As part of the Sunday morning roundup, Attorney General Loretta Lynch made the rounds of the cable news shows to preview a report that the Justice Department will be releasing tomorrow regarding the Orlando terror attack. As with most of the coverage of the story we’ve seen over the past week, there was a rush to find out if the attacker was some sort of racist or homophobe and if that’s what led to all the carnage we saw. One of Lynch’s first stops was with Dana Bash, who was filling in for Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union. The Attorney General first wanted to make sure everyone knows that the FBI did the best they could. (The Hill)
“At the time, the FBI did everything it could to see if he was about to carry out anything.”
The FBI had said they previously interviewed Mateen about possible connections to terrorism, but determined he wasn’t a threat. Evidence shows he may have been radicalized and inspired by extremist ideology.
Mateen, who died in a shootout with police, allegedly praised the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and other terrorist groups during the killings.
Lynch is promising that the report tomorrow will not be a full transcript of the shooter’s conversations with law enforcement, but that they will seek to let people know “what motivated this killer” while mentioning his pledges of allegiance to this terror group. But Bash jumped right into the topic of chief interest to the media. Was he screaming about gay men kissing or any related subject? This part of the interview begins right around the 1:30 mark in the clip.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch: It will contain the substance of his conversations. And there were three conversations between this killer and negotiators.
Dana Bash: He was, of course, in a gay nightclub. Did he talk about his feelings about gay Americans?
Lynch: You know, he didn’t get into that. So we’re still exploring why he chose this particular place to attack. We’re asking people who have information to come forward… We are trying to learn everything we can about this individuals motivations. As you note, he was in a gay nightclub. This was an act of terror and an act of hate targeted against a community, the LGBT community, the Latino community, and of course the LGBT community is so far too often the victims of these types of crimes.
To her credit, Bash asks the question which Social Justice Warriors have been desperately seeking a positive, reinforcing answer on. Did he attack the nightclub patrons because he was going after gays? Keep in mind that the standoff between law enforcement and the terrorist lasted for roughly three hours and, as Lynch reminds us, there were three extensive conversations between them. They obviously asked him why he was doing it as part of their negotiating tactics and he talked about US policy and his dedication to ISIS. With that much time on his hands, if he was some hate filled, right wingnut American (though a registered Democrat) who was making a statement along those lines, don’t you suppose it might have come up?
But notice how seamlessly our Attorney General glides from providing a factual answer to Bash’s question into the administration’s preferred narrative, as well as that of most of the media. Did he talk about gay Americans? No, “he didn’t get into that.” But she then immediately pivots to talking about what progressives want to make this into, despite the fact that she’s already admitted that the terrorist didn’t even suggest such a thing when prompted to discuss his motives.
Lynch showed up on Face the Nation shortly after this and recited the same lines. John Dickerson prompted her by saying he “mentioned ISIS” and asked “what else” he talked about. Did he mention LGBT? She said, yet again, he didn’t bring it up “in that conversation” but then jumped right into the LGBT and Hispanic angle.
Is it any wonder that a recent Gllup poll showed that only 29% of Democrats labeled the shooting as an act of Islamic terror? But 60% described it as an act of “domestic gun violence.” What planet are we living on where one party in this country can ring up those sorts of numbers? How many more blows with the clue bat do you need? A pledge of support to ISIS… trips overseas… a father who supports the Taliban and remains active in Afghanistan politics… an attack during Ramadan. And yet the Democrats are trying to turn this into an election issue over repealing the Second Amendment and how conservatives must want to kill gays and lesbians.
They’re getting the job done, though. I just finished reading a recent piece from Jonathan Capehart where he goes on at length comparing the Orlando killer and his father to a gay themed scene from the movie American Beauty. No… seriously. I’m not making that up. Go read it for yourself. It’s as if we’ve shown up at the wrong garden party and followed Alice down the rabbit hole.