"Portland Patsy" serves as impetus for rejoining terrorism task force.
An editorial by Tony Cartalucci
What should you do when your government's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) contacts, trains, and unleashes a "terrorist" to try to blow up your city's Christmas tree and thousands of bystanders using an FBI-made bomb? Hand over your city's security to the FBI of course.
In 2005, Portland became the first city in the United States to withdraw from the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, (JTTF) over concerns it would threaten civil liberties. Perhaps these concerns were well founded considering the recent case of Mohamed Osman Mohamud.
Mohamud was approached by the FBI, then assisted in building two bombs, one which was actually test detonated in a Lincoln County park, and another inert device that was driven to Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square late November. Mohamud attempted to detonate the bomb remotely before being arrested by waiting law enforcement officers. Since Portland opted out of the JTTF, the FBI felt no need to tell the city's mayor of their plans, and instead left the crescendo of the operation a startling and humiliating surprise.
In what appears to be blatant entrapment, the FBI has indeed confirmed Portland's worst fears regarding federal agents overstepping their bounds. Portland Mayor Sam Adams was one of the city commissioners who voted to withdraw from the JTTF in 2005. He claimed in an interview with NPR's "All Things Considered" that a lack of court oversight, lack of due process, the prospect of profiling being employed, and the Bush administration's policies at the time were all factors in his decision.
However Mayor Adams now seems confident that the "new administration" can be trusted and that Mohamud will receive a fair trial. Citing this latest operation as proof that Portland's terrorism risk is now higher, Mayor Adams is seriously considering rejoining the FBI's JTTF. To Mayor Adams' credit, he is insistent on the issue of due process before a civilian court. What is unknown are the special skills Mayor Adams believes the FBI has that Portland police lack, or how Portland police could have "foiled" a bomb plot hatched from start to finish by the FBI in the first place.
Adding yet another item to a long list of motives, the FBI may have taken a page from the mafia's playbook and overturned the proverbial shopkeeper's shelves in an attempt to get him to pay into their protection racket. An agency that sneaks around constructing and detonating bombs, allowing an inert device to be delivered next to a public crowd of thousands, all resulting in a high-profile arrest leaving the Mayor of Portland looking humiliatingly ignorant, is an agency with an agenda, not an agency performing its duties. Mayor Adams should be thankful the FBI didn't decide to go with a real explosive as they did in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in order to make their point.
Where this goes from here is ultimately up to the people of Portland. They can demand that decisions regarding their city never be based on what Media Monarchy calls "terronoia" manufactured by the FBI. They can demand that their own police be given the resources they need to serve and protect their community within the confines of the Constitution and according to their own local values. They should support Mayor Adams on his original stance, as he was right the first time and still occupies the moral high ground. There is real terrorism indeed and it is trying to force people like Mayor Adams to compromise on his convictions and concede that moral high ground.