Observations On The Redacted Orlando Terrorist’s 911 Call Transcript Fiasco

Lynch white House

Polls show that as citizens consider the horrors of Clinton and Trump, Obama’s approval numbers are going up. This makes sense, of course: competence and virtue are relative. I haven’t seen a poll but it would not surprise me if, after almost 8 years of Obama, Jimmy Carter’s poll numbers have risen too, as well as Herbert Hoover’s and, across the pond, maybe even Neville Chamberlain’s.

Just so we don’t get carried away with nostalgia for an arrogant and incompetent leader as we anticipate his corrupt or unhinged successor, I feel obligated to use Bon Jovi’s “turn back time” device to return to last weekend, when Obama gave us perhaps the most damning evidence yet of how cynical, dishonest, contemptuous and inept his”transparent” leadership has become. Mea culpa: I passed over it last week in my concentration on the mad flare-up of anti-gun hysteria.

As all but the most denial prone Democrats will acknowledge, President Obama has gone to ridiculous and dangerous lengths to avoid formally citing radical Islam as a terror threat, because it requires acknowledging that a large (okay, large enough) component of the Muslim population abroad and maybe here as well wants to kill us. Truth is the enemy to liars, frauds, totalitarians and the deluded: take your pick here. Either way, for Attorney General Loretta Lynch to say of Omar Mateen in a press conference, as she did Tuesday, that “I cannot tell you definitively that we will ever narrow it down to one motivation. People often act out of more than one motivation,” is an insult. This is blatant equivocation. Yes, I’m sure Mateen may have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, and maybe there were some people among the hundred or so he shot that he didn’t like, but he was a Muslim, his father was an anti-American, pro-Taliban zealot, he had pledged himself to ISIS, he launched a one -man terrorist attack, and his religion persecutes gays. Gee, what could his motive have been? I’m stumped. Are you stumped? Loretta is stumped.

No, Loretta has been told to be officially stumped.

Just two days before her transparently dishonest statement (Maybe this was the kind of transparency Obama promised in 2008?), Lynch toured all five Sunday talking head shows (ABC, Fox, CBS, NBC, CNN) to lie about the transcripts of Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen’s calls. This is known at Ethics Alarms and elsewhere as “doing a Susan Rice.[It’s fun to go back to that 2012 post and read the comments from the denial brigade, like now-self exiled far-left blogger Ampersand, who defended Rice and the administration. “For your statements to make sense,” Barry wrote, “we’d have to believe that US Intelligence had determined with certainty what had happened either while the attack was ongoing or within hours afterward, neither of which is true.” We now know both are true. Thus Hillary told her daughter shortly after the attack that it was an organized terrorist plan. Later, with the election in mind, the YouTube video cover-story was concocted, and Rice was dispatched to spread it.]

President Obama wanted to make the Orlando massacre about gun control rather than Islamic terrorism. His post attack speech did not mention ISIS or Islamic terrorism at all, but quickly pivoted into exploiting the tragedy to call for gun controls, knowing that his lap-dog, gun-hating allies in the mainstream media would let him get away with it. There was a problem, however: Mateen’s phone calls made it clear to anyone paying attention that this was an ISIS-related terrorist attack (not just an “act of terror”—the same equivocation used after Benghazi.)

Here were the redactions:

Mateen: “I pledge of allegiance to [omitted]. “I pledge allegiance to [omitted] may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of [omitted].”

The dumbest Wheel of Fortune contestant in the world could fill in those blanks, especially after many of the news reports.

Nevertheless, our Attorney General was willing to humiliate herself trying to justify the withholding of facts from the public, saying on ABC’s “This Week”: “What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda.” How lame is THAT? Not as lame as the excuse she gave the same day on CNN’s State of the Union,  where Lynch said:“The reason why we’re going to limit these transcripts is to avoid re-victimizing those people that went through this horror.” What? I’m sure that blatantly censoring information that the public has a right to know will make the victims’ families feel much better. How do the facts that our government thinks the public is made up of gullible idiots, that the President is in denial over Islamic terrorism, that the Attorney General is willing to lie repeatedly on national television and act as a political tool, and that the administration is as transparent as slate make the victims’ families feel? It sure scares the hell out of me.

