Although we may think of terrorists as sadists and psychopaths, social psychology suggests they are mostly ordinary people, driven by group dynamics to do harm for a cause they believe to be noble and just.
Terrorism reconfigures these group dynamics so that extreme leadership seems more appealing to everyone. Just as ISIS feeds off immoderate politicians in the West, for example, so do those immoderate politicians feed off ISIS to draw support for themselves.
Having others misperceive or deny a valued identity—an experience we describe as misrecognition—systematically provokes anger and cynicism toward authorities.
The steep and virulent rise of terrorism ranks among the more disturbing trends in the world today. According to the 2015 Global Terrorism Index, terror-related deaths have increased nearly 10-fold since the start of the 21st century, surging from 3,329 in 2000 to 32,685 in 2014. Between 2013 and 2014 alone, they shot up 80 percent. For social psychologists, this escalation prompts a series of urgent questions, just as it does for society as a whole: How can extremist groups treat fellow human beings with such cruelty? Why do their barbaric brands of violence appeal to young people around the globe? Who are their recruits, and what are they thinking when they target innocent lives?
Many people jump to the conclusion that only psychopaths or sadists—individuals entirely different from us—could ever strap on a suicide vest or wield an executioner's sword. But sadly that assumption is flawed. Thanks to classic studies from the 1960s and 1970s, we know that even stable, well-adjusted individuals are capable of inflicting serious harm on human beings with whom they have no grievance whatsoever. Stanley Milgram's oft-cited “obedience to authority” research showed that study volunteers were willing to administer what they believed to be lethal electric shocks to others when asked to do so by a researcher in a lab coat. Fellow psychologist Philip Zimbardo's (in)famous Stanford Prison Experiment revealed that college students assigned to play the part of prison guards would humiliate and abuse other students who were prisoners.
These studies proved that virtually anyone, under the right—or rather the wrong—circumstances, could be led to perpetrate acts of extreme violence. And so it is for terrorists. From a psychological perspective, the majority of adherents to radical groups are not monsters—much as we would like to believe that—no more so than were the everyday Americans participating in Milgram's and Zimbardo's investigations. As anthropologist Scott Atran notes, drawing on his long experience of studying these killers, most are ordinary people. What turns someone into a fanatic, Atran explained in his 2010 book Talking to the Enemy, “is not some inherent personality defect but the person-changing dynamic of the group” to which he or she belongs.
For Milgram and Zimbardo, these group dynamics had to do with conformity—obeying a leader or subscribing to the majority view. During the past half a century, though, our understanding of how people behave both within and among groups has advanced. Recent findings challenge the notion that individuals become zombies in groups or that they can be easily brainwashed by charismatic zealots. These new insights are offering a fresh take on the psychology of would-be terrorists and the experiences that can prime them toward radicalization.
In particular, we are learning that radicalization does not happen in a vacuum but is driven in part by rifts among groups that extremists seek to create, exploit and exacerbate. If you can provoke enough non-Muslims to treat all Muslims with fear and hostility, then those Muslims who previously shunned conflict may begin to feel marginalized and heed the call of the more radical voices among them. Likewise, if you can provoke enough Muslims to treat all Westerners with hostility, then the majority in the West might also start to endorse more confrontational leadership. Although we often think of Islamic extremists and Islamophobes as being diametrically opposed, the two are inextricably intertwined. And this realization means that solutions to the scourge of terror will lie as much with “us” as with “them.”
FOLLOWING THE LEADER
Milgram's and Zimbardo's findings showed that almost anyone couldbecome abusive. If you look closely at their results, though, most participants did not. So what distinguished those who did? The pioneering work of social psychologists Henri Tajfel and John Turner in the 1980s, though unrelated, suggested part of the answer. They argued that a group's behavior and the ultimate influence of its leaders depended critically on two interrelated factors: identification and disidentification. Specifically, for someone to follow a group—possibly to the point of violence—he or she must identify with its members and, at the same time, detach from people outside the group, ceasing to see them as his or her concern.
We confirmed these dynamics in our own work that has revisited Zimbardo's and Milgram's paradigms. Across a number of different studies, we have found consistently that, just as Tajfel and Turner proposed, participants are willing to act in oppressive ways only to the extent that they come to identify with the cause they are being asked to advance—and to disidentify with those they are harming. The more worthwhile they believe the cause to be, the more they justify their acts as regrettable but necessary.
