Monday, September 27, 2010

Liars for Hire: The Alchemy of Provocation

Patsy du jour: Hassoun
For reasons the FBI has yet to disclose, in 2009 the Bureau became interested in a young man named Sami Samir Hassoun, who had immigrated to the United States from Lebanon. 

 Although his family came from a Shia-dominated region of that country, Hassoun was never particularly religious. He was, according to friends, exceptionally intelligent (he attended an elite school, studied medicine briefly, and is fluent in English and French as well as Arabic) and given to boasting.

Chicago restaurant owner Joseph Abraham recalls that Hassoun "wanted to make fast money" and lusted after personal fame. He succeeded in becoming a global celebrity of sorts on September 19 when he  was arrested by a throng of FBI agents and Chicago cops  after he deposited what he thought was a powerful bomb outside a bar near Wrigley Field.

 The device had been manufactured at an FBI counter-terrorism lab in Quantico, Virginia, and supplied to Hassoun by two undercover FBI agents posing as terrorism financiers. The agents paid the young man $2,700 to quit his day job -- and promised him a great deal more -- to work full-time brainstorming various terrorist plots against targets in Chicago. 

 "My client didn't bring anything of his own making to the incident," maintains Hassoun's defense attorney Myron Auerbach. "Things were given to him." Hassoun, according to his friend Joseph Abraham (who knew him as a delivery man for a nearby bakery), had a fertile imagination, a gift for self-dramatization, and occasional difficulty in telling the unadorned truth. All of those traits appear to have worked in unfortunate synergy to get the young man into trouble. There is little in Hassoun's background to suggest a future career in terrorism, absent the FBI's intervention. Why did the FBI approach him in the first place?

Hassoun had no criminal record or background in violent or radical groups. According to FBI Special Agent Samuel Hartman, who swore out the criminal complaint against Hassoun, the decision to pair him up with an undercover provocateur was based on “information relating to Hassoun that is unrelated to this matter." This suggests, at least to hardened cynics like myself, that the Bureau was trolling for patsies and learned something about Hassoun that they considered an exploitable vulnerability. 
Although he was never particularly religious, Hassoun's family came from a Shia-dominated region of Lebanon. Seeking to escape the political violence afflicting their home country, Hassoun's family migrated to the Ivory Coast, only to return after that country experienced one of its frequent military coups before eventually immigrating to the U.S. 
Perhaps the FBI's talent scouts learned of Hassoun's background and believed it would make him receptive to the Bureau's standard terrorist recruitment pitch, which lures Muslims into "sting" operations by playing on their understandable resentment toward Washington's foreign policy.
After Hassoun had been prepped by the FBI's paid provocateur, he was approached by two undercover agents (identified in the complaint as "UC-1" and "UC-2"). According to the FBI affidavit, “UC-2 state[d] his purported purpose: `want[ing] to change how our country [i.e., the United States] treats our people back home.’ In response, Hassoun stated that he was differently motivated: `Mine is a kind of different concept than this.’ Hassoun explained he saw attacking Chicago as a means of creating chaos to gain political control of the city and its sources of revenue.”
 For about a year, the FBI team of alchemist provocateurs worked to transmute the impulsive musings of an immature college-age man into a "terrorist plot." At first, he didn't give them much to work with.
 Hassoun’s original ideas, reports footnote 15 on page 10 of the FBI's affidavit, included the use of a “device that appeared as a toy that when activated would cause a minor explosion that would not cause injury, but would expel tiny notes containing ominous warnings.” He also suggested that he and his supposed friends “could design a bomb that would not explode, but be deployed in a manner that it would appear that it was discovered prior to a planned detonation.”

While spit-balling proposed “plots” with the FBI's undercover provocateur, Hassoun repeatedly emphasized his opposition to bloodshed: “No killing. There is no killing.” His insistence on avoiding lethal violence extended beyond “civilians” to include the police, as well: “When you hit the police, you don’t kill the police.” He was willing to “harm” the police — most likely through humiliation, rather than actual violence — as a way of discrediting them, but he appears to have been resolutely opposed to actual violence. Until, that is, the undercover Feds showed up and started gently guiding him in a more militant direction.

Hassoun’s arrest triggered the predictable headlines and commentary describing yet another daring interdiction of a Jihadist plot by the Homeland’s valiant defenders, oh may they be praised forever. In fact, the criminal complaint specifies (for the most part in footnotes) that Hassoun was not motivated by Islam or any other religion. 
The document also indicates that he wasn’t interested in killing or harming anybody until long after he fell under the influence of the FBI's little troupe of Homeland Security Theater players. Rather than advancing the “Islamist agenda,” Hassoun allegedly suggested that Muslims could make useful scapegoats.

“Although Hassoun was clear that he was not motivated to attack Chicago based on any religious ideology, he nevertheless suggested that once attacks had taken place, the participants distance themselves from their actions by sending an attribution video to the media claiming responsibility for the violence in the name of a fictitious extremist organization,” claims footnote 22 on page 15 of the complaint.  “Call it, `the jihad in U.S.’ Just make something up," Hassoun is quoted as suggesting. "You know? Just make it up so, like, when you put it, all the heat is transferred to them. You know? There’s no heat in the street.’”

This is to say that Hassoun supposedly proposed a “false-flag operation.” Where on earth would he get an idea of that kind? Here's a thought: Might he have learned something about this tactic from the friendly people at the FBI, who are masters of the art of manufacturing phony terrorist plots?

