Four dead in Chattanooga, and old questions return

(AP)

(AP)

Almost one month to the day from Dylann Roof’s killing spree, within hours of a Colorado jury returning guilty verdicts against James Holmes for killing 12 in a movie theater, another angry young man turned to mass, mindless violence, this time murdering four Marine recruiters in cold blood in Chattanooga before being shot and killed himself.

The names of the dead have not yet been made public. Once they are, they will be listed here.

UPDATE: The four Marine casualties have been identified as Lance Cpl. “Skip” Wells, from here in Marietta; Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan of Springfield, Mass.; Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt of Burke, N.C., and Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist of Polk, Wisc.

Sullivan

Thomas Sullivan

wells

Skip Wells

 

UPDATE II: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, seriously wounded in the attack, died overnight and became the fifth victim of the attack.

And in that interregnum after the carnage had ended, but before the shooter had been identified, a familiar dynamic played out: Toward whom would the angry eyes turn? Black Americans were hoping the gunman wouldn’t turn out to be black; Muslim-Americans were praying that he wasn’t Muslim; white militia groups were hoping that one of their own hadn’t taken things too seriously. Then the answer: The gunman was Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, a 24-year-old naturalized citizen from Kuwait.

Next came the string of all-too familiar questions that we now ask and answer by rote: Where had his life begun to go astray? What twisted motivation inspired such a twisted action? Where did he acquire the weapons? Search his computer; interview his family, review his records, get the answers. But those answers aren’t the real answers, because those also aren’t the real questions.

In the case of Abdulazeez, a malformed religious fanaticism appears to have played the role that white supremacy played in Roof’s case, that mental illness played for Holmes. Authorities are investigating whether he was a lone wolf acting out of sympathy for radical Islamic terrorists overseas, or whether the connection was direct and operational.

A direct connection would in many ways be less chilling, suggesting at least the hope and opportunity that potential killers in the future can be identified and tracked. The more likely answer is that no such direct connection exists, that Abdulazeez, like Roof, had been a silent consumer of extremist ideology until he chose for reasons of his own to act. A life looking for a cause, even if evil, to justify itself.

That kind of mass killer is almost impossible to predict, to stop, because the things that we would need to know occur in a place that we cannot penetrate. “The mind of man is capable of anything,” as Joseph Conrad wrote, and we live in an era in which violence once conceived is distressingly easy to turn into reality. The distance between thought and deed has been obliterated, and anger is in the air.

 

Reader Comments 0

2203 comments
bendedknee
bendedknee

This is who the second amendment protects with readily available firepower: 


"""US investigators reported Saturday that Abdulazeez had visited Jordan four times in the last 10 years, and during one of those visits traveled to Yemen. There is no chance that the killer - a naturalized American citizen whose real name may be Mohammed Youssuf Said – could have traveled to Yemen on a Jordanian passport “under the radar” of Jordanian intelligence, which may also have succeeded in recruiting him. And there is no way that Jordan’s GID would not have tipped off US intelligence and counter-terrorist authorities.

It is obvious that US law enforcement agencies, who claim to have found “no evidence that he had any contact with militants or militant groups,” know a lot more about the killer’s background than they admit and are feeding out tidbits slowly.""

Debka File 7/18/15

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

The Obama administration is scrambling to sell its Iran nuclear deal to the American people, but it keeps getting tripped up by its own words. One point that struck a nerve with many people is the fact that Iran can delay inspections of a suspected nuclear site by 24 days, allowing for the removal of any evidence of illicit activity.

On April 7, 2015, President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “under this deal, you will have anywhere, any time 24/7 access as it relates to the nuclear facilities that Iran has.”

Now, on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Secretary of State John Kerry said, “This is a term that, honestly, I never heard in the four years that we were negotiating. It was not on the table. There’s no such thing in arms control as any time, anywhere."

I know that it's a school yard cliche', but, dang...How do you know when this administration is lying?

(when their mouths are open, comes to mind)

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

From my family to yours, Eid Mubaraki!

Guess who?

LeninTime
LeninTime

@ivg 

Did it even matter the shooter made repeated trips to the Mideast and fit  a terrorist profile  before he paid for that AK-47?

**
Sort of like Djokar Tsarnaev's brother made very lengthy trips to war zones where the US has a stake, and the Charlie Hebdo killers did? 

Don't you think it's a little interesting that this young man apparently spent several months in Jordan, regional ally in the US's war on terror and the campaign to destabilize the regime of Bashar al Assad in Syria, in the past year?

Brosephus
Brosephus

@LeninTime 

"Don't you think it's a little interesting that this young man apparently spent several months in Jordan, regional ally in the US's war on terror and the campaign to destabilize the regime of Bashar al Assad in Syria, in the past year?"

Nope.  Do you realize how many Americans, young Americans travel to the ME for months and return home and not commit any such acts of violence like this? 

