NYTimes Realizes That The FBI Keeps Celebrating Breaking Up Its Own Terrorist Plots

from the not-quite-as-impressive dept

Over the last few years, we've noticed that nearly every victory the FBI celebrates against terrorism is actually about stopping its own terrorist plots that it feeds to hapless individuals, often nudging them and pushing them down the road to "become" terrorists, despite commonly displaying little to no aptitude for actual terrorism.

Add the NY Times to the newspapers who are beginning to question the FBI's penchant for setting up its own plots for the sake of a high profile arrest of some clueless individuals.
The United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years - or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts.

But all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested.
As the article makes clear, claims of entrapment rarely work in these cases, but it certainly raises questions about whether the FBI is actually protecting us from real plots or spending time creating publicity stunts that leave some people in jail. No doubt, some of these setups bust people who could potentially be interested in taking part in attacks if they had any real opportunity to do so. But, in most cases, it doesn't seem like they would ever have the opportunity (unless the FBI was helping). In one case, the judge -- even as she was sentencing the guy to decades in prison -- admitted that the guy wouldn't be a "terrorist" if it weren't for the FBI:
"Only the government could have made a 'terrorist' out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in its scope...."
This is the same guy who laughed at earlier attempts by an FBI informant to get him to get involved in a plot.

There's no doubt that there are real plots being attempted. But wouldn't the FBI be better off focusing on those, rather than play acting all the time?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 7:36am

    ...in the land of make believe

    Catching real terrorists is hard work! Plus, they're like totally rare.

    Making up fake terrorists is just SOooo much easier.

     

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      Gwiz (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 8:02am

      Re: ...in the land of make believe

      It also helps a lot for the next budget review.

       

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        Richard (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 8:09am

        Re: Re: ...in the land of make believe

        Shouldn't they be poaying for the jail time out of their budget - that might concentrate the mind.

         

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          :Lobo Santo (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 8:14am

          Re: Re: Re: ...in the land of make believe

          That's the sort of thinking we don't need. Why don't you believe the FBI is infallible and shouldn't have any sort of recurring cost due to their actions?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 11:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: ...in the land of make believe

            Strawman.

            You and Masnick are a sick bunch.

            The FBI busts its ass making sure the plots terrorists are involved in are controllable, and you people just bitch.

            We have not had a terrorist attack in the US in over a decade thanks to the tireless work of these people.

            Freakish zealots like you and Masnick would benefit the world immensely by going and dying in a fire.

            Work on that, please.

             

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              BeeAitch (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 1:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ...in the land of make believe

              ...and I have a rock that I carry in my pocket that protects me from tiger attacks. I haven't been attacked by a tiger since I've had it (over a decade now).

              I'm sure glad I bought that rock...

               

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                Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 2:59pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ...in the land of make believe

                I have a tiger I carry in my pocket that protects me from rock attacks. I haven't been attacked by a rock since I've had it (over a decade now).

                I'm sure glad I found that tiger. : )

                 

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              John Fenderson (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 3:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ...in the land of make believe

              Freakish zealots


              It looks to me like the anti-terrorist elements of the FBI, Homeland Security, and the military industry are equal to terrorists on the "freakish zealot" scale.

              The difference between the two being that the government agencies have real resources as well as political and legal power. Terrorists can only do very limited harm, but the government's potential for harm is astronomical. The government agencies have also caused, in real terms, far more damage than terrorism has.

               

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              Boo, May 1st, 2012 @ 6:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ...in the land of make believe

              Bin Laden didn't blow up the projects.

               

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              Niall (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 5:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ...in the land of make believe

              So where was the oh-so-efficient FBI for Oklahoma, the WTC in 93, or anywhere in 2001?

              Seriously, this is penny-ante stuff. European intelligence services break stuff like this up all the time without a sweat, and believe me, we've had a *lot* of terrorism in Europe in the last 60 years (some of it even funded by the US!). So once again, you play catch-up and then try and act like you're doing something *so* amazing - and yet, there is so little credible threat (like from Iraq) that the FBI have to resort to making them up! And then you complain that we call them on it?

              Seriously, go to Londonderry with a Union Jack on, or the Basque Country with a Spanish flag, and you'll be glad of the efforts of *real* intelligence outfits.

