Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
THE DECAY OF AMERICAN MEDIA — Patrick L. Smith on the decline and fall of American journalism; Peter Lee on China and its Uyghur problem; Dave Macaray on brain trauma, profits and the NFL; Lee Ballinger on the bloody history of cotton. PLUS: “The Vindication of Love” by JoAnn Wypijewski; “The Age of SurrealPolitick” by Jeffrey St. Clair; “The Radiation Zone” by Kristin Kolb; “Washington’s Enemies List” by Mike Whitney; “The School of Moral Statecraft” by Chris Floyd and “The Surveillance Films of Laura Poitras” by Kim Nicolini.
The Portland "Bomb" Plot

Fabricating Terror

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Why does the FBI orchestrate fake terror plots?

The latest one snared Osman Mohamud, a Somali-American teenager in Portland, Oregon. The Associated Press report by William Mall and Nedra Pickler (11-27-10) is headlined in Yahoo News: “Somali-born teen plotted car-bombing in Oregon.”  

This is a misleading headline as the report makes it clear that it was a plot orchestrated by federal agents. Two sentences into the news report we have this: “The bomb was an elaborate fake supplied by the [FBI] agents and the public was never in danger, authorities said.” The teenager was supplied with a fake bomb and a fake detonator.

Three sentences later the reporters contradict the quoted authorities with a quote from Arthur Balizan, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon: “The threat was very real.” 

The reporters then contradict Balizan: “White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said Saturday that president Barack Obama was aware of the FBI operation before Friday’s arrest. Shapiro said Obama was assured that the FBI was in full control of the operation and that the public was not in danger.” 

Then Shapiro contradicts himself by declaring: “The events of the past 24 hours underscore the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism here and abroad.” 

The story arrives at its Kafka-esque highpoint when President Obama thanks the FBI for its diligence in saving us from the fake plot the FBI had fabricated.  

After vacillating between whether they are reporting a real plot or a orchestrated one, the reporters finally  come down on the side of orchestration. Documents released by US Attorney Dwight Holton “show the sting operation began in June.” Obviously, the targeted Portland teenager was not hot to trot. The FBI had to work on him for six months. The reporters compare “the Portland sting” to the recent arrest in Virginia of Faroque Ahmed who was ensnared in a “bombing plot that was a ruse conducted over the past six months by federal officials.”

Think about this.  The FBI did a year’s work in order to convince two people to participate in fake plots.

If you are not too bright and some tough looking guys accost you and tell you that they are Al Qaeda and expect your help in a terrorist operation, you might be afraid to say no, or you might be thrilled to be part of a blowback against an American population that is indifferent to their government’s slaughter of people of your ethnicity in your country of origin. Whichever way it falls, it is unlikely the ensnared person would ever have done anything beyond talk had the FBI not organized them into action. In other cases the FBI entices people with money to participate in its fake plots.

Since 9/11, the only domestic “terrorist plot” that I recall that was not obviously organized by the FBI is the “Times Square plot” to which Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty to trying to set off a car bomb in Manhattan. This plot, too, is suspicious.  One would think that a real terrorist would have a real bomb, not a smoke bomb.

In the May 19, 2009, online site, sott.net (reprinted Nov. 27, 2010), Joe Quinn collects some of the fake plots, some of which were validated by torture confessions and others by ignorant and fearful juries. The US government comes up with a plot, an accused, and tortures him until he confesses, or the government fabricates a case and takes it to jurors who know that they cannot face their neighbors if they let off a media-declared “terrorist.”

Perhaps the most obvious of these cases is “the Miami seven,” a hapless group of Christian-Zionist-Muslims that called themselves the “Sea of David” and were quietly living in a Florida warehouse awaiting biblical end times. Along came the FBI posing as Al Qaeda and offered them $50,000 and an Al Qaeda swearing in ceremony. 

The FBI told them that they needed to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago and various government buildings. An honest reporter at Knight Ridder revealed: “The Justice (sic) Department unveiled the arrests with an orchestrated series of news conferences in two cities, but the severity of the charges compared with the seemingly amateurish nature of the group raised concerns among civil libertarians,” who noted that the group had “no weapons, no explosives.”

The Justice (sic) Department and tamed media made a big show out of the “militaristic boots” worn by the hapless “plotters,” but the FBI had bought the boots for them. 

The biggest piece of evidence against the hapless group was that they had taken photos of “targets” in Florida, but the US government had equipped them with cameras. 

The US government even rented cars for its dupes to drive to take the pictures. 

It turns out that the group only wanted the $50,000, but an American jury convicted them anyhow.

When the US government has to go to such lengths to create “terrorists” out of hapless people, an undeclared agenda is being served. What could this agenda be?

The answer is many agendas. One agenda is to justify wars of aggression that are war crimes under the Nuremberg standard created by the US government itself. One way to avoid war crimes charges is to create acts of terrorism that justify the naked aggressions against “terrorist countries.”

Another agenda is to create a police state. A police state can control people who object to their impoverishment for the benefit of the superrich much more easily than can a democracy endowed with constitutional civil liberties. 

Another agenda is to get rich. Terror plots, whether real or orchestrated, have created a market for security. Dual Israeli citizen Michael Chertoff, former head of US Homeland Security, is the lobbyist who represents Rapiscan, the company that manufactures the full body porno-scanners that, following the “underwear bomber” event, are now filling up US airports. Homeland Security has announced that they are going to purchase the porno-scanners for trains, buses, subways, court houses, and sports events. How can shopping malls and roads escape? Recently on Interstate 20 west of Atlanta, trucks had to drive through a similar device. Everyone has forgotten that the underwear bomber lacked required documents and was escorted aboard the airliner by an official.

The “war on terror” provides an opportunity for a few well-connected people to become very rich. If they leave Americans with a third world police state, they will be living it up in Gstaad. 

This despite the fact that everyone on the planet knows that it is not lactating mothers, children, elderly people in walkers and wheelchairs, members of Congress, members of the military, nuns, and so on, who are members of Al Qaeda plotting to bring aboard a bomb in their underwear, their shoes, their shampoo and face creams. 

Indeed, bombs aboard air liners are a rare event. 

What is it really all about? Could it be that the US government needs terrorist events in order to completely destroy the US Constitution?  On November 24, National Public Radio broadcast a report by Dina Temple-Raston: “Administration officials are looking at the possibility of codifying detention without trial and are awaiting legislation that is supposed to come out of Congress early next year.” Of course, the legislation will not come out of Congress. It will be written by Homeland Security and the Justice (sic) Department. The impotent Congress will merely rubber-stamp it.

The obliteration of habeas corpus, the most necessary and important protection of liberty ever institutionalized in law and governing constitution, has become necessary for the US government, because a jury might acquit an alleged or mock “terrorist” or framed person whom the US government has declared prior to the trial will be held forever in indefinite detention even if acquitted in a US court of law. The attorney general of the United States has declared that any “terrorist” that he puts on trial who is acquitted by a jury will remain in detention regardless of the verdict. Such an event would reveal the total lawlessness of American “justice.”

The United States of America, “the city upon the hill,” “the light unto the world,” has become Nazi Germany. It was the practice of the Gestapo to ignore court verdicts and to execute or hold indefinitely the cleared defendant in the camps. The Obama regime is in the process of completing Dick Cheney’s dream by legislating the legality of indefinite detention. American law has collapsed to the dungeons of the Dark Ages.

This Nazi Gestapo policy is now the declared policy of the US Department of Justice (sic).  Anyone who thinks the United States is a free society where people have liberty, “freedom and democracy” is uninformed.

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.  His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com