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Thursday, December 17, 2015

The San Bernardino Massacre Mystery

Ever since the despicable Alex Jonesians starting spewing hooey about "crisis actors" at Sandy Hook, I have hesitated to discuss oddball claims involving mass shootings. Whenever these events happen, the most repellent elements of the conspiratard subculture shriek for attention.

But the San Bernardino tragedy has given rise to some genuine enigmas, so I have decided to take the risk of venturing into WeirdoLand.

We've all heard that only two people committed this crime -- Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik. But now we learn of a third man, a next-door neighbor named Enrique Marquez, described as "a long-time friend and former neighbor of gunman Syed Rizwan Farook."
Investigators have said Marquez bought the two assault rifles three years ago that wound up being used in the shooting.

Officials say Marquez has told them he did it as a favor, so that Farook would not have to go through a background check or be on record as the purchaser. Authorities say Marquez has told the FBI that he and Farook talked about conducting some kind of attack in 2010 but called it off after unrelated terrorism arrests in southern California.
An LAT story says that Farook introduced Marquez to Islam. Marquez is 24, so he would have been just 19 in 2010. This neighbor was a small, geeky guy with big glasses who hoped to join the Navy despite his jihadist beliefs.
According to the affidavit, the two met a decade ago when Marquez moved to Riverside. Farook introduced Marquez, his next-door neighbor, to Islam, and, in 2007, Marquez converted. Farook later introduced Marquez to radical Islamic ideology, which included expressing disdain towards Muslims in the U.S. military who killed other Muslims, as well as discussing the extremist views of the now-deceased imam and Islamic lecturer Anwar Awlaki.

Over the next few years, Farook provided Marquez with radical Islamic materials, and by 2011, Marquez spent most of his time at Farook’s residence listening to lectures and watching videos involving radical Islamic content, the affidavit alleges.
Much of this new information contradicts the narrative we've heard previously. Before today, we were told that Syed was a quietly religious, non-violent Muslim until he was radicalized by his wife Tashfeen, whom he met overseas in early 2014. Apparently, they chatted on the internet for some time before actually meeting.

Now we are told that Syed had become attracted to terrorism as early as 2010. If so, he surely would have talked about jihad during his online chats with Tashfeen. Such conversations must have come to the attention of the NSA, which collects everything (as in everything) and possesses software that looks for keywords. 

Tashfeen lived overseas, in the adopted home country of Osama Bin Laden. Since she was a foreign national, her electronic communications were not protected by our Constitution or by the "minimization" requirements of FISA. The NSA would have considered her fair game. An American Muslim talking to a Pakistani Muslim about jihad should have been a legitimate target for eavesdropping.

The above-linked LAT story says that Syed was a devoted reader of Inspire, a slick pro-Al Qaeda online magazine which offers mostly recycled material. The Iranians are not the only ones who consider that publication to be a "honeytrap" created by American intelligence. It is well-known that at least one pdf issue of Inspire contained a computer virus, which was obviously designed to allow spooks to track the readership.

One of those readers, it seems, was Syed Farook.

My point is simple: Syed's online activities should have had sirens wailing and warning lights flashing. So why wasn't he placed on the "no fly" list? Why was Tashfeen allowed to enter this country?

The whole point of living in an Orwellian surveillance state is that we're supposed to be able to spot people like Syed and Tashfeen and Enrique before they do something insane.

More strangeness.  No less than three separate witnesses have said that the shooters were a trio of large white men. Syed and Tashfeen were both dark-complected and small, and only one was male.

Please do not give me the standard lecture about the untrustworthiness of eyewitness testimony: I've already heard that lecture plenty of times, thank you very much. A long time ago, I noticed that the folks who like to give me that lecture usually make exceptions for eyewitnesses whose testimony aids the Establishment scenario: Go to hell, Ed Hoffman; glad to meet you, Howard Brennan. (Don't know the names? Google is your friend.)

The "three shooters" witnesses all tell the same story, and thus are not easy to dismiss.
Several eyewitnesses and family of witnesses and victims initially said that three athletic Caucasian men had been responsible for carrying out the attacks. Police immediately banned them from speaking with the media.

Just days ago, another eye-witness in the office came forward and said that in spite of what the law enforcement and mainstream media narrative is saying, the people who carried out the attack where very athletic, large, Caucasian men, who were three – not two – in number. Farook’s wife, it should be remembered weighed approximately 90lbs.

Now, a third prominent eye-witness, Chirs Nwadike, has stepped up to challenge the mainstream narrative. He recently told reporters he received a phone call from an unknown person around 7 p.m., on the evening of the shooting, who told him that he must say that Sayd Farook was the shooter.

You read that right, he says that he was called and told to change his story and say that Farook carried out the attacks with his wife, even though that is very different than what he witnessed.

