We now have had a number of terrorist attacks on the homeland -- though the administration often refers to them in ridiculous euphemisms like "workplace violence" -- and the behavior of the administration, including our lavishly funded FBI and Homeland Security Administration, and our richly rewarded media stars remains so predictable I've decided to spare you the time it takes to unravel the unending lies and poppycock we are regularly fed about these horrors, lies, and blundering that only increase our danger.
This week's bombing of civilians at the Boston Marathon in which three people, including an 8-year-old child, perished upon being torn to bits and 250 were wounded, some most grievously, followed the template set by the other Islamist incidents on Obama's watch. The media stumbles over itself trying not to see why we were attacked while glorifying terrorists, showing them in the most innocent-looking youthful pictures they can find, interviewing irrelevant credulous neighbors and school chums and blaming innocents (us) for the acts of terror. The federal government in large part, starting with the White House, is no better. HSA Secretary Napolitano urges us, "see something, say something" but the major media and all the president's men (and women) seem to operate under a different order, "See, hear, and speak nothing of the Islamist evil that threatens us."
A. The Media
1. Making Celebrities of Terrorists
If you've never read Sultan Knish's blog, you ought to. He's one of the brightest stars of the internet and his comments this week on the media treatment of terrorists could not be more acid nor accurate.
The media's coverage is weighed down by its old fetish of murder as celebrity. The media covers murderers and celebrities in the same way. It writes exhaustively about them, but rarely meaningfully. The murderer, like the celebrity, is famous for being famous. And fame clips context and suppresses meaning. It becomes its own reference. A thing is famous for being known. It is known for being famous. It enters the common language as a reference. A metaphor.
In the case of the Tsarnaevs, the surface coverage, the endless rounds of interviews with friends and relatives, with anyone who ever met them or retweeted them, is mandatory because it avoids the more difficult question of why they killed.
Prisons are full of 300 pound men who beat their 90 pound wives to death in self-defense and spree killers who felt bullied and misunderstood and defended themselves with killing sprees. The kind of evil we see in movies, the serial killer who gleefully whisper about demonic pacts and the joy of killing, are a rarity. Even human monsters are human. They explain things in terms of their egos. They are always defending themselves against some form of oppression and looking for someone to sympathize with their outrage.
Muslim terrorists are no different.
Islam, as one of the great world religions, has a long history of needing to be defended against small boys, blind female poets and elderly cartoonists. Sometimes Muslims have to defend Islam against each other, the way they are now doing in Syria. Other times defending Islam requires demolishing its archeological sites, the way that the Saudis are doing. Either way defending Islam is difficult work.
Sultan Knish (Daniel Greenfield) deftly explains that there is a private Islam, which guides the daily life of its practitioners, and a "public Islam" which would force us all to follow the same proscriptions. That Islam, the public Islam, "must be defended by bombs", he argues. Both the media and the administration refuse to acknowledge that distinction.
Why did Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev detonate bombs at the Boston Marathon? They were engaged in an old disagreement over political systems. Terrorists of the left set off bombs to force a political revolution. Their Islamist fellow-travelers are doing the same thing. Dig away enough of the trappings of the celebrity murderer and you come to the ideas buried underneath all the rubble.
[The media] wants us to speak of foreign policy as an isolated American act and of random violence as arising from thin air. It does not want us to understand the nature of the struggle. It does not want us to know why we die. It is determined to keep from us the reason why Muslims kill.
Sulltan Knish's article is something that should be read in its entirety, but if you want a short form of the media celebrity treatment of Islamist thugs he describes, Iowahawk provided it in a tweet:
"When I tweeted [Guy sends 268 people to the hospital, and the NY Times want to rewrite him as the new Holden Caulfield. #BomberInTheRye] last night, it was in response to the Times' bizarre stream of 'poor little misfit alienated immigrant teen' profile puff-pieces. It was (as satire is suppose to be) an intentional exaggeration meant to make a point. As God is my witness, I swear I had no idea they would ACTUALLY LIKEN HIM TO HOLDEN CAULFIELD."
What an embarrassment.
2. The Media Act as if We Are Murderous Thugs
It may be that the media dissembles concerning the impetus for these murderous acts because it knows no better. Certainly they give evidence everyday of their thin knowledge of the world outside their pressroom cloisters. But one cannot help but feel that from 9/11 on the media has treated Americans as if WE were the murderous thugs who must not learn of the Islamist nature of the slaughterers lest we grab our pikes and scimitars and start off to mosques to behead the innocent.
Brendon O'Neill at the Telegraph captured my puzzlement at this continued inexplicable treatment of the media's audience:
Clearly, some observers fear ordinary Americans more than they do terrorists; they fret more over how dangerously unintelligent and hateful Yanks will respond to bombings than they do over the bombings themselves. But where is this Islamophobic mob? Where are these marauding Muslim-haters undergoing a post-Boston freakout? They are a figment of liberal observers' imaginations. In the years since 9/11, the American public has been admirably tolerant towards Muslim communities. According to federal crime stats collected by the FBI, in 2009 there were 107 anti-Muslim hate crimes; in a country of 300 million people that is a very low number. In 2010, a year of great terrorism panic following the attempt by Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad to detonate a car bomb in Times Square in NYC, there were 160 anti-Muslim hate crimes. In 2011, there were 157. To see how imaginary the Islamophobic mob is, consider a state like Texas, fashionably mocked as a backward Hicksville full of Fox News-watching morons: there are 420,000 Muslims in Texas, yet in 2011 there were only six anti-Muslim hate crimes there. It simply isn't true that mad racist Yanks are biting at the bit to attack Muslims.