               

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                Brandon Magoon (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:24pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ...in the land of make believe

                Oklahoma and the WTC in 93 were both examples of FBI sting operations gone wrong. That's the other big reason why these should be rained in. It isn't just because they use this stuff to further a political agenda, it's because real people can get hurt.

                 

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              ---, May 27th, 2012 @ 7:29am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ...in the land of make believe

              I'm pretty sure that the FBI's job consists of putting political opponents and dissenters in jail for "terrorism" just like the old McCarthy days

               

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      gorehound (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 10:09am

      Re: ...in the land of make believe

      All in their scheme to screw us all over.Washington is a Cancer and it will be excised eventually.Things had better change for the better.Probably they won't as I have no hope at all for our Government.
      Making-up Terrorists by sucking people into it and their lame attempts to control the Internet screaming about Terrorism will backfire on them.
      People are slowly waking up more and more as the younger generations all have known a Computer their whole life.
      There is a reason why my first punk band "The Transplants" had a tune called F.B.I. (Fat Bellied Ignoramuses).

       

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      fred taylor, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 8:16pm

      the land of make believe

      The FBI is guilty of unlawful activities. There is phone number
      202-324-9444 but it goes to the FBI.

       

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      fred taylor, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 8:16pm

      the land of make believe

      The FBI is guilty of unlawful activities. There is phone number
      202-324-9444 but it goes to the FBI.

       

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    Toot Rue (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 7:44am

    Microcosm

    As far as I'm able to tell, almost all of what the government does these days is creating problems so that they can propose government fixes.

    And they said perpetual motion was impossible...

     

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    Jeremy, May 1st, 2012 @ 7:44am

    Should be a crime

    You'd think trying to subvert someone into attacking their own country would be some sort of a crime. Also how does this not fall under entrapment rules?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 7:45am

    Everything they learned was from their show, 24.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 7:52am

    6,000 unsolved murders a year in the US...

    ...and the FBI spends its time turning laughably stupid chumps into "terrorists".

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 7:53am

    Law enforcement agencies such as the FBI have a long record of entrapment or inventing a potential crime and then trumpeting it. In the FBI's case this goes all the way back to J Edgar Hoover.

    It's just so much easier to do it that way and then sponsor programs and movies such as The Untouchables to raise their public profile to the demigod status.

    Just remember, folks, Elvis is alive and well and working as a FBI agent!

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 7:59am

    But catching real terrorists is so hard!

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 8:02am

    "whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in its scope"

    Best quote from a judge ever! If I were younger I'd form a band: The Shakespearean Buffoons

     

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    Michael, May 1st, 2012 @ 8:09am

    As Clay Shirky was quoted as saying in an article last week, "institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution." Seeing as there are no real terrorist threats, they must promulgate them in order to preserve the illusion that there are terrorists everywhere plotting to kill us, thus the push for ever-enhanced "security" measures. 'Terrorism' is a ploy, an easy go-to excuse to justify invasion of privacy and ripping our Constitution to shreds.

    That's Big Brother for you, keeping us all safe from the terrorist plots they themselves created.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 8:14am

    Another one...

    Oh look, another one just today...

    5 arrested in cleveland bomb plot

     

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 8:32am

      Re: Another one...

      The crucial error was presuming that anyone would care if Cleveland was blown up.

       

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        TDR, May 1st, 2012 @ 6:10pm

        Re: Re: Another one...

        Some people might care. Namely those who enjoyed Major League.

        "Vaughn winds up and delivers, and it's... juuuust a bit outside."

        "And the Indians have a runner. I think I'll wet my pants."

        "If that isn't Shaquille O'Neal out in left field, that ball is outta here."

         

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 6:41pm

        Re: Re: Another one...

        Hey, I care! Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland!

         

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      Planespotter (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 8:35am

      Re: Another one...

      LMAO! Just look at them... if they weren't being set up as terrorists by the FBI they'd be distilling moonshine in Grandpa's outside toilet or sleeping with their cousins!

       

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    Josef Anvil (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 8:21am

    Politics as usual

    Since there are nowhere near enough terrorist plots to fuel ongoing legislation like the Patriot Act, the FBI has been tasked with filling in the gaps and proving the need for such laws.

    Without all this terrorism, it would be extremely difficult for some of the wackadoodles in Congress to keep their jobs. If they couldn't decry "My opponent is weak on terrorism", they might actually have to have a political platform. Since it looks like TERRORISM is losing steam, I have to wonder how long before Protecting the Children rises to the top again.

