Archive for October 3, 2017

FULL MEASURE: October 1, 2017 – Bucking the System

October 3, 2017

FULL MEASURE: October 1, 2017 – Bucking the System via YouTube, posted on October 2, 2017

(Both parties in Congress are corrupt and seek their own benefits rather than ours.  Please see also, Republican donors seek out Steve Bannon. — DM)

Republican donors seek out Steve Bannon

October 3, 2017

Republican donors seek out Steve Bannon, Washington ExaminerDavid M. Drucker, October 3, 2017

Steve Bannon has begun meeting with Republican donors at their request, as party financiers in the wake of the Alabama special election attempt to learn what President Trump’s former chief strategist has planned for 2018.

Some GOP bundlers, in Washington this week for a Republican National Committee fundraiser, sought meetings with Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, to forge relationships and better understand his plans to target Republican incumbents in 2018 primaries.

Roy Moore, Bannon’s candidate in the Alabama GOP primary runoff, defeated appointed Sen. Luther Strange, who had the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. It was a major embarrassment for McConnell, and Bannon said he plans to replicate the effort in GOP primaries next year to weaken the majority leader and reshape the party in Trump’s populist image.

“It seems like McConnell’s star is fading and Bannon’s is rising. I wanted to break bread with the guy and figure out his thinking,” said Dan Eberhart, a Republican donor from Phoenix who was scheduled to meet with Bannon on Wednesday.

Republican donors are furious with Senate Republicans — many with McConnell specifically. They’re disappointed with the outcome in Alabama and angry that the Senate hasn’t passed legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.

That has some donors, who usually circulate in establishment circles, taking the measure of Bannon to prepare for the upheaval that many party insiders believe is coming in next year’s primaries — especially if Republicans fumble tax reform.

One Republican donor who has already met with Bannon said that he communicated his view that money isn’t as important in elections as it used to be.

The former White House chief strategist and CEO Of Trump’s presidential campaign believes he could help drive Republican challenger candidates to victory next year with the technological tools now available to campaigns.

If Republican donors remain unhappy with McConnell and the party’s senate campaign arm struggles for donations as a result, incumbent Republicans could suffer a loss of resources, possibly empowering Bannon in the primary campaigns he chooses to get involved in.

In the Tennessee GOP primary in the race to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker, Bannon likes Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., a Republican source who spoke with him said. Bannon did not respond to a Tuesday afternoon email requesting comment.

“I have had a lot of donors not wanting to give to national party,” a Republican fundraising consultant said, on condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly. “They are very upset that nothing is getting done in D.C. It goes both ways with that though. Some are mad at the far right Senators/Freedom caucus. Others are mad at McConnell. Overall, no donors are happy. If they are giving, they are giving to help the specific person calling, not the party.”

Pentagon severs all ties with SPLC, after using group’s training materials on “extremism”

October 3, 2017

Pentagon severs all ties with SPLC, after using group’s training materials on “extremism”, Jihad Watch

This is most welcome and long overdue. The SPLC’s training materials on “extremism” wouldn’t point the Defense Department toward jihad terrorists and Sharia supremacists, but toward foes of jihad terror and others that the SPLC classifies as “extremists” along with the likes of the KKK and neo-Nazis. This hard-Left moneymaking and incitement machine’s latest dossier on “Islamophobes” says: “Before you book a spokesperson from an anti-Muslim extremist group or quote them in a story, research their background — detailed in this in-depth guide to 15 of the most visible anti-Muslim activists — and consider the consequences of giving them a platform.”

The SPLC wishes to silence those who speak honestly about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, blaming us for a supposed rise in “Islamophobia.” If they really want to stamp out suspicion of Islam, of course, they will move against not us, but the likes of Omar Mateen, Syed Rizwan Farook, Tashfeen Malik, Nidal Malik Hasan, Mohammed Abdulazeez, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and the myriad other Muslims who commit violence in the name of Islam and justify it by reference to Islamic teachings.

