What a relief for him, he won’t have to go back to Pakistan and face murder charges. Talk about incentives.
I visited the court for a day during the trial. Shahed is certainly a psychopath, imo. In addition, there were one or two jury members who made me very suspicious. I would like to have been there during their voir dire. I suspect the defense lost the case during jury selection. Justice and truth are completely meaningless to sociopaths. 9 out of 10 times, they will side with power. 99 times out of 100, they will side with a fellow sociopath.
I found the jury’s behavior very odd. It took them almost two weeks to come to a conclusion that most such persuaded juries would have come to in a day or two. Often the only overt sign of a sociopath/psychopath (the words are used as synonyms, I use “psychopath” when I want a pejorative punch) is the unlikelihood of an outcome. For example, a young couple who invites (thinking it’s their idea) a sociopath to join them in bed and then spends the next month vomiting and crying over their choice which no longer makes any sense and which destroyed their relationship. Or, a haberdashery clerk who comes up with the idea of giving a customer a blank check since the customer has mislaid his wallet. Or, a cop who holds the ladder for a second story man who “lost his key”. Sociopaths can be very good at what they do. They’re that good because their brains are different.
I would suggest that the videotapes of Hussain be studied in psychology and criminal science classes — the ins and outs, the subterfuges, the slipperiness, the arrogance, the subtlety of the psychopathic mind.
Even the judge seemed to see through him:
“Yes or no!” yelled U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon as informant Shahed Hussain began to unspool yet another long-winded answer to a direct question.”Mr. Hussain, I’m tired of you playing games with the questions.” No games, judge tells informant in Newburgh 4 trial
The defense even rattled him and drew out the most amazing claims. Informer in Bomb Plot Describes His Two Lives including his self-described friendship with and gifts from Benazir Bhutto.
[D]efense lawyer Susanne Brody asked him, “Would you agree that remaining in the United States is worth more than all the money you have been paid for your work as an informant?”
“Yes,” Hussain responded. Defense Lawyers In Bronx Synagogue Terror Case Call FBI Informant a Lifelong Liar.
It’s hard to imagine a more obvious case of entrapment. The four suspects on trial had never shown any predisposition for this kind of crime, were involved in no group activity that might have led to any terrorist-like crime. It seems their only predisposing traits were that they were Black Muslims, poor and also angry. So they were selected to be seduced into a crime by a psychopath. They were all essentially random victims chosen by fate to have their lives destroyed. Further their selection was governed simply by a psychopath’s sensing of vulnerabilities — probably the key psychopathic ability. Is this a reason to destroy four lives?
Ah, but you say, they didn’t know the weapons weren’t real. Apparently not. So give them five years or so. It is a near universal trait of the victims of sociopathic manipulators that they cooperate in their own downfall. Of course they do. That’s why the victimizers are called con artists — they are artists at inspiring confidence.
I imagine the psychopath[s] on the jury could have said the same thing, perhaps playing the soul of reasonableness: ‘But the Newburgh four didn’t know the weapons weren’t real, that makes it attempted murder.’ Yes, but . . .
If you want to count the poor and angry as dangerous, you’ll spend the rest of your days counting. Newburgh is one of those towns discarded by the forces of de-industrialization and globalization. Our sociopaths-gone-wild economy with no check on the sociopaths, with no regard for the nation, with no guiding mind assuring that the “economic machine” acts in the interest of the nation’s citizens, with a fierce hatred of a middle class (working people living lives of dignity is an affront to sociopathic superiority, it hurts them) threw Newburgh by the wayside years ago.
Fools who think, ‘well I’m not black and homeless,’ are the biggest suckers of all. Mass black homelessness was the first salvo against the middle class, engineered by the evil psychopath and pathological liar (pseudologue) Ronald Reagan. The conman, the flim flam man wanted you to feel safe. How safe do you feel now? But I digress . . .
Perhaps this small anecdote will give a flavor of Newburgh. Newburgh’s Main Street is very wide with diagonal parking on both sides. Driving through I always think of small towns in Kansas and the midwest. The street is now lined with empty store fronts, consignment and self-styled antique shops. It has been taken over by the “flea market economy.”
Anyway, one time I parked and started walking across Main Street to a high quality chocolate store still in business (Commodore Chocolates, the interior takes you back to the glory days of Newburgh). Just as I was about to step into the lanes of traffic, this apparently homeless man approached me and asked if I could help him out. He was somewhere in his thirties, dark skinned but with a reddish tint, as though he had a permanent suntan. Wearing a fur lined dark brown leather vest with a fur collar, once very expensive but now ineligible even for Newburgh’s consignment stores, he cut a classy figure, even if it was trash-classy. Obviously that was who he was in his own mind, a man of class and good taste.
Anyway, I turned away to get out my wallet to give him something. Oh, oh, Citylife 101: never take out your wallet to give to the homeless, you are inviting a snatch-and-run or a mugging — and he was taller, younger and maybe stronger than I (however, they do tell me there’s a lot of muscle under that fat). But I couldn’t very well rewind my efforts without appearing a fool — so I decided to “tough it out” and figured I was probably being paranoid anyway (which probably was the case). When I turned back towards him with a few bucks and the words, “Good luck, pal,” our eyes locked momentarily in a mutually steel-eyed stare. I don’t know what he was thinking, but perhaps, sensing my sudden wariness, “This bozo is worried, in the middle of Main Street?!”; or perhaps “He has a billfold of money and he gives me three bucks?”; or, but probably not, “I should have snatched and run, that fat man would never have caught me.” A proud man, forced to beg.
The point of this anecdote is that you can’t get away from the poverty in downtown Newburgh. There’s often a vibe of suppressed violence. Even the police seem jittery. Fortunately the drug trade keeps liquidity in the local economy — I’m being sarcastic, it’s a horrible, but quite common, economic situation. These were the waters Shahed Hussain was directed to troll for “home grown terrorists”!!?? There’s no terrorism in Newburgh, the poor are too busy surviving scavenger times.
To those who say all that matters is that the four thought the weapons were real, I ask who was responsible for the Heaven’s Gate suicides? The individuals who did in fact commit suicide or the psychopathic cult leader, Do?
This case is a national disgrace. And so was the jury.
A recent documentary on destroying lives and families to protect us from terror: Entrapment or Foiling Terror? FBI’s Reliance on Paid Informants Raises Questions about Validity of Terrorism Cases.