In this connection it's interesting to note that Shahed Hussain, the Pakistani-born FBI provocateur who confected the so-called “Newburgh 4″ bombing plot in New York, recently admitted under oath that the FBI sent him to a terrorist training camp in his home country in December 2009. This happened while he was playing the role of a wealthy terrorist recruiter in the employ of the Pakistani group Jaish-e-Mohammed as part of a “sting” targeting four marginalized, desperate losers. 
Provocateur-Prevaricator Hussain on the stand.
On the witness stand, Hussain -- who, in addition to being a veteran con artist, appears to be the scion of a wealthy Pakistani family that knew Benazir Bhutto -- has been repeatedly rebuked by Judge Colleen McMahon (who has actually referred to the trial as an "un-terrorism case").  When finally cornered by the attorneys representing those targeted in his sting, Hussain's answers did nothing to help the prosecution's case.

"Everything coming out of your mouth was a lie for that 11-month period when you were meeting with these men, right?" asked defense attorney Vincent Bricetti.

"Yes" Hussain answered.

When working as a paid FBI informant, "it's helpful to be a really good liar, isn't it?" Bricetti continued, eliciting a grudging affirmative response from the witness. 

"I love to work for the FBI," Hussain explained. "I enjoy the work I do, that's why I do it."

As the jury chokes on Hussain's malodorous testimony, the prosecution has been reduced to abject whining. "The government is entitled to a fair trial," simpered Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Halperin, who considers it entirely unfair that the defense is permitted to challenge the credibility of the FBI's hired liar. 

It's entirely likely that a purulent personality of that kind is at the center of the most recent terror charade in Chicago. If so, it would be fascinating to see what would ooze out of him under cross-examination during Hassoun's trial. 

As cases of this kind accumulate, it's becoming incontestably clear that  “Jihad Central” isn’t found in Riyadh, Tehran, or — as some earnest but misled people insist — Moscow. It’s in Virginia — specifically, Langley and Quantico

Thanks so much for your help in keeping Pro Libertate on-line!

 Be sure to tune in each Saturday evening from 8:00-11:00 Mountain Time for Pro Libertate Radio on the Liberty News Radio Network. 

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No Law? No Warrant? No Problem!

"Do you expect to see any violence here today?"

"I certainly hope so." --

Narcotics officer Sgt. Stedenko, aka "Hardhat," answers a reporter's question at a drug checkpoint on the U.S.- Mexican border, from the film Up In Smoke.

Sal Agro, a 67-year-old man from Lake Orion, Michigan, died of a heart attack on September 2. Although those responsible for Agro's untimely death will never admit as much, he was the victim of an act of state terrorism carried out a week earlier by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office

Agro, along with his son, helped operate a treatment center in nearby Ferndale called Clinical Relief that provided medical marijuana to physician-approved clients under a 2008 Michigan state law. Sal, who had recently undergone hip surgery, was authorized to grow and use marijuana himself. His wife was authorized both to use marijuana and provide it to others as a caregiver. They had invited local officials to inspect the Clinical Relief facility.

He obeyed the rules, and they killed him anyway: Sal Agro, RIP.

Last June, with at least eight applications pending to open facilities like Clinical Relief, the Ferndale City Council imposed a temporary moratorium on dispensing medical marijuana while it explored new ways to harass the facilities through zoning restrictions. This prompted an objection from Mayor Craig Covey, who pointed out that the medical marijuana clinics would already be covered by existing ordinances. Nor were they likely to be profitable, given the detailed and often self-contradictory regulations inflicted on them under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA), which voters approved by referendum in 2008.

On August 25, the Ferndale City Council lifted the moratorium. On the very next day, the local counter-narcotics Gestapo staged a paramilitary raid against several locations in Oakland County, arresting 15 people, confiscating cash and crops, illegally seizing medical records, and terrorizing unarmed, helpless people who suffer from cancer and other painful afflictions. Most importantly, of course, the raiders got a potent fix of their preferred narcotic -- the depraved thrill that comes from making powerless people submit to their whims.

It's hardly an exaggeration to characterize the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) as the local "Gestapo." Agro  used that term to describe the ski mask-clad marauders who laid waste to his home, ripping apart furniture, throwing potting soil into the carpets and -- of course -- helping themselves to whatever cash they could find.

A similar home invasion robbery was carried out at the Lake Orion home of Agro's daughter-in-law. "She's approximately five-foot, weighs about eighty-nine pounds, and the masked officers put a shotgun in her face and told her to freeze," a wearily disgusted Agro recalled to a local reporter.

After learning about the raid, Agro went back to his house, which was swarming with armed tax-feeders.

"I asked what was going on, and they said, `Your house is being searched,'" Agro related. "I said, `Do you have a search warrant?' They said, `Yes.' I said, `Can I see it?' They said, `When we get ready to show it to you.'" Despite the fact that the invaders had a note from a judge supposedly authorizing them to trash Agro's home, the raid was, as the victim pointed out, an act of "illegal search and seizure," since the money and property that were stolen had nothing to do with a criminal act.

The same lawless behavior was on display at another facility called Everyone’s CafĂ©, where police threw cancer patients to the ground and held them at gunpoint. 

"What took place in Oakland is nothing short of armed robbery," protests Gersh Avery, a local medical marijuana activist. "Patients in those locations had nothing to do with the day-to-day operations, yet their medicine was forcibly taken from them." The NET, Avery concludes, "deliberately targeted sick innocent people."

