Monday, February 08, 2016

J. MICHAEL SPRINGMANN : Too Many Questions, Not Enough Answers In San Bernardino Massacre

Controversy continues to swirl around identities and motives behind San Bernardino murderers  

By J. Michael Springmann

There are far too many loose ends and unanswered questions. Many people allege that “crisis actors” (people who pretend to be shooters or victims) take part in events like San Bernadino. They overlook the idea that it would take an army of these (with attendant leaks and bragging) to cover just one of these happenings. It’s far more likely to have a handful of individuals inserted as real police or military to control and direct one of these shooting events. Ideal candidates for such would be personnel from the many intelligence services.  - J. Michael Springmann

Who were Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik? Was Farook a good ole ‘Murrican boy from the Midwest? Was Malik a devout Muslim from Pakistan? Were they radicalized? If so, how? Were they terrorists? If so, why?

The lifeless body of gunman Syed Farook
There are more unanswered questions. Did the two ever meet? If not, how did Malik get a K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa which requires a face to face meet up? Were they married in Saudi Arabia? If so, how did Malik get classed as a fiancée? Were they ever in Saudi Arabia at the same time? Did Malik submit a Saudi police report, since she had lived there for at least 6 months over the age of 16, another K-1 visa requirement. I am an immigration attorney and I find the entire matter incomprehensible.

No one seems to know much about anything. News reports from the mainstream media change frequently. 

The Farook family seems to have an outspoken attorney whom some media outlets castigate as a “truther” (without defining what that means) and as a “massacre denier”. The latter charge seems to rise out of his supposedly questioning the opaque backgrounds and surprising similarities in the inexplicable, increasingly frequent mass shootings occurring during the Obama Administration.

One of the attorneys, David Steven Chesley, said at a press conference: “When an incident happens like this, when a Christian goes to shoot up a Planned Parenthood, or an extreme Catholic goes and bombs an abortion clinic, all the headlines don’t say ‘extremist radical Christian’ ‘Christian catholic’ … just like right now every headline is saying ‘Muslim’ and attaching Muslim to it.” This outraged Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), who asserted: “The statements made at this press conference were preposterous and offensive.” Continuing, she said: “…the truth is that radical, violent Islam remains the single greatest threat to the American way of life.” She seems to have forgotten about the effects on the United States about America’s Forever War against Arabs and Muslims.

One issue which the mainstream media (and dim-witted politicians) seem to ignore is the role of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Malik’s obtaining a visa and permanent residence. Their job, frequently carried to extremes, is, among other things, the scrutiny of K visa seekers’ backgrounds and their examination of permanent residents’ personal history. Those agencies begin with evaluating answers to the extensive questions posed to applicants. They then move on to examining fingerprints taken at several steps in the requests for visas and permanent residence. State Department consular officers, who may or may not be CIA officials, personally interview K visa applicants. (In my book, Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World, I recount CIA hanky panky with the visa process during my time as a diplomat at the Jeddah, Saudi Arabia consulate. CIA officials comprise too-large a portion of the State Department’s Foreign Service.)

CIA and FBI investigations can take years to conclude. They frequently engender lawsuits compelling them to do their jobs. I myself have handled cases wherein the clients had perfectly clean backgrounds yet could not get their paperwork through the system because of the security services. In one instance, the client had lived half her life in the U.S. and had worked for a high-security company. In another, the client, married to an American citizen in the United States, faced years of delays in getting permanent residence and citizenship. The problem? He had gotten a $40 ticket for being in a federal park after closing hours. And he had a Qur’an in his car. Another client had spent hours in FBI interrogations and endured great delays in becoming a citizen because he had once let a friend sleep on his couch. The Secret Service had previously arrested the friend for taking pictures while Muslim in Lafayette Square, across from the White House.

Is there a pattern and practice to this?

On December 24, 2015, the Washington Post ran a story headlined “British Muslim family bared from airline flight to U.S.” Minutes before the group’s departure for a trip to Disneyland (and after passing through a security checkpoint), U.S. Homeland Security Department officials canceled the UK citizens’ visa waivers. The Customs and Border Protection agents at the airport did not give a reason for their actions, other than to say “orders from Washington”. The $13,000 ticket costs are non-refundable. What the newspaper did not say was that the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California had previously published a 5 megabyte pamphlet titled Muslims Need Not Apply. It discussed official U.S. government policy of delaying or denying immigration benefits to Muslims.

That said, how did Tashfeen Malik, an admitted Muslim, sail through the K visa and permanent residence processes? There seem to be several possibilities: 1. She had help (like the Nigerian underwear bomber). 2. The CIA and FBI and Department of State (which issued the visa) are more incompetent than anyone believes possible. 3. She (and her husband) were not radicals. 4. She (and her husband) were patsies.

