Two days after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, the FBI correctly identified the attack as terrorism, although it was reportedly pressured by the White House to refrain from doing so. Thirty-six people were killed or wounded by Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, husband-and-wife jihadists whose identities were known soon after the massacre but withheld for hours – presumably out of concern for an anti-Muslim backlash that has never really occurred in the United States.
The Obama administration and mainstream media went into obfuscation mode, initially implicating workplace violence and ineffective gun laws as possible causes of the attack, with one CNN reporter stretching credulity by questioning whether postpartum psychosis might have been a factor. Gun control advocates co-opted the moment to push their agenda – although there is no correlation between gun laws and terrorism – while the president downplayed the role of radical Islam, despite evidence to the contrary.
Mr. Obama waited four days before addressing the nation with a short speech that conceded the shooters were terrorists, but which focused more on gun control than terrorism or the existential threat of radical Islam. He was swiftly criticized for not discussing the ideological motivations behind the attack or formulating an effective plan for fighting terrorism, and for appearing more concerned about possible Islamophobia than national security. He was also chided for lauding the effectiveness of his current strategies, despite the exponential growth of ISIS on his watch and in response to his feckless policies.
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