The SPLC doesn’t do that because its objective is not really to stop “Islamophobia” at all, but to create the illusion of a powerful and moneyed network of “Islamophobes” whom can only be stopped if you write a check to the SPLC. That’s what this is really all about. It’s scandalous that the Pentagon ever took this seriously, and good that it has stopped.

“EXCLUSIVE: DOD Drops SPLC From Extremism Training Materials,” by Jonah Bennett, Daily Caller, October 2, 2017:

The Pentagon has officially severed all ties to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) after previously relying on the group’s training materials on extremism.

Brian J. Field, assistant U.S. attorney from the Civil Division, stated that the Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity removed any and all references to the SPLC in training materials used by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), in an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation from the Department of Justice.

The DEOMI is a DOD school founded to fight segregation and inequality that teaches courses in racial, gender and religious equality, among other subject areas like equal opportunity and pluralism. The courses are available to DOD civilians and service members.

As part of a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Immigration Reform Law Institute, Field wrote in the email sent in late September:

Additionally, the DEOMI office informed me that, based on a previous FOIA request, DEOMI records concerning, regarding, or related to the preparation and presentation of training materials on hate groups or hate crimes were forwarded … That 133-page document did reference the SPLC; however, based upon guidance from the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, all references to the SPLC have been removed from any current training.

Interestingly, DEOMI still makes use of materials on “Hate Symbols” from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a group similar to the SPLC. Students at DEOMI use the Hate Symbols reference on the ADL site to “learn more about gang colors or clothing; hate group tattoos and body markings associated with such gangs.”

As a matter of policy, the DOD does not have an official list of hate groups….

In February, The Daily Caller News Foundation published an exclusive piece indicating that the FBI, which formerly used the SPLC as a “hate crimes resource,” has also been distancing itself from the group….

When Marshall Met Pershing

October 3, 2017

When Marshall Met Pershing, War on the RocksOctober 3, 2017

(This is an inspiring story about military leaders who prefer to be told candidly what’s wrong than to be given disingenuous false tales.

I served only in only the Chairborne JAG Corps about half a century ago, but still have fond memories of an 8th Army JAG colonel who advised the 8th Army commander on legal matters. Colonel Friedman had submitted a memo to the CG affirming the consistency of an 8th Army regulation with Army regulations. I, a young captain, wrote and gave Colonel Friedman a memo demonstrating that he had been wrong. He agreed, took it to the 8th Army CG and the regulation was changed as I had indicated it needed to be.– DM)

Golden Gate NRA, Park Archives/U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center

As Bradley would later note of Marshall’s apprenticeship under Pershing: “Few junior officers in the history of the U.S. Army had ever had … so much high-level exposure and responsibility for so long a period. Few gained so much in terms of personal and professional growth.” Marshall’s relationship with Pershing marked him for high command, and Pershing’s loyalty to and support for his former aide would prove critical in the years to come.

This relationship might never have come to fruition if not for Marshall’s moral courage in challenging the intimidating AEF Commander one hundred years ago today. Yet of at least equal importance was Pershing’s ability to appreciate and productively channel dissent. History is replete with military officers who spoke their minds freely but were squelched by intolerant senior officers or an entrenched military bureaucracy uninterested in heterodox or innovative ideas.

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Today marks the 100th anniversary of one of the key moments leading to the Allied victory over the Axis powers in World War II.

Don’t worry, your math is not wrong.

Oct. 3, 1917, is the centennial of General John J. Pershing’s inspection of the 1st Infantry Division at Gondrecourt, France. This obscure event would not only have significant repercussions for the American effort in the next world war, but also offer lessons for leadership development in the U.S. military a century later.

When Pershing assumed command of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), which was created and deployed to France after the United States entered World War I in April 1917, he essentially had to create and organize an army from scratch. In the spring of 1917 no U.S. divisions existed anywhere but on paper. Moreover, upon arriving in France, Pershing was constantly pressured by British leaders to relinquish his troops and integrate them into the British Army. He needed combat-ready forces to strengthen his hand in this debate and prevent the AEF from being stillborn. With few other units yet to reach France, Pershing took an inordinate interest in the summer and fall of 1917 in the first American unit to arrive, the 1st Division.

