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March 19, 2013

The FBI's anticipatory prosecution of Muslims to criminalize speech

The FBI's current crusade against Muslim Americans is exactly like the COINTELPRO of the 70s. And just as illegal. The FBI's anticipatory prosecution of Muslims to criminalize speech | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Please re-read those last two highlighted sentences, as this is exactly what is happening again now: systematically and without much notice. Over the past decade, US Muslims have been routinely targeted with precisely this same tactic of preemptive or anticipatory prosecution. It's all designed to take people engaged in political and religious advocacy which the US government dislikes - usually very young and impressionable Muslims with zero criminal history, though increasingly non-Muslims engaged in other forms of dissent - and use paid informants to trick them into saying just enough to turn them into criminals who are then prosecuted and imprisoned for decades. The same pattern repeats itself over and over. The FBI ensnares some random Muslim in a garden-variety criminal investigation involving financial fraud or drugs. Rather than prosecute him, the FBI puts the Muslim criminal suspect on its payroll, sending him into Muslim communities and mosques in order not only to spy on American Muslims, but to befriend them and then actively manipulate them into saying just enough to make their prosecution possible. At times, the FBI's informants have been so unstable and aggressive in trying to recruit members to join Terrorist plots that the targeted mosque members themselves have reported the informant to the FBI. Time and again, at the direction of these paid provocateurs who know that their ongoing payments depend upon enabling prosecutions, young Muslims in their late teens or early twenties end up saying something hostile about the US and/or statements that are otherwise politically offensive. The DOJ takes those inflammatory political statements and combines them with evidence of commitment to Islam to depict the target as a dangerous jihadist. They use the same small set of government-loyal "terrorism experts" who earn an ample living testifying for the government and telling juries that unremarkable indicia of Islam are "typical" of Terrorists. Federal judges, notorious for subservience to the government in cases involving Muslims and Terrorism, go out of their way to allow even the most dubious government evidence while excluding the huge bulk of the defendant's.

March 12, 2013

New York cop convicted of plotting to kill and eat women

The guy didn't actually attack anyone. He stalked them online, but didn't physically harm anyone. And he gets *life* in prison? I mean, if the dude is really a cannibal cop that's pretty awful. But it seems weird to give someone life in prison when they didn't actually harm anyone. ‘Cannibal cop’ convicted
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City police officer was convicted Tuesday of charges he plotted to kidnap and cook women to dine on their “girl meat” — a macabre case that subjected jurors to often gory evidence and asked them to separate fantasy from reality. The Manhattan jury reached the verdict in federal court at the kidnapping conspiracy trial of Officer Gilberto Valle, a 28-year-old father with an admitted fetish for talking on the Internet about cannibalism. Valle’s lawyers, at what the tabloids dubbed the “Cannibal Cop” trial, chose not to hide what they called his “weird proclivities.” But they insisted that he was just fantasizing and noted that none of the women were ever harmed. Valle bowed his head and looked teary-eyed when the verdict was announced. He hugged his lawyer, Julia Gatto, who said later that she and Valle had been crying. “It’s a devastating verdict for us. We poured our hearts and souls into this,” Gatto said of a defense team that all dropped their heads when the verdict was announced.

When we free an innocent man from jail, why don't we look at the people who put him there?

When an innocent man is sent to prison for, say, a murder (and is later exculpated by DNA evidence or whathaveyou) why don't we go back and look at the cops, attorneys, and judges who obliterated an innocent taxpayer's life while simultaneously letting an actual murderer walk free? Isn't that a big deal? Oakland Tribune editorial: Innocent man free, but justice not yet served - Inside Bay Area
Ronald Ross walked out of prison last week after serving six years for a crime he didn't commit. While there's cause for celebration that an innocent man was set free, justice was not served. An Oakland police detective, now retired, conducted an inept investigation. An Alameda County deputy district attorney, still on the job, blindly prosecuted the wrong man. Three people who testified at trial apparently committed perjury. And someone has gotten away with attempted murder. A lot of people have a lot of explaining to do. . . . Which brings us to the next issue: How did this happen? The detective, then-Sgt. Steven Lovell, was simply lazy. The shooting victim said three people knocked on his door and that one of them shot him. The victim identified one of the men, yet Lovell never pursued the lead. Instead he placed pictures of Ross, whose mother happened to live in the neighborhood 10 years earlier, and five other men in a photo lineup showed to the victim as he lay in a hospital bed with a morphine drip. The victim identified another man, but Lovell urged him to look again. It was then that he picked out Ross. From there, things snowballed. . . .