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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  March 2, 2013 3:00pm-4:30pm EST

3:00 pm .. >> it's interesting when chrysler comes out of debt and repays the government loan and tries to come back to help the
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the main way they do so is to sell off the tank division and plowing that money back into the company. >> author and university of dayton profession will take your calls, e-mails, facebook posts, and tweets on the founding fathers and other key events in american history. "in-depth" live sunday at noon eastern on book tv on c-span2. next on booktv, aaron says since 9/11 the fbi has a network of over 15,000 informants of miss line up communities around the u.s. and argues the informants spearhead phony terror plots which are exposed by the fbi to ensure the bureau looks like they do a good job of keeping us safe.
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he's joined by co-editor of the magazine. this is an hour 15. [applause] >> thank you, and thank you so much, all of you, for coming out on this night. trevor and i spent a lot of time together working on this project, and it's fantastic to see it come in full bloom. i assume you'll walk out with a copy, but in case you have not fully digested it coming in, i want to draw trevor out on how it came because because, you know, this is a man who spent more than a year of his life on freedom of information act documents from the fbi, and so you might wonder what would possess you to do that. how did this -- how did this come about? how did you start going down this rabbit hole? >> well, it started for me in 2006 as a reporter in miami, and
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there's a case announcedded involving seven men from liberty city, a poor session of miami, and at first, initially, it was a bizarre plot. one announced the case and said the seven men were here to declare ground war on the united states of america to bomb the sears tower, the office in north miami beach. how do seven guys declare ground war? it was ridiculous. there was an informant involved. it was clear they didn't have a connection to al-qaeda. the connection was an undercover informant posing as an al-qaeda operative, their only connection to terrorism at all. i did the stories in miami, and i put that in the back pocket, and over time, i realizedded there were more and more cases announced with this similar pattern that the people charged with terrorism were involvedded in the fantastic plots to bomb
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subways and downtown office buildings, but they never had the means, and it was by an undercover agents posing as an al al-qaeda, and so right around 2010, i questioned how do we figure out how many of the cases have existed since 9/11? how many of the hundreds of terrorisms and prosecutions since 9/11 were involving real terrorists who were serious imminent danger, and those involving people with no capacity for terrorists on their own other than informants providing them with the means? i applied for every year at the reporting program hosts free journalists who pursue a project that could cake -- take a year or more, and i took a holistic look at all terrorism cases that came to court since 2001 and how many had terrorists, and others who had no connection other than the
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informant. we produced a story that looked at that entirely. more than 5 # 00 terrorism prosecutions, one of every two involved an informanet. sometimes they provided information, but in the cases of more than 150 defendants, the informants played either a part in the plot or as in the case of 50 or more than 50, played the role of an agent provocateur providing the means and opportunity for people, who on their own, never had that capacity. what's important about that, underlying part of the findings, is that we can, you know, show dozens of men who never had capacity on their own for terrorism, but those who had capacity are few. they are dangerous terrorists, but as i mention in the book, you can count on one hand the number of people who pose a serious threat, and them the others are like the case in portland right now. they never had the ability on
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their own to acquire weapon, but the fbi provided them with means needed to become -- go from being men on the fringes to essentially dangerous terrorists overnight. >> take us inside a case if you would. the stories in the book are astonishing. >> one of the favorite cases to tell is about a man in illinois, and according to the documents, we don't know why the fbi targeted him, but they decided he was a potential terrorist threat, and they found an informanet to go talk to him, and at the time, derek recently converted to islam, was out of the family for it, worked in a video game store, and had no place to live. the informanet goes into the video game store, strikes up conversation with him, just before rhamadan, and in the
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conversation, he tells the story to the informanet, and he says, come live with me. i have a car to use, eat my food, and he says this must be the work of god, and sure, i'd love to do that. over the course of months, they talk about islam and the informant encourages him to, you know, get involved, take action for the terrible things the u.s. government is doing to muslims around the world, and derek then says in his way, well, i want to kill a judge. he didn't know the names of any judges, but he said it. the informant says, what if we attack a shopping mall. derek says, yeah, and they get with excited about it, and at that point, the fbi has a sting in place, but the major policy in the sting was derek didn't have any money, and the fbi needed an overt action, needed more than just talking so they needed him to acquire weapons. the informant says, well, i know an arms dealers who sells
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grenades, and you don't have money, but you have stereospeakers, and if you took these, he'd take them and trade you for the grenade. i don't know about arms, but i don't think they take speakers for grenades. he goes to the shopping mall and in the parking lot of the shopping mall, the arms dealer, it's an undercover agent, and he brings the speakers, hands them over, and the agent hands over the five grenades, and other agents rushed in, arrested him, and charged him with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, and he's serving 25 years in prison. what's about that is, obviously, it was a man who was a dangerous to himself, not to other people, other terrorists, but during the sting operation, he said to the informanet, you know, if not for you, i probably would have just stabbed someone with a steak knife. that illustrates his capacity. he was capable of minor crime, but through this sting operate,
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the government was able to go to the public and say, here it is, another terrorist plot, another plot foiled. >> so you did it because you're a journalist, not a historian, as it were, you talked to people and find out what they were thinking in the process, and you, else, really made an effort to get of sense of why the fbi would be doing this and what the rationale is from the bureau's point of view. >> right. there are few people who work in the fbi who are critical of this, but in general of the program, in general, you find agents, current and former, a general support of the program, and in the fbi's view, what they believe is that al-qaeda as it existed on 9/11 is how it exists today, there is a capacity for a terrorist organization like al-qaeda to send over, people who commit a horrific crime, but they are concerned with lone
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wolves, people already in the west disaffected, disillusioned, are -- have, you know, bad feelings about the united states, want to do something, and that they will then walk in on a al-qaeda video inspiring them to act and launch in a path of some sort. what the fbi refers to this as is al chi day -- al-qaedaism, and infect them with a idea, and carry out the attack. what the fbi is specifically looking for are people who are on the spectrum they termed on one side is obviouslial, and the other side is sympathizer. they want to find someone on the line on the sympathizer side about to cross over to operational, to become a terrorist, and catch him before he becomes a terrorist, and sting operations are intended to draw theme out, find people interested in committing violence, and arrest them through the only means the fbi has which is the criminal justice system, prosecuting them
