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Dave Lindorff
Published: Saturday 26 May 2012
“This kind of entrapment and official deceit by police should alarm every American. It’s bad enough when police plant evidence and lie about evidence in order to win convictions, since it means innocent people will be sent to prison or worse.”

Planting Evidence to Sow Fear: Chicago Cops are the Terrorists

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It seems pretty clear by now that the three young “domestic terrorists” arrested by Chicago police in a warrantless house invasion reminiscent of what US military forces are doing on a daily basis in Afghanistan, are the victims of planted evidence -- part of the police-state-style crackdown on anti-NATO protesters in Chicago last week.

The Chicago Police clearly realized that it would be hard to convince a jury that the homemade beer-making equipment in the house was some dreaded bio-terror weapon, so for good measure they apparently dropped off some glass jars with gas in them and tried to make out that the kids were preparing molotov cocktails. That’s the word from National Lawyers Guild attorneys representing the men. They say their clients and others like them coming into Chicago from out of town to join in protests against the NATO summit were “befriended” by police informants and undercover Chicago Police, who then offered to obtain gasoline or explosive materials like toy rocket motors, and who proposed actions like firebombing police stations.

This kind of entrapment and official deceit by police should alarm every American. It’s bad enough when police plant evidence and lie about evidence in order to win convictions, since it means innocent people will be sent to prison or worse. But with the new post 9-11 terrorism laws, like the state terrorism statutes in Illinois being applied in these cases, it becomes far more difficult for a victim of such police and prosecutorial misconduct to challenge the case against her or him. In terror cases, the government can claim “national security” to hide the evidence and even the identity of the witnesses from the defendants and the courts, the jury and the public, and can avoid ever being questioned about it publicly. In a worst case, the federal government doesn’t even need to bring the case to trial. If the victim is accused of being a terrorist, under the latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and various executive orders, that person can be locked away indefinitely without trial -- exactly the kind of abuse that led American colonists to rise up against their British colonial overlords 237 years ago.

Residents like me from Philadelphia know all about this stuff. Planting evidence on people you want to lock away has a venerable history in this once revolutionary town.

In 1995, six Philly cops were convicted of presenting false testimony and of framing over a hundred people with planted evidence that sent the victims to jail with long prison terms. In the end, two of those cops ended up serving jail terms themselves as the result of a federal corruption probe. A bigger federal investigation of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Center City division in the 1980s led to the conviction of several dozen cops, including a captain, four lieutenants, and the deputy chief of police, on charges of extortion and evidence tampering, including the planting of false evidence. Dozens of convicted prisoners were released from jail when it became clear their convictions had been based upon faked evidence by these uniformed miscreants.

The practice of planting evidence and of police lying to win convictions has continued in Philadelphia, which has paid out over $27 million in damages to people victimized by police corruption and false evidence planting since the mid-’90s. In 2009 the Philadelphia Daily News broke a story that a narcotics division cop on the force had planted drugs (a tactic known as “flaking” among dirty cops) in order to lock up dozens of people and to rack up a seemingly stellar record of drug-busting.

And across the river in Camden, NJ, over 75 people jailed for drug offenses are having their cases reviewed and overturned now because of evidence that police in that city were planting evidence on the people they arrested.

So common was the knowledge that police in Philadelphia keep stolen unlicensed handguns and bags of drugs in their cars for the purpose of framing citizens, that after I published my book Killing Time on the case of Pennsylvania death-row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Afro-American journalist convicted in 1982 of killing a white Philadelphia police officer in a trial fraught with police and prosecutor perjury and faked evidence, that I was loath to drive through the city. And when I did, was extremely careful to follow traffic rules to the letter. With white police officers publicly pressing, through their union and lobbying arm, the Fraternal Order of Police, for Abu-Jamal’s execution, it seemed all to easy for them to stop me, run a make, ID me as the author of a book exposing the wrongness of his conviction, and to then plant a gun or a stash of illicit drugs in my vehicle, and lock me away. At least back then, though, you’d just be facing ordinary criminal charges, and hopefully a good attorney would be able to prove the charges were bogus. Terrorism charges make it much harder to do that.

The faking of terrorism crimes is abetted by a lazy corporate media, where reporters and editors just run their stories based upon the wild claims made by police and prosecutors, without bothering to consider how ludicrous those claims may be. Often, they don’t even bother to go to the victims’ defense attorneys for rebuttal.

Plus, the general scare-mongering by government and media, and the media propaganda glorifying of “tough” cops and prosecutors who cut corners, makes it likely that most juries will continue to believe the false statements and evidence presented by the prosecution at trials.

It’s ironic that the same public that is so ready to believe all manner of wild conspiracies about the president’s being a secret Kenyan Muslim or about the government deliberately trying to turn control of the US military over to the United Nations, or about a government plan to kill off old people with “death panels,” will prove completely gullible and ready to suspend any disbelief when a police officer or a prosecutor makes some outlandish claim about three kids with beer fermenting equipment in their basement.

