Draped across the throat of our nation like a lank noose about to be pulled taut is a system of 102 Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs). These entities, which could properly be called homeland security soviets, combine state and local police with FBI Special Agents, covert operatives from the CIA, personnel from various directorates of the Department of Homeland Security, and investigators from the IRS.
The FBI, which is the lead agency for domestic counter-terrorism and spends about two-thirds of its advertised $4 billion budget on terrorism-related matters, has assigned 2,000 agents to the various JTTFs. Digging a bit deeper into the FBI's budget, Professor Alexandra Natapoff of Loyola Law School (Los Angeles) discovered that the Bureau maintains an army of at least 15,000 “confidential informants”; the Drug Enforcement Administration admits to having 4,000 snitches on its payroll. But the number of informants working directly for the Feds is probably only a tiny fraction of the entire stukachi* population, given the uncounted masses of snitches working for state and local police agencies.
Weird? Sure. A terrorist? Well ... no: Clinton Udet Picknert was arrested by a Joint Terrorism Task Force late last year for shining a pocket laser at airplanes as they approached an airport in El Paso. That's cost-effective law enforcement!
I'm beginning to suspect that the second most important purpose of the “war on drugs,” the first being the creation of a self-replenishing revenue stream for the Regime, is the generation of a similarly self-replenishing pool of potential informants. Drug offenders, both petty and prodigious, make terrific snitches, and even better provocateurs.
The vast and growing snitching subculture, notes Profess Natapoff, is one in which “secret negotiations lead to the application of secret rules in which crimes are forgiven, or resurrected, by state actors without defense counsel, judicial review, or public scrutiny.” Many black communities “are being infused with snitches and ... informing has become a way of life. Active informants impose their criminality on their community, while at the same time compromising the privacy and peace of mind of families, friends, and neighbors.”
Most snitches are free to commit certain “authorized” crimes, and many quite predictably commit various “unauthorized” crimes, as well. The system is constructed so as to attract not only common criminals, but also a certain breed of nihilist. Natapoff explains that in the snitching system, “the individual willing to sacrifice friends, family, and associates fares better than the loyalist.”
This is entirely predictable, since snitches work for the State, an idol that will countenance no contending loyalties.
In previous installments, we've examined how the Regime frequently deploys “Cooperating Sources” as provocateurs to manufacture supposed terrorist threats. In a lengthy and exceptionally well-researched investigative piece, the current issue of Rolling Stone (of all things) describes, in detail, how the 102 FBI-directed JTTFs act as a federal “Fear Factory” by “using paid informants to cajole and inveigle targets ... into pursuing their harebrained schemes.”
A potent illustration is provided by the career of William Chrisman, aka “Jameel,” a “Cooperating Source” who helped entrap a pathetic, homeless schlep from Rockford, Illinois named Derek Shareef. In November 2006 Mr. Shareef was a socially maladjusted 22-year-old American Muslim working as a clerk in a video game store. He didn't have a car or a permanent address, let alone military training or the means to acquire weaponry or explosives.
One day, “Jameel” showed up at Shareef's video store and struck up a conversation. Shortly thereafter Shareef moved in with his new “friend” and his three wives, who nurtured whatever radical impulses dwelt inside the young man's heart. At every opportunity, “Jameel” encouraged Shareef to indulge in jihadist fantasies, some of which displayed (as Rolling Stone correspondent Guy Lawson points out) “an ambivalence unusual in a suicide bomber hellbent on murdering civilians.” For instance: When “Jameel” asked about a “time frame” for an attack on a local government building, Shareef suggested the Christmas holidays, when potential victims would be scarce. “Hell, we ain't gotta hit nobody – just blow the place up,” Shareef pointed out.
But this wasn't sufficient for “Jameel”'s designs. He continued to cultivate radicalism in his hapless target, marinating him in talk of violent jihad and hatred for America and the Jews. At last the two of them settled on a plot to set off hand grenades at a local shopping mall. Shareef was arrested “without incident” in a parking lot where he expected to trade stereo speakers for a handgun and four hand grenades.
In the federal indictment, the hand grenades Shareef was manipulated into seeking were referred to – without irony – as “weapons of mass destruction.” Last November he pleaded guilty to that charge, and faces the prospect of 30 years to life in prison. The headline of a typical story about this episode claims that an “FBI sting thwart[ed]” Shareef's plans. In fact, there was no mall bombing plot until Shareef fell under the influence of FBI “Cooperating Source” William Chrisman.
The FBI, perhaps embarrassed by the thinness of its case against Shareef, insists that he was part of a much vaster plot involving his Muslim friend, a Navy veteran named Hassan Abu-Jihaad. The two of them supposedly had detailed intelligence on US naval activities in the Persian Gulf, and allegedly plotted to attack US military facilities in Arizona and San Diego.
Abu-Jihaad, who has been indicted on terrorism-related charges, admits discussing the concept of “defensive Jihad” with Shareef – that is, the idea that Muslims would be allowed to stage attacks on military facilities in the event that they were rounded up and detained therein. It's likely that similar conversations have taken place among some politically disenchanted Americans who are not Muslims. I certainly hope so, in any case.
But as Abu-Jihaad told the FBI's “Cooperating Source” in his case, “I ain't no jihadi.” That informant, whom Abu-Jihadd dismissed as an “idiot” and a liar, was the same “Jameel” who set up Shareef – William Chrisman.