There were similarly wrongheaded fears of an outburst of mass Islamophobic hysteria in the wake of the 7/7 bombings in London, too. Policemen were posted outside mosques. NHS trusts encouraged doctors and nurses to keep their eyes peeled for anyone who expressed anti-Muslim hate. Trade union officials warned of a "backlash" against Muslims. But the backlash never came. Brits did not rise up in spite and fury against Muslims. Crown Prosecution Service crime figures for 2005-2006, covering the aftermath of the 7/7 attacks, showed that only 43 religiously aggravated crimes were prosecuted in that period, and that Muslims were the victims in 18 of those crimes. Eighteen prosecutions for anti-Muslim crimes -- all those crimes are unfortunate, of course they are; but this was far from an "Islamophobic backlash". As the then Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken Macdonald, said: "The fears of a [post-7/7] rise in offences appear to be unfounded." Time and again, Left-leaning campaigners and observers respond to terror attacks in the West by panicking about the possibly racist response of Joe Public -- and time and again, their fears prove ill-founded and Joe Public proves himself a more decent, tolerant person than they give him credit for. What this reveals is that liberal concern over Islamophobia, liberal fretting about anti-Muslim bigotry, is ironically driven by a bigotry of its own, by an deeply prejudiced view of everyday people as hateful and stupid. The anti-Islamophobia lobby poses as the implacable opponent of bigotry, yet it spreads a bigoted view of ordinary white folk as so volatile, so brimming with fury, that they are one terrorist bombing away from transforming into an anti-Muslim pogrom. Yes, some prejudiced things have been said about Muslims post-Boston; but far more prejudiced things are being said or implied about ordinary Americans.
This contempt for the innocent victims of Islamic terrorism permeates the International set of anti-democratic American and Israeli haters. Princeton Professor Richard Falk who sits on the preposterously named and constituted UN Human Rights Commission is an exemplar of this caste of blinkered mandarins. He publicly blamed the bombing on U.S. foreign policy and its support of Israel. Just as he has earlier suggested our government had a hand in 9/11.
As the NY Post's Michael Goodwin observed, Falk's fault finding error is shared with the president:
Yet Falk is not the only one with warped views. His praise for President Obama's apologies to Muslims should give the president reason to pause, but the White House is too busy making sure it passes the test of the Boston bombing trial.
Not so much the test of whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is guilty, about which there seems little doubt. Rather, the trial is a test of American values, according to all the president's men.
Obama himself still refuses to cite Islam as a motive for the bombing, despite the copious evidence investigators and the media have produced. He rushes to judgment only when it suits his worldview.
The dynamic is bizarre. Americans are attacked and, in return, are warned by their president to behave. Obama used that formula to defend the proposed mosque at Ground Zero, saying it was important that "we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about."
Apparently, the president sees the Constitution as a suicide pact.
B. The Administration Shares the Media and Mandarins' Distorted View and Exacerbates the Danger
There was little doubt as the week ended that the FBI and HSA both seriously blundered in their treatment of the terrorists and their family, in the lies they told to us about what they had done and why, and there can be little doubt that, absent a sea change, we are in far greater danger now than we were before Obama was elected, a time when we had a president who thought us worthy of defending. Apart from the president's history outlined by Goodwin, we have seen unfolded a series of acts that could only have maximized our peril and that could be directed only from the top levels of the administration.
1. It has stripped the FBI manual of relevant information and blinded it to the danger of Islamism:
As The Washington Examiner's Mark Flatten reported last year, FBI training manuals were systematically purged in 2011 of all references to Islam that were judged offensive by a specially created five-member panel. Three of the panel members were Muslim advocates from outside the FBI, which still refuses to make public their identities. Nearly 900 pages were removed from the manuals as a result of that review. Several congressmen were allowed to review the removed materials in 2012, on condition that they not disclose what they read to their staffs, the media, or the general public.
With the recent proliferation of revelations about FBI blindness on the Brothers Tsarnaev, a comment made last year by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, to Flatten now has a tragic resonance: "We've got material being removed more because of political correctness than in the interest of truth and properly educated justice officials. We are blinding our enforcement officers from the ability to see who the enemy actually is." The Boston bombing showed the tragic consequences of that.
Even if they are made aware of the danger, the FBI fails to act against Islamists, undoubtedly because it is a certain career ender.
