FBI Agents Suggest Blowing Up Government Buildings

The case of the Miami terrorists keeps getting more ludicrous.  The local Miami CBS station had a write-up yesterday on the latest federal court proceedings:

Earlier in the day, the FBI admitted that two people working for the agency
planted the idea of blowing up government buildings, including and FBI office in
Miami, with members of an alleged South Florida terror group known as the
Liberty City 7.

This is the same type of scam that occurred routinely during the FBI COINTELPRO operations of the 1960s and early 1970s. 

Yet, despite the FBI’s long history of such shenanigans, the vast majority of television coverage of the arrest of the “terrorists” was craven – or perhaps beyond craven – treating the words of federal officials as the equivalent of the Word of God.

The Miami bust occurred at the same time that the New York Times revealed the massive warrantless surveillance of bank transactions.

I argued at that time that people should, at a minimum, be skeptical of the feds’ claims – both on the Miami case and on the financial spying.

Instead, the vast majority of the media swallowed the Miami hokum – and most of the conservative media denounced the New York Times for treason for revealing government spying.

I am starting to wonder whether the logic courses are the strongest part of the curriculum of American journalism colleges…


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19 Responses to FBI Agents Suggest Blowing Up Government Buildings

  1. W Baker July 7, 2006 at 10:43 am #

    Journalism students taking logic courses, Jim? That may have been on the curriculum at VT way back when, but I suspect with the general collapse of the humanities into politically motivated drivel, few journalism majors ever encounter a syllogism or could name one logical fallacy.

    From my little stoop in Alabama, it seems to me that journalists worldwide, save the obvious exceptions such as Pilger and Hersh and few others- yourself included – seem to ever get past a conversational gossip: one human source, an internet source and instant copy. Of course, there are hierarchical levels of sources. Just any old Joe can’t advance a theory of events based upon detailed facts and reasonable conclusions. The source’s credibility seems to be proportional to the amount of bureaucracy behind the source and number of statements issued.

    In other words, the big dog who barks loudest gets attention. I know this sounds trite, but this concept and few good management skills are the “genius” behind the Murdoch’s of this world.

    From what I gather, these Miami kids had cooked up a hodgepodge of a religion and were apparently so hard up for resources that they were asking their FBI handlers for shoes. My Lord, if this is cover for financial surveillance, it might only take the revelation of the Bloods and Crips (sp?) acting in concert with Al Qaeda to spawn Patriot Act III.

    I’ve always wanted to say this: coming to a theatre near you, Patriot Act III starring Joe Lieberman and Tom Lantos, etc., etc….

  2. Jim July 7, 2006 at 10:59 am #

    Wes – I never had any journalism courses at Virginia Tech, so Blacksburg is absolved on that score.

    One problem is that most J-school grads have little or no interest in history. The Washington Post had a piece last Sunday by Chris Matthews, the Hardball host, on “D.C. Power Reads.” His comments made stark that fashionable folks in DC don’t read old books – and old being 5 or 10 years back, with a few government-glorifying exceptions.

    Broadcast media seems to set the intellectual standards these days – there may have been a Gresham’s Law at work as far debasing intellectual content.

    Or perhaps the rise of the cable news talk shows have simply made the hollowness more evident.

  3. Sunni July 7, 2006 at 1:18 pm #

    “Conversational gossip” indeed. That, plus the decline of standards in journalism that both of you gents are commenting on, is why few people will recall the Viper Militia when reading about the Liberty City 7, and others like them yet to be “busted”.

    Glad I suspected a ruse and didn’t waste my time on this non-story. Also glad you’re pointing out the emperor’s state of undress, Jim.

  4. Jim July 7, 2006 at 1:35 pm #

    Sunni – Yes, “others like them yet to be ‘busted.'”

    Is this where we should mention lawyer Marc Victor’s toll free number?

    In one sense, this is a non-story. In another sense, it is another vivid reminder of the boundless duplicity of some of the feds – and of the craven nature of much of the media.

