News Dec 2, 2010 at 4:00 am

Defense Emerges in Bomb Plot: Entrapment


I'm personally curious as to the exact bill being handed to the US taxpayer for this work of fiction. How the fuck did this production make us any safer from the evil brown people who don't love Jesus? Especially in the light that he might have been coerced into doing this in the first place?

I'm more afraid of drunk drivers and the liberties we are hemorrhaging under the guise of "safety' than I am of any terrorist act. I guarantee you know more people personally killed by drunk white dudes than scary brown non-christians.
If I were to convince a mentally ill or young or very stupid person to commit a crime I think the government would charge me as a co-conspirator. It must be nice to be a FBI agent and be immune from prosecution. The FBI: all of its agents are 'special.'

Also, I wonder exactly how fundamentalist a guy who drinks and sleeps with girls after frat parties really is. Must be nice for the attorneys to have the "he's a drunken date rapist" bit to add to the entrapment defense. 'But for the FBI's intervention ladies and gentlemen, he'd be doing the walk of shame in Corvallis right now'
This kid had one intention and that was to kill as many people as he could. He didn't care if they were men, women or children. Not if they were christians, muslims, jews or any other religion. Pioneer Square was packed with people of all races and religions and it didn't seem to matter to this kid who he killed. He just wanted to detonate a bomb and destroy as many lives as possible and in as horrific a way as can be imagined.

You people take the side of this kid and make him out the be the victim yet you forget to see the truth in that this person wanted to kill you. He didn't care about your politics or the fact that you're a left-wing liberal peace loving hippy. He just wanted you dead. Even children know the difference between right and wrong; killing hundreds of people is definitely wrong.

Do we really have to wait for people to die in order to see the truth for what it is? Are you people so naive that you actually believe that this human being is just like you and me and is a good person that was unwittingly duped by the FBI to believe that killing hundreds, possibly thousands of people, was a great idea? I hope, for the sake of us all, that some of you can shed this cloud of naivete that keeps you blinded from the darker truths of this world.
If you hire a hitman to kill someone, and whoopsie-doodle, the hitman turned out to be an undercover cop, should you be released and declared innocent? After all, no one was harmed.

I love the 'we don't know what went on' insinuation that the first meeting was a non-stop orgy of coersion. No, we don't know. Maybe a leprechaun cast a spell on him. We don't know. What we do know is that this kid had the intention of murdering as many people as possible. The issue of 'why' he felt this way is likely best left to the prison psychologist.

The 'what if' is another pointless hypothetical. What if he hadn't been approached by FBI? Err, fine. He may have been approached by like-minded people who were decidedly -not- the FBI, and the bomb parked outside Pioneer Square would have been real.

Finally, had this been a right-wing neo-nutjob attempting the same act (sadly, not outside the realm of possibilities in this political climate), I'm sure most of the progressives defending this young man would be singing a much, much different tune.
Well, whether or not this kid had undercover fibbies leading him around by the nose, we know one thing for sure: if his entrapment defense is successful, he will have even more reason to hate the U.S. Government. If he wasn't a potential terrorist before the FBI recruited him, he certainly is now.
Without knowing the specifics, how can liberals assume this is entrapment? It doesn’t make sense. You’d need to believe the FBI has nothing better to do than waste thousands of hours of hard work trying to get some “innocent” kid in trouble. It is much more plausible that this “innocent” kid was on a “not so innocent” terrorist website. Perhaps a moderate Muslim informant reported him to the authorities. Who knows?? Be careful, liberals, what you wish for. If you’re successful in tying the hands of law enforcement, you should receive no sympathy for your naivete, when the bombs are real and you or your friends are harmed.
Would you progressives be complaining about entrapment if the FBI had put blanks in the young Colombine Shooters' guns? What if they had arrested Kip Kinkel because he talked about killing his Dad and classmates online? Then STFU.
@ bruce @ aquila: Stop trying to say this is the liberal point of view. There are a lot of different views, though I know how much trouble you probably have with anything that isn't the simplistic, straw-man monolith you've constructed.

Here's what I dropped in to address:

"By stringing along impressionable, disaffected youths in a bid for high-profile convictions, aren't authorities doing more to mold extremists in America than actual terrorist groups?"

1. "Impressionable, disaffected youths" might do drugs, or burglarize something, or steal a car, etc. Planning the indiscriminate murder of dozens of people, then actually pulling the trigger? That kind of person can't simply be described as "impressionable."