This understanding—that social identity and not pressure to conform governs how far someone will go—resonates with findings about what actually motivates terrorists. In his 2004 book Understanding Terror Networks, forensic psychiatrist Marc Sageman, a former CIA case officer, emphasized that terrorists are generally true believers who know exactly what they are doing. “The mujahedin were enthusiastic killers,” he noted, “not robots simply responding to social pressures or group dynamics.” Sageman did not dismiss the importance of compelling leaders—such as Osama bin Laden and ISIS's Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—but he suggested that they serve more to provide inspiration than to direct operations, issue commands or pull strings.
Indeed, there is little evidence that masterminds orchestrate acts of terror, notwithstanding the language the media often use when reporting these events. Which brings us to a second recent shift in our thinking about group dynamics: we have observed that when people do come under the influence of authorities, malevolent or otherwise, they do not usually display slavish obedience but instead find unique, individual ways to further the group's agenda. After the Stanford Prison Experiment had concluded, for example, one of the most zealous guards asked one of the prisoners whom he had abused what he would have done in his position. The prisoner replied: “I don't believe I would have been as inventive as you. I don't believe I would have applied as much imagination to what I was doing.... I don't think it would have been such a masterpiece.” Individual terrorists, too, tend to be both autonomous and creative, and the lack of a hierarchical command structure is part of what makes terrorism so hard to counter.
How do terror leaders attract such engaged, innovative followers if they are not giving direct orders? Other discoveries from the past few decades (summarized in our 2011 book, co-authored with Michael J. Platow, The New Psychology of Leadership) highlight the role leaders play in building a sense of shared identity and purpose for a group, helping members to frame their experiences. They empower their followers by establishing a common cause and empower themselves by shaping it. Indeed, Milgram's and Zimbardo's experiments are object lessons in how to create a shared identity and then use it to mobilize people toward destructive ends. Just as they convinced the participants in their studies to inflict harm in the name of scientific progress, so successful leaders need to sell the enterprise they envision for their group as honorable and noble.
Both al Qaeda and ISIS deploy this strategy. A large part of their appeal to sympathizers is that they promote terror for the sake of a better society—one that harks back to the peaceful community that surrounded the prophet Mohammed. Last year University of Arizona journalism professor Shahira Fahmy carried out a systematic analysis of ISIS's propaganda and found that only about 5 percent depicts the kind of brutal violence typically seen on Western screens. The great majority features visions of an “idealistic caliphate,” which would unify all Muslims harmoniously. Moreover, a significant element of ISIS's success—one that makes it more threatening than al Qaeda—lies in the very fact that its leaders lay claim to statehood. In the minds of its acolytes at least, it has the means to try to make this utopian caliphate a reality.
Crucially, however, the credibility and influence of leaders—especially those who promote conflict and violence—depend not only on what they say and do but also on their opponents' behavior. Evidence for this fact emerged after a series of experiments by one of us (Haslam) and Ilka Gleibs of the London School of Economics that looked at how people choose leaders. One of the core findings was that people are more likely to support a bellicose leader if their group faces competition with another group that is behaving belligerently. Republican candidate Donald Trump might have been wise to ponder this before he suggested that all Muslim immigrants are potential enemies who should be barred from entering the U.S. Far from weakening the radicals, such statements provide the grit that gives their cause greater traction. Indeed, after Trump made his declaration, an al Qaeda affiliate reaired it as part of its propaganda offensive.
THE GRAY ZONE
Just as ISIS feeds off immoderate politicians in the West, so those immoderate politicians feed off ISIS to draw support for themselves. This exchange is part of what religion scholar Douglas Pratt of the University of Waikato in New Zealand refers to as co-radicalization. And here lies the real power in terrorism: it can be used to provoke other groups to treat one's own group as dangerous—which helps to consolidate followers around those very leaders who preach greater enmity. Terrorism is not so much about spreading fear as it is about seeding retaliation and further conflict. Senior research fellow Shiraz Maher of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence at King's College London has pointed out how ISIS actively seeks to incite Western countries to react in ways that make it harder for Muslims to feel that they belong in those communities.
In February 2015 the ISIS-run magazine Dabiq carried an editorial entitled “The Extinction of the Grayzone.” Its writers bemoaned the fact that many Muslims did not see the West as their enemy and that many refugees fleeing Syria and Afghanistan actually viewed Western countries as lands of opportunity. They called for an end of the “gray zone” of constructive coexistence and the creation of a world starkly divided between Muslim and non-Muslim, in which everyone either stands with ISIS or with the kuffar (nonbelievers). It also explained the attacks on the headquarters of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo in exactly these terms: “The time had come for another event—magnified by the presence of the Caliphate on the global stage—to further bring division to the world.”
