Why You Should Never Speak To The FBI Without A Lawyer Present

From the ACLU of Massachusetts comes words of wisdom from civil rights lawyer Harvey Silverglate, who explains quickly and clearly why activists (or anyone else) should never have a conversation with an FBI agent without a lawyer and tape recorder present. The reason? Because the FBI is capable of blackmailing almost anyone into becoming an informant:

Learn how the FBI can manipulate what you say and use it against you, and how to prevent them from doing so! With civil liberties and civil rights attorney Harvey Silverglate.

22 Comments on "Why You Should Never Speak To The FBI Without A Lawyer Present"

  1. reminds me of TV series Numb3rs
    and some of the flack
    “this show is making our job more difficult *wah wah pout pout*”
    as if i needed anything else to see the Red Hand
    nothing is about anything and everything’s a lie.
    people are animals and law is illegal
    people this spirit hunts are Nazi’s with ‘manners’ like an English Countryside
    Dukes and Vassals and hazards like it’s a circus chimera
    people who get something they want for treating others badly or poorly
    & when what they get should be what they don’t want, then you know
    it’s a Job

    can’t punish and can’t maintain
    can’t reward and it’s all just the same
    blank slate here and there they say
    but god forbid it’s not true
    and they truly are the ants
    me and you
    marching around
    without a damn clue
    not me
    not it
    how to make it not you
    and in which order
    pain first? resocializaton? isn’t that ‘education’?

    illegal behavioral modification en toto they said
    Pilate they said

    kiss the rope, Judas

  2. Ittabena | May 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm |

    They should show this in high schools. They won’t, but they should. Oh, hell, high schools? Grade schools! So they know before they get a chance to drop out and miss it.

    Home schooler’s are you paying attention?

    Very nice, Jacob.

    • In schools they should know that whatever they say to a principal or teacher can be given to authorities.

    • they should reproduction in biology as well as general sex education. more in depth evolution would help too, but those aren’t going to happen in american schools.

      • If you look closely evolution works fine in general but when you get to the human race’s evolution, the theory falls apart. I am not saying I am in favor of teaching Genesis, it has monumental problems of it’s own that disqualify it completely from being a basis of education.

        1.) An advancement of a species (i.e. a trait that was picked up or dropped) is adopted or dropped because it helps the species to survive better, according to the theory.

        So far no one has explained successfully how dropping an overwhelming percentage of body hair and strength could possibly be considered to have helped in our survival in those primitive conditions.

        2.) If you examine how slowly evolution moves in the animal kingdom, and how slowly it moved before we started to drop hair and strength like a chemo patient, and then project that rate forward to discover when we should show up. Well, we should be here in about another million years.

        Let’s stop teaching theories and manhandled history and start tellin’ the truth before none of us are bright enough to see any lies anymore.

        Of course this won’t happen either because we would have to replace the majority of teachers with people who are a little more free thinking. And we can’t have that.

        • Nor have you explained why evolution doesn’t work for humans. Never mind that there are thousands of pieces of evidence of evolution in humans. Well, maybe not for you. You choose to remain deliberately dumb. How evolved is that?

          • Lighten up Chuckles, just laying out the facts. You don’t have to change the way you think…

            Unless of course the facts challenge the way you think.

          • You don’t have a fact to your head. Nor are you able to think, with or without facts.

            It must be fun being willfully ignorant. It saves you from having to even consider what might be right or true.

            BTW, DA, my name is not “Chuckles.” Unlike you, I do not hide behind a fake ID. I use my real name and picture. But I have facts on my side, not obstinate stupidity.

          • Again, why all the anger? Maybe if you read a book or two you might have run into these facts yourself. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I’m not getting down into the mud with ya, no matter how long you stay in it.

            See this is a sight for discussion, not “I don’t agree, so you’re an idiot.” This tactic works well plenty of other places on the web, but it is frowned on here. See me frowning?

