C-SPAN is scheduled to carry video of presidential candidate Donald Trump’s speech today at 2:30 ET “on national security … in the wake of the mass shooting on a gay night club in Orlando, Florida.” For upcoming events, see: accuracy.org/calendar.
The following analysts have discussed various aspects of the Orlando shooting as well as the policies of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and other presidential candidates.
COLEEN ROWLEY, rowleyclan[at]earthlink.net, @ColeenRowley
Rowley, a former FBI special agent and division counsel whose May 2002 memo to the FBI Director exposed some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures was named one of TIME magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002.
She said today: “The shooting in Orlando is tied to the ‘war on terror,’ but not in the way Trump has been arguing. Most Americans still do not connect the dots that the increasing violence occurring domestically: mass shootings, ‘active shooters,’ hate crimes and acts of terror (which frankly all blur together) are not only blowback from but the natural result of a war culture that glorifies war and war violence in the form of violent movies, video games, and military culture. I warned the FBI Director in February 2003 that this would happen and that he and the FBI would be helpless to stop it, if the U.S. went ahead and launched war on Iraq. Now, both Trump and Clinton claim that military actions are the solutions to our problems, but a serious assessment of these various attacks shows the opposite.” See Rowley’s pieces at ConsortiumNews.com.
IVAN ELAND, ieland[at]independent.org, @Ivan_Eland
Eland is senior fellow and director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at the Independent Institute. He just wrote the piece “Given Orlando, Has the U.S. Government Been Adequately Protecting The Public?” — which states: “In the Orlando attack, the perpetrator, Omar Mateen, even may have been dressing up anti-gay bigotry by pledging allegiance to ISIS shortly after he began his dastardly act. Although the FBI had investigated his past statements and connection with one of the few Americans who joined an al Qaeda affiliate and went to Syria in 2013 and 2014, respectively, they closed the investigation; Mateen’s father and ex-wife have both dismissed religion and instead pointed to anti-gay statements he had made. His father has even pointed out that the shooting may have been triggered by Mateen’s outrage at his three-year old son recently observing two men kissing and touching.
“According to a recent investigation by the New York Times, in two-thirds of prosecutions of ISIS-related terrorism cases, the FBI is using once rare undercover sting operations, such as going on the Internet and encouraging bloviating and bragging individuals to do illegal things so that they can be arrested. Unbelievably, the reason for such a high percentage is that such intrusive undercover operations can be done without approval of a judge, which is needed for searches and wiretaps. Thus, the Congress and the public are largely in the dark about such stings.
“According to Michael German, a former undercover agent with the FBI, who was quoted in the Times, ‘They’re manufacturing terrorism cases. These people are five steps away from being a danger to the United States.'” Eland’s books include The Failure of Counterinsurgency and No War for Oil.