went through.
He's a former Black Panther,
did 32 years in prison,
I began to have a fascination
with the Black Panther Party.
That kind of attitude
towards the U.S. government.
That was pretty
influential on me.
I identified as a revolutionary.
I felt that the U.S. government was an
obstacle to having a peaceful world.
As a revolutionary
I really believed at some point
that I was going to join
a revolutionary movement.
One day I got this call.
It was King and he said,
Brother, me and so-and-so,
I'm not gonna say the guy's name,
we're coming to pick you up.
The story is,
it was bunch
of former Black Panthers.
They called him and they were like,
"Hey, man, we wanna meet you.
We're gonna take you
on this private ride."
And I was like, what's going on?
He goes, "Well I want you
to meet some people, brother,
and I think this is gonna help
kick off the revolution, bro."
And I was like, oh shit,
this is an honor, you know.
He's thinking it's gonna be a heist.
That's what he wants it to
be in Brandon Darby's head.
And I'm over here
thinking that he has
some big revolutionary act
planned or something.
Or I didn't know,
you know?
They like make him sit in the middle,
and he's a little
uncomfortable with it.
And they're like,
are you ready for this?
Oh man, what's going on?
Are we really gonna do something?
And I'm like,
well who're we going to meet?
And he goes,
"That's the thing, my brother.
We have these things called
business units,
What they wanted to do was
get into multi-level marketing.
"Anybody you sign up,
is gonna get some.
You're gonna get
a percentage."
And I was like aawwh,
"Is it an Amway meeting?"
These are products that are
designed to help the planet."
And I was like, oh man,
let me out of the fucking car.
The Black Panther Party was about...
all about guns and stuff.
He wanted to form a revolutionary
cell of underground people
to do something with a gun.
That's what he would want to do,
in his ideal world.
(pages shuffling)
I was involved
in a lot of causes
with people that I believed to be
political prisoners at the time,
and I wanted to make sure I had
sussed out a place for them to go,
because there was a lot of talk about that.
We called it Plan B.
And we figured ways of like,
would we ever break them out of the prison.
- Oh my gosh. Oh my god.
- (nterviewer speaks quietly)
He made that shit up!
Nobody was... Listen...
what's the story?
Well Plan B is, the concept,
and it wasn't something I initiated.
(indistinct chatter)
Brandon: When it looked like there was
no way they were ever gonna get out
the concept was for me
to get a job as a prison guard.
And then find a way
to break them out of the prison., here, and there.
Nobody tried to...
he wanted to do that.
That is a total fabrication.
Maybe in his brain someday
he was gonna do that,
but it wasn't a story I ever heard,
or anybody else ever heard that I know of.
How serious were you
about Plan B?
I was pretty dedicated to it.
You know?
I was pretty dedicated to it,
but I never lost hope that there was
a way to get people out without that.
But I thought it was probably
pretty wise to do.
There's a few stories that run into
Brandon's head, over and over again.
One of them is that he wanted to be a
revolutionary so that he could go to prison.
He wanted it so bad.
But not really.
But that was the ideal.
And so, so he has this whole prison
story and like he'd just start,
he'd just meet somebody and
start telling them this story,
and you're like,
why are you telling that story?
It's like, this is a story
he made up.
So he's gonna learn to cage fight,
and do all these things,
and somebody tries to rape him,
he can defend himself.
And he like goes into all the details,
like, "When the cell door closes,
and it gets dark and somebody
tries to come in,
this is what I'm gonna
do to him."
And it just made me want
to pull my hair out.
I was like,
shut up already.
That is the stupidest story
I have ever heard.
What should people who are living,
what should they ask themselves in
order to understand the situation.
The U.S. government has
a tendency to criminalize,
people that disagree
with it politically.
That's why we don't have
political prisoners,
is because if you're someone who's
political and they wanna incarcerate you
for your politics
and your organizing,
they find a charge against you,
like they did Marcus Garvey,
or like, we could go on and on.
They criminalize you.
His, his, what he called
revolutionary rhetoric,
to me was also just
completely reckless.
I can't say anything else
about it.
Somedays I think,
I only wake up and I think to myself,
like how on earth could we
attention to what's happening here?
And the concept of going to
Congress and burning myself alive,
I've thought of that, you know?
And I think about stuff like that a lot.
Sounds drastic,
but you know,
there's a lot of things
happening here that aren't okay.
I don't want to minimize Brandon
Darby's work at Common Ground,
because he did a lot
of good things.
But I also saw
this recklessness.
He didn't want to be
accountable to anybody.
I had the skill-set to run the project.
What I didn't have were the
organizational skills to learn how to,
I think, deal with people
who had different opinions.
Brandon did support hierarchy...
and did want to be in charge.
Really what we want is direct democracy
and participation from people.
Ken: If you know anything about
decision making by committee,
that's a long
and drawn-out process.
Brandon: I just didn't want to spend
five hours a day in a meeting,
arguing with 17-year-olds.
Scott: He didn't participate
in the meetings.
Or he would come at the very end
and just tell everybody what to do.
And that created
huge amounts of resentment.
I'm not an activist.
I was just trying,
trying to help my community.
But a lot of these people
were activists
and were looking for this
utopian type of thing.
Well, utopia doesn't exist.
I understand that the consensus model
meant a lot to all the folks
who came out.
I understand you got
here yesterday
and you think this is
a fresh, virgin environment.
Every week,
somebody's come here
and started
a composting toilet.
We have no sawdust, and y'all are
pooping and peeing in a bucket,
and then y'all go off
to the next like,
Chiapas or the next wherever.
I've dealt with 20 of you,
and y'all all leave me to clean
up the shit in your bucket.
You can't tell us not to,
it's like, I'm telling you,
don't shit in a bucket
or I will have you removed.
I'm not cleaning up
your shit in that bucket.
Bryson: I was amazed
that he was so aggressive.
Mr. Darby was anti-police,
I was very skeptical whether or not
they were here to help or to hinder.
Chief Bryson called and he said,
"Hey, I found these young people
who said that you had,
you sent them around
with medications,
you know for the elderly people
and I know these people."
And I said, "Well that's what we do."
And he said,
well, I have a hard time disliking
you when you do things like that.
And I said well I'm having
a hard time disliking you
And shortly after that he
started really working with us.
That was the first time
in my life
that I'd really started
having those interactions.
Police were no longer "them."
- (Bryson laughs)
It was breaking that down a little bit,
to have to interact.
Woman: How do you see in the future
empowering people in this community,
as they come back
to a devastated area?
We're willing to do it,
often times, and don't get scared,
I say by any means necessary,
that doesn't mean by violence.
You know, but when we say that
what we mean is like next month,
we're gonna have a delegation
going to Venezuela.
The intention with that is
to try and ask foreign nations
to pay for a couple
of health clinics.
To pay, to fund,
but to fund it,
to fund education.
When Brandon told me he was gonna
talk to Chavez in Venezuela,
I asked, "Are you fucking crazy?"
I'm gonna say it the way it is.
He wanted to go and see
what revolutionaries were doing,
Interviewer: What was the goal
in going to Venezuela?
It doesn't really make
that much sense to me.
The overt goal of going to Venezuela
was to get resources to buy shelter
for people in New Orleans.
And we figured if we did that,
then it would embarrass the U.S.
government enough that they would,
they would then do
what they were supposed to do.
Which in itself could be
construed as very illegal.
And I knew it,
and I didn't really care.
So, we go to Venezuela.
And it was beautiful, you know?
This revolutionary fervor
in young people.
It was lovely,
seeing so many people caring
and wanting to make change.
It was what I'd always dreamed of.
It was my dream.
Then it got much more complicated when
they were on the ground down there.
We connected
with the government.
And we ended up in a fairly
high official's... you know,
a high level of government.
The minister I had met with
asked me to meet with friends
of his from the oil industry.
And then the oil industry said
"Well, we think
if any money comes from Venezuela we
should do it through the oil industry.
I just need you to give us a sense
of what happened here in this room.
You start talking to me about getting into
wanting me to go with you to Columbia,
I don't know if you're
somebody who's just trying
to help the FARC
kidnap an American.
You know what I mean?
I don't know what you're doing.
Director: Good.
Okay, let's go with that.
They mentioned to me that they knew
what was going on in New Orleans,
and they knew
what we were doing.
And they wanted me to meet with,
with the FARC.
Newsman: The Revolutionary Armed
Forces of Columbia, or FARC.
Newsman 2: The FARC, a rebel group that
for years controlled large swaths...
and on the State Department's list
of foreign terrorist organizations.
Brandon: I wasn't opposed to
meeting with resistance movements,
and I wasn't opposed
to making sure I had support
if indeed the U.S. government did
what we though they would do,
which is kill us because we're disagreeing
with them in a successful way.
Challenging their power.
Part of me hoped that
the FARC was just noble people
who wanted
to end oppression.
Part of me didn't want
to meet with the FARC
because I felt as though
I'd be meeting with
narco-traffickers who kidnap people.
Part of me felt like
it could be a CIA plot.
I don't think I'm gonna go
meet with these people.
I don't think
I'm interested in it.
"No come with us.
Come with us."
These people are really
dedicated to me crossing
national boundaries
into Columbia with them.
Why? Like do they want
to kidnap me?
Is it the CIA trying to bust me?
Am I gonna get arrested if I don't go?
Or if I do go
am I gonna get arrested,
- I didn't know what to do.
- Interviewer: How did you shake them?
How did you get them
off your back?
I told other parts of the...
leaders in other parts of the
government what they were doing.
Tell me about that.
Tell me what happened.
I'm gonna take a break.
Maybe it was Brandon trying to find out
what revolutionary
really means.
Maybe his vision of what he saw
wasn't what he thought it was.
I don't know what he
thought it is... or was.
When Brandon came back from Venezuela,
I would describe what happened
maybe as a mental breakdown.
He was withdrawn, very paranoid
and very depressed.
I left Venezuela
feeling very confused.
I came back,
I couldn't sleep.
As a person,
I was breaking.
Scott: Brandon, as much as any of us,
had post-traumatic stress.
You can't go through the things
we went through in New Orleans,
and then pile on Venezuela,
and be okay.
Brandon: And it was just the
internal politics were killing me.
There was a lot of tension in the ranks.
A lot of people left
because folks didn't like him.
They didn't like
what he was doing,
they didn't like
his top-down approach.
He no longer believed
in the collectivist attitude,
the anarchist approach.
(phone chatter)
He ended up going off
the radar for a while.
I went back to Austin.
Everything I had kinda
believed in for so many years...
started crashing a little bit.
You know over time,
I guess...
yeah, I guess my views
just really changed.
I'm not so sure that...
I'm not so sure that
I'm completely right anymore.
You know, I'm not so sure
that turning my country...
because that's
what would happen, right?
Like we'd have a resistance
movement and if we were successful
and didn't get killed right
away or put in prison,
you know, then the best we could hope
for is to have what Columbia has, right,
which is just a sustained war where everyone
in the country knows what murder is,
deals with murder,
deals with kidnappings.
And it's like, you know,
I don't want that in my country.
What kind of thing could happen to be
that bridge between being a revolutionary
and going undercover
with the FBI?
And it's like well,
a lot of experiences in life.
A lot of doubts about views,
because of experiences
and growing older
and more perspective.
And then something absolutely
that radical coming up
that you have to say something about
or else you're complicit in it.
Interviewer: Let's talk about when you
first came in contact with the FBI.
I had met a man named Riad Hammad...
a local teacher.
And he was the guy at the protests who
always held up a Palestinian flag.
Represented for
the Palestinian people.
He had devised a plan that,
you know,
as a white American I could
open a fake business account...
a fake business, get a DBA,
and open the account,
and then he could put money
into the account,
and then he would be able
to send a debit card to Israel.
And he was pretty clear with me
what he wanted to do with that.
And he did talk about Hamas
and he did talk about Hezbollah.
And he talked about
the struggle in Israel
and he talked about
the fact that money
that the organization
was sending can't get to people,
and he said
all these things to me,
'cause we were pretty close.
And I just told him,
I was like, you know, umm-mmm,
I'm not doing that man.
And I said, "Hey man I have a real problem.
This is what's going on."
And a lot of people said,
just stay away from the person.
No one said turn the person in,
or stop it.
It was just stay away
from the person.
But then other people who I knew
began to approach me and say "Hey"...
they were younger people...
and say, "Hey, this man
approached me with this, too."
With me it's one thing,
you're gonna ask me to do this
But with these people they
don't know what it's even for.
You know they're gonna
get their house...
their door kicked in by federal agents
at some point for funding terrorism,
I find it hard to believe that Riad
was doing anything of this kind...
providing material support.
He was too smart for that.
This isn't something that I just
said, "Hey, I'm not doing it"
and he got scared
and backed away from.
It was something that he was
gonna go ahead with.
This guy wasn't the most militant
person I ever met in my life,
he didn't even
talk militantly.
He wanted,
he wanted a free Palestine,
but welcome to the world.
I remember watching the news and
there was a suicide bombing in Israel
and I remember thinking,
"If I don't say something about this,
I'm gonna have some responsibility
for that happening."
You know? And so I decided
I was gonna say something.
I did get a call from Brandon and
he told me about the situation,
and I stopped him in the middle
of the conversation.
I said stop Brandon,
let me hook you up with a handler.
I reached out to law enforcement,
and I told on him.
And when I told on him
I did so very tearfully.
Regardless of how right I felt
like that was to do,
My entire adult life, it had been so
foreign to talk to the FBI, you know?
That was such
a taboo thing to do.
That's when I first
met my handler.
And he just said okay,
"In this situation,
we have a very hard time getting
anyone in this person's life.
Something needed to be done."
I just told him what was said.
And that was it.
As much as it seems crazy that a revolutionary
would work with the FBI at some point,
under the particular
I don't think it's that crazy.
I felt really strange
when I left that.
And shortly after that,
a body was found...
in Town Lake,
in Austin.
And it was just like,
oh no.
Newsman: Developing news
coming out of East Austin
where a body bound
with duct tape...
Newswoman: ...bound with duct tape
and his arms appeared to be tied
Detectives with the Austin Police
Department are investigating...
the IRS and the FBI showed up
and took documents.
Riad did something
quite extreme.
Went down to the lake,
took a roll of duct tape,
wrapped it around his ankles,
and then around his mouth
and head,
then threw himself in the lake.
The agencies
putting pressure on him
caused him to feel
that he had no choice
but to relieve his family.
I do think that these agencies
are responsible,
even if they didn't
directly intend his death.
In that sense
it's homicide,
and they bear
responsibility for it.
At the time I really felt
like I played a role in that.
You know, I really did.
And it was really upsetting.
And the thing that was really,
really difficult
was that I couldn't talk
about it, you know?
And I just felt,
it was just such a bad feeling.
And you feel for his family...
I mean you just can't talk
about any of it, you know?
The only one I could talk
to about it
was the guy from the FBI,
you know?
And I did every day,
cause I cried. I was upset.
By the time the Republican
National Convention came up
came up I felt very bonded
with my handler.
So that played a part,
in my decision to go undercover.
You know?
But then it's just this realization
like, wow, you know,
I'm privy to information,
and there are people,
regardless of how much
I can see their human side
and what I like
or dislike about them,
I'm privy to information,
about people and communities
who are openly expressing,
and some privately expressing,
which is even scarier,
that they are gonna hurt people.
And I need to do something about it.
I need to do
something about that.
That's a moral obligation.
And the way I decided to do it
was to work undercover.
Can you talk about, in 2008,
when they asked you to start
following the group
that was going to the Republican
National Convention?
All right.
I was contacted by the FBI.
They said, "Hey you know
there's a meeting coming up
for a group called
the RNC Welcoming Committee.
We've had some reports that they've
said some frightening stuff.
And so we need to send someone
who's trusted to go hear it,
and see what's going on."
I don't know that I wanna get
involved in that, man."
And they're like,
"We really need you to."
Kinda wondered at the time initially
like why are you asking me
to go to a meeting
at a bookstore.
