by Lloyd Billingsley
FBI bureaucratic failures and willful blindness rack up a horrifying body count.
After Nikolas Cruz gunned down 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, FBI special agent Robert Lasky, head of the bureau’s Miami division, said he “truly regrets” the pain caused by the FBI’s failure to act on a tip about the shooter.
The FBI said it had no way to trace the tip, then FBI boss Christopher Wray said the message was never passed on to the FBI’s Miami field office, as official protocol required. Relatives of the victims might have noted the passive verb construction. In typical style, Wray failed to name the person who never passed on the tip, and offered no explanation why that person might have done so.
Wray did say “we deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy.” In response to that admission Florida governor Rick Scott called for Wray to resign. Across the country Americans could make a case that Wray and many others in the FBI deserved much sterner measures.
In 2013 Omar Mateen lost his job as security guard at Florida’s St. Lucie County courthouse. Mateen had made “inflammatory comments about women, Jews and the mass shooting at Ft. Hood.” The FBI twice questioned Mateen after he touted ties to terrorists, but FBI special agent Ronald Hopper told reporters “we were unable to verify the substance of his comments and the investigation was closed.” On June 12, 2016, Mateen gunned down 49 people and wounded 58 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
Mateen was born in the United States of Afghan parents but the Tsarnaev brothers, Termalan and Dzokhar, Muslims from the Caucuses region, entered the United States on tourist visas then claimed asylum. Russian intelligence warned the FBI the Tsarnaev brothers were dangerous but the FBI’s investigation found no links to terrorism. On April 15, 2013, the brothers planted bombs at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and wounded at least 264.
In 2008, the FBI had picked off emails between U.S. Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan and Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a terrorist with ties to the 9/11 hijackers. In these emails, Hasan was asking for religious sanction to kill American soldiers. The FBI failed to interview Hasan or even make a phone call to his superiors, and no government agency took any steps to stop him. On November 5, 2009, at Fort Hood Texas, Hasan gunned down 13 unarmed American soldiers, including private Francheska Velez, 21, who was pregnant, and wounded more than 30 others.
Senator Joseph Lieberman sought to make the Hasan-Awlaki emails public but the FBI blocked their release, and military prosecutors forbade their presentation in the trial. During those proceedings, reporters asked Robert Mueller, FBI boss from 2001-2013, if the bureau had dropped the ball by failing to act. “No,” Mueller responded, “I think, given the context of the discussions and the situation that the agents and the analysts were looking at, they took appropriate steps.” No word about any “regrets,” deep or otherwise, about Hasan’s victims.
For POTUS 44, the Fort Hood attack was not terrorism or even “gun violence.” The mass murder was “workplace violence” and Mueller had no problem with that. POTUS 44, who as Barry Soetoro attended a Muslim school in Indonesia, proclaimed that the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. He also ordered that the FBI must not consider any links between Islam and terrorist attacks against the United States.
Mueller’s politically correct compliance also explains why deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who has problems of his own, tapped the former FBI boss to head up the Russia investigation. Mueller duly bulked up his team with big-time Clinton supporters but his probe has turned up no collusion with the Trump campaign, as the 2016 presidential loser and her media fan club charged. If Mueller wants to show some integrity, he should shut down the probe immediately.
The former FBI boss’s preference for politics over safety, abetted by incompetence, has trickled down into similar inaction against walking red flags such as Nikolas Cruz. After his mass shooting Christopher Wray admitted the FBI failed and expressed deep regrets. President Trump and Congress need to lean on this guy more than a little bit.
Peter Strzok worked three shifts exonerating Hillary Clinton and framing Donald Trump. That doesn’t sound much like the job description of the FBI’s chief of counterintelligence. So why is this partisan bigot still employed by the FBI in any capacity?
Who are the FBI agents, and their bosses, who looked the other way in the Fort Hood, Boston Marathon and Orlando terrorist attacks? What, exactly, are they doing now? As in the Florida high-school shooting, the victims and their loved ones deserve some answers.
If Christopher Wray won’t answer those questions, the president should fire him, just as he showed the door to Leakin’ James Comey. The people deserve an FBI director who tells the truth, shuns bureaucratic excuses, and puts their safety above political correctness.
Lloyd Billingsley is the author of the new crime book, Lethal Injections: Elizabeth Tracy Mae Wettlaufer, Canada’s Serial Killer Nurse, and the recently updated Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation.
Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.