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June 29, 2016 / 23 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Orlando’

The Orlando Flip-Flop

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

The Justice Department’s decision to release unredacted versions of the transcripts of the Orlando shooter’s statements to authorities was probably inevitable. The earlier decision to excise any references to Islam was among the more boneheaded ideas we can recall on the part of any administration and triggered an eruption of criticism and ridicule.

But the bizarre course of the aftermath of Omar Mateen’s murderous  rampage in a gay nightclub that resulted in 49 deaths and many serious injuries should be an object lesson for all Americans. There is something seriously wrong with the thinking of some administration decision makers.

Two days after the June 12 attack, President Obama gave a speech on the matter following a meeting with his National Security Council. Despite the perpetrator’s name, his reported remarks to a crisis negotiator that the United States needed to “stop bombing Syria and Iraq,” his pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State and its leader, and his support for other extremist ideologies, Mr. Obama in his address talked about the carnage largely in terms of anti-gay targeting and the need for more gun control. And he described the gunman as an unstable young man who became radicalized, not as someone with a religious zeal to implement what he believed to be the teachings of Islam.

Of particular note is this comment in the president’s speech:

In all of our efforts, foremost in our minds is the loss and the grief of the people of Orlando, those who died, those who are still recovering, the families who’ve seen their loved ones harmed, the friends of ours who are lesbian and gay and bisexual and transgender who were targeted.

Recall, though, that back in January 2015, Mr. Obama said this about the murder of four Jews at the Hyper Cacher kosher market in Paris at the hands of an Islamic extremist: “It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.”

So for Mr. Obama the shooting of Jews who were patronizing a kosher food establishment was random, not purposeful – though the terrorist plainly chose a Jewish venue – but the victims of the Orlando shootings were presumptively targeted because of their sexual orientation. That is, they were not just “a bunch of folks” in a nightclub, but a bunch of gay folks.

But the height of absurdity was reached with the announcement by Attorney General Lynch, in response to requests by media outlets for the transcripts of Mr. Mateen’s remarks, that only redacted versions would be released. All references to any pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups or to Islam or ISIS would be scrubbed. She said by way of explanation: “What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda.”

Eventually, as noted above, the administration relented and the full transcripts were released. But it is instructive to see how foolish the redacted version looked. Here is a sampling: “I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings”; “My name is Omar Mateen, I pledge of allegiance to [omitted]”; “I pledge allegiance to [omitted], may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf [omitted].”

It certainly is silly and unbecoming for ostensibly serious people to try to manipulate reality in such a cartoonish fashion. Do they really think they can micromanage the news and hide things from the public to the extent this episode suggests? In retrospect, it is more than silly. It is downright scary.

Editorial Board

Dept. of Justice Censors 911 Transcript from Orlando

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Liberty Unyielding}

When those written transcripts start popping up on your local news broadcasts, and you don’t hear or see the parts from Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen about pledging allegiance to Islamic State — there’s a reason for that. The Department of Justice is having the transcripts censored.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch explained, in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press:

“What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda,” Lynch said. “We are not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance [to the Islamic State].”

It appears, from the interview, that we will get to see Mateen’s references to his stated motive for the attack: that he “wanted America to stop bombing his country.” He made this widely reported statement during hostage negotiations with the police.

(The interview with Lynch starts at the 2:00 mark.)

So Mateen’s claims and state of mind will be presented to the American public in the light most sympathetic to his cause. You’ll be bombarded with an accusation that you’re “bombing his country” (which for the record is actually the United States of America, not Afghanistan, given that Mateen was born here and was an American citizen). But the Obama administration won’t let you read, hear, or otherwise inspect his pledges of allegiance to a vile, bloodthirsty, atrocity-committing Islamic guerrilla-terrorist group.

There is no justification for this censorship, of course. Consider the contrast between this bizarre, unjustified, Orwellian redaction and the constant references to the Confederate battle flag after the Dylann Roof atrocity in Charleston last year — a stream of references in which the Obama Justice Department fully participated.