In short, terrorism is all about polarization. It is about reconfiguring intergroup relationships so that extreme leadership appears to offer the most sensible way of engaging with an extreme world. From this vantage, terrorism is the very opposite of mindless destruction. It is a conscious—and effective—strategy for drawing followers into the ambit of confrontational leaders. Thus, when it comes to understanding why radical leaders continue to sponsor terrorism, we need to scrutinize both their actions and our reactions. As editor David Rothkopf wrote inForeign Policy after the Paris massacres last November, “overreaction is precisely the wrong response to terrorism. And it's exactly what terrorists want.... It does the work of the terrorists for the terrorists.”
Currently counterterrorism efforts in many countries give little consideration to how our responses may be upping the ante. These initiatives focus only on individuals and presume that radicalization starts when something happens to undermine someone's sense of self and purpose: discrimination, the loss of a parent, bullying, moving, or anything that leaves the person confused, uncertain or alone. Psychologist Erik Erikson noted that youths—still in the process of forming a secure identity—are particularly vulnerable to this kind of derailment [see “Escaping Radicalism,” by Dounia Bouzar, on page 40]. In this state, they become easy prey for radical groups, who claim to offer a supportive community in pursuit of a noble goal.
We have no doubt that this is an important part of the process by which people are drawn into terrorist groups. Plenty of evidence points to the importance of small group ties, and, according to Atran and Sageman, Muslim terrorists are characteristically centered on clusters of close friends and kin. But these loyalties alone cannot adequately address what Sageman himself refers to as “the problem of specificity.” Many groups provide the bonds of fellowship around a shared cause: sporting groups, cultural groups, environmental groups. Even among religious factions—including Muslim groups—the great majority provide community and meaning without promoting violence. So why, specifically, are some people drawn to the few Muslim groups that do preach violent confrontation?
We argue that these groups are offering much more than consolation and support. They also supply narratives that resonate with their recruits and help them make sense of their experiences. And in that case, we need to seriously examine the ideas militant Muslim groups propagate—including the notion that the West is a long-standing enemy that hates all Muslims. Do our “majority” group reactions somehow lend credence to radicalizing voices in the minority Muslim community? Do police, teachers and other prominent figures make young Muslims in the West feel excluded and rejected—such that they come to see the state less as their protector and more as their adversary? If so, how does this change their behavior?
To begin to find out, one of us (Reicher), working with psychologists Leda Blackwood, now at the University of Bath in England, and Nicholas Hopkins of the University of Dundee in Scotland, conducted a series of individual and group interviews at Scottish airports in 2013. As national borders, airports send out clear signals about belonging and identity. We found that most Scots—Muslim and non-Muslim alike—had a clear sense of “coming home” after their travels abroad. Yet many Muslim Scots had the experience of being treated with suspicion at airport security. Why was I pulled aside? Why was I asked all those questions? Why was my bag searched? In the words of one 28-year-old youth worker: “For me to be singled out felt [like], ‘Where am I now?’ I consider Scotland my home. Why am I being stopped in my own house? Why am I being made to feel as the other in my own house?”
We gave the term “misrecognition” to this experience of having others misperceive or deny a valued identity. It systematically provoked anger and cynicism toward authorities. It led these individuals to distance themselves from outwardly British-looking people. After such an experience, one Muslim Scot said he felt that he would look ridiculous if he then continued to advocate trust in the agencies that had humiliated him. In other words, misrecognition can silence those who, having previously felt aligned with the West, might have been best placed to prevent further polarization. To be clear, misrecognition did not instantly turn otherwise moderate people into terrorists or even extremists. Nevertheless, it began to shift the balance of power away from leaders who say, “Work with the authorities; they are your friends,” toward those who might insist, “The authorities are your enemy.”
A CAUTIONARY TALE
We can take this analysis of misrecognition and its consequences a step further. When we adapted Zimbardo's prison study in our own research, we wanted to reexamine what happens when you mix two groups with unequal power. For one thing, we wanted to test some of the more recent theories about how social identity affects group dynamics. For instance, we reasoned that prisoners would identify with their group only if they had no prospect of leaving it. So we first told the volunteers assigned to be prisoners that they might be promoted to be guards if they showed the right qualities. Then, after a single round of promotions, we told them that there would be no more changes. They were stuck where they were.
We have discussed the effects of these manipulations in many publications, but there is one finding we have not written about before—an observation that is especially relevant to our discussion of extremitization. From the outset of the study, one particular prisoner had very clear ambitions to be a future guard. He saw himself as capable of uniting the guards and getting them to work as a team (something with which they were having problems). Other prisoners teased him; they talked of mutiny, which he ignored. Then, during the promotion process, the guards overlooked this prisoner and promoted someone he viewed as weaker and less effective. His claim to guard identity had been publicly rebuffed in a humiliating way.
