Senator wants to ban “extremist” material FBI introduced to suspects
Image Credits: sdmc, Flickr
After the FBI “uncovered” another one of its self-orchestrated “terrorist plots,” leading to the arrest of two women, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) demanded on-line censorship of the “extremist” literature the FBI provided to the suspects.
Feinstein called for on-line suppression of the popular counterculture publication the Anarchist Cookbook as well as an al-Qaeda publication, which critics characterized as a slippery slope leading to Chinese-style Internet censorship.
“I am particularly struck that the alleged bombers made use of online bomb making guides like The Anarchist Cookbook and Inspire Magazine,” Feinstein said, despite a FBI undercover agent admitting he provided the material to the suspects. “These documents are not, in my view, protected by the First Amendment and should be removed from the Internet.”
Critics were quick to label Feinstein’s statement as an attack on the First Amendment.
“For what it’s worth, Dianne Feinstein’s ‘view’ is wrong,” Mike Masnick with TechDirt wrote. “The Anarchist Cookbook is very much protected by the First Amendment.”
“While the book is banned in other countries, who don’t have the equivalent of the First Amendment, it’s perfectly legal in the U.S.”
Lucy Dalglish, the Dean of Journalism at the University of Maryland, called it “a blatant violation of the First Amendment.”
“That’s the price we pay for a free society,” she added.
The FBI’s undercover agent met the women, Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui, to encourage them to build bombs by introducing them to The Anarchist Cookbook and other materials.
According to the FBI’s criminal complaint:
On or about Novermber 2, 2014, the UC [Undercover] met with VELNTZAS and SIDDIQUI. When VELENTZAS was reading a book called “Chemistry: The Central Science,” the UC asked how this book was going to benefit them. VELENTZAS stated that they could practice at her house, but could not leave any residue. The UC stated that practicing at the house was not a good idea because the people living in the apartment below VELENTZAS might hear loud noises, referring to noises from explosions. VELENTZAS said she could always tell her neighbors that she dropped some bookshelves. The UC and VELENTZAS then discussed the fact that the UC had downloaded The Anarchist Cookbook.
The case follows a well-established pattern by the FBI: instead of disrupting terrorist plots, the agency creates them out of thin air using patsies, then publicly praises itself for stopping its own plots.
Earlier this year, for example, the alleged ISIS-inspired “plot” to bomb the U.S. Capitol involving 20-year-old Christopher Lee Cornell was in fact almost wholly contrived by the FBI.
Cornell, who still called his mother “mommy” and had a cat for a best friend, attracted the FBI’s attention when he started tweeting out support for ISIS.
“While it seems almost certain that the 20-year-old was just a loner making idiotic comments on the Internet, federal authorities saw an opportunity and set up a meeting with an FBI informant in Cincinnati over two days in October,” Paul Joseph Watson wrote.
Cornell was later accused of buying over $2000 in guns and ammunition to carry out the “plot,” but his father said there was no way he could have afforded it.
“Where did that money come from? Well, it came from the FBI,” John Cornell Sr. said. “They set him up.”
“They were taking him somewhere, and they were filling his head with a lot of this garbage,” he added.
The FBI also famously provided a wanna-be terrorist with dummy explosives loaded in a van personally chauffeured by an FBI agent to the intended blast site.
“Without the FBI, would the culprits commit violence on their own?” David K. Shipler with the New York Times asked.
Feinstein’s call for Internet censorship in response to the FBI’s latest bomb “plot” follows a centuries-old government strategy called “problem – reaction – solution” in which government officials manufacture a situation or take advantage of an existing one to scare the public into demanding predetermined “solutions,” in this case more Internet restrictions and more public support and funding for the FBI.
“Most of us unwittingly fall victim to it all too often and sadly if we don’t stop, we will continue to lose our free will and liberties,” journalist General Maddox wrote. “It has been widely used by our governments and corporations around the world.”
“You could say that in terms of controlling the masses, and society in general, its deployment has been an effective tool in keeping humanity in check.”