In yet another attempt to infantilize the American people and slant the news in such a way that Islam is exculpated in mass murders by Muslims, the Attorney General of the U.S. has decided to bowdlerize the transcripts of the phone calls that the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, made during his murderous rampage. Here’s some audio from Attorney General Loretta Lynch interviewed by Chuck Todd on t.v.’s Meet the Press show. I’ve put part of the transcript below.
My emphasis is in bold:
LORETTA LYNCH: What we’re announcing tomorrow is that the FBI is releasing a partial transcript of the killer’s calls with law enforcement, from inside the club. These are the calls with the Orlando PD negotiating team, who he was, where he was… that will be coming out tomorrow and I’ll be headed to Orlando on Tuesday.
CHUCK TODD: Including the hostage negotiation part of this?
LYNCH: Yes, it will be primarily a partial transcript of his calls with the hostage negotiators.
CHUCK TODD: You say partial, what’s being left out?
LYNCH: What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda.
CHUCK TODD: We’re not going to hear him talk about those things?
LYNCH: We will hear him talk about some of those things, but we are not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance and that. It will not be audio, it will be a printed transcript. But it will begin to capture the back and forth between him and the negotiators, we’re trying to get as much information about this investigation out as possible. As you know, because the killer is dead, we have a bit more leeway there and we will be producing that information tomorrow.
A piece at Real Clear Politics reports more:
Salonreported that: “Everybody who was in the bathroom who survived could hear him talking to 911, saying the reason why he’s doing this is because he wanted America to stop bombing his country.”
The Washington Postalso noted that during his 911 call from the club, the gunman referenced the Boston Marathon bombers and claimed “that he carried out the shooting to prevent bombings, [echoing] a message the younger Boston attacker had scrawled in a note before he was taken into custody by police.”
FBI Director James Comey said at a press conference that the shooter’s past comments about Islamist groups were “inflammatory and contradictory.”
“We see no clear evidence that he was directed externally,” the president added. “It does appear that at the last minute, he announced allegiance to ISIL. But there is no evidence so far that he was in fact directed by ISIL, and at this stage there’s no direct evidence that he was part of a larger plot.” ISIL is another name for ISIS, or the Islamic State.
Now there are two ways to construe this. The charitable one, which the government will undoubtedly use if pressed, is that showing the shooter’s ideological alligience will inspire copycat killings, so they’re just trying to prevent more violence. That may sound good, but we already know about the ISIS and Islamist connection from previous reporting. So that’s not a surprise.
I suspect the real reason is that the government, in a misguided effort to exculpate extremist religious ideology (perhaps to placate the American Muslim community), is simply redacting the transcript to omit all the killer’s motivations for his act. This is perfectly in line with Obama’s recurring policy of avoiding the mention of religion at any cost.
If that is indeed the reason, which seems the best explanation to me, then our government has not only insulted our intelligence, but kept useful information from us. In what world does such censorship, for whatever reason, take precedence over our right to know what really happened? And, as I said, we already know what the killer said about ISIS and his allegiance.
And really, who cares if Mateen was directed by ISIS or simply carried out an act that ISIS publicly announced was specially approved for Ramadan? The FBI will find out if Mateen had accomplices (his wife may be one) or overseas connections. Can we really say that the religious angle of this murder is completely irrelevant?
And that, indeed, is what the Regressive Left is saying: it was either homophobia or mental illness that prompted the murder spree. The mental illness excuse I can’t judge, for it’s often used tautologically: someone who does such a deed must have been mentally ill. Homophobia may be relevant in light of the report that Mateen frequented gay clubs in the months before his act. But homophobia (or mental illness) and a faith that demonizes gays—those are toxic combinations.