• The FBI ‘Missed’ Orlando Shooter Omar Mateen. What Should We Do?

    June 16, 2016

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: NSA, Post-Constitution America


    If I had to choose one phrase to sum up America’s efforts against terrorism since 9/11, it would be that lay definition of mental illness, doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

    Following 9/11 we had to go after the terrorists in their dark lairs. So we did, in Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Libya, then Yemen, then by militarizing Africa, the Iraq again and then Syria. We’ve been bombing and invading places in the Middle East continuously since 9/11, every day expecting different results.

    Literally days after 9/11, it was felt that the problem was the government did not know enough about what was happening inside the U.S. vis-vis terrorists, so the vast capabilities of the NSA and FBI were pointed inward. From a relatively modest start, we advanced to Snowden-esque levels where every phone call, every email and every GPS-tracked move of everyone is monitored, every day expecting different results.

    When it seemed we did not have the intelligence and enforcement tools needed, we created a new cabinet level agency, the Department of Homeland Security. That quickly grew into one of the largest bureaucracies in America. We created terror fusion centers, staffed up at the FBI and CIA, every day expecting different results.

    Orlando Shooter Omar Mateen

    And that of course brings us to Orlando Shooter Omar Mateen, whom the FBI stalked for 10 months, interviewed twice and then ignored. Through that we learned that there are some 10,000 FBI terrorism investigations open, with new cases added daily as Americans are encouraged to see something and say something. The New York Times tells us tens of thousands of counterterrorism tips flow into the FBI each year, some maybe legitimate, others from “vengeful ex-spouses or people casting suspicion on Arab-Americans.”

    The flood of leads is so relentless that counterterrorism agents hung a section of fire hose outside their offices in Northern Virginia as a symbol of their mission.

    Intelligence Surge, or a Surge of Intelligence?

    So having missed the Orlando shooter, the Boston Marathon bombers, angry white anti-abortion shooters here and there, the answer is obvious. We need more FBI resources (Hillary Clinton has already called for an “intelligence surge”), of course every day thereafter expecting different results.

    It is almost as if by trying to track every branch, leaf and dirt clod in the forest we are missing the trees. By running down every panicked tip (can you imagine how many calls have come in since Sunday in Orlando?) as a CYA exercise, we get bitten in the YA part over and over.

    The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept. If so many are terrorists in one form or another, how can anyone pinpoint the real bad guys, should many of them exist at all?

    By imagining we can track everyone and then sort them out, we are leaving outside the door the discussion of just why terrorists seem to keep attacking the U.S. Could it have something to do with our scorched earth policy in the Middle East?

    By becoming terrified of every brown-skinned person and Muslim in America, we are leaving outside the door the discussion of how throwing innocent people off planes, maintaining secret no-fly lists, spying on whole communities, and giving media platforms to every nut job that wants to rant about what they don’t know but hate anyway about Islam might be helping “radicalize” folks here at home and abroad.

    And certainly never admitting that our culture of easily available weaponry might play a role shuts down any useful discussions about gun control.

    I am sure it is reasonable to expect different results by tomorrow.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • rich bauer said...


      “The FBI first began investigating Mateen in May 2013, Director James Comey said in a conference Monday. Mateen had made statements to his coworkers that “were inflammatory and contradictory,” Comey said. He claimed a family connection to Al Qaeda and said he was a member of Hezbollah, a bitter enemy of the Islamic State. He said he hoped law enforcement would raid his apartment and assault his wife and child, so he could martyr himself, Comey said.”

      The FamousButts assumed he was not a threat.

      And then he bought an assault weapon.

      Assume – make an ass….

      06/16/16 8:38 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Mental illness goes all the way to the top. Obama is as crazy as his next likely replacement -Hillary. A “self radicalized” Muslim who goes on a killing spree doesn’t need any propaganda from ISIS. It’s called tit for tat – Obama’s drone program being the tat of course.

      06/16/16 9:04 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      A CBS News poll finds that 57 percent of Americans support a ban on assault weapons, up from the 44 percent who said they supported a ban in the same poll in December.

      That would be great if this were still a democracy and not an oligarchy.

      06/16/16 9:58 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Oprah will vote for the Drone Queen. How special!

      06/16/16 10:25 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      There is some good news IF Hillarious is our next presidense, Edward Snowden can come home. The DOJ’s selective prosecution of violations of national security will be on trial.

      06/16/16 11:17 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      Titanic turf battle of CIA v. FBI; since at least Watergate, if not prior.

      06/16/16 12:32 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      quote”A CBS News poll finds that 57 percent of Americans support a ban on assault weapons, up from the 44 percent who said they supported a ban in the same poll in December.”unquote

      Yes, the same 57% of the Dumbest Country on the Planet who would DIE should they become a target of any kind of weapons carrying criminal..because ..they DON’T. ONE SINGLE CONCEALED CARRYING GUN OWNER IN THAT ORLANDO BAR COULD HAVE PREVENTED IT.


      I’ll tell you this though. I’ve got $100 that says GAYS are buying weapons in DROVES now.

      06/16/16 12:39 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      ps. If anyone thinks “banning” AK-15’s is going to stop a criminal intent on a mass killing.. I suggest you look terrorist suicide BOMBERS.

