Russell Defreitas: Terrorist or Political Prisoner?

Stephen Lendman

Many hundreds of wrongfully convicted men and women languish unjustly in US federal and state prisons, victims of judicial unfairness, get tough on crime policies, a guilty unless proved innocent mentality, three strikes and you're out, and America's bogus war on terror, entrapping law-abiding people for political advantage, especially Muslim's, Washington's target of choice.

Russell Defreitas is one of many, victimized by what the Innocence Project (IP) calls "McJustice - the crisis of indigent defense," or in Defreitas' case, FBI entrapment. No wonder IP tries to free "the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment."

Prosecutorial misconduct includes:

targeting the innocent;
using bogus charges to indict;
coercing false confessions;
intentionally lying or misleading jurors;
withholding or destroying exculpatory evidence;
using secret evidence withheld from defense; and
entrapping targets lawlessly with stings and/or criminals induced to cooperate for better treatment.

On June 3, 2007, New York Times writers Cara Buckley and William Rashbaum headlined, "4 Men Accused of Plot to Blow Up Kennedy Airport Terminals and Fuel Lines," saying:

"Four men," including Russell Defreitas, "a onetime airport cargo handler and a former member of the Parliament of Guyana, were charged yesterday...." One was arrested in Brooklyn and two others were detained in Trinidad, (while) the fourth man was still at large."

On June 2, Defreitas, a naturalized US citizen, was arraigned in federal court. New York assistant FBI field office director Mark Mershon said all four men had "fundamentalist Islamic beliefs of a violent nature," suggesting they were guilty of being Muslims in America at the wrong time.

Authoritarian Followers

Journey to Perplexity

Sometime ago, I heard a radio interview of a Harvard troglodyte named Harvey Mansfield as he discussed his absurd ideas about manliness and gender. I have since learned, thanks to an excellent column by Glenn Greenwald, that he is a right-wing extremist who believes that the prez is above the law. In that column, Greenwald makes the following remark:

I’ll leave it to Bob Altemeyer and others to dig though all of that to analyze what motivates Mansfield and his decades-long craving for strong, powerful, unchallengeable one-man masculine rule.

Well, I followed that link to Mr. Altemeyer’s study of authoritarian followers, and it is fascinating! Have you ever felt the sinking depression I feel when confronted with a rigid, dogmatic, authority-loving, robot follower who spouts slogans and seems to be impervious to simple logic? Wondered how the hell he or she can think that way? Well, Mr. Altemeyer, a professor of psychology, has, and he studied them in depth. He calls them [high scoring] RWAs for right-wing-authoritarians.

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