Nwadike told reporters:

“No it’s not him [Sayd]. I told them about it. He’s quiet. He doesn’t make any trouble.”

“He was just spraying bullets everywhere,” Nwadike said. But the gunman was not Sayd, or his wife.
And the strangeness never stops. See here:
The only eyewitness identifications that I can find speak of three white men.

I looked at several published timelines of the shootings. You can, too. Search for “timeline,” “Farook,” “San Bernardino.” No victim identified the two suspects immediately after the shootings, which had ended by the time the police and firefighters arrived at 11:05 a.m. The police had no clues regarding Farook and his wife. The two were shot in a firefight at 3 p.m. They were in a black SUV . . . four hours after the attack.

Four hours. What were they doing during this time? Where were they?

The New York Daily News reported this: “The suspects had escaped the blood-spattered murder scene without swapping a single gunshot with the horde of law enforcement descending on the center, a social services facility for people with developmental disabilities.”

The SUV was spotted four hours later, two miles from the crime scene. How did the police find this SUV? The Daily News says only this: “a tip.”

Think about this. Two people shoot 35 people, and escape unnoticed the police. They then disappear for four hours. Then “a tip” informs the police of their whereabouts: two miles away from the crime scene.
Just before the shootout with the cops, that SUV was flashing its headlights as it drove down the street (as captured on video here). I wonder why?

(The last link goes to the Unz Review. From the comments: "Here we go again. Tower 7 was imploded by Halliburton and a hand held rocket launcher brought down that TWA flight...." Once again, we see the dangers of "conspiracy culture": Garbage theories make legitimate questions seem ridiculous.)

Although I hesitate to bring the matter up, I can't help mentioning the North Carolina angle, as covered by the Washington Post and this Gawker story. In short and in sum: A bizarre Army exercise took place in North Carolina at the exact same time of the shooting in southern California.
As news of the San Bernardino shooting broke, three soldiers dressed in plain clothes decided it was the right time to start touring North Carolina elementary schools, asking “suspicious” questions and generally freaking everyone out.

It’s a weird story: The men were apparently in the area on official Army business—except no one could confirm it at the time, and officials were never warned in accordance with normal procedure. That oversight, it seems, may have been because the men were never authorized to visit the elementary schools—a vaguely unsettling choice they made “on their own initiative.”
The men said that they were from Fort Bragg. So far, no mainstream account of this story has seen fit to mention that Fort Bragg is home of the 4th Psychological Operations Group -- the Army's only active PSYOPS team.
Eventually officials were able to confirm the men were part of “an official exercise that deployed teams to gather information in preparation for major disasters including military incidents, hurricane and flooding disasters, and locating food banks and shelter locations.” Except—elementary schools were decidedly not part of the investigation.
A truly paranoid person might note that these three strange school visitors in NC resemble the descriptions we've heard of the "real" San Berdoo shooters.

A truly paranoid person might even go so far as to speculate that two separate teams were poised to go into action on the same day.

A truly paranoid person would note that there was another training exercise in San Bernardino that day: A SWAT team just happened to be conducting a drill not far from the massacre site.

Yes, a truly paranoid person could use this raw material to cobble together a few very wild scenarios. Fortunately, there are limits to my tolerance for that kind of paranoia: Our culture provides a built-in safety mechanism which prevents me from venturing too deeply into WeirdoLand.

Y'see, every time I begin to research these incidents in any depth, I encounter stories like this one...
How blatant do these staged shootings have to get before people wake up and realize it’s all a tragic manipulation of public emotions in order to confiscate guns from private citizens and unleash an Obama totalitarian regime that will soon be handed off to Hillary Clinton for the “full tyranny” crackdown?
Oy. My aching back.

And that's it and that's it and that's it. I probably won't post again about the mysteries of San Bernardino, unless there is a major new development. The stench of crazy is too damned strong.

Farewell, WeirdoLand. Back to writing about Syria!
I read a report early on that said that very early on, perhaps in a 911 call, someone from the IRC told the police that Farook was a shooter, and that was what led them to stake out the house in Redlands. Now I don't see any of that.... But it sure would be interesting to follow the genesis of the identifying of Farook.

I'd think that a building like the IRC would have some security cameras. It would sure be nice to see some video of the shooters entering the building. It would be simple to count them then. Like I said in an earlier comment, the police spent a lot of time searching after they had shot the two suspects.

Doing ballistics on the shooters guns and the bullets taken from the victims would be very helpful as well. I haven't watched all the police press interviews, but is anyone asking about ballistics or security cameras? It doesn't seem like too much to ask given we aren't sure how many shooters there are.

Finally, how does a witness get told that he "must say" that so-and-so was the shooter, or that "there were two, not three." The only way to tell a witness what he "must say" is to threaten them with something. This is a free country. Or at least it was.

