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More Than Entrapment, More Than a Frame-Up, the Crucifixion of the NATO 3, Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly.  The NATO 3 are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, June 12.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, rarely in history has so much been so wrong with a case in which so much is at stake. The story of the NATO 3 is either the story of the most inept, harebrained terrorists in history meeting the Keystone Cops, or a terrifying retaliation by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's police department for the posting of a Youtube video which documented illegal police behavior.  

The case has the potential to strike at the heart of First Amendment rights exercised at the NATO protests, and all future protest, by escalating the chilling of free speech.  Until now this consisted mostly of nuisance charges based on the philosophy enunciated by police that "you can beat the rap but you can't beat the ride." This brings it to terrifying levels. With this goes the "right of the people peaceably to assemble," and to petition for the "redress of grievances," in all matters from wars to bank bail-outs.   The NATO 3, young men in their twenties, all face 85 years in prison.

Perhaps what most undermines the charges against the NATO 3 are the charges themselves.    

If we are to believe state prosecutor Anita Alvarez, then just seven days before the defendants were "making preparations" to commit acts of terror, the CPD just happened to have stopped these same three in a traffic stop.  They had made a three-point-turn and, according to an officer in the video, touched "private property" (yes the Dr. Strangelovian echo is there.)    

During this traffic stop, which was videotaped by the defendants, Chicago police, with no more probable cause than the alleged traffic infraction, opened the trunk and searched it, which is clearly beyond what is allowed by long-settled law.  

In the course of the stop, the defendants are heard saying they are in town for the NATO protests organized by Occupy Chicago.  The police joke to the young men about taking "billyclub[s] to the f-ing skull," saying they will be "looking" for "each and every one of you."  Church, Chase, and Betterly are heard responding to requests for ID which the police presumably record and run through their system.  Seven days later, the three defendants are arrested on charges which, if carried out, would have constituted one of the worst terrorist attacks since 9/11.

The Traffic Stop

Strangely, in State's Attorney Alvarez's charge sheet, there is no mention of the coincidence of the traffic stop, nor how Chicago's finest had the near-equivalent of Mohammed Atta, or at least Bonnie and Clyde, within their clutches just a week before they were to commit utter mayhem. Nor that the encounter had been videotaped.  Nor that the day after the traffic stop, on May 9, 2012, the defendants posted the video of the illegal search and the thuggish talk on Youtube after which it quickly went viral.

Well what do you know?

Instead, sometime in "early May," according to the charge sheet, police posing as protesters, which the department admits to using and which Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy says is a legitimate tactic, infiltrated the apartment in which the defendants and other protesters were staying and began their "investigation."  

Protesters present in the apartment and active in Occupy Chicago have told reporters that two infiltrators, now said by protesters to have gone by the names of "Mo" and "Gloves," tried to incite the defendants and other protesters to acts of violence, which they say were refused.  At this point, protesters in the apartment say, evidence was planted which was "recovered" in a raid.  

Ignoring the threats of violence by his own officers caught on videotape in the traffic stop, and the record of police violence against Occupy Wall Street rather than the other way around, Chief McCarthy instead expresses predictable outrage at the unmasking of his infiltration of a peaceful movement, saying to Fox that it "endangers police officers' lives."

According to the charge sheet, police:

"obtained a judiciaily-approved (sic), no-knock search warrant for the target location" and "analyzed varioius (sic) items from the search, including weapons, four completed Molotov Cocktails, wiritten (sic) plans for the assembly of pipe bombs, Chicago area map, computer equipments, recording devices, video cameras, cell phones, and an assault vest..."

It is unclear why "recording devices, video cameras, cell phones" are mentioned in the charges, since they are legal.  The defense maintains that the warrant presented to them is not signed by a judge.  

