Between two persons of size (over four-hundred pounds of person between us) my sweetheart and I were a tad cramped in a queen-sized bed, especially when persons of fur were added to the sum. So our big post-Christmas investment was a king-sized bed, which was installed yesterday. We got a Tuft-and-needle mattress which is pleasantly stiff. I don’t think it’s too stiff but we’re both dealing with new-bed syndrome, that part of our brains that wants our sleeping spot to feel consistent, and this new bed is not, regarding our old sleeping place.
That said it’s going to be a quiet Sunday…well, uncommitted. A toddler in the house will assure it’s not quiet so much, but certainly not the kind of commotion that is unwelcome. Also, haircuts might happen. Oh, evidently it’s Superbowl Sunday and according to Siri, the Patriots are crushing the Falcons, 21 to 3. So I’m pondering the formula that defines a 21 to 3 lead a crush.
In my house, pro-football is barely a thing at all (my sweetheart tracks sports scores, I think for sake of office banter). I’ve been disappointed a lot lately because all the recent big game sales have featured absolutely no big games.
The 2011 Bowling Green Affair
It’s a small thing, but the Bowling Green Massacre affair is making rounds, which might be serviced by some delineation. Did Conway lie? Did she merely misspeak? Has social media been too harsh?
The TLDR answer is: Conway might have misspoke, but no, she’s lied before, and has made her position clear, that she believes lying for Trump and for the White House is justifiable. Thus, Conway has gets no benefit of doubt when she misspeaks. At least no benefit of doubt from me.
And then, the 2011 Bowling Green incident is a much greater lie than it appears on the surface, one about which Conway may not even be fully aware. Neither what happened in Bowling Green, nor any similar incident should be used to justify the War on Terror or, for that matter, the 2017 travel ban.
The story goes like this: Trump-minion and U.S. Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway cited the Bowling Green Massacre as justification for the Muslim Travel Ban executive order while she was being interviewed on Hardball with Chris Matthews. Her comments suggested that there was an attack and it was covered up or ignored by the media.
After getting a lot of social media flak about the alleged Bowling Green Massacre, Conway admitted she misspoke, intending to say the Bowling Green arrests.
While I agree with Mayor Bruce Wilkerson of Bowling Green, Kentucky that it is easy and forgivable to misspeak in the middle of a live interview, Conway has already established that she advocates the use of alternative facts, or false statements in support of the White House, in defense of presidential actions, or to suggest the current administration is better liked than it actually is. It is more consistent with Conway’s prior comments to regard the Bowling Green Massacre statement as a willful deception than as a misstatement.
Perhaps in the future, Conway can correct herself immediately when she misspeaks, and not wait for social media blowback. And until she has adapted such a policy and adhered to it for quite some time, the public has every justification to regard her counterfactual statements as witting and willfully false.
But that’s the tip of the proverbial Bowling Green iceberg…
None of the Conway gaff affair addresses that the 2011 Bowling Green incident was an FBI sting operation, part of what is a far-reaching, ongoing program notorious for the amount of manpower and deception the FBI will implement in order to secure a terrorism-related conviction.
The FBI seeks out marks within the United States — not radicalized terrorists (there just aren’t enough of those)– but individual Americans or legal immigrants who FBI observers assess to be susceptible to radical rhetoric. The FBI then embarks on an operation to persuade this fellow to commit some kind of terror-related criminal action, just enough of an action (say acquiring a bomb, or giving supplies to an alleged terrorist) that will pass muster in (law-enforcement-friendly) court.
FBI plants sell the hapless sod (or in the case of Bowling Green, two sods) on some kind of terror-related plot (delivering supplies to an Al-Qaeda contact — another FBI plant). The sting-operation team then supply the marks with the means and occasion to commit their criminal act. Fed agents then bust them with intent to convict them, usually of conspiracy to commit a terror attack, or conspiracy to aid or comfort enemies of the US. Due to the incitive of national security related crimes, convictions are easy to secure.
So the Bowling Green incident was not instigated by Al-Qaeda or Hezbollah or New Provo or Libertè de Quebec or Asian Dawn, but was manufactured from whole cloth by United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, just to collar a couple of chumps and then claim the Bureau is stopping terror incidents of substance.
The FBI counter terror program is almost comical in the degree to which they will integrate themselves into the lives of their marks. In some operations, the agents work on a single victim for years, and systematically replace all that person’s associates with FBI plants. Friends, colleagues, lovers, everyone.
This magnitude of gas-lighting is enough to break the mind of a sane person. And yet, preferred targets of the program are already mentally ill or mentally disabled, in some cases, already diagnosed as mentally incompetent. (Remember, they’re already seeking people who might be easily radicalized, so it makes sense the program would be drawn towards literal morons.) Thanks to the current state of the US legal system, mental incompetence is not a defense against accusations of terror, and they end up in prison anyway.
FBI plants in these operations will also pressure their targets through coercion, promising sex or money or benefits for compliance and threatening the victim’s life, or loved ones, should the mark refuse. Again, these circumstances, and the defense of necessity by coercion are commonly ignored by the courts.
Now, I cannot speak to the specific circumstances of Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi who were arrested in the 2011 Bowling Green FBI sting operation, whether they were competent enough to fairly be tried, or whether they would have been radicalized without so much attention from a high-budgeted federal
law enforcement counter-terror national security agency determined to mind-fuck someone for years just for a collar.
Incidentally, Alwan and Hammadi are two of the three proverbial poison-maybe Skittles used in the bowl-of-skittles metaphor. They’re serving sentences of forty years and life, respectively.
It would be more consistent with the FBI program’s colorful record to assume Alwan and Hammadi were merely chumps caught up in an FBI thief-taker racket, rather say they already had intent to commit terror. Granted, they had a history of being soldiers on the other side in Iraq, and skills to make IEDs, but this isn’t to say they didn’t deserve a chance to live a peaceful, civil life here in the United States. Based on the consistencies of other FBI terror stings, I can say with confidence they probably did not get the chance.
Ergo, not only did the Bowling Green Massacre not occur, but also the 2011 Bowling Green incident is only dubiously linked to terror at all, as one instance in a long string of FBI scams to justify the FBI’s role in the war on terror.
Thanks to the Trump travel ban, hundreds of thousands of people have permanently lost their visas already. While Executive Order 13769 has been stayed (temporarily), even if it becomes permanent, even if the ban is declared unconstitutional, none of these confiscated visas will be returned to their rightful owners. Countless lives have been ruined by this one order. So to justify it based on an incident that was almost certainly an FBI entrapment racket is even more offensive (to me, at least) than the falsifiable claim that it was a massacre.
We can beat the rap, but we can’t beat the ride.
This is consistent with the Trump administration’s methods so far, from the election campaign to present day. And when we, the people, assess future statements and actions by the Trump administration, I think we should keep in mind what a disaster the travel ban was, and how Conway as a spokesperson for the White House used a snow-job FBI entrapment operation to justify it.