Now they are openly calling some of these increasingly specious terror conspiracies “fictitious,” which they certainly are. Two guys are getting sent up the river for a plot hatched by an FBI informant, which had no independent basis in reality. Can anyone explain to us why this does not constitute entrapment? Does anyone else out there grasp how far down the slippery slope we have slid towards the Orwellian concept of “thought crime”? From the New York Times, March 8:
2 Men Sentenced in Fictitious Terror Plot
ALBANY — Two Muslim immigrants were given 15-year sentences in federal prison on Thursday for their convictions in a fictitious terrorist plot involving money-laundering in which an F.B.I. informer pretended to deal in illegal arms.
The defendants, Yassin M. Aref, 52, an Iraqi refugee and an imam at a mosque here, and Mohammed M. Hossain, 52, a Bangladeshi immigrant and the owner of a pizzeria, sharply denied any wrongdoing or involvement in terrorism.
The sentence was immediately condemned by many friends, relatives and supporters who jammed the courtroom. They charged that the two men were entrapped by an overzealous Federal Bureau of Investigation and convicted by a jury swayed by an anti-Muslim climate in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Lawyers for the men said they planned to appeal the convictions.
Glenn T. Suddaby, the United States attorney for the Northern District of New York, said, “Obviously, after 9/11, the world changed drastically,” and added: “Our obligation is to prevent the next one. That is what this case is all about.”
The men had faced terms of 30 years to life, but District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy, citing unblemished records , made the sentences concurrent.