New York Times on Newburgh 4 Appeal

This story by the New York Times discusses the entrapment issue, and notes that while an issue of debate, the Court ruled:

But in the 78-page appeals court decision, Judge Jon O. Newman cited Mr. Cromitie’s statements to the informer and later comments that he wanted to bomb “a cop car,” “hit the bridge” to New Jersey, “get a synagogue” and join a Pakistani terrorist organization, as evidence he had been disposed to commit an act of terror.

“From everything that Cromitie said,” Judge Newman wrote, “the jury was entitled to find that he had a pre-existing ‘design’ and hence a predisposition to inflict serious harm on interests of the United States, even though government officers afforded him the opportunity and the pseudo weapons for striking at specific targets.”

Judge Newman, joined by Judge Reena Raggi, voted to uphold Mr. Cromitie’s conviction. Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs sharply dissented, citing the entrapment issue, according to the ruling, which was filed late on Thursday. All three judges unanimously rejected entrapment claims by the three other defendants, and rejected all four defendants’ arguments that their convictions should be overturned on grounds of government misconduct.

In his dissent, Judge Jacobs said there was “scarce evidence” that Mr. Cromitie had such a pre-existing design in his mind, and that his statements had been in response to “badgering” by the informer, Shahed Hussain.

Mr. Cromitie’s claims that he wanted to die like a martyr and “do something to America” were “wishes, not designs,” Judge Jacobs wrote. “One amounts to no more than the boastful piety of a foolish man; the other could be banter in any faculty lounge.”

Which sort of makes you wonder what kind of faculty lounges Judge Jacobs was hanging out in. Even so, the New York Times coverage of the case seems like a fair way of handling reporting. Clearly sympathetic to the defendant’s (failed) claims of government entrapment, the New York Times piece at least manages to present facts to the contrary.  If The Newburgh Sting documentary by HBO was willing to present the case in such a manner, it would not be as objectionable. Instead they totally ignore any evidence of Cromitie’s anti-semitism, any statements of Cromitie in support of Jihad or terrorism, and pitch a 100% victim narrative for these four convicted terrorists.

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