By Michael Collins Piper —
An explosive 214-page investigative analysis from the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) confirms precisely what this newspaper has reported for years. In the words of HRW’s Andrea Prasow: “Americans have been told that their government is keeping them safe by preventing and prosecuting terrorism inside the U.S. But take a closer look and you realize that many of these people would never have committed a crime if not for law enforcement encouraging, pressuring and sometimes paying them to commit terrorist acts.”
Charging United States terrorism prosecutions are “often an illusion,” HRW notes that while there have been some 500 counterterrorism cases investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and prosecuted by the Justice Department since the September 11 tragedy, nearly 50% of those have resulted from informant-based situations in which “almost 30% of those cases were sting operations in which the informant played an active role in the underlying plot.”
Although HRW acknowledges many FBI inquiries had properly targeted individuals actually planning or financing terrorist attacks, “many other [FBI operations] have targeted individuals who do not appear to have been involved in terrorist plotting or financing at the time the government began to investigate them.”
In fact, HRW pointed out: “In some cases the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by conducting sting operations that facilitated or invited the target’s willingness to act.”
HRW found that, “at times, in aggressively pursuing terrorism threats before they even materialize, U.S. law enforcement overstepped its role by effectively participating in developing terrorism plots—in at least two cases even offering the defendants money to entice them to participate in the plot.”
According to HRW, federal authorities “aggressively sought out terrorism suspects, sometimes before the individual concerned [had] expressed any intention to use violence,” and that “individuals who perhaps would never have participated in a terrorist act on their own initiative and might not even had the capacity to do so,were prosecuted for serious, yet government-created, terrorism plots.”
Since the September 11 attacks, AMERICAN FREE PRESS has covered this issue extensively. For more on AFP’s previous coverage of this matter see articles written by AFP writer Bill White in the April 16, 2012, March 26, 2012, December 5 & 12, 2011 and November 14, 2011 editions as well as a series of articles on phony terrorism probes by writers Richard Walker, Keith Johnson and this writer.
Michael Collins Piper is an author, journalist, lecturer and radio show host. He has spoken in Russia, Malaysia, Iran, Abu Dhabi, Japan, Canada and the U.S.