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according to the law, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction or other terrorism related cases, but through the sting operations, identify them first. it's easy to be empathetic to the fbi's view, and i try to talk about it in the book which is that if you're a case agent, and you have a guy on tape saying, you know, i want to bomb the subway system, you don't want to be the guy who says let's ignore him, and then six months later, he commits an act of terrorism. it's easy to understand why the fbi pursues these cases, but what i put out in the book is that there has yet to be an example of someone on their own capable of terrorism, someone who is a loud mouth, do you want have weapon, and meeting an operative and says, hey, here's a bomb. the only people providing the capacity is actually the fbi. you know, these sting operations are an evolution of drug stings. you've seen where, you know, in the movies, a guy has an empty
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briefcase, and two people believe there's cocaine inside, hand over the money, and hand over the briefcase, they open it, it's empty, they rush in and arrest the person. that sting works in a sense because dangerous data shows ife not buying or selling drugs from the fbi and sting operation, they can buy and sell elsewhere in the united states. drugs are not difficult to obtain in the united states, but what is difficult is to obtain weapons, like a large bomb exfor example. we have yet to have a case where one crosses over to operator and wants to commit an act of terrorism, and someone gives him the means. that's not happened to date. >> is this something that's namingsly -- unanimously supported within the fbi, or is there controversy among the people who work there? >> there is controversy inside. a lot of these operations have bled over from after 9/11, george w. bush said never again,
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not another attack. they allowed greater marrying between the cia and fbi where there was great tension. people in the bureau believe these specific types of activities that require aggressive movement of informants, data mining, is what they term going to the dark side, moving in a direction that the cia generally went into. i think while in general there's general support among fbi agents for the policies because they are the cases they work, but there is a minority inside the fbi critical of the cases. getting them to talk is a the difficult part. we had occasions where we had to use anonymous sourcing, but michael german and former agents are very openly critical of the programs and do not below in their et -- ethics. >> you got criticism since the book came out, including today, and you got this all wrong, in
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is pretty much what law enforcement has to do in order to prevent another 9/11. >> right. they -- former fbi agent had a critical review in the post in "wall street journal," and what criticism hinges on is a lot of the criticism i heard, including john miller, former assistant director of the fbi, and when they criticize the work, they talk about real terror, and they mention the shoe bomber, and the so-called dirty bomber as examples you got it wrong, there are terrorists out there. i'm not disputing the fact there are terrorists. i'm not disputing the fact they are potentially dangerous or someone like they came close to bombing the new york city subway system, but where they go wrong in using the examples is these where example of cases and people and terrorists that never came on the fbi's radar through sting operations. they requester not the target of the sting operations, and, in fact, i think they proved the
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point that you have realm terrorists out there, but ultimately sting operations proven impossible for the fbi to seize out real vulnerable terrorists, not the real people who are dangerous, and, instead, we draw in sting operations so the margins of society, and many times people are economically desperate, in some cases mentally ill, for example, there's a case in seattle involving a man who had schizophrenic disorder, couldn't determine between reality and fantasy, and he followed the will of the informant. i try to draw the line between real terrorists, and there's real cases of terrorism in the united states since 9/11 with the other cases. the criticism from the fbi right now is that they mixed the two, and they don't make the distinction. >> the informants, themselveses, are really interesting characters. you know, the old saying, you can't -- you're not dealing with boy scouts when you bust bad guys, but needs are a lot of
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them have a lot of big cases, financially, and often criminal cases involving them. how does that color what happened here? >> the story in the book is about terrorism and the fairness of the add minute strags and justice of the united states, and the informanets that the fbi uses are not in it because nay want to keep america safe and it's a great place to live, but in it for other reasons. you can make upwards of a hundred thousand dollars on a case if you bring in someone who you can prosecute for terrorism. they have a direct financial inacceptabilityive to find terrorists. in other cases, the fbi using coercive methods. for example, regimely speaking in the muslim community, muslims in the united states, law-abiding affluent community, there's not a lot of people committing crimes, and so the normal mechanism for recruiting informanets is organizeed crime,
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but immigration is because it's a largely immigrant population, and muslims in the united states immigrated since 1990 so if they are immigration, and there's a method of recruitness, and we can make your life hard, and your incentive is they want to be in the country and get your family here, and they'd have a type of incentive in finding terrorists, and the informants are under the pressure, under the financial incentive or under the threat of depore pages can't get into into the community and say we didn't find terrorists. it's their job to find them. they find people susceptible to their suggestions so to speak. >> the fbi also has a lot at stake. i mean, it's one of the things that i found revelation is
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understanding, really, how much the bureau has become transformed by the terrorism, the organization of chasing different kinds of crime to the majority of the budget going to counterterrorism. >> right. before 9/11, the fbi was an organization of lawyers and accountants and pursued organized crime, but pursued mortgage fraud and were not terrorism first and foremost. >> miss out on -- >> you know, in the focus on terrorism in the last decade, you know, if you have not noticed, we missed out on a lot of financial fraud and crime, and whether the first was focused on that would have been a hard thing to determine, but the fbi has a financial incentive and financial pressure to build terrorism cases. congress allocated the fbi's budget, and there's $3 billion, the largest portion of the
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budget, and the fbi really can't spend $3 billion just like the informants can't take the money and not find terrorists, and they can't go back to congress and say, hey, looked around, didn't find terrorists with the money. instead, the fbi is able to use sting operations as an effective mechanism to justify how it spends money and justifies further spending in terrorism, and, you know, the fbi's been public in, you know, touting the cases. if you read the testimony over the last few years, talking about counterterrorism, he rarely talkings about somebody who poses a real risk. he's more likely to talk about someone like james, a man, outside new york city, who, you know, was a walmart stalker, history of mental problems, informant got him involved in a plot to bomb synagogues in the plot. the bombs were provided by the fbi. the informant offered him
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$250,000 to move forward in the plot. no indication he could have become a terrorist on his open. the fbi was worried his case would fall apart, and they told the inforamount to give him $300 and ask him to buy a gun because their fear was that if the thing fell apart, if they had a gun charge on him, because he was a felon, couldn't have a gun, they could bring something. the informant says, hey, buy a gun. he spends the night in and around new york city to search to find a gun. i have no idea how, but he comes back in the morning, and what is incredible is this is a man that he goes before congress and says it was a dangerous congress, but it's a man with $300 in the pocket and couldn't buy a gun. how dangerous could he have been? guns are not hard to get in the united states. he was unable to. yet, this is a man that the fbi director portrays as a dangerous
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terrorist that their counterterrorism operation was able to foil. >> did you see evidence of the approach leaking from counterterrorism or from specifically going after alleged muslims, islamist terrorists to other communities? >> yeah, you see this significantly in, you know, more so among left wing actists, there's a group charged with trying to bomb a bridge over a river in ohio. this was a group of so-called an ark kisses, no capacity on their own for a crime, but an informant provided everything needed to move forward a -- in a bombing plot. there was a similar case in chicago in the last nato summit. we are not seeing it on the right wing side or this type of tactic used, for example, on sovereign citizens, against white sue prep --