The official charges also state:

"As part of their efforts, the defendants also possessed and/or constructed improvised explosive-incendiary devices and various types of dangerous weapons (including a mortar gun, swords, hunting bow, throwing stars, and knives with brass-knuckle handles), as well as police counter-measures such as pre-positioned shields, assault vest, gas mask equipment and other gear to help hide their identity during their operations."
It is unclear what the defendants intended to do with this nutty assortment of weapons against police behind riot shields and in full riot gear, with sidearms.  Not to mention that walking around with a hunting bow in the middle of a protest would be a good way to be immediately surrounded, by protesters, or shot on sight by police.  As for the Molotov cocktails, the charges state that on Wednesday, May 16, the night of the arrests,
"the defendants using gloves began to make the Molotov Cocktails and cut bandanas as timing devices. During construction, CHURCH and CHASE assisted in the preparation and BETTERLY gave instructions on how to properly assemble and use the Molotv Cocktails. While the Molotov Cocktails were being poured, CHURCH discussed the NATO Summit, the protests, and how the Molotov Cocktails would be used for violence and intimidating acts of destruction. Ar one point, CHURCH asked if others had ever seen a "cop on fire" and discussed throwing one of the Molotov Cocktails into a car located near the residence."
The Molotov cocktails, the charges say, were made from beer bottles.  

A number of problems present themselves here.  First, Molotov cocktails do not have "timing devices."  Any gas-soaked rag strip serves as a "fuse," which plugs the bottle and is lit before throwing, lighting the rest of the gasoline when the bottle shatters on impact.  Second, the reference to "bandanas" seems almost a hilarious attempt to associate the alleged firebombs with something associated with "self-described anarchists" as the rap sheet describes the defendants.  

Any strip of rag will do for a fuse on a Molotov cocktail.  Why waste bandanas?   Third, as one former prosecutor points out, one doesn't use beer bottles for Molotov cocktails, they are too hard to break.  One uses wine bottles.

The CPD confiscated beer-making equipment in the raid on Wednesday night, May 16, the same night the charges say the three were observed filling beer bottles with gasoline.  This of course would sound great to a jury, from the prosecution point of view, if prosecution produced a big contraption with a rubber hose for drawing liquid.  Perhaps in anticipation of this the defense released photos of the equipment, which seems to be full  Either that or extremely dark, foamy gasoline.

Finally, in order to carry out the extraordinarily busy schedule of targeted mayhem, which included plans to "destroy police cars and attack four CPD stations with destructive devices..." and to attack "the Campaign Headquarters of U.S. President Barack Obama, the personal residence of Chicago Mayor Rahm [Emanuel], and certain downtown financial institutions," the defendants were going to "recruit four groups of four coconspirators (for a total of sixteen people...)"

Let's get this straight.  In addition to their nutty weapons cache, the defendants were going to approach perfect strangers to run up to police stations and throw a firebomb at it, a crime good for life in prison under new terrorism laws.  Without the recruits knowing them from Adam, or even if the defendants were not police themselves.  See that big grey building with bars in the windows and cameras all around it?  Take this, and...

All these unlikelihoods taking place six days after posting an institutionally embarrassing video documenting an illegal search on Youtube.  

One word only here folks: Right.

The NATO 3 are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, June 12.  Drop the Charges! Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office: 312.744.5000 (email)  Cook County Prosecutor Anita Alvarez: 312- 603-1880 (email: )

Originally posted to Ralph Lopez on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 11:01 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Once started digging a hole, keep on digging (14+ / 0-)

    the police went down a path and they couldn't stop themselves  

    and then they blame it on the defendants

    with such sensational terrorists caught, justice must continue!

    •  Taking the intent for the act is what (10+ / 0-)

      justified the invasion of Iraq. Preemptive war and preemptive law enforcement are both based on the assumption that an act inevitably follows from an idea, making a "reaction" to an idea (suspicion) appropriate.
      That this violates the principle of "innocent until proven guilty" -- i.e. until after a provable insult has occurred -- probably means little to people lacking a linear sense of time.