Once it was clear to me
what was being said,
I thought it was
important to do.
Two people came from Minnesota.
They showed videos and talked
about what their hopes were
for the Republican
National Convention.
They said they would use
a diversity of tactics.
Well, okay,
a diversity of tactics.
That's the word that the Earth
Liberation Front uses for arson.
That's the word that the Animal
Liberation Front uses for arson.
They went as far as to show videos of
people throwing Molotov cocktails.
Even though it was done in
somewhat of a theatrical sense.
It was clearly a satire.
So it's very, very open
to interpretation.
(Blondie's "One Way
or Another" plays)
It's set to the Blondie song,
"One Way or Another."
It's kind of a wink-wink spoof
on the black bloc,
the most radical activists.
There is a scene in it that
involves a Molotov cocktail.
A guy throws a Molotov cocktail
into a barbecue.
I don't think that you needed
to infiltrate these people.
There's a side of Brandon
that's just very dramatic
and conspiratorial
and a little bit paranoid.
Brandon: I thought
that there was a likelihood
that somebody would go
to an extreme.
They asked for a group of people
in Austin to get together
and meet and form
an affinity group.
Michael: There's no doubt in my mind
that the FBI made a terrible mistake,
sending Brandon Darby
into that situation.
They put a 33-year-old,
renowned, militant activist...
in a group with two guys
ten years younger than him
who look up to him,
but he's not supposed to be the leader.
Brandon: At the first meeting,
there was James Clark,
David McKay
and Brad Crowder and myself.
I felt like David and Brad
both wanted to go,
I felt like they probably had good
intentions but I also felt like
there was probably
a lot of youthful anger.
David reminded me
I guess more of myself.
He was more of an action-driven
kind of person he seemed like.
With James I was always
kind of torn I guess.
He's really like
a process-oriented anarchist,
who traditionally I haven't
gotten along with too well.
It was a very
macho atmosphere.
There was definitely
a sense of like...
everybody trying to like,
toughen up.
It was the cycle of everybody's
machismo feeding on itself.
The group went around
and everyone
just talked about their goals.
David and Brad expressed more of
a willingness to serve some time.
My initial reaction
was to discourage that.
I don't think
prison's a good thing.
I don't think you realize
what it is.
Don't get me wrong,
like when I go I'm gonna
shut the fucker down, too.
James: He said we needed
to like toughen up,
stop looking like we ate
a bunch of tofu.
To my knowledge none of the
three of us were vegetarian.
I mean, I've never been
a vegetarian. I'm just skinny.
And I'm sorry
that I don't measure up
to your standard
of toughness or masculinity,
but I mean don't tell me
to stop eating tofu.
Like, what does that
even mean, like?
He made comments about how
Brad specifically, and me too,
were kinda like weaklings.
We weren't men's men.
The coffee that I ordered
I remember one time
he made fun because I ordered
a latte, and not like a coffee.
We didn't want
to just be these guys
that just like showed up
without any credentials.
That's everything
that Brandon was.
He was the activist guy
from Austin.
Brad and David both
were from working towns
like Midland,
similar to where
I was from.
I felt a sense
of camaraderie with that.
I could see a lot
of myself in them.
I understood
some of their anger.
I really
understood it actually.
David, he had a really rough
adolescence, you know?
David: There was always a lot
of conflict in my house.
I had a lot of fear of my dad.
He is a very
controlling individual.
I have always tried to be the
kind of a person who's a man,
or tried to prove that I have
that kind of manliness.
(camera clicks)
My first real conflict
with law enforcement
was a protest against the KKK.
- That one ended pretty bad.
- (Camera clicks)
I ended up being tased
and arrested.
I did not want to go be vulnerable
to that situation again.
If I was gonna go,
I wanted to have protection.
To start you're gonna need
to take one of these big,
orange traffic barrels,
and we're gonna be
turning it into this.
They had taken these shields
that had these little screws
to screw in a plexiglass window.
And they had modified them again
to have long deck screws.
That way if police pushed against
them it would puncture the police.
David: There were no screws,
they were all bolts.
You can't be punctured
by a bolt.
It was non-threatening.
It was a way we could go
be a part of it.
So we wouldn't get
any kind of like real trouble.
David and Brad rented a trailer,
and put their shields
and stuff in it.
Yeah, I got in the van
and we started on a road trip.
On that trip I remember feeling
like if I had said my experiences,
starting in Austin, and finished
by the time we got to Minnesota,
I probably could have influenced
them to not be so radical.
But the role I had
embarked upon was,
I was working undercover
with the FBI.
His attitude from the point
that he got in the van,
all the way through,
was kind of like that agitated level.
Very aggressive,
and very on-edge and very demanding.
I don't think he was capable of being in
the situation that he put himself in.
(protesters chanting)
(man talks indistinctly
on megaphone)
Man: An attorney
for the city said,
on the first day
of the convention
the city of St. Paul was on
the verge of being overthrown.
(loud crash)
- (Cheering)
We're Minnesotans,
we're not accustomed
to people being out in the streets
protesting and throwing things.
(quick explosion)
Protestors are scared,
police are scared,
everybody was scared,
you know?
(spray can spraying)
All the dumpsters along the way
were either pushed into police cars
or to other people's cars
or dumped over.
(siren blaring)
(camera snaps)
I pulled out
my video camera.
And I just did my best
to try to watch the activists.
I look over, and then Brad
and this group of others,
they have this gigantic
construction sign.
