Eric Holder went to California to provide an update on the FBI’s terrorist training program. What he has yet to acknowledge is this: if the FBI can’t catch “terrorists” without first providing them with fake bombs, maybe the guys they’re catching aren’t really terrorists.
Doesn’t the criminal process attach as much importance to means as it does to motives? Disregard means, and we are heading into the Orwellian world of thoughtcrimes.
The New York Times, reporting on the Attorney General’s speech to Muslim Advocates, said:
In his remarks, Mr. Holder said that stings had been used for decades against many types of crimes. And he defended the investigation last month in Portland, Ore., in which a young Somali-American man, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested after law enforcement agents said he tried to trigger what he thought was a car bomb at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.
“I make no apologies for the how the F.B.I. agents handled their work in executing the operation that led to Mr. Mohamud’s arrest,” Mr. Holder said. “Their efforts helped to identify a person who repeatedly expressed his desire and intention to kill innocent Americans.”
He added: “But you also have my word that the Justice Department will — just as vigorously — continue to pursue anyone who would target Muslims, or their houses of worship.”
Despite the attorney general’s reassurances, some in attendance were deeply concerned by the federal government’s ongoing undercover sting operations.
“I grew up during the civil rights era and I’m aware how the civil rights community was infiltrated by provocateurs and agents who sought to undermine the legitimate struggles of the movement,” said Abu Qadir Al-Amin, 60, an African-American imam from Vallejo, Calif. “So my antennae are up and I try to educate the Muslim community so that they don’t put themselves in a vulnerable position if someone comes along suggesting they do something illegal.”