ABOUT Dave Lindorff

Dave Lindorff is an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and He received a Project Censored award in 2004. Dave is also a founding member of the online newspaper ThisCantBeHappening! at

Americans need to wake up and

Americans need to wake up and demand strong Whistleblower laws. Most government workers are caught between a job and the truth. The County where I reside has made it a firing offense, if a government worker refuses to do what they are told they are terminated. No excuses; refuse and lose your good paying job. Workers can be ordered to violate the laws and if they choose to uphold your rights, how are you going to help find them a good paying job with a pension? In todays climate of diminishing government jobs, one is not likely to go and find another job in another jurisdiction especially once they find out why you were terminated. We need to protect workers if we want them to expose criminal activity in our government. Self preservation is a powerful force to overcome, whistleblower laws can help protect all of us from Big Brother.

I have a suggestion to

I have a suggestion to significantly reduce this type of action in the United states of America.

It is Criminal Law Reform. That every Law must have a Mandatory Sentencing set for First time Offenders, a Mandatory Sentencing for Second time Offenders, a Mandatory Sentencing for Third time Offenders that is life imprisonment without Parole.

That White Collar Crimes have the same Harsh Penalties as the Criminal Crimes. If you steal Millions and Billions presently you do not go to Prison, but if you steal $100 from a “Mom and Pop store” you get Prison time.

If as a result of White Collar Crime an Individual was damaged significantly financially and committed Suicide then the Individual who committed the White Collar Crime would be charged with Second Degree Murder.

The criminal justice system is now almost exclusively reserved for ordinary average and poor Americans, who are routinely subjected to harsh punishments even for the pettiest of offenses.

“Injustice,” John Rawls summarizes, “is simply inequalities that are not to the benefit of all.” All should be equal before the law. Justice must be blind. No man is above the law. We are, in the words of John Adams, “a nation of laws, not men.”

That if it is ever proved that anyone within the Justice System [Police-person, Prosecutor, Defense Attorney, Judge, Expert etc.] or any other Witness outside of the Justice System Falsified, Hid, Destroyed or in any way caused an innocent person to be convicted, that they upon their conviction would be Mandatorily Sentenced to the same Penalty that the Individual they had tried to Frame would have been sentenced to serve.

That the sentence of Execution could only be given when there is Positive DNA Evidence beyond a Reasonable Doubt. Execution could never be given when there is only Eye-Witness testimony, seeing as in 74% of the cases or convictions overturned they had been based on Eye-Witness testimony.] That all Laws and Regulations must be written to protect the Individual Citizens Health, Safety, and Welfare. We live in a time of massive disparity between penalties for street criminals and corporate wrongdoers. Corporations, which claim all the rights of “persons,” are subjected too much weaker punishments than real people. It doesn’t have to be.

That Ethic Rules and Regulations be written that cover every Individual that is employed by the Federal Government and that the enforcement of these Laws and Regulations be the responsibility of the Justice Department. That there be Mandatory Sentences for the Violation of these Laws, Regulations and Rules.

Conspiracy is defined as

Conspiracy is defined as agreeing in secret to commit illegal, immoral or unethical acts. It goes on all of the time, by people of all political and religious leanings. Sad, but human.

You are a major reason that

You are a major reason that this continues in the World. Your apathy allows it to go on. You are willing to accept it and go on with your pathetic life of earning more money for yourself. JUST AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT USE IT AGAINST YOU? RIGHT?????

This is the one thing that

This is the one thing that should alarm us:

"If the victim is accused of being a terrorist, under the latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and various executive orders, that person can be locked away indefinitely without trial . . . ."

This is a way for authorities to get rid of anyone or any group that opposes it: Plant some gas containers, call it terrorism, never see them again--just like the regimes we fight to destroy or oppose, China, Soviet Russia, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, et al. What are we becoming?

WE have a tough way to go.

WE have a tough way to go. We have to fight the teabaggers and blue dog dems, then WE have to fight the bankster mafia, AND, WE have to fight the gangsters in blue, also.
Yes, WE have a tough way to go. Isn't our military bound to protect the constitution from all that would subvert it?



The authorities rule by superior brute force, NOT sperior intellect or superior morality (Alex DeTocqueville from "Democracy in America").

And when Oakland, California Mayor Jean Quan let the cat out of the bag and revealled that Obama's Dept. of Homeland Security instructed 17 big city mayors during a telephone conference call to use violence to quash the Occupy movement, the wworld then knew who was directly repsonsible for the police brutality against peaceful protesters.

Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are thick as thieves who are Chicago brothers, and they ruled out busting heads and deviously shifted gears to deal with NATO protesters -- entrap/falsify and perjure. "Savvy", as Obama would put it.

this is just heartbreaking.

this is just heartbreaking. as DWDAllam already asked, what are we becoming? an even more disturbing question is: what have we become?

All civilizations END in

All civilizations END in stereotype. Democrats are accessories when Republicans just murder and get away with it. The precedent set when Clinton lied in front of the Supreme Court should tell you something about the extent that the system, itself, is corrupt. "I did not have sex with that woman." It, almost, doesn't matter what you consider sex to be. It is like the government taking over abortion, the fact that nature tinkers, never to leave tinkering behind.

So, pointing a finger at those who see the Constitution as the last article of support for the flailing Magna Carta, if you get my drift, is not constructive. Aside from that, I like your article very much. Wayne Madsen might have something to say about prioritizing such a review on our 'global citizens' enraptured by destroying the nation-state. Where does it all fit into regional economics outlined by nature, including the electronic landscape? Ever hear of Indira Singh, William Binney, or Ever hear of Ralph Abraham? James Lovelock?

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