November 2nd, 2011

Seduction, Deception, Entrapment, and the FBI


photo credit: KAZVorpal

Imagine a beautiful woman who is hired on by a company to attend its marketing events with a small team of hard-working salesmen. Traveling to a variety of conventions and other events, the woman sets her eye upon a (married) co-worker with whom she begins to subtly flirt. The flirting is cautiously reciprocated, and the tiny romantic spark increases with each new event they jointly attend. The woman’s body language and words are employed in what soon becomes a full scale process of seducing this man, who, overtaken by the woman’s beauty and interest in him, continues to play along and ultimately falls prey to her overpowering assertiveness.

One night, the woman convinces the married man to join her in a nearby hotel room she acquired for the specific purpose of allowing them to spend the night together and become romantically involved. She even provides him with a fake itinerary and airplane ticket stubs to make his wife believe that he was at another company event. Nervously excited, the man arrives at the hotel and enters the room to find a variety of items purchased but not yet used for the evening’s activities: candles, roses, a stereo with romantic music, condoms… The man turns down the lights, turns up the music, and arranges the room with everything needed in preparation for his seductress. Soon after, a sharp knock at the door sends a thrilling surge of adrenaline through his whole body. Advancing to the door, and excited to see what his new mistress has chosen to wear for the evening’s festivities, he opens it to find his wife.

As it turns out, the seductress had no intention of joining this man, but instead wanted to intentionally ruin his life to advance her own career within the company. Having planned the evening and provided the alibi and necessary supplies, she additionally alerted the wife to her husband’s whereabouts and purpose. The man, who otherwise had no interest in nor plans to commit adultery, had been seductively lured into a situation he did not expect nor originally desire.

If this fictional story has a strangely familiar tone to it, then perhaps it’s because truth is stranger than fiction. The federal government often acts as such a seductress, luring unsuspecting individuals into terrorism traps. They provide the plans, money, and supplies, and coax previously peaceful people into situations they did not desire nor expect at the outset. Once the terrorist plot (that was never going to happen to begin with) is foiled, the government informs the press of their “success” much like the seductress informed the wife of her husband’s intentions. In both cases, the informant bears the original and greater blame.

True, the individual could (and should) have refused participation. But cases of entrapment such as these cannot simply be understood superficially; the unsuspecting individual is not the one to ultimately blame. When the FBI pats itself on the back for stopping a would-be terrorist, they fail to mention that it was they who were prodding the individual along every step of the way, eager to find a compliant pawn for their self-aggrandizement and budget justifications.

Had the seductive female co-worker not persistently coaxed the man into complying with her desires, he never would have sought out nor committed the opportunity to cheat on his wife. Similarly, had the government not gone to great lengths to fund, organize, and supply terrorist activities, the “terrorists” the government “caught” would likely today be leading normal, peaceful lives. Glenn Greenwald expounds:

Time and again, the FBI concocts a Terrorist attack, infiltrates Muslim communities in order to find recruits, persuades them to perpetrate the attack, supplies them with the money, weapons and know-how they need to carry it out — only to heroically jump in at the last moment, arrest the would-be perpetrators whom the FBI converted, and save a grateful nation from the plot manufactured by the FBI.

None of these cases entail the FBI’s learning of an actual plot and then infiltrating it to stop it. They all involve the FBI’s purposely seeking out Muslims (typically young and impressionable ones) whom they think harbor animosity toward the U.S. and who therefore can be induced to launch an attack despite having never taken even a single step toward doing so before the FBI targeted them. Each time the FBI announces it has disrupted its own plot, press coverage is predictably hysterical (new Homegrown Terrorist caught!), fear levels predictably rise, and new security measures are often implemented in response

As in one case, so too with all the others: “the government’s confidential sources were monitored and guided by federal law enforcement agents.” These are not legitimate crime-prevention activities—they are manufactured triumphs based on fabricated scenarios carried out by the very agents seeking to “prevent” them.

Even worse, such phony situations can be politically exploited whenever convenient, since the “attack” occurs only with the planning and prodding of the government itself. Thus we saw the supposed Iranian terror plot “foiled” just as Attorney General Eric Holder was to testify in regards to (and receive significant public outcry for) the botched gun running scheme wherein government officials were supplying Mexican drug warlords with guns. Legitimate law enforcement activities occur in response to actual threats; politically motivated and designed plots are instead interrupted and publicized when convenient to those responsible for them.