Not only was the Confederate-flag theme constantly invoked. The media and Democratic politicians and activists did way more than do Dylann Roof’s dirty work for him. They manufactured the impression of a Mateen-like explicitness in Roof’s motives.

There were a few photos of Roof posted on social media with the Confederate flag or flag-themed items, but Roof made no declarations of allegiance during the attack, or before or after it, for that matter. I don’t doubt the particular trend of his evil views, but he didn’t proclaim them clearly as a motive for his attack on the black church in Charleston. Others had to flog that theme to increase its prominence and clarity in the public mind.

The DOJ was apparently happy to do that — to “further” Roof’s imputed propaganda, and “further proclaim pledges of allegiance” that he never actually made in relation to the attack. For some reason, it wasn’t dangerous to the American public to have the Confederate flag (and a hysteria-wave about “white supremacism”) shoved in its face after the Charleston attack. It was perfectly fine for the federal authorities to not just let Americans get a big load of Roof’s imputed propaganda, but to make it up and broadcast it for him.

In the case of Islamic terrorist Omar Mateen, however, the DOJ won’t even let the most basic truth about his clearly-stated motive into the written record, or onto the public airwaves. Instead, DOJ is going to effectively sell the American public a lie, and censor the truth from history.

Once more: this is Stalinism. The U.S. Department of Justice is behaving like an organ of the Soviet State circa 1935. It’s already here.

*UPDATE*: It’s a roller-coast week already, and it’s only Monday night. After Lynch made her absurd case on Sunday for omitting the truth from the 911 transcript, DOJ decided on Monday to relent and release the whole transcript — albeit still a doctored one. NY Post notes the ridiculous obviousness of the words originally left out:

Mateen claimed he was under God’s order to kill people at Pulse nightclub in the early hours of June 12. He also dropped the name of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, both of which were blanked out of the earlier versions.

“In the name of God the merciful, the beneficent (in Arabic),” Mateen said during his call at about 2:35 a.m.

“Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of (Arabic). I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.”

The operator asked Mateen his name.

“My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State,” Mateen responded.

Asked his name one more time, Mateen replied: “I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, may God protect him (Arabic), on behalf of the Islamic State.”

Ryan and other lawmakers couldn’t grasp the motive for ignoring the obvious ISIS connection.

“Selectively editing this transcript is preposterous,” Ryan said in a statement Monday. “We know the shooter was a radical Islamist extremist inspired by ISIS. We also know he intentionally targeted the LGBT community.”

As posted earlier on Monday, however, the 911 transcript still suffers from politically-motivated inaccuracy. Mateen didn’t speak of “God” in his ritual Arabic statements. He spoke of “Allah.” But FBI translators substituted “God” for “Allah” in the released transcript — thus both promoting a lie and obscuring the truth.

J. E. Dyer

Beyond The Matrix – The Truth About Orlando [audio]

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Ira and Rod speak about the terror attack in Orlando from a different perspective. So many are talking as if they know why this happened, and attribute this to a punishment or judgement from G-d. The guys discuss what the Torah really teaches on this subject.

Beyond The Matrix 14Jun – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Tamar Yonah Show – Tel Aviv, Orlando, Paris: Who’s Next for Islamic Terror? [audio]

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

A spate of terror attacks this last week spanning from Tel Aviv, to Orlando, to Paris… Where will it hit next? Tamar speaks with IQ Al Rassooli from Al-Rassooli.com, an Arab from Iraq who is an expert in the Koran, who talks about the Terrorist mindset.

Also, Sweden’s Saskia Pantell comes on to talk about the dangers Swedes face with the immigration of Muslims. With a population of just under 10 million people, and an immigrant population of a little over a million, this makes at least one out of ten Swedes from a mostly Islamic culture. Can Sweden survive such a high number of foreigners? Can Jewish Swedes feel safe when they only make up to 15,000-20,000 of its population?

