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FBI: Inventing the Terrorist Boogeyman

Protesters coaxed by federal agents into plotting terrorist attacks are imprisoned without bond while known terrorists are allowed to walk free the day of their arrest. The difference? Political ideology: The entrapped “criminals” are associates of the Occupy movement, while the actual terrorists are merely well-established violent white supremacists.

Rick Perlstein reports that the FBI is “inventing” terrorists out of dissidents it deems to be political and ideological enemies of the state while turning a blind eye to “known terrorist organizations.” –ARK

Rick Perlstein at Rolling Stone:

In all these law enforcement schemes the alleged terrorists masterminds end up seeming, when the full story comes out, unable to terrorize their way out of a paper bag without law enforcement tutelage. (“They teach you how to make all this stuff out of simple household items,” one of the kids says on a recording quoted in the FBI affidavit about a book he has just discovered, The Anarchist Cookbook. Someone asks him how much it says explosives cost. “I’m not sure,” he responds, “I just downloaded it last night.”) It’s a perfect example of how post-9/11 fear made law enforcement tactics seem acceptable that were previously beyond the pale. Previously, however, the targets have been Muslims; now they’re white kids from Ohio. And maybe you could argue that this is acceptable, if the feds were actually acting out of a good-faith assessment of what threats are imminent and which are not. But that’s not what they’re doing at all. Instead, they are arrogating to themselves a downright Orwellian power – the power to deploy the might of the State to shape a fundamental narrative about which ideas Americans must be most scared of, and which ones they should not fear much at all, independent of the relative objective dangerousness of the people who hold those ideas.

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