As the division conducted training in Lorraine, Pershing frequently visited its headquarters on short notice to check on its progress. A previous review with French President Raymond Poincaré on Sept. 6, 1917, was a disaster, and Pershing took out his frustration on the 1st Division’s commander, Major General William L. Sibert. Pershing inspected the 1st Division again on Oct. 3, this time at Gondrecourt to watch a demonstration of a new method for attacking an entrenched enemy. After the demonstration, Pershing called upon Sibert for a critique. Although Sibert possessed a brilliant record as an engineer, he had little experience with infantry tactics and had only witnessed the demonstration for the first time alongside Pershing. Consequently, his comments were halting and confused.

Pershing then called upon two other staff officers whose responses were also unsatisfactory. The general erupted and “just gave everybody hell,” particularly Sibert, whom he dressed down in front of his own officers. The division showed little for the time it had spent in training, Pershing snapped. They had not made good use of the time, and had not followed instructions from AEF headquarters at Chaumont regarding open warfare formations. Pershing excoriated Sibert, questioning his leadership, his attention to details in training, and his acceptance of such poor professionalism.

The 1st Division staff felt a possessive affection for their commander, and as Pershing turned to leave, the tall major who had been serving as acting chief of staff spoke up, angrily protesting Pershing’s unfairness. Pershing was in no mood to listen and began to walk away. Suddenly, he felt the major’s hand grabbing his arm.

“General Pershing,” the major said, “there’s something to be said here and I think I should say it because I’ve been here the longest.”

Pershing turned back and gave the impertinent young officer a cold, appraising glance. “What have you got to say?”

A torrent of facts poured forth: the promised platoon manuals that never arrived and had set back training; the inadequate supplies that left men walking around with gunnysacks on their feet; the inadequate quarters that left troops scattered throughout the countryside, sleeping in barns for a penny a night; the lack of motor transport that forced troops to walk miles to the training grounds. Finally, the deluge subsided.

Pershing looked at the major and calmly said: “You must appreciate the troubles we have.”

The major replied, “Yes, I know you do, General, I know you do. But ours are immediate and every day and have to be solved before night.”

General Pershing eyed the major narrowly and then turned to leave, the 1st Division staff looking nervously at the ground in stunned silence. After a while, Sibert gratefully told Major George C. Marshall that he should not have stuck his neck out on his account, and the rest of the staff predicted that Marshall’s military career was finished. Marshall shrugged off his friends’ condolences, saying: “All I can see is that I may get troop duty instead of staff duty, and certainly that would be a great success.”

Yet no retribution for the incident ever came. Instead, whenever the AEF commander visited 1st Division from Chaumont, he would find a moment to pull Marshall aside to ask how things were really going. Pershing had finally found an officer who would tell him the unvarnished truth rather than gloss over inadequacies. Marshall eventually received orders transferring him to the AEF General Staff to work under Colonel Fox Conner, the head of the AEF’s Operations section. Together, they would form the core of the group that planned the two great U.S. offensives of the war — Saint Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne. Pershing was impressed, and after the Armistice asked Marshall to become his aide.

After the victory parades and celebrations of 1919 faded, Marshall began an apprenticeship that would not only broaden his horizons, but also indelibly shape the leadership of American forces in World War II. Although military historians still debate how the Allies were able to defeat the Axis powers in World War II, Marshall’s efforts as Chief of Staff beginning in 1939 directly contributed to each plausible theory. More specifically, Marshall’s contributions under each explanation can be traced back to his experiences serving with Pershing during the five-plus years after World War I.

