Sunday, January 26, 2014

Keystone (Undercover) Kops and the Lemonhead Gang

Hey, all I know is what I read in the Chicago Tribune.

State's Exhibit #1
Lemonhead® is a registered trademark of the
Ferrara Candy Company -- Chicago, IL
The facts coming out of the very expensive prosecution of three young men on "terrorism" charges are, well, sobering.
According to recordings played Thursday, the talk of explosives was first sparked when Chase dropped a Lemonhead candy into a beer he was drinking, creating a fizzing chemical reaction.  Church and Betterly then discussed how to build an "acid bomb" that could eat through the clothes of police officers.
Well, there's your problem right there.  Someone called the wrong gang of troublemakers.  Lemonheads? Lemonheads? Everyone knows that if you want to create real havoc, you have to use Mentos!!!

State's Exhibit #2
Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov (left)
of Russia drinking a co -- what's that? Oh . . . .
I blame it on the undercover cops -- Nadia "Gloves" Chikko and Mehmet "Mo" Uygum. Clearly they were not coaching their targets nearly effectively enough in how to be serious threats to public order.

Consider the recording of "Gloves" trying to talk the defendants into making explosives:
"Dude, we got Molotovs -- that's not whack," said the other undercover cop . . . .
Well, that's clearly ambiguous. Prospective bad guys could be forgiven for getting confused. And the response of defendant Church, indeed, showed that he was either not clear on what was going on, not serious, not terribly practical, or some combination of the three:
"We can use vodka!"
State's Exhibit #3
Unindicted co-conspirator
As Dave Barry says, I'm not making this up.

The three defendants -- known as the "NATO 3" -- talked about other things, as well, under the encouragement of the undercover agents.  Marbles projected by slingshots . . . homemade potato launchers . . . a message to be sent to Mayor Emanuel by attaching it to an arrow shot through the window of his house. As one reads the descriptions of the court proceedings, one can't help imagining their influences -- Marbles: Huck Finn? or the tin soldier scene in "Babes in Toyland"? Arrow-through-the-window: clearly Robin Hood but . . . Errol Flynn? or Disney? -- though I'm still trying to figure the potato launcher out.

State's Exhibit #4
ACME Brand "Instant Havoc" supplies . . .
. . . ordered by "Mo" and "Gloves" . . . .
According to their testimony, the two undercover police officers -- the leading edge of a team of police that at times numbered 16 -- focused on the Brent Betterly, Jared Chase, and Brian Church because they felt they had the greatest chance of proving criminal activity against the three, compared to anyone else they had observed in "more than two months investigating the protest movement" planning antiwar marches, teach-ins, and other activities during the May, 2012, meeting in Chicago of the NATO military alliance.  Pretty slim pickin's.

The funniest -- or, perhaps, saddest -- detail to come out in court proceedings was that when the alleged miscreants were urged to target Barack Obama's re-election headquarters, they couldn't locate it using the Internet.  Now, in the first place, this is hard to believe because during that period there were almost daily protests in front of the Obama campaign headquarters on Randolph St. just east of Michigan. But-- dude! -- this points to a much larger problem: how could they wreak havoc on the city if they couldn't figure out how to go to the Acme website and order their supplies? (The answer, like everything else in this "case" is . . . with a little help from their undercover cop friends.)

The serious side of the NATO 3 prosecution

People's Exhibit #1
Cook County Jail
The NATO 3 prosecution sounds like a comedy of errors, and in many ways it is. But there are at least four things about it at that are deadly serious and should serve as a call to action for people who care about liberty and justice.

Number One,  the NATO 3 have been held for nearly two years due to on exorbitantly high bail in the hell-hole known as the Cook County Jail.  Not only should there be compensation, but this should shine a bright light on the approximately 10,000 people held there largely as a manipulative means to compel plea bargains. (See Free Them All)

People's Exhibit #2
A pattern of entrapment.
Number Two, the plot to ensnare these three young men is just the tip of the iceberg in a nationwide epidemic of efforts at entrapment and prosecutions by a range of law enforcement agencies.

The new modus operandus is to find someone who is very suggestible and then work on them and work on them until they are badgered into being part of some kind of scheme or plot. 

As documented by Trevor Aaronson in his book, The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism, the FBI and other government agencies are the single largest planner of terrorist acts in the United States.

People's Exhibit #3
Hands off our young people!
Number Three, anybody who is a parent should think about what's really going on here. How would you like it if someone were egging your kid on, trying perhaps to get them to make the jump from playing video games in which they pretend to hurt people to pulling the trigger of an actual weapon. If you don't think it goes on all day long in Chicago, take a look at what military recruiters are doing in our city schools. (See Chicago Needs Schools for Education, not for War and Occupation)

People's Exhibit #4
"The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today"
Number Four, the way this all started was the invitation that Barack Obama's right-hand man, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, extended to the most terrorizing military alliance in the history of the earth to come to Chicago and plan how to use its weapons and armies. Where's the prosecution of that violence? (See War, War Protests, and "Technology")

There are some prosecutions that should be going on, all right, but the prosecutions that should be happening are of people in the criminal justice system who are perpetuating the wrongful imprisonment of thousands of people in this country . . . people who are abusing investigative power to entrap ordinary citizens . . . people who are luring our kids into the military . . . and people who are using U.S. military might to assault people all over the world and commit war crimes.

Related posts

I predict that by the time the NATO3 trial is over, people will be saying, "Before Edward Snowden, before the revelations about the NSA, we already had clear signs that the US government wanted total surveillance over us.  Just look at how they reacted the minute they started to see dissent from the general public: the Occupy Movement."

(See What I Learned About Obama's Surveillance State at the NATO3 Show Trial )

Guantanamo and Chicago '68 live in the public's subconscious, where they lurk in the shadows, threatening anyone who has a dissenting thought. It's time we dragged those images out into the open, forcing people to consciously address the way people are being intentionally terrorized by our government. Only if we can do this -- put a name to the threat -- will the ordinary Chicagoan wake up and say, "You expect me to be intimidated? HELL NO!"

(See Twin Specters of Repression in America)

People are now beginning to understand that the solution is not to delegate our well-being to our political "representatives." We all have to take part directly, and we all have to keep at it. It will take sustained resistance to stop the abuses of our government. If you've read this far, you've probably realized that you now need to be part of the resistance, too.

(See got police state?)