I’m not going to spend too long on this; as I’ve said before, I’m getting tired of this whole subject area.
Firstly, everyone who was killed, injured or traumatised by the attack in Orlando were innocent victims who deserved better – and who also deserve better than to be turned into a propaganda tool by either side of the political and societal divide. Our sympathies should always be with them, the innocent victims.
That doesn’t mean, however, that we should all sit, numbly watching the TV news reports and lazily taking all the information at face value and allowing that information to determine our world view.
And as it happens, I can give you some very good reasons to doubt the story.
Now, before I say even a single word about the massacre in Orlando or about the alleged perpetrator, Omar Mateen, it is very important that you read the following few paragraphs very carefully.
These are extracts from a May 17th report on Vice, which begins, ‘The FBI says it caught a terrorist trying to blow up a synagogue on the outskirts of Miami.’
What follows is what’s important (the highlighted lines are my emphasis). The article continues, ‘But the FBI supplied the bomb. In the Miami case, federal authorities accuse 40-year-old James Medina of planning to bomb the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center north of the city. Their concern includes instances where the informant, or “confidential human source” in bureau parlance, offered to assist Medina in attacking the center, and even suggested that he link the attack to the Islamic State.’
There’s more, of course. ‘The FBI informant took an active part in helping Medina cook up the bombing plot. It recounts how the informant drove Medina to the Jewish center and suggested that he launch the attack on a Jewish holiday. When the two later discussed a claim of responsibility, the affidavit says that the informant “indicated that they should leave a ‘clue’ as to who was responsible and Medina concurred”… “You can, you can do all that,” the affidavit quotes Medina as saying. “Yeah, we can print up or something and make it look like it’s ISIS here in America. Just like that.”’
The Vice piece was based on the work of Trevor Aaronson, executive director of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and author of The FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism. Aaronson’s research uncovered that the FBI “isn’t finding people with a bomb in their garage. They’re finding people who are loudmouths and they say, “Oh, we can help you in the name of al-Qaeda or the Islamic State.”
Please take a moment to process that story………………
Now what are we told about the Orlando perpetrator, Omar Mateen?
We know that he is part of the by-now-familiar lone-wolf terrorist story: according to mainstream news outlets, he was ‘on the radar’ of the FBI and US officials for some time. Just like most ‘terrorists’ in Western locations – the attackers in Paris, Brussels, London, Boston – were all firmly on the radar of intelligence or security services and most of them had direct contact and involvement with them.
There are some more of the usual things, such as the fact no one in Omar Mateen’s family seemed to know he had any extremist leanings or violent tendencies. And old friends who knew him previously say he was a normal, friendly guy, who showed no real interest in religion and no indications of having any particularly strong views on homosexuality.
His ex-wife, on the other hand, is reported as having said he was violent and mentally ill – mental illness is also cited in the aforementioned Vice piece as the key criteria by which the FBI has been selecting its ‘terrorists’.
His father’s story (as told by the news outlets), reportedly that he had been angered recently when seeing two men kissing in public, seems very far-fetched. For one thing, someone like Mateen, who seems to have been fairly Americanised and was born in New York, wouldn’t have been a stranger to the idea of same-sex relationships. Would he really have become outraged all of a sudden – to the extent that he would go and kill 50 innocent people in a club?
Moreover, it is apparent – though widely under-reported – that Omar Mateen previously worked in a place where he had a number of gay colleagues. One of his former colleagues from a previous workplace says, “What is shocking to me is that the majority of the staff at Ruby Tuesday’s when I worked there were gay. He clearly was not anti-[gay], at least not back then. He did not show any hatred to any of us.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have developed a different attitude over time and it doesn’t rule out the possibility that he was radicalised more recently. And I’m not necessarily saying that he didn’t carry out the attack, nor that he wasn’t a homophobe. But that isn’t the only problem with the story.
It is reported that Omar Mateen called 911 and pledged his allegiance to ISIS before carrying out the attack – just as is cited in the FBI-created James Medina case; I quote again that they ‘suggested that he link the attack to the Islamic State.’
For someone supposedly radicalised and full of hate for American values, Mateen seems to have a lot of photos of himself wearing t-shirts emblazened with the logos and name of the NYPD. The NYPD says Mateen had no association with the department and the shirts were unofficial merchandise that could be bought at any shop. Curious though that he appeared to have some fondness for or interest in the NYPD – but then he was born in New York and maybe he had some affection or affinity for his city’s police force when he was a kid.
But there’s more, of course.
We know Omar Mateen was a US citizen who was a contractor for the DHS and CBP. He was fully background checked and his guns were entirely licensed. This wasn’t a refugee or migrant, but a citizen who had worked for the US government.
