Partisan Defense Committee Letter

22 August 2010

Partisan Defense Committee P.O. Box 99, Canal Street Station, New York, NY 10013


Contact: Kevin Gilroy (212) 406-4252

“Anti-Terror” Entrapment

Drop the Charges Against the Newburgh Four!

On August 22, the Partisan Defense Committee sent the following letter of protest to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Partisan Defense Committee protests the “anti-terrorism” prosecution of the “Newburgh Four.” James Cromitie, David Williams, Laguerre Payen and Onta Williams, black residents of Newburgh, New York, are the victims of a classic entrapment scam—a hallmark of the FBI’s post–September 11 “war on terrorism.” These prosecutions set up individuals, predominantly Muslim and often black, who are overheard voicing grievances with the rampant and official racism and xenophobia that pervades this society.

The bogus charges against the Newburgh Four include “conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in the United States” and “conspiracy to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles.” Even the federal prosecutor in the case has said, “These guys would never in a million years have gotten Stinger missiles or bombs” and has admitted these men have no ties to any purported terrorist organization.

As has been the case with many of the “anti-terrorist” prosecutions carried out by the government, such as the frame-up arrests of seven black men in Liberty City, Florida in 2006, the “conspiracy” in question was the brainchild of an FBI informant, who lured the four men with promises of up to a quarter million dollars and a BMW car. A recent government memo, improperly withheld from the defense for months, reveals that security at Stewart Air National Guard Base were advised not to worry about a defendant seen surveying the area because he probably would try nothing without an FBI informant at his side!

The clear object of these prosecutions is to engender an atmosphere of paranoia and hysteria, especially targeting Muslims, blacks and immigrants, to better regiment the population. The Newburgh Four never should have been charged or spent a day in jail. We demand: Free the Newburgh Four: Drop the charges!