      "In the name of the nation, and of the dollar and of the rule of law, you and your children shall sacrifice for the good of all." Rmoney prayer

      by hannah on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 01:52:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Scheduling this for the OWS (7+ / 0-)

    group later this morning (hopefully when people will be awake to read it!)

    To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. -Joseph Chilton Pearce

    by glitterscale on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 01:08:53 AM PDT

  •  Our system of justice depends on cases (5+ / 0-)

    involving real people being tried (contested) in open court.  The prosecutor is carrying out a ministerial function in transmitting information from the executive to the judiciary.  When the prosecutor takes it upon him/herself to dismiss the charges levied by the executive agents of government, it leaves the latter off the hook and not having to account for their mistakes or poor judgment.
    On the other hand, if the defendants are found not guilty either by the court or a jury, then they've got a basis for a counter-suit charging either malfeasance or negligence on the part of the law enforcers.
    Of course, since our public corporations are all insured against malfeasance and/or negligence, adverse judgments and compensation end up being paid out of the public purse (NYC paid out almost half a billion dollars in one year) and the ultimate responsibility to make a change falls to the citizens whose responsibility it is to select and hire the agents.
    Justice Kennedy is correct that enforcing the law is one of the obligations of citizenship. While it may just be a realistic assertion on his part that judges, in fact, have no enforcement powers and must rely on the executive to follow directives, though he might wish it otherwise, that's how it works.
    Chicago is a municipal corporation and, like all corporations, is defined by a strict definition and segregation of responsibilities.  The chief executive officer is not a dictator.  There are procedures that have to be followed because, over time, it has been proven that, since no one person can know everything, following the correct process is more likely to provide a good result, than not. Bad results are not precluded, but minimized.
    That impersonating a terrorists for the purpose of entrapping other would-be terrorists is "legitimate," is merely an assertion that such behavior has not been prohibited to law enforcers.  And, while I happen to think that the argument that "what's not prohibited is permitted," is mistaken, it's an argument that hasn't been strongly refuted by legislators, many of whom are keen to promote "crime prevention" in the name of the security of the nation at the expense of human rights.
    That human rights should trump all others is a novel concept which still has to contest with the historical predominance of property rights. Material assets have been considered more important than natural persons ever since natural persons were subject to being owned.

    "In the name of the nation, and of the dollar and of the rule of law, you and your children shall sacrifice for the good of all." Rmoney prayer

    by hannah on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 01:43:17 AM PDT

    •  The problem, hannah (10+ / 0-)

      is that once this gets into Court, the outcome is a lottery and I wouldn't fancy my chances.

      All that un-impeachable evidence from fine, upstanding Law Enforcement Officers, against a bunch of kids ....

      It is a clear principle of law that simply "plotting" can never be a crime. The plotters must also have the means and the equipment (or ready access to it) to carry out the "plot", or they are simply "talking", which hasn't yet been made a crime.

      The whole involvement of undercover officers sends this particular plot into the realms of the unproveable ... until it gets into Court, and is proven.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 02:13:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nevertheless, it's the system we have (6+ / 0-)

        and short-circuiting the process solves nothing.  Not to mention that it puts prosecutors into a position of authority to which they are not entitled.
        If our laws are not promoting justice, then that's the fault of our law-makers.  That's always been the case.  If we don't recognize it, it's because lawmakers go to great lengths to deny their responsibility.  And, we accept their excuses.  That legislators haven't read the laws they approve is routinely accepted as par for the course.  Then too, legislators keep being selected and hired on the basis of what goodies from the national treasury they might be able to deliver to whom and how good looking they are. Being able to emote also counts. Somehow, that legislators are hired to write laws gets overlooked.  Some people even argue that legislators ought not to be lawyers, as if having studied what one is about is bad.

        Of course, if the law is merely an impersonal dictator behind which petty potentates can hide their nefarious schemes, then the composition of the law doesn't much matter, does it?  

