Monday, November 30, 2009

The Dumbest Thing I Heard Last Week

Did you catch that? Dana Perino, who was a Press Secretary for the Bush administration, said that there weren't any terror attacks during Bush's term. Nobody calls her out on it, but you can see the gentleman sitting next to her going "Wait. What? Did she just say...? Ooh! Hannity is asking me a question, it's time to keep making the point that Obama is soft on terror."

Her comment caused quite a bit of outrage, and so she clarified on twitter:
Last night on Hannity, I obviously meant no terror attack on U.S. post 9/11 during Bush 2nd term. We have the tools, just need to use them!

Of course! And, really, she's right. Except for that whole biggest-terror-attack-in-the-history-of-the-United-States thing, Bush's presidency was totally terror attack free!

Dana Perino did not misspeak. Of course she didn't mention 9/11, because her statement is absurd when you include all the information:
"We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term except for the largest terror attack in the history of the United States."

The reason they're calling the Fort Hood attack a terror attack is so they can use it as an example of a terror attack that Obama missed, as evidence that he is soft on terror. But hearing their brief conversation about what makes it a terror attack as opposed to a random, tragic shooting indicates another motive: they seem to believe that "terrorism" is a synonym for "violence perpetrated by Muslims".

It's still not clear to analysts whether the shooting was motivated by religious dogma and political goals or simply by mental illness. Experts have said both that the shooting was motivated by mental illness, and was much more similar to workplace mass shootings and the Virginia Tech shooting than a terrorist attack, and, alternately, that Hasan was a terrorist acting alone.

Brian Levin, J.D., suggested that the truth may lie somewhere in the middle: "Lone wolf offenders in particular often self-radicalize from a volatile mix of personal distress, psychological issues, and an ideology that can be sculpted to justify and explain their anti-social leanings."

Evidence is mounting that Hasan's co-workers and peers missed many warning signs that this sort of behavior may have been coming. But after violence like this, all sorts of anecdotal evidence comes out, and everyone shakes their heads and wonders: 'How could we have missed it?' Everyone goes through periods of antisocial behavior, everyone has hard times. Hasan had recently lost both of his parents and was counseling soldiers he believed were war criminals. If my friends turned me in for every crazy thing I said, I'd have been in jail a long time ago. And if I reported them, I wouldn't have any friends left. It's a big step from dark thoughts and hard times to mass murder.

You can argue that Barack Obama and his policies are soft on terror, and that as a result of his policies, key personnel didn't act to stop this crime before it happened. But if your argument only sounds persuasive if you neglect to mention 9/11, you need a new argument.


Anonymous said...

Is this why Obama decided to send troops to Afghanistan after holding off for this long? Is he being pressured by media, should he be? I'm so tired of the muslims = terrorists mindframe, it's keeping everyone stuck firmly in not fixing this situation ever.

Anonymous said...
in your