The seventy-mile-per-hour
interstate is below us.
They throw it off
the overpass.
I remember I was texting the Bureau,
like "Emergency! Emergency! Emergency!"
(glass breaking, cheering)
(siren blaring)
(quick explosions)
David and Brad came running
into my room.
And they were like,
everything's gone.
And I thought that they were joking and I
just kind of looked at them for a second.
We were pretty upset because, you know,
we'd spent a lot of time making them,
and we felt like
they were stolen from us.
David kept saying that
there must be retribution.
I thought he was probably gonna
be a real asshole in the streets,
but I didn't think he was gonna
do anything like what he did.
Here are these anarchists,
buying the material
for their bombs at Wal-Mart.
It struck me as
an odd thought,
anarchists shopping
at Wal-Mart.
When David asked me to buy tampons,
I definitely like wasn't going to be like,
"Why do you need tampons?"
When I think of tampons,
I don't think of Molotov cocktails.
Even now.
Errr, a little bit now.
We made them in about 15 minutes.
Gasoline in a bottle
with a little bit of oil and
then he duct-taped the top.
It was incredibly easy.
I got a text I think it was,
and it said, "Hey they bought"...
or "The whole group is
in a big fight right now."
And I was like why is the group
in a big fight?
These are the things
that Brad and David bought.
I know that those can be made
to make Molotov cocktails,
and I think that
that's why they bought them.
And they're like, "Yeah."
And I was like, "Okay."
And then I let the FBI know.
James: There's a definite sense
of what the fuck?
We came up here to protest,
make our voices heard.
Now here we are
more than just feeling
like lied to or something.
Feeling used.
When we found out like how the
group felt about the situation.
What you're doing is ridiculous,
stupid and dangerous,
the romantic revolutionary kind
of idealism quickly left us.
Reality kind of came
crashing in.
We need to rethink this.
Maybe this is a bad idea.
(chickens clucking)
Being undercover is tricky.
I really wanted just to grab him
and be like, hey,
"What you're doing
is so stupid.
You're going down
the wrong path.
This is ridiculous."
But my role was
to provide information
and try to not influence.
Not to be more radical,
but not to be less radical.
To fit in.
But it tore me up,
it bothered me.
Sometimes like I felt like
I was using Brad and David.
That's something I had
to live with afterwards.
But it wasn't my place
to talk people out of things.
And I think
about that though,
like what if I had
just been like, you know what?
I couldn't of though,
I would've probably went to jail for that.
Maybe not went to jail,
it wouldn't have been good.
Michael: There's a side of Brandon
that's a huge anti-authoritarian.
So why did he do what his
FBI handlers told him to?
For him it was just,
his loyalty was with the FBI.
Those guys had stood with him
through the devastating
Riad Hammad suicide.
So I think loyalty trumped
anti-authoritarianism at that point.
I was asked by the FBI to get re-involved.
"We'd like you to find out from
David whether or not this is true,
and what he made,
where they are."
My handler warned me, he said,
"Brandon this is where it gets tricky.
If you don't want to do this,
we won't blame you.
But there's a high likelihood
your name is gonna come out,
if you go past
this point with us."
I ultimately decided
to get involved.
I got ahold of David and we
sat on the roof, behind us.
I said, "Hey I heard that you
had made some things."
And then I said, "Well, I don't have a
problem with it, that's why I'm here."
And he said, "Okay, well yeah."
So then he told me what he had done.
And he said that he had made
eight Molotov cocktails.
And I asked him if they were
somewhere safe,
and he told me that they
were in the basement.
I tried to get a gist
of what his plans were,
and that's when he pointed off
in a direction and told me
there was a parking lot
full of police cars.
So the parking lot behind
us, which was the target,
they had 35 people there,
loading and unloading cars,
getting in and out of cars.
And it was right at the end of summer
so the foliage was still thick.
What was on the other side
of the tree line, down the hill.
These were these big bottles
of this homemade napalm mixture.
I knew that if he did it,
it was gonna hurt people.
I knew it would.
David: Never did I plan to do
anything to hurt anybody.
I wouldn't throw a Molotov cocktail
on a car with a cop in it.
We were gonna do
property damage.
People getting hurt
by the Molotov cocktails
was not a consequence
that I even considered.
And I didn't know
that just having them
was the crime that it was.
Woman: Hello, this is
a collect call from...
Woman: inmate
at the Sherburne County Jail.
David: Brandon brought upon
the romantic aspect
of you being a revolutionary
instead of an activist.
That we weren't just
going here to protest,
we were coming here to fight
for our beliefs.
To actually fight.
With him,
we felt like we were legitimate.
Brandon felt like he could take
these young guys,
who reminded him
of himself,
under his wing
and at the same time,
inform on them
for the FBI.
I would like to be able to tell them
and that they should try to get
out of it before it's too late.
"Late" being defined
as being in prison,
being dead,
having to live underground,
or having to then realize
that a mistake was made.
Or having to live with one
of their incendiary devices
having fucked up
and killed someone.
It was very difficult, you know,
and I was very honest about it.
It was almost like journaling
to the Bureau.
I was very honest about it.
I didn't just write the facts,
I would say here are the facts
and here are my thoughts.
Here are how I feel about
these thoughts.
"I feel as though they are some
strange form of collateral damage.
Not exactly, considering what
they're trying to get involved in.
But in some ways
they are just that,
considering that I'm not attempting
to talk sense into them."
I didn't go into
as a seasoned pro.