        The "rule of law" is attractive to authoritarians because it lets them disguise their malfeasance in depriving others of their rights.

        "In the name of the nation, and of the dollar and of the rule of law, you and your children shall sacrifice for the good of all." Rmoney prayer

        by hannah on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 03:35:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  AG's have a lot to gain by winning such cases - (0+ / 0-)

      truth be damned.

      That's a big flaw in the system.

      Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

      by Pescadero Bill on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 07:28:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, the tradition of absolute immunity (0+ / 0-)

        for prosecutors (according to the SCOTUS) there's no basis in law does not take personal ambition into account.

        It's a matter the SCOTUS was set to address in a case out of Ohio, I think, where two men had been wrongly convicted and spent 27 years in prison because the prosecutor fudged the evidence.  But, before a judgment came down, the County settled the case, thereby preempting a judgment.

        Our laws have long been unjust.  After all, not only was slavery legal, but only a little more than a decade ago, members of the military were denied the right to speak about their associations. And women are being deprived of medical care, even though deprivation is supposed to be reserved as punishment for crime.

        "In the name of the nation, and of the dollar and of the rule of law, you and your children shall sacrifice for the good of all." Rmoney prayer

        by hannah on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 09:20:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So they didn't have any of that stuff? (6+ / 0-)

    The defendants, that is.  It sure sounds like they did.

    I'm always hearing complaints from the Left that the Right gets away with things we (sic and double-sic) never get away with.  When Rightist nutcakes are caught making harebrained plans of violence and their lawyers try to get them off by pointing out how harebrained everything is, they don't get much sympathy from us or from the judicial system.  I don't see any grounds for sympathy here either.

    Romney '12: Bully for America!

    by Rich in PA on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 03:44:47 AM PDT

    •  I would not assume they are guilty or not guilty. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rich in PA, Knarfc, Deep Texan

      Hannah is right about this "Nevertheless, it's the system we have
      and short-circuiting the process solves nothing. Not to mention that it puts prosecutors into a position of authority to which they are not entitled."

    •  Should the defense be allowed to (3+ / 0-)

      cross examine "police infiltrators", in any trial, in cases like this, involving those of the "left", and those on the "rgiht"?

      By the way, how did you decide or conclude that the defendents in this particular case, are "from the left"? How does one ascertain who fits into these sorts of categories?

      H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

      by Knarfc on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:41:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They had "beer making equipment" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the big bottle is called a "carboy". For 20 bucks or so you too can be an evil beer-terrorist.

      I personally am a far less professional terrorist as i use milk jugs to make my homemade wine and used a pickle jar to make beer.

      But you know.. actually researching something before you find someone guilty and hateworthy would be too much work. Such are the ways of the new dkos

      A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

      by cdreid on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:34:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  reread the charging affidavit: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TFinSF, rcnewton

        the infiltrator attests that they were making molotov cocktails, and it'll be up to the jury to determine whether the infiltrator is credible based on his/her testimony and whatever other corroborating evidence the prosecutor has.

        •  erm (5+ / 0-)

          "a police officer sent to spy on this group says they were making molotov cocktails and has pictures of their beer carboy full of malt, water, and hops to prove it"... means of course that Rich in PA and you should assume they are evil terrorists because.. f*ck them....

          Hell who needs evidence or anything. A cop in the "political intelligence division" says its so.

          You must have been a huge fan of the NYPD's Red Squad.

          A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

          by cdreid on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 07:46:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not assuming they're evil terrorists. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rcnewton, Rich in PA

            Since you apparently thought that the only evidence the prosecutors had was the beer making equipment, I corrected you.  

            But my comment also assumed you are reality-based, which may or may not be the case.

