Now THIS Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone…
Have you ever been told about all of the terror plots that we’ve been saved from in the government’s “War on Terror”? That if it wasn’t for the over-reaching Patriot Act and the curtailing of our basic rights in the goal of being “protected”, we’d be experiencing a whole heckova lot of terrorist acts “right here on our soil”. As proof, every now and then we are treated with the news of the arrest of some terrorist plot that was just about ready to wreak havoc on a target here.
We praised our diligent FBI and Homeland Security for being diligent in thwarting these potential acts in the nick of time. The suspects were usually some tiny little “cell” of homegrown disaffects — many of Arab or Muslim extraction, and all being curiously underachievers. It almost makes one wonder how they were all able to even get to a planning stage all by themselves.
Now it is becoming pretty clear, and it is probably more disturbing than the you can imagine.
The FBI: Foiling its own plots since 2001
Many failed “terrorist” attempts would never have gotten off the ground without aid from the authoritiesThis originally appeared on TomDispatch.
Informers have by now become our first line of defense in our battles with the evildoers, the go-to guys in the never-ending domestic war on terror. They regularly do the dirty work — suggesting and encouraging the plots, laboring as bag men to move the money, fashioning the bombs, and eliciting the flamboyant dialogue, even while following the scripts of their handlers to the letter. They have attended to all the little details that make for the successful and now familiar arrests, criminal complaints, trials, and (for the most part) convictions in the ever-distracting war against… what? Al-Qaeda? Terror? Muslims? The inept? The poor?
The Liberty City Seven, the Fort Dix Six, the Detroit Ummah Conspiracy, the Newburgh Four — each has had their fear-filled day in the sun. None of these plots ever came close to happening. How could they? All were bogus from the get-go: money to buy missiles or cell phones or shoes and fancy duds — provided by the authorities; plans for how to use the missiles and bombs and cell phones — provided by authorities; cars for transport and demolition — issued by the authorities; facilities for carrying out the transactions — leased by those same authorities. Played out on landscapes manufactured by federal imagineers, the climax of each drama was foreordained. The failure of the plots would then be touted as the success of the investigations and prosecutions.
A band of virtually homeless and penniless men in Florida, we were told, were planning to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago. They just needed the right combat boots to pull it off, and a little free money.
A cell of New Jersey roofers, handymen, and cab drivers was scheming to use a laminated pizza delivery map to guide them through a devastating attack on Fort Dix, the enormous military base in Burlington County, south of Trenton.
Ex-cons in Detroit, mostly known for patronizing a weekly soup kitchen to stave off hunger, were also planning to set up their own country in Michigan under Islamic law.
And a band of Orange County New York parolees and former drug peddlers placed bombs at two Bronx synagogues and was preparing to launch missile attacks on military cargo planes at Stewart National Guard Air Base in Newburgh.
This is disturbing, but not surprising. For years law enforcement has been using informants whose only motivation is to get out of some trouble that they’ve found themselves in. In the 1980s and 1990s, the DEA task forces set up with local police jurisdictions to go into urban areas to carry out a “weed and seed” operation. It’s goal was to clear out gangs and drugs from urban neighborhoods, take property in abatement programs, and “revitalize” (redistribute property to investors) to create brand new neighborhoods.
The problem was, how to get all of those poor black kids off the street?
It was simple. Bust one with a little bit of dope, then tell that sap to “give us three and we’ll set you free”. That kid would tell on three people who would then get the same offer. Pretty soon, the cops would get to the bigger supplier and then make a deal with that person — to act as an informant in order to stay “in business”. Now the squeeze was on, and that informant would start giving up all sorts of people — many of them completely innocent — in order to not be facing scores of years in prison. The more names he provided, the more entrapment situations he set up, the more the cops wanted out of him. This guy would be on the hook so bad with the cops that he would give up his own mother.
Eventually, either the informant was found out by others and killed, or he ended up in prison anyways because there was ALWAYS going to be some kind of charge the cops could pin on him. But the goal of cleaning up the neighborhoods was essentially achieved, thanks to this aggressive type of police work and the mandatory minimum sentencing brought on by the “War on Drugs”.
Since the terror attack on 9/11, we have shifted from the “War on Drugs” to the “War on Terror”, but the tactics have remained pretty much the same.