Over the past year, many Americans have believed that Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was kidnapped last fall by a group of domestic terrorists. New reporting reveals that the plan was partially orchestrated by the FBI.
As that revelation spread on social media this week, many people objected to the idea of federal law enforcement doing such a thing. But the FBI is no stranger to fomenting a conspiracy to end it.
Consider Dr. Anming Hu, whose life was turned upside down when FBI agents brought bogus espionage charges against the now-former University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) professor.
Hu, a nanotechnology expert, lost his post after the government accused him of Chinese espionage, put him on a no-fly list, told his superiors that he was working on behalf of the Chinese military, and collected false information to monitor him. and try. to force you to agree to spy on behalf of the US.
FBI Agents granted under oath that those accusations were false. However, in February 2020, Hu was arrested and charged with fraud. At trial last month, when asked by Hu’s attorney, Phil Lomonaco, if the agency knew the last time Hu traveled to China, FBI agent Kujtim Sadiku replied that he wasn’t sure, although he had been withholding Hu’s passport. Hu. Hu testified that Sadiku pressured him during his years of investigation to attend a conference in China so that the FBI could “protect” him.
It would soon be clear that this was not his goal. The witch hunt was part of the US Justice Department’s “China Initiative”, conceived in 2018 to target “economic” spies acting on behalf of the Chinese government. The agency focused on Hu because in 2012, he received a contract to teach part-time at Beijing University of Technology, something he revealed in his forms with UTK, which hired him in 2013. Sadiku found news of that contract, along with a Chinese-speaking compromise, via a Google search in March 2018, which is the only evidence he used to conclude that Hu was a spy through China’s Thousand Talents Plan. The show focuses on gifted Chinese citizens who ventured abroad in an attempt to lure them back to their homeland. The fbi maintains it is a spy tool.
Last month, a federal jury came to a standstill over the charges against Hu, and he it is still on home confinement. Dozens of other Chinese teachers have also lost their jobs as a result of the China Initiative.
We may have some recourse. In December last year, the Supreme Court ruled that three Muslim men could sue FBI agents who tormented them at work, stole their passports, and put them on the no-fly list (all tactics also used against Hu) because they refused to spy on their own communities.
That the FBI operates in this way still inspires disbelief, but it shouldn’t. The agency has instructed those in its service “to bend or suspend the law and infringe the freedoms of others” when they deem it necessary.
Take the “Newburgh Four” of Newburgh, New York, who were arrested in 2009 for plotting to fire on military aircraft from the nearby Air National Guard base and bomb two synagogues in the Bronx. The men were all convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. But the four did not hatch the plot: An FBI informant was paid to trick them into joining the imaginary scheme with offers of large cash rewards. Like Whitmer’s plan, it’s pretty certain that such a domestic terrorist plot would not have played out beyond fantasy had the FBI not provided resources and encouragement. An appeals court upheld the men’s convictions in 2013.
However, when it comes to Hu, the FBI was unable to find any evidence, despite his attempts to fabricate it. “He said he wanted to protect me,” Hu testified last month, referring to his interactions with Agent Sadiku when the FBI sought to rack up espionage charges. “You just wanted to protect me, right? That’s what you told me.”