The official sadism continued after the case was split into two groups of defendants. Judge Richard Kuhn of Michigan's 51st District Court in Waterford refused to waive a bond condition permitting the use of medical marijuana by defendants who had received medical authorization to do so. Astoundingly, 43rd District Judge Joe Longo, who is presiding over the case in Ferndale, permitted defendants with medical marijuana cards to continue using the palliative while out on bail. This, of course, begs the question of why those people are criminal defendants in the first place.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard claims that the raid followed "undercover"  investigations of Clinical Relief and Everyone's Cafe. William Joseph Teichman, co-owner of Everyone's Cafe, insists that "We check the identification of every patient we deal with, and those undercover cops had either proper ID and paperwork or forgeries so good we couldn't tell the difference."

"I said `Hardhat'!"
In a post-raid press conference, Sheriff Bouchard -- grasping for a suitable soundbite -- described the local medical marijuana market as "something out of a bad Cheech and Chong Movie," without elaborating as to whether he considers "Up in Smoke" or "Nice Dreams" to be the gold standard of the stoner duo's cinematic output.

Bouchard himself essays a pretty decent impression of Sgt. Stedenko, the bullying, authoritarian narcotics officer who was a recurring nemesis in the comedy team's films.

Ryan Richmond, co-owner of Clinical Relief and one of the defendants in the Ferndale case, asserts that Bouchard "simply doesn't like the [Michigan state medical marijuana] law because it's too broad. If Bouchard has his way, we, you, have no rights even within the law."

Bouchard's critics are not limited to those he has arrested on marijuana-related charges.

"I personally don't understand why the county would use such a large amount of precious law enforcement resources on something like this," objects Ferndale Mayor Craig Covey. "This was obviously a political move by the sheriff to flex his muscles and send a message that he does not want medical marijuana clinics in Oakland County."

Covey also criticized "the use of SWAT teams with masked and armed officers ordering sick, elderly patients to the ground.... Now it's going to cost the taxpayers and the business owners hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees to sort through this mess."

Bouchard's admitted purpose in staging the raids was not to enforce the existing law, but rather to create a "test case" intended to change it, either in substance or in application.  By strict definition, this was an exercise of violence against the helpless intended to bring about political change -- that is, an act of official terrorism.

Although Bouchard accuses medical marijuana advocates and providers of engaging in "organized crime," that description makes a much better fit when applied to the NET, which is a federally designated multi-agency task force.  Thanks to an indulgence granted by the so-called Department of Justice, the NET has a license to steal in the name of "asset forfeiture."

According to the Madison Heights Police Department's 2009 Annual Report, last year the NET seized a little more than a ton of marijuana and pilfered nearly $2 million through asset forfeiture. The August 26 raids pulled down tens of thousands of dollars in cash, including money the late Sal Agro and his wife Barbara had put aside toward the purchase of a new car.

Bouchard and Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper insist that the MMMA is dangerously ambiguous because it supposedly encourages people to flout the state's existing laws criminalizing the use and sale of marijuana for recreational purposes. They are correct in saying that the law is a masterpiece of self-contradiction, but emphatically wrong about the nature of the resulting danger: The risk of smoking weed without government permission is much less acute than that posed by power-intoxicated armed bureaucrats willing to carry out illegal paramilitary raids that target non-violent, chronically ill "offenders."

A concurring opinion by Judge P.J. O'Connell in a recent Michigan Court of Appeals case points out that "The MMMA does not codify a right to use marijuana; it merely provides a procedure through which seriously ill individuals using marijuana for its palliative effects can be identified and protected from prosecution under state law." It creates a narrow "affirmative defense to prosecutions under the Public Health Code, allowing an individual to use marijuana by freeing him or her from the threat of arrest and prosecution if that user meets all the requirements of the MMMA, while permitting prosecution under the Public Health Code if the individual fails to meet any of the requirements set forth under the MMMA."

The MMMA, furthermore, does not change the status of marijuana under state law, which lists the demonstrably harmless cannabinoid as a "Schedule 1" controlled substance" that has "no accepted medical use." What this means, in practice, is that anyone who uses or provides medical marijuana in strict fidelity of the terms and conditions dictated by the MMMA is still presumptively a criminal suspect.

Because of the incurable self-contradictions of the MMMA, Judge O'Connell warns, conscientious people who obey its provisions and seek marijuana for palliative care could still "lose both their property and their liberty" -- or even as the needless, government-inflicted death of Sal Agro demonstrates, their lives.

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Dum spiro, pugno!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Support Your Local Army of Occupation

Boys and their toys: Members of the Malheur County (Oregon) SWAT team out having "fun."

"Wouldn't it be great if it were like this all the time?" commented a pleasant middle-aged gentleman as the two of us contemplated the large gathering of armed men in camouflage who had materialized in Payette's Centennial Park. "I feel really secure with these guys around."

"Actually, I'd feel much more secure if the guns were in the hands of people who aren't government employees," I replied, prompting a puzzled look from my new acquaintance.
Centennial Park is located just inside the Snake River boundary separating Idaho from Oregon. For reasons I've yet to learn, every time I visit the park to do calisthenics and sprints -- regardless of the hour of day -- I'll receive a visit from at least one police officer, who will typically do a very slow pass by my little exercise area while I'm huffing and sweating. 

