Eric Thomas used to be a confidential informant.
Is it okay to lie to uncover lies when you’re being taught not to lie?
Facing pressure to combat drug use and sexual assault at the Air Force Academy, the Air Force has created a secret system of cadet informants to hunt for misconduct among students.
Cadets who attend the publicly funded academy must pledge never to lie. But the program pushes some to do just that: Informants are told to deceive classmates, professors and commanders while snapping photos, wearing recording devices and filing secret reports
For one former academy student, becoming a covert government operative meant not only betraying the values he vowed to uphold, it meant being thrown out of the academy as punishment for doing the things the Air Force secretly told him to do.
Eric Thomas, 24, was a confidential informant for the Office of Special Investigations, or OSI a law enforcement branch of the Air Force. OSI ordered Thomas to infiltrate academy cliques, wearing recorders, setting up drug buys, tailing suspected rapists and feeding information to OSI. In pursuit of cases, he was regularly directed by agents to break academy rules.
And then, when an operation Mr. Thomas was involved in went wrong, he was cast aside and expelled:
"I worked on dozens of cases, did a lot of good. And when it all hit the fan, they didn’t know me anymore."
Read the story: Honor, deception amid Air Force’s cadet spy system, The Denver Post>>
Well, at least he isn’t dead: When confidential informants get killed, Deceptology>>