Also, there’s been another attack in France, with a Parisian police officer brutally stabbed outside his home, and his wife’s throat slashed – by an Islamic attacker. When will this all stop, and what does the leadership of the West need to do to protect their citizens? Tamar expounds.

Tamar Yonah Show 14Jun – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Huckabee: Hillary Clinton Would Be a Disaster for Israel

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

“Hillary Clinton will be a disaster for Israel,” former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee told Walla on the sidelines of the 2016 Herzliya Conference Wednesday. Huckabee, an early dropout in the GOP presidential race, suggested Clinton would continue President Obama’s policy regarding Israel. “And I don’t think anyone would say that Israel-US relations have been good under his leadership over the last eight years,” he commented.

In his address to the conference, Gov. Huckabee said that “every friend of Israel is a friend of the United States and every enemy of Israel is an Enemy of the United States.” He also suggested that “America is looking into the mirror and sees Israel.”

Huckabee noted that the greatest common foe facing Israel, the US and the free world was “radical Islamic ideology that takes us back to the 7th century.” He then reiterated: “We have a common enemy and that enemy is radical Islam that wishes to destroy civilization itself and wishes to turn the clock back to centuries ago.”

Mentioning the past week’s two acts of terror, one killing four in Tel Aviv, followed by the mass shooting in Orlando, Fl. that killed 49, Huckabee said that the argument about whether the Orlando shooting was a terror attack or hate crime is “ridiculous. All terror is based on hate.” He said that he feared that sometimes people were afraid “to call out the common enemy of radical Islam in case we offend someone,” but went on to state that he was offended when “innocent people were murdered in the name of an ideology that wishes to destroy all semblance of peace.”

He referred to the “Ill-fated and tragic deal to trust the Iranians,” saying that “here can be no deal with those who believe its okay to murder people” because of their race, religion or ethnicity. “It’s impossible to enter into any agreement with the present leadership of Iran… I hope and pray that it will be rescinded.”

Focusing on the Israeli-Arab conflict and the talks about a two-state solution, Huckabee said that the idea is naïve and cannot be realized “unless both sides agree that the other side has a fundamental right to exist.” He said that until there were no longer schools in Judea, Samaria and Gaza celebrating the death of Jews, there could be no solution. He added that there was no magical formula for the issues but that the basic issue of radical Islam and one people wanting to destroy another and celebrating every time someone on the other side was killed had to be solved first. “This is not a conflict about land, or about power, but about existence,” he asserted.

“Neither Israel nor the United States is perfect but we do have a system of laws that we insist are abided by… we do not name streets after or make heroes out of terrorists.”

Huckabee also focused on the issue of Jerusalem, saying that “the notion that Jerusalem should be divided is nonsense…. Only one nation in the world every claimed it as its capital… it is never even mentioned in the Quran… At some point we have to come to grips that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, not because it has been since 1948 but because it has been for 3000 years and it has to be accepted.”

Returning to his original point, Huckabee concluded, “We have to recognize that if it’s good for Israel then it’s ultimately good for the United States and if it’s good for the United States then it’s ultimately good for Israel… the similarities between the two countries are just too glaring to ignore… our alliance is too precious.”

He said that Israel’s sovereignty, safety and security had to be protected because Israel was just the first “domino” and the United States would follow. “Anyone who comes after you is after us next,” Huckabee said.

David Israel

The Orlando Massacre

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

President Obama has long rankled with his preposterous, mantra-like refusal to mention or allow anyone in his administration to mention Islam in the same breath as “terror” or “terrorism.”

He would not even allow the use of the phrase “radical Islam” which, to most, would only signify a possible hijacking of a faith to one’s own use. This, even though terrorist attacks for years have almost invariably been committed by marauders invoking Allah in the course of their murderous rampages.