On this particular afternoon, however, the park was literally swarming with camouflage-clad "police" from the Malheur County Sheriff's Department Emergency Response Team, in the company of at least one Payette County officer. They  arrived in a caravan of more than a half-dozen vehicles, one of which was pulling a trailer carrying a large motorboat. 

"Are you guys doing a training exercise?" I inquired of one fellow as he unpacked what appeared to be an AR-15.

"We're just playin,'" he replied with a perfunctory smile.

That response was quite similar to the description offered by SWAT team member Michael Hale of a training exercise conducted just a few weeks earlier just outside of Vale, Oregon.

"This is fun," the second-year officer told the Argus Observer. "This is what I did in the military. I get to shoot guns and play in the dirt. It is what I did as a kid. I just get paid for it now." 

Although the Malheur County SWAT team did play a backup role at a police roadblock during a recent carjacking episode, they spend most of their time arresting marijuana plants. On two occasions last summer, SWAT operators -- armed with assault rifles and with support from a helicopter crew -- were deployed to barren locations in rural Oregon to clear out marijuana grows, thereby doing their part in the federal government's "drug lord" price support program.
Malheur County's gorgeous Leslie Gulch.

An August 29 SWAT raid on an abandoned marijuana grow near Gold Creek harvested some 1,000 forlorn, dessicated plants, "It was not a very big garden," commented Malheur County Undersheriff Brian Wolfe (who, as it happens, was in Boy Scout Troop 453 with me as a youngster). "A lot of the plants had already died out," Wolfe explained, emphasizing that the operation was a success because the plants that had been seized wouldn't end up "on the streets."

Why was the involvement of a SWAT team "necessary" here? Wolfe insisted that this was necessary for "public safety," since hunters and campers occasionally stumble across marijuana farmers, some of whom "have been found with multiple firearms in the past." 

I'm not confident that "public safety" is enhanced by this use of paramilitary operators. "Officer safety," on the other hand, probably is. During the August 29 operation the SWAT team advanced under cover of pre-dawn darkness. In such situations it's important to exploit every advantage, marijuana plants being notoriously violent when cornered. 

This odd and pointless exercise in rural landscaping became a federally subsidized, multi-state enforcement action when agents of the Bureau of Land Management (yes, those folks are armed as well) arrested a couple of people in Idaho "in connection with" the abandoned marijuana garden.

Malheur County is a huge and beautiful swath of territory in eastern Oregon that runs parallel to western Idaho all the way to the Nevada border. Vale, the tiny town that serves as the county seat, is located along the Oregon Trail and attracts many tourists eager to yank trout from nearby Bully Creek Reservoir or snag a few pheasants. Neighboring Nyssa proudly calls itself the "Thunderegg Capital of the World," a reference to the volcanic geode that serves as Oregon's state rock. Another product of the region's turbulent geologic past is the Malheur Butte, an extinct volcano that presides over the western section of the county like a brooding ursine sentinel.

When Daryl Gates created the first SWAT team in 1968, its advertised purpose was to deal with hostage situations, bank robberies, insurrectionary urban crime, and other high-risk incidents.

Enigmatic landmark: Oregon's Malheur Butte.
Malheur County, Oregon (pop. circa 31,000) is possibly the last place in the country where a SWAT team is needed -- apart from the role it plays in federally subsidized counter-narcotics operations. 

The same is true of Payette County, Idaho, which is located on the eastern side of the Snake River and forms part of the bi-state Treasure Valley. Yet federal seed money is being spent to build SWAT teams in both of these thinly populated rural counties as part of the "war on terror."

The Department of Homeland Security, working through Idaho State University and a quasi-private entity called the Government Training Institute (GTI), recently completed the first national training course intended to develop "type III" SWAT teams. The 16-day training program, which the Idaho Statesman reports was "conducted inside an old airplane hangar in Eagle near Old Horseshoe Bend Road," drew SWAT trainees from across the country to be trained in military tactics by Special Forces operators.  

"The next time a terrorist act happens, it's not going to be [a matter of] flying airplanes into a building, it's going to be something locally," insists Detective Pat Weber from the Payette County Sheriff's Office. Weber is "looking forward to getting the rest of his team trained and categorized," continues the Statesman. "That way Payette can join Malheur County's SWAT team or any other" the unlikely event that the Islamo-Fascists turn their attention to the strategically crucial Treasure Valley. The joint exercise at Centennial Park appeared to be a prelude to inter-agency cooperation of that kind.

According to the Statesman, "the course is something every SWAT team member [in the country] will eventually graduate from -- that is if they want to keep their federal funding." In fact, the training is paid for through Homeland Security grants to local police departments. So the Feds are subsidizing the same training they require SWAT teams to have in order to qualify for even more federal subsidies.

The Homeland Security Department's decision to use Boise as a training site for national SWAT training makes an interesting counterpoint to the Idaho state government's high-profile and low-content posturing about "states' rights." But let it not be forgotten that this is a national program intended to bring all SWAT teams firmly under federal control. As the GTI's Type III Swat Operator's School Course Description points out, "The preparedness of state and local SWAT teams in the United States is one of the major initiatives of the Department of Homeland Security."

Of course, the question is, or should be: "Preparedness" for what? The Treasure Valley isn't likely to experience a tsunami of violent crime, or find itself under siege by Muslim sleeper cells. But there is a growing possibility of organized resistance to enforcement of federal "laws" regarding health care, land use, and taxation. In the event such resistance coalesces, Washington would sure find it helpful to have some federally trained paramilitary cadres in place.
All of this offers one small but significant illustration of the fact that your "local" police can be described as such only in purely geographical terms. It's also a reminder that the Homeland Security Regime is quietly building an army of occupation in even the smallest and most placid communities.

