This is a short article by techdirt.com on the NYTimes questioning the FBI's role in its own successes.
Over the last few years, we've noticed that nearly every victory the FBI celebrates against terrorism is actually about stopping its own terrorist plots that it feeds to hapless individuals, often nudging them and pushing them down the road to "become" terrorists, despite commonly displaying little to no aptitude for actual terrorism.
Add the NY Times to the newspapers who are beginning to question the FBI's penchant for setting up its own plots for the sake of a high profile arrest of some clueless individuals.
The United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years – or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts.
But all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested.
As the article makes clear, claims of entrapment rarely work in these cases, but it certainly raises questions about whether the FBI is actually protecting us from real plots or spending time creating publicity stunts that leave some people in jail. No doubt, some of these setups bust people who could potentially be interested in taking part in attacks if they had any real opportunity to do so. But, in most cases, it doesn't seem like they would ever have the opportunity (unless the FBI was helping). In one case, the judge — even as she was sentencing the guy to decades in prison — admitted that the guy wouldn't be a "terrorist" if it weren't for the FBI:
"Only the government could have made a 'terrorist' out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in its scope…."
This is the same guy who laughed at earlier attempts by an FBI informant to get him to get involved in a plot.
There's no doubt that there are real plots being attempted. But wouldn't the FBI be better off focusing on those, rather than play acting all the time?