            •  You must have completely missed (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tonedevil, Ralph Lopez

              or ignored the context somehow. Rich is basically saying "well it looks liek theyre guilty cause theres evidence and whatnot! so screw them"..

              though it is abundantly clear this was a political setup by some tools in the scumbag department of the chicago pd. It kindof boggles the mind after the massive history of this crap that anyones first reaction would be anything but doubt and checking the facts. Rich pretty much decided the man said its so  therefore the hippies should go to jail.

              (Btw in case you assume  i just hate the pd i got quite a few hideratings recently for calling out some morons for calling for violence against the police)

              A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

              by cdreid on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 08:12:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think it's pretty clear what's going on (0+ / 0-)

                A police department with little regard for the rights of individuals stumbled across a few people with a harebrained scheme to cause low-level havoc at the NATO conference.  You make it seem like one negates the other--actually, one can in fact negate the other at trial, for reasons I won't bore you with, but that's where it should happen unless the DA determines it's hopeless to even take it to trial.  

                Romney '12: Bully for America!

                by Rich in PA on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 10:22:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, it sounds like the police set out to retaliate (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cdreid, aliasalias, goobop

                  for the posting of an embarrassing video and planted evidence, something police departments have been known to do.  You are already accepting the police version, ignoring the inconsistencies and completely fantastic coincidences, and presuming the young men guilty.

                  If they intended terror, why would they come forth during the traffic stop and say they were heading for the NATO protests?  Also there is no trace of nervousness.   Either they are innocent or this is the calmest - rather bored-sounding at the expected harassment - bunch of "terrorists" ever.

      •  The CPD confiscated beer-making equipment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in the raid on Wed. night, May 16, the same night the charges say the three were observed filling beer bottles with gasoline.  This would sound great to a jury, from the prosecution point of view, if they produced a big contraption with a rubber hose for drawing liquid.

        Perhaps in anticipation of this the defense released photos of the equipment, which seems to be full  Either that or the darkest, foamiest gasoline I have ever seen.

    •   It sure sounds like they did? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Broke And Unemployed, aliasalias

      It sounds like it's a police force that is not to be taken seriously. They swear to uphold the law, then are video taped flagrantly violating it. When you have bad actors claiming they found evidence (without prints) in a location, it's hard to take their word as the gospel truth. When there is motive to frame these 3, that furthers doubt. The defendants should be receiving the benefit of the doubt, but use the T-word, and all civil rights go out the window.

  •  The police that watch the police are.... police (3+ / 0-)

    and cops will arrest their own mother if another cop tells them to.
    Once, upon a return from Mexico, while visiting an old girlfriend in Denver, someone came to the door while we watched tv. She came back to the living room crying that some guy she'd met in a bar and slept with only once was giving her shit for selling him bad white crosses and  he wanted his money back. She was broke so I went to the door and told him to stop bothering her, she'd only sold him the drugs as a favor. She was deeply in debt after a nearly fatal car accident, and if he wanted more drugs to talk to me. She was not a drug dealer.
     I didn't have any drugs and didn't know where to get any but Jenny was my friend and I didn't like seeing her cry.  I was a hippy back in those days, long hair and beard and freshly back from Mexico, perpetually dressed in a serape purchased second hand in the mountains of Oaxaca.
     A few days later they called and set up a meeting at a local bar. I went with the suspicion they were undercover and the first thing I asked was to see their wallets and when one flatly refused to show me, my suspicions deepened. During the conversation I talked like a pretty bad dude, without letting them know I didn't have any friends, I told them my friends didn't like narcs and that my friends were hard core  motherfuckers.  They never called me back and after a while I figured it was all history.
     I'd gotten a job as a taxi driver in Denver and was on my way to work one evening a few weeks later when I noticed what I thought were emergency lights from a firetruck approaching from the rear so I pulled over.  The next thing I know I'm being pulled from the car, bent over the hood, my legs kicked apart, frisked and handcuffed and some guy dressed in plain clothes has a gun in my face nervously yelling" So, You wanna kill a cop, aye, mutherfucker".  I swear to God I'd forgotten all about the bar encounter so I had no idea what they were talking about. It actually took ten minutes of sheer hell and a lump in my pants to figure out what was going on.
     I only spent one night in jail that time but my poor girlfriend was a year in court and at the end of that, five years of probation after copping a plea. She'd been entrapped by a one night stand but there was no way out.
     I finally moved back to Mexico where cops seem to have a sense of humor.

