The Road to Orlando

Here is the best summary describing how a rich nation can falter and fail it’s citizens.   I am talking about all American citizens and not just the Pulse Night Club and the victims of the insanity that occurred there.  We all were affected by the carnage.  We will forever be affected.  Gay men and women are buying guns in droves. Some of us will be in the wrong place at the wrong time in the future!

There’s the rub. In 21st-century America, we have created a perverse incentive structure where fear of accusations of Islamophobia and/or racism takes priority over anything else, even preventing violence. While nobody could have foreseen the exact attack that Omar Mateen perpetrated, it’s abundantly clear that he was on track to do something awful, including murder. Yet nothing was done, even though warnings were abundant. Simply put, any American today who is accused of Islamophobia faces a ruined life with loss of employment and social stigma. Whereas the cost of not preventing mass murder is merely hurt feelings and regret.

In such an era, it’s difficult to find too much fault with the FBI. Per the cliché, they were only following orders. All the same, it bears asking why the Bureau went for the direct approach, bringing Mateen in for questioning, instead of watching him from a distance. Any time you bring a possible suspect in for interrogation, you’re showing your hand—which isn’t always wise. Particularly given Mateen’s known ties to a notorious Orlando jailbird-turned-radical-imam, there were investigative avenues of approach here that were apparently not taken, with fateful consequences.

However, the FBI was following the lead of its political masters. It’s hardly a big secret that President Obama from the moment he arrived at the White House put the kibosh on any discussion of radical Islam as a security problem, even in classified channels. In 2009, the administration banned politically loaded words like “jihad” even in classified Intelligence Community assessments discussing terrorism – a message that was received loud and clear in the counterterrorism community. Missing the next 9/11 could be survived, career-wise, while accusations of Islamophobia would not be with Barack Obama in the White House.

So, one man lead us here!

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