A quick note

I'm sorry it's been so long between updates. I've once again been waylaid by computer problems -- terminal, in the case of  my dearly departed desktop. 

Thanks so much for helping keep Pro Libertate in business!

Be sure to tune in for Pro Libertate Radio each Saturday night from 8:00-11:00 Mountain Time on the Liberty News Radio Network.

Dum spiro, pugno!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Blowback, Provocation, and Perpetual War

No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures, Dr. Johnson informs us. In a somewhat similar vein,  the Regime's post-9/11 "counter-terrorism" stings have avoided the official fiction that Muslim terrorism is inspired by a hatred for our "freedom." The preferred bait to lure marginalized Muslims -- many of whom have little commitment to the faith, no detectable terrorism-related skills, and abundant personal problems -- is outrage over the Regime's imperial foreign policy. 

As Scott Horton of the invaluable Antiwar Radio has pointed out, the scripted patter of federal provocateurs doesn't focus on America's refusal to submit to Sharia, or our decadent popular culture. In seeking to attract potential recruits, the Regime's agents invoke the plight of besieged Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, the West Bank, and elsewhere -- people whose sufferings are either inflicted or underwritten by Washington.

A key admission of this fact is found in the official press release announcing the arrest of the so-called "Newburgh 4," a group of ex-convicts from New York accused of plotting to bomb a synagogue in the Bronx and attack military aircraft at a nearby Air National Guard base. 

The four accused in the plot -- James Cromitie, Onta Williams, David Williams, and Laguerre Payen -- were approached by veteran federal agent provocateur Shahed Hussein, a career criminal with convictions in both the U.S. and his native Pakistan. Hussein was paid a huge sum by the federal government to act as a terrorism "facilitator" -- a term that was actually used by assistant U.S. Attorney in his opening statement at the ongoing trial of the "Newburgh 4." 

As attorney Steven Downs points out in a study of the "preemptive prosecution" of Muslims by the federal government, when Hussein (who called himself "Maqsood") materialized at the Newburgh mosque in June 2008, "His con was so obvious that the real Muslims there would have nothing to do with him, but he was able to attract Cromitie (and later the other three) with offers of money and friendship." 

Following the Federal script: "Terrorist" James Cromitie in custody.
Despite the fact that Cromitie wasn't particularly devout, Hussein was able to radicalize him by dwelling on the human cost of Washington's war on Afghanistan.  

 According to the Feds, Cromitie "explained to the informant that his parents had lived in Afghanistan and that he was upset about the war there and that many Muslim people were being killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan by the United States Military forces. [He] expressed interest in returning to Afghanistan and spoke to [the provocateur] about how if he, Cromitie, were to die a martyr, he would go to `paradise.'"

It's reasonable to suspect that the devotion expressed by Cromitie and his friends had at least something to do with the material blandishments offered by Hussein, such as at least $25,000 apiece (and as much as $250,000 to one of them) if they cooperated in his plot to plant a bomb at a synagogue and fire Stinger missiles at military planes. 

Posing as a wealthy terrorist recruiter, Hussein cut an impressive figure: He drove a BMW and other federally provided luxury vehicles, and his targets were understandably eager to catch some of the money he was willing to throw around. They had no money, no jobs, no cars, and no training. One was a drug addict, another being treated for mental illness. Cromitie, who had been sent to prison for drug dealing, was working a series of low-paying odd jobs.

The devoted Muslims attending the mosque wisely shunned Hussein's company after he described himself as a representative of a Pakistani terrorist group called Jaish-e-Mohammed. The four guys he managed to snag as patsies appeared to know next to nothing about the Muslim religion. 

In fact, it was the petty crook the Regime hired to be a provocateur who had to teach Cromitie how to lead the members of his "jihadist cell" in prayer. 

"Should I do that real quick?" asked "cell leader" Cromitie in a recorded exchange with Hussein.

"Lead it loud, so everybody can understand," replied Hussein, who was actually directing a performance rather than gathering evidence of a criminal conspiracy. 

In similar fashion, Hussein "often seemed eager in the recordings to remind the men of their extremist sponsors while discouraging the idea that money should motivate them," observes a New York Times report of the trial.  During meetings in the house rented by the FBI to serve as a mise-en-scene for the federally scripted production, Hussein repeatedly invoked Jaish-e-Mohammed, an organization completely unknown to  the "conspirators" before the provocateur brought it up. 

"It's not about money," insisted the Pakistani crook to the people he had targeted. "It's about Jaish-e-Mohammed." Actually, for Cromitie and the others, it was "about the money. They had no interest in, or inclination toward, terrorism until they had been seduced by promises of easy money to be earned in "paying back" those they considered responsible for attacking Muslims abroad. 

As Hussein's FBI handler Robert Fuller noted, by way of reassuring security personnel at Stewart Air Force Base, Cromitie "would never try anything without the informant with him." Nonetheless, Hussein did everything he could to push a balking and puzzled Cromitie into an out-front role as the "leader" of the supposed plot.

"I'm not running the show, he's running the show," Hussein repeatedly told the others with respect to Cromitie's purported leadership.

"Ain't nobody running the show," an annoyed Cromitie exclaimed at one point in a recorded conversation. "Why do you keep saying that?"