    I reckon neither qualifies as breaking news.

  5. Nancy Dunne July 7, 2006 at 2:17 pm #

    I am a J school graduate whose first love was history. But I’m a dinosaur. Few reporters now care about anything more than glory. This can be attributed to the general dumbing down of the populace – the lousy schools (Wait until the “tested” generation runs things)tv, violence etc. and cynical, corrupt leadership.

  6. Jim July 7, 2006 at 3:14 pm #

    I guess we have to wait awhile longer for George and Laura Bush’s idealism to seep down into the general populace.

  7. Tom Blanton July 8, 2006 at 2:15 am #

    When the Liberty City 7 story first broke, I thought to myself that agent provacateurs were probably involved and that these alleged terrorists were probably trying to rip off some al Qaida.

    Hey, yo man, front me the 50 G’s and I’ll run down the street and score you some terror. Just wait here, I’ll be right back – no shit, man. You know I’m cool.

    Now CBS4 confirms my conspiratorial inclinations. The scary thing is that there may be many FBI agent provacateurs on the loose setting up phony al Qaida cells and preparing domestic terror attacks. If something goes awry, as it often does when the feds are involved, and one of these cells slips away from their FBI handlers, we could have a real problem.

    Like some speculate about the OKC bombing and the 1993 WTC bombing, a tragedy could occur that would lead to Patriot Act 3, a war on Iran, and who knows what else.

    Scary stuff.

  8. Jim July 8, 2006 at 8:06 am #

    Tom – My understanding is that there is a chapter in the Entrapment Management casebook that FBI agents receive that specifies that the bombs are not supposed to actually detonate.

  9. Sunni July 8, 2006 at 8:56 am #

    Jim, I thought I’d covered both story and non-story nature in my comment … sorry that was not clear. I don’t see that Marc has a toll-free number, but his number’s prominently featured on his newly-redesigned web site. Last, am I conflating things or did they muck up that specification with WTC Bombing I?

  10. Jim July 8, 2006 at 9:16 am #

    Sunni – thanks for posting Marc’s website. I met Marc at the Freedom Summit in Phoenix – he seems like a fine fellow – a very smart, savvy hardliner.

