top of page

To Scare The Monkeys, Kill A Chicken

The extra-judicial killing of Craig Robertson*, a 74-year-old Provo, Utah man killed by the FBI last week puts us in mind of an old Chinese proverb: Kill a chicken to scare the monkeys.

You see, wild monkeys can be very troublesome, raiding gardens and fruit trees and they are smart and hard to catch, chickens on the other hand are not smart and they are easier to catch. To deter the monkeys from bad behavior the ancient Chinese learned to show them who has the real power by killing a chicken in front of them.

Although strange to our ears there must be something to it, since this Zhou dynasty folklore has come down to us through 3,000 years of Chinese history.

According to reporting by the UK’s Independent, the federal criminal complaint against Mr. Robertson, came about after an unnamed social media company sent a tip about Mr. Robertson’s threats to the FBI National Threat Operations Center.

Following the tip, the Independent reported two FBI agents had gone to Roberston’s home in Provo, Utah and confronted him about the online threat.

Robertson allegedly dismissed the threat telling the agents: “I said it was a dream… We’re done here! Don’t return without a warrant.”

Over the next five months, the FBI uncovered “multiple threats” made by Robertson against various public officials including New York Attorney General Letitia James, Vice President Kamala Harris and US Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The trigger for the deadly raid was apparently a direct threat against President Joe Biden.

“I heard Biden is coming to Utah,” he wrote, just hours before the president’s visit to the state.

Robertson added that he was “cleaning the dust off the M24 sniper rifle”.

Following that post, FBI agents tried to execute a search warrant at Mr. Robertson’s home and arrest him on federal charges for making death threats against President Biden, DA Alvin Bragg and FBI agents.

Even the most cursory investigation by the FBI would have revealed that, while Mr. Robertson’s threats were potential violations of 18 U.S.C. § 871, felonies punishable by up to 5 years of imprisonment, at some 300 lbs. with his mobility impaired by his age and weight, he was almost certainly incapable of carrying them out. A traffic stop on his way to church or the grocery store would likely have brought about the peaceful arrest of Mr. Robertson.

However, Craig Robertson made the perfect chicken for the FBI to kill to scare the monkeys, so a peaceful arrest was never intended.

Who are the monkeys the FBI intended to scare through the killing of Craig Robertson?

The monkeys the FBI intended to scare with the killing of Mr. Robertson are not the MAGA Movement’s online “warriors” ranting about government overreach and the various incidents that prompted him stretch the boundaries of the First Amendment into potentially felonious territory.

The real audience for the drama of the killing of Craig Robertson is those who aren’t so intemperate as to take to a public internet forum to threaten the President or any other public official, but who believe deep down inside that the government has become so unmoored from the Constitution that armed resistance might be necessary to curb the growing tyranny.

Those monkeys are smart and hard to catch, so killing a chicken is the only way for the government to let them know who has the real power.

*Craig Robertson’s family issued a statement after his killing, “Though his statements were intemperate at times, he has never, and would never, commit any act of violence against another human being over a political or philosophical disagreement,” the family said in their statement.

Mr. Robertson’s family said he was “understandably frustrated and distraught” by “erosions to our constitutionally protected freedoms and the rights of free citizens wrought by what he, and many others in this nation, observed to be a corrupt and overreaching government.”

“There was very little he could do but exercise his First Amendment right to free speech and voice his protest in what has become the public square of our age — the internet and social media.”

  • Craig Robertson

  • FBI National Threat Operations Center

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James

  • Vice President Kamala Harris

  • US Attorney General Merrick Garland

  • Joe Biden threat

  • Utah Biden visit

  • Search warrant

1,028 views8 comments
bottom of page