The Spectacle of Terror and Its Vested Interests
by Naomi Wolf
by Naomi Wolf: How
the US Uses Sexual Humiliation as a Political Tool To Control the
The news stories,
which quickly surface, long enough to cause scary headlines, then
vanish before people can learn how often the cases are thrown out.
These are stories about "bumbling fantasists", hapless druggies,
the aimless, even the virtually homeless and mentally ill, and other
marginal characters with not the strongest grip on reality, who
have been lured into discourses about violence against America only
after assiduous courting, and in some cases outright payment, by
or police informants.
They have become
a litany in recent years. The terrifying 2003-2004 national news
stories that a Detroit
"sleeper cell" had sent Muslim terrorists to blow up Disneyland
and other landmarks, including in Las Vegas, was later thrown
out of court, with accusations of prosecutorial misconduct, to almost
no press attention – the same cycle
of hype and failed convictions that have characterized many
such stories. The evidence
had included a home video taken in Disneyland, "doodles", and
a guy with a credit card fraud problem, who had been pressured to
diminish his own sentence by accusing his buddies.
But the tales
of entrapment and terror hype continue apace – ten years after 9/11.
Miller, in Newsmax, writes that one recent case was so lame
that even the FBI distanced itself from NYPD:
"Despite FBI Doubts, NYPD Convinced Pipe Bomb Case Posed Real Danger",
noted the headline on her 28 November 2011 article. A 27-year-old
Dominican immigrant, Jose Pimentel, aka Muhamad Yusuf, had been
monitored by NYPD for two years. Last fall, Manhattan District Attorney
Cyrus Vance Jr charged Pimentel with constructing pipe bombs to
attack "police cars, post offices, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan,
and other targets".
An email in
the case, which purports to show that Pimentel was writing about
violent jihad to the al-Qaida-supporting "glossy magazine" Inspire,
was described to Judith Miller by anonymous "law enforcement officials".
journalistic history, this sentence alone should raise eyebrows.
But the alleged email is, she writes, "part of a vast investigative
file containing over 400 hours of surveillance
audio and video tapes, interviews, and other material amassed by
the NYPD". New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, in a flashy press
conference, called the young man a "lone wolf" terrorist – a recent
DHS soundbite. But the case was so shaky that the Federal Bureau
of Investigation, as well as federal prosecutors, did not want to
join the case: "Too many holes in the case", other anonymous officials
one of what has become an army of FBI- or NYPD-entrapped losers.
He had no money, no job, and at key points lived with his mom. The
New York Times noted that he may have been psychologically "unstable",
and that he had made threats after smoking pot. Officials say that
in May 2010, he repeated loudly in Arabic that "America is my enemy."
This scary guy was a circuit city clerk in Schenectady, New York.
evidence that Miller's anonymous sources give for his being a terrorist?
In 2010, he had $100. One witness told police "that he had flashed
a $100 bill when he made some purchases."Another? "Pimentel scraped
the heads of some 750 matches, officials say." The scenario that
entrapped Pimentel involved a surround-sound of informants trying
to entrap him in cyberspace and to lure him to incriminate himself
in taped phone conversations. But the FBI dropped its involvement
after they judged that the informant had been too active in helping:
urging or arranging for Pimentel to start drilling into pipe pieces
– the evidence that he intended to set off a bomb.
much-ballyhooed cases of "homegrown terrorism" show this creaky,
effortful, farcical quality of people who, left to their own devices
by the FBI or NYPD, would have remained harmlessly playing video
games in their childhood bedrooms, smoking their doobies, or babbling
gently to themselves, on their anti-psychotic meds, about geopolitical
"Newburgh Four" is another such case, as Russia Today reported:
four African-American Muslims were found guilty recently of a plot
to place bombs in two Bronx synagogues and to shoot down military
aircraft in Newburgh. Another flashy press conference in May 2009
showcased these four men as "the faces of homegrown terrorism".
The FBI had claimed that the men had planned to commit their acts
of terrorism on the day that they were arrested. Joseph Demarest
from the FBI called it "a terrifying plot".
The men were
low-income former convicts who could not read or write with literacy.
They could not drive and had no passports. Shahid Hussain, a Pakistani
immigrant who was an FBI employee, got them to say they were going
to commit these crimes – paying them $100,000. Hussain presented
the men with a fake stinger missile, and Hussain offered these poverty-stricken
men cars and money in exchange for their promise to carry out the
the rest of the article
Naomi Wolf is the
author of The
End of America and Give
© 2012 The Guardian