Some historians argue that the Allied victory was primarily due to U.S. commanders who displayed “aggressive and determined leadership.” If so, much of the credit for these commanders’ success belongs to Marshall, who as Chief of Staff selected or approved all army and corps commanders. However, this process began when Pershing became Chief of Staff of the Army in 1921 and Marshall was installed in an office near his chief in the State, War, and Navy Building. As other staff officers who had been with Pershing in France moved on to other assignments, Marshall became increasingly important, and Pershing sent many proposed letters, draft reports, and staff recommendations to him for comment. Reading the flow of paper in and out of the office, Marshall eventually became familiar with the entire army establishment. In the fall of 1921, he served on a board investigating the alleged inequities of the Army’s single-list promotion system. Examining the service records of hundreds of officers gave him detailed background on the careers of many men who would later serve under him.

More importantly, perhaps, Marshall served as a mentor to many of the generals who served under him over the next two decades, including Omar Bradley, Matthew Ridgway, and Joe Collins. Bradley stated that, “No man had a greater influence on me personally or professionally” than Marshall. One hundred and fifty future generals attended the Infantry School at Fort Benning during Marshall’s tenure as assistant commandant, with another 50 serving on the faculty under his direction.

Other historians cite the American infantry’s ability to adapt to the battlefield as the key to victory. Peter Mansoor, for example, argues in The GI Offensive in Europe that the U.S. Army “accomplished its mission in Western Europe because it evolved over time into a more combat-effective force that Germany could sustain on the battlefield.” Again, Marshall deserves a share of the credit under this theory, thanks to his efforts from 1927-1932 to revolutionize the training of company grade officers at the Infantry School. And again, the origins of Marshall’s efforts can be traced back to his years with Pershing.

After World War I, Pershing sought to lay the foundation for fighting a future war by establishing boards to evaluate the lessons offered by the AEF’s experience. Marshall was put to work sifting through the reports of these boards and the records of the AEF. He set down these lessons in the January 1921 issue of the Infantry Journal, warning of the dangers of divided command, of reliance on textbook tactics, and of assuming the next war would be the same tactically as the last one. He also noted that quick thinking and quick action were more important than proper order formats:

Many orders, models in their form, failed to reach the troop in time to affect their actions, and many apparently crude and fragmentary instructions did reach front-line commanders in time to enable the purpose of the higher command to be carried out on the battlefield.

Marshall disseminated these lessons as assistant commandant of the Infantry School,  warning students that an officer “must be prepared to take prompt and decisive action in spite of the scarcity or total absence of reliable information. He must learn that in war, the abnormal is normal and that uncertainty is certain.” Indeed, even historian Jorg Muth, who is highly critical of professional military education and leadership development in the interwar Army, concludes: “The only highlight of the U.S. Army’s educational system in the first decades of the twentieth century was the Infantry School and then only when George C. Marshall was the assistant commander.”

Conversely, Martin Van Crevald in Fighting Power argues, “The American officer corps of World War II was less than mediocre.” Although few historians go quite to that extreme in disparaging the U.S. Army’s performance, others such as Russell Weigley argue that America’s materiel preponderance in terms of weapons systems and munitions deliverable to the front lines ultimately mattered more than battlefield effectiveness. Once again, Marshall’s understanding of mobilization and logistical issues can be traced to the early post-war years. In December 1919, Secretary of War Newton Baker sent Pershing — with Marshall and his other staff accompanying him — on a national tour of army camps and war plants to recommend those to be retained in the post-war drawdown. By the end of the inspection tour, Pershing knew more about the Army than anyone else, knowledge that was almost completely shared by Marshall.

Moreover, Marshall’s time in Washington gave him essential experience in dealing with the nation’s civilian leaders. He dealt with congressmen on the two military affairs committees, rubbed shoulders with the secretary of war, and briefed Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Despite his personal aloofness from partisan politics, he came to understand politics and politicians far better than most military men. This skill would prove critical two decades later when President Franklin D. Roosevelt needed a point man to convince a still-isolationist Congress of the urgency of mobilization before Pearl Harbor. Without Marshall’s credibility and skillful lobbying, followed by his herculean efforts to expand, train, and equip the army, transforming it from a constabulary force of 100,000 to an efficient eight million-man force, there would have been no materiel preponderance to fall back on when combat effectiveness fell short. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill would describe Marshall as “the Organizer of Victory,” and President Harry S. Truman would say of Marshall’s role as Army Chief of Staff: “Millions of Americans gave their country outstanding service … George C. Marshall gave it victory.”