    "HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE" , bumpersticker on a burning Subaru

    by tRueffert on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 04:49:31 AM PDT

    •  The cop was a jerk (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but.. then again from their perspective you were a hardcore drug dealer probably hooked up with gangs or bikers.. who basically threatened to have an undercover cop killed. From their perspective.. she sold them drugs.. that kindof makes her a drug dealer.

      Now the thing is.. sounds to me like it was either a corrupt cop or a cop who was told that no.. we cant prosecute a woman you had sex with for selling you drugs.

      My point is im not seeing how this paints cops as evil. IT seems to me it paints you as a wannabe drug dealer who talked a lot of smack then got your panties in a twist when it was repaid in kind.

      A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

      by cdreid on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:40:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you told cops you were a drug dealer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and then were arrested.  The only surprising thing is that you got out of it comparatively unscathed.

      •  to be fair, I wasn't sure they were cops (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III, Tonedevil, AoT

        That night I told them if they wanted drugs to talk to me instead, that I might be able to help, but I never offered them drugs. I didn't have any.They were just assholes that were bugging the shit out of my friend. I tried to scare them off. I thought it worked. That they were undercover narcs that were so bad they had to spend their time busting a girl they'd met in a bar and begged to get them drugs for was something I didn't really think was real. She didn't know shit about selling drugs, in fact the drugs she sold them were bogus.   She'd been ripped off when she bought them. Probably from narcs. With all the shit going down in the world I just wanted them to get off my girlfriends back. Mind you, I was pretty surprised to find out they really were cops.   anyway, it's just a fucking anecdote.

        "HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE" , bumpersticker on a burning Subaru

        by tRueffert on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 07:54:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So the Mayor of Chicago ... (4+ / 0-)

    ... was behind a plan to set up two undercover police officers as moles in an organization to entrap some kids and force them to spend 85 years in prison for fear of a video that, even viewed in the worst possible light, would have resulted in a public reprimand of the officers involved?


    I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

    by Tortmaster on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 04:52:27 AM PDT

  •  Article Should Have a Better Title (13+ / 0-)

    "Why Did the CPD Infiltrate Occupy Movement?"

    Almost 100% of domestic terrorism arrests since 9/11 have involved Federal or other law enforcement agents infiltrating a social circle of people that they have identified as "malcontents" and instigating some sort of plans of violence.

    If anyone approaches you with such plans, or language suggesting such plans, you must immediately assume that they are working either for the FBI or another police agency.

    Police forces need violence to justify crackdowns on protesters. This is why they infiltrated the Occupy Movement -- to provide the thread of such violence in case it failed to manifest itself otherwise.

    While the Occupy movement might not be entirely illegal -- it is, in the minds of our entire authority chain (yes, right up to the president) a threat.

    When you are in power, whether you are a police officer, a city, a member of Congress or president, or a sitting oligarch, any opposing force is a threat -- whether legally protected or not. If you want to maintain power, you use the resources at hand to protect it.

    We are supposed to have laws that make sure that those in charge are not able to abuse their powers.

    But these laws are not observed by the authorities, not respected in the courts and not enforced by the police. These parties have little to lose by ignoring them and a lot to gain.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:34:59 AM PDT

  •  Anyone know if the national TV news is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Broke And Unemployed

    covering this trial as the local news apparently is?

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:46:06 AM PDT

  •  Its not so much the Mayor's police department (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    antirove, Ralph Lopez, Calamity Jean

    The mayor honestly barely controls the police department in Chicago. They operate almost as their own faction within the City, and always have for the longest.