The Russian FSB (the successor to the KGB) warned us about the bomber, the CIA brought this information to the FBI which performed a perfunctory interview, never looked at the bomber's Facebook page, and no one seemed to have noticed that he went to Russia for 6 months, doubtless meeting with Islamist Chechen terrorists. Even the Obama-loving Washington Post found the FBI performance remarkable:
there are reasons for concern about the two agencies' performance, based on what is known so far about their tracking of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The older and more radical brother was first identified as a possible extremist by Russia, which asked the FBI to investigate him in early 2011. Later that year, also after prompting from Russia, the CIA asked that his name be added to a watch list maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, The Post's Greg Miller and Sari Horowitz reported. His subsequent departure for Russia in early 2012 resulted in "a ping" to customs officials, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress on Tuesday. However, it appears the FBI never learned that Tamerlan had left the country and was not informed when he returned in July.
2. The FBI seriously interfered with the interrogation of the Dzhokhar Tzarnaev.
Dzhokhar was apparently wounded in the leg and neck by Boston police officers when, after firing hundreds of rounds, made Swiss cheese of the Boston whaler in which he was hiding unarmed.
Despite his throat wound and under a special exception set by the Attorney General, FBI agents were given 48 hours in which to question him without Mirandizing him, the questioning was slow going because of his wounds, especially the throat wounds which we'd earlier (falsely) been told were self-inflicted. But after only 16 hours and while the FBI was still questioning him and reportedly getting "crucial information," another FBI agent filed a criminal complaint in Boston and a magistrate accordingly appeared, told the terrorist he had a right to remain silent and Dzhokhar availed himself of the proffered privilege and stopped talking.
Whether this was just another in a series of blunders or a deliberate act to keep him from revealing more, I am sorry to say I don't know. Given all that preceded this -- including a litany of bald-faced lies megaphoned by the press -- no conspiratorial explanation seems unthinkable.
3. Federal agents were clearly the sources of repeated early claims the brothers were self trained lone wolves, and they did so without evidence of that and at a time when they couldn't possibly know that to be true. In fact, the evidence indicates they were not.
The nature of the bomb shows they had some assistance in bomb making. Friday afternoon FNC reported the FBI is now considering there was a third bomber whose identity we do not know.
There's also a report that the terrorists' mother, wanted for shoplifting in Boston, was also on a terrorist watch list and that Tamerlan's wife played some role -- if only to tip them off they were being watched. The mosque in Boston which they attended has radical ties and been associated with other terrorism suspects.
4. There is more than a small hint that other federal agencies were involved in getting a Saudi injured at the scene of the blast and tagged a "person of interest" off a watch list and perhaps even spiriting him out of the country.
• A Saudi national originally identified as a "person of interest" in the Boston Marathon bombing was set to be deported under section 212, 3B -- "Security and related grounds" -- "Terrorist activities" after the bombing on April 15
• TheBlaze received word that the government may not deport the Saudi national -- identified as Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi -- as the story gained traction on April 18.
• Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refused to answer questions on the subject by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on Capitol Hill on April 18, saying the inquiry was "so full of misstatements and misapprehension that it's just not worthy of an answer."
• An ICE official said April 18 that a different Saudi national is in custody, but that he is "in no way" connected to the bombings.
• Key congressmen of the Committee on Homeland Security request a classified briefing with Napolitano on April 22
• New info provided to TheBlaze reveals Alharbi's file was altered on the evening of April 17 to disassociate him from the initial charges
• Sources said on April 22 that the Saudi's student visa specifically allows him to go to school in Findlay, Ohio, though he appears to have an apartment in Boston, Massachusetts. A DHS official told TheBlaze that Alharbi properly transferred his student visa to a school in Massachusetts
• TheBlaze sources reveal April 22 that Alharbi was put on a terror watchlist after the bombing, and Napolitano confirms he was on a "watchlist" April 23.
By week's end, Beck's story, now confirmed after an early denial by Secretary Napolitano, grew even more shocking:
• At the time the event file was created for Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, it indicated he was "armed and dangerous"
• Alharbi was admitted into the country under a "special advisory option," which is usually reserved for visiting politicians, VIPs, or journalists. The event file cover page indicates he was granted his status without full vetting.
• One of the first excuses given by law enforcement when confronted about Alharbi's pending deportation was an expired visa. But according to the event file, his visa is good until 11-NOV-2016.
• The event file indicates he entered the U.S. on 08/28/12 in Boston, MA but says he is a student at the University of Findlay, in Findlay, Ohio. He has an apartment in Boston, and doesn't seem to have been a full-time student in Ohio.
• When a file is created in the system the author(s) are notified via email when it is accessed, and given the email address of the person accessing, so there is a record within the government data system of who deleted them. It was amended to remove the deportation reference, then someone later went in and tried to destroy both the original event file and amended versions. Copies had already been made.
• The original event file was reviewed and approved by two high level agents -- Chief Watch Commander Maimbourg and Watch Commander Mayfield.
Sure looks like a cover-up. Since there are pictures of Michelle Obama visiting Alharbi in his hospital room, since the Administration has been lying about him repeatedly and altering official records, and since there's as yet no answer as to how and why he was admitted under a "special advisory opinion" and since we do not yet know if he's still here or was spirited out of the country, we have good reason to be suspicious.