I went into it as a person
with a lot of mixed feelings.
You know?
I don't think he thought
through this very well.
I don't think he really realized
the situation he was in
until it was way too late.
He had to choose
whether to go ahead
and put David in prison
for a long time,
or piss off his FBI handlers.
He had to make that choice.
I think it was a painful choice.
Brandon: So the last night,
before the raid happened,
the FBI had asked me
to wear a wire.
That was very intense.
I realized that David's window
of opportunity to back down,
was starting to shut.
So this is approximately
where David and I sat down
for our last discussion.
We had come
to a cafe here,
the night that he was
gonna throw the firebombs.
I was wearing a wire
for the FBI.
Are you sure they're gonna burn?
Yes, okay? They'll burn.
It might take a while
to get them lit,
but they'll go off
when they break.
What if someone's sleeping in the
car when you firebomb it, man?
- He'll wake up.
- What if he doesn't wake up?
What if he can't
get out?
I was torn.
I was wanting to insinuate to him,
like, dude, you're gonna
get fucking busted.
You're gonna go to prison
for a long time. Stop.
But I couldn't come out
and say that.
David, what if someone's
in the car, and they die?
That's life, right?
That's how it goes.
"If he gets burnt or he dies
in the process, tough."
When he said that,
I realized that that gate just went bam.
And it shut,
completely shut.
He was probably gonna be in
an immense amount of trouble.
We were at
the Hard Times Cafe.
We've made no plans to do anything.
I've agreed to nothing.
So the first line's gonna be Brandon's.
It's "What if there's
a cop sleeping in the car?"
Dude, what if someone's
in the car and they die?
David: What if there's a cop in the car?
- Actor David: I don't care.
David: What if he's sleeping?
I think he's joking.
When those quotes
were taken away from me,
I was laughing
at that situation.
I wouldn't throw a Molotov cocktail
on a car with a cop in it.
Would you leave the scene if
a cop's burning or dying?
A cop gets burned or maimed,
it's worth it, okay?
David: I've never used the word
"maimed" ever in my entire life.
David: That's what he acted like.
That's what he acted like.
I think I agreed to him
saying that.
"Do you think it's worth it
if a cop gets burned or maimed?
If you're fighting
for something you believe in?"
And I agreed to that.
Michael: I think it's pretty obvious
that during that conversation,
David was saying a lot of things
just to appease Brandon.
Brandon's comfortable,
almost thrives on confrontation.
If you challenge him,
Brandon will argue for hours.
It was easier to play along.
I fell into like a role.
I had never let
my guard down with him.
I didn't want him
to think that I was scared.
You know, I ended
that conversation with him,
and I thought that was it.
I didn't want to touch
the Molotov cocktails.
I didn't even want
to think about them.
The next thing I remember,
I'm waking up to an assault
rifle to the back of my head.
Newsman: Two Texas men are now charged
with plotting to attack police
with Molotov cocktails during the
Republican National Convention.
David McKay and Bradley Crowder
could face up to
ten years in prison.
Man: David McKay and his
co-defendant Bradley Crowder
were both charged
with three counts:
manufacturing Molotov cocktails,
possessing them,
and three was a count
which charges possession
of an unregistered
destructive device.
It was Molotov cocktails.
But under federal law,
you still have to register
those, oddly enough.
And there's even a form that
you're supposed to fill out.
Needless to say they did not fill
out the form, so they broke the law.
The U.S. Attorney's office said,
"Look you know, if you want,
we'll drop the charges, so that you don't
have to have your identity revealed.
But if we do that,
he's gonna get away with what he did."
And I didn't want him to...
you know...
and I said no... don't.
I'll testify.
And they're like, "Well,
it's gonna change your life.
It's gonna be life-changing,
it's gonna be different.
It's gonna change
where you hang out.
It's gonna change
everything about your life."
And I was like,
"I don't know."
And he was like, "So let us know,
think about it for a while."
And then I decided to do it,
you know?
I had figured out that
the informant was Brandon Darby.
I was covering one of
the early evidentiary hearings.
One of the public defenders,
in her question,
used the name Brandon.
David Hanners outed me
and my name.
And I said,
"That's not true."
And Scott said well,
then we need to do this and this,
"I stand by Brandon Darby.
If Brandon was conning me,
and many others,
it would be the biggest lie
of my life
since I found out the truth
about Santa Claus as a child.
It's absurd."
Scott Crow called me up
and reamed me out
and called me
all kind of names,
and said "There's no way in
hell it could be Brandon Darby.
I mean he's the last guy
on earth
who would ever be a confidential
informant for the FBI."
David and Brad were saying
that Brandon was the informant.
And people were like we don't trust them.
We don't trust them.
But we got the files.
I went to Scott's house
to look at them.
He's like,
Brandon's with the FBI.
I was like...
Was he my friend
or has he been gathering information
for the FBI a long time,
playing me for the biggest dupe
has ever happened in my life?
Brandon: At that point I had begun to
see Scott in a very different light.
When I was younger and was
getting into radical politics,
he really took me
under his wing.
I felt like I was a lot more radical by
the time I was done knowing Scott Crow.
Brandon seems to have this idea
that you radicalized him.
That you kinda
turned him towards violence.
What do you make of that?
I'm not even gonna
answer the question.
Yeah, it's like,
it's a moot point.
What's that based on,
do you think?
I mean, my answer is
Brandon's a liar.
Well, look at 200 pages
of documents that we have,
and he tried to put me
and Lisa Fithian in prison.
