Friday, May 3, 2013

Infotainment at CNN Missed This One

“The Terror Factory – Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism” by Trevor Aaronson, 2013

According to Trevor Aaronson, in the years since 9/11, the FBI has apprehended a total of less than 5 actual terrorists, while claiming more than 500.  Most of those 500 were either Level 2 violations of immigration laws or lying to authorities, or in the Level 1 area, stings, entrapments and the work of agent provocateurs.  After the FBI recognized that Al Qaeda could not organize another formal strike from overseas, but would rely on propagandizing ‘lone wolves” – so-called isolated Islamic ‘jihadis’ already living in the U.S. – the FBI changed their tactics.  Like the drug sting business, they decided to use stings to catch these potential terrorists before they supposedly even did anything.  The FBI now employs 15,000 informers, nearly all in Muslim communities, to ferret out and ‘trap’ these aspiring ‘jihadis.’  This is the most unprecedented number of government informants in U.S. history, surpassing even J Edgar Hoover, surveillance of various communist organizations and Contelpro.  The FBI now has a budget of $3 billion to do this, more than that spent on any other area the FBI covers, like crime, financial crime or the Mob, etc.  The ‘terror factory’ is the FBI, according to Aaronson. 

Which brings us to a key question.  Why wasn’t Tamerlan Tsarnaev lured into one of these plots?  The FBI claims there are too many suspects to trail, but this book clearly shows the FBI works full-time, with massive resources, on pretty sad human material, scraping the barrel so to speak, to create ‘terror’ plots that they could then bust.  You’d think with a real ‘lone wolf’ lumpen like Tsarnaev they would have had no problem.  After all, he was already under surveillance.  He would have been an ideal target for a sting.  This is the question the FBI should answer.

The Boston Marathon bombing was the second successful terror attack since 9/11 by alleged ‘Islamists,’ though there have been others by American rightist terrorists.  This book was published on 1/15/2013.  The Boston Marathon bombing was on 4/15/2013.  Is there some connection?  Aaronson has been on Amy Goodman since this bombing, and made the point that chasing the wrong people might have distracted the FBI from paying attention to Tsarnaev.  But perhaps Aaronson should ask the first question. 

After getting hard Justice Department data from Eric Holder, who released it to prove the FBI could handle trials for Guantanamo, Aaronson goes into plot after plot in detail – the Liberty City 7, the Lackawanna 6, the Fort Dix 5, the Newburgh 4 and many individual ‘terror plots.’  He shows them to be full of blustery, poor, emotionally disturbed or just plain normal targets who could not have bombed anything without help from the FBI.  The FBI would provide money, weapons, fake bombs, cars, apartments, maps, you name it – to lead some poor sucker to his doom.  Some times only words were used against innocent suspects, or tricks or misdirection, or old behavior that meant nothing.  And the media – which is really an arm of the state at this point – swallowed every FBI story whole.

Aaronson, like many others, draws a clear link between Bush and Obama security policies in the ‘war on terror.’ These policies fit hand in glove – and sometimes Obama’s are worse.  While getting Muslim votes in the U.S. the Democratic Party hierarchy treats Muslim communities as if they were full of potential terrorists.  In fact, the suffocating surveillance in these communities has decreased honest information flowing to the FBI, because there are so many informers attempting to trip people up into some kind of connection with ‘terrorism.’  People in these communities avoiding talking to the FBI as they would avoid having a conversation with a gang banger.  Hence real information dries up.  Yet the ‘state’ – no matter what president is in power – goes on with its agenda.  In this case, however, there is no distance between the President and the state.

Aaronson points out the changed role of the FBI since 9/11, from fighting ‘crime’ and being oblivious about Islamic terrorism, to becoming an ‘anti-terror’ force full of anti-Islamic bigots and methods.  FBI profiling essentially says anyone watching a jihadist video, reading Al Qaeda's "Inspire" magazine, frequenting a mosque, or who spouts off, is a dangerous threat.  He details the FBI’s use of criminals and liars who work for large payouts - $100,000 is not uncommon - in order to trap disturbed or poor patsies into jail terms of 15 to 40 years.  Or their use of blackmail or deportation pressure against Muslims in order to get them to become informers on people in their own mosque or community.  Aaronson also comments on the numerous ‘taping’ failures the FBI is subject too.  They always seem to have tapes for dialog that is or ‘might be’ incriminating, but frequently forget or damage or lose or do not tape other meetings where what is said might not be legal on their part, or indicate entrapment. 

Juries have not seen through FBI entrapment tactics yet.  Just as Americans, who have rarely been exposed to danger, cheerfully sat in their houses while the police asked the whole city of Boston to stay indoors. (See commentary below, “Tale of Two Slaughters”)  Many U.S. citizens are by nature naïve and unable to grasp that their government might not be on the up and up.  Aaronson has written this book to explain to more people what is happening behind the scenes of some of the latest hysteria on CNN.    

As Aaronson points out, “…the organization responsible for more terrorist plots over the last decade ... is the FBI.”

(Another book on this subject, “Islamophobia – The Politics of Empire,” is reviewed below.  There are also several commentaries on the FBI below.)

And I bought it at May Day Books!
Red Frog
May 3, 2013

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