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supremists, and i don't know the story behind that. there's a movement that i consider right wing, but not everyone does. there's a group of part-time who believe they opt out of u.s. laws, and you can opt out of the contract and not susceptible anymore, and they have a paranoid belief that then, you know, every time law enforcement arrests them for, you know, say they didn't, you know, get their license plate renewed because they thought there was a contract to opt out on, this is paranoia, this was the government persecuting them, and what happens is they stockpile weapons. we had law enforcement killed by sovereign citizens, and only it's in 2009 has the fbi acknowledged sovereign citizens are a threat. i think what's happened is in kind of the fbi's focus on counterterrorism, they focus specifically on muslim communities, and then branch that out a little bit into environmental activists, so-called an -- anarchists, and the argument is
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made that white supremmists and other groups are just as dangerous if not more than the other groups. >> we got a project with a little ways to go yet. >> that's right. >> you know, there are the obvious -- obvious implications for this kind of publicity to the kinds of cases furthering the notion that essentially in every muslim community lurks jihadist terrorism. has that been raised, and is that something they think as potentially damaging in that it doesn't recruit the few people who might be dangerous? >> there is a blee --
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blow back effect, right? they used thousands of informants to recruit other informants, and religious leaders in muslim communities say when i pray, i assume the guy next to me is an informant. that has an effect. this creates a damaging effect on the relationship between muslim communities and law enforcement, and, especially, the fear is about going to law enforcement, a muslim puts himself at risk himself, and what we've seen 1 a cutting off of the relationship. that flee of information. it's less likely today than before 9/11 that a muslim in the united states would see something suspicious and call the fbi. i think that has a damaging effect on law enforcement. tips come from the best people in the community, a vested interest in the community, their business is there, family is there, they worship there. because of the cutting off of information through this -- through the fbi's aggressive
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stance in muslim communities, they limited the amount of information they get and flow of information they get to the informants they pay, and they have a source to provide information saying, hey, there's a terrorist here we believe has been suspected of being part of terrorism and that creates a sting operation. the question is then, like, is it possible we'll miss cases? possible there really will be a terrorist in the united states? he will be trying to hide among an active community in the united states, worshiping in a mosque, and muslims say he looks suspicious, and fear he would -- then fear they don't want to provide the information to law enforcement? what we know antedotely, they inserted an informanet in a mosque in orange con, california, and he talked about how to commit terrorism and recruit people to be a part of it. the muslim community turned him in. they didn't go, themselves to the fbi, but to care, and they
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provided the information to the fbi. i think this is something difficult to measure, but it's the blow back effect of something concerning. what did we miss by not having a good relationship with the muslims in the united states? >> which has been an asset; right? there's an interesting comparison from muslim communities in europe, much more alienated in some cases from law enforcement in the countries. >> they were far better integrated into the society than i think in europe, and there was a study down of immigrant groups finding out among immigrant groups, muslims have the highest likelihood to be citizens, fully integrate into the community, to, you know, become americanized, so to speak more than any other group, and, you know, there's -- if you look at demographic study, muslims are
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after fluent compared to any other immigrant group. a guy worshiping in orange county who deprives a bmw that the parents purchased for him is least likely to be a terrorist. he's living a great life in the united states. that's different where in europe there's been what they have the ghettoization of the muslim communities in europe. that's not the case here at all. >> there is some, you know, it's hard to draw an exact parallel, but there's overlap with the debate over torture to have a similar argument that the end justifies the means that in order to prevent these really horrible acts, basically, you have to do bad things. that's, obviously, been very much at the fore front again with "zero dark thirty," do you see parallels, do the sources see parallels, do they talk about that? >> it's -- that's -- not parallels of torture, but far leals with you do what you have
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to do. to use informanets, the fbi says if you have to catch the defuel, you have to go to hell. they assume the devil is in the muslim communities even though, you know, evidence shows it's the people drawing in terrorists, ultimately, the people on the fringes of society who on their own are not capable of terrorism, but what justified, the fear of terrorism in the united states justified measures by the government that i don't think most americans, if they knew about what they don't. for example, there's a data mining project, the fbi termedded domain management using and bring in as much data as they can to predict where programs are in the community, and for the most part, what the main management allows for is racial and ethnic targeting, and, you know, basically, they say, well, we believe there is a concern about pakistanis living in the dc suburbs, and they pull up a map using domain management
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and figure out where pakistanis live in virginia and drk suburbs and assign informanets accordingly. i asked about this and why this and how it worked. the analogy was about a murder investigation. he heard there's a tip about a dead body on a farm. you don't know where it is, but you have to find it. an agent says, you know, we need a helicopter to look from above to spot it. the other person says walk every inch of the farm, you know, piece by piece until we find the body. one says, no, don't do that. look above, there's birds circling, and the body has to be there. that makes sense, but what -- he applied that to domain management, but the problem with that am ji is it assumes that the threat of terrorism exists. he's compared that to be the birds circling saying here's the
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pakistanis in the dc suburbs, but that requires the fbi to have a belief that terrorism exists in that community when i think evidence suggests it's not in the case, but that's the type of thing that in the fear there's a number of programs if they understand what was going on. >> interesting parallel there to maybe what happened prior to 9/11 when law enforcement was looking -- was figging the last war looking for terrorism where they thought it would be. not open to signs of where, you know, it might occur. >> as far as choosing iraq as -- >> well, that too. it seems law enforcement is
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often by necessity, and maybe we all do this, looks at this is the kind of person who have committed crimes in the past, and, therefore, this is the person to look to for future crimes, when, in fact, crime evolves. >> right. one good thing on that is i talked to a former fbi agent, and his job was to be based in southeast asia, look for connections between groups in asia and how they connected to groups in the united states. the fbi prior to 9/11 invested money to figure it out. are there connections between groups overseas and muslim communities here, financing them, harboring them in any way, and all the efforts were empty. no connection whatsoever, and after the 93 world trade center bombing, they doubledded the efforts, did we miss anything? we looked, didn't find connection to terrorists. they were not connected to the
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groups overseas, and in his view what happened after 9/11 was they had all the information to believe muslim communities were not supporting terrorists, but they threw it out in the shock and awe of 9/11 saying there's a connection. like, living in hollywood, florida, that must mean there's a muslim community supporting him and kecking him. what they did is they had information that was not the case, but they just chose to assume it was all wrong after 9/11, and in many ways, the policies seen that the fbi used now are based on that, the suspicion that because a group of terrorists attacked on 9/11 were muslims, integrated in the community of united states, there must be others here, and, really, that's not the case. >> that's something that plays out when the cases go to court. it's quite, not just the fbi assembling cases, but running informant, and they go to court, and i believe, at least at the
