Nearly every major post-9/11 terrorism-related prosecution has involved a sting operation, at the center of which is a government informant. In these cases, the informants - who work for money or are seeking leniency on criminal charges of their own - have crossed the line from merely observing potential criminal behavior to encouraging and assisting people to participate in plots that are largely scripted by the FBI itself. Under the FBI’s guiding hand, the informants provide the weapons, suggest the targets and even initiate the inflammatory political rhetoric that later elevates the charges to the level of terrorism.
– From Glenn Greenwald’s latest piece: Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism
The “war on terror” is the best thing to happen to power hungry politicians since a fire of questionable origin destroyed the Reichstag building in Berlin on February 27, 1933. Not only does the “war on terror” represent big business for shady crony capitalists; it gives politicians, i.e., professional authoritarians, an excuse to destroy civil liberties and implement a total surveillance system to ensure the plebs don’t get out of line. This is not just an unfortunate trend that has developed organically due to a dangerous world, these are the goals of the oligarch class and they will do whatever it takes to achieve them.
This is where the “war on terror” and constant fear-mongering comes into play. There’s only one small problem. In the absence of real terror attacks in the U.S., it’s difficult to keep the stupid serfs shivering in a corner in the fetal position. Enter fake terrorist attacks; funded, created and planned by the FBI.
If you were getting your news from the mainstream media yesterday, you were no doubt barraged by headlines about a dangerous plot to bomb the U.S. Capitol building. Headlines such as this one from MSNBC: US terror plot foiled by FBI arrest of Ohio man.
Or what about this one from the Wall Street Journal: Ohio Man Charged With Plotting ISIS-Inspired Attack on U.S. Capitol.
Sounds really scary, right? Makes you relieved that the U.S. government in on the case! There’s only one slight problem. How can you foil a plot that was planned by the FBI itself?
For example NBC News reports that:
An Ohio man who allegedly wanted to set up an ISIS cell in the U.S. was arrested Wednesday and accused of planning to attack the U.S. Capitol. But U.S. officials told NBC News the man was dealing with a government informer working undercover the entire time and was never in a position to carry out his plan.
Again, how can you foil an attack that never could have occurred in the first place?
Christopher Lee Cornell, 20, of Green Township, near Cincinnati, was arrested after he bought two M-15 semi-automatic rifles and about 600 rounds of ammunition as the undercover operative watched, according to an FBI affidavit.
Cornell’s father, John Cornell, said the family was blindsided by the arrest.
“He never showed any signs of violence or anything,” John Cornell said of his son.
Yeah, until the FBI showed up. Turns out the FBI is better at radicalizing Muslims to violence than any genuine terror network on planet earth.
NBC News even mentions another example (there are many) of FBI entrapment.
In 2011, Rezwan Ferdaus, of Ashland, Massachusetts, was charged with plotting to attack the Capitol and the Pentagon with a remote-controlled aircraft filled with plastic explosives. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison. He, too, was dealing with undercover agents the whole time.
Glenn Greenwald chimed in on this whole charade in his usual incisive manner. Here are some excerpts from his piece (I strongly suggest you read the entire thing):
The alleged would-be terrorist is 20-year-old Christopher Cornell (above), who is unemployed, lives at home, spends most of his time playing video games in his bedroom, still addresses his mother as “Mommy” and regards his cat as his best friend; he was described as “a typical student” and “quiet but not overly reserved” by the principal of the local high school he graduated in 2012.
The DOJ’s press release predictably generated an avalanche of scary media headlines hailing the FBI. CNN: “FBI says plot to attack U.S. Capitol was ready to go.” MSNBC: “US terror plot foiled by FBI arrest of Ohio man.” Wall St. Journal: “Ohio Man Charged With Plotting ISIS-Inspired Attack on U.S. Capitol.”
Just as predictably, political officials instantly exploited the news to justify their powers of domestic surveillance. House Speaker John Boehner claimed yesterday that “the National Security Agency’s snooping powers helped stop a plot to attack the Capitol and that his colleagues need to keep that in mind as they debate whether to renew the law that allows the government to collect bulk information from its citizens.” He warned: “We live in a dangerous country, and we get reminded every week of the dangers that are out there.”
Yes, we are conveniently reminded of the dangers via fake terror attacks concocted by the FBI.
The known facts from this latest case seem to fit well within a now-familiar FBI pattern whereby the agency does not disrupt planned domestic terror attacks but rather creates them, then publicly praises itself for stopping its own plots.
First, they target a Muslim: not due to any evidence of intent or capability to engage in terrorism, but rather for the “radical” political views he expresses. In most cases, the Muslim targeted by the FBI is a very young (late teens, early 20s), adrift, unemployed loner who has shown no signs of mastering basic life functions, let alone carrying out a serious terror attack, and has no known involvement with actual terrorist groups.
Consider the truly remarkable (yet not aberrational) 2011 prosecution of James Cromitie, an impoverished African-American Muslim convert who had expressed anti-Semitic views but, at the age of 45, had never evinced any inclination to participate in a violent attack. For eight months, the FBI used an informant – one who was on the hook for another crime and whom the FBI was paying – to try to persuade Cromitie to agree to join a terror plot which the FBI had concocted. And for eight months, he adamantly refused. Only when they dangled a payment of $250,000 in front of him right as he lost his job did he finally assent, causing the FBI to arrest him. The DOJ trumpeted the case as a major terrorism arrest, obtained a prosecution and sent him to prison for 25 years.
