Burns Chronicles #39
Informants – What to do About Them
by Gary Hunt
November 6, 2016
Recently, I watched a video of an interview with Terri Linnell that was couched into an in-studio, live “exposé”, purporting to prove that what Linnell had said was an “obvious lie”. This whole program was based primarily on my article, “Burns Chronicles No 32 – Terri Linnell (Mama Bear)“, and the host’s subsequent interview with Terri.
In the comment section of that video, I disputed a couple of items that were alleged to be truthful, one, in particular, dealing with the time element, and when people might have known when LaVoy had been murdered. After all, this set everything into motion, this past January 26.
However, their estimate of when people outside could have known what had happened came out to 10:00 PM. Heck, I knew by 7:00 PM, and as I recall, it was one of my team members that had called me (in Burns) from another state to tell me what had happened. Subsequently, one of the guests has admitted that they had no idea of what time the information would have gotten out — they were just guessing based upon when they found out about the murder.
I had intended to go back to YouTube and review/comment on the remainder of the 2 hour 25 minute video, since I had commented on perhaps only the first twenty minutes that I have watched. Since I had been working on another article, I postponed that subsequent review.
Then I found myself tagged in a subsequent discussion on Facebook, I was invited to be interviewed because of my disagreement with the host. I accepted, however. I included the provision that my interview had to be done that day. First, the video was damaging by its untruthfulness, and such lies should be outed in a timely manner. Second, I didn’t want to wait the “3 or 4 days” for the host to conduct the interview. I have better things to do than wait around for someone to try to figure what questions he needs to ask to try to cover his blatant misrepresentations. Heck, the interview would have been about the video he had created, so if anyone needed to prepare, it would have been me. However, he turned it back on me for not being willing to abide by his schedule. So be it. I have broad shoulders and take full responsibility for not doing the interview.
Now, why do I bring this up? Well, since I posted the article, which I had agreed not to post until Terri testified in the Portland trial, many alleged patriots have attacked her, verbally. Some understood and appreciate what she had done, but when she left the courtroom, she was stunned and could find no one who would talk with her, nor could she find a place to stay. It was that treatment of Terri that caused me to put pen to paper, in hopes of providing another perspective on how we should treat informants.
So, let’s look at the three informants that testified during the trial. First, we have Mark McConnell, though he still denies, or at least sidesteps, his role. He was outed, intentionally, and quite surprisingly, by the government in their direct examination of an Oregon State Police officer. It was later reconfirmed by the Court that he was, in fact, an informant. Mark professes to be a patriot, and he probably is —along the lines of OathKeepers, where the Constitution is what they are told by their superiors, and is patriotism to the government, not to the country or the Constitution. Mark is one informant that all true patriots should, at least, distance themselves from.
I’ll skip to the third informant in the trial, since the nature of all three types is what this is about. That informant is John Killman. John’s real name is Fabio Minoggio. According to his testimony, he was born in Switzerland and served 20 years in the Swiss Army. He took donuts to the Refuge to ingratiate himself, and then provided training in military, self-defense, and even how to remove someone from a car.
He is single and has a 5-year-old son. Minoggio is now an officer with the Hualapai Tribal Police, in Arizona. Little more is known about him, except that he received “expenses”, but claims he was not paid by the FBI.
Now, let’s go to the one that has gained the most notoriety, Terri Linnell. To do so, we must start at the beginning of her decision to testify, as what preceded this event is simply history, and of no consequence at this time. What follows is from an interview I did with Terri. If anyone chooses to dispute this, I would suggest that they come up with more than their personal opinion, or else keep their mouth shut.
Terri had tried to contact Mike Arnold, then Ammon’s attorney, during the summer. Arnold’s office kept trying to get her to speak to one of the investigators. She did not want to speak to the investigator; she would only speak with an attorney. She was concerned if word got out that she was going to testify, the government might do something to stop her.
As the trial approached, Per Olsen’s activity caught her attention, so she called his office, and Per spoke with her. She explained what her testimony would be, and, she advised him that she had been a paid informant for the FBI. Her subpoena was delayed to give the government as little notice as possible.
When she arrived in Portland, she had meetings in the Witness Room, mostly with Amanda, a member of Marcus Mumford’s team. They had no problem with what her testimony would be. The fact that she was an FBI informant led to Amanda beginning to open the door and pursue investigating the informant matter. Amanda began scrutinizing the 1203 forms and realized that there were many informants. This resulting in the admission of the number of informants involved and the eventual identification and calling of Killman (Minoggio) to the stand. and he had no problem with what her testimony would be. Neither had identifiable 1023 reports (FBI – CHS Reporting Document), since the documents in discovery had been heavily redacted.