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time that we published the story, you found that not one terrorism chargedded had -- not one of the defendants was found not guilty or even bother to plea if i recall. >> there's a high degree of guilty pleas. there's few anomalies that got off, and one was off despite the evidence being similar to the other defendants. we don't know why that happens. with those two outliers aside, we have a near perfect record of conviction in the terrorism cases. you know, in my view where it's less a story on terrorism and more about justice is through the sting operations, the fbi is able to take someone not capable on their own of terrorism and bring them along, engage him, get him involved in a plot to bomb a subway system and use a weapon of mass destruction, and because he uses that weapon in the plot, he's then subjected, if he goes to try out the
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mandatory sentences designed for people who have the ability to get the weapon, and so if he goes to trial, loses, which odds are that he will lose, ultimately, he's going to face 25-35 # years in prison, and most of the men are in the early 20s, sometimes 30s, with near perfect record of conviction, most plea down to get 12-13 years in prison. in all cases they are suggested the minimum sentencing guidelines for crimes they had no capacity to commit on their open, but the fbi provides them with the weapon that ultimately qualifies them for a harsh harsh sentence congress designed for real terrorists, but it draws in people like the guy in portland who had no capacity for his own grounds for terrorism, but said he wanted to bomb a courthouse square in portland, and the fbi provided everything needed from the van, the bomb, paid his represent because he was about to be evicted, and they didn't want that to affect the sting
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operation, and now he's arguing entrapment. he's the 11th argue entrapment since 9/11. if he gets off on that, he'll be the first. odds against him winning on entrapment are low in part because when you argue entrapment, the government has to prove you were predisposed to commit the crime, and what the government is effective in doing since 9/11 in the cases is putting government exprts on the stand saying he watched jihad videos; he was predisposed to commit a crime. the bar for predisposition is so low, they have to just prove he watched jihad video. we've seen them. >> we watched a lot of them. >> right. i've watched them. this is evidence of predisposition in the cases, and that is why winning on
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entrapment is difficult. if you look at the data, it's not really impossible. >> i'd like to encourage you to get your questioning hats op because we do have an opportunity to ask questions. i have one more question for trevor motivated in part there's not one, but two mother jones phak checkers in the audience, and i'll put them on the spot. one phak checker on the piece you did for us, and did, you know, work in researching this, and gavin aaronson who hides in the back. these guys know very much -- no a lot about what i'm going to ask you about which is just the mechanics of a project with a book, looks tidy, but putting the information together involved a little more than, you know, calling up the fbi saying, hey, how about these stings that you run. >> right. >> how does that work?
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>> right. don't forget lauren, an important -- >> and lauren. >> so lauren who is here, she's the investigative reporting program for a year, and a big part of this was we wanted to build the most comprehensive data base of 9/11 cases that, you know, in the decade, and make it public, that we wanted to look at all of these cases, and figure out how many involved informants, the role, whether the role was classified as agent provocateur, that he provided the means, some cases provided the idea, and the problem with the cases is that the doj doesn't have a section to use an informent. this was the role. read through thousands of records to find the information. a big part was us just going through esf, going through pacer and the electronic files. in most cases, they were online, and in other cases, i had to pull the files, and we reviewed them and tried to classify them
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as best wz could, and fact checkers had the hard work of cleaning up the data, and fact checked it all, but, ultimately, that's the strength of the mother jones project and strength of the book. when they had been done in the past, it was antedotal. there was a case from one to the other saying this was the trend. what i felt strongly about is the only way to prove it's a problem is to show it in the data. what we showed with specific numbers, how many involved in sting operations, how many involved agent provocateurs, you know, we traced informants from case to case, you know, in some cases, one informant accused of murder in pakistan, and became an informant, and later worked on several cases, and we traced lines through the cases, and that made it powerful, and that's where, you know, this was a great example, i think, of collaborative journal.
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they funded it to begin with, and we joined up with mother jones about five or six months in. you made the data interactive, the fact checking resources, gave it the publicity and support needed. we had three organizations working on a single project in the end. >> in case you don't know, but the investigative reporting program is run by bergman, also probably known as the guy portrayed as al pacino, the former 60 minutes informant who blew the tobacco industry open and, you know, documented how they had been hiding, what they knew about the effects of tobacco so when trevor had the story, there was a twining l in the eye because he knowses people in the fbi. >> right, he was critical. one of the biggest stumbling blocks was not necessarily having the time to do the project, although, that was one
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concern, but it was just you couldn't do the project without access to the fbi; right? it ultimately didn't have the impact it wanted because the fbi said, well, talk to us, and we can tell you what's going on in the back. in researching the project, there's two sides, the data side and the record side. we tried to build the case and look at every case in detailed a process as we could, and the other side was taking all of that data k taking the stories, and going back to the fbi saying, explain to me, how was he targeted? why did he choose to target someone like this? did you fear him? tell me about the program that qualifies sting operations, and through that, we had a relatively complete picture of the program, the cases brog, and, really, what the fbi's fears and motivations are in pursuing the cases. i don't think the fbi is here to -- someone saying we want to stick it to muslim communities, but it's a bureaucratic problem. you have the money, and they need to build cases, and
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ultimately, we have a program that in trying to capture them before they strike, and people that really on their own didn't have the capacity to become terrorists, and likely, in my view, the evidence suggests never would have been terrorists on their own. >> sounds like a case of bad incentives all around. >> yeah. >> the poor schuk who wants an apartment and housing and like he's going to smoke somebody, and the informant has money on the line and fbi who has line items and budgets and reputations on the line. >> case agent in counterterrorism, you know, you're measured by the rules brought in. they are puts pressure on their informanets to bring in people, and that creates this toxic recipe where we have people bringing in sting operation, prosecuted as terrorists, you know, really, if you look closely at the case, there's
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really little argument to be made they could have become terrorists on their own. >> let's hear from the audience. you know, this is filmed so given the mic a chance to come to you, please. in the back. >> thank you. there's people who don't believe the official story of 9/11, and i think a reason for that is how the fbi handled so-called 9/11 suspects before 9/11. sound like it was the opposite of what you said, how they were so avid after 9/11 to find anybody remotely a suspect of terrorism, whereas before, there's documented evidence they are told to ignore or kill certain investigations they had on potential 9/11 suspects. have you studied that? >> this is not the focus of the research or book. there's theories about 9/11.