Almost immediately his demeanor and behavior changed. Previously he was a model inmate who shunned his fellow prisoners, but now he identified strongly with them. He had discouraged the prisoners from undermining the guards' authority, but now he joined in with great enthusiasm. And although he had supported the old order and helped maintain its existence, he began to emerge as a key instigator of a series of subversive acts that ultimately led to the overthrow and destruction of the guards' regime.
His dramatic conversion came after a series of psychological steps that are occurring regularly in our communities today: aspiration to belong, misrecognition, disengagement and disidentification. Outside of our prison experiment, the story goes something like this: Radical minority leaders use violence and hate to provoke majority authorities to institute a culture of surveillance against minority group members. This culture stokes misrecognition, which drives up disidentification and disengagement from the mainstream. And this distancing can make the arguments of the radicals harder to dismiss. Our point is that radical minority voices are not enough to radicalize someone, nor are the individual's own experiences. What is potent, though, is the mix of the two and their ability to reinforce and amplify each other.
The analysis of terrorism we present here is, of course, provisional as we continue to collect evidence. We do not deny that some individual terrorists may indeed have pathological personalities. But terrorism brings together many people who would not ordinarily be inclined to shoot a gun or plant a bomb. And so there can be no question that understanding it calls for a group-level examination—not just of radicals but of the intergroup dynamic that propels their behavior. This context is something we are all a part of, something that we all help to shape. Do we treat minority groups in our communities with suspicion? Do those who represent us question their claims to citizenship? Do we react to terror with calls for counterterror? The good news is that just as our analysis sees us as part of the problem, it also makes us part of the solution.
This article was originally published with the title "Fueling Extremes"
Since September 11, terrorism has been an ever present threat gnawing at our collective peace of mind. In recent years those fears—particularly of domestic attacks by Islamic extremists—have spiked. They are up by 38 percentage points since 2011 in France, 21 points in the U.K. and 17 points in the U.S., according to a survey released by the Pew Research Center last summer. And that was before Paris, San Bernardino and Brussels.
But “fear itself,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt so famously pointed out, is not very useful. To contend with a threat, it is better to understand the forces that shape it. That is where science enters in. What can psychology tell us about the mind of a suicide bomber? What makes someone a fanatic in the first place? How is it that during the past five years, extremist groups in Syria and Iraq have managed to recruit some 30,000 foreign fighters to their cause—a number that doubled between 2014 and 2015? Can we reclaim some of them before it is too late?
The experts writing in this special report share some valuable insights from recent studies, classical research and professional experience. Social psychologists Stephen D. Reicher and S. Alexander Haslam make the casethat most terrorists are not psychopaths or sadists, much as we would like to believe. Instead the majority are ordinary people, shaped by group dynamics to do harm in the name of a cause they find noble and just. Critically, those group dynamics involve all of us: our overreaction and fear, Reicher and Haslam explain, can beget greater extremism, thereby fueling a cycle other scholars have termed “co-radicalization.”
French anthropologist Dounia Bouzar describes what she has learnedfrom deprogramming hundreds of young people caught up in this cycle. She notes that only the tug of emotion, not reason, can pull teens back from the call to jihad. Bouzar emphasizes that parents should talk to their children about the shadow world on the Internet—a major recruitment arena in both Western Europe and the U.S.
Last but not least, social psychologists Kevin Dutton and Dominic Abramsconsider how we can all help break the cycle of co-radicalization, drawing on seven key studies for concrete suggestions. Among those ideas: bridging the toxic divide of mutual distrust by celebrating broader social identities—much as President Barack Obama did so powerfully in his address to Muslim Americans at a Baltimore mosque this past February. Instead of listening to “polemical pundits and belligerent blowhards,” Dutton and Abrams write, we all need a brain check: keep calm and “tune in to the quieter, more discerning notes emanating from some of our laboratories.”