I was struck by the fact that Farook and Malik seemed to have no escape plan. It seems they used their own car to drive away from the massacre and then tried (why?) to go home, attracted attention of authorities by trying to drive past their home, and then after four hours they were still hanging around the crime scene. That makes no sense.

If they wanted to escape then at the very least they would switch cars. And they would drive away.

If Clinton gets elected expect a lot more of that nonsense.
I'm a little bewildered by your approach to situations like this, Joe. You do a fine job of highlighting the myriad inconsistencies or logical fallacies inherent to the official story, but then you do a complete 180 as soon as you come across a comment from someone you deem to be a whack-job.

You sort of remind me of an insecure high school student who loves to sing, but who won't join the choir because he's afraid everyone will call him gay. Maybe feigning skepticism about the alternative interpretation of these events is a form of self-preservation for you because you understand that anyone who sees through the psyops and announces as much will be considered a dissident once the next big attack happens. You know, the one with the mushroom cloud.
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Because I've been around, anon. Longer than you, probably. And I've seen the enormous harm that conspiracy culture has done to this country, as paranoids spiral into a game "can you top this?" We've reached a point where any accusation, however bizarre, seems credible -- because no-one cares about evidence or proof anymore. People care only for the rush they get from the latest tony absurdity.

Conspiracy culture is inherently fascist, even though everyone in it considers himself or herself to be anti-fascist. That's why I get readers who tell me they no longer believe in democracy. What happens when the majority of the country thinks that way?

Most conspiracists blame "the gummint" for all sins. Democracy is a form of "gummint." Thus, conspiracism (as a belief system) is itself a conspiracy designed to mislead people into giving up on the idea of democracy. Conspiracy theorists ARE the conspiracy.

Last time I spoke to John Judge, with whom I was not always on the friendliest of terms, I told him that -- even though he may well be right about a good many things -- his life was a failure, because he was the warm-up act for the very fascism he despised. I don't regret telling him that. Inadvertently, that's what he was.

Me too, I guess...
I don't think you are Joseph. Back around 2001, when I started delving head first into the world of conspiracy theory, it seemed most theories centered around certain "elements" within government, rather than the government itself. Or even entities ("elites") that were not actually part of government but had tremendous influence behind the scenes and were the ones who had "dirt" on key people to allow them to implement their schemes. Thanks to people like Alex Jones, and institutions like Fox News, it seems it's now just "the government" (any government, as you say) that is the manipulator. You see, for Libertarians (actually "wannabe's") the government is always the problem. Even though big money is everywhere, corporations have basically welded themselves onto our government, there is still this push that if only government weren't so controlling, we could all be living in a corporate run paradise of no taxes and private companies running all the services government used to but oh so much more efficiently. I don't really understand the naivety that makes people think like this, but there it is. From what I can tell, conspiracy culture was originally more about FIXING government rather than dismantling it. Heck is wasn't even "conspiracy" at all but more about the 4th estate being tenacious and not accepting government decrees as facts. Now, of course, government is the great villain.......except for the military arm. Which is arguably the most totalitarian and dangerous part of any government. Anyway, I hope you don't shy away from exploring these stories that don't make sense and have information that doesn't add up. You are so good at it and you manage to avoid wild theorizing. This is something that is so rare now as to be almost extinct. Please don't let it die because so much of the nations populace has lost its collective mind.
Your knee-jerk attacks on all things conspiracy is more of a cop out than a defensible position based on reason, if you ask me. The reason there is so much skepticism and mistrust of government is because we're bombarded with so much dishonesty and misinformation from those deemed to be "official" or "authorized" spokespeople for the establishment.

And you've said yourself that one of the empire's key tactics for undermining those who would expose their nefarious deeds is to poison the well, so to speak, by introducing into the conversation theories so far outside the bounds of reasonable thought as to thoroughly discredit the entire movement.

An example would be having someone infiltrate the 9/11 movement to advance the theory that the planes we clearly saw hit the buildings were actually holograms, or the all too familiar refrain of "jet fuel can't melt steel beams!" (which has itself become a meme to discredit anyone who refuses to accept the official explanation). I'm sure in your years of research into the JKF assassination you've come across a virtual laundry list of bogus explanations and dead-end leads specifically introduced to confuse the issue and prevent the millions upon millions of people who know that the Warren Report was a white-wash job from ever being able to coalesce around a unifying explanation of the truth.

With the Iraq war, instead of ever dealing with the charges of lies surrounding WMDs and Iraq being involved in 9/11, the agents of empire instead accused anyone questioning the lies of supporting Saddam Hussein, and the corrupt media apparatus gladly played along.