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i focus on really the changes that happen in the fbi after 9/11 and what we've seen these terrorism sting operations become, the type of people they target, but i really don't feel comfortable talking about a lot of that. >> i think what you do say in the book and in the piece is that the imptous to never let it happen again under their watch, especially to never be blamed again, was a big part. >> yeah. that was really -- what i made the case for is this -- what we see now is really an overreaction to the fbi caught flat footed on 9/11. they really underestimated the threat of islamic terrorism. there was agents in the fbi waving flags saying the al-qaeda is a threat, but the lead was not interested in hearing that before 9/11. then 9/11 happens, there's a shift in fbi, where terrorism not a high priority is now thee top priority and programs have been born from that rapid shift which happened overnight. as soon as 9/11 happened, the fbi was a different agency.
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>> i'll encourage fact checkers and others to make trevor sweat. you know where all the bodies are buried. >> hi, there. i'm nick. i'm curious -- can you hear me? [laughter] i'm curious if the target ever calls the fbi and say, hey, this guy's a terrorist offering me money and tries to bust the informant, and do they have, you know, does that happen? >> there's a really great case in orange county that was a black eye for the fbi involving an informant, and there was a man in orange county that the fbi believed was connected to bin laden. craig's job was to draw him out. craig made a number of over the top statements about how we should get involved in a terrorism plot, and it was the fbi that -- sorry, excuse me, the members of the muslim community that called the fbi
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saying, hey, there's a guy who is we think a terrorist. the funny part of it was that the way that the described to me, the representative from care calledded the fbi and said, hey, i think we have a terrorist. the fbi was eager, oh, who, give us the name. they said, and the fbi was like, oh, don't worry about him. because of that shift, the muslim community in orange county, they were like, oh, he's an informant. that blew the case. it's an example of going against the fbi's logic in the sense that, like, here's someone the muslim community in the orange county suspected a terrorist, and actually, they, who turned him in. >> also, the guy who googled -- [inaudible] >> right. my mother jones story focuses on an informant working a couple of cases, and hussein, towards the -- the middle of last year, moved to pittsburgh. many move from city to city, and
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so my first focus is there's a number of documents posted online including, you know, a fbi transcript, and one of the transself-incriminated online had his phone number. he moved on to another case in pittsburgh, and he was pursuing another man, and he gives the man his business card, and he says, are you interested? fighting with the brothers, and the man became concerned about him, and he does what probably every one of us does and googled his name, doesn't find anything, and googles the phone number, and that brings up a document posted online, and he finds the name, googles it, found the mother jones article with the informant's picture saying i got an informant. the fbi, with all the resources, didn't bother to change the phone number of the informant from case to case. that was another example of a plot foiled. in that case, actually, they did end up charging the man with a
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crime, but based on a youtube video of him firing a weapon at a gun range, and the problem with that was he was a felon and shouldn't have been in possession of a gun. the video was a year old. he didn't have the weapon. it was not his, but they were not able to get terrorism charges on him, but got him for that. whether they still use him or not, i'm not sure, but likely are. he's the most prolific informants. >> maybe the nra would have helped him out. >> i wonder if this approach is used in other countries or is there a different way for looking out for potential potential terrorists? i wondered if he knew anything in the -- [inaudible] >> this is unheard of for them
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to create a type of sting operation like they have here. you know, in the united states, it's not just terrorism things, but drug stings, gun stings, and that case doesn't happen, at least in europe, and i have not heard of it in other countries, but i don't want to say that for sure. obviously, terrorism is as much concern in great britain as it is here; right? you never see, you know, british police using these tactics. they have others to prevent terrorism, but they don't use sting operations specifically. >> [inaudible] people talking about it, but in england, they would say suspect they would just go and talk to them and say we think you might be terrorists. we'll keep an eye on you. >> you know -- >> and then they do. >> that's their -- the defense lawyers, that's one thing they say, which is that you spent all this mown concocting a terrorism sting with the defendant, a young, impressionable guy, if you scared him and councilled him, say, what are you doing, we wouldn't have had to did through this m i don't know if that is
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true, but that is what, you know, the defense attorneys say. if you look at the people they bring, like, i mentioned the guy with the stereo speakers. that's someone the fbi could have scared. unlikely he would have continued forward. it certainly is unlikely he would have had the economic resources to, you know, acquire sophisticated weapon of some kind. yeah, i think that is the interesting idea. the other part i mention of this is that these are a dangerous that people straik if not there to prevent it, but over the last ten years in 9/11, there's more people killed by lone gunman like the guy in connecticut than by people sympathetic to al-qaeda. that means the fbi is either flawless, seems unlikely, or that the threat that this is nots what the fbi sold to the
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american public. >> is it on? doesn't sound like it on this side. this sounds like what they do in, like, drugs? the movie about the central park they pressure them into -- entrap them, pressure them into false confessions and send them off for 50 years or whatever, and it seems to still be a pretty healthy industry. can you comment on the same old thing? >> i think the parallel is the pure cratic problem. there's tons of money to produce drugsing and sting operations provide an effective way. we caught a drug dealer, brought this many cases, and terrorism
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has the same effect. there's $3 billion, and they have to show something for it, and there are mechanisms to do that. it's not like the fbi learned a trick in this type of operation, but they adopted an older one. >> i think we should just tell them to give us our money back and that solves the problem, don't you think? >> talk to your congressman about that. that's where congress' role comes in in deciding what the fbi's budget, and that budget dictates the priorities of the fbi's investigations. >> highlighting the lousy job that the fbi has done; however, i think to totally denigrate the fact that al-qaeda is an implaqueble enemy of all of us here and that attack happened terrible post 9/11 attacks happened in madrid, where i have
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relatives, and in london i think is fool hearty. while the fbi should do a better job, i think it's foolish to totally, you know, poo-poo they should be doing something. they should be doing something. i guess they should be doing it smarter. >> yeah. >> i -- >> i don't make the case in the book that terrorism is not a threat, there are not terrorists, and there's not attacks since 9/11. there have been. what i make the case for is the terrorism cases we brought to court since 9/11 have not been the madrid bombing. these are a group of people carrying out the attack, but that's not in the prosecutions we bring. they are so fearful of lone wolves, they bring in people, who, on their own, are not capable of that. there is evidence suggesting like in europe that there are cells of terrorists here who can and are able to commit these horrific attacks. that just has not happened. the most recent cast was shazad who failed, and the sting operations there were unable to
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phase him out and unaware of him when he delivered the bomb in times square. the question i raise is whether the sting operations are ultimately the best way of capturing them, and if, by using the sting operations, announcing them to the public as an example of another terror plot foiled, we exaggerate the threat as existing in the united states. >> well, there, too, the interesting argument you make in the book is that within law enforcement there is this debate about whether the money is more effectively spent in enlisting communities as first line of defense. >> right. >> so to follow-up, communities are one better approach, and what other suggestions would you have based on your research? >> i mean, i think in my view, what i'd like to see is the fbi do is terrorism should remain a main part, but i don't know the evidence and data exists to support it being the largest part of the fbi's budget.
