Mixed Signals Plus Memory Lapses = More Violence and Death
The struggle against terrorism is the struggle of memory over forgetting.
Last Wednesday, Brett Baier of Fox News asked FBI Director Christopher Wray about the terrorist threat facing the nation. Wray said the greatest threat came from lone-wolf types who target schools and such. The FBI boss failed to mention Islamic terrorism, a curious omission given recent events.
Last month, a Syrian-born Muslim named Adam Alsahli opened fire at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in Texas, wounding one member of the base security force before being “neutralized.” Alsahli’s social media accounts showed support for ISIS and al Qaeda but the attack was only “terrorism related.”
Alsahli’s onslaught came days after revelations that Saudi national Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, who last December killed three Americans and wounded eight others at Naval Air Station Pensacola, had “significant ties” to al Qaeda. In the throes of a pandemic, with violent mobs in the streets, few paused to wonder why Muslims would attack Americans on their own military bases. Perhaps it was because a Muslim terrorist had done so before, with great success.
On November 5, 2009, at Fort Hood, Texas, self-described “Soldier of Allah” Maj. Nidal Hasan murdered 13 Americans, including Pvt. Francheska Velez, who was pregnant, and wounded 42 others. Hasan was able to kill and wound so many because the FBI, then headed by Robert Mueller, chose to look the other way.
The FBI knew Hasan was communicating with terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki about killing Americans. As the 2012 Lessons From Fort Hood testimony revealed, the FBI chose to drop the investigation. That decision reflected the policy of the “composite character” president, so described by his own official biographer David Garrow, to ignore Islamic terrorism.
After two recent cases of Islamic terrorism on American military bases, one claiming three lives, FBI boss Christopher Wray fails even to mention Islamic terrorism as a threat to the United States. Wray is clearly from the ancien régime, and that is a problem. For the composite character president, the greatest threat was so-called “right-wing” Americans, with their affection for religion, guns, and limited government.
On his watch, the Department of Homeland Security released “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1979-2008.” This 2012 study classified as “extreme right wing terrorists,” those persons “suspicious of centralized federal authority” and “reverent of individual liberty.” In similar style, Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right, from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, warns of those who believe the federal government to be “corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights.”
Consider also Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, an April 2009 publication of the Department of Homeland Security, then ruled by Janet Napolitano. These right-wing extremists are “mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority.” This government-approved hostility was not new.
In the 1992 Ruby Ridge standoff with Randy Weaver, branded a “white separatist,” the FBI deployed sniper Lon Horiuchi, who gunned down unarmed Vicki Weaver as she held her infant child. In subsequent hearings, Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Randy Weaver whether his children wore Nazi armbands and shouted Nazi slogans at neighbors.
In the Waco siege of 1993, the FBI deployed military weaponry, including two MIA1 Abrams tanks and five M728 Combat Engineer vehicles. The conflict claimed 75 lives, including 25 children. In 2020, the BLM-Antifa axis burns, loots, guns down police officers and takes over parts of major cities, all with little sign of countervailing force from the FBI.
By contrast, as ISIS continued to torture, kill and seize territory, President Trump dropped the biggest non-nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal, the so-called “mother of all bombs.” Soon ISIS was in full retreat and when boss terrorist al-Baghdadi popped up, President Trump sent special forces to take him down. The president also ordered a hit on Iranian master terrorist Qasem Soleimani.
Nidal Hasan, who murdered 13 Americans, was sentenced to death in 2013 but remains alive. This assures Muslim terrorists that they can take American lives and preserve their own. A swift execution of Hasan might send a different message to all terrorists, foreign and domestic. On the other hand, the Democrats’ BLM-Antifa sturmtruppen are getting little if any pushback from the FBI, whose leaders were eager to target candidate and President Trump.
“Will anyone be held accountable?” Brett Baier asked Wray last week. “Will anything come of this?” Wray responded in classic style: “My team and I are fiercely committed to making sure we fix the problems of the past.” The allegedly fair, balanced and unafraid Baier did not ask Wray why Peter Strzok’s 2017 notes about Gen. Flynn are only showing up now.
Wray also let slip that President Trump has yet to meet with him face to face, and it’s easy to see why. In 2020, the FBI boss is still following rules the composite character president put in place from 2008-2016. To paraphrase Milan Kundera, the struggle of America against terrorist violence is struggle of memory against forgetting.
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