Archaeologists thought the last burial chamber in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings had been discovered even before Howard Carter opened the unsullied tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun in 1922. Tut ruled Egypt for only a decade, from 1332 to 1322 B.C., and died around age 19. Untouched by looters before its discovery, the tomb’s dazzling golden artifacts captured the public’s imagination and made him one of Egypt’s most famous and intensively studied mummies. But Tut’s tomb was not, in fact, the last secret the valley held. In the past 10 years two more chambers have come to light: one is a storage area for coffins and burial supplies, the other contains the mummy of a woman who was a singer at the Temple of Karnak. In November 2015 radar specialist Hirokatsu Watanabe conducted a series of ground-penetrating radar scans. Now his analysis of those scans is complete, and they suggest that there might be other chambers, possibly containing burials, hidden behind the walls of the boy king’s tomb. Ground-penetrating radar is notoriously difficult to use on the rock in the Valley of the Kings. According to former Minister of State for Antiquities Zahi Hawass, natural cracks in the rock can reflect radar waves in ways that make them look like man-made chambers, so another round of scanning is planned to confirm that the chambers do exist.
At first glance, Tutankhamun seemed to be a minor figure in Egyptian history—very few written records refer to him. But he ruled at a time when his nation was undergoing a profound change. The pharaoh Akhenaten, whose reign ended four years before Tut’s began, had changed Egypt’s official religion, which involved worshipping a pantheon of gods, to a monotheistic cult devoted to the sun god Aten. This shift took power away from the wealthy and powerful priests of the traditional Egyptian gods. Soon after Akhenaten’s death, the nation returned to worshipping the traditional deities. Those cults quickly reasserted their power, and it was during this time of upheaval that Tutankhamun took the throne. As with any great discovery, Tut’s tomb raised a number of new important questions about Egyptian history, such as who his predecessors and successors were and what other figures might also be buried in his tomb. If there are new chambers to be explored, answers about the lives of Tut and his royal relatives could be closer than ever. Still, there are other mysteries about Tut that are likely to go unanswered.
WHO WERE TUT’S PARENTS?
Around the year 1341 B.C., during Akhenaten’s reign, a royal child was born and named Tutankhaten “the living image of Aten.” Sometime after Akehnaten’s death he was renamed for the traditional solar deity, Amun and his name became Tutankhamun. Some scholars believe that the boy’s mother was Akhenaten’s principal wife, Nefertiti whereas others believe his mother was one of his secondary wives named Kiya. But it is not even certain that Akhenaten was Tutankhamun’s father. It is possible that Tut’s father was the pharaoh Smenkhkara, who was the ruler immediately preceding Tutankhamun. An DNA analysis of several mummies found in the Valley of the Kings seems to indicate that Tut’s father is the person buried across the valley from him in tomb KV55 and his mother is buried farther to the west in KV35, but the identities of those mummies is unknown. Egyptologist Marianne Eaton-Krauss, an expert on Tutankhamun who has taught at universities in Germany, also points out that whereas these mummies are clearly close relatives of Tut, it is difficult to establish precise familial relationships using only DNA. Knowing who Tut’s parents were could help to clarify what kind of royal intrigue surrounded his ascension to the throne at age nine. If another mummy is found in Tut’s tomb, inscriptions on the burial artifacts identifying the individual could help resolve this question.
WHO RULED BEFORE TUT?
Toward the end of Akhenaten’s reign in 1336 B.C. he appointed a co-ruler called Neferneferuaten who may have been Nefertiti using a different name. Following Akhenaten’s death, Neferneferuaten ruled for three years, after which someone named Smenkhkara took over the throne. Smenkhkara, however, is a controversial figure. Some scholars including Nicholas Reeves of the University of Arizona believe that Smenkhkara was another of Nefertiti’s aliases. The other possibility is that Smenkhkara was a male relative of Akhenaten’s. If an older burial chamber was walled off to accommodate Tut’s tomb, any mummy it might contain would predate Tut and could answer questions about his predecessor.
WHO RULED AFTER TUT?
Tutankhamun seems to have died suddenly at the age of 19 and fathered no heirs. Inscriptions show that he was married to Ankhesenamun, who was Nefertiti’s daughter—meaning that she may have been his half sister. The couple had two daughters who died shortly after birth. Their mummies were found in Tut’s tomb. Tut’s death may have left Ankhesenamun in a desperate situation. A letter to the King of the Hittites, who ruled much of what is now Turkey and Syria, asking him to send a groom to share the throne of Egypt may have been written by her as a last-ditch effort to hold onto power. Documents show the Hittite prince Zannanza was sent to Egypt but he seems to have disappeared on the way. When the letter was sent is a matter of debate, according to Eaton-Krauss.It is possible that Nefertiti was the letter’s author and she was asking for a groom in an attempt to retain power before she ultimately took the title of pharaoh for herself. The contents of any new chambers are unlikely to reveal who wrote the letter, but what happened in the aftermath of Tut’s death is mystery that many Egyptologists would love to solve.
WHO WAS TUT’S TOMB ACTUALLY BUILT FOR?
