BOSTON, March 8, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Despite – or perhaps because of – scattered rumblings by police agencies and ethics watchdog groups, the “rat out a rat” Web site Who’s A Rat
(http://www.whosarat.com) has enjoyed rapid growth in the
six months since its launch. The site now profiles nearly
800 law enforcement agents and informants in an attempt to assist criminal defendants and their attorneys.
Though Who’s A Rat has opted to remove photos of law enforcement agents in recent months, it has made no other concessions on behalf of those it names as rats. “Why should we?” asked Who’s A Rat spokesman Anthony Capone. “Who’s A Rat exists to provide the facts about agents and informants who have skeletons in their own closets. And they can’t argue with facts.”
Which is precisely why the site is thriving. It receives
enough traffic each day to push its bandwidth usage
sky-high. But thanks to a small army of donors, many of whom wish to remain anonymous, Who’s A Rat can handle the steady flow of visitors it receives.
So just who is interested in finding out Who’s A Rat? Most, said Capone, fall into two groups: concerned citizens, and people who have been burned by informants or crooked law enforcement agents and need information about said informants and agents that could discredit them in court. Some are there out of curiosity after having read about the site on a blog or in an article. One was a “Rat of the Week” who objected to being profiled on the site. And one is a mother on a mission to find out the truth about her son’s murder by a paid police informant; her story can be found at http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/whosarat/vpost?id=251016.
In spite of protests to the contrary, the operators of Who’s
A Rat do not want to see law enforcement officers come to
harm. The site’s disclaimer asks users to post information
on informants who are involved only with non-violent crimes;
it goes on to state that Who’s A Rat does not promote
violence or obstruction of justice. And Who’s A Rat acknowledges that some information posted by users should be taken with a grain of salt – after all, anyone with a working e-mail account, anonymous or not, can submit information to the site, which takes no responsibility for its accuracy.
“The bottom line is that we’re providing a free service to people who may need to dig up dirt on agents and snitches,” explained Capone. “Many of our profiles are backed up with verifiable documentation, which we also supply for free. We’re not here to libel anyone. Who’s A Rat is simply a resource for those who have few options in defending themselves against paid informants.”
Who’s A Rat