Occasionally the news media declares, as a friend of mine is fond of saying, “There is some shit I won’t eat,” or at least eat and say “Yum-yum!,” so the censorship of the obvious was roundly mocked and condemned by both the media and Republican leadership. (Oddly, no Democrats stood up for transparency. Democrats: please explain, and explain why this is fine with you.)

So the Obama Administration and the Justice Department caved the next day,  and released a full, uncensored transcript of tMateen’s 911 call on the night of the massacre, and referred to the controversy over omissions in the document “an unnecessary distraction.” (And whose fault was that?)

Omar Mateen made the 50-second 911 call in which he claimed responsibility for the terror attack and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State’s leader at 2:35 a.m., about  a half hour into the June 12 murder spree. Now, with the blanks filled in, the transcript read…

“I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.”


1. The outrage over this episode has been insufficient. Wrote Jack Shafer at Politico, getting it right:

 [W]hen and how did Lynch acquire a duty to protect the public from what she considers “propaganda”? What business is it of hers or the Justice Department’s what political thoughts my ears are exposed to? And where exactly will her powers stop? Magazines and Web sites that espouse jihad exist already. What would we say if Lynch attempted to ban or edit those, too?…No law or American tradition directs the federal government to withhold public information to protect the psyches of “survivors.” In fact, the general rule is the opposite: The most brutal evidence imaginable is exhibited routinely to the public in murder and assault trials.

His post was titled, “Since When Does Loretta Lynch Get to Censor What I Read?” Answer: When she knows her boss wants it that way for political gain, that’s when.

2. This episode illustrates why we know that despite all of Obama’s claims that the Justice Department is independent, it will never, ever indict Hillary Clinton no matter what evidence there is. If Lynch wasn’t ordered to redact the transcript and, like Rice, make a mockery of her office by defending the decision on the Sunday shows ( Said the NY Post: “It makes you wonder: Who at the White House feels compelled to send women of color out to humiliate themselves on national TV?”), then she did it on her own, to please Obama. Either way, this shows that the Justice Department, as it did under Eric Holder, regards itself as a political and partisan operation.

3. It is significant that Lynch has refused to say who ordered the idiotic redaction. (Paid Obama liar Josh Earnest says it wasn’t the White House, which is what he would say if it was the White House. Earnest has lied so often and so much that there is no reason to believe him no matter what he says.)

“The goal is of course the greatest transparency. The initial thought was we did not want to provide a further platform for the propaganda of the killer. Once it became an issue, we decided we would go ahead and release the full transcript,” Lynch said  during a press conference two days after the transcript’s unedited release.

When asked who decided to remove the references to ISIS, as well as the name of deceased shooter Omar Mateen, Lynch then said,

“I’m not going to go into the detail of the process behind it. Our review was not to further spread the propaganda, but once it became a distraction, we released the whole transcript.”

When officials repeat the same answer almost word for word, it raises the rebuttable presumption of a scripted evasion. Wait…the goal is “the greatest transparency”? If transparency was really the goal, why was the transcript redacted at all?


Sources: NY PostMediaite, Politico 1, 2; Fox,

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts, and seek written permission when appropriate. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work or property was used in any way without proper attribution, credit or permission, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at  jamproethics@verizon.net.

4 thoughts on “Observations On The Redacted Orlando Terrorist’s 911 Call Transcript Fiasco

  1. Obama has his Ministry of Propaganda going full speed since he was elected. Joseph Goehbels would be proud of the job Loretta Lynch is doing for her “Dear Leader”.

  2. Must be the work of that Ben Rhoades guy.

    Think of all the facts Obama ignored or distorted in his first speech about the shooting. He had to know exactly what transpired, all the 911 calls, etc. He went out of his way to cover up the fact this was clearly an ISIS inspired jihadi who had been investigated and then ignored by the FBI. All he focused on was “gun violence.”

    Really, really shameful misdirection and lying. Unprecedented really. Right up there with “I am not a crook.” But the media take the ball and run with it.

    We have a president who doesn’t care any more about Islamic terrorism extant in the U.S. than he does slip and falls occurring in U.S. bathrooms. The man is a menace. He’s a citizen of the world, and the world is beset by Islamic terrorism, so we should just get used to it. The world would be a better place if the U.S. were a third world country. So long as he still has access to nice gyms and golf courses, of course.

  3. The un-redacted transcript is still deceptive in that it uses the word God as a translation of the word Allah. That should be troubling as well.

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