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Are they not militia men? Don’t ask the FBI agent who led the Bureau’s investigation into nine Hutaree members charged with plotting to shoot and kill police officers to trigger an armed insurrection. According to The Toledo Blade, Agent Leslie Larsen couldn’t recall “many details of the two-year probe yesterday during questioning by defense lawyers.” Many, as in most. Or, in fact, any. “Even the judge who must decide whether to release the nine until trial was puzzled. ‘I share the frustrations of the defense team … that she doesn’t know anything,’ U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said after agent Leslie Larsen confessed she hadn’t reviewed her notes recently and couldn’t remember specific details of the case.” Perhaps agent Larson should have read the recent Reuters report on militia misegos. No wait; that was only slightly more vague than Agent Larson. At the risk of blinding you with the sun glare from my tin hat, what is the FBI hiding? Check this . . .

Prosecutors fought to keep Ms. Larsen off the witness stand, saying the defendants had no legal right to question her.

But the judge said the agent’s appearance was appropriate because the burden is on defense lawyers to show their clients won’t be a threat to the public if released.

The nine lawyers asked specific questions about each defendant. Ms. Larsen said she had not listened entirely to certain recordings made by an undercover agent who infiltrated the group.

She said that because they were still being examined, she didn’t know if weapons seized by investigators last month were illegal.

At other times, Ms. Larsen couldn’t answer questions because she said she hadn’t reviewed investigative reports.

Defense lawyer William Swor asked if the No. 1 defendant, Hutaree leader David Stone, had ever instructed anyone to make a bomb.

“I can’t fully answer that question,” the agent replied.

Incompetence, obfuscation or conspiracy? Any way you slice it, it’s entirely possible that the judge will now release the nine men pending trial. And if this is the best that the FBI can do, the trial could easily be over before it starts. Or just after.

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