At a press conference Friday, FBI Director James Comey gave Americans hope that our federal government was (finally) committed to taking Islamic terrorism seriously. Anyone familiar with the way the Obama administration has ignored this scourge could hear the difference immediately. When Comey rolled out the Bush-era “See something, say something” line, it was like a repudiation of everything this president stands for.
And that repudiation is long overdo.
Because the problem isn’t just ISIS. It isn’t just what’s happening in the Middle East. It isn’t just about Syrian refugees. This is about American citizens getting radicalized before developing self-contained plans to destroy innocent people. These are the “lone wolves” that the FBI has been warning us about for the last couple of years. This is what happened to the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston, and it appears to explain what happened to Syed Farook and his wife.
We won’t know the full story for some time, if ever, but we already know enough. Maybe it will turn out that these two actually did have long-term contact and support from ISIS or Al Qaeda. If that’s the case, then we will need to figure out why our intelligence agencies failed to notice. But more immediately, we need to understand why the people who lived and worked with Farook and his wife failed to take their own suspicions seriously.
Because there were suspicions. Several of Farook’s neighbors have talked to the press, and some of them have admitted that they had concerns. They saw Farook’s developing religious zealotry. They saw strange packages arriving at his doorstep. They saw him growing out his beard. When you put those things together with his overseas trips and his new wife and the couple’s extreme isolation, you have something that adds up to legitimate suspicion.
But see, we’ve been told that we have to mind our manners. We can’t just assume that a pair of devout Muslims are planning something heinous. We can’t show our bigoted sides. We have to bottle all of that up and ignore those nagging feelings that something is terribly off-kilter. That’s just our white supremacy talking. Or something like that.
Well, hopefully we’ve turned a corner on that nonsense. No one is suggesting that we need to start bulldozing mosques and reporting everyone with a beard to the FBI. Obama and the Democrats act like there’s no middle ground between prudent suspicion and rampant discrimination. There is. And we’ve swung much too far in the direction of political correctness. See something, say something: what could be simpler? But to do that, we’re going to have to get over this fear of “profiling.”
Sorry, but when all the terrorism comes from people who have one certain thing in common, it’s not “profiling” to take that certain thing into consideration.