2. These high-profile convictions (arrests, anyway) serve a very important function: a) they show what can happen to would-be plotters, b) they make all the would-be plotters distrustful of each other, because it seems like a government agent could be anywhere. Taken together, that's a very potent combination for combating domestic terrorism (at least it's probably better than just about any alternative).

Does anyone doubt that less people look to arrange sex with underaged people in large part because of police stings, and the publicity that surrounds them? How many murders have been avoided because of the perception that every other "hitman" out there just goes right off to the police station after being propositioned?

Being a willing participant who went all the way through with this simulated terrorist act is a criminally culpable act, no less so than showing up at a hotel room with condoms, or paying off the person you believe will kill your spouse.

The proper questions should be: what are the appropriate charges, and what are the appropriate penalties? Since deterrence is obviously a huge component of these prosecutions, it would seem that these attempts, if proved, need to be harshly dealt with to chill other would-be plotters.
"This kid had one intention and that was to kill as many people as he could."
No one is disputing that. However, would he have had that intention had FBI agents not planted and slowly nurtured the idea in his mind? The fact that their first contact with him went unrecorded means we may never know. There is no reason to assume that he would have, though. "Innocent until proven guilty," as they say, and generally speaking, people tend to not have a desire for mass murder unless they are either mentally ill (which he seems not to be) or heavily indoctrinated. There is also, for that matter, no reason to assume that he would have ever been taken in by a genuine terrorist group.

Think about it this way: If you take an impressionable teenager who has no interest in drugs, and deliberately attempt to convince him with false information over a period of several years that meth is a wonderful drug that will fix all his problems, whose fault is it if he starts using meth?
@ KS, the meth parallel is ridiculous. Think of yourself at 18 or 19. If you're like 99% of people, MAYBE you could have been convinced to try meth, or even become an addict.

Killing a single person?

Killing five people?

Car bombing a packed Pioneer Square?
@ Aquila. I know more conservatives than progressives, I've discussed the "entrapment" issue with many of them. Without exception, the conservatives are glad the kid was arrested, and don't really mind the FBI playing him, the progs are about 50/50, with many saying they simply don't trust the FBI. Well I trust the FBI, and I'm glad they prevented this kid from hooking up with real co-conspirators. If this is entrapment, we need more of it.
This whole thing is just another show by our government to keep people afraid of terrorism, to make citizens more willing to give up their civil liberties and the liberties of other people around the world. Also, I thought the timing of the event (and it's subsequent media coverage) was interesting because- wouldn't you know it- the 28th was the same day that wikileaks began releasing the US embassy cables. Which really show just how anti-freedom our government is. So, a (government-sponsored) terror plot taking place in small-town liberal Portland seems to be a pretty good distraction. This whole thing is just some bullshit show to re-assure people that our government is some how justified to repeatedly ignoring international law and basic human rights in the name of fighting terror. I am no expert, but I highly doubt that this kid would have been able to do any of this without the help of our government. It seems he was nothing more than some stupid, lost kid who was exploited by our government and made into the poster-child of the dangers of home-grown terror. I am not saying that he shouldn't be charged with something- but I think it is a slippery slope when our own government fights terror by secretly fostering and financing it. And this event is just a small picture of similar events of government sponsored terror taking place around the world. The evil "terrorists" are the American government's biggest asset in the war on terror and it is beneficial for our government to support or create them so that we may continue our imperialist mission. Terrorism is a nameless, faceless and abstract concept and has been applied to, and will continue to be applied to, any act that the US government doesn't like. It has been used to fight wage wars and kill numerous civilians (in Iraq for example, which is an entirely illegal war in the first place, over 60% of the casualties were civilians, this fact was released in the US Iraq war logs, which was released via Wikileaks a few months ago. Wikileaks, which is a Swedish site, is currently offline because after the most recent release of the US embassy cables the government put pressure on Amazon to remove it from their servers. The site contained no names and no other information which could endanger specific individuals. So, way to honor 'freedom' US. All Wikileaks it did was reveal the numerous lies and illegal activities our government and our allies around the world have committed.)
The government is silencing whistle blowers in the name of homeland security, thus, making it more and more difficult for people to know the truth and to stand up and fight against injustice.
Article posted on indymedia:…
If the FBI had known what Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had in mind, would they have gone with them and helped them shop for bomb components?
@ Commenty Colin
It's a bad analogy, sure, but I'm trying to illustrate a general principle. If you take an impressionable teen with no predisposition to do (x) bad thing, gradually convince them that (x) is good, give them emotional and financial support so they feel you're trustworthy, and when they end up doing (x), yes, they are responsible for their own actions, but you're also responsible for creating that mindset in them. I'm not saying Mohamud should go free - he had clear intent to murder. However, the agents who groomed him into that state of mind need to be held equally accountable. It's a human mind they fucked with, and it's a would-be murderer that they created.
It would be kind of beautiful if this guy is found innocent producing all types of irony for people who want to kill america. And at the same time, making it a little more confusing and difficult to kill america because you are not sure who you can trust in the terrorist world.
@KS, so the FBI agents should be charged with attempt as well? Conspiracy?
"Do we really have to wait for people to die in order to see the truth for what it is? Are you people so naive that you actually believe that this human being is just like you and me and is a good person that was unwittingly duped by the FBI to believe that killing hundreds, possibly thousands of people, was a great idea? I hope, for the sake of us all, that some of you can shed this cloud of naivete that keeps you blinded from the darker truths of this world. "