Mr. Obama’s reason for this has been straightforward: Determined to reset the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world, he was fearful that even tangential linkage as a matter of American policy would thwart that goal by alienating many Muslims. And in that regard, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton stood by him. But in the wake of the Orlando shooting on Sunday at the hands of an American-born Muslim who swore allegiance to Islamic State, that seems to have changed.

Donald Trump reacted to the Orlando shooting by doubling down on his uncompromising, hard-line, theoretical  linkage to terrorism of Muslims generally and some of the teachings of Islam, and by reiterating his call for  restricting their entry into the U.S.

Mrs. Clinton at first echoed President Obama’s paean to diversity and “our values.” She dismissed Mr. Trump’s overall approach and tried to downplay any connection between Islam and the Orlando terror. She reiterated the need for gun control, deplored Mr. Trump’s “inflammatory, anti-Muslim rhetoric,” and said the “murder of innocent people breaks our hearts, tears at our sense of security, and makes us furious.”

And she rhapsodized that “America is strongest when we all believe we have a stake in our country and our future…. Our open, diverse society is an asset in the struggle against terrorism, not a liability.”

But she didn’t even hint at the notion that Islamic terrorism or radical Islam played a role in the Orlando attack.

Mr. Trump responded with a call for President Obama to resign and for Mrs. Clinton to withdraw from the presidential race over their refusal to recognize the Islamic threat to Americans’ safety.

Mrs. Clinton then did a stunning about face, as reflected in her exchange with CNN’s Chris Cuomo:

 

Cuomo: “One of the criticisms in these situations is that President Obama won’t use the words ‘radical Islamic terror.’ That it seems to be either a fear or a protective instinct about blaming the religion. You are now coming under scrutiny about what you will call this, what this means to leadership. Do you believe that this is radical Islamism? Will you use those words, and if not, why?”

Clinton: “Well, first of all, from my perspective, it matters what we do more than what we say. And it mattered we got bin Laden, not what name we called him. And I have clearly said that we face terrorist enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering innocent people. And, you know, whether you call it radical jihadism or radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing; I’m happy to use either.”

 

While there is still a trace of diplomatic gobbledygook, it seems clear that, under pressure from Mr. Trump,  Mrs. Clinton has broken from President Obama on a singular theme of his administration. Time will tell whether she will be as vulnerable to future Trump verbal barrages respecting other controversial positions the leader of her party has espoused. If nothing else, she has signaled a recognition that events may force her hand.

 

The Sarona Attack

As soon as the dust settled on the Palestinian terrorist attack on Tel Aviv’s Sarona café last week in which four Israelis were killed and many more wounded, Israel announced several immediate countermeasures –which included refusing to send the bodies of the terrorists to their families, imposing travel restrictions on Palestinians, and deploying thousands of troops in the West Bank.

Editorial Board

Orlando Shooting: Pickled in Hatred

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Gatestone Institute website}

It is a lot to process. Omar Mateen, the American-born son of Afghan parents, murdered 50 people and wounded scores of others in a gay nightclub Sunday. The first surprise is that it was not a surprise, especially to the FBI. Mateen was the subject of investigations in 2013 and 2014. “He was a known quantity,” a source said. “He has been on the radar before.” But Assistant Special Agent Ronald Hopper told reporters, “Those interviews turned out to be inconclusive, so there was nothing to keep the investigation going.”

Omar Mateen’s father probably wasn’t terribly surprised. He told NBC News “that his son became angry after seeing two men kissing a few months ago in Miami.” He speculated that could have triggered his decision to kill. “This has nothing to do with religion,” his father added.

President Obama was not exactly surprised, given, he said, the number of guns in America. He called again for gun control and said there was, “no definitive judgment on the precise motivations” of the terrorist.

Oh really?

President Obama’s response might have been a surprise to local police, who, according to CNN, received a 911 call from Mateen pledging his allegiance to ISIS just before the attack. Whether he was actually with ISIS or not, the Islamic State wasted no time blessing him as one of their own.

