NPR: Westboro Baptist Church used to train FBI agents

Waking up to news about Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church is never a good way to start the day. But, thanks to an NPR report on Morning Edition, that’s what millions of Americans did today. And the news was bizarre, even by WBC standards.

Reporter Dina Temple-Raston told the story of the FBI inviting WBC members to training sessions with agents, and the resulting internal controversy. Temple-Raston’s journalism-textbook-worthy nut graph explains:

Yet the FBI recently invited leaders of the fundamentalist church to

the Quantico Marine base in Virginia to talk to FBI agents as part of

the bureau’s counterterrorism training program. But after four sessions

this spring, the FBI canceled the arrangement amid criticism from

inside the bureau, while church leaders claimed that they had been


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