Cromitie's sense of unease grew to such an extent that he actually wanted to bail out of the plot when he detected a federal "tail" while en route to pick up the (disabled) Stinger missiles. He was aware that he and his colleagues were being watched. However, for some reason Cromitie didn't connect that fact to the way he had been cast as the "leader" by the big-talking stranger who pushed him to the front of the supposed plot. 

Despite the efforts to "brand" this supposed plot as a Jaish-e-Mohammed operation, the Feds now admit that none of the people involved had ties to actual terrorists. As the trial began, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Raskin conceded that the case is "not going to be about al-Qaeda, and it's not going to be about foreign terrorist organizations." 

What this means, of course, is that the Feds are, once again, prosecuting people for allegedly taking part in a "plot" created by the Feds -- a plot they were invited to join by a Federal asset who urged people to be angry over atrocities being committed overseas by the same Federal Government.

The "Ft. Dix Five."

The "Newburgh 4" plot is so obviously an FBI production that U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon, who is presiding over the trial, admits to referring to it as "the un-terrorist case." It is hardly unique: This little melodrama was created from the same template used to create the "Fort Dix 5," the "Miami 6," the "Liberty City Seven," the  so-called Michigan "Ummah" conspiracy, and other groups. 

In each of those cases, the Feds dipped into their vast pool of criminally compromised informant-provocateurs, rented a meeting place, supplied the funding and hardware, and gathered a handful of pathetic flunkies into a telegenic terrorist "threat." Most importantly, the Feds, by way of their hired provocateurs, selected a grievance they knew would radicalize their recruits -- a jihad to avenge the deaths of innocent Muslims abroad, not to punish infidels at home for their refusal to submit to Islamic rule. 

In ritualized remembrances of Black Tuesday, no mention is made of what happened on that date eleven years before "The Day the World Changed." On that date the first President George Bush, invoking the supposed authority of the UN Security Council, outlined his vision of a "new world order" in an address before a joint session of Congress.

The path to global hegemony, as described by Bush pere, would run through the Middle East, and following it would mean slaughtering tens or hundreds of thousands of Muslims -- through invasions, embargoes, and intermittent bombing campaigns. It also meant absorbing huge populations of Muslim refugees from Somalia, Iraq, and other countries blessed by Washington's peculiar armed humanitarianism. 

Interview with a Patsy: Brother Corey of the "Seas of David."
 One predictable result, as noted in a report on "homegrown terrorism" compiled for the Bipartisan Policy Center by veteran Establishment drones Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, is "the increasingly prominent role in planning and operations that U.S. citizens and residents have played" in jihad-related activities. 

This doesn't refer only to the FBI's prefabricated terrorist "plots," but also to involvement by American Muslims in foreign armed insurgencies against the U.S. military and Washington's proxies. 

"The conventional wisdom has long been that America was immune to the heady currents of radicalization affecting both immigrant and indigenous Muslim communities elsewhere in the West," observes the report. "That has now been shattered by the succession of cases that have recently come to light of terrorist radicalization and recruitment occurring in the United States.... As the ranks of U.S. recruits have grown, the new frontlines have become the streets of Bridgeport, Denver, Minneapolis, and other big and small communities across America."

Referring to the abortive Times Square car bombing, Hamilton and Kean insist that it "was not a `one-off' event perpetrated by a `lone wolf' but rather is part of an emerging pattern of terrorism that directly threatens the United States and presents new challenges to our national security." 

During a June 2010 court appearance in New York City, Faisal Shahzad, the accused would-be Times Square bomber, described himself as a "Muslim soldier" driven to violence as an "answer to the U.S. terrorizing Muslim nations and the Muslim people," continues the report. "He further promised that if Washington did not cease invading Muslim lands and did not withdraw from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Muslim countries, more attacks on the United States would follow. Americans, Shahzad explained, `don't see the drones killing children in Afghanistan.... [They] only care about their people, but they don't care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die.' In his view, this means that attacks on children and innocents are both justified and should be expected."

"While it is perhaps tempting to dismiss Shahzad's threats as the irrelevant ranting of an incompetent wannabe terrorist, he and his likely successors present the most serious challenge to the security of the U.S. and the safety of its citizens since the September 11, 2001 attacks," conclude Hamilton and Kean. 

We shouldn't be surprised that Hamilton and Kean studiously avoid the obvious: The people running the Regime's security organs agree with Shahzad's analysis completely. They know that it is Washington's foreign policy, not the Koran, that inspires contemporary Muslim terrorism. Those people understand how to create and exploit enemies.  

The all-but-unspeakable truth we should ponder on today's grim anniversary is that the Regime is willing to permit those enemies to slaughter Americans by the thousands in the service of its interests.

 Once again, thank you for supporting Pro Libertate!

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Dum spiro, pugno!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gypsies, Tramps and Thugs

Would-be murder weapon: Fred Ensminger's pickup.

 "This guy ...  just tried to run my husband over!" exclaimed Arkansas  resident Cindy Nelson in a frantic  911 call on July 21. "Oh, my God -- he's shooting at us! Oh, my God!"

A few minutes later, Fred Ensminger -- the deranged assailant -- placed a 911 call of his own.

"This is Diamondhead 1106," Ensminger told the suddenly swamped dispatcher. I have been shot and I need medical at my front gate ASAP."

Ensminger is a recidivist criminal. Thanks to the fact that practically any bipedal simian with a pulse can become a police officer in Arkansas, Ensminger -- who just barely meets those criteria -- is employed by the Police Department of Diamondhead Arkansas, a gated community located south of Hot Springs.

