Blue Blue Monday Reads and Yes! Let’s politicize homophobia and gun fetishists!

Good Afternoon!

Once again we see the results of toxic religious zealotry and resentment whipped up to the point that some nutter feels compelled to kill in the case of the Orlando massacre.  This occurs all too frequently in this country.  You may recall the images (14)Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting where we saw Robert Dear go on a shooting spree with the same deadly combination of anger whipped up by right wing politicians and preachers, mental illness, and easy access to weapons.  One claimed ISIS inspiration and Islamofascism.  The other was inspired by Christofascists in the US that bring you terror in the name of Fetus Fetishism.

We still haven’t heard about the motives of the Indiana man–a 20 year old white guy–in terms of why he was going after participants and viewers of a California Gay Pride parade.  Suffice it to say, the politicization of the private lives of the GLBT community by Republicans, their presidential candidate, and the various religious whackos that they court likely will come into play at some point.

Harassing and encouraging anger is just one political tool used regularly by Republicans these days.  I have noticed that the silence is deafening right now on James Wesley Howell.  The press can is clearly focused on the bloodbath and the sensational background of the Pulse Shooter rather than wondering why we manage to get bigger and badder displays of hatred and anger these days.  I’m not sure that most people realize that any Abrahamic-based religion is going to beget violence in some folks.  It goes with territory.  A few of them take retribution and strict commandments from their angry sky fairy way too seriously. This is especially the case if they have some kind of severe emotional or mental disorder.

(Spoiler Alert)  It’s the easy access to guns of all kinds in this country. The irresponsible and cynical use of anger and outrage to gain power and money is out of control.  Religion is just another vehicle to whip up the anger and the outrage and it frequently turns deadly.

obama1-703x406The weapon of choice for mass shooters is the AR-15 rifle.  This is one of the weapons that was included in the assault weapons ban signed by Bill Clinton in 1994 that expired in 2004.  The rifle was used in Orlando, Aurora,  Newton, and San Bernadino. It’s easily obtainable and the latest shooter–who had a history of Domestic Violence and was under the eye of the FBI for terrorist rantings–had a license to carry it and to obtain it legally.  Let that sink in.

There were calls to ban the weapon after the Newtown shootings, which led to a spike in sales. Gun manufacturers have called the AR-15 one of the most popular weapons in the U.S., with more than 3 million estimated to be in circulation.

“It was designed for the United States military to do to enemies of war exactly what it did this morning: kill mass numbers of people with maximum efficiency and ease,” lawyer Josh Koskoff, who’s representing Newtown families in their lawsuit against the gun industry, said Sunday.

Regulations on magazine capacity for the weapon vary from state to state, but it can fire 45 rounds a minute.

Most forms of the gun had been prohibited under the 1994 federal assault weapons ban that was allowed to expire in 2004, following ferocious lobbying by the National Rifle Association.

The NRA has used its lobbying might in the years since to bury attempts to revive the ban.

“During the decade of the ban, there were half as many casualties in mass shootings as the decade before, and a third as many casualties in mass shootings as the decade after,” said Richard Aborn of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, a strategist involved in the original legislation.

920x920 (1)Hillary Clinton has called for a renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban that her husband signed in his first term.  This is one of the reasons that I am so happy she is the nominee.  Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has some extremely neoconfederate views of gun control that he reiterated yesterday.  He believes it is a state and local issue, voted against the Brady Bill many many times, and has supported relieving gun manufacturers and stores of any liability for the damage done by their product.

Hillary Clinton has called for the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban in the wake of the worst mass shooting in American history that left 49 people and the gunman dead at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

In forthright comments a day after the massacre at the Pulse Club, the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic party issued a call for a return to “commonsense gun safety reform” and lambasted the Republican-controlled Congress for what she called a “totally incomprehensible” refusal to address the country’s lax gun laws.

“We can’t fall into the trap set up by the gun lobby that says if you cannot stop every shooting you shouldn’t try to stop any,” she said.