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you know, financial fraud, organized crime which had been the heart of the fbi's trft prior to 9/11 probably should get more funding than it gets. i think the sickle of the fbi's in because it received so much money for counterterrorism, they need to justify the funding, and sting operations provide that funding, but at the same time, you know, i have to mention there is an effect of this in defending the fbi's view that we candidate fully measure in the broken window's theory of law enforcement, using sting operations, they create a hostile environment. if you're in the united states, and you want to commit an act of terrorism, because of the sting operations, you may be suspicious about the guy next to you because you think, well, he wants to work with me, but he could be an undercover agent or informanet, and that has has an effect we can't measure. that's what they talked about. there are not those in the united states, and even when they are, they are not ultimately able to tease them out ahead of time.
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>> as a result of the investigation after the fbi changed their method on the relationships they have with the informanets and for it to be maybe less coestive because it seems like from what you have saying there are social status is kind of one of the neons and why they may be easy targets. >> so far it's not changed in the way i know it. there is pending legislation from steven lynch of massachusetts in congress that would give greater thresholds to how they use informants and provide greater reporting to congress and why they were used, criminal records, whether informanets can commit crimes in the investigation. there is a movement to create greater oversight with that, but within the fbi, you know, it's still very much not a lot changes in a quick amount of time within the fbi. you know, the investigation over
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the last couple years has not resulted in any changes that i've seen in how the fbi recruits informants. what we're still seeing is the inforamounts used are generally, questionably worse than ones targeted. you know, for example, in the recent case in seattle, the man when the disorder, the fbi listed as a convicted child molester as the informantes, and evidence says she was sending sexual explicit text messages, violating his parole, and if congress take greater scrutiny, that's the informanet to look at, but as it is now, they use informants who have a financial motivation or, you know, a case of working off a crime or threat of deportation. >> you mentioned earlier -- is there a different standard for end trapment applied because we use terrorism cases? seems to me if you applied the
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same kind of tactics in the financial industry, you could have half of wall street in jail at no time at all. >> you know, entrapment -- [laughter] it's not an easy thing to win because you're required to say, yes, i did it, but the will was overpowered by the government agent, and if not for him, i wouldn't have done it at all. with terrorism cases in particular, the predisposition, the government shows there was an interest in committing the crime, and behavior that suggested he wants to commit the crime before the agent played a role. on wall street, they prove the personmented to embezzle money or commit a fraud prior to the fbi getting involved, and the terrorism cases, they do the same, establish an act of terrorism, but the bar is low. all they need to show is he watched a jihad video, and the government has salt expeereds on the stand to testify that, well,
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he watchedded the al-qaeda, and people watch the videos, they self-radical idaho, and that means predisposition. obviously, that's not supported by, you know, any social science. that's just because you want something, doesn't mean you become a terroristings, and there's no studies to support that, but they are effective with experts, and most notable is evan coleman who testified because you watched a jihad video, you're predisposed to terrorism making it difficult. the other tift sigh is that in arguing entrapment, you ask the jury to be sympathetic to you, to say, hey, you know, i wouldn't have done it if not overrun by the informants, and these plots are so horrific, bombing subway stations, bombing, you know, office buildings that someone says, like, i ride the subway, and i work in the office towers, and i think that creates even less -- that's further barrier to sympathy with the jury working against the defendants of terrorism cases more.
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that said, arguing entrapment in any case is very difficult in the united states. >> did you get information on the cuban five because they are definitely, i think, a case that's fbi entrapment, and i don't believe there's any evidence that any of them even spoke about committing a forest act, but were trying to actually infiltrate when cuban-american groups to prevent terrorists agent. >> i love the story of the cuban five. >> great. >> that was not the focus of this specifically. what we were looking at was international terrorism, what the doj classified as international terrorism, and they did class -- didn't classify the cuban five when logging these cases. there's a whole other great story about the use of spies in cuba, and, for example, that's
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just a really interesting story line on its own, but very separate from these types of cases, unfortunately. >> [inaudible] [laughter] ..
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>> you know, a lot of the cases
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you mentioned are pre2008, has anything changed? >> rights, so terrorism sting operations developed under george w. bush, and they basically continued unabated under president obama. i think one of the extrordz their thing -- extraordinary things is the election, one of the areas that obama was strongest on was national security; right? foreign policy, normally like, you know, the glass jar of democratic candidates, and he was drawn on it, and what we see is a doubling down almost on the policies. you know, eric holder came to san fransisco for a meeting that muslim advocates put on, questioned about the sting operations insisting these are a legitimate law enforcement tool to find terrorists. what we've seen under obama, and i think there's been hesitancy by the press to really be critical of this has been increase in surveillance, warrant taps, the amount of warrantless surveillance we see. the fbi, when they believe
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there's a threat, has 72 hours to did through e-mail, your trash, go through any kind of digital rem inapt that you may be involved in terrorism. there's an explosion of that. google releases the amount of government requests it gets. what we've seen is a strong stance in obama in defending these actions. there's a steady increase in the types of cases, and look at the initial mother jones investigation, there's a year of data since then, and the percentage of informants that are agent provocateurs compared to those who provide the means and in some cases, the idea, is higher than what we thought before. these are people, like, the case, the most recent one is the case in new york who wanted to bomb the new york federal reserve. the informanted provided the means, and there's more and more of that under obama. it's become a policy obama has stuck to and defended, and i find it hard to believe anything changes over the next four
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years. go these informants wear a wire all the time? some of the time? >> how is that decided. >> it's an important aspect because they are so trust worthy, the accused murder being sentenced. the fbi is supposed to record
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everything they do so they don't have to worry about the informant saying yes it happened and not having credibility. they rarely do that which are the most critical and, you know, the most critical improving in the most critical improving free dispositions. they are rarely recorded. there was a case i mentioned of the men plotting to bomb synagogue in the bronx. they didn't record any of the conversations when four months went by. even more concerning, i think, there's a high degree or high chance that the fbi will experience what they term quarter malfunction. it seems to happen on an important meeting. and so for example there was a case involving a man in baltimore who realized he was in a sting operation and called up the informant and said what is going on. i don't want to hear -- let's talk about it. come over. the guy comes over and of
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course, this is an important meeting. what is he going say to keep him in the plot? the fbi somehow experiences a recorder malfunction. that wasn't recorded. what we know that the guy jumped back on the button and called him and the conversation that is recorded and says, i'm ready to move forward. i want to do it. we see that consistentty. i criticized in the book. here is the sophisticated law enforcement agency that should have really good equipment they are not buying stuff at best buy. they having a high degree of recorder malfunction. it's suspicious that, you know, in the meetings that seem to support there are high chance that the meeting won't be recorded. it's something they are wrestling with in the trial of portland. the first meeting between the target of the sting operation and two undercover agents of the not recorded and the fbi's excuse was we ran out of bothers. -- batteries. i think it's suspicious.