There seems to be little concrete evidence linking the couple to fanaticism. Farook had a short beard but it was not the full facial covering of extremely religious types. He dressed in Western clothing and not the Pakistani long shirt and trousers (salwar khamis). Malik wore a hijab, but then many Muslim women do. The media place great emphasis on Malik’s Facebook posts about swearing allegiance to ISIL—but then, I know two women with Facebook pages they never created but which somehow appeared on the Internet. They have absolutely no idea how that happened.

The whole affair is beginning to resemble the case of Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist and alleged Al-Qaeda gun moll with 3 children under the age of 5. After leaving the U.S. after FBI harassment, she disappeared off the streets of Karachi in 2003. At the time, the FBI derided her in almost daily TV reports, completely ignoring the mysterious items her then-husband purchased on the Internet.

Then, a family member contacted me for assistance in helping find Aafia.

Originally attempting to cooperate with the FBI and the vast alphabet soup of American agencies, the client quickly learned that efforts to help the United States locate Aafia and her three very young children were not welcome. Instead, clumsy, obnoxious, arrogant policemen appeared at her place of work and her dwelling places, at all hours of the day and night, ostensibly seeking information on the whereabouts of Aafia (but not her children). An Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Weinstein, seized the client’s hospital pager and my emails. Government agents relentlessly interrogated her aged and unwell mother after an 18-hour flight from Pakistan to New York and then shockingly harassed her, her daughter, her son-in-law, and their children in Ellicott City, Md.. Pounding on the apartment door, the FBI, with the full knowledge of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Maryland, acted as if the family, represented by legal counsel, were dangerous criminals instead of people who might be willing to help locate Aafia. Her brother, in Texas, home of terrorist-fighting family man George Bush got similar treatment.

What did we learn?

In 2003, Harvey Eisenberg, an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, assured my client and me in the federal courthouse in Baltimore, that Aafia was fine and that family members needn’t worry. In contrast, then-U.S. ambassador to Islamabad, Anne Patterson stated that Siddiqui was not in U.S. custody “at any time” prior to July 2008. (The U.S. had, most likely, held Aafia at the Bagram, Afghanistan detention center. I knew Anne Patterson when she was an ineffective economic officer in Riyadh. While in Saudi Arabia, she seemed to devote an inordinate amount of time in trying to get an audience with the king.)

Visa application: Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook reportedly met in October 2013 in Saudi Arabia

The unfortunate affair of Farook and Malik seems to be a God-given, if not carefully-constructed, attempt to increase hatred of Muslims in the United States and link them to expanded efforts to prevent citizens from acquiring firearms. (After the Paris “terror” attacks, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein [D-Calif.] and other Democrats began pushing the concept of blocking the unknown thousands of people on the federal government’s incredibly flawed “No-Fly List” from purchasing firearms. After the San Bernadino shootings, more professional politicians began repeating this litany.)

I hear more and I see more comments about the dangers of Islam, usually linked to Arabs and the Middle East. Newspaper articles, particularly in the Washington Post, recounting these dangers invariably cite biased, Israeli-controlled sources, such as WINEP (Washington Institute for Near East Policy) and the SITE Intelligence Group. Television news, which too many Americans rely on, invariably gives an extremely biased presentation of Arabs and Muslims.

President Obama and his government seem to be talking out of both sides of their mouths in discussing such actions as the San Bernardino shootings. They deplore the violence but emphasize the “Muslim terrorist” side to them, always bringing in federal anti-terrorism “task forces”. The Obama administration also seems to manage linking them to the availability of firearms, generally ignoring applicable laws violated. Just after the San Bernardino affair, and most likely tied to it, Virginia’s Democratic Attorney General Mark R. Herring abrogated concealed carry-firearms reciprocity with 25 States, claiming it was too dangerous to let licensed citizens of those States travel with their weapons in the Commonwealth.

Adding to the confusion over the San Bernadino shootings, INTELLIHUB (an online investigative site) stated December 6, 2015: “We now know that ATF [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives] investigators recovered police issued firearms from the alleged shooters. This key detail was leaked by 2016 GOP Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina during a press interview after she had overheard a newsroom report that doesn’t fit the official narrative.”

A vehicle used by Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook following the San Bernardino attacks was riddled with bullet holes

“We also know that active shooter drills actually took place near the crime scene just days before and possibly even on the same day of the mass shooting…”, INTELIHUB reported. [However the Los Angeles Times stated December 2, 2015 that the Inland Regional Center conducts shooter drills monthly and that the people there thought the gunfire and police were part of the program.] INTELLIHUB added: “Additionally details from an eyewitness, [Sally Abdelmageed, an employee at the Inland Regional Center], who came forth on the day of the shooting, may have been overlooked by investigators and suggested that there were actually ‘three white shooters’ instead of the radicalized husband and wife natural-born killer team portrayed in some mainline reports.”