To some scholars, including Reeves, Tut’s tomb seems a little small for a pharaoh. Some have thought that a tomb that was already constructed may have been repurposed when Tutankhamun suddenly died. Although the tomb contained a wealth of artifacts, only one of the four rooms—the burial chamber—had its walls plastered and painted. Other royal tombs of this time had much more extensive decoration. The paintings in Tut’s tomb describe the first stages of his spiritual transition to the afterlife. According to Reeves, 80 percent or more of the burial artifacts show signs of being repurposed from earlier rulers, including Akhenaten. Reeves thinks that instead of enlarging a small tomb for Tut, builders might have walled off part of a larger tomb for him. He thinks the original owner of the tomb may lie in one of the newly detected chambers—and that person was Nefertiti buried as the pharaoh Smenkhkara. Hawass, however, thinks that the prominent role Nefertiti played in the cult of Aten makes it unlikely that she was buried in the Valley of the Kings, which was an area sacred to the god Amun.
WHO ELSE MIGHT BE BURIED IN TUT’S TOMB?
Few scholars share Reeves’s optimism that any new chambers would contain Nefertiti’s tomb. Although finding her mummy, under whatever name, would be a tremendous boon to the study of ancient Egypt, there is a good possibility that a newly discovered chamber would contain something else.Frank Rhüli of the University of Zurich, who has conducted a thorough study of Tut’s mummy, compiled a list of other royal persons who could be interred there, including Tut’s older sister Meritaten, his possible mother Kiya and, of course, Smenkhkara either as Nefertiti or not. Any of those mummies could tell us more about who Tut was related to. Another possibility that has received less attention is that they could just be storage chambers. If the chambers do exist, the possibilities of what they might tell us about Tut are nearly limitless. As Eaton-Krauss puts it, “the only thing we know for certain about Tutankhamun is that he died.”
HOW DID TUT DIE?
One important question that is not likely to be answered by anything that might be contained in any newly discovered chambers is how Tutankhamun died. DNA analysis by Rhüli showed that the boy king suffered from malaria and CT scans indicated he probably had a rare bone disorder called Köhler disease that caused his left foot to be deformed. Tut’s tomb contained 130 walking sticks, some even showed signs that he had used them during his life. Neither of these diseases would necessarily have been fatal, according to Rhüli. He believes that the best explanation may be a severe leg fracture. His knee was broken so badly that it pierced the skin and may have caused massive bleeding. Although a fatal leg fracture fits the idea that Tut died abruptly, Rhüli cannot state for a medical certainty that the fracture occurred while Tut was alive. It is possible that his knee was broken after his death.
Understanding Tutankhamun’s health affects how scholars view him, Rhüli says. Was he a strong dynamic pharaoh who led armies into battle or a sickly weak figurehead manipulated by the ambitious older men in his court? Rhüli hopes to be able to do a thorough but noninvasive examination of Tut’s body to gather more data on his health and cause of death.
Se Marcelo Odebrecht (estimulado pelo seu pai, dizem) delatar tudo que sabe, toda a República Velhaca (1985-2016) cai por terra. PT, PMDB, PSDB etc.: todos serão fortemente atingidos (e é disso que o Brasil está necessitando): limpeza total na velharia...
Quem quer ter alguma coisa de estimação (o que é louvável), que adote um cãozinho (por exemplo), não umcorrupto. Por mais que doa no coração a investigação, o processo e, eventualmente, a prisão depois da condenação de um ídolo político arruinado pelas suas próprias falcatruas, não podemos adotar a postura da cegueiradeliberada, para esconder (ou não ver) nosso “corrupto de estimação”.
Todos os acusados de corrupção devem ser investigados (não importa o partido). Espera-se o desapego do seu “bichinho corrupto de estimação”. A Odebrecht vai delatar todo mundo (pelo que se depreende de sua nota oficial). Nossa luta (apartidária) é pela ética na política, não importa o partido do suspeito.
A 26ª fase da Operação Lava Jato descobriu o DPO (Departamento de Propinas da Odebrecht). Para nossa sorte, o crime organizado das castasmais poderosas do país mantém em funcionamento um departamento específico, com tudocontabilizado (nomes, sobrenomes, codinomes, telefones etc.). Trata-se de uma bomba de Hiroshima. Pelo que diz a nota da empresa ela vai contribuir definitivamente com a Lava Jato e isso vai atingir “todo o ilegal e ilegítimo financiamento do sistema partidário-eleitoral do país” (que equivocadamente foi defendido com unhas e dentes pelo ministro Gilmar Mendes).