Cornell’s father accused the FBI of responsibility for the plot, saying of his son: “He’s a mommy’s boy. His best friend is his cat Mikey. He still calls his mother ‘Mommy.’” His father said that “he might be 20, but he was more like a 16-year-old kid who never left the house.” He added that his son had only $1,200 in his bank account, and that the money to purchase guns could only have come from the FBI. It was the FBI, he said, who were “taking him somewhere, and they were filling his head with a lot of this garbage.”
This guy can’t even make a plan to leave his mom’s house let alone plot a terror attack against the U.S. Capitol.
Having crazed loners get guns and seek to shoot people is, of course, a threat. But so is allowing the FBI to manufacture terror plots: in the process keeping fear levels about terrorism completely inflated, along with its own surveillance powers and budget. Ohio is a major recipient of homeland security spending: it “has four fusion centers, more than any other state except California, New York and Texas. Ohio also ranks fourth in the nation (tying New York) with four FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs).”
Something has to be done to justify all that terrorism spending. For all those law enforcement agents with little to do, why not sit around and manufacture plots to justify those expenditures, giving a boost to their pro-surveillance ideology to boot? Media outlets have a responsibility to investigate the FBI’s claims, not mindlessly repeat them while parading their alarmed faces and scary graphics.
My friends at Activist Post poignantly added their two cents:
The FBI initially found a patsy by trolling Twitter for support of ISIS. That’s exciting because finding someone retarded enough to admit support for murderers is really difficult. Then they sent an in-house jihadist to team up with the patsy to plan a grand terror attack on the nation’s Capitol. Heroically, the moment the 20-year-old patsy said he would “go forward with violent jihad” the FBI steps in and declares a victory in the war on terror.
Well, the only reason this story exists at all is to make the public feel that there are genuine terror threats targeting the US Capitol. That is then used to justify spying on the Internet and funding the huge terrorism-industrial complex that has nothing better to do than make up the reasons to keep giving them money.
That last line is particularly important, particularly since U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is now pleading the Obama Administration to support his insane agenda on encryption (see: Britain’s “War on Terror” Insanity Continues – David Cameron Declares War on Encryption). The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that:
British Prime Minister David Cameron plans to lobby President Barack Obama this week to more publicly criticize U.S. technology companies, such as Facebook Inc., that offer encrypted communications that can’t be unscrambled even with a court order, two people familiar with the matter said.
The move would extend Mr. Cameron’s efforts to help intelligence and security officials access the information they say they need to help counter terror. One issue he and intelligence officials have highlighted in recent days is the growing use of encryption and the difficulty it poses for law enforcement. The U.S. Justice Department has also sought a way to access encrypted communications with a court order, but has been rebuffed by civil-liberties concerns.
Mr. Cameron also plans to mention his push to require social-media companies to proactively monitor their users to spot budding national-security threats, the people familiar with the matter said. Tech executives say that would be a nonstarter in the U.S.
Through a spokeswoman, the White House declined to comment on a meeting that hasn’t taken place yet.
Messrs. Cameron and Obama are scheduled to meet for a working dinner Thursday, as well as additional meetings and a news conference Friday.
A meeting of the minds this surely will not be. In any event, I can guarantee you banning encryption will stop terrorists from using encryption as much as banning guns stopped terrorists from using guns to carry out their recent attacks in Paris. Or as much as the ban on drugs has stopped drug use. These laws are not directed at criminals or terrorist, they are intended to keep the plebs under perpetual surveillance.
Just in case you had any doubt that the U.S. government could care less about cyber crimes, witness the fact that no one at the CIA will be held responsible for breaking into Senate computers and seemingly violating the Constitution. The Washington Post reports that:
An internal CIA panel concluded in a report released Wednesday that agency employees should not be punished for their roles in secretly searching computers used by Senate investigators, a move that was denounced by lawmakers last year as an assault on congressional oversight and a potential breach of the Constitution.
Rejecting the findings of previous inquiries into the matter, the CIA review group found that the agency employees’ actions were “reasonable in light of their responsibilities to manage an unprecedented computer system” set up for Senate aides involved in a multiyear probe of the CIA’s treatment of terrorism suspects.
“Let me be clear: I continue to believe CIA’s actions constituted a violation of the constitutional separation of powers,” Feinstein said in a written statement. She noted that CIA Director John O. Brennan had previously apologized for the dispute but said she was “disappointed that no one at the CIA will be held accountable.”
How cute, Feinstein is “disappointed.” If you or I did this we would be locked up in solitary for the rest of our lives faster than you can say CIA torture.
The Bayh-led panel was set up after that fight had burst into public view. The panel was charged with determining whether any of the five CIA employees identified in the IG’s report should face discipline. But the “accountability review board” concluded that the CIA-Senate arrangement was so convoluted that the panel could find no clear rules on how the shared computer system was to be run, let alone whether any rules had been violated. In addition to Bayh, the panel included former White House counsel Robert F. Bauer and three senior CIA officers who have not been identified.
Unsurprisingly, some “hackers” are more equal than others.