An AP profile of Chrisman paints him as a public-spirited Muslim patriot who “walked into an FBI office and offered his services” after 9-11, and who “has since helped out on several cases.” Oh, sure, there is the small matter of his past as a crack dealer, and (more importantly) his prison term for armed robbery and auto theft. Chrisman, who converted to Islam in prison, has three wives and nine children to support, and a prison record that makes it difficult to find adequate employment. I suspect this is a recipe for just the kind of desperation the FBI finds useful in an informant/provocateur.
This guy didn't agree to become a "Cooperating Source" -- that is, a snitch/provocateur. Look what it got him.
Here's something else to consider. Chrisman's profile – except for the multiple marriages and large brood of children – is similar to that of another prison convert to Islam, Jose Padilla. It's a matter of record that the FBI was seeking to recruit Padilla as an informant and, most likely, provocateur. Padilla refused, and as a result was designated an “enemy combatant,” confined without trial or formal charges for more than three years, tortured, and railroaded into a 17-year prison term after a trial worthy of Moscow circa 1939.
I cannot prove, but I have no doubt, that those recruited as counter-terrorism “Confidential Sources” for the FBI are presented with two stark possibilities. They can do whatever the Feds command – betray friends, incite terrorist plots, set up helpless people – and be paid handsomely, as Chrisman was. Or they can reject that option and receive the Padilla Treatment. And those who choose the first option are probably given frequent reminders that the Feds can subject them to Option Two at any time of their choosing.
Fishing for informants: The front of a tri-fold pamphlet produced in the late 1990s by a Joint Terrorism Task Force in Phoenix. The inside, which lists potential threats (a category that includes various "right-wingers," but not Islamic radicals), is found below. (Click to enlarge.)
In case after case, the Feds have winnowed a handful of eccentrics from Muslim communities and used a provocateur to create a “terrorist conspiracy.” But they're not focusing exclusively on Muslims.
Take the case of Hal Turner, a splenetic neo-Nazi blatherskite who – because of the needs of the ADL, SPLC, and other self-anointed watchdog groups – was able to punch well above his weight as an Internet broadcaster. Turner ceaselessly extolled the putative virtues of “patriotic assassination,” urged the murder of interracial couples and Jews, and generally did his best to foment violence and mayhem.
“If I had to assess my role in the world,” Turner once wrote on his website, “I think I would be ... an inspiration to a whole slew of Timothy McVeighs! I don't make bombs, I make bombers.” Turner insisted that his legions of devoted followers would wreak an awful vengeance on the Feds if they were to “take [him] out.”
As it happens, the Feds apparently did take Turner out, after a fashion: He effectively disappeared a few weeks ago, just after it was revealed that ...
... wait for it ...
... wait for it ...
Turner was actually an informant for a Joint Terrorism Task Force in New Jersey. His handler was an FBI Special Agent named Stephen M. Haug.
Hackers exhumed an e-mail exchange between Turner and Haug (sounds a bit like the title of a canine-enhanced “buddy movie,” doesn't it?) in which the former reported that a death threat against Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold had been posted on Turner's website. Significantly, Feingold had been identified by Turner as one of 46 senators “who I believed should be removed from office” -- by way of assassination.
The face of a stukach: FBI neo-Nazi informant/provocateur Hal Turner.
“Once again, my fierce rhetoric has helped flush out a possible crazy,” Turner boasted with the puerile pride of a toddler who just went potty all by himself.
More to the point: Once again we see an FBI provocateur behind a purported political murder plot.
All of this savors strongly of COINTELPRO, the FBI's decades-long program of infiltration, surveillance, and provocation intended to disrupt anti-Establishment movements and organizations.
Among those targeted by COINTELPRO, James Ridgeway and Jean Casella recall, were “civil rights, anti-war, student, and women’s liberation groups, as well as the John Birch Society and the Ku Klux Klan.”
“During this period, the bureau tapped phones, opened mail, planted bugs, and burglarized homes and offices,” continue Ridgeway and Casella. “At least 26,000 individuals were at one point catalogued on an FBI list of persons to be rounded up in the event of a `national emergency.' In the end, the Bureau conducted more than half a million investigations of so-called subversives and maintained files on well over a million Americans-all of this without a single conviction for a criminal act.”
The Bureau supposedly got out of this Stalinist business in the early 1970s. Assuming, for the moment, that they actually did, they've more than made up for lost time since the current “counter-terrorism” campaign began in 1995, following the Oklahoma City Bombing – the consummation of a plot, let's not forget, that gestated in Elohim City, a neo-Nazi commune overrun with “Cooperating Sources” in the employ of three-letter agencies.
FBI Special Agent Lundgren told Rolling Stone that the JTTFs are governed by “the Dick Cheney one percent solution”: If there is just a one percent chance that a terrorist incident can occur, “then we have to treat our response as if there were a 100 percent chance.”
Of course, where no evidence of a plot exists, the Feds stack the odds by employing provocateurs who supply the missing “one percent chance.”
In the comments thread below, Pat Hiver ** refers us to the terrific "Winter Patriot" blog, has more information about, and a photograph of, the detestable provocateur and "entrapment specialist" William Chrisman.
The above-mentioned Hal Turner has also weighed in with what appears to be a form letter of sorts defending what passes for his honor. While I certainly want Mr. Turner to have his say, he should be advised that the rules of decorum here don't generally permit unexpurgated vulgarity of the sort found in his missive.
I was informed today that arrangements are being made to sell Liberty in Eclipse through Amazon.com. However... It is available right now through The Right Source.
** In the first version of the update, Mr. Hiver was mistakenly referred to as the author/publisher of the Winter Patriot blog.
Dum spiro, pugno!