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Old May 4 2012, 04:47 PM   #46
stj
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Re: Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

My mother gave me a Geneva Bible, the Bible used by the Pilgrims, and its supplemental materials includes the Magna Carta. Plainly, the notion that the Magna Carta played a key role in defining English liberties and that these liberties were part of the heritage of the founders of America, a Christian nation based on England, is not unique to Yevetha. It was obviously held by the publishers of this edition of the Bible and by the people who sold this inclusion of the Magna Carta as an asset, a kind of political statement. It is indeed very likely that the notion the Magna Carta was a keystone in English freedom is more or less imaginary, but it was a traditional notion. Apparently as society regresses, old myths are being consciously revived.

My distaste for anarchists is probably founded on different grounds than others. I will say in their defense that anarchists are too smart to fall for Austrian economics and/or Objectivism, which makes them smarter than libertarians. Also, they at least have the courage of their convictions, which also puts them ahead of libertarians. Libertarians tend to be overdressed and overgroomed, but that's not even a moral standard, is it?
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Old May 4 2012, 04:58 PM   #47
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Re: Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

Anarchism and libertarianism are two words for the same thing. Take Chomsky, you could call him a left-libertarian or a socialist anarchist, it boils down to the same thing.
The flaw of this strain of political thought, independent of whether we talk about a left or right incarnation of anarchy/libertarianism, is the dogmatic attitude that the state is bad. First of all, the state is not a monolithic institution so it can hardly be totally good or bad. What matters is that public institutions work well. Secondly, the big problems of this century, financial order, overpopulation and climate change, cannot be solved without more international cooperation and tight worldwide rules. Some spontaneously creative, direct democratic council kind of thing doesn't do the trick, we need the state for it.
That's also why I like Trek, it is a left vision of the future but not an anarchic one, discipline and hierarchy are necessary.
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Old May 4 2012, 05:01 PM   #48
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Re: Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

Yevetha wrote: View Post
Tonante:
That would suggest that Yevetha could acknowledge that he made a mistake. I have yet to see evidences of that.
Show me anybody else in here acknowledging a mistake.
I always acknowledge my mistake. As a scientist, it's second nature to me. On the other hand, I am rarely wrong.
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Old May 4 2012, 11:59 PM   #49
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Re: Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

Again, the notion that Magna Carta was a milestone in the development of the English liberties that were carried to America by the English settlers is an old one. I agree that it was wrong then and is wrong now. But referring to Magna Carta isn't a crude error, much less some cracked idea out of left field, it's a talking point in conservative propaganda. What really is a crude error, a nutty idea out of left field, is the tacit conclusion that entrapment is morally right. Playing "gotcha" on an irrelevancy isn't good discussion.

Libertarians and anarchists are indeed closely related, but libertarians generally accept the need for a state for the defense of property. Some libertarians propose that defense of property (which in their view is the fundamental human right) can be carried out by local courts or arbiters whose jurisdiction is voluntarily accepted by the parties. This is their version of a democratic state, neutral arbiter in the class struggle. It is at best an illusion.

Another way of putting it is that libertarians can and do often join the Republican Party. Their distinctively libertarian stuff of course never comes to fruition, but their defense of property is carried out ferociously. Anarchists never join the Republican Party, though I can't say they very often join the Democratic Party either.

PS "Assuming it's inevitable that such a 'wannabe' would one day end up as part of some kind of plot." The so-called plotters in these cases have always depended upon the FBI for every step towards criminal action. How many people are likely to volunteer to bring a bomb to a group of anarchists? That's why it's called entrapment. Strictly speaking, entrapment as I recall is illegal, but the US justice system is full of respected conservative jurists who love the law. This means they hate the concept of justice and will break any statute or precedent to serve what they think is the necessary interest of the state.
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Old May 5 2012, 01:41 AM   #50
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Re: Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

stj, if you believe that what we've been discussing is entrapment, then what is your view on police detectives pretending to be underage girls in online chat (for the purposes of catching the pervs trying to chat them up)?
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Old May 5 2012, 02:17 AM   #51
horatio83
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Re: Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

Where is the crime, they chat with an adult pretending to be a minor and not with a minor.

You obviously still haven't understood that this kind of preemptive nonsense has little to do justice. Well, perhaps with autocratic or fascist "justice" but certainly not with democratic justice.
The job of the police is not to provoke crimes. Or do you think it would be OK if police officers visited everybody who owns a weapon abd insulted or even attacked him in order to verify whether he is a potential murderer? It's a short line from what you think constitutes justice to thought crime.
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Old May 5 2012, 02:20 AM   #52
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Re: Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

horatio83 wrote: View Post
Where is the crime, they chat with an adult pretending to be a minor and not with a minor.
But the pervs don't know that. They are actively trolling for victims.

And the undercover cop doesn't initiate the topic of sex. They always wait for the perv to do it.
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Old May 5 2012, 02:32 AM   #53
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Re: Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

And where is the crime when an adult chats with another adult who pretends to be a minor? That's like trying to catch a white-collar business criminal asshole via showing that he did nasty things with Monopoly money.
Not that the latter wouldn't make more sense as most sexual violence occurs at home or among people who know each other. So statistics suggest that we should rather supervise each and every father and check whether he rapes his children.