Se Marcelo Odebrecht (estimulado pelo seu pai, dizem) delatar tudo que sabe, toda a República Velhaca (1985-2016) cai por terra. PT, PMDB, PSDB etc.: todos serão fortemente atingidos (e é disso que o Brasil está necessitando: limpeza total na velharia política contaminada). Limpeza, aliás, que não pode ficar somente por conta do Judiciário. Pelo voto consciente também podemos fazer essa profilaxia.
As delações das empreiteiras atingirão ferozmente as campanhas eleitorais dos candidatos, sobretudo a deDilma/Temer. Muito financiamento ilegal. Muita lavagem de dinheiro nas “doações eleitorais” (em favor de praticamente todos os partidos). Muito caixa 2. Temer, depois de todas as delações, dificilmente teria condições de governar o país.
O TSE terá em mãos material mais do que suficiente para cassar a chapa. O impeachment, de qualquer modo, não vai parar (mas muitas questões jurídicas serão levantadas e isso pode atrasá-lo). Antes do fim do impeachment muito provavelmente Cunha já terá sido afastado da Câmara (e é bem provável que o STF, depois de 1200 dias, receba a denúncia contra Renan).
A decisão do TSE (que provocaria eleiçãogeral, se tomada neste ano) só sairá com muita pressãopopular (não podemos esquecer que a partir de maio o TSE passa a ser presidido por Gilmar Mendes e muitos interesses – pelo poder, claro – estão em jogo).
Não interessa a cor do corrupto (verde, amarelo, vermelho, azul, laranja). Temos que dar um basta contra todos eles. As bombas do EI estão para a Europa assim como as delações das empreiteiras estão para os políticos brasileiros. Muitos partidos serão atingidos. Mais: o PGR conseguiu na Suíça mil contas bancárias clandestinas de políticos, empresários, financistas etc. Tudo somado, nitroglicerina pura.
O que vai mudar com as delações das empreiteiras (Andrade Gutierrez, OAS e Odebrecht)? O foco da Lava Jato deixa de ser os empreiteiros e passa a ser o mundo político. Eles possuem obras também nos Estados (os coronéis estaduais passarão a fazer parte da Lava Jato). Não apenas os maridos são acusados de corrupção, muitos cônjuges também (mulher do Collor, do Cunha, do João Santana, do Lula etc.). A corrupção não tem gênero definido.
Mais: a grande diferença entre as delações das empreiteiras e a do Delcídio (por exemplo), é que as empreiteiras trazem as provas do que falam. Isso é bombástico! Tenho certeza que muitos amigos leitores, a partir das novas delações, abandonarão seus “ídolos políticos corruptos de estimação”.
Lava Jato não é lavar de qualquer jeito. Existe um Estado de Direito vigente. Quem dirige um carro alopradamente vai provocar acidente. Quem faz uma investigação ou um processo tresloucadamente (sem observar as leis), vai gerar nulidades. Satiagraha e Castelo de Areia estão aí na nossa cara. Milhões foram gastos para tudo virar pó.
O ministro Teori Zavascki, do Supremo Tribunal Federal, tirou das mãos do Moro a investigação do Lula. Moro não mais funcionará nesse caso (até decisão em sentido contrário).
Fundamento jurídico: surgiram nas interceptações divulgadas por Moro suspeitas contra autoridades com foro especial no STF (Jaques Wagner e Dilma, por exemplo). Tudo vai para o STF. Se ele entender o caso, desmembra a investigação em relação a Lula. A decisão do ministro Teori Zavascki é uma reação nítida à quebra do sigilo telefônico determinada por Moro. Depois de eu ter sido juiz por quinze anos, aprendi que na Justiça tudo deve funcionar como uma locomotiva: não pode fugir dos trilhos da lei.
Morosidade: o problema de tudo ir para o STF é sua morosidade. Ele não funciona com a mesma velocidade da primeira instância. Ficaremos um bom tempo ainda sem conhecer as provas do tríplex, do sítio, das reformas etc.
Suspensão da posse de Lula continua: a decisão de Teori não interfere na decisão de Gilmar sobre a suspensão da posse do Lula como ministro. Ela só anulou em parte a decisão de Gilmar (aquela em que ele mandava tudo para Curitiba). O julgamento final sobre a posse do Lula ficará para o Pleno do STF.
Sigilo voltou: todos os áudios do Lula estão agora sob sigilo. Teori foi claro: há fortes indícios de ilegalidade na divulgação da interceptação telefônica do Lula.
