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Arts & Culture

POV: Better This World

Brad Crowder and David McKay protest at the 2008 Republican National Convention before their arrests on domestic terrorism charges.
Courtesy of Robert Stewart
Brad Crowder and David McKay protest at the 2008 Republican National Convention before their arrests on domestic terrorism charges.

Airs Monday, September 12, 2011 at 12 a.m. on KPBS TV

The story of Bradley Crowder and David McKay, who were accused of intending to firebomb the 2008 Republican National Convention, is a dramatic tale of idealism, loyalty, crime and betrayal. "Better This World" follows the radicalization of these boyhood friends from Midland, Texas, under the tutelage of revolutionary activist Brandon Darby. The results: eight homemade bombs, multiple domestic terrorism charges and a high-stakes entrapment defense hinging on the actions of a controversial FBI informant.

"Better This World" reconstructs the story of the relationship between these three men and the subsequent twists and turns of their legal cases through interviews with Crowder, McKay and their family members; FBI agents and attorneys; and a wealth of intriguing surveillance and archival footage — presenting an extraordinarily well-documented account and untangling a web of questions: Why did Darby, a committed activist, become a government informant? What led these young men to build eight homemade bombs? Did Darby and law enforcement save innocent victims from domestic terrorists bent on violence and destruction? Or were Crowder and McKay impressionable disciples set up by overzealous agents and a dangerous provocateur? Or does the answer lie somewhere in between?

"Better This World" goes to the heart of the war on terror and its impact on civil liberties and political dissent in post-9/11 America.

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Watch the full episode. See more POV.

"POV: Better This World" - The radicalization of boyhood friends, accused of intending to firebomb the 2008 Republican National Convention, is a tale of idealism, loyalty, crime and betrayal.

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