U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced on NBC's Meet the Press and the other Sunday morning TV talk shows that on Monday, the Department of Justice will release "partial" transcripts of phone conversations between law enforcement and Omar Mateen on June 12 during his terrorist massacre in Orlando, Florida.
Asked why the transcripts would only be partial, Lynch told MTP host Chuck Todd that "what we're not going to do is further proclaim this individual's pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups and further his propaganda."
Note that Lynch would not name ISIS and made no reference to protecting the integrity of law enforcement's investigation, which would appear to be the only genuine justification for not releasing the full transcripts. Todd then said, "All right," implicitly accepting the government's apparently politically driven decision — after all, Lynch herself told U.S. Muslims on Dana Bash's CNN Sunday cable show that "you are under our protection" — to censor information.
Lynch's justification appears to rule out having the public ever hear or see the exact words of Mateen's own stated motivations for his attack in audio or even print form.
Lynch also told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday and John Dickerson on CBS's Face the Nation that the release of transcripts will be partial, but without explaining why. Perhaps assuming that there was a law enforcement-related justification, neither Wallace nor Dickerson asked why. Clearly, this attorney general doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt in these matters.
With Jonathan Karl on ABC's This Week, Lynch volunteered without prompting that the transcripts released will be partial because "we're not going to be, for example, broadcasting his pledges of allegiance. We are trying not to re-victimize those who went through that horror." One could easily argue that Lynch is choosing to "re-victimize" those affected by using their dead and injured bodies as props for her gun-control agenda to the exclusion of what Mateen himself said drove him.
The video segment which follows will show that Todd moved on to what seemed to be an excuse-creating exercise for the FBI's failure to identify Mateen as a threat despite multiple interviews and warnings from others. From there, he quite hurriedly went to gun control:
Transcript (minor edits made to NBC's published version; bolds are mine):
CHUCK TODD: ... And you're also going to be going to Orlando this week. Uh, are you going to be announcing any, uh, new parts of the investigation?
LORETTA LYNCH: Yes, I'll be going to Orlando on Tuesday to continue my briefings in the case. Actually though what we are announcing tomorrow is that the F.B.I. is releasing a partial transcript of the killer's calls with law enforcement from inside the club. These are the calls with the Orlando P.D. negotiating team who were trying to ascertain who he was, where he was, and why he was doing this, all the while the rescue operations were continuing. That'll be coming out tomorrow and I'll be headed to Orlando on Tuesday.
CHUCK TODD: Including the hostage negotiation part of this?
LORETTA 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?
LORETTA LYNCH: Well, what we're not going to do is further proclaim this individual's pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups and further his propaganda.
CHUCK TODD: So we're not going to hear him talk about those things?
LORETTA LYNCH: We will hear him talk about some of those things, but we're not going to hear him make his ascertains of allegiance and that. This will not be audio. This 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 so we will be producing that information tomorrow.
CHUCK TODD: All right, let's talk about the F.B.I. angle to this. Obviously, they investigated him, interviewed him I think now up to three times before this took place, and then found that he was not, they didn't think he was a serious, potential terrorist threat. I know Director Comey said they're going to go and look back and see what may have been missed.
LORETTA LYNCH: Yes.
CHUCK TODD: But is it, is it, bigger than just what the F.B.I. may have missed? Is the F.B.I. just not able to do behavioral study? Like, the F.B.I.'s job is to investigate, uh, facts and to make connections. But behavioral's harder to do.
LORETTA LYNCH: Well, behavioral is harder to do because the cues and the clues are harder. But that's why we do the investigations in the way that we do. That's why when we get information about individuals like Mateen several years ago from coworkers, that we open investigations and that we in fact take time and interview individuals like that. And I can assure you, had the information developed of his plans, that investigation would have stayed open.
CHUCK TODD: One of the votes that we were talking about, let's go to the gun issue here ...
How odd it is that Lynch, a lawyer supposedly careful with her words, used the word "hear" twice in connection with transcripts which will only be printed.
Additionally, it's more than a little ironic that Lynch acknowledged that "because the killer is dead, we have a bit more leeway," but won't allow the world to even see, let alone hear, what Omar Mateen actually said. Why, it's enough to make you think that the Obama administration doesn't want to do anything which might distract from the "it's all about guns, not terrorism" meme, that some of what Mateen said might indicate or allude to the presence of other assassins or accomplices in and around the club — a theory which has some basis — or both.
As to the FBI's alleged inability "to do behavioral study," this comes off as Todd grasping at straws to excuse the bureau's failure to accurately assess Mateen's danger.
But just a minute. While realizing that profiling and behavioral study are not identical, one must do some profiling to understand the person involved to accurately assess his or her behavior. But profiling has become a frowned-upon and sometimes forbidden practice because it supposedly unfairly targets disadvantaged and minority groups. Perhaps "behavorial is harder to do," as Lynch stated, because the harsh limits on profiling make it that way, making "the cues and the clues ... harder."
Ah, but profiling is apparently a one-way street. The FBI can profile and evaluate everyday citizens who raise alarms, but they can't profile persons of interest and suspects. How else does one explain the fact that several people who brought Mateen's conduct and rants to the attention of the bureau ended up being the ones dismissed as racists?
Finally, Chuck Todd was sure eager to get back into gun control wasn't he?
A review of the transcripts involved indicates that Attorney General Lynch herself never uttered the acronyms "ISIS" or "ISIL," or any term involving "Islam," or "Muslims" during any of the four national broadcast network interviews covered in this post.
Since Lynch represents a leftist administration, the howls of outrage from the establishment press over this deliberate and from all appearances uncalled-for censorship will be muted to non-existent.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.