So FBI will be releasing â€œpartial transcriptsâ€ of the calls made by the Orlando murderer Omar Mateen to law enforcement agencies from inside Pulse nightclub. Attorney General Loretta Lynch explains in an interview with NBCâ€™s Chuck Todd:
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.
Colour me unimpressed. Doesnâ€™t that make the whole exercise rather pointless? What exactly are we going to learn from â€œthe back and forth between him and the negotiatorsâ€? And if â€œweâ€™re trying to get as much information about this investigation out as possibleâ€, doesnâ€™t leaving out the information about the state of the mind and the motivation of the killer â€“ perhaps the most important information in any crime investigation – kind of defeats the purpose?
I can understand arguments about not giving Mateen a further opportunity to spew his filth from beyond the grave (â€œthatâ€™s what terrorists wantâ€), but hasnâ€™t that ship sailed a long time ago? Besides, Lynch seems to be confused as to the rationale for editing out any mentions of Islamic terrorism:
“The reason why we’re going to limit these transcripts is to avoid re-victimizing those people that went through this horror. But it will contain the substance of his conversations.”
Got that? I donâ€™t.
As Lynch admits, and as is now a common knowledge, Mateen â€œtalked about his pledges of allegiance to a terrorist group. He talked about his motivations for why he was claiming at that time he was committing this horrific act. He talked about American policy in some ways.”
One suspects that removing the mentions of Mateenâ€™s motivation is not meant to â€œavoid re-victimizing those peopleâ€, i.e. the actual victims â€“ how can it possibly? â€“ but avoid victimising Islam and Muslim Americans. Lynch seems to be saying: yeah, sure, he was talking about all that stuff, but he canâ€™t have possibly meant it, and it wasnâ€™t relevant anyway, so letâ€™s just skip that part, shall we?
This sort of well-meaning (Iâ€™m giving the authorities here the benefit of the doubt that this administration doesnâ€™t deserve) confusion is echoed by the FBI Director James Comey:
“During calls he said he was doing this for leader of (ISIS) who he named and pledged loyalty to, but he also claimed to pledge solidarity with the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing and solidarity with a Florida man who died as a suicide bomber in Syria for al-Nusra Front, a group in conflict with the so-called Islamic State. The bombers at the Boston Marathon and the suicide bomber from Florida were not inspired by (ISIS) which adds a little bit to the confusion about his motives.”
So he supported ISIS, but he also supported other Muslim terrorists blowing the shit up. Itâ€™s a real mystery. We might never know the answer so letâ€™s talk about the guns and the Republicans and the Christian homophobia instead.
P.S. Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, ISIS released a statement of responsibility. This is a â€œpartial transcriptâ€:
Urgent: Statement about the Blessed Paris Invasion on the French Crusaders
In the Name of [bleep], the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The [bleep] said: â€œ[bleep bleep bleep].â€ [Al-Hashr: 2]
In a blessed attack for which [bleep] facilitated the causes for success, a faithful group of the soldiers of the [bleep], may [bleep] dignify it and make it victorious, launched out, targeting the capital of prostitution and obscenity, the carrier of the banner of the Cross in Europe, Parisâ€¦ Youths who divorced the world and went to their enemy seeking to be killed in the cause of [bleep], in support of His [bleep] and His [bleep], [bleep]â€™s peace and blessings be upon him, and his charges, and to put the nose of His enemies in the ground. So they were honest with [bleep], we consider them thusly, and [bleep] conquered through their hands and cast in the hearts of the Crusaders horror in the middle of their land, where eight brothers wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles, targeted sites that were accurately chosen in the heart of the capital of France, including the Stade de France during the match between the Crusader German and French teams, where the fool of France, Francois Hollande, was present.
[They also targeted] the Bataclan Conference Center, where hundreds of apostates had gathered in a profligate prostitution party, and other areas in the 10th and 11th and 18th [arrondissements] and in a coordinated fashion. So Paris shook under their feet, and its streets were tight upon them, and the result of the attacks was the death of no less than 100 Crusaders and the wounding of more than those, and unto [bleep] is all praise and gratitude.
[bleep] had granted our brothers their wish and gave them what they loved, for they detonated their belts in the gatherings of the disbelievers after running out of ammunition, we ask [bleep] to accept them among the martyrs and make us follow them.
Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the [bleep] State, and that the smell of death will never leave their noses as long as they lead the convoy of the Crusader campaign, and dare to curse our [bleep], [bleep]â€™s peace and blessings be upon him, and are proud of fighting [bleep] in France and striking the [bleep] in the land of the [bleep] with their planes, which did not help them at all in the streets of Paris and its rotten alleys. This attack is the first of the storm and a warning to those who wish to learn.
[bleep] is Great