Friday, December 10, 2010

FBI Sting Entraps Another Victim

FBI Sting Entraps Another Victim - by Stephen Lendman

In December 2007, an article titled Police State America: A Look Back and Ahead discussed the growing threat, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2007/12/police-state-america-look-back-and.html

It reviewed post-9/11 legislation and a blizzard of Bush Executive Orders, National and Homeland Security Presidential Directives, and other ways of enforcing police state harshness by eroding constitutional protections.

One way is by silencing truth, notably against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, jailed in London on a European arrest warrant for Sweden where he's wanted for unlawful coercion, sexual molestation and rape. In fact, it's for allegedly having sex without a condom, despite no evidence proving wrongdoing. He strongly denies it, calling the charges politically motivated.

Moreover, since when is condomless or consensual sex illegal, whether or not he cohabited with two female accusers, snaring him in a honey trap. It likely was hatched in Washington or by complicit US allies to attack WikiLeaks by imprisoning or perhaps killing him, even though others are releasing cables daily in his absence.

On December 9, RAI Novosti headlined, "Kremlin suggests WikiLeaks founder for Nobel (Peace) Prize," according to an unnamed Kremlin source. He also tops an online Time Person of the Year poll, the selection to be announced in mid-December.

Entrapment - A Favorite FBI Tactic in America's War on Terror (aka its War on Islam)

At issue is United States of America v. Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain, arrested on terrorist related charges.

An earlier article quoted Law Professor Anthony Barkow saying:

"A person is entrapped when he has no previous intention to violate the law and is persuaded to commit the crime by government agents. But if he's already willing to commit the crime, it's not entrapment if government agents convince him to do it."

So far, only Justice Department allegations are known, accentuated by inflammatory media reports. Whether or not there was intent is based solely on their charges. As a result, it's far too early to make judgments, especially as so many previous cases showed innocent men and some women were bogusly charged, convicted and imprisoned, victims of American injustice.

Department of Justice Charges

On December 8, a Department of Justice press release headlined, "Maryland Man Charged in Plot to Attack Armed Forces Recruiting Center: Inert 'Bomb' Provided by Undercover FBI Agent Posed No Danger to Public," saying:

"Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain, age 21, of Baltimore, a US citizen, was charged by criminal complaint today with attempting to murder federal officers and employees and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against federal property in connection with a scheme to attack an Armed Forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Maryland. Martinez was arrested this morning after he attempted to remotely detonate what he believed to be explosives in a vehicle parked in the (station's) parking lot."

On December 8, he was arraigned in Baltimore US District Court before Magistrate Judge James K. Bredar.

An FBI sting entrapped him, US Attorney Rod Rosenstein saying everyone he approached to participate declined, tried to dissuade him, or reported him to FBI authorities, "and there is no evidence (he) received direction or support from any other person." Except, of course, from FBI operatives who goaded him like others they wanted entrapped.

His criminal complaint alleges that on September 29, he posted a Facebook statement calling for violence to stop Muslim oppression. Then on October 1, he allegedly posted another message saying he hates anyone opposing Allah and the prophet Muhammad.

"On October 8, 2010, an FBI confidential course (CS)" informed the bureau. CS then began communicating with Martinez through Facebook. In discussions, he alleged that Martinez wanted to go to Pakistan or Afghanistan to become a mujahideen.

"After learning (that he) was seeking to attack and kill military personnel, the FBI recorded a series of conversations between" him and CS, during which he allegedly identified the Catonville, MD recruiting station as his target. Tapes, of course, can be easily manipulated and altered to say whatever authorities wish.

Martinez allegedly tried to recruit five others to help him, contacting at least three who refused. He then "allegedly agreed to meet CS's 'Afghani brother,' an undercover FBI agent (UC)." CS said he wanted to help. Their conversations were also recorded, and Martinez was closely monitored until his arrest.

On November 4, he introduced "another potential recruit" to CS. He also allegedly declined to help. On November 16, he introduced CS to UC, allegedly admitting "his goal to become a martyr and his desire to attack the (Catonville) Armed Forces recruiting center soon."

