Scott Ritter

Five Years or Five Months? Sex Charge Sentence Depends on Which WMD Theater Team is Chosen

Left, playing for the government in WMD theater, Joe Sims got over 100 charges dropped, now serving five months.  On the right, Scott Ritter contradicted US government WMD theater claims, all charges prosecuted, now serving five years.

Left, playing for the government in WMD theater, Joe Sims got over 100 charges dropped, now serving five months. Right, Scott Ritter contradicted US government WMD theater claims, all charges prosecuted, now serving five years.

The pattern is so old that it would be boring if not for the damage done. The FBI latches onto a loser who faces significant charges and gets them to work for the government, “infiltrating” a group to incite grand plans of domestic terrorism with weapons of mass destruction. Then, the FBI arrests those entrapped and pats themselves on the back in the subsequent press release informing us that the public never had been in danger because the bad guys were under surveillance the entire time. Detailed reading of the indictment almost always shows that the “perpetrators” were nothing close to real terrorists, had zero chance of producing a real weapon of mass destruction and never even would have made the attempt without the prodding of the FBI infiltrator.

Future historians likely will point to the Waffle House Four plot as the archetype of this pattern. These poor schmucks were hangers-on with a poorly organized “militia” in north Georgia who, without FBI intervention, would never have done anything more dangerous than sit around Waffle House grousing about the government. But the FBI had Joseph Harold Sims in their grasp and he offered to bring evidence against the group in return for reduced charges in the massive child sex case against him. In the end, these “terrorists” were arrested while in possession of a few castor beans. The deadly toxin ricin is made from castor beans, but the beans themselves are weapons of mass destruction in much the same way that a lump of uranium ore is a nuclear bomb.

In addition to ruining the lives of the entrapped “terrorists”, though, we now have evidence of just how depraved this process of WMD theater has become. The sentence for infiltrator Sims was announced Thursday, and the ridiculously light sentence he has received is jaw-dropping:

More than 100 sex-related charges have been dropped against an FBI informant in a case involving four Georgia militia members accused of plotting terrorist attacks.

As part of a plea deal reached Thursday in Anderson, Joseph Harold Sims will serve less than five months in prison for possession of child pornography. He pleaded guilty to 21 counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. According to indictments, Sims had stored images on a computer showing minors engaging in sexual activity.

But the 47-year-old Iva man will not stand trial on charges of incest, indecent exposure and disseminating obscene material to a person under 18 years of age. He also had been charged with two counts of attempting or committing a lewd act on a child under 16 years of age and dozens of additional counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, court records show.

I guess they just couldn’t drop those child pornography charges since that is one of the most important areas for prosecution for the Department of Justice. But dropping over 100 charges? Really? And dropping the incest charges, along with lewd act on a minor charges? Only because he had been on the government’s side in WMD theater did Sims get all those charges dropped. And that five month sentence, well the judge had to know how ridiculous that is, so there were a few maneuvers involved in getting it that low:

At a hearing Thursday in the Anderson County Courthouse, Sims received a 10 year suspended sentence from Judge Alex Macaulay. He also was ordered to spend one year behind bars, with credit for 219 days of time served in jail, according to court records.

Boy, that ten year suspended sentence is really going to sting.

Compare Sims’ sentence with that of Scott Ritter, who played for the other team in a much earlier version of WMD theater. Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @emptywheel @digby56 Actually you've been fairly quiet today. How the Blue Khaki's doing?
emptywheel @digby56 So am I. (That and shitty reporting on the dragnet.) But it's a big sports day.
emptywheel @joanneleon When debate started, O would have had to go back for Congress to treat Libya as ISIS. @EliLake
emptywheel @joanneleon When debate started, GOP didn't call it for a vote bc they would have lost on ground troops, unlimited geography. @EliLake
emptywheel @joanneleon Right. Libya. But disagree precedent set: you can limit it. @EliLake
emptywheel @joanneleon What's important of timing of call for it is this won't be a limited AUMF. It'll be Iraq War 2.0. @EliLake
emptywheel @joanneleon Not having an AUMF basically says unlimited POTUS powers are cool. @EliLake
emptywheel @joanneleon I'm supporting an AUMF that puts geographical limits, defines ISIS, rules out certain activities. @EliLake
emptywheel @joanneleon I think people on both side of issue can support AUMF (as I do). But yes, now hawks will get boots on the ground. @EliLake
emptywheel What's nutty abt the dragnet--and govt's attempt to pretend it has ended it--is all other countries dragnet with notice. Still mostly works.
emptywheel @NSlayton I'm less worried abt campaign reporting than factually incorrect reporting from beat writers. @SabrinaSiddiqui
emptywheel @SabrinaSiddiqui Perhaps you might have asked him why, if they're getting more info under USAF (as Comey testified) that was the case?
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