WW~Notes: In my last post, Today’s PIC, I noticed two articles toward the end of Kaminski’s article. Unfortunately, Kaminski and I suffered a falling out some months back which is why you rarely see articles from him on my blog these days. However, these two articles are worth noting just to realize how corrupt the U.S. government intelligence agencies operate. Both are from 2011 and are re-printed here in their entirety.
The threat of homegrown terror in America has been “manufactured” by entrapping Muslim men into crimes they otherwise would not commit, a recent study from the New York University School of Law has concluded.
The study, Targeted and Entrapped: Manufacturing the “Homegrown Terror Threat” in the United States, focuses on three recent convictions of Muslim-Americans who attempted to commit acts of terror on US soil. The cases are: a man convicted in 2006 of plotting to blow up the Herald Square subway station; five men convicted in 2008 of conspiring to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J.; and four others convicted last year of trying to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and planning to fire missiles at military aircraft.
The study, published by the law school’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and the school’s International Human Rights Clinic, shows that government informants egged on the Muslims to try to commit the acts of terror. While juries concluded the men committed the actions on their own accord, the judge overseeing one of the cases remarked that there was “something decidedly troubling about the government’s behavior” and that the informant went to great lengths to goad one defendant into taking part in the plot.
“Since September 11, 2001, the U.S government has targeted Muslims in the United States by sending paid, untrained informants into mosques and Muslim communities,” the study says. “This practice has led to the prosecution of more than 200 individuals in terrorism-related cases.”
The study was published last May and got little notice until former New York City Mayor Ed Koch came across it, reports The New York Times. Koch, an N.Y.U. graduate, tried to get the school to disavow the report and publish rebuttal he got Long Island Congressman Peter King to write up. The school’s dean, Richard L. Revesz, told Koch no, and the former Mayor took his battle public.
“Academic freedom doesn’t mean you have the right to distribute false reports, and when called to your attention, to do nothing about it,” Koch told the paper. “The dean doesn’t seem to care whether it’s factual or not.”
The Times finds that the difference between the two sides comes down to wording found in the study. For example, what King describes — as did prosecutors — as one group of defendants’ paramilitary training, the N.Y.U. report calls “recreational activities.”And while the report clearly states that “more than 200 individuals” have been prosecuted based on the actions of government informants, Smita Narula, an author of the report and a faculty director of the two groups behind it, said it “never claims that 200 people were entrapped.”
What the study does say is that “the types of evidence relied upon by the government in terror-related prosecutions are highly prejudicial, and build on the conflation of Muslim religious practice, political opinions critical of U.S. foreign policy, and terrorism.
“The prejudicial nature of relying on such evidence is magnified in the context of an entrapment defense, when the defendant’s predisposition to commit the charged crimes is at issue.”
from the what-an-amazing-track-record dept
We’ve discussed this a few times in the past, but the FBI’s main counter-terrorism initiative these days appears to be centered around creating its own terrorist plots to thwart. First, they find clueless, easily manipulated people (frequently young and Muslim), who have no actual connections with terrorists. Then, they concoct entire terrorism plots, where every other person is an FBI agent, and any tools, “weapons” and money are supplied by the FBI. Finally, they “bust” the guy just before he carries out the plot that never would have happened anyway, because it’s not like the FBI would supply the actual weapons. We see this pattern again and again — and each time the press uncritically hypes up how the FBI successfully stopped a real “homegrown” terrorist.
Of course, it’s happened once again, and the basic plotlines are identical to ones in the past. And, of course, the press is describing it like it was an actual terrorist plot, pretending that people was actually at risk. Glenn Greenwald’s summary of this and other cases is pretty spot on:
None of these cases entail the FBI’s learning of an actual plot and then infiltrating it to stop it. They all involve the FBI’s purposely seeking out Muslims (typically young and impressionable ones) whom they think harbor animosity toward the U.S. and who therefore can be induced to launch an attack despite having never taken even a single step toward doing so before the FBI targeted them. Each time the FBI announces it has disrupted its own plot, press coverage is predictably hysterical (new Homegrown Terrorist caught!), fear levels predictably rise, and new security measures are often implemented in response (the FBI’s Terror plot aimed at the D.C. Metro, for instance, led to the Metro Police announcing a new policy of random searches of passengers’ bags).
Now, I’m sure some will argue that these efforts highlight those who may be pre-disposed to taking part in such activities if given the chance for real. But in the US, I thought we didn’t believe in arresting people for crimes that they’re pre-disposed to doing if they haven’t actually done them. On top of that, with the FBI providing most of the actual plot here, it’s difficult to see how this isn’t a classical case of entrapment. Finally, it’s not clear what good this really does. Putting people who had no real means of attacking the US in jail isn’t likely to scare off anyone else.
It also makes you wonder if the FBI shouldn’t be spending more time trying to stop actual plots that involve people who have the means to actually hurt people, rather than these plots which have exactly 0% chance of causing any harm.