Thom's blog - Monday November 29th, 2010

You need to know this about the foiled terror plot in Oregon last week. FBI agents claim they prevented a potential terrorist attack in downtown Portland on Friday. A Somali-born teenager – Mohamad Osman Mohamud – parked a van packed with explosives near a large crowd gathering to watch a Christmas-tree lighting ceremony. When he then tried to detonate the explosives with a cell phone – FBI agents swooped in and arrested him. Job well done, right? Well- not exactly. In reality – the FBI had been monitoring Mohamud for years when they discovered he had been emailing a friend in Northwest Pakistan – a known terrorist safe haven – back in 2008...when his concerned father provided the FBI with the tip about the people his son was visiting in cyberspace. Instead of talking to or helping Mohamud, the FBI agents decided to conduct a sting mission on him – reaching out to him – proposing the terrorist attack – assembling a fake bomb – providing the van – and setting Mohamud up to carry out the task. When he did – he was arrested. So is this really a success story? Or did Federal agents find a lonely, disaffected teenager – successfully radicalize him - and then arrest him to tout the Federal government’s counter-terrorism expertise. There are still a lot of questions left to be answered in this case. One in particular – in order for the sting to not be considered entrapment – it must be proven that the individual - "was independently predisposed to commit the crime for which he was arrested." In other words – agents must have presented Mohamud with choices that did not involve violent crimes and see if he would choose to commit terrorism. However – of the multitude of recorded meetings and documents the FBI has released – the crucial meeting in which Mohamud is given these choices was not documented – apparently due to a technical error with the recording device. Seems pretty convenient. So what has been the result of the FBI saving the lives of hundreds of people in downtown Portland who were never in danger and also arresting a teenager trying to commit a crime that they completely set up? More terrorism. In a backlash against Mohamud and Islam – the mosque he frequently attended in Oregon was a victimized by arson. On top of that – DC metro police announced a new policy to start randomly searching metro riders’ bags. So a religious building is actually burned down – and an important civil liberty is struck down by police here in DC. Is this really a responsible approach to stopping terrorism?

Everything Trump Touches Dies - Including Trade & Bringing Jobs Home

Thom plus logo This just in from Lori Wallach, Director Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch - In his speech now underway at Whirlpool in Ohio, Trump claimed to have met all of his trade promises from 2016. NOT!
From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann seeks out interesting subjects from such disparate outposts of curiosity that you have to wonder whether or not he uncovered them or they selected him."
Leonardo DiCaprio, actor, producer, and environmental activist
From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall