From 4/20/13

I’d like to make a few comments on the atrocity on April 15th. Events are moving so fast that I will add a timeline to each of the comments.

Perpetrator/s, April 17th a.m.

My money is on domestic terror. Not because I believe (like the President, see below) that Muslim terror has been “conquered” by his “soothing” words and appeasement policies, but simply because this does not fit their modus operandi. Even if it was a “jihadist” “lone-wolf,” by now he or the organization to which he feels affiliation to would have claimed responsibility. Media magnification of their “power” is essential to them and that is why they need the publicity and the “credit.” Not only did no one claim credit, but the one organization (Pakistani-Taliban) who recently threatened action in the U.S. took the effort to DENY it. The date (think Waco, Oklahoma City), the occasion (Muslim terrorists do not, contrary to all perceived notions, try to attack special occasions or usually special dates. They attack on normal days in normal places.), and frankly the subdued results all point to local militant-type extremists. While in no way does this make this atrocity any more “justified,” it is better to have to deal with the lunatics (criminals who should be put to death) of your own than the evil represented by Muslim terrorists.

Victims, April 17th a.m.

I am sure that what I am going to say will sound callous, but it is not. The low body count is surprising. One could have expected dozens to die in a situation like this. In Oklahoma, 170 people died. I understand that losing a limb is terrible, but it is much better than death. There are two things one can attribute that to:

  • Open air environment: It seems that the huge number of deaths occur when a building collapses from an explosion, but still there are dozens of deaths in many explosions in open-air in Iraq, Pakistan etc.
  • The main reason for the low body count is medical science. What these doctors and hospitals can do these days is simply miraculous and every time we complain about doctors and hospitals, which we do all the time, we should always remember that these are angels sent by God to save our lives. I am shocked and awed by the miracle of modern medical science. It is clear to me that if it was not for the immediate and top professional level of medical care that these poor victims received, the number of deaths would have been in the dozens. I take my hat off. This does not belittle or excuse the horrible event or the loss of life of three people. Every life wasted in such event is precious.

The President, April 17th a.m.

The president seems to be engaged. One wonders if this is because he learned the lesson of Benghazi where he was AWOL, or simply because he does not have “pressing issues” to deal with like he had during Benghazi—his reelection campaign.

In his two addresses to date, it’s the usual: I, me, my—words that this president ALWAYS uses when it is something to take credit for, were prevalent. It is never “they,” that only applies if you have a failure you need to pin on someone.

Still he could not bring himself to say the word “terror.” In his first address to the nation on Monday evening, he called it a tragedy and an event and all kinds of nonsense but not terror. Really? What in the world can two bombs exploding be? An accident? A murder? A prank?

He did come out on Tuesday morning and say the inevitable—terror. Even then you could see that it was difficult for him to utter this word. It is so much against his whole world view and policy that says that there is no terror anymore; he singlehandedly conquered it. It was obvious that he took GREAT comfort from his ability to raise, correctly, the option that it was a domestic terror as opposed to “international.” The president’s agenda is to try to convince us that there is no Muslim terror. That is why he and his administration classifies the killing of a dozen people by a Muslim with clear ties to AQAP, shouting “Allah hu akbar,” as “workplace violence.”

He also promised us serious consequences to the perpetrators. I wonder if this is the same as his many previous promises to:

– Punish Iran for the plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to DC
– Punish the perpetrators of Benghazi
– Not allow the massacre of innocent civilians in Syria (after 80,000 have already died and more are still dying)
– Not tolerate a nuclear North Korea (I hate to break the news, but they already are, Mr. president…)
– Etc, etc.

The Media, April 18th a.m.

If it was not so tragic it would be comical. As soon as this atrocity occurred, all media outlets went into high gear. You can see that they relish it. Not for them the fact that ultimately, as terror goes, this was a fairly modest event. We are subjected to 24/7, wall-to-wall, saturation coverage with all the usual suspects taking center stage. Of course, Anderson Copper had to go to Boston. Without him on the scene, the perpetrators would not be found. He has to be exposed on the street, reporting from the “field.” The problem is that the media had about 20 minutes worth of coverage. So they filled in the rest of the 1,420 minutes of the day with repetition, with bullshit, with nonsense, and with trying to make this thing much bigger than it is. To me, it seems that America was going about its business calmly, regularly, and absolutely correctly. The media, on the other, hand tried, unsuccessfully, to paint a picture of huge shock and possible implications, all a-la-9/11. Rubbish.

Things came to a head when CNN which I despise as dishonest and slimy BUT do give them credit as good on sources and events of this nature, CNN under heat from low, embarrassingly low, ratings (not new) created the news. According to them, a suspect was arrested. This was confirmed by one of their senior “contributors,” Fran Townsend (former Homeland Security advisor to Bush…), who lent the significant weight of her reputation and contacts by asserting that she was told by her “sources” that this was true. Except that it was not true! No one was arrested. I will give Fox credit (for reporting it hesitantly and relying on other media sources, clearly stating that they were not sure about it. I guess if there is no news, CNN has to create it. Their slogan should be “the most trusted name in CREATIVE news.”

I can only conclude as I do so many times when commenting about the media—what a shameful bunch. Disgusting and despicable.

Law Enforcement, April 20th

Well, I was wrong. My only defense is that this seems to be the least jihadist of all jihadist terror attacks. It is clear that their mind was contaminated by the jihadist philosophy (if calling it philosophy is not giving such an evil and heartless movement too much respect) but the trigger seems to have been an alienation from American society. Not a justification for the atrocity but somewhat of an explanation of why I called it incorrectly.

In the media’s wall-to-wall coverage of the event, you can hear wall-to-wall commendation of law enforcement. I am more ambivalent.

On the one hand, it is clear that identifying the perpetrators within two days of the event is a huge success and deserves 100% commendation and more. It lends strong support to all measures of observation in the public domain. It is impressive. On the other hand, what followed seems to me to raise questions.

Did the FBI really need the public’s help to identify them once they had their pictures? These men’s pictures were on so many databases—one had a green card, one was recently naturalized, they were both very active in social media, students in Mass. University and surely, although no one mentioned it, they both had Mass.-issued drivers licenses. So given today’s facial recognition technology, the FBI still needs the public to help identify them? This does not sound right.

The question, of course, is whether making the pictures public triggered their additional killing spree. There is one person dead and a huge economic and possibly human price paid for an unprecedented one-day “curfew” of an entire major city in the USA, all resulting from the public disclosure of these pictures. Couldn’t law enforcement identify them without making the pictures public and then proceed to capture without them knowing that they are being hunted?

It may have been less dramatic but it sounds to me that it would have been much more efficient and have had significantly less costs and trauma and possibly saving a man’s life. I certainly think that the question needs to be asked and answered.