            Here’s another fact for ya. By the end of his life, Darwin even said that there were serious problems with his own theory of Evolution.

            Also, I am not downvoting you. I don’t do that. I feel like that is detrimental to discussion, but then again I am obstinately stupid, right?

          • It s not my fault you are an uneducated fool.

            It’s not because I do not agree, it is because you are a moron that failed to make his case. Prove one word I wrote is not true. Prove anything you have even thought in your entire life is true.

            No, I am not angry, I am disgusted that you flounce in making totally unproven statements and expecting everyone else to be as stupid as you are and believe them.

            Yes, Darwin did detect possible flaws in his theory. Unlike you, he was honest enough to admit them. Do you claim the flaws, which you decline to name, demonstrate that evolution does not apply to humans? Do you assert that there are not thousands of pieces of evidence in universities, museums, and laboratories around the world that demonstrate the action of evolution in humans? How convenient that you ignored that statement when I made it the first time.

            That is the normal tactic of the intellectual and ethical cowards. When you cannot answer something, you pretend it was never said.

            FYI, an interrogative statement, such as your first sentence, does require a question mark as punctuation. I forgive you for that, though. A person as obviously stubbornly stupid as you cannot be expected to comprehend complex things such as English grammar and punctuation.

            I will not down vote (two words, not one) you, either. You seem to have a form of mental masochism that provides you with a cheap thrill when you expose your ignorance in public. Who am I to prevent a mental midget from one of the few pleasures he can have in life?

            Again, keep hiding behind your fake ID. I have nothing to hide. You can learn more than you want to know about who and what I am at http://www.photobucket.com/slrman That is, if you are not terrified of facts.

          • This is the reply to your last reply. It is awaiting moderation because you included a link, but I didn’t want to wait around so here ya go;

            Oh, thank you for sharing your website URL with me. I am ever so grateful. However, I beat you to it so to speak. I looked up your previous comments to see if perhaps your were more livid about this one subject than others. Perhaps Evolution is a theory that is just very near and dear to your heart.

            Let’s see what I found in just the last month, shall we?

            >You are wrong on so many counts, it’s obvious you do not possess the intelligence to even discuss this.

            >I am listening, but no one is talking except liars like you.

            >You also seem perversely proud of being a total asshole.

            >That coward ran like the little punk he is. You would do well to do the same. KMA, fool.

            >If you cannot make sense ofi t(sic*) that points to a mental failure upon your part. That is not my fault.

            For the rest, you’re full of shit. Go fuck yourself you arrogant asshole.

            > I suspect that reading comprehension is not your strong point is it, WIlky-boy? (Is this name calling, from you?)

            >You’re right, I have no respect for a lying jerk like you. You’re a coward mentally and morally.

            When have I asked you to prove a negative? I have not. have said to prove that anything I have posted, including that you’re a worthless liar and coward, is not true.

            Yes, you could post facts,i f(sic*) you had any or could even recognize on if it was brunching on your butt.

            Go fuck yourself you shithead. I have no more time to waste on a complete asshole like you .

            You are a coward, a liar, and a fool. Even so, you could do the human race a favor, jump off a cliff and raise the average IQ and ethical standards of all humanity.

            >I attack you because you’re a fool, a liar, and an(sic*) jerk.

            You naturally try to change the subject and evade direct questions as you always do That’s why I have shown you to be an intellectual and ethical coward.

            *Seems like you should be the last one to criticize errors. Also found plenty of those that I didn’t bother with. As often as you call someone an asshole, your track record seems to level that indictment squarely against yourself.

            Have you ever disagreed with someone without calling them a derogatory name? I think you have been hit in the head one too many times during sparring.

            I would like to revisit one more time my favorite quote. Now remember these are your words not mine. I prefer the high road. Now if you had a tendency to discuss facts, we would be doing that right now. But when you start out abusive. Well I’ll let your words speak for me.

