Thursday, December 11, 2014

Stoking the fears of Americans

GUEST: Bennett Weiss, human rights activist from Orange County, will talk about The Newburgh Four trial and subsequent documentary, “The Newburgh Sting.”

I am looking forward to seeing this movie at Vassar College this coming spring. How far our justice system has come, in promising people a quarter of a million dollars to plan crimes. 

The victims of this sting would never have done this themselves. The "ringleader" became vulnerable when he lost his job at Walmart, and turned to the undercover FBI agent for financial help. The agent did the rest, chose targets, ordered the fake guns, even drove the men to the attack site since they didn't have cars. It would be the plot of a Monty Python movie if it wasn't so disturbing. 

Ben was great in discussing the ramifications of an FBI allowed to fool vulnerable street people into plots that send them to prison for 25 years. Of course, it is all about building a positive image for the FBI, something the agency has always excelled at. But stoking the fears of Americans is also an important FBI goal. Without fear, American's might resist the destruction of their civil liberties. 

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