It wasn’t that long ago that we conservatives were talking about “the false flag attack on the Second Amendment”—referring to one aspect of Fast and Furious among its many other sins. Up until the news broke, the Obama Administration had been blaming the (relatively) free trade in firearms for the gun violence perpetuated by Mexican drug cartels. But it turned out that the government, via the BATFE, was the one making sure that guns were sold to gangsters and taken south of the border to commit homicides. So it was a government set-up attempting to blame free society, the Second Amendment. It was, in common parlance, a false flag attack.
So now we have a false flag attack on the First Amendment.
In this recent case, the FBI did one of its typical recruitment and equipping of people who were not planning anything and were not capable of anything. Through an “informant” they got the suspects more radicalized and plotted a terrorist attack, which the FBI then foiled—taking credit for protecting us from terrorism.
Mike Masnick has a good summary of the story at the Techdirt blog: “FBI Uncovers Another Of Its Own Plots, Senator Feinstein Responds By Saying We Should Censor The Internet.”
What makes this a false flag attack specifically on the First Amendment is that Senator Dianne Feinstein is treating the results of direct FBI activity as if they were the result of a lack of censorship. The Anarchist Cookbook has been available for many years. When I was a teen I had friends who had it. It was no big deal. Most importantly, it was and is protected by the First Amendment.
Dianne Feinstein claims that it is not covered by the First Amendment and should be removed from the internet by government edict.
Masnick points out that as far back as 1997 Feinstein claimed that The Anarchist Cookbook should be banned and the Department of Justice told her that could not be done. You really aren’t permitted to censor the press.
But the really scandalous point here is that it was not the mere fact that the book exists that started this “terrorist plot.” It was the work of the FBI in transmitting the document to their “suspects.”
Guess where the two “terrorist wannabes” got the Anarchist Cookbook? From the undercover FBI agent! From the criminal complaint itself [pdf]:
On or about Novermber 2, 2014, the UC [Undercover Officer] met with VELNTZAS and SIDDIQUI. When VELENTZAS was reading a book called “Chemistry: The Central Science,” the UC asked how this book was going to benefit them. VELENTZAS stated that they could practice at her house, but could not leave any residue. The UC stated that practicing at the house was not a good idea because the people living in the apartment below VELENTZAS might hear loud noises, referring to noises from explosions. VELENTZAS said she could always tell her neighbors that she dropped some bookshelves. The UC and VELENTZAS then discussed the fact that the UC had downloaded The Anarchist Cookbook. VELENTZAS suggested the UC print out the parts of the book that they would need. During the conversation, the UC stated, “We read chemistry books with breakfast. Like, who does that?” VELENTZAS responded, “People who want to make history.”
So we have the government actively recruiting terrorists in order to bust them. In so doing, the government used a First-Amendment-protected document in the recruitment and training process. Then the government asserts that it needs to practice censorship in order to protect us from terrorism!
By the way, if one of these plans to start and then stop a terrorist attack goes wrong, so that the terrorist attack tragically occurs, how quickly do you think the FBI will own up to their role in the attack?