    It's just a dream, but maybe Congress might want to actually focus on problems it can solve.

     

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 8:28am

      Re: Politics as usual

      I have to wonder how long before Protecting the Children rises to the top again.

      "Hey, I don't need this old laptop anymore. Do you want it?"

      One day later...

      LAPTOP FULL OF CHILD PORN SEIZED, SUSPECT HELD WITHOUT BAIL

      That one would be even easier than going through all the motions of a "terrorist" plot. Promotions all around!

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 8:43am

    But if we don't keep creating and capturing terrorists people will assume there's no more terrorist threats to the US anymore!

     

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    molecule (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Busy FBI Arrest Two More in Terror Stings

    "Although not connected, officials say the FBI and Justice Department had to coordinate the timing of the two cases so that arrests would not cause suspects to get cold feet with their intention to conduct their operations."

    what kind of messed up logic is that? If the FBI hesitated, a suspect MAY NOT HAVE COMMITTED THE CRIME for which they' were arrested.

    Sounds like thoughtcrime.

     

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      identicon
      RD, May 1st, 2012 @ 10:06am

      Re: Busy FBI Arrest Two More in Terror Stings

      "Although not connected, officials say the FBI and Justice Department had to coordinate the timing of the two cases so that arrests would not cause suspects to get cold feet with their intention to conduct their operations."

      I thought the entire point of the FBI was to PREVENT these 'operations', not ACCOMODATE them.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 8:59am

    the guy may well have been a bit of an idiot but when the judge actually recognised the fact that he wouldn't have been a terrorist if it weren't for the FBI, surely it would have been better for her to recommend he spent time in a hospital facility rather than prison proper? what good did it do to jail him when he was coerced into doing what he did by the very government agency that arrested him? simply being stupid shouldn't be a crime worthy of jail time

     

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      Keroberos (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 9:28am

      Re:

      surely it would have been better for her to recommend he spent time in a hospital facility rather than prison proper?
      But that would ruin her chances of a future political career (or even keeping her job as a judge), when her opponents bring up that she's "Soft on terrorists".

       

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    molecule (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 9:09am

    FBI Supplies Cleveland 'Anarchists' with Fake Bombs, Arrests Them

    And again since the NYT story appeared.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 9:20am

    "There's no doubt that there are real plots being attempted."

    Whoa whoa whoa now. I have my doubts. Let's not all jump to conclusions here.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 9:25am

    I guess it's a funding issue. There aren't enough real terrorist plots to stop. If they don't show that they're being useful, the government might reduce funding. So they just make stuff up.

     

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    The Rev. Ramon Angola, May 1st, 2012 @ 9:37am

    But...but...

    Won't someone think of the children ...who are going to grow up and will need law enforcement jobs?

     

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      Cowardly Anonymous, May 1st, 2012 @ 10:01am

      /s Re: /s

      Think of all the poor children who won't get a chance to enjoy this world because the FBI will recruit them into the next terrorist plot. Think of all the poor children whose parents are unable to support them because they were coerced into being a terrorist by the FBI and are now in jail.

      Now, forget them, they are idiots so it's not like that could've been you, which means you shouldn't care at all.

       

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      Sad reality, May 1st, 2012 @ 6:55pm

      Re: But...but...

      Police, Military, or jail.

       

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    identicon
    Michael, May 1st, 2012 @ 9:48am

    No shock.

    Its painfully obvious that the US is one of the worst culprits when it comes to acts of terror around the globe. They just call it something else when they do it.

     

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    Old Tanker (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 10:34am

    Reminds me of an old Harry Harrison book...

    ... "Bill, The Galactic Hero." Everyone in on the plot was an undercover agent.

     

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    identicon
    blbl, May 1st, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    Playing devil's advocate: probably this may help undermine trust in contacts for terrorist plots in the US as would-be terrorist could have doubts wether they are in fact being contacted by a terrorist organization or the FBI (mind the redundancy).

     

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      Coyote, May 1st, 2012 @ 5:32pm

      Re:

      That would require actual, legitimate work by the U.S. Government. This is far too much to ask, and I'd even venture as to say it is like the writers of Spongebob and the like -- they create simplistic plots that have some underlining complexities, but for the most part, just do it so they can stay relevant.

      Nothing more or less, really. It's like asking a squirrel to stop beating a jealous lover over the head with a nut -- it's only going to get stupider from there.