This is not to argue that Marshall was solely responsible for the Allied victory or that he was infallible. To be sure, he made a number of errors in judgment: arguing against providing aid to England during the Blitz, promoting Lloyd Fredendall to a corps command (in which position Fredendall would fail badly during the North Africa campaign), and supporting an early invasion of France before U.S. forces could gain badly needed hardening in North Africa and Sicily. These mistakes show Marshall was human. Yet it is far from hagiography to acknowledge his critical role in the Allied war effort, or to recognize that if America owed an incalculable debt to Marshall for his leadership in the next world war, a significant portion of the interest would deservedly go to General John J. Pershing. As Bradley would later note of Marshall’s apprenticeship under Pershing: “Few junior officers in the history of the U.S. Army had ever had … so much high-level exposure and responsibility for so long a period. Few gained so much in terms of personal and professional growth.” Marshall’s relationship with Pershing marked him for high command, and Pershing’s loyalty to and support for his former aide would prove critical in the years to come.

This relationship might never have come to fruition if not for Marshall’s moral courage in challenging the intimidating AEF Commander one hundred years ago today. Yet of at least equal importance was Pershing’s ability to appreciate and productively channel dissent. History is replete with military officers who spoke their minds freely but were squelched by intolerant senior officers or an entrenched military bureaucracy uninterested in heterodox or innovative ideas. George Patton, for example, was repeatedly reprimanded for his outspokenness, and consequently spent the 1930s writing anachronistic treatises on the continuing importance of the horse cavalry in order to save his career. As Stephen P. Rosen notes in Winning the Next Warmilitary innovations are often stillborn without the top cover from a senior officer capable of giving subordinates space in which to flourish. Marshall was fortunate to find such leadership not only in Pershing, but again twenty years later when, as Assistant Chief of Staff of the Army, he dared to openly disagree with FDR’s pronouncements on mobilization in a 1938 Oval Office meeting. FDR, like Pershing before him, saw the value of Marshall’s frankness rather than insubordination.

In the wake of the controversies surrounding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the quality of American generalship has been called into serious question. In May 2007, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Yingling wrote that the “debacles” in Iraq “are not attributable to individual failures, but rather to a crisis in an entire institution: America’s general officers corps,” who “failed to prepare our armed forces for war.” In 2012, Thomas Ricks argued that, “To a shocking degree, the Army’s leadership ranks have become populated by mediocre officers placed in positions where they are likely to fail. Success goes unrewarded, and everything but the most extreme failure goes unpunished.”

Regardless of the merits of these critiques, the retention and development of junior officers for future strategic leadership is today a hotly debated topic amongst generals, former commanders, and academics — debates that formed the backdrop for the Obama administration’s uncompleted “Force of the Future” initiative. The centennial of the Marshall-Pershing confrontation offers a reminder that a key to developing strong leaders is to foster an environment in which openness and criticism are not only tolerated, but can be channeled to foster innovation.

Benjamin Runkle is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and has served as in the Defense Department, as a Director on the National Security Council, and as a Professional Staff Member on the House Armed Services Committee. He is current a Senior Policy Fellow with Artis International.

Chilling Video Shows Terror as Gunman Opens Fire

October 3, 2017

Good video, terrifying. Sure sounds like more than one gun. People are saying echo but the guns are shooting at same time and sometimes not. They don’t even sound the same. You can see bodies all over that field and it’s grass btw. People were risking their lives and carrying them off the field while the shooting was still going on.

 

 

Bodyguard Gives Harrowing Account of Benghazi Attack

October 3, 2017

Bodyguard Gives Harrowing Account of Benghazi Attack, Breitbart, October 3, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — A diplomatic security agent testified Monday that after militants stormed the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, he turned to U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was hiding in a safe room, and said, “When I die, you need to pick up my gun and keep fighting.”