He tried very hard
to get me to participate
in the Republican
National Convention.
And I just refused to because
I wasn't interested in it.
I look at these documents
and he tried to put me
in prison for doing nothing.
They could never
trust him again.
And I think that was
what really hurt them,
and I think ultimately it's what
probably really hurt Brandon.
"To all concerned,
There are currently
allegations in the media
that I've worked undercover for the
Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This allegation no doubt confuses
many of the activists who know me,
and probably leaves
many wondering
why I would seemingly chose
to engage in such an endeavor.
The simple truth is,
that I have chosen
to work with the Federal
Bureau of Investigation."
Somebody's who's a psychologist
did a little profile of him,
reading his letter,
and it shows,
you know,
it says his personality clearly shows
he has a lot of stress and trauma.
And my belief, it's because he's
been living a double life for years.
Right, what is the truth?
The Molotov cocktails would not
have been made
had it not been
for Brandon Darby.
I have no problem saying
that and I believe that.
He wasn't saying,
"Oh we should make Molotov cocktails."
But he was creating the groundwork
for something like that to happen.
David was manipulated.
I don't care
what anybody says.
You know what,
I'd put a lot of money
that those kids would not
have built those
if Brandon had never
been involved.
The idea of Molotov cocktails
came from Brandon
and it was,
"Go look on the website.
Here's the website
that I know about.
Brad what do you
think about this?
Brad thinks it's a good idea.
David what do you think about this?
I think we can do this.
Do you think
you can do this?"
"Yeah we can do it.
What do we do?"
"Well, you know,
you get the supplies.
We'll be implementing,
this is a tactic.
Call me when you're done."
Well he really got into detail there,
didn't he?
That was a complete lie that David said
so that he could get off
for his crime.
The way that he rationalizes
and also Brad rationalizes
is that the government
was also lying.
They were trying to say that
they were domestic terrorists,
that they had intent to use them,
that they were planning to kill people.
And in the face of those giant lies
that made them look like monsters,
this was a minor lie.
Well, you can justify...
there's a lot of people
justifying things in this story.
(protestors cheering, chanting)
Resist! Resist!
Raise your fucking fist!
I think that there's very legitimate
questions about whether the FBI
They have to have something to
justify thousands of riot cops,
and tear gas and mass arrests.
And sadly I think Brad and David
became that justification.
Lisa: Who cares that a few
windows were broken in St. Paul?
The magnitude of violence our
government is wreaking on the world.
Right, I mean,
it's like the scope and scale
of what we pay attention to is
so warped in our country.
There's a time and a place for
corporate property destruction.
(cheering, glass breaks)
The fact that Brad and David
built Molotov cocktails
I do not believe
is a violent act.
Property destruction
is not violence.
(police screaming)
There's a million problems
with anarchists using arson,
but one of the problems, even if you're
looking at it from their perspective
and you do take
their world view,
is that they're not...
they don't have Ph.D.'s in determining,
you know, risk assessment.
What if you hurt someone?
What if your fire
goes out of control?
Hanners: I kinda got the feeling
that some of this was overblown.
What you have at the core is,
you know,
a couple of 22-year-old guys
who really didn't have a strong
clue as to what they were doing.
I think they got in
quickly over their heads
and got caught up
in the moment.
They hadn't gone up there planning
to make Molotov cocktails.
When they made
Molotov cocktails
was in response
to the shields being taken.
Brandon hadn't
have been with them,
shields wouldn't
have been taken,
they never would
have made Molotov cocktails.
It's those kind of details
that defy simple explanations.
Did he entrap them?
Would they have
made them without him? No.
It's... it's... that's sort of
the tragedy at the heart of it.
David: Never did I plan to
do anything to hurt anybody.
There's no good guy
and bad guy in this situation.
I'm not completely innocent,
but neither are they.
It's not a black-and-white
case like that.
(Gospel music playing
and singing)
At this time,
I'd like to introduce someone
who met with the pastor
after the storm.
He said we will help you
put this church back together.
He stood behind
every word of it.
Helping our folks
in the neighborhood.
I'm a little nervous
to be up here.
I struggle with all these things
in my personal life.
Sometimes it's really easy to get my
eyes off what my role in this world is,
- which is to try to help other people.
- Yeah! Yeah!
And I can forget every other
thing that I'm supposed to do,
but I've usually
kept my eyes on that.
And for whatever reason God's
really blessed me and loved me.
And he's taken a lot of my mistakes and he's
turned them into really positive things.
And I'm glad I was able to be
used in a way that was helpful.
And it really does touch my
heart to see everyone here
and to see this building
standing as it does.
There was a time when it
had water in it... pretty high.
- So, thank you.
- Congregation: Thank you!
The community?
Community would love him,
take him back with open arms.
The activist community?
They might try to shoot him.
I knew from the very beginning
that Homeland Security
had infiltrated Common Ground.
I was looking at it coming
from many different ways,
but God knows I didn't think
it would be from Brandon.
It broke my heart.
It broke my heart,
it literally broke my heart.
It's sad that this young man,
a young man that I loved,
you know,
had to turn
to such dastardly deeds.
Not for patriotism.
Because he was
a paid informant.
He did this
for thirty pieces of silver.
With that interview, I don't really
know where to begin, you know?
I did not co-found a relief
organization to destroy it.
and I didn't work
with the FBI for money.
Brandon Darby is,
you know,
he's relegated himself
into insignificance.