Clinton’s tough stance on gun control sets up a torrid fight with her Republican rival for the White House Donald Trump, who has positioned himself as a champion of the second amendment and dismissed any calls for greater gun controls as weakness. She insisted that while she did believe that law-abiding American citizens have the right to own guns, it was also possible to see that “reasonable, commonsense measures” could be taken that would make people more safe from guns.

One of the things that stuns me is the ease with which a guy on the FBI threat radar could get a permit to carry and purchase a rifle that no civilian should own.

A day after the deadliest mass shooting in US history, questions are mounting over why the shooter Omar Mateen was legally able to buy an assault rifle and handgun despite having been investigated twice by the FBI for suspected terrorist sympathies.

Mateen, 29, launched his attack on Pulse club, an LGBT venue in downtown Orlando celebrating its popular Latin dance night, at 2.02am on Sunday morning.

Twenty minutes into the spree he took the bizarre step of making a 911 call in which he reportedly referred both to Islamic State and the Tsarnaevs, the brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013.

Sunday’s attack – which left 49 clubgoers dead and 53 injured – was launched by Mateen using a .223-caliber assault rifle and 9mm semi-automatic pistol with multiple rounds of ammunition that had been purchased quite lawfully in the week before the rampage using Mateen’s firearms license. Mateen was shot dead by police.

He also held a permit to work as a security guard, which he did at a courthouse in Port St Lucie, Florida, even though he was interviewed three times by the FBI in 2013 and 2014 following separate reports of extremist behavior and connections to terrorism that were in the end deemed insubstantial.

Mateen was released because no evidence of wrongdoing was found by the FBI.  He’s a natural born American so that provides him the usual 4816protections.  This is something that appears to have blown completely pass Donald Trump whose rhetoric and bragging were dialed up to 11 yesterday. He revisited his call to ban all Muslims from entering the country despite the fact that all three of the shooters claiming support for Islamofascim–Nidal Hassn (Fort Hood),Syed Rizwan Farook, (San Bernardino) , and Mateen (Orlando)–were American citizens. Only Farook’s wife–Tashfeen Malik–was foreign born.

The presumptive Republican nominee pulled no punches in a lengthy statement yesterday, going so far as to call for Barack Obama to resign and reiterating his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States (despite the fact that the shooter was born in New York).

“In his remarks today, President Obama disgracefully refused to even say the words ‘Radical Islam’. For that reason alone, he should step down,” Trump said in his press release. “If Hillary Clinton, after this attack, still cannot say the two words ‘Radical Islam’ she should get out of this race for the Presidency. If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore. Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can’t afford to be politically correct anymore.”

“We admit more than 100,000 lifetime migrants from the Middle East each year. Since 9/11, hundreds of migrants and their children have been implicated in terrorism in the United States,” Trump added. “Hillary Clinton wants to dramatically increase admissions from the Middle East, bringing in many hundreds of thousands during a first term – and we will have no way to screen them, pay for them, or prevent the second generation from radicalizing.” (To be fair, this mischaracterizes Clinton’s position.)

The statement followed a stream of self-congratulatory tweets.

Clinton  has decided to adopt the use of radical Islam.  Let’s hope she will also be brave enough to point out radical Christians like Ted Cruz’s “Kill the 1024x1024Gays” pastor or the horrid group at Westborough Baptist Church.   She used the term on several morning news shows today.

Hillary Clinton on Monday broke from President Barack Obama in referring to the terrorist attack as “radical Islamism,” countering Donald Trump’s accusations that both she and Obama are weak on tackling terrorist threats.

In an interview with NBC’s “Today” on Monday morning, Clinton said words matter less than actions, but that she didn’t have a problem using the term.

“And from my perspective, it matters what we do, not what we say. It matters that we got Bin Laden, not what name we called him,” Clinton said. “But if he is somehow suggesting I don’t call this for what it is, he hasn’t been listening. I have clearly said we face terrorist enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering people. We have to stop them and we will. We have to defeat radical jihadist terrorism, and we will.”

Both terms “mean the same thing,” Clinton continued, adding, “And to me, radical jihadism, radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing. I’m happy to say either, but that’s not the point.”

“I have clearly said many, many times we face terrorist enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering innocent people. We have to stop them and we will. We have to defeat radical jihadist terrorism or radical Islamism, whatever you call it,” Clinton said later on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” reiterating, “it’s the same.”

