More Terrorism Theatre From the FBI

Looks like the U.S. government dodged a bullet today, thanks to the FBI…

Rezwan Ferdaus of Massachusetts was arrested this morning. He was accused of plotting to blow up the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol using remote-controlled aircraft armed with explosives.

According to the FBI, they’ve thwarted another dastardly plot. Except that once again it seems to be a plot they themselves helped hatch…

The public was never in danger from any of the explosives, various news sources tell us, because the explosives were at all times under the control of the FBI. It was the bureau who delivered the explosives to Ferdaus…or at least what the patsy believed to be C-4 plastic explosives, six fully automatic AK-47 machine guns and grenades.

It was (once again) the FBI that through one of its 15,000 or so informants goaded Ferdaus along, essentially double-daring him to blow something up.

The FBI has led another Muslim into making the bureau look like it’s effectively stopping terrorist acts.

Are we mad? Are we protesting the arrest of a man who clearly wanted to harm innocents?

Far from it. We merely question how dangerous this man would have been considered if he hadn’t been prodded along and supplied by federal cops trying to look useful in the war on terrorism.

This is what the FBI has been doing since Sept. 11. “Pre-emption,” “prevention” and “disruption” have been the watchwords in the bureau’s counterterrorism efforts. In practice, this has meant using spies in the Muslim community to find terrorist sympathizers and grow them into potential terrorists under the FBI’s expert guidance.

FBI agents assign an undercover operative to pose as an extremist and approach the targeted patsy. The FBI then provides the plots, the means and the materiel. Then they make their arrest. Then they tell us what a fantastic job they’re doing protecting our freedoms.

We suppose you could argue that these patsies could have been goaded into action by actual terrorists if only the terrorists had found them first. But that’s not what happened. The FBI found them and sent them on their way. We suppose if we’re arguing what-ifs, we could also point out that these patsies wouldn’t want to do harm to the U.S. government or its subjects if the U.S. would cease invading other countries in a shameless display of imperial overreach.

So here’s how it works. Fear is used as an instrument by the state to control its population — through legally approved wiretaps and other listening devices — and to create a basis for the argument that we need to continue the war on terror.

As Addison put it yesterday in the 5 Min. Forecast:

“In a perverse development, this will have the effect of padding Pentagon budgets and contractors’ bottom lines, as Washington creates more enemies it then has to knock down.”

What this ultimately achieves is continued monetary support for friends in high places — like defense contractors, in this case.

But today’s battlefield looks different from even the one we knew just 10 years ago. And this shift is creating new winners and losers in the race for DOD dollars. The MQ-1 predator program has cost the Defense Department almost $2.4 billion to develop. And each new predator costs about $4.5 million.

Capturing terrorists leads to more fear about finding terrorists in our midst. The governments response is…more wars, more money spent and new innovations created to kill terrorists.

Again Addison:

“This is the logic behind the staggering growth in the use of pilotless drone aircraft. To date, the U.S. government has used them to carry out attacks in six countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya.

“Now the Pentagon is building what The Washington Post describes as a ‘constellation of bases’ to support routine drone strikes in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The aim? ‘To create overlapping circles of surveillance in a region where al-Qaida offshoots could emerge for years to come,’ U.S. officials said.

“The number of U.S. drones has exploded 100-fold in a decade. They number more than 6,000 today. Drone strikes that numbered in the single digits in 2007 numbered 118 last year.”

We here at the Whiskey Bar are not happy with our government’s heavy-handed response to these external threats — real or fabricated. Given the increase in the number of drones, strikes and target-rich environments, this is a trend that isn’t going to change anytime soon.


Gary Gibson