Her testimony, among other things, cleared David Fry, Neil Wampler, and Shawna Cox, of ever having firearms in the “mess hall”. It also provided testimony that that she heard of no suggestions of any violent activity.
The only downside was when, in cross-examination, she was asked, as the prosecuting attorney purportedly read from a 1023, whether the people had discussed going to other locations to occupy them. She stated that she never said that. So, to clarify the situation, as I know it, many residents in the surrounding area had come to the Refuge and asked for help in their communities. This led to teams going out and explaining Committees of Safety, the Constitution, and land rights matters. The idea was to get others thinking, not to provide an armed force to go to those communities.
Since that time, people have, without a real consideration of both the facts and the consequences of their actions in attacking Terri, have continued to attempt to discredit her, and possibly cause some misguided patriot to cause her physical harm.
Many have suggested that Terri’s testimony led to the murder of LaVoy Finicum. Nothing she testified to could, in any way, shape, or form, led one to such a conclusion. Then those naysayers say, well, she was working with the FBI. However, as I have pointed out in a previous article, Brandon Curtiss had agreed to help the Sheriff, whatever decision he made — with regard to the Hammonds. It also appears that other alleged patriots passed on much intelligence information to the FBI or Sheriff. We know that there were 15 informants involved. Each of those since found out have, at least, claimed to be on the patriot’s side, such as McConnell and Killman. Both their known and unknown activities had far more to do with raising tensions, especially within the minds of the government people, and would more likely be activities that help shape the situation that resulted in LaVoy’s death.
Mark was outed, Minoggio was tracked down, and Terri came forth voluntarily to try to help the defendants. Mark actually played a hand in the activity that led to LaVoy’s death. Minoggio’s role was simply to gather intelligence and create some “evidence”. Terri’s role was simply to watch six people. LaVoy wasn’t even on her list.
So, the most important question is:
How Should the Patriot Community Deal with Informants?
Mark McConnell is a marked man. Any patriot that thinks that Mark has sympathy for the patriot community deserves what may come to him by associating with Mark. Simple ostracization is about the extent of what can, legally, be done to address the problem of this type of informant. Ban him from any events, meetings, even discussions on Facebook and other social media cites. Pretend as if he does not exist. Then, he can return to the hole that he has dug for himself.
Fabio Minoggio aka John Killman is a foreigner. Why he decided to go to Burns and become an informant for the government is unknown. He chose not to use his own name, opting to use an American or Indian sounding name, John Killman. He, like McConnell, should never be accepted into any patriot group, and should be treated just like the scourge that comes to this country, and then works against its people.
Terri Linnell is the one informant that we need to consider, very carefully, as to how we should look at her. It is not really her that is to be considered, rather, it is this type of informant. She had previously informed for the government, however, that back was broken when she chose to testify for the Defendants, even at the risk of exposing her role and relationship with the FBI. When I asked her why she chose to testify, she said, “It was the right thing to do.” So, what we have is an informant that has chosen to change sides. She has chosen to give up the means to make a few extra dollars. She has changed sides!
Now, let’s look at the ramifications of what she has done. She has become an outcast, to some. She is the subject of derision, and is constantly attacked on Facebook and Twitter. We need not go into the character of those that lead, or participate, is such attacks, because that, in the end is inconsequential.
We need to look well beyond this recent event. We know that there were 15 informants involved. Three have been outed, and we have good leads on three more. However, of all of them, only one has stepped back across the line — to the right side. So, what becomes extremely important is what example we leave for the next informant that has questioned their participation in informing against patriots. Do we offer them a comforting welcome? “Hi! Welcome. We are pleased that you have decided that you were on the wrong side and come to join us.”
Or, do we discourage them from coming to our side — which leaves them on the wrong side — because, by example, we have said, “So, you decided to help us by admitting you were an informant. But, since you are an informant, we will never accept you into our community.” If we do this, we can rest assured that we have precluded having some that may help us; may, if they don’t come out in the open, even serve as a double agent; and, deny adding someone to our ranks, when we need every body that we can get. We have forced them to remain our enemy, as there is no refuge, if they did want to leave the bad side.
We can spend hours trying to convince others that our cause is just, hoping to get them to understand the Constitution and the intent of the Founders. Yet, unless we change our ways, we will reject those who, by their own participation, have seen what is right, and what is wrong. We discourage them from making a decision that we spend hours trying to get another to make.
If we do not see the benefit of open arms, though that may never really include trust, we have, in a sense, become our own worst enemy.