Good intentions do not suffice to create justice, once you go down the preemptive road you end up in hell.
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Old May 5 2012, 06:14 AM   #54
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Re: Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

^You do realize that those guys aren't arrested on the grounds of chatting up what they think is a minor.... they get arrested for showing up some place where they're expected to have sex with a minor.

Jumping back to a previous point of yours, you are absolutely right that it's not the job of the police to provoke crimes. Fortunately, that is also not how stings and undercover operations generally work. They're not trying to get someone to commit a crime, they're trying to get into the middle of a crime- essentially, they're trying to get involved, for a lack of a better way to put it. Since it seems to be the example of the hour, we'll go back to the example of adults chatting up supposed-children. The cops don't go out online making offers and waiting to see if someone will bite... they make accounts with personal information indicating that they're a young teen and they wait for someone to contact them and make the move.

If the cops can get themselves into the middle of these crimes- whether it be child molestation, terrorism, drug deals, whatever- and enable themselves to pre-emptively shut it down, why shouldn't they do it?
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Old May 5 2012, 01:40 PM   #55
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Re: Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

If an adult meets with another adult while expecting to have sex with a minor he might be guilty of a thought crime and we might rightly loathe the son of a bitch ... but he has not committed a crime.

About the other issue, if the police supplies criminals with weapons or even becomes part of their organization you move into a grey area.
Over here a nazi party is heavily infiltrated by an intelligence service in order to gather information. When a process to forbid this very party (notice that there is public party funding over here, hence the possibility to shut down political parties) was initiated it failed precisely because the party has been so heavily infiltrated, because it was not clear whether the governmental agents are basically agent provocateurs.
Nowadays it is clear that the very people who sent plenty of agents into this nazi party are, loosely speaking, sympathizers who thus supplied the party with money, man power and so on.
I think in the US there are similar historical cases where the CIA got involved into drug trafficking while officially implementing a war against drug agenda.

These two examples which came up are not incidentally tabloid style crimes instead of major problems. As I already said, most sexual violence occurs in families or among people who know each other and Islam fundamentalism is a problem which is heavily overblown since 9/11 and misused to bend basic democratic principles.
Doesn't it strike you as mildly strange that we basically punish thought crimes since 9/11? Everybody can say whatever nasty things he wants to under freedom of speech but if the guy is a Sunni extremist we lock him up or even put him in a military prison and torture him. We don't mind other people who propagate political violence speaking their mind (to connect it with my first example, in my country that'd be nazis). And I don't care about the Al-Qaeda asshole, I care about us, what we are regressing to.

Something is wrong here, Mr. Worf. I don't like what we have become.
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Old May 5 2012, 06:09 PM   #56
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Re: Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

I love this thread.
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Old May 5 2012, 10:44 PM   #57
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Re: Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

I don't know of any domestic terrorism case where an FBI informant wasn't involved and doing most of the agitating/planning/acting. The FBI informant in the World Trade Center bombing, the one with the blind sheikh as the supposed mastermind, was engaged in very dubious activities and this was a case which in fact did result in the commission of what ordinary folks call crime.

As to whether the people engaged in online stings are actively entrapping people, I don't know enough about the cases to say. Unfortunately I couldn't put it past them, just as I can't put it past the police to lie under oath, plant evidence, fabricate charges and outright frame people.

In the particular instance of pedophiles, I do know there is a custom where the triumphant cops trumpet the outrageous fact that the accused has X number of images in his possession, where the X is some astonishingly large number, hundreds of thousands, even millions. Yet we know that the police surely have not taken the time to actually examine these images! A hundred thousand images, conservatively estimating ten seconds to retrieve, examine and record assessment of each, means one millions seconds, which equals about 278 hours. If you stop to think that the accused is unlikely to be so quick about his hobby, the question arises how the alleged perpetrator would have the time to do anything but look at images.

Obviously there is the possibility that these numbers are estimates derived by multiplying running time of videos. This doesn't help the reputation of the honesty of police, because it would still be more reliable just to simply report that so-and-so had one or two kiddie porn DVDs or whatever. Equally obviously, the police feel that's not sufficiently inflammatory, even for the kind of people who would simply take a police press release as gospel truth. The conclusion is inescapable: The police mean to deceive the jury pool. Not that anyone will hesitate to affirm their conclusions, much less change their minds, just because police are blatantly deceptive.
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Old May 5 2012, 10:49 PM   #58
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Re: Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.

stj wrote: View Post
As to whether the people engaged in online stings are actively entrapping
They are not. Remember, undercover cops who participate in chats do NOT initiate sex talk. They just pretend to be underage girls and let the pervs they're chatting with make the first move. Since the 'target' is the one who first brings up the topic of sex, and is the one who asks for sex, then there can't be any question of entrapment, because the targets aren't 'convinced' to want sex. They already want it and are asking for it in the chat rooms. They have an intention, and an attempt. That is legally sufficient.
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