On December 2, 2015, the 21st Century Wire noted that there were three masked assailants and asked, if so, how Farook and Malik could be visually identified. The Wire added that the later shootout was perfectly positioned for a news helicopter to transmit video showing the police blazing away with their latest military-style police gear. However, this did not happen. No images were available, except afterwards, not even photos of police moving the bodies of the alleged assailants from their vehicle, the Wire said. There was also no closed-circuit TV footage of the shooters as they entered the parking lot and then moved into the Center, the site asserted.

A very dead Syed Rizwan Farook

Additionally, according to the site, “the speed at which so many paramilitary, police, and EMS assets were mobilized…was unprecedented.” Continuing, the Wire reported “Police announced that they had an armed response on site in only 4 minutes from their first emergency call, and managed to triage and then transport the first victims to medical facilities in only 15 minutes.”

The Wire said that “Within 90 minutes of the alleged ‘active shooter’ situation at Inland Regional, at least 12 different agencies were mobilized, including over 500 armed agents, at least 300 vehicles, over 1,000 personnel, 5 SWAT teams 3 helicopters, 3 mobile command centers, 10 armored MPRAP [sic—an MRAP is a mine-resistant ambush protected] vehicles, bomb squads with ‘tactical robots’ being dispatched.”

The body of Tashfeen Malik lies beside their vehicle

That’s a lot of people and hardware, even if, as the Wire said, there were two other shooter drills in the area, one on South Waterman Avenue, and one two days before at Victor Valley College Library.

The 21st Century Wire further noted that ATF and FBI agents began armed door to door searches of all houses in the vicinity of the SUV shooting scene. (No mention was made of whether warrants were used in those actions.) One TV anchor, the Wire added, claimed that “San Bernadino is now under Martial Law”. Further, the Wire asserted, many news outlets, including “the Israeli-run site Vocativ”, claimed that the San Bernadino event was an “ISIS attack on American soil”.

John Rappoport recounted in on November 21, 2015: “Whether mass shootings are approached as the mainstream reports them, or as false flags, staged scenarios, or outright hoaxes, there is a common thread which runs through some of them: official training exercises held just prior to, or at the same time as, the shootings.” As examples, he cited:

• The November 13, 2015, Paris attacks
• The Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting, June 17, 2015
• Boston Marathon attack, April 15, 2013
• Sandy Hook school shooting, December 14, 2012
• The July 20, 2012, Aurora, Colorado, “Batman” shooting
• The Oslo bombing/shooting attack, July 22, 2011
• The 7/7/2005 bomb attacks on the London underground
• 9/11/01 attacks on [World] Trade Center and the Pentagon

As Rappoport asks, what are the odds of this happening so frequently?

Other possibilities, as the 21st Century Wire suggests, would be to use mass shootings by “crazed Muslims” to whip up popular support for Barack Obama’s sending more soldiers, sailors, and Marines into the Middle East. This would end the ISIL “threat” once and for all. There would be the added political advantage of the alleged “indecisive” Obama acting “presidential” and more warlike.

Then there is the suggestion, advanced by a number of observers, that these mass shootings (although actually few in number) can be used to disarm the American people, just as was done in Australia and Great Britain. Certainly, rich and well-connected people like Michael Bloomberg and George Soros are funding anti-gun programs. The Obama Administration has a definite problem with the American Constitution’s Bill of Rights: searches and seizures of letters, faxes, and emails as well as jailing people on secret evidence are but a few of his transgressions. He and his peeps know that many Americans do not revere the Bill of Rights. The all-news TV station RT recently ran a story about Yale University, with actors easily getting students there to sign a petition abolishing the First Amendment (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.)

It’s past time for all of us to ask the mainstream media some hard questions about why they don’t report what is really happening. And to give us some real, fact-based analysis of current events.

J. Michael Springmann

J. Michael Springmann, Esq.
J. Michael Springmann was a civil servant at the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration as well as a diplomat in the State Department’s Foreign Service, with postings to Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in Washington, D.C. The published author of several articles on national security themes, he is now an attorney in private practice in the Washington, D.C. area. In addition to a J.D. from American University in Washington, D.C., he holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in International Affairs from Georgetown University and Catholic University, both in the Nation’s Capital.

His articles have been published in Covert Action Quarterly, Unclassified, (the journal of the Association of National Security Alumni, essentially CIA and FBI veterans plus outsiders with expert knowledge of intelligence and foreign affairs), Global Research, Global Outlook, OpEdNews, The Public Record, and Foreign Policy Journal.

In June 2004, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee granted him its Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award.



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