This week FBI agents arrested Muhammad Hussain, née Antonio Martinez, as he tried to blow up a military recruiting facility in Catonsville, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore. Hussain/Martinez’ bomb, like the one Somalia-born Mohamed Mohamud tried to detonate at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, two weeks ago, was obligingly supplied by the FBI. Fortunately, both bombs were fake.
Now Antonio Martinez is in jail. So is Mohamed Mohamud. So is Julian Assange. And Tom Delay has been convicted and is facing the possibility of life in prison. And the Department of Homeland Security is protecting us from buying unauthorized copies of copyrighted music by shutting down websites that were selling them. And agents of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are protecting airline passengers by looking at nude pictures and fondling toddlers and great-grandmothers.
There, now. Don’t you feel much safer?
Apparently, the only thing Martinez and Mohamud did on their own was to have evil thoughts. These thoughts became action only because the FBI encouraged them, helped them and even constructed their “bombs” for them, taught them how to “detonate” them, and provided the vehicles with which to deliver them. Traditionally, three elements are necessary to prove that someone committed a crime: means, motive and opportunity. Here, the FBI supplied both the means and the opportunity. Technically speaking, this is not necessarily entrapment. Realistically, though, it is.
Just ask yourself this: how many terrorists commit their acts of terror all by themselves, with no assistance from anyone else? I’ll answer the question for you: None. Every terrorist, successful or unsuccessful, had the support of others. Their evil thoughts became evil deeds only because others provided encouragement and support.
Would Martinez and Mohamud have become terrorists if the FBI had not gotten to them? I suppose it is possible some real terrorists could have recruited them at some point. But the fact remains, they didn’t. It was the FBI that recruited them and encouraged them. And it was the FBI that armed and trained them.
The media persists in calling the operations that entrapped Martinez and Mohamud “sting” operations. But they are not, really. A sting operation is one in which the target, say a drug dealer, is acting completely on his own. When he sells illegal drugs to an undercover narcotics officer, he is not doing anything he doesn’t normally do, and the undercover cop’s participation is almost incidental. The cop is on the other side of the transaction; he doesn’t become the drug dealer’s confederate.
In the operations that nabbed Martinez and Mohamud, FBI agents’ participation was far from incidental. In both cases, they were actively involved in the plot.
The charging documents in Martinez’ case detail conversations he had with an FBI informant who had discovered the suspect’s Facebook postings. Significantly, the documents only reveal Martinez’ side of the conversation. How did he go from just being angry — and what he was angry about was the same thing Mohamud was angry about: the killing of Muslims — to actively plotting to blow up a military recruiting station? According to the documents, he attempted to enlist three friends in the plot. His friends turned him down. Would he have gone through with it had he not had undercover FBI agents as his “confederates”, and had they not supplied him with the “bomb” and the vehicle to deliver it? I seriously doubt it.
Thinking evil thoughts is not a crime. If it were, we’d all be in prison. Yet, this is what the government is intent on punishing in those two cases.
In fact, you don’t even have to think evil thoughts. All you have to do is expose the govenment’s incompetence and duplicity, as Julian Assange did, or engineer a Congressional redistricting that reflects the will of the voters, as Tom Delay did. The government will manufacture a crime to cover whatever it is you did.
We have a lawless government that is intent on turning all of us into law breakers. They already treat us that way when we get on an airplane or report for jury duty — or make a video recording of police abusing their authority.
And it has gotten worse. When the Department of Homeland Security seized 70-some websites two weeks ago, they didn’t bother to get a court-order or provide any notice or warning to the sites. Some of the sites that were seized were not even in the business of selling anything, legal or illegal. Their only “crime” was providing links to sites that did.
So, knowing what the government is doing to “protect” you, do you feel any safer? I sure don’t.