A few minutes before Cindy Nelson told the 911 dispatcher that a "guy with a badge" was trying to murder her husband, she had passed Ensminger's pickup truck, which  was parked by the side of the road.
As Nelson started to go around the truck, Ensminger -- whose penchant for abusive behavior was notorious in Diamondhead -- pulled out in front of her. According to an eyewitness, Ensminger "stopped suddenly," causing Nelson to slam on her brakes to avoid a collision.

According to the witness, Ensminger climbed out of his pickup truck and began to harangue Nelson. She reacted by pulling around him and proceeding down the road. An infuriated Ensminger followed in close pursuit.

 With Ensinger's pickup truck looming in her rear-view, Nelson called her husband, Jerry Chambliss, and told him that she was being followed. She had no idea at this point that her stalker was an off-duty police officer.

After Nelson entered the gated community, Chambliss went into the driveway "with my arms up, palms out, hollering stop, stop, stop, what are you doing?" he later told investigators.

Ensminger gunned the pickup forward, striking Chambliss and knocking him down. He then compounded that act of attempted vehicular homicide by grabbing his 40 caliber Glock and firing several rounds into the garage. At some point Ensminger punctuated his acts of attempted criminal homicide by flashing his state-issued costume jewelry.

Chambliss raced into the house and retrieved a loaded 9mm handgun and returned fire, striking Ensminger in the shoulder and forcing the assailant to withdraw.

After Ensminger called for backup, Nelson made a second 911 call requesting a police officer. When the dispatcher replied that an officer was already on the premises, Nelson suggested that it might be worthwhile to send someone other than the person who had just perforated her home with gunfire.

"She [the dispatcher] kept telling me, `He's not the shooter-- he's a cop,'" Cindy Nelson related in an interview with Pro Libertate.  "I kept trying to convince her that's what was happening -- that this cop just opened fire on our home. They never did send anyone to help us, even though they did send people after he [Ensminger] called 911."

After the police arrived, Nelson continues, "they had us on the ground in handcuffs for thirty minutes. They also spent six hours searching our house -- with our consent, I guess. After that they didn't even take my husband with them; they just said `We'll call you if we need to ask some more questions.'"

Note well that right from the beginning it was clear that Chambliss had acted legally, and that Ensminger, the assailant, had committed a criminal offense. Despite this, the official stance of the Diamondhead Police Department was that Chambliss was a "suspect," and that Ensminger had fallen heroically in the line of duty.

The shootout between Ensinger and Chambliss was originally described by the Diamondhead Police and the local media as growing out of a "domestic dispute." Chief Pat Mahoney and Garland County Deputy Judy Daniel told Little Rock's Fox 16 News that they were concerned about their injured comrade, who had been stricken in the line of duty as he was "investigating" a purported episode of domestic violence.

That official lie is indigestibly rich in irony, given the fact that Ensminger -- a "gypsy cop" who has been repeatedly fired and punished for disciplinary infractions and criminal acts -- was himself arrested on a domestic violence charge in 2006. The victim in that assault, which took place in front of the police station in Alexander, Arkansas, was a female police officer.

"We are very happy that the officer is OK and extremely glad that the suspect is in custody," stated Deputy Daniel shortly after that heroic defender of public order tried to murder Jerry Chambliss. "It just makes it easier on everybody, the other officers, his family."

Note how this description of  "everybody" refers exclusively to those employed as agents of government coercion. The "civilian" who used righteous force to repel Ensminger's criminal assault apparently didn't count. Mere Mundanes never do.

"Gypsy Cop" John Frederick Ensminger.
Following surgery to remove the bullet he had received as a consolation prize for finishing second in a shoot-out, Ensminger filed the predictably perjurious official report. 

Like too many others in his profession, Ensminger couples functional illiteracy with an unexpected gift for storytelling. He claimed to have observed Nelson driving erratically, and that she attempted to run him over when he displayed the trinket denoting his supposed authority. 

That claim was demolished by contradictory eyewitness testimony, which established that while Ensminger screamed at Nelson and wagged a finger in her direction, he never flashed his badge.

Ensminger offered a similarly mendacious version of his encounter with Chambliss. In the officer's account, he was confronted by an "angry unknown man" who slammed his hands on the hood of his car telling him to get out of the driveway.

In this depiction, Chambliss shot Ensminger without provocation, and the off-duty cop returned fire in self-defense. Once again, that account couldn't be reconciled with the evidence assembled during an investigation by the Arkansas State Police.

In his official report, state Prosecuting Attorney Steve Oliver concluded that Chambliss "was justified in using deadly physical force in the defense of himself and his wife on July 21, 2010.... Under Arkansas law, Mr. Chambliss was not required to retreat if he was not the original aggressor."

This of necessity means that Fred Ensminger, the "original aggressor," committed multiple acts of criminal assault, and thus be subject to prosecution -- correct?

Well, no.

Oliver ruled that Ensminger displayed "poor judgment in his aggressive pursuit of Ms. Nelson to her residence but he acted with the belief that he was justified under color of law."

This unsupportable, invalid  "belief" appears sufficient to exculpate Ensminger's repeated attempts to murder Jerry Chambliss. Oliver doesn't provide any other explanation for his decision not to file criminal charges of any kind against Ensminger, who not only remains free but (at least as of September 7) is reportedly still employed by the Diamondhead Police Department, even though he is currently enjoying a paid vacation (aka "administrative leave").

