Last week, someone tried to detonate a roadside car bomb in Times Square. And while investigators were searching for the guilty terrorist, some liberals in this country had already found a culprit – you.
That’s right. We’ve entered an era where some on the left expressly hope that when terrorist attacks occur, the guilty parties are their fellow Americans, not Islamic jihadists.
It’s crazy, but true.
After Times Square attack, a narrative quickly emerged that the bomber was a lone wolf and may be a conservative, probably a tea partier. It didn’t begin among the fringe, but from names and faces you know. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer, alike, purposefully attempted to immediately convict a domestic political ideology – the Tea Party movement – rather than waiting for evidence to be uncovered.
To recap, on Saturday evening, thanks to an alert street vendor, New York City authorities discovered a 1993 Pathfinder SUV loaded with explosives parked in Times Square. On Sunday, television reports started showing a possible suspect in grainy footage who appeared to be a balding white male in his 40’s. By Sunday evening, the authorities easily tracked the car back to its original owner, who informed them that a 30-something male of Middle Eastern origin bought the vehicle.
It was during that brief period of investigation that accusations and false assumptions started to fly. First out of the box were Secretary Napolitano and Mayor Bloomberg, who appeared on television shows to offer theories based on absolutely no evidence.
In her now famous way of casually dismissing terrorist attacks, Napolitano stated on ABC This Week that it was probably a “one-off” event, or essentially a lone wolf. She offered this view after the host, Jake Tapper, actually clued her in that the plot looked similar to other bombings in London and Scotland, which were hatched by small groups of connected Middle Eastern terrorists. But Napolitano underplayed the incident, and her “one-off” theory supported — intentionally or not — the narrative that this could be a domestic incident. She repeated these claims on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Then there’s Mayor Bloomberg, who on Katie Couric’s show on Monday opined that the suspect could be “a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health-care bill or something.” While government authorities were quickly tracking down the owner of the Pathfinder, Mayor Bloomberg was on TV saying the guilty party may have been someone merely upset with Obamacare.
Cue the fringe. Daily Kos wildly said there are only two types of terrorists, jihadists or tea partiers. Then Robert Dreyfuss, an “investigative journalist” for the leftist site The Nation, railed against media outlets that correctly analyzed the possibility that this could be a jihadist attack. He concluded that it was “far more likely” that the perpetrator was “a member of some squirrely branch of the Tea Party.” Now that’s what we call investigative journalism.
In Politico’s Arena, Washington and Lee University Law Professor Timothy Stoltzfus Jost said it was much more likely “the bomb was placed by a right-wing lunatic” and that the right-wing media “bears some responsibility.” So now it’s all Fox News’ fault. At least Professor Jost had the courage to apologize the next day for his liberally drawn conclusions. Oh the irony of a law professor from liberal academia presuming guilt, rather than innocence, and moving for conviction with no evidence.
No sooner had the left firmly staked out ground that the terrorist was a conservative, a tea partier, a right-winger, than the authorities arrested Faisal Shahzad on Tuesday. Shahzad reportedly admitted to the crime, and his vast contacts with known terror networks in Pakistan were revealed almost immediately. Not too many mea culpas from the left. But at least nobody was still making the claim about conservatives, right? Wrong.
Enter Contessa Brewer, anchor for MSNBC. Brewer went on the liberal Stephanie Miller radio show on Tuesday and said: “There was part of me that was hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country.” She further said: “…There are a lot of people who want to use terrorist intent to justify writing off people who believe in a certain way or come from certain countries or whose skin color is a certain way. I mean they use it as justification for really outdated bigotry.”
Who did Contessa Brewer hoped had committed this act? There are a lot of things Brewer could have wished for – that the attempted attack never happened, that innocent American Muslims are not treated unjustly, that America would never see attempts like this again. She didn’t.
Instead, Brewer lifted the curtain on what many Americans already suspected. When the left talks about tea party violence, it isn’t because it actually occurs. It is because they hope it occurs so as to corroborate their skewed worldview that the tea party is a fringe political movement, rather than a peaceful congregation of Americans of all political stripes who don’t like the direction their country is headed.
The Times Square bomber was a jihadist. He was Middle Eastern. He trained in Pakistan. These are the facts of the case. The great hope of conservatives is not to rush to blame one group or another for an attack. Our hope is to have a federal government that will prevent these attacks rather than awkwardly respond, as we saw this week. We also hope to engage in respectful political discourse without being called a bigot.
We are in a war on terror, even if the White House is uncomfortable using those words. Our enemy in this war is more often than not going to be Middle Eastern, even if the left is uncomfortable knowing this. However, there will be times when instances of terror will not fit this profile, which is why reasonable people need to wait for the facts before commenting, even if that makes some uncomfortable.