Sometimes FBI agents are a crack squad of crime solvers who swoop in and meticulously collect information to foil criminals. And then sometimes they're agents who forget to put charged batteries into a voice recorder and thereby fail to document a crucial conversation in a life-and-death case.

The lawyers for Mohamed Mohamud, the 19-year-old Somali Portlander who is charged with plotting to bomb Pioneer Square, are most likely going to argue that Mohamud was the victim of FBI entrapment. As the president for the Center for Constitutional Rights explained after Mohamud's arrest, "These are a bunch of 19-, 20-, and 21-year-old young people who wouldn't be involved in this kind of criminal activity without heavy FBI inducement... You can push kids a lot. Especially if they don't have any money."

In the original affidavit, the FBI mentioned that it was missing a recording of Mohamud's first meeting with FBI informants due to technical difficulties. Well, now those technical difficulties have been spelled out in court documents reported in The Oregonian: "Put simply," they wrote, "it was human error." A recorder was turned on hours before the key meeting and "ran out juice" before the event actually took place. D'oh.

Though written reports of the meeting were transcribed by agents, it definitely confuses the key issue in this trial not to have a recording of that first meeting.