The U.S. cannot, on the other hand, she added, “demonize, demagogue and declare war on an entire religion.” Clinton also said she could assure Americans that she is equally committed to fighting Islamic extremism as well as protecting law-abiding Muslims.

The President spoke on the radicalization of Mateen several hours ago.

President Obama said Monday that the Orlando mass murder was “inspired” by violent extremist propaganda on the internet and there’s no evidence the killing spree was ordered by ISIS.

“We see no clear evidence that he was directed externally,” Obama said from the Oval Office, using another name from the Islamic State terror group. “It does appear that at the last minute he announced allegiance to ISIL.”

Obama said investigators are tracing Omar Mateen’s “pathway” to murder by reviewing his internet searches and other materials.

“It appears that the shooter was inspired by various extremist information that was disseminated over the internet,” Obama said.

“All those materials are currently being searched … so we will have a better sense of pathway that the killer took in the making a decision to launch this attack.”

Obama made the brief remarks after meeting with FBI Director James Comey, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and other security officials.

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The Orlando shooting and the shooting that might have been in California both are rooted in hate and easy access to guns. Both shooter and potential shooter had histories of mental illness. The Orlando shooter had a history of Domestic violence which in many states would stop him from getting access to any gun. Clearly, we have a problem in this country with hate and guns turned on the hapless population. One of our political parties has weaponized hatred and bigotry then enabled shooters by catering to all the whims of the most radical elements of the NRA gun lobby.

Clinton is right. This has to end on all accounts.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


68 Comments on “Blue Blue Monday Reads and Yes! Let’s politicize homophobia and gun fetishists!”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Here’s a great laugh if you need one:

    Bernie Fan: “Where Did All These Clinton Voters I’ve Been Willfully Ignoring Come From?”

    https://aboveaverage.com/watch/article/bernie-fan-where-did-all-these-clinton-voters-ive-been-willfully-ignoring-come-from/

  2. dakinikat says:

    Hillary is giving a speech right now … supporting the LGBT community and saying that terrorists shouldn’t have easy access to weapons. She’s in Cleveland.

    It’s live on MSNBC right now.

  3. dakinikat says:

    Overcompensation Nation: It’s time to admit that toxic masculinity drives gun violence
    Our national attachment to dominance models of manhood is a major reason why we have so much violence
    AMANDA MARCOTTE

    http://www.salon.com/2016/06/13/overcompensation_nation_its_time_to_admit_that_toxic_masculinity_drives_gun_violence/

    • NW Luna says:

      Absolutely. Dominance as ultimate manhood breeds gun fetishism, violence, rape, and hateful fear of anyone “different.”

  4. NW Luna says:

    Excellent post, dak!

    • dakinikat says:

      Thx! I thought it was type to get political on those Republicans’ asses. You can continually gin up hate against GLBTs and let folks get guns freely and not expect some kind of horrid situation. Every GLBT person has their life politicized every day. The vicitm’s death needs to stand as a monument to both homophobia and easy gun access. It probably has some connection to scapegoating the followers of Islam too. They can’t do that and then scream no politics zone during the harvest of their poison fruits.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Republicans now pretending the attack on a gay nightclub on Latin night was just a coincidence. Sickening.

        Remember Republicans voted against a recent bill that would have kept people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Thanks for the post, Dakinikat.

    The Indiana guy’s name is James Howell.

    Neighbors of heavily-armed Indiana man arrested in LA ‘not surprised’

    And get this, he was home schooled.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Trump speaking in NH blaming Islam for everything under the sun.

    • Fannie says:

      There is a guy (intelligence) who is fact checking all the freaking damn lies!

      • Fannie says:

        After listening to Trump, I realized he had never ever been supportive of the gay community, and all of a sudden today, he’s their best friend, and supporter.

        I can’t stand the liar.

  7. quixote says:

    I know what people mean, but… It’s not only Abrahamic religions that foster violence. Some Hindus have been pretty reprehensible in “communal” violence, to use the Indian term. Hell, even some Buddhists in Burma have been violent against Rohingya.

    And it’s not a *national* attachment to dominance models of masculinity. That’s global in the worst way.

    The only groups with a truly large and significant disparity in the use of violence are men and women.(Part of?) the answer lies somewhere in getting over the global admiration of violent masculinity and global belittling of women.

    But everybody here already knows that. And trying to talk to people who don’t is exhausting.

  8. Thank you for this post, Dakinikat. Roiling in my psyche is a ‘Mourning in America’ campaign.
    The LGBT community, subset Latinx, is just the latest target. We grieve with them, and with black churchgoers, and with primary school children and educators, and with young people in secondary schools, and with Planned Parenthood, and with people in their workplaces, and with, and with, it seems ad infinitum. So much grief!
    The obvious first step is gun control. The easy access to means of destruction must be reduced to the point where it can be ‘drowned in a bathtub.
    In addition, the motivation needs attention, as well. You have identified, eloquently, the religio/political opportunism that whips unstable people to action.
    It seems to me that task is made easier by the huge prevalence of computer game role playing that promotes violent ideation as a method of boosting the players ego, sense of power, being a ‘winner’. Putting that genie back in the bottle will not be easy. But I think it is a necessary exploration if we hope to correct our societal course to a more inclusive, less divisive path.
    Please feel free to delete this if I’ve gone too far down the rabbit hole! I have a real problem with feeling helpless.

  9. and another thing…

    ‘You have identified, eloquently, the religio/political opportunism that whips unstable people to action.’

    In Canada, fomenting hatred is the ‘hate crime’. Anti-semites and white supremacists have been successfully prosecuted for fomenting hatred. It seems to me that murder, torture, etc. are always hateful actions. Motivating and instigating hateful actions needs to be criminalized, not accepted as ‘politics as usual’.

  10. Fannie says:

    Thank you Dak……..I am trying to keep it together with really blowing it with some people. I have called out those Christians, and yes they are family members who I believe have added to all this damn hate, and their stupid jokes, and their support of Trump, and well, they are out of my life, and all I can say is Love wins. They had the nerve to ask me to explain that statement, the insanity is unreal as they wave their black book, and say it’s because the President allows all Muslims in this country. The first thing I did was remind them of Pastor Swanson, of Ruby Ridge, of David Koresh, of Jim Jones, of Westboro, of Pat Robertson, and KKK, yet they didn’t want to talk about it. I was told that I loved the shooter. That was it, fuck them. They are saturated with hate, and anger. They refuse to look for answers, like gun control, or efforts to reach out and help our country, and our President make this a safe place to live and work in.

    Then I went shopping, and Betty who is a clerk, told me that a man had come into the store, and wanted to know if she would like to have lunch, dinner. He asked her if she liked sex, that he had a penis transplant! I said what the hell? She told him she would like to know his name before having sex, and he took off. This is the kind crap women are putting up with at work, in the community, and it’s really getting really bad with this masculinity stuff.

    Thanks for information on James Howell, the media needs to step here!

    • NW Luna says:

      Damn. I was hoping the Docs vs Glocks would come out on the side of reason! Instead healthcare providers are muzzled.

  11. pdgrey says:

    “Governor Chris Christie, of New Jersey, another of Trump’s opponents early in the campaign, has transformed himself into a sort of manservant, who is constantly with Trump at events. (One Republican told me that a friend of his on the Trump campaign used Snapchat to send him a video of Christie fetching Trump’s McDonald’s order.)”
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/06/20/inside-the-gop-trump-dilemma

    • Fannie says:

      I’m really sick of him too. It’s over the cliff for Trump to accuse our President of being a terrorist sympathizer! Sick bastards.

    • Delphyne49 says:

      He, unfortunately, is the governor of my State and I just can’t stand him.

      After I saw this earlier on Twitter, I replied that we’ll soon see him eating flies like Renfield in Dracula.

  12. polculture says:

    Trump has blacklisted the Washington Post from his campaign. It just keeps coming.

  13. dakinikat says:

    Trump campaign just pulled WAPOs credentials.

  14. janicen says:

  15. janicen says:

    Check yer mail! Woman cards arrived today! My daughter and I got ours!

  16. dakinikat says:

    Qatar convicts Dutch woman held ‘after being raped’

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36516006

    A court in Qatar has convicted a Dutch woman of having sex outside marriage after she told police she was raped.
    The 22-year-old was handed a suspended sentence and fined $824 (£580). She will also be deported.
    Her lawyer said her drink had been spiked at a Doha hotel in March and she had woken up in a stranger’s flat, where she realised she had been raped.
    Her alleged attacker, who said the sex was consensual, was sentenced to 100 lashes for having sex outside marriage.
    He will be given a further 40 lashes for consuming alcohol.

  17. janicen says:

    Turns out, one of my daughter’s friends was one of the victims. She did an internship at Disney and knew this guy. She said he was a really great guy, always up, positive, and just plain nice. R.I.P. Jerry.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/pulse-orlando-nightclub-shooting/victims/os-orlando-mass-shooting-jerald-arthur-wright-20160613-story.html

      • janicen says:

        Turns out, 13 of the victims worked at Disney. Daughter knew one of them. What kind worries me is that she is not as shaken as one would expect. Granted, she’s steel. She internalizes her pain like nobody I have ever known but still, I would have expected more of a reaction. She’s a rabid gay activist since her fav uncle, my younger brother passed but she’s maintaining eerily well. Kinda scary.

  18. Yesterday was my first day back to blogging since my brother passed away. Overwhelmed by the violence from the terroristic hate crime of mass murder and casualties…including the callousness shown from the usual suspects, I’ve had to retreat into myself. Literally hiding in my bed. But I saw somewhere that Mateen was on the terror watch list. Which, if true, means he would not have been able to purchase the long gun and all those bullets he did ( on the same day mind you) if the NRA and dick heads in gov didn’t vote to allow folks on the terror watch list buy big ass guns. My mind is not at full capacity today. But is this right?

    • NW Luna says:

      Unfortunately, you are correct.

      And gentle hugs to you, JJ.

    • janicen says:

      I noticed and I was glad to see you back but the subject matter was so disturbing that I didn’t want to comment on your return and distract. Still, it’s good that you are back.

      Yes, the GOP has had opportunities to make all of this suffering more difficult but they chose not to.

    • quixote says:

      I know, right? It’s one of those, “Wait. What? Did I just hear that?”

      But I believe that’s right. Besides abusing his wife (Interesting, isn’t it, how if “domestic” violence was taken seriously, a whole lot of other crap wouldn’t even be able to start. These guys practice on women.) he threatened a coworker in 2012 which got him a visit with the FBI.

    • Fannie says:

      I often think of you, and your brother. I just about lost my brother a week ago. It’s really hard to get back to what is “normal” when something like Orlando happens, and things are worse, and you try to understand why, it makes no sense. No matter I always look forward to hearing from you JJ. Take good care.

  19. MsMass says:

    Add to all the other factors about Mateen- violent, unhinged, steroid use?, crazy father, access to guns- closet gay? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/06/14/1538334/-Omar-Mateen-was-gay-former-classmate-says.
    The 911 call mentioning ISIS was smoke, but Trump went with it. Hope he doesn’t use “gay”
    now as a terrorist indicator.

  20. From the link:

    http://www.mahablog.com/2016/06/14/personalpoliticalwhatever/

    It turns out that the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, was a regular toxic stew of Personal Issues. He wasn’t so much a jihadist as someone who poured his excessive rage into a fantasy of jihad. The Washington Post reports that in the past he had falsely claimed connections to many Islamic terrorist groups, including Hezbollah. He seems not to have understood that Sunni and Shiite militants don’t hang out on the same corner.

    The real bombshell is that it turns out Mateen was gay himself, according to people who had known him a long time. He’d even been a regular at the nightclub he attacked. And he had a father who is a Taliban supporter. Talk about raging internal conflict, huh?

    He did spend a lot of time on jihadist websites, according to some sources, which no doubt added more bite to the hot pepper gumbo of loathing sluicing around in his id. Other than that, he had about as much connection to ISIS as to the Brownie Scouts. It seems debatable to me whether the shooting itself was an act of “terrorism” as much as one more mass shooting by a poorly socialized male.

    • https://www.emptywheel.net/2016/06/14/what-did-fbi-do-with-evidence-that-mateen-was-a-closeted-gay/?

      From the link:

      His ex-wife’s new partner claimed (in Portuguese to a Brazilian outlet) that she had said Mateen had gay tendencies, Mateen’s father had called him gay in front of her, but the FBI asked her not to say that to the American press

      And this:

      By my count there are at least five data points that indicate Omar Mateen, the guy who killed 49 mostly gay (and mostly Latino) men on Sunday morning, is himself gay:

      He used to hang out with a friend from high school, who is a drag queen, and the friend’s lesbian co-worker friends
      He asked out a fellow (male) student in cop school
      His ex-wife’s new partner claimed (in Portuguese to a Brazilian outlet) that she had said Mateen had gay tendencies, Mateen’s father had called him gay in front of her, but the FBI asked her not to say that to the American press
      He used a profile on the gay dating site Jack’d (and, according to one report, Grindr)
      He had been going to Pulse for at least 3 years
      That likely makes the story of why he shot up the Pulse far more complex than the one FBI leaked to the media early on Sunday, that Mateen had called 911 and claimed he had committed the attack for ISIS. At least some in the gay community think this attack was more about Mateen struggling with his own sexuality than ISIS.

      “He was trying to pick up people. Men,” Van Horn told The Associated Press late Monday outside the Parliament House, another gay club.

      Van Horn, a retired pharmacist, said he met Mateen once, and the younger man talked about his ex-wife. But Van Horn said his friends soon “told me they didn’t want me talking to him, because they thought he was a strange person.”

      Van Horn acknowledged that he didn’t know Mateen well, but said he suspects that the massacre was less about Islamic extremism and more about a man conflicted about his sexuality.

      “I think it’s possible that he was trying to deal with his inner demons, of trying to get rid of his anger of homosexuality,” said Van Horn, who lost three friends in the shooting. “It’s really confusing to me. Because you can’t change who you are. But if you pretend that you’re different, then you may shoot up a gay bar.”
      We may or may not get that story going forward. For now, terror “experts” are working very hard to turn Mateen’s claims of affiliations for numerous violently antagonistic Islamic groups (Hizballah, al-Nusra, and ISIS, as well as the Tsarnaevs) into some kind of coherent world view that could explain his actions.

      I’m interested, though, in claims that FBI is only now investigating Mateen’s known gay activities, and that primarily in terms of whether he staked out the club or Disney World (which had a series of gay events last week). After all, given the description (here, from Jim Comey’s press conference) of the FBI’s prior investigation into Mateen, it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t have learned that Mateen was carrying out a closeted gay life.

      Now, let me tell you what I can about the FBI’s prior contact with the killer. We first became aware of him in May of 2013. He was working as a contract security guard at a local court house. He made some statements that were inflammatory and contradictory that concerned his coworkers about terrorism. First, he claimed family connections to al Qaeda. He also said that he was a member of Hezbollah, which is a Shia terrorist organization that is bitter enemy of the so called Islamic State, ISIL. He said he hoped that law enforcement would raid his apartment and assault his wife and child so that he could martyr himself.

      When this was reported to us, the FBI’s Miami office opened a preliminary investigation, and over the next 10 months we attempted to determine whether he was possibly a terrorist. Something we do in hundreds and hundreds of cases all across the country.

      Our investigation involved introducing confidential sources to him, recording conversations with him, following him, reviewing transactional records from his communications, and searching all government holdings for any possible connections, any possible derogatory information. We then interviewed him twice. He admitted making the statements that his co-workers reported, but explained that he did it in anger because he thought his co-workers were discriminating against him and teasing him because he was Muslim.

      After 10 months of investigation, we closed the preliminary investigation. Two months later, in July of 2014, the killer’s name surfaced again in an indirect way. Our Miami office was investigating the Florida man who had blown himself up for the Nusra Front in Syria. Again, the Nusra Front being a group in conflict with ISIL. We learned from the investigation that the killer knew him casually from attending the same mosque in that area of Florida. Our investigation turned up no ties of any consequence between the two of them.