Fundamento: onde tem autoridade com foro especial, o juiz de primeiro grau não tem competência para decidir nada. Moro sabia disso (porque assim procedeu em outros casos onde surgiram provas contra quem tem foro especial). Tudo compete ao STF, inclusive eventual desmembramento do caso. Cabe ao PGR analisar se houve ou não crime de Dilma ou de outras autoridades com foro especial. Depois disso o STF decidirá o que fazer com a investigação.
Caberá ao STF posteriormente analisar o que ficará sob investigação da Corte e o que poderá ser reencaminhado para a primeira instância.
Se o Supremo considerar que Moro agiu de modo ilegal, divulgando indevidamente os áudios, o conteúdo poderá ser desconsiderado como prova.
Para Teori, “são relevantes os fundamentos que afirmam a ilegitimidade dessa decisão [de Moro]. Em primeiro lugar, porque emitida por juízo que, no momento da sua prolação, era reconhecidamente incompetente para a causa, ante a constatação, já confirmada, do envolvimento de autoridades com prerrogativa de foro, inclusive a própria Presidente da República. Em segundo lugar, porque a divulgação pública das conversações telefônicas interceptadas, nas circunstâncias em que ocorreu, comprometeu o direito fundamental à garantia de sigilo.” (grifei). Há ainda um terceiro problema a ser discutido: no momento da gravação entre Lula e Dilma, Moro já tinha cessada a autorização para a interceptação. Na hora da gravação não havia autorização judicial.
O equívoco do Moro apontado em artigos meus anteriores: a lei proíbe “expressamente a divulgação de qualquer conversação interceptada” e determina a “inutilização das gravações que não interessem à investigação criminal”.
Moro divulgou tudo atabalhoadamente, sem nenhum critério. Divulgou inclusive conversas que não tinham nada a ver com a investigação. Isso viola o art. 8º da lei da interceptação. Viola também o art. 9º que manda inutilizar tais captações. Essas violações constituem, prima facie, o crime do art. 10 da mesma lei.
Disse Teori: “Não há como conceber, portanto, a divulgação pública das conversações do modo como se operou, especialmente daquelas que sequer têm relação com o objeto da investigação criminal. Contra essa ordenação expressa, que – repita-se, tem fundamento de validade constitucional – é descabida a invocação do interesse público da divulgação ou a condição de pessoas públicas dos interlocutores atingidos, como se essas autoridades, ou seus interlocutores, estivessem plenamente desprotegidas em sua intimidade e privacidade”, escreveu o ministro. Fez-se uma operação de soma zero: o povo adorou, mas a locomotiva foi para fora do trilho. Isso gera nulidade.
No prazo de dez dias, Moro deverá prestar informações ao STF sobre a retirada do segredo de Justiça das investigações.
Ao decretar novamente o sigilo sobre as gravações, Zavascki disse que, “apesar de já terem se tornado públicas, é preciso evitar ou minimizar os potencialmente nefastos efeitos jurídicos da divulgação, seja no que diz respeito ao comprometimento da validade da prova colhida, seja até mesmo quanto a eventuais consequências no plano daresponsabilidade civil, disciplinar ou criminal” [do juiz Moro, que tem 10 dias para se explicar].
CAROS internautas que queiram nos honrar com a leitura deste artigo: sou do Movimento Contra a Corrupção Eleitoral (MCCE) e recrimino todos os políticos comprovadamente desonestos assim como sou radicalmente contra a corrupção cleptocrata de todos os agentes públicos (mancomunados com agentes privados) que já governaram ou que governam o País, roubando o dinheiro público. Todos os partidos e agentes inequivocamente envolvidos com a corrupção (PT, PMDB, PSDB, PP, PTB, DEM, Solidariedade, PSB etc.), além de ladrões, foram ou são fisiológicos (toma lá dá cá) e ultraconservadores não do bem, sim, dos interesses das oligarquias bem posicionadas dentro da sociedade e do Estado. Mais: fraudam a confiança dos tolos que cegamente confiam em corruptos e ainda imoralmente os defende.
 Essa afirmação foi feita em um dos comentários aos meus artigos anteriores. Sou grato por isso.
Doutor em Direito Penal pela Universidade Complutense de Madri – UCM e Mestre em Direito Penal pela Universidade de São Paulo – USP. Diretor-presidente do Instituto Avante Brasil. Jurista e Professor de Direito Penal e de Processo Penal em vários cursos de pós-graduação no Brasil e no exterior. Autor de vários livros jurídicos e de artigos publicados em periódicos nacionais e estrangeiros. Foi Promotor de Justiça (1980 a 1983), Juiz de Direito (1983 a 1998) e Advogado (1999 a 2001). Estou no www.luizflaviogomes.com