Agent Scott Wickland was the government’s first witness in a trial of Ahmed Abu Khattala, a Libyan suspected of orchestrating the attack that killed the ambassador and three other Americans. Wickland took the stand and gave a harrowing account of how he tried without success to save the ambassador and Sean Patrick Smith, a State Department information management officer.

The smoke from weapons’ fire and explosions was so thick and black that it blinded the three. They dropped to the floor and crawled on their bellies, gasping for air. Wickland said he was trying to lead them to a bathroom where he could close the door and open a window.

“I was breathing through the last centimeter of air on the ground,” Wickland said. “I’m yelling, ‘Come on. We can make it. We’re going to the bathroom.’ Within 8 meters, they disappeared.”

Wickland kept yelling for them. He was feeling around on the floor through the toxic smoke, which made the lighted room darker than night.

“To this day, I don’t even know where they went. I was right next to them, and then that’s it,” Wickland said. “I had my hand on Ambassador Stevens. I could hear Sean shuffling.”

Twelve jurors and three alternates assembled for the opening day of one of the most significant terrorism prosecutions in recent years. Abu Khattala is being tried in U.S. District Court, a civilian court, at a time when the Trump administration has said terror suspects are better sent to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

During Wickland’s testimony, Abu Khattala hung an arm over his chair and held his chin, covered in a long, grayish white beard. He listened through earphones to an Arabic translation of the proceedings.

The opening testimony was aimed at turning the jury against the defendant, but his name was never mentioned throughout Wickland’s nearly three hours on the stand. He is expected to retake the stand on Tuesday.

An 18-count indictment against Abu Khattala arises from a burst of violence that began the night of Sept. 11, 2012. Stevens and Smith were killed in the first attack at the U.S. mission. Nearly eight hours later, two more Americans, contract security officers Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, died in a mortar attack on a CIA complex nearby

Abu Khattala, who appeared in court wearing a white shirt and dark pants, has pleaded not guilty to his charges, including murder of an internationally protected person, providing material support to terrorists and destroying U.S. property while causing death.

In his opening statement, defense attorney Jeffrey Robinson called Abu Khattala a “Libyan patriot” who fought on America’s side in the war against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. He said Abu Khattala didn’t mastermind the attack. The lawyer said the defendant simply went to the attack site because he heard there was a protest and wanted to see what was happening.

“He didn’t shoot anyone. He didn’t set any fires. He did not participate in the attacks,” Robinson said.

Robinson also said Abu Khattala was a deeply religious man who believes in conservative sharia law as outlined in the Quran. He reminded jurors that in America, people are not prosecuted because of their religious beliefs.

The prosecution gave a starkly different portrayal of the defendant. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Crabb said that when Abu Khattala’s hatred of America boiled over, he orchestrated the attacks and then triumphantly strode around the attack site carrying an AK-47.

Crabb said that later, the defendant told someone at his apartment: “I attacked the American Embassy” and would have killed more Americans that night if others had not intervened.

He said Abu Khattala “hates America with a vengeance.”

“He killed Ambassador Stevens — a man of peace.”

The trial is expected to last for weeks. Crabb said the prosecution would show the jury videos of the attack site and Abu Khattala’s phone records, which he said showed a spike in activity during the attacks. He said witnesses would include weapons and fire experts and a man named Ali, who was paid $7 million to befriend Abu Khattala and help U.S. forces capture him in Libya.

After he was captured, he was taken to a U.S. Navy ship that transported him to the United States. During the 12-day journey, he was first interrogated by intelligence personnel and then by FBI agents. Crabb said Abu Khattala told FBI agents that America was the “root of all the world’s problems.”

His defense lawyer said Abu Khattala cooperated aboard the ship and he “continued to deny, as he denies today, any participation in planning or masterminding the attack.”

Was Las Vegas a Jihad Attack?