      In the course of that investigation, one witness told us, when asked, “Do you know anybody else who might be radicalizing,” that he had once been concerned about the killer because the killer had mentioned al-Awlaki videos. The witness had concluded that he later got married, and had a child, and got a job as a security guard, and so he was no longer concerned about him.

      Our investigation again turned and interviewed the killer to find out whether he had any significant contacts with the suicide bomber from Nusra, determined that he did not, and then the inquiry continued focusing on the suicide bomber with no further focus on the Orlando killer.
      The FBI says they had a tail on him, which should have identified 2-hour long round trips to Orlando to hang out at Pulse, which according to witnesses were already taking place. They say they analyzed his online transaction records which — if the FBI correlated his online identities in the way we know they do — should have identified the Jack’d profile (if it existed in 2014; they surely checked his transaction records again in conjunction with the investigation into his ties with al-Nusra suicide bomber Moner Mohammed Abu Salha).

      Either the FBI knew about these things, or their investigation was insufficient to identify other, more traditional terrorist ties (because if you’re not correlating online identities well enough to find the dating profile of a closeted gay guy, you’re not correlating them well enough to identify an account protected with any kind of operational security).

      None of this is to say that an attraction to Islamic extremism isn’t part of why Mateen killed 49 people. A particularly interesting story, in my opinion, is how, on 9/11 Mateen reportedly applauded the attack (side note: what the fuck were teachers doing showing the live video at school of people jumping out of the World Trade Center in any case?).

      In an interview, Robert Zirkle, then a freshman at Martin County High School, said he saw Mateen excited and making fun of how America was being attacked on 9/11. “He was making plane noises on the bus, acting like he was running into a building,” Zirkle recalled. “I don’t really know if he was doing it because he was being taught some of that stuff at home or just doing it for attention because he didn’t have a lot of friends.”

      “Before 9/11 happened, we were pretty straight. We all rode the same bus. We weren’t really close friends, but friends at least a little,” he added, noting that Mateen attended the Spectrum Alternative School, a separate campus in Stuart for students with poor grades or behavioral issues.

      “After 9/11 happened, he started changing and acting different,” Zirkle said.

      [snip]

      “He got bullied a lot,” said the former student who sat in the dean’s office with Mateen. “It may have been because he was Muslim. But high school can be rough; people can pick on you just because of your name.”
      (…)

      But it seems that when a Muslim guy invents a terrorist tie explicitly saying he wants the FBI to come after him in response so he can martyr himself protecting a particular image of his life — “He said he hoped that law enforcement would raid his apartment and assault his wife and child so that he could martyr himself” — the Bureau might think a little more critically about what is going on.

      Instead, it appears, the FBI assessed Mateen for one and only one thing: whether his bogus claims of ties to terrorist organizations were real. There have been a slew of articles, such as this one or this one, wondering why the FBI didn’t “identify” Mateen as a “real” terrorist in its two investigations of him. But it appears the FBI was assessing only whether he was likely to commit violence because of–and with the support of–an Islamic terrorist group. It appears they weren’t assessing whether he was, like the overwhelming majority of men who commit mass shootings in this country, really screwed up, expressing it in violent ways, and seeking attention with such actions.

      It is true that Islamic extremists want to attack this country. It is also true that far, far more Americans die when men carry out mass killings because they’re fucked up and begging for attention. If you’re Muslim, the easiest way to get attention right now is to say that word, “ISIS,” because it’s a guarantee law enforcement and politicians will give that killing more due then they might give the next disturbed mass shooter.

      And that, of course, only feeds the Islamic terrorists while doing nothing about the far larger, and far more lethal, problem of disturbed men with guns.

      Update: Let me put it this way, to make it clear I don’t mean this to endorse profiling gays. Mateen had many similarities to what we know so far about Adam Lanza (the Sandy Hook killer) and Christopher Harper-Mercer (the Umpqua Community College killer). Neither of the either two were gay (as far as we know). If the FBI had interviewed either of them three times and failed to notice they were dangerously disturbed and prone to violence, how would we respond?

  21. bostonboomer says:

    The morning post is up.