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What you need to know for 04/23/2017

How far was terrorist an FBI creation?

How far was terrorist an FBI creation?

Another case of what a friend calls law-enforcement-assisted terrorism — a Moroccan dude arrested on

Another case of what a friend calls law-enforcement-assisted terrorism — a Moroccan dude arrested on a charge of attempting to suicide-bomb the Capitol in Washington.

You have to read the FBI affidavit on which the criminal charge is based to discern that the dude, 29-year-old Amine El Khalifi, worked on his terrorist plot with two government agents, unbeknown to him, of course, and you have no way of knowing to what extent those two agents encouraged, coached and egged him into being enough of a wannabe terrorist that they could arrest him.

If this case is like many before it, the answer is “plenty.”

In other cases the guy working for the government was some low-life Muslim criminal that the FBI got its hooks into and persuaded to cooperate in exchange for favorable treatment, like not getting deported. Such a character would be identified in court papers as a “confidential informant” but in fact functioned as an agent provocateur, making things happen rather than passively reporting on what was happening anyway.

We don’t yet know the details in this case. The FBI affidavit identifies one of the government people as an “undercover law enforcement officer” going by the name of Yusuf, which I take to mean he was actually an FBI or other employee and not just a scuzzball picked out of jail. The other is referred to only as “Hussein,” not further identified, so presumably was one of those “confidential informants.”

They talked holy war with Khalifi, drove him around, provided him with mock explosives and an inoperable weapon, and cooperated with him in planning the suicide attack inside the Capitol.

We won’t know exactly who said what unless the case goes to trial and the government plays its surreptiously recorded tapes.

At this point, in the FBI’s affidavit, we have only the FBI’s own paraphrases of what Khalifi supposedly said, all of which is extremely damning. We do not have his own words.

The paraphrases, I’m sorry to say, along with the FBI’s own summary of the case, have been reported in newspapers and on television as uncontested truth, with no questions raised about the government’s possible role in promoting pretend-terrorism so as to make arrests and appear to be protecting the American people.

I am not happy with this state of affairs, but I must say I’m becoming used to it.

The government lures some marginal Muslim character into a terrorist plot of its own devising and then arrests him in the nick of time, to the acclaim of the news media.

I can’t say I blame them for doing it over and over, they get such splendid results.

More Kateri

Please, don’t anyone have a hemorrhage, but here is an update to the ongoing story of the Mohawk Indian girl, Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680), who will become a saint on Oct. 21.

First I noticed that the Times Union did a pleasant story about the pending sainthood over the weekend without describing the miracle that is supposed to justify it, which in the news business is like writing a story about a police officer getting a medal for heroism without mentioning the heroic act that the officer performed.

The story just said, credulously, “Claims were vetted by Vatican investigators and she was credited with miracles after intervening on behalf of faithful supplicants who sought healing.”

What miracles? Why not tell us?

Second, this newspaper did mention the alleged miracle (singular, not plural) but mistakenly reported that the beneficiary of it, a young boy by the name of Jake Finkbonner, “completely healed” from the infection that had been devouring his face.

Alas, he did not completely heal. He was left severely disfigured, as you can verify through Google Images.

Neither story mentioned the fact that the boy received intensive medical treatment at one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country, Seattle Children’s Hospital, which might possibly have had something to do with his surviving.

They mentioned the prayers, they didn’t mention the antibiotics.

Finally, if I may toot my own horn, I believe I am the only journalist in the free world who has raised the question of why, if there is an invisible being up in the sky capable of stopping that little boy’s infection at the behest of a long-dead Indian girl he did not completely heal him. It seems to me a basic question, just from a journalistic point of view, and one that we would certainly ask of a doctor who was so situated. I have Google-searched and Google-searched, and I can’t find it asked in any newspaper but this one.

Word Watch

From The New York Times we have the following statements in an article about teacher evaluations:

-- “He felt that he had no choice but to follow the strict guidelines of the state’s complicated rubric.”

-- “... teachers would not be assessed on metrics based on how much growth students showed ...”

-- “... evaluators must measure the same number of data points...”

Which I quote to illustrate the adoption of bureaucratic jargon by even the best of our newspapers — rubric, metrics, data points. It makes my head ache.

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