Monday, January 15, 2007

Becky Akers on Entrapped "Terrorist" Shahawar Matin Siraj

Becky Akers, a regular contributor at Lew Rockwell dot com, chatted with Scott Horton on AntiWar Radio yesterday, about her recent column, "When The Devil Creates A Devil". In that column, Akers details the entrapment and conviction of Shahawar Matin Siraj, who last week was sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of plotting terrorist attacks against NYC. She also discussed the fate of the Siraj family -- on the day after his sentence was announced, his parents and sister were arrested and they are still being held.

I urge you to read all of "When The Devil Creates A Devil", and I'll entice you with a few excerpts in a moment.

I think you should listen to Becky Akers with Scott Horton as well; it's only a half-hour and it goes by fast, so be prepared to pay attention.

I wish to remind you that this case is not just about Shahawar Matin Siraj, not just about the Siraj family, not even about an elaborate and expensive ploy by which the NYPD and the FBI make themselves look good against "terrorism" by setting elaborate traps and springing them on people who are barely functional, let alone dangerous.

It also generates the sort of headlines that can be (and often are) used for very ugly propaganda; it feeds the War Against Muslims; and it lends unwarranted legitimacy to the Phony War on Phony Terror. All these are used to "justify" the continuing dismemberment of your Constitutional rights. And -- guess what? Congratulations! It's all paid for by your tax dollars.

This is some protection racket we're up against!

Excerpts from Becky Akers:
Siraj was a 22-year-old Pakistani working in Brooklyn, NY at an Islamic bookstore – located, ominously enough, next to a mosque. Both Siraj’s family and his attorneys have described him as "witless and impressionable." His uncle admitted, "He’s my nephew, but he’s not too bright.... He’s not dangerous, he just talks."

Siraj’s hours in the bookstore and the mosque, where he prayed, as well as his lack of sophistication recommended him to 50-year-old Osama Eldawoody. An Egyptian immigrant who became a US citizen, Eldawoody is also a "paid police informant." For several years after 9/11, he and an undercover cop prowled both bookstore and mosque. Eldawoody collected $100,000 of our taxes for chatting up "radical young Moslem men," a.k.a. customers at the bookstore, and for reporting the license-plate numbers of cars parked at the mosque.
James Elshafay is just 21; his short life has been nasty and brutish. His Irish mother and Egyptian father separated when he was a toddler. He suffers from schizophrenia and depression, as do other members of his family, and takes drugs of which Leviathan approves to counter these ills. He took drugs Leviathan doesn’t approve as a teen, perhaps because a "male relative" molested him. He drank to excess, sniffed glue, and dropped out of the ninth grade in his school on Staten Island. He volunteered for the Army, but he was so damaged even those body-snatchers wouldn’t have him.

In short, Elshafay and his friend Siraj sound more like threats to themselves than to the American Way of Life.
Enter Eldawoody, the NYPD, the FBI, and the whole apparatus of prosecutors, judges, and other criminals fighting a largely invented but highly useful "War on Terror."

Eldawoody showed Siraj and Elshafay pictures of their fellow Moslems’ torture at Abu Ghraib and told them US soldiers were raping Iraqi girls. He claimed he belonged to a terrorist organization – well, OK, he does collaborate with the Feds – and could supply explosives. According to Siraj, Eldawoody suggested "blowing up the buildings and blowing up the Wall Street places." Unfortunately for Siraj and Elshafay, the man pretending to be their friend and Moslem mentor, the one who told them his imam had declared a fatwa for killing Americans, was wearing a wire. When Siraj exclaimed, "That [US soldiers’ raping Iraqi girls] was enough for me. I'm ready to do anything. I don't care about my life," Eldawoody’s tape caught it. Trying to impress the older man, Siraj also mentioned blowing up the 34th Street subway stop, which links to New York’s Penn Station. He and Elshafay allegedly possessed crude drawings of the station when they were arrested.
For this, Siraj goes away for 30 years? And on top of this they've arrested his whole family??

Didn't that go out of style with the Dark Ages? What sort of state do we live in, anyway?
Like torture, punishing a "criminal’s" family is an ancient horror that modern, supposedly enlightened societies shun. And like torture, Bush’s Amerika has revived it. This is especially infuriating since the Bible Bush claims to follow specifically condemns such injustice: "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin." (Deut. 24:16; see also Jer. 31:30 and Ezek. 18:1–13.)

A dubious immigration battle cloaks the State’s vindictiveness against the Siraj family. These folks follow a form of Islam so secular their neighbors in Pakistan beat and burned Mr. Siraj. He sought asylum here. Our merciful bureaucrats rejected the application, so the family appealed. That apparently makes them "fair" game for Leviathan. But will the State bother with such an excuse the next time? When the rest of us are arrested for smoking pot, or for refusing to show ID, or for protesting the war, will our families be locked up, too?

The passage in Deuteronomy continues almost eerily, "Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice..." Let us tremble with Jefferson when we reflect that God is indeed just and that His justice cannot sleep forever.
Three cheers for Becky Akers. Now listen to her on AntiWar Radio.

And here's one more thing to think about: Siraj was arrested on August 27th, 2004, just before the Republican National Convention, which started August 30th. Reports of the arrest built up sympathy and support for "the city's finest", who were just about to do battle against hundreds -- or thousands -- of unarmed anti-war, anti-Bush protesters.

As if that were not enough, these reports also changed the pre-Convention news cycle, bringing in the fear-mongering headline "Muslim Terrorist Wanted To Disrupt GOP Convention" and obliterating an entirely different story which had slowly but steadily been gathering momentum: "NYC to GOP: How Dare You Party In The City You [Allowed To Be] Attacked?"

The road to tyranny is paved with stones of many shapes and sizes; I can't shake the feeling that we're looking at one of the bigger ones right here.


third in a series