It was mercy, not justice, that spared Portland
You’ve probably already heard that Portland, Oregon prohibited its police officers from working with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force—the very unit which intervened in the case of Mohamed Mohamud and deflected his planned mass murder attack into a sting operation with false explosives.
But guess why Portland found the Joint Terrorism Task Force so offensive? Byron York writes in the Washington Examiner:
In April 2005, the Portland city council voted 4 to 1 to withdraw Portland city police officers from participating in the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Mayor Tom Potter said the FBI refused to give him a top-secret security clearance so he could make sure the officers weren’t violating state anti-discrimination laws that bar law enforcement from targeting suspects on the basis of their religious or political beliefs. [emphasis added.]So, Portland refused to cooperate with federal anti-terror police work because such work involved … profiling. It involved using, among other factors, the fact that someone was a Muslim. It was discriminatory. Portland preferred to leave itself helpless in the face of Islamic terrorism than discriminate against even one possible Muslim terrorist.
In the Mohamud case, it appears that Portland’s anti-law enforcement stand might actually have influenced Mohamud’s decision to undertake an attack in the city. According to the FBI affidavit, the undercover agents asked whether he worried that law enforcement would stop him. “In Portland?” Mohamud replied. “Not really. They don’t see it as a place where anything will happen. People say, you know, why, anybody want to do something in Portland, you know, it’s on the west coast, it’s in Oregon, and Oregon’s, like you know, nobody ever thinks about it.”I am reminded of the climactic scene in Atlas Shrugged in which a thuggish government bureaucrat, in a rush to get to California for a political rally, forces a Taggart Transcontinental passenger train to go through a Rocky Mountain tunnel using a coal burning engine, even though the decision means certain disaster. Every employee of the railroad who speaks reason and warns of the dangers is gotten rid of. It is a total denial of objective reality. As the train begins to move forward to its destruction, the author gives a capsule summary of the character and worldview of each passenger on the train. Every one of them is a collectivist who shares the anti-reality beliefs that are leading them all to their doom. The idea is that they deserve what is about to happen to them.
May we similarly say that had Mohamed Mohamud’s plans for mass murder not been intercepted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task force, and had he successfully murdered hundreds—or thousands—of Portlanders, then each of those Portlanders, as a presumptive supporter of his city’s rigid anti-discrimination policy, would have been a subscriber to the belief system that resulted in his death?
John Hagan writes:
The irony that this degenerate mayor of Portland Oregon Sam Adams carries the same name as a great American patriot boggles the mind.LA replies:
Well, his historic America name is like the name of Romulus Augustulus, the pathetic last emperor of the Western Roman empire.David B. writes:
Do the Portlanders subscribe to the beliefs that would result in their deaths and are they willing to die for them? No, they don’t want to die themselves, but they are willing for others to die because of their beliefs. They just don’t think it will happen to them.Donald Hank writes:
I am receiving an unusual number of emails today pointing in the same direction: The self destructive, senseless and abject dhimmitude of the West, i.e., its willingness to bow to Islam even at a time when Islam in no way controls our political policy. Imagine how cowardly they would behave if there were a sizeable proportion of Muslims in America!Paul T. writes:
Thank you for your excellent coverage of the Portland horror. One small bone to pick re: the following:LA replies:
Of course they are saying that he is a Muslim, but by deliberately saying it in this odd, indirect way, they are taunting us.November 29
Richard W. writes:
In answer to your last question: No, Portland is not monolithically liberal. The city council voted four to one for Potter’s plan to end cooperation with the FBI; thus 20 percent of the council dissented. In the most recent 2010 election Jim Huffman, the Republican challenger to the incumbent liberal Senator Ron Wyden received 56,000 votes in Multnomah county (the county that Portland lies within and dominates) to 212,000 for Wyden. About 20 percent.Richard continues:
Clearly, Portland has passed some tipping point where non-liberals are no longer comfortable living there.LA replies:
I did not mean to state positively that if liberals who had refused to support police surveillance against Muslim terrorists had been killed by a Muslim terrorist, they would have deserved it. Obviously, no one deserves to be murdered. But clearly there would have been a causal connection between their decision and their deaths. What, then, is the correct way to speak of such a causal connection?Richard W. replies:
I see exactly what you mean, and agree. It is not only a causal connection, it is also clearly forseeable. It is similar to homosexuals who have promiscous sex and then contract AIDS. Most compassionate people will still feel badly for their suffering and death, while also acknowledging that it was highly likely given their lifestyle choices.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 28, 2010 06:47 PM | Send