Sunday, January 27, 2013

Res Ipsa Loquitur

Pamela Fitzsimmons has an excellent perspective on the Oregon home grown terrorist Mohamed O. Mohamud. He was not born here, but he came here at about age 4. She sees him for what he was and is - a terrorist, in the sense of "the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians." [Truncated, see Free Dictionary].

But I, and maybe Pamela too, don't believe that he was being motivated by some political or religious ideology, at least not like that of Muslim terrorists. He has lived his life in Oregon. He was educated here. His family is Christian. It isn't likely that he, like those living in the Middle East, was indoctrinated to hate. E.g., see Why Middle East Muslims are taught to hate Jews.

Pamela doesn't let the truth get in the way of a good story, and in this case, it is the truth that will not set Mohamed free. Given what he attempted to accomplish, it is nearly incomprehensible that the defense and his sympathizers, or better yet, the anti-FBI (or any police) advocates, see Mohamed as the unwilling victim that but for the FBI's efforts would not have 'pushed the button.'

The facts speak otherwise. I am one those that would ordinarily suspect a little too much encouragement was applied by the FBI. But the more I learn about this case, the more I am convinced that this wasn't a egregious circumstance of FBI instituted terrorism.
"Six 55-gallon barrels, supposedly filled with diesel fuel and nails (to act as shrapnel) were secured in the back of a van to be parked near Pioneer Courthouse Square. " Mohamed O. Mohamud: “It’s beautiful.”
Look - too many people are easily duped. And, entrapment is not some bright line easily discerned. But, should predisposition yield a defense? "The predisposition inquiry focuses upon whether the defendant "was an unwary innocent or, instead, an unwary criminal who readily availed himself of the opportunity to perpetrate the crime." [Criminal Resource Manual 645 Entrapment -- Elements].

Would he have been a terrorist but for FBI's efforts? Would have another year of maturing resulted in the development of a worthwhile citizen? Could we have afforded a wait and see attitude?  But didn't Mohamed know the consequences of igniting his "beautiful" bomb? Isn't that the factual, and controlling,  issue - the level of violence he thought "beautiful?"

Borrowing from the law of negligence, res ipsa loquitur, doesn't the act speaks for itself?  Thus, irrespective of how Mohamed got to the point of pushing the button, even assuming that the FBI radicalized him, he did push it - knowing full well the consequences.

Some people are hard wired wrong. Mohamed appears to be one. He gave up his freedom, maybe not at the moment he might have been 'convinced' in the righteousness of his terrorism, but certainly when he pushed the button on his "beautiful" bomb.

What makes him any different from this guy: New York Fed bombing plot proves the terror threat is real. Or how about McVeigh who blew up the federal building in Oklahoma. It was not some symbolic gesture.  Then there are these guys the Newburgh Four: poor, black, and jailed under FBI 'entrapment' tactics:
Judge Colleen McMahon: "Only the government could have made a terrorist out of Mr Cromitie, a man whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in its scope," she said in court. She added: "I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that there would have been no crime here except the government instigated it, planned it and brought it to fruition."
Not an easy task to determine predisposition. But this act of violence speaks for itself. He cannot shift the blame to anyone else. And we shouldn't let him or his sympathizers convince us otherwise.

However, still, there is something nefarious about government agencies seemingly grooming the worse in people.

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