The FBI Is Whack!

The Bureau Doesn't Have Johnny Utah Anymore.

Johnny Utah is Keanu Reeves' character in Point Break. Utah is a typical straight-laced fresh-faced FBI recruit that somehow convinces a gang of Buddhist surfer bank robbers that he's not a fed. Oh, and he gets the girl, too. Anyway, there's nobody in the FBI like him, or his crazy-but-right partner Pappas, played by Gary Busey before people knew he had brain damage.

How do I know this? Because here are the two pictures cited in the Gangs and the Military section of the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment:
Support your local Hells Angel
Figure 13. ‘Support your local Hells Angels’ graffiti on military vehicle in Iraq
A soldier in a combat zone throwing gang signs
Figure 14. A soldier in a combat zone throwing gang signs
The graffiti example is just plain stupid. It's a common bumper sticker. And the Hells Angels is not a gang, it's a motorcycle club. It says that right on their corporately-owned website FAQs.[1] This doesn't even have enough content to make fun of. But we should all rest easy that this is one of the two best pictures the FBI has to illustrate gang activity in the military: our military probably doesn't have a gang problem. I say probably because it's very possible that gang activity is going on right below the FBI's nose. I wonder how many FBI agents are stationed in Iraq looking for criminal activity by our soldiers anyway? Probably none, but it could be a lot;Support your local Hells Angels the FBI typically screws up by over-playing threats, not ignoring them. By the way, there are such things as MP's and the CID, even though they don't have TV shows - yet. Writing a section on gangs in the military would have to cite military sources to be credible.[2] In any case, it's just gang activity, nothing to worry about, like IED's and PTSD.

Ali G WestsideThe other example is ridiculous. The gang sign being "thrown" is a W for Westside. Even I know that because I saw it on Da Ali G Show. It's explained on and Even little old ladies do it. Kevin Federline tries to do it. It's not evidence that Brian Rodriguez is a gang member. Just that he is now, or was from, somewhere west of something. Wait, how did I know this guy's name is Brian Rodriguez? Because that's the filename of the jpg posted on the FBI's website: brianrodriguez_in_baghdad2.jpg. I wonder if the FBI has brianrodriguez_in_baghdad1.jpg. Maybe he's throwing one of these signs in that one. A lot of good that black band did. Not that you can't find the photo without it.

Unfortunately, most people believe what the FBI says. This angle from the report got lots of news play. Several major "news" organizations are treating this seriously. Thankfully, at least one guy, Max Fisher, at least gets the gang sign part. Although after he moves on from the obvious he goes off the tracks, I've read several good things by him; I think I'll add him to my RSS feed. And for the record, he posted before me, but I did not steal his bit. I had this material when I first posted on this, just not enough time.

[1] The motto at the bottom of every page: "When we do right nobody remembers, when we do wrong nobody forgets."

[2] The endnotes (scroll down to the numbers) cites are mostly DOJ press releases and open sources. And there are no citations in the Gangs and the Military section.