And as far as I'm concerned
he's dead.
Newswoman: We turn now to a
story out of Austin, Texas,
that's shocked social justice
activists nationwide.
Brandon Darby has admitted
to wearing a recording device...
(crowd shouting)
Brandon: I know exactly how
the movement treats people.
They're pretty intense about making
you pay if you challenge them.
My entire history,
everything I've ever done that was good
was not there anymore...
almost like Stalin.
(makes erasing noise)
Erased out of the picture.
One guy from Denver wrote,
I'd like to be alone
with Brandon Darby
in a room with no windows and
a box of hollow-point bullets.
Yeah, scary stuff, man.
Like, someone saying
I'm gonna kill you.
Is someone gonna kill me?
When I get attacked
or when I feel attacked,
I look at this.
It's the eight napalm bombs
that David McKay
and Bradley Crowder made.
"Brandon, we would not have
stopped this without you.
Chris Langert, FBI.
I appreciate your hard work
and doing the right thing.
It won't be forgotten.
Special Agent, Tim Sellers."
There are dangerous rivers
of thought going on,
on the far Left and in
the peace and justice community.
And the Left as a whole
needs to hold them accountable.
They constantly beat the drum,
you know,
beat the drum that I'm evil
or the Man is evil,
the empire is evil.
And I'm somehow part of that
because of what I've done.
My biggest concern is like,
they've gone through
great efforts to protect me,
and I've gone through
great efforts to protect me.
And I'm worried that I'm gonna
have to live with what I do
to someone who shows up here
trying to do something like that.
(alarm sounding,
shotgun clicks)
Turn the camera off.
Turn the camera off, dude.
(alarm keypad beeps,
alarm stops)
Ah, fuck!
Hello? Yeah.
I'm cool, man.
Yeah, it's just my alarm.
It's cool.
All right.
Hello. Yeah.
I'm cool man,
everyone and their mom
is calling me right now.
Can y'all please like have
some kind of system set up
where just one person calls me,
and not everyone in the world?
t doesn't help the stress level
from this shit, okay?
When you interview people
who know or have known
Brandon Darby,
you realize that everybody kind of
has a different idea of who he is.
Brandon wants to be known...
for doing something
big in his life.
And I think he still thinks of
himself as a revolutionary.
He's a misogynist.
He's a liar.
He's... sometimes...
I wonder if he's a sociopath.
I mean... yeah.
Scott: It's him first and
the rest of the world second.
If he can be the savior,
for the moment,
if he can make the world like him
cause he doesn't like himself.
They called Brandon Darby a snitch.
And I said I don't care what your
politics are, you're an American Hero.
Without Brandon Darby
these guys would have
thrown Molotov cocktails at
completely innocent individuals
who were there practicing their
constitutional right
to express
their political beliefs.
He was just doing
the right thing.
The radical Left hates me.
I think the moderate Left doesn't
know what the hell to think of me.
And the conservatives
in the country
are willing to embrace me and be
supportive because of what I did.
Caroline: So Brandon's going
across the nation giving talks
on how the Tea Party can adopt
a grassroots, activist model.
Man: Mister Brandon Darby,
come on up.
(applause) - Brandon:
We're called Citizen Patriot Response.
And what we do is we try to use
the experiences I have,
and we try to encourage
Tea Party groups to help others,
with low-income communities.
Because we believe
that people help people
better than
the federal government can.
He's trying to introduce
the best elements
of the Common Ground model,
to the Tea Party,
so that they will work
on issues of social injustice.
I wanted to help people,
and I thought the way to help
people was to help the Left.
But really I wasn't such a
Leftist after all, you know?
I just wanted
to help people.
The 2008
Republican National Convention.
How many of you realized there was
a bomb plot against the delegates?
They made eight gallon-size
homemade napalm mixtures
that they were gonna throw at
Republican delegates, and at cops.
They get arrested.
...honored to have been
a big part of that.
I'm very honored.
Thank you.
Thank you.
I think from day one Brandon has
stories that he tells himself.
Brandon had a story
that he told himself
about why he was with the FBI
and what his concerns were.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
Now that Brandon's main audience
is the very right wing,
he's convinced himself
of a new story.
How he's a hero who
single-handedly stopped,
terrorists from
killing delegates
at the Republican
National Convention.
Photographer: Bullshit!
- (Laughter)
Maybe he hears it enough
and he believes it.
He certainly went in hoping that
he would do something heroic.
I think that the details
of this are much more ambiguous.
I ended up helping
stop a bomb plot,
And they tried to throw Molotovs at
police officers and Republican delegates.
In the farthest reaches
of the Left we have people,
like Lisa Fithian,
organizing the most radical
dredges of the Left.
All of the young people
around her take that war drum
that she beats about our country
and that dehumanizes you,
and they make bombs to burn you.
They burn your property down
and they attack you.
Thank you for coming
and paying attention.
You have to fight back,
you have to speak back,
you have to do something about the
people who are trying to destroy us.
- Thank You.
- (Applause)
Brandon Darby.
He was once part
of that other crowd
that you see in the Occupy
Wall Street protests.
He saw the light.
He has come over
to the side of freedom.
(alarm keypad beeps)
To all concerned.
Like many of you,
I do my best to act in good conscience,
and to do what I believe
to be most helpful to the world.
Though my views on how to give of
myself have changed very substantially,
the motivations
remain the same.
I strongly stand
behind my choices.
In solidarity,
Brandon Michael Darby.