Defreitas: Not Simply an Idiot, but a Useful Idiot
“The recently publicized terrorist plot to blow up John F. Kennedy International Airport, like so many of the terrorist plots over the past few years, is a study in alarmism and incompetence: on the part of the terrorists, our government and the press,” writes Bruce Schneier for Wired.
Schneier concludes that the corporate media is “just as deluded as Defreitas,” the supposed “homegrown terrorist” nabbed before the plot came to fruition. Of course, as Schneier explains, the
However, Bruce Schneier is mistaken when he states the corporate media is “just as deluded as Defreitas.” Schneier would have us believe the corporate media has all the reasoning of a five year old, that is to say precious little. In fact, the corporate media is tasked with selling the Brothers Grimm fantasy of Islamic terrorism to an often witless public, apparently ready to believe any sort of nonsense trotted out as “evidence” terrorists, now “homegrown,” hate us for our freedoms.
Mr. Schneier continues:
In regard to the latter, Ed Strong writes, and not for the New York Times, there “is every indication that this … purported terrorist threat—described by some media outlets as ‘even bigger than September 11′—was manufactured by the FBI, which used an undercover agent posing as a terrorist mastermind to entrap those targeted for arrest.” In addition, Strong writes about other sting operations pawned off on a gullible public, all too willing to swallow the propaganda bait hook, line, and sinker:
In the JFK “plot,” the FBI “had an inside man, an undercover operative who videotaped and recorded conversations with the suspects. He flew to Guyana with the suspects where the FBI says they tried to contact some Islamist groups. He helped them case the airport,” according to Dina Temple-Raston, writing for NPR. “The FBI’s inside man was a twice-convicted drug dealer. He was helping the FBI in the hope that it would reduce his own prison sentence. Former federal prosecutor and Miami lawyer Neal Sonnett said the informant could have changed the tenor of the investigation because he had a lot at stake.”
“By all accounts, the informant gave a masterful performance that appeared to shape the plot’s development: After winning the confidence of the 63-year-old Guyanese-born U.S. citizen, the Source repeatedly drove Defreitas, who had no car or money, to conduct airport “surveillance,” bought plane tickets for the two of them, as well as a third man, to fly to Trinidad last month, and trumpeted his jihadist sympathies, declaring that the greatest way for a Muslim to die was as a martyr, say court papers,” Newsday reported on June 10.
As Bill Van Auken wrote a few days before, the corporate media had a field day portraying the easily duped patsy Defreitas, a man who often struggled with homelessness, as a threat:
As Paul Joseph Watson notes, the JFK case reveals “that the terror threat has been overhyped and magnified a thousand-fold for political propaganda,” a fact demonstrated “by documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act that show only 0.0015 percent of the total number of cases filed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were terrorism related, despite the fact that the Bush administration has repeatedly asserted that it is the primary focus of the DHS.”
In 2004, writing for Counterpunch, Bruce Schneier hit the nail squarely on the head: “There are two basic ways to terrorize people. The first is to do something spectacularly horrible, like flying airplanes into skyscrapers and killing thousands. The second is to keep people living in fear through constant threat warnings, security checks, rhetoric, and stories of terrorist plots foiled by the diligent work of the increasingly intrusive Department of Homeland Security.”
Of course, it helps if “spectacularly horrible” events are orchestrated by the government precisely “to keep people living in fear.” It also helps when the FBI burns the midnight oil, cranking out one fantastical plot after another, with the help of convicted drug dealers, and the corporate media, with yellow journalist Rupert Murdoch taking the lead, turns such questionable nonsense into easily digestible pabulum to be inserted between “stories” about Britney’s “wardrobe mishap” and the “judicial travesty” of Paris Hilton’s jail sentence.
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