The New York Times scrubs article in favor of FBI
Glenn Greenwald has a piece up regarding the latest instance of the FBI’s bizarre and unconscionable practice of convincing disturbed Muslim youths to carry out what they believe to be terrorist attacks over the course of months of nudging, after which point the agency arrests the youth and proclaims a victory in the war on terror, a struggle that might be better fought by spending those resources to go after those who are concocting their own plots without assistance from the FBI. Although this has quickly become a common story – although not a “story” in the sense of being properly reported by the media at large – a particular detail of the subsequent media presentation strikes me as worth repeating here:
But strangely, while all other conversations with Mohamud which the FBI summarizes were (according to the affidavit) recorded by numerous recording devices, this conversation [in which Mohamud allegedly expresses his desire to kill civilians] — the crucial one for negating Mohamud’s entrapment defense — was not. That’s because, according to the FBI, the undercover agent “was equipped with audio equipment to record the meeting. However, due to technical problems, the meeting was not recorded” (para. 37).
Thus, we have only the FBI’s word, and only its version, for what was said during this crucial — potentially dispositive — conversation. Also strangely: the original New York Times article on this story described this conversation at some length and reported the fact that “that meeting was not recorded due to a technical difficulty,” but the final version omitted that, instead simply repeating the FBI’s story as though it were fact: “undercover agents in Mr. Mohamud’s case offered him several nonfatal ways to serve his cause, including mere prayer. But he told the agents he wanted to be ‘operational,’ and perhaps execute a car bombing.”
I am constantly reminded that there remain a great number of people who still believe that the media in general and The New York Times in particular operate under a conscious and deliberate agenda by which to undermine America and its government. As someone whose entire life revolves around the undermining of America and its government, I would simply note that the NYT has not been particularly helpful.