See also: Dancing on the graves of ‘old media’
While the media are bearing the brunt of public skepticism over the handling of the Boston bombing, the behavior of government is also eroding public trust. Yesterday’s promised but cancelled news briefing is just one symptom. Andrew McCarthy of PJM notes that “Misinformation rather than enlightenment has been the order of the day in the investigation of Monday’s terrorist bombing of the Boston Marathon,” and that part of it is the natural outgrowth of the desire of investigators to keep the details of their investigations secret, so as not to alert suspects. In these circumstances, the media, hungry forsomething to say in their wall-to-wall coverage, press law enforcement sources, to whom they offer anonymity, for information. In the circumstances, misinformation is almost certain to get reported.
But there is something else at work: a taboo, widespread in the MSM and government, on suspecting jihadists. McCarthy writes:
We don’t know what the investigators know, but on our state of information, it would be irresponsible to discount the possibility that this is an instance of jihadist terror. Of course, other ideological motivations cannot be ruled out, either. My point is that it is ludicrous to enforce a politically correct filter in which the most plausible explanation must not be spoken on pain of being cast out as a racist “Islamophobe,” yet every other theory, no matter how half-baked, is given a respectful airing. (snip)
…no radical ideology that urges violence should be ruled out at this point when, apparently, no perpetrators have been identified. How strange, though, that what experience suggests are the least likely scenarios – conservatives or anti-government extremists striking savagely at their defenseless fellow citizens – are being embraced seriously (even wistfully) by some media pundits, while one must walkon eggshells to describe scenarios whose proving out would surprise no one.
The avoidance of jihad as an explanation is particularly ridiculous given the initial suspicions focused on Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi, the 20 year old Saudi student, who is now rather mysteriously being deported, we are told. Jim Host of Gateway Pundit reports:
Barack Obama met with the Saudi foreign minister today. It was not on public schedule.
In addition, Walid Shoebat focuses attention of the Alharbi Clan:
Out of a list of 85 terrorists listed by the Saudi government shows several of Al-Harbi clan to have been active fighters in Al-Qaeda:
#15 Badr Saud Uwaid Al-Awufi Al-Harbi
#73 Muhammad Atiq Uwaid Al-Awufi Al-Harbi
#26 Khalid Salim Uwaid Al-Lahibi Al-Harbi
#29 Raed Abdullah Salem Al-Thahiri Al-Harbi
#43 Abdullah Abdul Rahman Muhammad Al-Harbi (leader)
#60 Fayez Ghuneim Humeid Al-Hijri Al-Harbi
Then you have Al-Harbi clan members in Gitmo:
Salim Salman Awadallah Al-Sai’di Al-Harbi
Majid Abdullah Hussein Al-Harbi
Muhammad Abdullah Saqr Al-Alawi Al-Harbi
Ghanem Abdul Rahman Ghanem Al-Harbi
Muhammad Atiq Uwaid Al-Awfi Al-Harbi
Americans are unaccustomed to thinking of clans as an important variable in human behavior, so Daniel Greenfield of Front Page Magazine provides some helpful background:
Americans often disregard basic structural differences between the east and the west. And that is a dangerous mistake.
The differences between the Muslim world and the Western world aren’t just religious. There are basic structural differences at the social level. They don’t think the way that we do, because they don’t live the way that we do. We think in terms of the country as defining us. They think in terms of the tribe as defining them. We sanction countries, but their countries are often a sham. It’s the clans that count. (snip)
It’s not just Saudi Arabia. A closer look at the antics of the Al-Awlaki clan in Yemen (though the Saudis have a long history of using Yemen as their backyard) would have told us to watch out for Anwar Al-Awlaki. But that’s not the way we think. It is the way they think.
So what is going on? Why is the j-word (Jihad) unthinkable in media reporting? Why was Alharbi quietly deported, and why the urgent meeting of the president and the Saudi FM not on the president’s pubic schedule?
It certainly appears that we are not getting the straight story.
Hat tip: Lucianne.com
Correction: The Saudi national is being deported, but has not yet been deported. The blog has been updated.