He Reported the FBI’s Own Informant to the FBI

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes:

He Reported the FBI’s Own Informant to the FBI: “Here’s an incredible piece of reporting in the Washington Post about Craig Monteilh, a convicted criminal turned FBI informant-provocateur, and former foot-solider in our War on Terror:

Before the sun rose, the informant donned a white Islamic robe. A tiny camera was sewn into a button, and a microphone was buried in a device attached to his keys.


‘This is Farouk al-Aziz, code name Oracle,’ he said into the keys as he sat in his parked car in this quiet community south of Los Angeles. ‘It’s November 13th, 4:30 a.m. And we’re hot.’

The undercover FBI informant – a convicted forger named Craig Monteilh – then drove off for 5 a.m. prayers at the Islamic Center of Irvine, where he says he spied on dozens of worshipers in a quest for potential terrorists.


Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the FBI has used informants successfully as one of many tactics to prevent another strike in the United States. Agency officials say they are careful not to violate civil liberties and do not target Muslims.

To wit:
Monteilh said he was instructed to infiltrate mosques throughout Orange and two neighboring counties in Southern California, where the Muslim population of nearly 500,000 is the nation’s largest. He was told to target the Islamic Center of Irvine, he said, because it was near his home.


FBI tactics were already a sensitive issue at the Irvine mosque, a stucco, two-story building that draws as many as 2,000 people for Friday prayers.

With tensions rising between law enforcement and Muslims over allegations of FBI surveillance, J. Stephen Tidwell, then head of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, spoke at the mosque in June 2006.


‘If we’re going to mosques to come to services, we will tell you,’ he said, according to a video of his speech. ‘. . . The FBI will tell you we’re coming for the very reason that we don’t want you to think you’re being monitored. We would come only to learn.’

Two months later, in August 2006, Monteilh arrived at the same mosque. He had called earlier and met with the imam. That Friday, he took shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith, before hundreds of worshipers.
Read the whole thing.  Monteilh can not be taken at his word, but the information the Post corroborated is damning. The parallels with the War on Drugs are alarming, particularly paying convicted criminals large sums of money to make cases against alleged criminals.

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates :: The Atlantic.)

Here we go again.

Why Black Folk Mistrust the Justice System

Conservatives For Criminal Justice Reform – Ta-Nehisi Coates:

“I’m less certain that the ‘tough on crime’ approach has been ‘largely vindicated’ by events–mostly because I think a large part of the events include the moral costs, and the real costs to communities where alarming numbers of men are under the watch of the state. One should consider the numbers here–blacks make up a third of all drug arrests, and black men are 12 times as likely to be imprisoned on a drug conviction. Four in Five of these arrests were for possession, not sale. Perhaps this is because the drug epidemic has run rampant through black communities, but probably not. The difference in illicit drug usage is slight (9.5 percent of blacks have used illicit substances, 8.2% of whites).  Those are the sort of numbers that feed an intense distrust of the justice system in many black communities. I think Ross (though I can’t be sure) sees the ends justifying the means. But the means are disproportionately born by people who live far away from those ‘Nixon to China’ conservatives.”

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

Which is why many of us merely call it The System. I hope our white brothers and sisters see this too and understand our burden. I hope that once the economic crisis dies down, this will happen sooner rather than later. We can all start to move forward on how drugs is killing us, esp. black people, on all sides.

CNN Covers Palin Rape Kit Story (VIDEO)

CNN Covers Palin Rape Kit Story (VIDEO):

(Via The Huffington Post.)

I first heard about this on The Daily Show and was pretty shocked. It’s a pretty crazy situation and disturbing. Not a smart move to attract women voters.