Democracy would be the antidote to these conspiracies and crimes, but unfortunately for those of us who rely on democracy the powers-that-be have very thoroughly managed to corrupt ever institution we'd need to rely upon to maintain an actual, functioning democracy. When they murdered JFK they took our democracy away and they haven't given it back yet, Joe. And they don't plan to, which is why we're either going to need to take it back or we'll lose the country forever.

And if all the skeptics we count on to shine light upon the crimes and misdeeds of our government are as hesitant as you are to call a spade a spade, then we're completely fucked.
This HuffPo article didn't help my insomnia last night: Apparently it was Marquez who called 911 on Farook and Malik. Then I read your San Bernardino post early this morning, Joseph, and that kept the mental wheels spinning.

I'm always skeptical of the "false flag" theories out there, most of which are ridiculous stretches, e.g., Sandy Hook, *but* I know there have been prominent operations of that sort through history that were revealed after the events they promoted were underway or over. Then there's the "fall guy" factor, e.g., Lee Harvey Oswald, and this San B mess reminds me of that. The accounts of the three big white guys, then Marquez calls 911 to report that his tiny neighbors, Farook and Malik, were the shooters. Then he freaks out, goes to the hospital and gets involuntarily committed to the psych ward--conveniently out of the way.

My imagination spun it as perhaps Marquez is yet another FBI plant who befriended these two Muslims, played along to concoct terrorist schemes, provided the firepower to carry them out, then got out of the way. He called in the tip to 911 that allowed the police to quickly find and kill the shooters. Then he readily confessed in great detail to the authorities who are now prosecuting him. Might there be a Jack Ruby out there, or perhaps an accidental bad drug interaction to take him out? I know, active imagination.

Thing is, if this *were* an FBI sting, why wasn't the attack thwarted, to demonstrate how on top of things they are? And as you have said, if there were years of internet history of Farook communicating with jihadis, all presumably hovered up by the NSA, why wasn't that a tipoff? I'm with you: Don't want to go over the edge into conspiracy-land; but the way the information has been managed and doled out to the public reinforces my long-held opinion that part of business as usual is overloading the public with a jigsaw of mis-matched pieces, causing peoples' eyes to glaze over and their brains to take the easy way out--either tune into a different TV "reality show" or embrace a crazy, but simple-to-understand online conspiracy.
"I'm sure in your years of research into the JKF assassination you've come across a virtual laundry list of bogus explanations and dead-end leads specifically introduced to confuse the issue..."

My personal take on the assassination is fairly simple, and I've stated it before. JFK was not so much the victim of a conspiracy as he was the victim of a conspiracy theorist. The man who masterminded the plot was James Jesus Angleton, who sincerely believed that JFK was part of a communist conspiracy.

Let's talk about this AFTER you've read 1. Tom Mangold's "Cold Warrior," 2. The 2008 revision of John Newman's "Oswald and the CIA" (the new epilogue solves the case), and 3. Lisa Pease's piece on Angleton and the assassination (full version not online; sorry).

You should also look into the mischief that Angleton and his comrades got up to in the UK. Good books: "Smear" by Ramsey and Dorril, "The Wilson Plot" by Leigh and "Who Framed Colin Wallace?" by Foote.

Conspiracy theorists ARE the conspiracy. Maybe you'll understand that when you grow up.
Your position is like the Schroedinger's cat of conspiracy culture, somehow managing to be both meta and meaningless at the same time.
Too lazy to do the suggested reading, Jimmy? Your comment is meaningless, not mine.
San Bernardino reminds me of the inconsistencies around the Boston Marathon Bombing.

I don't believe "conspiracy theorists" think government is the problem. They think unaccountable, shadowy, powerful figures in government and out are the problem, and they're right, even if they get sucked into nonsensical theories.

Conspiracies are obviously real, as are false-flag attacks. There are some huge inconsistencies and questions raised by what happened in San Bernardino. Responsible, honest people have to investigate them.
The countercurrentnews article you link to and quote in blue badly misrepresents what Mr. Nwadike said in the video interview (at least from the clip I watched on youtube). Still love your work and blog, all the best to you, your lady-friend, and new beast, for the holidays.
I have to agree with Arbusto205: Nwadike doesn't say the shooter wasn't Farook, nor does he say someone called to command him to say it *was* Farook. He says someone called him to tell him the shooter had been identified as Farook, to which he expresses surprise (not disbelief). The idiot who flogged this into the inanosphere listened more to the voices inside his head telling him how bitchin' an investigator he was than to what the witness was actually saying.

Good litmus test: The interview was conducted by the LA Times. If it did indeed contain such an earth-shaking revelation, why wouldn't the Times have either (a) shouted it from the top of Griffith Park or (b) suppressed it, depending upon one's view of the LAT?
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