      06/16/16 12:44 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Arson is perhaps more lethal than an assault weapon in a darkened crowded venue. Just go onto the net under MacGyver to find a schematic for a home made mini flame thrower.

      06/16/16 1:21 PM | Comment Link

    • Helen Marshall said...


      “The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist..” OH, please don’t worry about this, surely our Constitutional Law Expert would NEVER approve anything that was not within the letter and spirit of the Constitution…

      06/16/16 2:01 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...



      I’m all for banning pressure cookers too but let US start somewhere. TAX them. Make mass murder prohibitively expensive for these losers. Need an AR-15 to protect your shitty apartment and your 80-inch flatscreen TV? Okay. That’s $800 for the gun, plus a $10,000 user fee tax to pay for the unreimbursed hospital bills the victims are racking up. Guns and cigarettes kill. Fuck..I mean TAX them.

      06/16/16 2:46 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      OK I’ll open up a taboo subject. I have a T shirt that reads.”If you want to harm or kill me, please come out-we’ll both be better off. All this macho posturing to me is clear. No hetero wants to harm or has a need to harm another human. It is only guys who are closeted (ISIS) who fuck with other people with of course the cover that they are doing “God’s” work.

      06/16/16 3:15 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      ISIL operatives to strike within the USA. Damn, We’ll need some more money to deal with that threat. Ain’t capitalism great! CIA, FBI- both need enemies which they will engender if the supply dries.

      06/16/16 4:13 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      Granted, the assault weapons crowd is genuinely paranoid enough to believe sincerely that someone or something is out to get them. And amazingly there are a majority of US who are not so paranoid that they feel they need assault weapons to protect them. What the cause of this disconnect is should be studied by our great academic institutions. We may be living in the same country but some of us are on different planets.

      06/16/16 6:01 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      The FBI “missed something.” Getting to be a Monty Python “Dead Parrot-dy”.


      What should we do? We better get some new FBI guys.

      06/16/16 6:29 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Was Mateen’s dad part of an influential clan back in Afghanistan? Did he happen to have obtained immigration because of CIA or some kind of connection like that dating from the last war in Afghanistan? He was pro-Taliban supposedly

      The company Mateen worked for also had contracts in Afghanistan. Perhaps these are coincidences but more dots are needed to make conclusions why the FBI would drop the investigation AND the security contractor retain the younger Mateen

      06/16/16 8:14 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      Gosh, if the FBI under Comey missed the Orlando shooter, maybe Comey should lose his job and be replaced.

      That would make Clinton happy, for sure. And the hopes for his ouster may be why she is constantly harping on the FBI’s failure in her tweets, speeches and comments during interviews.

      [This doesn’t mitigate the possibility that Comey has already agreed to “miss” the red flags in the current and ongoing Clinton criminal investigation – he’s been such a pain in the ass to Clinton already that his name is on her list even if he doesn’t recommend indictment.]

      06/17/16 7:09 AM | Comment Link

    • jim hruska said...


      To all,
      the first reaction to the shooting was democrats wanting to close the gun show loophole-even though the weapons used were not bought at a gun show.
      read it hear first-a semi auto ak cy IS NOT an assault weapon. it’s a high cap magazine on a semi auto platform.
      now for taxing gun owners. if a right is taxed, witness the poll tax, then it’s not a right.we now pay taxes on the manufacture, and sale and here in fl on the background check. the ammo is taxed.
      now saying that more people are killed by the police every year than by terrorists.DARN, lets don’t let logic apply.
      i personally fear militarized police more than i do any terrorist.police are a near threat.
      in closing orlando was not the biggest massacre in US history as claimed by bbc america just last night.
      wasn’t waco much larger? 85 branch davidians were killed in their home compound by none other than militarized federal forces in armored vehicles armed with auto weapons.
      don’t forget about this when discussing auto weapons.
      how will more gun control weed out the crazies?
      jim hruska

      06/17/16 12:22 PM | Comment Link

    • jim hruska said...


      I was gonna sign off, but feel more needs to be said.
      My govt provides arms to both sides(or 3 sides) in the syria scenario. we gave anti air missiles to the afghans in the rusn war without doing a back ground check. We provide any ass hole willing to kill people the finest of military killing tools , and then when folks get smoked here in the states we cry crocodile tears.
      Excuse me for not jumping on board.
      If we give away weapons world wide without any controls then i think i can handle a simple shoulder fired rifle responsibly.
      Heck, it’s not a Abrams tank, or a humvee as discussed in your todays essay.
      We are a culture of death and all you espouse is putting bandaids on sucking chest wounds.
      we have a long time ago given up the moniker of humanity.
      jim hruska

      06/17/16 12:41 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Jim it is a good point — can’t expect to sell weapons with no limitations on these and then expect to won’t come back to haunt

      THe people who work in Washington have zero ability to understand, every action has a result.

      06/17/16 10:38 PM | Comment Link

    • StarkNakedTruth said...


      The FBI missed…?

      Ya, riiiiggght!

      Anyone else wondering how many times and what kind of things that FBI is being told these days….to miss and overlook?

      06/20/16 9:33 AM | Comment Link

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