If we start arresting people for what they MIGHT do(and what they might never have done had the sting operation that entrapped them not existed)we cease to be a free country. We'd have the "Minority Report" scenario in which people were arrested because psychic beings GUESSED that they'd eventually commit crimes.

Obviously, it's good that no one died in Pioneer Square. Equally, it's questionable that anyone WOULD have died. We need to have a fair and open trial and to have all the evidence brought forth so we all know what we were really dealing with here.
Oh, and it's not about "taking this guy's side". It's about taking the side of NOT letting this country become a police state. If that happens, it will mean nothing that we're "safe". Zoo animals, unless the zoo is mismanaged, are "safe".
One of the main problems with this scenario is that it was sold to the public as the genuine article--that this was indeed a real threat, when it wasn't. People in Portland are more fearful now; they are more likely to view Muslims negatively. Sure, there are a few of us you can see through the conspiracy aspect of this plot, but the large majority don't feel as safe as they did a week ago. That is what makes this plot a success for the FBI, and for the government. Try to remember that the person who was pawned into this set-up will be largely forgotten, while the possibility of being blown-up while running errands will remain. This is a game of psychological warfare, and the whole community has been victimized.
I've never heard anyone defend the men arrested on NBC's "To Catch a Predator" nor have I ever heard NBC's actions criticized as entrapment. How do we know that these men would have carried out these actions without the "nudging" of NBC's producers? NBC provided the bait, they facilitate a location and they essentially create the entire scenario. Yet no one seems to be lining up to defend these men or to criticize NBC's actions.

Sexual predation seems to strike a social taboo "chord" with the public that apparently rings much louder than the terrorism "chord". Is this because so many of us still haven't seen first hand the direct impacts of a terrorist act? It's a concept that is very difficult to imagine for a population with such a high standard of living. When the biggest difficulties of the day include traffic, high gas prices and mis-brewed coffee, it is difficult to fathom the idea of a deadly act such as a bomb detonation.

To many of us, the war on terrorism means only longer lines at the airport and privacy threatening pat-downs. We see only the negative side of the war on terrorism yet nobody ever stops to consider that "Hey, it was a good day because I didn't get blown up today". Our thoughts are more likely to sound like "Hey, my day was ruined because I had to get up an hour earlier to get to the airport and I missed out on my full 8 hours of sleep, I hate the TSA".

Other parts of the world have to deal terrorism on a daily basis, here in America it is more of an abstract idea that we know of but don't have much real experience with. Maybe we should imagine what life would be like in one of these more "at-risk" locales and how we'd feel if this scenario had been played out in that environment.
@dander-- The longer lines and pat-downs and tighter security regulations are fine. I don't think that those are the things that people have a problem with in regards to this story. The problem I and others have is that we don't feel it is the governments job to manipulate us into being fearful of terrorism. It is however their duty to try and prevent it. They should focus on that instead of constructing a terrorist scenario in order to frighten people. And your assertion that terrorism is an abstract idea to most Americans is a moot point as illustrated by 9/11.
The feds need a technology similar to the on in the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report. This way they can arrest the guy on charges of attempted murder in the future.

Between this, and the timing of authorities taking Wikileaks founder Julian Assange into custody -- in case you missed it, British authorities nabbed him in London on alleged Swedish sexual assault charges almost immediately after Assange published secret US gov't documents -- the DoJ has more 'splainin' to do than Lucille Ball when she was caught in a bloody hotel room with Bob Crane, George Reeves and the un-conceived fetus of Dave Strickland.
100% agree with comment #4, author Yarp. Good critical thinking skills employed there.

Remember, a bomb doesn't care who it kills, politically or otherwise, so kudos to #3, Dander as well.

The author of this horrible article is way off-base, but he got out his article of the week and provoked a response, so his work is done. He can now continue looking for the missing "S" in his name...

Please wait...

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