"Just because he has a badge he does not have the right to come down and kill citizens," Chambliss complained to Little Rock's Fox affiliate. According to Oliver, that state-issued bauble does indeed confer the authority to commit acts of discretionary murder. Oliver's report clearly suggests that if Ensminger had displayed his chintzy totem of official privilege during the highway confrontation with Cindy Nelson, Chambliss would be facing criminal charges.

"We've never had trouble of any kind with law enforcement before," Cindy Nelson remarked to Pro Libertate. "We're well-known here, and we've always been upstanding citizens. I'm a nurse, and my husband -- who served in the Navy -- has been a Real Estate broker and a candidate for office. My husband suffered severe bruising and other injuries after being run down. We never used to lock our doors, now we have three locks on every door and keep our cars locked at all times."

Chambliss is also undergoing treatment for what appears to be post-traumatic stress disorder. "This guy simply terrorized us," Cindy summarizes. She and her husband have some unfortunate company in Diamondhead.

"We're scared to have him in the community, quite frankly," commented Diamondhead resident Kimberly Gilsinger, whose children were threatened by the officer while swimming in a local lake. 

Hot Springs Officer Joey Williams assaults skateboarder.

In late June, just weeks before Ensminger attempted to murder Jerry Chambliss, Gilsinger and her husband filed a complaint alleging that the officer had threatened to kill her son and five other local boys, the youngest of whom was ten years old. 

Specifically, Ensminger allegedly said that "he would get in the water and drown every one of them if they didn't get out," Gilsinger recalled. The complaint also stated that Ensminger made a vague but unmistakable threat to shoot the kids. 

(Arkansas police seem to attract child predators: Three years ago a tonsured thug named Joey Williams was captured on video choking and otherwise assaulting several young skateboarders on the streets of Hot Springs. His employer, the Hot Springs PD, ruled that his felonious assault was "justified," not that the suspense was unbearable.)

Ray Massey, President of the Diamondhead Property Association, told the Little Rock CBS affiliate that Ensminger "got a verbal reprimand and a warning" after committing what Gilsinger correctly describes as a "felony" by threatening to "harm or kill our children."

This was hardly the first criminal act Ensminger has committed in a career in law enforcement that began seven years ago.

Ensminger was fired little more than a year of being hired by the Shannon Hills Police Department. During that time he managed to shoot a suspect under dubious circumstances (the act was ruled "justified," as nearly all such shootings are) and a property theft charge. During that same busy 14-month span, reports THV-TV, "his record shows an assault case, which included a false statement to the police on Ensminger's part. That case eventually led to his firing."

He then migrated to the Alexander Police Department, where he was arrested on a domestic battery charge after he manhandled his girlfriend -- a fellow police officer named April Tirado -- outside the police station. Ensminger wasn't fired from that position; he was permitted to resign instead. Approximately a year later he was hired by the Diamondhead Police Department.

The Diamondhead PD refuses to release Ensminger's record, claiming that it is exempt from freedom of information laws because it is employed by a private entity, the Diamondhead Property Owners Association. It is more accurate to describe the POA as a "public-private" or corporatist body, since its police department -- as prosecutor Steve Oliver points out -- presumes to exercise coercive "authority" under "color of law," rather than simply protecting property rights pursuant to contract. If Ensminger were a Paul Blart-style private security guard, he would most likely be facing criminal charges.

John Frederick Ensminger, petty criminal and itinerant police officer, should be made the poster child for the problem of "Gypsy Cops" -- corrupt, abusive officers who drift from one agency to another, enjoying both immunity from prosecution and unassailable job security. This problem is particularly acute in Arkansas, where no certification of any kind is required to become a police officer.

To become a licensed practicing cosmetologist in the State of Arkansas, an applicant must pass a state board examination and complete 2,000 hours of specialized training. For an investment of 600 hours an applicant can qualify to work as a manicurist or instructor.

While Arkansas strictly regulates those who cut hair or paint nails in private, voluntary transactions, it imposes no training or licensing standards whatsoever on armed people clothed in government-issued costumes and the supposed authority to inflict lethal violence on others.
Another view of the heroic Joey Williams in action.

"The second night I ever put on a badge and gun I was riding in my own car," recalls Crittenden County Chief Deputy Tommy Martin. At the time, Martin was 21 years old and hadn't spent so much as a minute inside a police academy classroom, notes Jill Monier of Memphis's Fox News affiliate.

"According to Arkansas state law, officers do not have to be certified for up to a year after they're hired," observes Monier. "The Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training says they can get an 8 month extension on top of that. So for almost 2 years, an officer can patrol the streets, by his or herself, and enforce the law without having any kind of training."

Understandably, this system is a boon to  "gypsy" cops. Each time a "gypsy" cop finds a new gig in Arkansas, his 12- to 20-month grace period begins all over again; in this way, officers can be enforcing the "law" for years without receiving certification of any kind.

Ensminger, who couldn't legally cut hair or manicure nails in Arkansas, remains licensed to kill. 

Incidentally ...

... Scott Horton, who hosts the indispensable AntiWar Radio program, was kind enough to invite me on as a guest last Friday.

Once again: Thank you.

I continue to be amazed and humbled by the generosity so many of you have shown to me and my family. Thank you so much! 

Join me each Saturday evening from 8:00-11:00 Mountain Time for Pro Libertate Radio on the Liberty News Radio Network.

Dum spiro, pugno!