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>> a here and back here. you haven't had a chance yet. so let's -- [inaudible] >> i think that nixon he had a secretary that had an automatic thing under the mary wood. they named part of the freedom information area after her. [laughter] >> how did the community react to the work you have done. have people reached tout you? the mother jones article was published in your interview. >> the response has been great. actually kr new york and the national talked for me at colombia next month. i think i've been hardened by the e-mails. i think it's important work. there's a benefit to putting out the fact it's a community that
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has been targeted by fbi agents in a very aggressive way. and so in general, i received a great amount of support. in recording the story, too. this was a difficult story to report because, you know, here i am going in to a muslim community asking the questions and the first thing they might think is he's probably an informant. that was the case in most of the cases they have been open to talking about the issues. i think that's been helpful. the case in portland that you were talking about, it's in the news at the moment. the guy has an interesting back story. if you can tell us a little bit about, you know, his biography to highlight what you're talking about. >> he was a misfit he lived in -- oregon, and what we know when the fbi agent were not sure, he kind of took lives.
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he espoused a very conservative form of islam and at the same time was a partyer. he would go parties and drink. >> what . >> he was 19. there was a situation where as he was partying at oregon state university described that he went home with a girl and they had sex. the girl later accused him of date rape. she didn't remember anything. the oregon state police initially investigated that. we're not sure when the fbi became interested. the fbi showed up at oregon state as he's being questioned on the date rape and adamant. i didn't research date rape funds and said, yes, you can search my hard drive. he signs the form and giving them the hard drive and the access to the phone. it turns out later the test on the accuser came back that she didn't have any date rape drug in the system. what he didn't know, as part that have they turned over to
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the fbi his entire hard drive and suddenly he got an e-mail from a so-called terrorist that are interesting in joining the brothers. there was indication that he had mailed potentially terrorist in pakistan, and mohammad said yes, i'm interested in moving forward in this plot. and they say why don't you meet us at the hotel in portland? he agrees to do that. that was the first encounter which the fbi was supposed to record and didn't. they ran out of the battery. they said what would you like to do? find a plot for us to get involved in. and mohammad goes away and comes back a few days later and said, you know, tells the fbi agencies about the christmas tree lightening ceremony in portland. they said there's children. do you want to kill children he said i don't care. something about enemies of islam they should die. i don't care if children are
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blown apart. that's the quote the fbi put forward. the problem is mohammad on his own had nothing. he was about to be e evicted from the apartment. the fbi agencies provided everything. they rented a storage unit, they gave him a list of things he needed to buy, you know, one was a battery. one was a switch, another was a cell phone. all of which were a component to build this remotely detonated bomb. and the fbi then builds the bomb for him. they built it so -- to seem to authentic it smells like gasoline. they put the bomb in a back of a truck and in back of a van and mohammad has spotted out a parking spot near pioneer square as people in portland tell me it's hard to get a parking spot during the christmas tree lightening ceremony. low and behold that parking space is available. they park the car and he walks away and mohammad dials up on the cell phone to detonate the bomb and it doesn't go off and
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the guy said do it again. and he dials again and the fbi agents rush in and arrest him. it was portrayed in the media we later find out he didn't know how to build the bomb. the fbi built it for him. he didn't have any specific connections to terrorism. he was 19 at the time. he was a baby for the most part. at the same time, as we mentioned earlier in the middle of the sting operation he was about to be evicted and the fbi gave him $3,000 to pay the rent so it wouldn't become an issue. later it come out there was an e-mail from an fbi agent talked about how mohammad liked to smoke pot and he was a misfit. the e-mail said he's probably us susceptible for a pitch. the fbi not looking for someone that is dangerous but someone they could draw to the sting operation. they are putting on a defense of all the cases i have seen going trial. i think this is the best on
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winning on entrapment. it's probably a difficult road for the defense. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> they want to know about -- [inaudible] >> right. it's hard to know exactly in the mohammad case it's hard to know. this was an informant involved early on. for the most part, most of the actors were two undercover agents. there are financial incentive for informants in particular. even some degree agents. your performance is based on the case load and the cases you bring in. that's a case whether you get a promotion or raise. you can make the argument that there are financial incentive involved in all of these cases in some degree. [inaudible] >> yes. you're right. so you mention there are
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financial incentive are some of the target in the case. that's absolutely true. you know, for example there was a case they mentioned earlier the informant had offered $250,000 to move forward in a plot. in a liberty case the seven men in miami, they were expecting a money transfer of $50,000 from what they believe was al qaeda, and the evidence in this case suggested that the lead guy may have been as interested as hustling the guy as he was interested in committing act of terrorism. most of the transcripts suggest that he was going to say and do anything until the $50,000 wound up in the bank account. that's ultimately -- the $50,000 never came and they got him involved in a terrorism plot. they -- they seemed along with what the informant wanted. they were financially motivated. >> we are running out of time. i think trevor will be happy to hang around and talk to you individually. i want to thank you, once again
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for doing this, you know, huge project. it's from these kinds of investigations that we learn about the mistakes we might be making and how to do things better. i want to thank all of you for coming out, if you haven't pick ed up a copy of trevor's book, now you know why you must. grab a copy of "mother jones." and support the venue that allowed us to be here. >> i'm flattered and honored for the event. thank you for coming and thank you for the event. i'll stick around. i would love to meet everyone. if you have time to talk, i'll be here. thanks. [applause] >> are you interested in being part of book of it's new online book club? each month woo will discuss a different book and author. this month we'll be discussing micialt alexander "the new jim crow" post your thoughts about
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the weak on twitter with a #an write our facebook page. then on tuesday, march 26, at 9:00 p.m. eastern join our live moderated discussion on twitter #b tv book club. send your discussions via twitter, facebook, or e-mail >> i have never seen in any report in the u.s. or main news has been the story of these people that live with a constant sirens that go off every time a rocket is close by, and they have fifteen stoakdz get to a bomb shelter. i went to visit elderly people. they were some of the founders of the can boots. say that were all all probably
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65 plus, many of them were in the 70s. they hadn't slept through the night in 2009 and during the operation. but in the months proceeding that and part behalf triggered it was the constant bombardment. people hear about this in a way that is backwards. they hear that israel has made strategic strike on a particular person or a particular target, and that was responded to with rockets. that's the way it's recorded most of the time. when in fact, the rockets have been going -- there have been over 12,000 rockets in the last ten years, and there are some of them are small. they are made in grandmother's garage. a lot of them are no longer small. a lot are iranian or larger that are not just what they call sun rockets which are small. these people have to get up and run every time there is a
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siren. they do it because they know they are kill. people are killed whether they are killed in great numbers it depends on where it strikes. they were taking antidepressants. the children in the area were bedwetters. the people that i went to see were being bussed to a lot for a three day weekend so they could sleep in a hotel where there was no disturbance. these are old people. they don't want to leave. they said to me, how can you come here? my children won't visit. are you afraid to be here. there were explosions going off nearby. i didn't hear sirens. i heard one of the explosions. we were less than a mile from gaza. these people live that way. the mothers that have to get the babies to the shelter. there's a little piece i quote in the book written by a mother, which child should i grab? she has five children. which one do i take first? that state is ongoing.
