One more for The Snitch Project — probably the last for a while. After this, two writers and our volunteer Kindle-master (with much help already given and more promised from friends of this blog) will get down to serious work on a booklet.
Today, a harder aspect of The Snitch Problem: What do you do if you think (or know) you’ve uncovered a snitch?
A lot of earlier commentors opine that we just aren’t very likely to recognize snitches in our midst until it’s too late — and possibly not even then.
Granted. A really smooth operator might play us like a player piano without us realizing it. Even a clumsy operator can fool us if we’re naive, cocky, or just plain having a bad moment. Also, plenty of snitches merely observe, report, and don’t do anything that might cue us to their perfidy.
That said, sometimes, somehow, we realize or strongly suspect that someone in our activist group or circle of friends is a double-dealer. We earlier talked about ways to recognize such a person.
But then what?
Do you confront the person directly?
Out them to others?
Just get yourself away from them and hope you haven’t already damned yourself by your activities or statements to them?
Do you send them on wild goose chases or feed them misleading information (a dangerous thing to do since the feds have discovered they can put people in prison for lies or simple mis-statements even if they have no evidence of real crimes)?
On the other hand, what happens if you suspect somebody of being a snitch — and they’re really not? Bulucanagria gave one funny and mostly harmless example of that. But mostly it ain’t funny. False accusations of snitching ruin lives.
So what do you do?
I realize a lot depends on circumstances; discovering that your best friend has been pressured into snitching is different than suspecting you’ve got a real FBI agent in the room. But what are some options?
No wild fantasies, please. No Hollywood accounts of what you might do to a snitch if you were Robert De Niro or Ray Liotta. Clever, fine. Diabolical, fine. As long as it’s in the realm of reality.
The more real-life experience reflected in the answers, the better. Lawyers, ex-cops, victims, even reformed snitches, speak up. Former friends of snitches, tell your stories & give your advice. Old activists (like Steve, another commentor who recognized that, in some cases if the room wasn’t filled with informants it might have been empty) … what would you do?