Therefore we should preserve the PATRIOT Act indefinitely, beef up electronic information sharing (presumably via legislation such as CISPA), and ask President Obama to issue an executive order establishing greater federal authority over domestic law enforcement, says the Heritage Foundation:
The best defense against all manners of terrorist threats, Islamist-inspired or otherwise, is to stop them before they occur by developing and maintaining effective counterterrorism, intelligence, and information-sharing programs. Thus, by employing an all-threats approach to counterterrorism, the Department of Homeland Security can protect against the many varied terrorist threats posed against the U.S.
It should, therefore, come as no surprise that this week’s thwarted anarchist plot was foiled in much the same way as many of the 50 thwarted Islamist-inspired plots since 9/11. While details have yet to be fully revealed, reports indicate that both the FBI and the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) played a role in the investigation of the Cleveland bomb plot. Since 9/11, both the FBI and JTTF have been involved in thwarting a large number of terrorist attacks, including the 2002 Islamist-inspired Lackawanna Six plot and the 2007 planned attack on JFK International Airport.
And not to burden you with too much meaningless wonkflap, but it’s passages like these that make me doubt how conservative those Heritage folks really are:
To aid future efforts, the U.S. should properly apportion roles and responsibilities among federal, state, and local government based on their resources (e.g., money, people, and experience). In order to clarify the domestic counterterrorism framework, the President should issue an executive order establishing a national domestic counterterrorism and intelligence framework that clearly articulates how intelligence operations at all levels should function to combat terrorism…
What do you want to bet that they won’t be releasing a similar issue brief about the perils of blank checks and no accountability for law enforcement agencies now that the facts of the case are coming out? From the Smoking Gun:
Azir, pictured in the mug shot at right, “has been working as a source for the FBI since July 20, 2011,” according to the U.S. District Court complaint filed yesterday against the alleged bomb plotters. Wearing a body recorder, Azir captured the five self-styled anarchists plotting to use C-4 explosive to take down a Cleveland-area bridge.
Azir arranged for the purchase of the C-4 from an undercover FBI agent. He also fronted the alleged conspirators money for the buy of the material, which had been rendered inert by federal investigators. If the bombing case goes to trial, defense lawyers will certainly portray the 6’ 5”, 350-pound Azir as the plot’s instigator, a snitch who pocketed the FBI’s money to help entrap the five defendants, who range in age from 20 to 35.
It’s not the first time the FBI has thwarted a terrorist threat it created itself. Not even close. But there are three things that make this case different from other high-profile persuade-and-enable stings:
- The terrorists in question are white Occupiers.
- The FBI clearly “enabled” their actions by selling them what was supposed to be C-4, but the persuasion part is less clear. Would they have actually taken violent action if the informant weren’t there to sell them the explosives? Judging by Jim Treacher’s posts, they look like goons (whatever that tells us), but who’s to know.
- The paid informant not only had a lengthy rap sheet, during his time as a snitch he was indicted twice for passing bad checks.
But it’s a fool’s errand to expect Heritage to shed its militarism and respond to the issues of privacy, separation of powers, use of taxpayer funds, and surveillance of domestic political movements raised by this case.