So where do Americans go with this?

First, pray for the victims and their families, and thank the first responders.

Second, do not bother trying to “explain” terrorists, or figure out their “motivation.” They are pickled in hatred that simply does not allow for the humanity of “the other” and insists that individuals exist only as representations of religions, objects, and social or political points of view. There is no other way to explain Shalhevet Pass, a six-month old baby shot in her stroller by a sniper, or Malki Roth murdered while eating pizza, or the Fogel children murdered in their beds. There is also no other way to explain shootings at Max Brenner in Tel Aviv or stabbings in Jerusalem; Hamas rockets fired indiscriminately into Israeli towns; gay men thrown off buildings by ISIS in Iraq or dragged behind motorcycles in Gaza; barrel bombs and chlorine gas dropped on civilians by Assad’s Syrian forces; the kidnapping and forcible conversion to Islam of girls by Boko Haram; the sale of Yazidi women and girls as sex slaves by ISIS; and the skinning alive of prisoners by the Taliban. They are all of a piece.

Third, recognize that the same hatreds exist in our country. We imported them — already pickled — and we pickled some of them here. What Mateen’s father said was that seeing what he found unacceptable — men kissing — was enough to make his son kill. Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, what do we need to do about people willing to kill us under those circumstances?

The Heritage Foundation maintains an extremely useful timeline of terrorist plots in the US. It includes the “shoe bomber” (2002), the “underwear bomber” (2010), the Times Square bomber (2010), the Boston Marathon bombers (2013), and the San Bernardino shooters (2015). But there’s more. Here is sampling from a Jewish Policy Center analysis:

[T]here were also plots against U.S. landmarks and institutions including the NY Subway system (2005 & 09), Sears Tower (2006), the Brooklyn Bridge (2003), the Long Island Railroad (2009), DC Metro (2010), the Federal Reserve in Manhattan (2012), the Capitol (2011, 12 & 15), World Bank Headquarters (2005), JFK airport (2009), the NY Stock Exchange (2004), and the GOP convention (2004).There were plots against American service personnel, including military hit lists (2010 & 15); Ft. Hood (2009); Ft. Riley (2015); Ft. Dix (2007) and Ft. Myers (2011); recruiting stations in Arkansas (2009), Maryland (2011) and Washington (2011); the Pentagon (2011); Quantico Marine Base (2009); National Guard facilities (2005, 08 & 09); U.S. Marshals (2013); and the NYPD (2015). There were plots against the ambassadors of Saudi Arabia (2011) and Pakistan (2004), and the Israeli Embassy (2011).

There were assassination plots against Presidents Bush (2003) and Obama (2011).

There were regional attacks planned for a Chicago Bar (2012), NY and Chicago-area synagogues (2009 & 10), an Oregon Christmas tree ceremony (2010), the Wichita Airport (2014), a Canada-NY train (2013), a Dallas skyscraper (2009), a Wyoming refinery (2006), the Florida Keys (2015), shopping centers in Ohio (2003) and Illinois (2007), and the University of North Carolina (2006). The Lackawanna (PA) Six (2002), the Lodi (CA) jihad training camp (2005), and the VA Jihad Network (2003) operated along with smaller-scale plots in support of al Qaeda (2002, 09 & 10).

The American homeland — free speech, religious institutions, open inquiry in academia, our military and our way of life — is under attack.

America’s blessing is a political system built on tolerance of “the other.” Not all of us, not all the time — remember that we used to buy and sell our fellow human beings — but the principle to which we aspire is tolerance of “the other.” America’s glory is men and women who run into danger while everyone else is running out — without regard for the particulars of who they are saving. It was true on 9-11 and it was true this weekend in Orlando. But our national blind spot is not seeing that we share this lovely space with people who want to kill us for the peculiar people we are.

Shoshana Bryen

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/orlando-shooting-pickled-in-hatred/2016/06/14/

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