Government-friendly inexpert witnesses help grease the wheels for an unaccountable war on terror.

By Philip Giraldi
August 11, 2015
The American Conservative

Department of Justice photo by Lonnie Tague

The counter-terrorism industry in the United States is largely invisible, but its cost is not, amounting to tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars annually, depending on what one includes in the reckoning. And the actual level of threat is certainly debatable. Anyone who looks at terrorism arrests and convictions in the United State would likely come to the conclusion that many of the cases that eventually go to court are borderline entrapment. A suspect is frequently first identified by way of the internet or through telephone taps, either based on radical sites visited or by connections to friends who are themselves under suspicion. A case against the individual is then developed by monitoring what he or she is saying and writing, followed by the frequent introduction of a confidential Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informant who contrives to become a friend.

At that point the whole process becomes murky because the informant is not supposed to encourage the suspect to undertake an illegal act, which would be entrapment. Nevertheless, in many cases the suspect proceeds to commit himself more and more after the informant is introduced and in many cases the latter then provides a bomb that will not explode or a gun that will not shoot. An arrest, trial, and conviction follow, demonstrating once again that the government is doing its job against terror.

Part of the trial process is the expert witness, used by both the defense and prosecution. An expert witness is supposed to be objective but in reality he is an advocate for the viewpoint of whoever is paying for his services, though if he goes too far he is vulnerable to aggressive cross examination by the opposing side.

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