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it is quite right now because of the recent so-called truce with home mas. i went to the north after the lebanon war, janet, my friend janet was on the tour i was on. we were in there in 2006. these were larger rockets. these were -- we went and saw some of the places they struck, a path of houses was gone. people had gone jew -- jury the state of war in israel is such that is such a little country, people always say it's a size of new jersey. even if it's the south everybody has a relative there. everybody have kids in the army there. it's not like america where you hear of this. this is everybody's problem. and the phone starts ringing
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when the things heat up and even my phone, you know, and particularly recently when we actually had sirens in jury jury you find yourself saying, okay, should i take a shower or not take a shower? [laughter] or, you know, am i going sleep in my normal p.j. i have to be with my neighbors in a bomb shelter. i don't think i want them to see p.j.s. these are stupid things to think. the consciousness of it is what happens it pervades everything. the state of war in israel is it's dangerous. ongoing danger and ongoing threat and also a consciousness. but it's also a way of going on with life no matter what. that's what israelis are best at is they just go on. and they celebrate life. they don't just sit around and worry. they have dinner, and read
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stories and bar it's a culture that celebrates life and the face of danger. that's what i would really say thumbs up to the culture. >> so that's, you know, shifting from, you know, the misconception that life is really like, you mentioned the north and the book you mentioned that when you there in a city in the north of israel you met with the mayor, and he was i guess standing in the rubble of city hall or something like that. >> yeah. >> but what was his . >> well, the people there who have been in shelters for almost a month were upset that the war ended when it did. they wanted it finished and they said we'll live in shelters for three months and it will be the
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end. his view is they burned 10 trees we grow 100. someday we'll be the gateway to israel and the lebanese will come and we'll have dinner together. that's our goal. we want to be the gateway to the north. he was all about building rebuilding and planting and trees are very deal in israel. it's the only country in the world that has more trees at the turn of the 21st century than it had at the beginning of the 20th century. everybody plants trees every time they turn around. they plant trees and more trees than were burned. he talk abouted that. it's a defiance. it's also a spirit of building and life. yeah. people were sorry the war ended when it did. and everyone knew ended badly because it was cut short of
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success, but they just wanted to be able to get to peace and live their lives again. that's what they wanted to do. >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> here is a look at some books being published this week. they jot blanker blank history former supreme court justice printing a history of the high court and profiles several former justices. former president george george h.w. bush in "all the best, george bush" in the "secretary" a journey with hillary clinton to beirut to the healthier of the american power.
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they present a first account of hillary clinton's tenure of secretary of state. mary robinson the first woman president of ireland recounting her life in "everybody matters." why being in charge isn't what it used to be. the former executive director of the world bank and editor of chief of foreign policy argue that power has become easier to obtain and lose. look for the tights in bookstores this coming week and watch for the authors in the near future on booktv and >> that should make you encouraged about the power probability of staingts in general. so now i'm going make you scared. so this is actually the end of the book. it's a question one of the questions i went to earlier. who gets to know what about
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you? and last summer we hired a new baby sitter. when she arrived i began to explain the family background i'm a professor, my wife is a teacher. she cut me off and said i know. i googled you. [laughter] i was simultaneously relieved i didn't have to finish my spiel and mildly alarmed by how much of my life could be cobled together from a short internet search. our capacity to gather and analyze huge quantity of d.a. is unique in human history. we need new rules for the new era. let's put the power of data in perspective with just one example from the retailer target. many of you -- this is a store that was in the "new york times" magazine. like most companies, target strives to increase profits by understanding the customers.
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for the most part it's a good thing. to do that, the company hires statistician to do the, quote, predictive an lettic. they use sales data combined with other information on consumers to figure out who bias what and why. nothing is bad. it means when you go to target, you're likely to carry things you want buy. let drill down for a moment on one example of the kind of things they can figure out. i don't know if it's a windowless basement. i'm assuming. pregnant women develop when they call a retail relationship that can last for decades. as a result, target wants to identify pregnant women particularly those in the second trimester and get them in to the
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stores more often. a writer for "the new york times" magazine followed the team at target as it sought to find and attract pregnant shoppers. i'm sure target regret it is. i'm pressuretive. -- appreciative. target has a baby shower registry in which pregnant women register for baby gifts in advance of the birth of their children. these women are already target shoppers and they have effectively told the store not only that they're pregnant, but usually when they're due. so how far along they are. here is the statistical twist mpletd target figured out that other women who demonstrate the same shopping patterns are probably pregnant too. for example, pregnant women often switch to unscented lotion, they start buying extra big bags of cotton balls in is true. who knew.
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[laughter] target predicted an lettics guru identify twenty five products that together made possible what they describe as a pregnancy prediction score. the whole point of the analysis was to send pregnant women pregnancy-related coupons in hope of hooking them as long-term target shoppers. how good was the model? "new york times" magazine reported a story about a man when from minneapolis who demanded to see the manager. the man was irate because his high school daughter was being bombarded with pregnancy-related coupons from target. quote, she's still in high school and you're sending her high schools for baby clothes and cribs. are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant he asked in the store in minneapolis, the manager apologized profusely. he even called the father several days later to apologize again. only


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