            >Go fuck yourself you shithead. I have no more time to waste on a complete asshole like you.

        • Commmenter_Without_Portfolio | Aug 25, 2013 at 1:30 am |

          Traits that allow an organism to survive, or do not stop it surviving past reproductive age, remain. Those genes that confer an advantage are more likely to remain, but there are many that remain that confer none.
          Extreme strength is no longer essential to human survival, nor is body hair. They cost resources to maintain, and so are a net disadvantage. This is why some people are still hairy, but largely people are less so. Some people are very strong, some are very weak.

          Adoption and dropping are both active terms, evolution is a passive process. This misunderstanding of evolution, casting it as active, is at the centre of a lot of mistakes.

          I don’t feel confident you fully understand the theory you are so ready to replace, and I’m not sure what you’d replace it with.

          Feel free to convince me, as one free thinker to another, but first shore up the holes in your knowledge.

          And yes, openminded teachers are great, and teaching genesis is unhelpful. On that I completely agree.

  3. Hadrian999 | May 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm |

    Speaking to anyone in the justice system or the IRS without an attorney is a very bad idea

    • emperorreagan | May 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm |

      Always best to decline any request. People who work in the justice system don’t ask if they don’t have to.

  4. Got it, you can’t lie but it’s policy for them.

  5. Kenneth Brown | May 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm |

    18 USC 1001 is the correct citation.

  6. Speaking to anyone in any branch of law enforcement with or without an attorney is a dangerous idea. “I have nothing to say.” should be the extent of your conversation. Nor are you required to say it more than once.

    • Calypso_1 | May 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm |

      It never ceases to amaze me in witnessing the abundant cries for upholding and practice of the 1st and 2nd Amendments, the blindness displayed in ignoring the 5th.

      • You do have a point. The fact is, those first two amendments are in effect. What do you think it would take to change either of them?

        I don’t necessarily agree that either of them should be rescinded. But I also believe that the NRA attitude of”more guns for more people” is ridiculous.

        I feel that a license should be issued to own a gun. You have to have that to drive a car, fly a plane, and, in some places, operate a boat. Why should you be permitted to own a deadly weapon with no training?

        • Calypso_1 | May 14, 2013 at 8:45 pm |

          More extensive knowledge of the 5th would answer that question for you.

          Felons are not required to license their weapons because their ownership is illegal and therefore such licensure is an act of self-incrimination.

          Why should a law-abiding citizen be required to license the exercise of their constitutional rights in an environment where improper usage is already heavily criminalized? The only possible need for such licensure at the most fundamental level is to facilitate the deprivation of those rights via prosecution & is thus a de facto violation of the Fifth Amendment.

          • Are you saying that, because criminals do not obey the law, no one else should either? Then because some people drive without bothering with a license and even fly planes sans certification, anyone should be able to do it?

            I have an essay on the guns issue at:


            Here in Brazil, private gun ownership is nearly impossible. Yet, criminals, especially drug dealers, are sometimes better-armed than the police. I recognize that no gun “control” law will ever stop criminals from obtaining weapons. To state otherwise would be foolish.

            Licensing a citizen to own a gun would only require proof of competence and knowledge of the laws and safety requirements of owning a weapon. It would NOT be proof that you own one. Many people have pilot’s and driver’s licenses and own neither a plane nor a car.

            What the licensing could do is reduce the incidents of “accidental” shootings of family members such as the recent ones where a 5 y/o was given a rifle as a gift. He killed his younger sister with it.

            No, a license would not stop all acts of stupidity. Does that mean we should not try? Because criminals rob, rape, and kill, often without being caught, does it mean anyone that chooses to do so should also be permitted to do those things?

            More extensive thinking on the realities of anyone owning a dangerous weapon with no proof of competence wuld answer those questions for you.

  7. Bigheadedmonster | Aug 24, 2013 at 3:41 pm |

    What if you can’t afford an attorney?

Comments are closed.