    On the first World Trade Center bombing – here is what I wrote in Terrorism & Tyranny (St. Martin’s, 2003):
    The FBI initially appeared to have a strong case, buttressed largely by evidence provided by informant Emad Salem. In July 1993, the media learned that Salem had been inside the conspiracy a year before the attack.23 Rep. Charles Schumer (D-NY), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice, complained to FBI director Sessions that the FBI’s failure to act on Salem’s information could represent “an extraordinarily disturbing development
    in this case—and for counter-terrorism in general.”24
    After the bombing, the FBI quickly rehired Salem and promised to pay him
    a million dollars to develop evidence of additional terrorist plots. Because Salem did not trust the government to pay up, he secretly recorded his conversations with FBI agents. In August, as the case was heading for trial, news leaked that
    Salem had made tapes of over a hundred hours of his conversations with FBI
    agents and handlers.25 The tape transcripts were not helpful to the prosecution.
    In a call to an FBI agent shortly after the bombing, Salem complained that “we was start already building the bomb, which is went off in the World Trade Center. It was built, uh, uh, uh, supervising, supervision from the Bureau [FBI]and the DA [district attorney] and we was all informed about it. And we know
    that the bomb start to be built. By who? By your confidential informant. What a wonderful great case. And then he [the FBI supervisor] put his head in the sand and said, oh no, no, no that’s not true, he is a son of a bitch, okay.”26 After
    the bombing, Salem anguished to one FBI agent: “You were informed. Everything is ready. The day and the time. Boom. Lock them up and that’s that. That’s why I feel so bad.”27 On another tape, Salem asked an FBI agent: “Do you deny your supervisor is the main reason of bombing the World Trade Center?”
    The agent did not deny Salem’s charge.28 Shortly after the bombing FBI
    agent Nancy Floyd confided to Salem that her supervisors had botched the
    case: “I felt that the people on the squad, that they didn’t have a clue of how to operate things. That the supervisors didn’t know what was going on. That they hadn’t taken the time to learn the history.”29 It was never clear how much Salem instigated the bombing, as opposed to simply reporting on the plot to
    his FBI controllers.
    Before the bombing, Salem offered to do a switcheroo on the bombers, substituting a harmless powder for the deadly explosives and thereby preventing any potential catastrophe. The FBI spurned his offer.30 The New York Times October 28, 1993 article with this revelation was headlined “Tapes Depict Proposal
    to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast.”31 Salem complained to one FBI
    agent that an FBI supervisor “requested to make me to testify [in public] and if
    he didn’t push for that, we’ll be going building the bomb with a phony powder and grabbing the people who was involved in it. But . . . we didn’t do that.”32
    Salem was not the only person on the inside whom the FBI could have used
    to stop the attack. As Newsday reported on October 29, 1993:
    In addition to Salem, New York Newsday has learned that the FBI had
    a second confidential informant who infiltrated the Jersey City mosque
    where the sheik preached. According to law-enforcement sources, two
    months before the Feb. 26 Trade Center bombing, the informant was
    on a military-style training exercise in a New Jersey park with other suspects
    when he was asked to obtain dynamite for an attack. After the informant
    told FBI officials, they met for nearly an entire day to consider
    providing the suspects with inoperative, counterfeit dynamite. But, to
    avoid the possibility of an entrapment charge, FBI officials instead
    pulled the informant off the assignment the next day, sources said.
    “Instead of trying to stop it they just waited for it to happen,
    then swooped in and arrested everyone,” said an investigator. “It was

  11. W Baker July 8, 2006 at 10:13 am #

    Jim, you may have to start a new thread on this story – the arrest of the group which was supposedly threatening the New York transit system.

    Yesterday, all I heard and saw were images of the Holland tunnel, scenarios involving the financial district under water, and Stoic statements from “security” officials at the NY/NJ and Fed level recounting their internet sting and reaffirming their commitment and dedication to our safety.

    Thanks to antiwar.com this morning, CBS has a very interesting story on the suspect arrested in Lebanon. http://cbs2chicago.com/seenon/topstories_story_188081817.html

    Wow, this is turning into a real game of one-upmanship. Did this coincide nicely with 7/7 (London) much like the hysteria surrounding the first couple of anniversary celebrations of 9/11?

  12. Jim July 8, 2006 at 11:28 am #

    Wes – I am looking forward to the further details on coming out on this case.

    Unfortunately, it usually takes awhile for key details to float up or leak out.

    I wager a case of good German beer that the story looks much shakier next week this time.

    Unfortunately…. all that will be necessary is for the government to announce some new arrests.

    I have not looked at all the stories on the NYC case – but my hunch is that most of them have not mentioned how the Miami case has become a farce.

  13. W Baker July 8, 2006 at 11:46 am #

    Jim, I’m sorry that I can’t take you up on the German beer wager. I’m afraid that you are right and that I would loose! Next time a *fair* wager, i.e., unrelated to predictable antics of the Feds,comes up, however, I would be willing to bet a case of Corsendonk Beer (Belgium). http://www.beerme.com/breweries/be/an/748.shtml Surely the nectar of the gods!

  14. Jim July 8, 2006 at 11:54 am #

    Wes -Belgium has the world’s most underrated beer.

    I suspect that this is absolutely, positively a result of the Flemish part of the country, not the French part.

  15. OWN-the-NWO July 8, 2006 at 9:19 pm #

    thanks for writing this, you should check my blog’s I’ve been following this farse since it started.

  16. Sunni July 10, 2006 at 6:24 am #

    Thanks for clearing that up, Jim!


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