Omar Mateen worked with private security group G4S Secure Solutions. He had worked with the company since 2007. G4S takes on public contracts and has done work with the US government. ‘They have provided security personnel for the Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection at the US-Mexico border,’ The Independent reports. Someone has told me – though he/she didn’t give me a source or link – that they are a large mercenary firm whose operatives are deployed in various countries, including war zones, and have links to the CIA.
G4S provides security to federal buildings in Florida. If, as a G4S empoyee, someone like Mateen might’ve had access to some of those buildings in the recent past, surely one of those would’ve been a more logical target for some kind of attack or bomb? If he was – as we are being told – doing this ‘for ISIS’, then surely ISIS would see more value in hitting a federal building than a soft-target like a nightclub? On the other hand, if he was working for or with a ‘higher power’, they might not have wanted him to attack a federal building: as in the James Medina case, they may instead have recommended a soft target – in one case a Jewish center, in the other a nightclub frequented by members of the LGBT community.
There are other curiosities with this Orlando story too; and one in particular that I find extremely disturbing.
And it’s this: a witness to the shooting has been caught live on air saying that there was “someone” holding the doors and stopping the innocent people inside from getting out. But he is, curiously, cut off and dropped from the broadcast as soon as he starts saying that. This isn’t suggesting that the attack didn’t happen – but that the ‘lone wolf’ or ‘ISIS fanatic’ is a cover for what might have been a more complex, planned attack.
Why would an eyewitness speaking live on a news channel *make up* a story about someone preventing victims from escaping? And why would they cut him off when he tries to explain that?
And if Omar Mateen had an accomplice, as that witness implies, then who was it – and why have none of the officials or news broadcasters even *hinted* at a second person being involved?
But that aside, there are some of the other, usual curiosities with the reported events too. Although some others online have done so, I am not going to speculate about ‘crisis actors’ or staged scenes. I am taking it at face value that this attack did happen and that those scores of innocent people in the club were killed – and that whoever carried out the attack, however many perpetrators were involved and whoever was behind it, are the scum of the earth for attacking and murdering innocent people.
Until I see definitive proof to the contrary, that remains my starting point – though I do not fault some of those more cynically analysing the images and news footage, as they have every reason to do so given past false-flag operations that are now too numerous to count.
Again, there are still the usual curiosities. Aanirfan points to ‘the striking absence of emergency medical responders at the scene, According to CNN an off duty police officer was working security at the Pulse nightclub and quote ‘engaged the shooter as he entered the club’ but despite this the killer was still able to walk inside.’
And not just walk inside; but manage to kill fifty people and injure fifty more in a situation that, we are told, lasted up to 3 hours.
Our friend James has also done a more detailed job on Crimes of Empire than I’m able to do at this time. He also points to the apparent lack of medical responders at the scene. ‘All of the scenes of the wounded being evacuated depict people being dragged away by fellow party goers and the only person depicted being evacuated is placed in the back of a police SUV.’
He also points to little things like a report from The Guardian, which says ‘Staff at the venue posted on Facebook: “Everyone get out of Pulse and keep running” and there were quickly reports on social media of an ongoing attack’. He adds, ‘So it is a small venue, a maniac has opened fire with a semi automatic weapon and the dedicated ever helpful staff are thoughtful enough to take the time out to post a message on Facebook advising patrons to leave the venue as if they would not have noticed the incident taking place before them.’
There was also, it appears, an active-shooter drill in Orlando six months ago. ‘Nurses attending to mock patients knew they were in for a drill,’ the report said back in December, ‘but they had no idea it would be a mass casualty/active shooter test.’
This raises even more questions about why there was an alleged *lack* of emergency medical personnel at the scene of the actual real-life crime, as well as a lack of security response. That’s admittedly speculation. But what isn’t speculation is that this story doesn’t hold up.
‘ISIS Wages War on Gays in the West‘, the UK’s Telegraph headline has said. It’s total bullshit – don’t buy this angle for a second. ‘ISIS’ didn’t even know about this attack until it had already happened. Not that Islamist fundamentalists aren’t raging homophobes; but the monsters in ‘ISIS’ have got their hands full trying to hold on to their stolen land in Syria, Iraq and Libya, where they have been executing and tormenting people in the hundreds – they don’t care about nightclubs in Orlando.
Please don’t take any of this as an insult to, or minimalising of, the murder, suffering or trauma any of those poor people in Orlando have been subjected to. The LGBT community in general is one of the most beautiful things about our modern societies. But before this gets turned into a propaganda game by politicians or media on whatever side of the divide, there are serious questions that need to be asked.
And like I said at the start, our sympathies should always be with them – the innocent victims. But that shouldn’t allow us to be blinded to very important questions about what really happened.
If you think it matters, share this article. Because I’m sick of this shit, and we should all be sick of it by now.