May 28, 2012
By Arun Gupta
Like real-life Avengers, the FBI and 23 separate police agencies joined forces and pounced on a band of villains hell-bent on sowing chaos in a sleepy Midwest suburb earlier this month. The FBI reassured the world that thanks to the “swift collaborative action” of law enforcement, it had rounded up five “self-proclaimed anarchists … intent on using violence to express their ideological views” by attempting to blow up a bridge near Cleveland on May Day.
Now, the Cleveland Five look more like bedraggled punks than diabolical geniuses, but surely doom was averted in the nick of time. In fact, the G-Men admit the exact opposite: “At no time during the course of the investigation was the public ever in danger.”
So if there was no threat, what really happened? This case was a familiar set-up in which the FBI fishes for dupes it can manipulate with informants and agents who stroke their marks, plant ideas, suggest the plans, provide money, weapons, vehicles and then heroically foil a terrorist act of the FBI’s own design. Since September 11, scores of these entrapment cases have been sprung on Muslims in America. It appears the Occupy Wall Street movement is now worthy of the same treatment.
And why not? The FBI’s top priority is counter-terrorism, and it has an $8bn budget to justify, which is close to Taiwan’s annual military expenditures. Springing terrorism traps makes it appear that if not for the FBI, America would descend into Middle East-style mayhem. For informants, there is the lure of cash and leniency for felonies. For agents, it means career advancement.
The Cleveland Five – Brandon Baxter, 20; Anthony Hayne, 35; Joshua Stafford, 23; Connor Stevens, 20; and Douglas Wright, 26 – were allegedly goaded by a criminal on the FBI dime who said “I could show you” how to take down a bridge, led them to the bridge, told them taking it out “would cost the corporate big wigs a lot of money”, secured inoperable C4 explosives provided by an undercover agent, and then warned them they are “on the hook” for it. The informant also provided them with jobs, money, a place to live, a friendly ear, beer, pot and the prescription stimulant Adderall.
Because the bureau announced the arrests on May 1 as Occupy protests were taking place in some 110 US cities, many observers claim they were politically motivated. Then on May 19 and 20 authorities slapped five men with terrorism charges during anti-NATO protests in Chicago. Will Potter, who analyzes FBI entrapment plots in his book Green is the New Red, says the two incidents are “a reflection of an ongoing pattern of behavior from the FBI of singling out political activists and having a direct influence in creating so-called terrorist plots for the purpose of proclaiming a victory in the war on terrorism.”
In the Cleveland and Chicago cases, the FBI is so desperate to manufacture terrorists it is now netting children. In Cleveland friends and family describe the boys – which everyone calls them – as lost souls who had found hope in the Occupy movement. Lea Tolls, a 46-year-old self-described “Occu-mom,” says: “They are angry. Some have mental illnesses, and there is alcoholism and abuse in their families.”
Full Article Here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/may/28/cleveland-occupy-arrests-fbi-manipulation