To Glenn Greenwald, the word of a 19-year-old Islamic terrorist is worth far more credence than the sworn testimony of the FBI field agents who caught him.
Greenwald, in a Sunday Salon.com column, informs us that the FBI may have arrested a terrorist in Oregon, but he is a terrorist of their own creation. How is it that Mr. Greenwald can make this accusation against a trusted government agency? Well, for starters, it isn’t a trusted agency at all, according to him, but rather an ensemble of bored, irresponsible agents looking for a way to play hero. He simultaneously accuses the FBI of planting the idea of terrorism in Mohamed Osman Mohamud’s mind and blames the United States for stoking terrorism with its foreign policy. Which is it? He never actually says, presumably to leave him officially untethered to either reprehensible accusation. Therefore, the desire to commit jihad was not Mohamud’s, but, if he did have this desire, it’s not his fault, because the United States drove him to it, through the FBI’s prodding or through its foreign policy. Keeping to his liberal talking points, Greenwald holds that any evil committed is not the fault of the terrorist, but of the United States.
Greenwald’s accusation that the FBI planted the idea of terrorism in Mohamud’s mind is due solely to the fact that there is no audio recording of the conversation that led Mohamud to indicate he wished to become “operational” by detonating a bomb. Greenwald thus assumes that Mohamud must have been trapped or convinced to kill and maim. He ascertains that a single FBI agent convinced an otherwise innocent 17-year-old Somali immigrant to become a covert terrorist in just one meeting.
The FBI had been watching Mohamud based on flimsy evidence, according to Greenwald. The Somali immigrant, with no familial ties to Pakistan, had been in communication with someone in Northwest Pakistan, a region with known terror ties. This alone, Greenwald states, is not enough to warrant the FBI being allowed access to Mohamud’s email communications. However, Greenwald later states that Mohamud was also the author of not one, not two, but three articles in an online magazine innocently titled Jihad Recollections. These articles were written before Mohamud was “ensnared” by the FBI.
Mr. Greenwald, in the last paragraph of the article, finally gets to his point. The United States is not the victim of terror, but instead the instigator of it. The United States, when attacked, deserves it. Greenwald states:
“Here we find one of the great mysteries in American political culture: that the U.S. Government dispatches its military all over the world — invading, occupying, and bombing multiple Muslim countries — torturing them, imprisoning them without charges, shooting them up at checkpoints, sending remote-controlled drones to explode their homes, imposing sanctions that starve hundreds of thousands of children to death — and Americans are then baffled when some Muslims — an amazingly small percentage — harbor anger and vengeance at them and want to return the violence.”