    At their best, they operate openly and with communication to the executives and council folk, at their worst we get shit like this and repeats of 68.

    I hope the NLG is able to smack this crap down properly, its pretty despicable.

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:23:36 AM PDT

  •  Charges alone do not establish facts (4+ / 0-)

    they are assertions; guilt should never be assumed from the charges made by police, especially not in Chicago and Illinois, given the number of innocent people proved to have been railroaded and and worse by police and courts in Chicago and Illinois, up to and including death sentences.

    But "it's the system we have..." That may be, but it doesn't make it right.

    The problem is that these sorts of cases of malicious entrapment and prosecution of innocent dissent and resistance -- the framing and railroading of "suspected terrorists" -- have become a specialty of law enforcement agencies all up and down the line. Courts may be tiring somewhat of these cases, but they still happen with some regularity, focused now on the Occupy Movement. They can and do result in conviction and long prison terms, even if the charges and evidence are fabricated and planted.

    Mere factual innocence apparently doesn't matter in these cases as factual innocence is often overridden by the claims made by informants and infiltrators. Even when the court recognizes this is the case, procedural rules can make it difficult or impossible for the accused to gain acquittal.

    The law (which the public may be able to affect) isn't necessarily the problem. Rules and procedures are often much more of a problem for defendants. And who determines those rules and procedures?

    Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

    by felix19 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 07:31:39 AM PDT

  •  Same thing happened in Cleveland. (6+ / 0-)

    Two good articles, one on Counterpunch and the other on Truth Out, track how the FBI sent a convicted felon to lead some "lost boys" into a "plot."  He hired them to work for him, plied them with beer and grass, suggested the plot, "found" the connection for "C4," and then even paid for it.

    On their own, these kids couldn't have organized a picnic.

    These kids were pushed to carry out their FBI-conceived plot on April 30, just before the May Occupy actions.

    To get to the bottom of the story I traveled to Cleveland shortly after the arrests and interviewed about 20 friends and family members of the "Cleveland 5," as supporters are calling them. They describe a group of naïve, vulnerable and even desperate individuals that the FBI preyed on. A government informant provided the five with jobs, money, a place to live, a friendly ear, beer, pot, the prescription stimulant Adderall, and most significant, the ideas and means to carry out a plot conceived by the Bureau itself.
    •  Yes, except this is worse, the kids in this case (3+ / 0-)

      could not be enticed to violence so were simply framed.   The outlandishness of the charges certainly suggest it.


      Church's lawyer Michael Deutsch called the case "entrapment or even worse than entrapment."

      "There was (beer) home brewing equipment at the house," he said. "There was no attempt to create any criminal attack, had no intention for any violent act."

      Deutsch implied police supplied the bomb-making materials and suggested how the three men should act to "make it seem like people are under attack."

      "We know that there were two police informants who infiltrated the group, and we believe they're the ones who provoked this and they're the ones who had the illegal activity and the illegal materials," he added.

      Activist Bill Vassilakis, who said he let the men stay in his apartment, described Betterly as an industrial electrician who had volunteered to help wire service at The Plant, a former meat packing facility that has been turned into a food incubator with the city's backing.

      Vassilakis said he thought the charges were unwarranted.

      "All I can say about that is, if you knew Brent, you would find that to be the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard," he said. "He was the most stand-up guy that was staying with me. He and the other guys had done nothing but volunteer their time and energy."

  •  General question: why not on rec list? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sean X

    Just a little question, notice this has more recs than many on rec list, wondering why is not on side panel.  Maybe don't understand system...thx!

  •  If the defendants are telling the truth (0+ / 0-)

    than they actually should have an easy job suing the city once they're found not-guilty.  

    We're living in world fascism, but coming up to world socialism. But it doesn't happen without a fight.

    by Deadicated Marxist on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 11:41:10 AM PDT

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