For the second time in two years staff fabulists at the New York Times have smeared an American hero who helped protect the nation's system of government from bomb-wielding left-wing terrorists. (See the April 2010 issue of Townhall Magazine.)
In the July 23 print edition of the NYT writer Colin Moynihan falsely accused Brandon Darby, formerly a radical community organizer, of participating in an anarchist-led plot to attack the GOP’s 2008 convention in Minnesota.
Darby, a defector from the left stands accused by the New York Times and by angry radical groups of being an agent provocateur. It’s probably the worst thing one can be accused of in radical circles. Violent, unhinged anarchists across the country have difficulty saying Darby’s name without spitting.
Yesterday Moynihan described Darby as “a man from Texas who worked secretly for the F.B.I. while organizing a group to travel to the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul.” [emphasis added]
In fact Darby has long insisted that he was not part of the murderous conspiracy that aimed to shut down the Republican gathering that nominated that year’s presidential ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin. Nor did he organize the plotters’ travel to the convention.
As the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota noted in a May 21, 2009 press release, a federal judge made an official legal finding that Darby was not a participant in the conspiracy. The press release said:
A 23-year-old man from Austin, Texas, who was connected to a group that planned to disrupt the Republican National Convention in September 2008, was sentenced today in federal court on three firearms charges.
On May 21 in Minneapolis, United States District Court Chief Judge Michael Davis sentenced David Guy McKay to 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release on one count of possession of an unregistered firearm, one count of illegal manufacture of a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm with no serial number. McKay pleaded guilty on March 17.
Today’s sentence included a finding by Judge Davis that McKay obstructed justice at his January trial by falsely accusing a government informant, Brandon Darby, of inducing him to manufacture the Molotov cocktails.
Actually, McKay admitted to the court that he lied about Darby’s role in the plot. “I embellished – I guess actually lied – that Brandon Darby came up with the idea to make Molotov cocktails,” McKay told court in 2009.
A week before McKay was sentenced, his co-conspirator Bradley Neil Crowder cut a deal with prosecutors and was sentenced to 24 months in prison for possession of an unregistered “firearm.” (A “firearm” can include a bomb in legal parlance.) McKay received the stiffer sentence largely because he lied about Darby’s participation in the criminal conspiracy.
In an exclusive interview yesterday, Darby condemned the New York Times.
“Regardless of the New York Times’s apparent desire to attack anything favorable about law enforcement and regardless of the New York Times’s consistent smearing of me, lying about me, and shilling for far-left movements I am still honored both to have served with the men and women of the FBI and to have protected Americans’ right to assembly.”
This wasn’t the Old Gray Lady’s first attempt to assassinate Darby’s character.
James C. McKinley Jr. falsely reported in the Feb. 23, 2011 edition of the New York Times that Darby had “encouraged” the 2008 bomb plot that in reality he helped to thwart.
After Darby demanded a retraction repeatedly over several weeks last year, the New York Times finally complied -- the day after Darby served the money-losing newspaper with a defamation lawsuit seeking unspecified damages. The action was filed in state court in Hays County, Texas, outside Austin.
When asked if he intended to file a fresh lawsuit against the newspaper for the newly published libel Darby refused to comment.
The New York Times has been mugging Darby for years. It provided hostile coverage when he revealed himself as an informant. A Jan. 5, 2009, article focused on the feelings of “betrayal” his former allies in left-wing anarchist circles were experiencing, not on Darby’s lifesaving intervention.
It’s pretty clear whose side the New York Times was on then – just as it is now.