       

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 5:00am

    You have to wonder....

    if somewhere deep in the files at the FBI is a mostly redacted report where they moved in on one these potential terrorists and started their standard grooming protocols, while another agent was contacted by a citizen who told him his new internet freind was making some seriously messed up statements and such to him... because it would be hugely funny to have everyone pull out there FBI secret decoder rings at the end and try to bust each other.

     

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    identicon
    Gordon M. Snow, May 2nd, 2012 @ 2:35pm

    FBI Director of "CYBER" (lulzsec) was CounterIntelligence Director for Middle East in 2001

     

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    identicon
    montreauxg, May 2nd, 2012 @ 7:58pm

    appeal to fear

    Like any business that can't turn a profit, government needs to justify its existence.

     

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    identicon
    xrellix, May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:09pm

    Clueless comments!

    This is how the Mob's back was broken from the 60s-90s. This is the right way - it creates serious doubt & disruption in any terrorist network. Guys complaining here clearly live an ignorant & clueless existence.

     

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      Brandon Magoon (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 10:28pm

      Re: Clueless comments!

      Speaking of clueless comments......

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2012 @ 7:12am

      Re: Clueless comments!

      All of you defending the actions of the government should go ahead and petition to free Charles Manson. After all, he didn't kill anyone. He just provided the scenario and, through psychotropic drugs and brainwashing, convinced others to do it. Manson himself is as innocent as the FBI. Don't be a hypocrite. If you think what the FBI is doing is okay, then stand up for Charlie.

      If I talk someone into robbing a bank for me, can I keep the money while they go to prison?

      How about this: I'll provide all the criminals in my area with automatic weapons, but I'll take out all the firing pins so they won't work. Then I'll petition the government for millions of dollars a year to provide a security force against those criminals so we can be safe from their terror. After all, you seem to be okay with your tax dollars doing that.

      Now go to work and pay more taxes.

       

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    identicon
    I FEEL SO SAFE NOW!, May 3rd, 2012 @ 1:45am

    I FEEL SO SAFE NOW!

    I FEEL SO SAFE NOW THAT BIG BROTHER IS PROTECTING ME FROM MY OTHER BIG BROTHER! BUNCHA MORON HIPOCRITS.

     

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    timmaguire42 (profile), May 3rd, 2012 @ 8:31am

    IMO, you buried the lead

    As the article makes clear, claims of entrapment rarely work in these cases,

    This is what makes it all possible--judges defining "entrapment" so narrowly that police have wide latitude to create the crimes they are "preventing."

    Give it it's real meaning and much of this would go away.

     

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    Antler (profile), May 3rd, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    Wow

    That sleuthy NYTimes.. I tell ya..

     

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    identicon
    RB, May 16th, 2012 @ 11:08am

    FBI are incompetent and inept..

    The FBI are like the Keystone cops, and that's insulting the Keystone cops. The FBI couldn't even get a cat out of a 4 walled 1 level house with 1 opening, they're that inept and incompetent. Truth be known!.

    FBI lucky they've got corrupt Federal Prosecutors and corrupt Federal Judges (and most fa ass Kapo Jews) on their side, cause if it wasn't for the corruption, the FBI couldn't get any real conviction/indictments.

     

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    bill2earth (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 12:36am

    Problem Reaction Solution (Latin: Ordo ab Chao)

    Problem Reaction Solution (Latin: Ordo ab Chao) is a mass mind control system. It is used to make changes to the law that the citizens would not accept otherwise.
    1. Create a problem
    ◦ FBI and others cultivate terrorists and promote the image of rampant terrorism; old families within the global elite create a financial crisis; etc.
    2. Manufacture a reaction
    ◦ Make a big noise on the world stage as the Global Cop displaying awesome military might; make a big show of arresting "dangerous" domestic terrorists. Let the mainstream media only broadcast/print stories you approve of, or even create yourself.
    3. Provide a solution
    ◦ establish war as an ongoing, profiteering enterprise; intimidate other nations to create an atmosphere of fear or buy off their leaders and take control of their government, resources, and economy; manipulate entire domestic economic and legislative agenda in order to funnel wealth and power upward; legislate new laws that allow unprecedented control and the ability to arrest or kill all dissenters; etc...

    The latin phrase Ordo ab Chao literally means Order out of Chaos and is the moto of Thirty-third Degree Freemasons.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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