October 3, 2017

Was Las Vegas a Jihad Attack? FrontPage MagazineRobert Spencer, October 3, 2017

(Please see also, Active Shooters at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas possibly at Harvest Festival. — DM)

 “The propaganda organs of ISIS such as Amaq exaggerate but do not falsely take credit for attacks mounted by other entities.”

In light of all this, it looks as if the Las Vegas massacre was likely a jihad attack. But since that doesn’t fit the establishment media narrative, or the agenda of all too many in law enforcement, don’t expect it to be announced forthrightly by any authorities anytime soon, if ever

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Memphis imam Yasir Qadhi said that the Las Vegas massacre was a manifestation of “white privilege.” Texas imam Omar Suleiman tweeted ridicule of ISIS’ claim of responsibility for the attack: “Breaking: ISIS claims responsibility for hurricane Harvey saying he became Muslim days before hitting Houston.”

They didn’t ridicule the ISIS claim, but unnamed U.S. officials did decisively dismiss it: Reuters reported that “two senior US officials said on Monday that there was no evidence that the shooter who killed at least 50 people in Las Vegas was tied to any international militant group….One of the two US officials discounted Islamic State’s claim of responsibility and said there was reason to believe that the shooter, whom police identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, had a history of psychological problems.”

The only one insisting that the Islamic State was responsible was the Islamic State itself. Its Amaq news agency initially announced: “The Las Vegas attack was carried out by a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried it out in response to calls to target states of the coalition. The Las Vegas attacker converted to Islam a few months ago.”

Then, after its initial claim was dismissed everywhere, the Islamic State doubled down, issuing an official communiqué identifying Paddock as “Abu Abd Abdulbar al-Ameriki.” Even after their claim was dismissed everywhere, they didn’t back away from it. They don’t seem to be afraid that Stephen Paddock will turn out to be a white supremacist neo-Nazi or some such. They don’t seem to be worried about being exposed as grandiose liars.

And historically, they haven’t been liars, at least when they claimed responsibility for jihad attacks. Islamic State expert Graeme Wood notes in The Atlantic that “the idea that the Islamic State simply scans the news in search of mass killings, then sends out press releases in hope of stealing glory, is false,” and that those who claim that ISIS is in the habit of taking credit for attacks it had nothing to do with “do not have a preponderance of prior examples on their side.” Contradicting Suleiman’s ridicule, Wood notes: “The Islamic State does not claim natural disasters. Its supporters rejoice in them, but they reserve their official media for intentional acts.”

This doesn’t mean that Wood accepts everything ISIS says at face value. He reports one false ISIS claim: “In June, a gambling addict shot up and torched the Resorts World casino in Manila, Philippines. The Islamic State claimed credit, with a dubious follow-up alleging that Jessie Javier Carlos, 42, converted to Islam some months before, without telling anyone. That explanation appears to be a total lie.”

Others, however, disagree. Sidney Jones, director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, said: “It’s very likely that the Resorts World was a terrorist operation.” Veryan Khan, editorial director and founder of Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC), added that the attack was not just a terror attack, but specifically an ISIS one, “at the very minimum sanctioned – if not directed – by the Islamic State.”

What’s more, Jones added: “It isn’t true that ISIS has a history of claiming others’ attacks as their own.” And Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside al-Qaeda and head of the International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research, likewise vouched for the general veracity of ISIS’ claims of responsibility: “The propaganda organs of ISIS such as Amaq exaggerate but do not falsely take credit for attacks mounted by other entities.”

While social media is abuzz with charges that only racist, bigoted “Islamophobes” are taking the Islamic State’s claim seriously, it should be noted that neither Jones nor Gunaratna have ever been accused of “Islamophobia,” and that both stated that the Islamic State was generally trustworthy in its claims of responsibility not in response to the Las Vegas attack, but back in July.

In light of all this, it looks as if the Las Vegas massacre was likely a jihad attack. But since that doesn’t fit the establishment media narrative, or the agenda of all too many in law enforcement, don’t expect it to be announced forthrightly by any authorities anytime soon, if ever.