Can the federal government save us from a plot of its own creation? So asks—and eloquently responds—Judge Napolitano. The answer, quite simply, is no. Like so many other areas of government activity, Robert Lefevre’s insight holds true: the government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.

8 Responses to “Seduction, Deception, Entrapment, and the FBI”

  1. Ryan Smith
    November 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    Very well said.

  2. Kelly W.
    November 2, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    Applause!

    The scriptures say in many places: Wars and RUMORS of wars. “Rumors” of wars are not the same as “wars.” Every war the USA has been involved in since WWI have been justified by a rumor, or false flag event.

    Gulf of Tonkin, Operation Northwoods, 9/11, the list could go on.

    Our government does NOT wear the white hat.

  3. November 4, 2011 at 1:40 am #

    I think this particular thing reflects the need of an increasingly-obsolete bureaucracy to justify its own existence. When you have power (in this case, people working for you, and fancy computers and FBI gadgets that do cool stuff) you aren’t about to give that up even if the initial reason for your existence no longer seems relevant. So police officers pretend to be hookers and arrest people after propositioning them, sell fake drugs to people and then arrest them after they accept, and (anecdotally) tailgate people until they speed, bullying them into a ticket. IRS workers obfuscate the tax code to justify their existence. Presumably firemen don’t go around leaving oily rags in volatile neighborhoods, although frankly it wouldn’t be much worse than the disgusting life-destroying examples of terrorism entrapment Connor cited (and others we’ve seen).

    An unchecked bureaucracy always has the most power that it has ever had. The people in whose interest the expansion was created will never cede that power upon the realization that the problem has been fixed or, more often, cannot be fixed or is being exacerbated. We’ll be fighting the Cold War, the War on Terror, the War on Drugs, the War on Crime and the War on Poverty until the end of time.

  4. November 5, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Yeah Okay….good point. Many innocent people may be been captured by this entrapment. However, I would also argue that the government uses these bait and hook practices to see who is a threat or how to use the person, a potential informant, that gets hooked to expose a greater threat. The government, even outside terrorism, has been doing this for years. To catch a big drug dealer, the government will bust a small dealer, usually street vendor, while undercover, and switch that person to an informant. I think this is a vital tool to catch the most important people; the “drug Lord.” Even the person the revealed the location to Osama Bin-Laden was a government informant in the past. Although his/her identity is not known, the informant could have come from one of these timely tools of investigation.

    On another note, the government releases information, to the news, about plots to dissuade future plots. The very posting of a bust on TV is used as a signal to individuals that are thinking about attacking or even in the transitionary phase of attack; the potential attacker might see a bust as an indication that they might be monitored also, so they either scale back for another date, or drop it entirely; in addition, if the bust produces an informant, then the individual thinking of attacking might retract. However, sometimes the media release of a bust, could be a PR stunt by the government to signal to the American people its successes on the War on Terror. Signaling has always been used in various facets of business, crime, government, etc., that tests the waters for something potentially big.

    However, I do recognize that the government may “set” some people up for failure. Oftentimes, mere associations can develop into something that lands differing parties on the hot iron. I just wanted to add of voice to this conversation about some positive aspects to government signaling.

  5. Jim Davis
    November 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    mark,

    While I can’t speak for Connor I believe busts are justified. The issue he brought up, though, isn’t the bust part. It’s the government creating a criminal from someone innocent to begin with. That is the main point of the article and you didn’t address it at all.

    Also, in the scenario that Connor brought up, the whole government using a small fish to catch a bigger fish tactic isn’t applicable since the fabricated “terrorist” was created by the government to begin with. Who’s he gonna turn in once they catch him? The undercover agent who trained and equipped him?

  6. November 7, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Yeah, busts are legitimate law enforcement. Buy drugs from a dealer, or pretend to solicit a prostitute only to get an already suspected criminal to incriminate themselves, then arrest that person for the actual crime they committed of their own volition. Posing as a prostitute or a drug dealer and trying to get people to solicit you is unethical and creates criminals that may not have existed before.

  7. December 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    I have no sympathy for your theoretical louse.

  8. December 1, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    I also know there’s no way Obama got a top secret clearance the traditional way.

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