Tuesday, June 21, 2016

This time, they don’t even bother lying.

James Taranto at the Wall St. Journal gives an excellent run-down of the latest Orwellian move by the federal government here.

Benghazi Without the Shame

This time, they don’t even bother lying.


It’s a leap year, which means it’s even more important than usual for the Obama administration to deny the threat of Islamic terrorism. In September 2012, it fell to Susan Rice, then ambassador to the U.N., to make the rounds on the Sunday-morning talk shows and peddle the falsehood that the attack at Benghazi, Libya, was just a high-spirited reaction to an amateur video.
Yesterday—a week after the biggest terror attack on American soil since 9/11—the Rice role fell to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. This time, the administration didn’t even bother pretending it was going to tell the truth.
There’s no mystery here; it’s been widely reported (including by the Washington Post) that the attacker pledged allegiance to the Islamic State—though the second “pledge” in this transcript appears to refer to a man, perhaps the one known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
So why the censorship? We can understand withholding the audio, lest ISIS incorporate it into its own audiovisual propaganda. But the Mad Libs blanks are easy enough to fill in. Indeed, the transcript as released is an invitation to any terrorist group to insert its name and take “credit” for the attack. (Update: Within hours after this column’s publication, the FBI and DOJ reversed course and released the full transcript.)
It seems clear the administration’s purpose here is not to frustrate terrorist propaganda but to further its own propaganda. As with Benghazi, a terror attack on President Obama’s watch could imperil Democratic prospects in November. Thus the administration has been at pains to pin the Orlando attack on armed Americans, not Islamic terrorism.
In public, Obama himself has consistently refused to acknowledge the reality of Islamic terror—even though, as we learned last week from the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, in private he acknowledges the truth. And many in the news media have played along with the official lie.
Here’s the headline from a Friday story from the McClatchy Washington Bureau: “Mateen Had a Troubled Past. Why Isn’t That the Story?” Usually the purpose of a headline is to tell the reader what the story is, but McClatchy is using it to express its dissatisfaction with other media outlets for hewing insufficiently closely to the administration’s version of events.
The cognitive dissonance occasioned by the administration’s official posture of denying that Islamic terrorism is Islamic is perhaps most vividly illustrated by the headline on a local story in Saturday’s Times: “Orlando Killings Rob Young New York Muslims of a Cherished Holiday Respite.” How could that be if, as Mrs. Clinton has insisted, Muslims “have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism”?
Real Clear Politics notes that HBO’s Bill Maher, of all people, put the matter in some perspective:
But this is the American myopia. They think of the three million Muslims in America—who are by the way the lucky ones because they can come out of the closet or they can elope with someone who’s not of their faith. Or they can leave the religion. Or they can draw a cartoon without getting killed.
This is not the case for so many millions of Muslims around the world. Where are the liberals to stand up for them? The people who could not abide by apartheid for one second, somehow when it comes to gender apartheid which is in so many countries around the world they are not to be heard. It is a liberal cause, or it should be. There are millions and millions of Muslims who are gay around the world who have no one to stand up for and I didn’t hear it this week.
Something is very wrong with the government and the news media when Bill Maher is a voice of sanity. The same can be said of Donald Trump.