On December 2, the FBI alleges Martinez and CS again met "to look at the parking area around the recruiting center." He "allegedly drew up a map detailing where the vehicle containing the bomb should be parked, which he gave to CS for UC."

On December 7, "Martinez met with UC and CS to finalize plans." UC allegedly showed Martinez the bomb detonating device and how to use it. All three allegedly agreed to use separate vehicles, then meet afterwards "to arrange their getaway."

On the morning of December 8, Martinez allegedly met UC and CS as planned, inspected the bomb components, armed the device, then drove to the recruiting center, "parked in front of the building and left the area with CS," driving to a nearby vantage point to "allegedly attempt" detonation. In fact, he had an inert bomb and was immediately arrested.

He faces a maximum 20 years in prison for attempting to kill federal officers and employees as well as life for attempted use of a "weapon of mass destruction against federal property."

Note the exaggeration to incite fear, another prosecutorial tactic.

Since taking office, Obama has been as ruthless as Bush, targeting Muslims for political advantage, Attorney General Holder as hardline as the worst of his predecessors. White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said Martinez's arrest underscores the need for vigilance against homegrown terrorism, stressing that Obama focuses on addressing "domestic radicalization."

Based on evidence from many previous cases, authorities perhaps entrapped another innocent man, a Muslim by inciting him to allegedly commit what he otherwise may never have conceived or wished. Why believe prosecutorial charges. It's their word against the accused, never given equal time, a public chance to reply, and whatever gets out is misreported, distorted, and forgotten. Case closed.

Guilty by Accusation

Against the major media assault, notably on US television, suspects are never judged innocent unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The print media is just as unfair, including on December 8 by New York Times writers Charlie Savage and Gary Gately headlining their article: "Man Arrested in Bomb Plot in Maryland," saying:

"A 21-year old recent convert to Islam tried to blow up a military recruiting station in a Baltimore suburb on Wednesday, ensnaring himself in a sting operation orchestrated by the (FBI), law enforcement officials said."

In other words, they said it. He's guilty as charged. Case closed, how the Times, other major publications, and inflammatory TV accounts report, transmitting government accusations whether or not they have any basis in fact, a topic never considered.

Unable to afford an attorney, his public defender Joseph Balter said:

"It's much too early for anyone to come to any conclusions about the outcome, and we just request that the public reserve judgment and let the legal process proceed as it should."

Evidence of his likely mistreatment was clear in court for his arraignment, Martinez showing up haggard and unshaven, identifying himself as Muhammad Hussain.

His Facebook page says he graduated from Laurel High School, Laurel MD in 2005. His listed interests include marriage, learning, work, two films (The Last Samurai and Avatar), worshiping God, prayer, proselytizing, religious stories, the Koran, and vocal songs. He also said he's "looking for friendship." A biography section said:

"I'm just a young brother from the wrong side of the tracks who embrace(s) Islam....We (must) rise up inshallah (God willing) and continue the establishment of Islam on the earth, and with guidance (from) Allah we can...."

His wife's Facebook page said she's a Pine Manor College senior, majoring in English.

A former girlfriend described him as quiet, saying they last spoke during the summer. She also said he tried Christianity, didn't understand it, but felt very comfortable with Islam that helped him get his life in order.

FBI Special Agent Keith E. Bender's Affidavit in Support of Charges Against Martinez

Saying he personally participated in the investigation, he explained that "information set forth in this affidavit is based on my own observations and review of documents, or reliable information provided to me by other law enforcement personnel involved in the matter."

In 19 detailed pages, he then related the above charges and chronological chain of events leading up to the arrest, implying that without FBI provocation nothing might ever have happened.

A Final Comment

Entrapped, Martinez now faces merciless prosecution, pitting him against the Justice Department's intent to convict so the Obama administration can claim another war on terror victory. Innocence or guilt doesn't matter, just the illusion that America is now safer.

Like many other political targets, wrongly convicted and imprisoned, Martinez appears to be another victim of being Muslim in America at the wrong time. He'll have the rest of his life in prison to reflect.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.