As Scott discussed below, the Obama administration has decided to remove Omar Mateen’s pledge of loyalty to ISIS from the transcript of the shooter’s 911 calls to the police during his rampage. How does Team Obama defend this effort to airbrush reality?
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said:
What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda. We are not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance.
But strictly speaking, the a mere assertion of allegiance isn’t propaganda. Propaganda is biased communication that promotes a viewpoint. Simply declaring one’s allegiance doesn’t really do that.
Mateen’s rants contain propaganda, though. He castigates the U.S. for bombing Afghanistan (which he calls “his country” despite the fact that he was born in the U.S. and was an American citizen).
Will Loretta Lynch’s censorship brigade remove Mateen’s criticism of U.S. policy from the transcript? I don’t know, but Lynch’s remarks to Chuck Todd suggest that Mateen’s true propaganda may not be expunged:
LORETTA LYNCH: What we’re announcing tomorrow is that the FBI is releasing a partial transcript of the killer’s calls with law enforcement, from inside the club. These are the calls with the Orlando PD negotiating team, who he was, where he was… that will be coming out tomorrow and I’ll be headed to Orlando on Tuesday.
CHUCK TODD: Including the hostage negotiation part of this?
LYNCH: Yes, it will be primarily a partial transcript of his calls with the hostage negotiators.
CHUCK TODD: You say partial, what’s being left out?
LYNCH: What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda.
CHUCK TODD: We’re not going to hear him talk about those things?
LYNCH: We will hear him talk about some of those things, but we are not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance and that. It will not be audio, it will be a printed transcript. But it will begin to capture the back and forth between him and the negotiators, we’re trying to get as much information about this investigation out as possible. As you know, because the killer is dead, we have a bit more leeway there and we will be producing that information tomorrow.
It appears, then, that Lynch’s censorship isn’t really directed at “propaganda.” Rather, it is, in a sense, propaganda itself — an attempt by the Obama administration to elide the fact that terrorist organizations and their followers are wreaking havoc on the president’s watch. It reminds me of Team Obama’s editing of the Benghazi talking points.
And it is the antithesis of how Dylan Roof’s horrific shootings in Charleston, South Carolina were treated. J.E. Dyer recalls the constant references to the Confederate battle flag (propaganda?) after that atrocity — a stream of references in which the Obama Justice Department fully participated.
No censorship was employed in the case of that one-off mass killing, in which the killer was silent about his allegiance. But in the Orlando shootings, in which the butcher proclaimed his allegiance, and which is part of a pattern of domestic Islamist terrorism, the inconvenient loyalty pledge will be expunged.
Death by a thousand euphemisms, indeed.