You probably read Allahpundit’s coverage yesterday of the story which has now turned into the #redacted hashtag on Twitter. The initial decision to leave out portions of the transcripts from the Orlando shooter’s calls with law enforcement was curious at best and ham handed politicization at worst. But through all of it, I’ve had one question which hasn’t been satisfactorily answered: who gave the order to redact items which were already in the public domain in all but the specific verbiage?
What we do know is who first announced it, and that was Attorney General Loretta Lynch. This has turned into quite the debacle, and the New York Post asks why Obama would humiliate his Attorney General in this fashion.
Even the “explanations” sounded dumb. Here’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch on ABC’s “This Week”: “What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda.”
Further his propaganda? Seriously? The answer to Islamist jihad is to black out the words? Lynch never did anything this absurd in all her years as US Attorney here in New York, so you know the order came down from above.
It’s also idiocy déjà vu: Four years ago, Team Obama made then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice tour all the Sunday shows to blame the deadly Benghazi attack on an Internet video, rather than on the terrorist plot they all knew it was. She looked a fool once the administration finally admitted the truth, just as Loretta Lynch does now.
It makes you wonder: Who at the White House feels compelled to send women of color out to humiliate themselves on national TV?
It’s a pertinent question, but only if we accept the idea that Barack Obama or his staff specifically directed Lynch to do this. Did they? So far they are denying it. S.A. Miller at the Washington Times reports that the White House Press Secretary insists the order didn’t come from Obama.
The White House on Monday blamed the Justice Department for the decision to redact references to radical Islamic terrorists from transcripts of the Orlando shooter’s telephone conversations with police.
The White House did not provide guidance to the Justice Department or participate in the censorship of the transcripts, which were released earlier in the day, said press secretary Josh Earnest.
“All of the decisions about releasing the transcripts were made by Justice Department officials,” he said at the daily press briefing at the White House.
So “all of the decisions” took place among “Justice Department officials” according to the official White House response. This deflates the New York Post line of questioning if we accept this as the truth, but still doesn’t get us any closer to the answer to the real question. The FBI is part of the Justice Department, so who was the person who made the decision? It obviously didn’t come from the local cops because, A) they were already releasing 911 call details and, B) the feds had quickly taken over control of the investigation.
So was it the FBI? Who would make a decision like that? Might it have been Special Agent in Charge Ronald Hopper, who was out there feeding information to the press every few hours?
Pardon my skepticism, but I doubt it. I have zero doubt that if there was information in those transcripts which could have imperiled the ongoing investigation, Hopper would have had not only the authority but the blessings of his superiors all the way up the line to keep a lid on it. The redacted portions of the transcripts, however, contain zero nuggets which might implicate other potential suspects or place witnesses in danger. This was a political decision with obvious and predictable consequences. If Hopper is too clueless to grasp that, he probably shouldn’t be put in charge of such high profile assignments. No… I seriously doubt Hopper made the call.
This had to come from Justice, and this was a very sensitive hot potato. The company line was established early on: play down the terrorism aspect of what was an obvious terrorist attack and make it about gun control, homophobia or racism against Hispanics. Would somebody lower down the food chain than Lynch make that call on their own, knowing that it could quickly blow up in their faces precisely the way it did?
Nope. Sorry, but I’m not buying it. While this is strictly my own opinion and we have no witness to the facts yet, I say this came straight from Loretta Lynch and that’s why she was out there making the round of the Sunday shows to seed the fields ahead of the redacted release. And with that in mind, would the Attorney General schedule what was very nearly the Full Ginsburg to promote such an obvious, politically risky maneuver? Again… I’m not buying it. I’m not saying Josh Earnest was let in on the particulars (which would have robbed him of plausible deniability) but the White House at a minimum coordinated with Lynch on this one. It did nothing to improve the reputation of the FBI or the Justice Department while completely serving the political agenda of the White House and Hillary Clinton.
The media was widely complicit in this from day one, by the way. NBC’s Pete Williams went on record saying he “didn’t get all the excitement” over redacting the transcripts. Of course not, Pete. Why get excited about inconvenient facts which detract from the chosen narrative that this was some hate filled attack on gays and Hispanics?
The Obama administration, Democrats and the largely liberal media are playing politics with the worst Islamic terror attack on American soil since the Twin Towers came down. This is shameful and it’s being done right in front of our eyes as they attempt to whitewash the record for future generations.