ISIS members/recruits threatening to kill the president sounds serious. But upon further review this appears to be the case of the government setting up some poor people who have espoused anti-government sentiments to advance its cynical anti-terrorist agenda while scaring the North American public into giving away all of their rights.
Incidentally setting up disenchanted citizens is not consistent with a republic that touts itself to the rest of the world as a nation of laws, a nation that respects law and the rights of its people. And “set up” is actually the right term for this.
On a smaller scale the Department of Homeland Security did something similar when they warned days ago that the Mall of America was recently listed as a potential terrorist target by ISIS or some other terrorist group. So after blasting headlines alleging dangerous interlopers were planning assassination attempts we find out that these were not masterminds with engineering, computer science or physics degrees, but poor young Muslim working-class guys who had talked somewhere on the Internet about being pissed at the U.S. and wanting to kill the president. If the U.S. prosecuted every redneck that said they wanted this president dead, the jails would really be overflowing.
These guys are in some ways similar to those rednecks, just aimless disenchanted young men susceptible to almost anything. People close to them have even categorized them as “uneducated,” so how were they going to carry out sophisticated terrorist plans? In fact, the NY Times online article was titled “Trial of online rage led to Brooklyn men.” The men were charged with conspiracy to work with a terrorist organization.
Upon closer examination the article implies that the men weren’t all that dangerous and that they were set up. According to the NY Times article, “These guys were for not doing much,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing. “They were spending a lot of time online, spending a lot of time at work, and that was it.”
Akhror Saidakhmetov’s (19 years old) lawyer, Adam D. Perlmutter, said on Wednesday that the government’s reliance on a paid confidential informant was a concern. “He was worked over extensively by a confidential informant, according to the complaint,” Mr. Perlmutter said. “He’s a kid. He’s obviously scared. He’s frightened. The ham-fisted tactics of the federal government are in play here, as usual.”
The article also states that the men met the confidential informant (paid snitch) at a mosque. And there you have it, another case of the government going out of its way to use its own citizens to advance its anti-terrorist propaganda.
The U.S. government has been engaging in setting up poor people of color since they accused Jose Padilla of planning on setting off a dirty bomb in Chicago. After scientists pointed out the lunacy of the government’s case, they switched the charges and got a jury to convict him on scant evidence.
In 2006 the government used a paid snitch to go out of his way to set up seven poor unemployed Liberty City (Miami) residents. The Liberty City 7 were accused of planning to blow up sites including the Sears Tower after the snitch suggested it. The men never acted on anything and were totally set up by the confidential informant.
After three tries, the government got a jury to convict them on conspiracy to commit terrorism. They all received long sentences. The snitch in the case was paid $85,000.
In the case of the Fort Dix 5, the government set up six young working-class Muslims. Their resident status apparently made them vulnerable when somebody thought a video they made showing them shooting at a shooting range was cause for alarm. On very scanty evidence and after clear entrapment, they were all sentenced to long prison sentences for conspiring to kill U.S. servicemen.
Apparently the U.S. anti-terror campaign has to be watered on occasion with the lives of innocent residents of the country. So much for being better than everybody else.
Mel Reeves welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org