If you have the answers, I'm sure that the head of DHS would love to know how to spot the one that's going to commit violence.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Brosephus @LeninTime 
I don't pretend to have any answers at all and until more evidence comes to light, no one can say. But what is a fact is that there is a very clear pattern in these cases - true with an amazing degree of predictability - that the perpetrators of attacks against the home territory of Western powers involved in conflicts in war zones abroad, mostly in the Middle East (or Caucasus in the Tsarnaevs' case), turn out to have been on the radar of intelligence agencies and have recently had long stays in those countries in the months leading up to their attacks.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@LeninTime 

Initial reports have said the Chattanooga shooter wasn't on anyone's radar.  The father was investigated years ago, but not the kid.  There are hundreds of Americans traveling to that part of the world on a daily basis, so how does one determine who is the bad apple out of that group?

Contrary to popular belief, the government isn't tracking the comings and goings of every single person to such a degree that they'd know who is traveling there to do bad.  The government just doesn't have the manpower to do such.  If they're not on the foreign government's radar, then there's not much you can do unless someone phones in a tip on them.

That's just the reality of things.  This isn't some police state where the government interrogates you for hours on end when you come home to make sure your entire whereabouts and interactions are known.  American citizens have rights and those rights have to be respected.

[Edit]

I'm not trying to defend anything or anyone here.  I'm honestly curious as to what you or Ivg see or think could have or should have been done otherwise.  From my personal perspective, there's not much that could have been done without trampling someone's rights or freedoms at some point.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Brosephus @LeninTime 

This isn't some police state where...

***
Well, you might want to be a little cautious about that comforting assumption. It becomes more debatable every day.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Brosephus @LeninTime 

Sorry, but with the most vast surveillance system ever known now erected and in the advanced stages or implementation as we speak - a de facto 'turnkey' totalitarianism as it's been called - I'll simply have to disagree.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@LeninTime 

I'm sure you'd disagree, but you're still free to do so right without the government coming in and snatching you from your home, right?  Sounds totalitarian to me.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@YouLibs Get back to me when there is a legitimate call to arms.

You are simply giving this looney his fifteen minutes of fame.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@YouLibs 

Some people think everything should be fought against using arms.  No need to amplify the stupid though.  Let them wallow in their own filth.

bendedknee
bendedknee

"a well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state: on display in Chatanooga in all its glory as suplus verbage and insane mutterings by some clowns in wigs.


Did it even matter the shooter made repeated trips to the Mideast and fit  a terrorist profile  before he paid for that AK-47?Hope no one tried to infringe his rights or Dylan Roof' s rights.

goat diddler
goat diddler

Easy peasy...

Brown == terrorist

black == moocher/animal

YouLibs
YouLibs

@Bulls_3y3 @Brosephus


There are medications for people who are very sad on a day to day basis. Obamacare may cover them. 


Oh no, now I've made you even sadder.

Bulls_3y3
Bulls_3y3

@YouLibs  aren't you the poster who fought in Iraq for Wall-Street???

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@lvg It will be interesting, as this story unfolds, to see exactly what the feds already knew about the murderer and his family...and, failed to act?

fedup52
fedup52

@Bulls_3y3

If he fought in Iraq he fought for every body.  Including you maroon.

SFM_Scootter
SFM_Scootter

@lvg  I hope nobody tried to infringe on your rights either.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@lvg 

"did it even matter the shooter made repeated trips to the Mideast and fita terrorist profile"

So, what exactly is a terrorist profile?  Can you give me the complete description so I can apply that at work?

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Bulls_3y3 

"you're stealing bandwidth from your employer???  Sad, very sad"

For your information, I'm sitting on my a$$ at home in my own house.  So much for assuming, huh?  Dumbass... 

Some of the idiots here make this sooo easy.  LOL!!!

YouLibs
YouLibs

@Bulls_3y3 @YouLibs


Viet Nam. The guys in Iraq were on the Exxon/Mobil/ Haliburton/KBR team.


Same difference pretty much.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

fair point here:


http://www.eschatonblog.com/2015/07/evening-thread_18.html


Chuck Todd has tweeted or retweeted 4 negative things about Trump almost in a row, and the one inbetween was a reference to Vietnam POWs. I suppose this is normal for the objective journalist who hosts Meet the Press.

Obviously I don't have nice things to say about Trump, but that isn't my job description.

Bulls_3y3
Bulls_3y3

@Visual_Cortex we wouldn't expect anything less from a poster but Chuck & NBC is a different story...
  NBC deserves the bad ratings...

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

1,500 pickups, motorcycles and cars

Why, that's like .07% of the population of Florida. 

Well done, Slavery Empire advocates. Represent!

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

I wonder...IF the Chattanooga murdering camel humper were, let's say, a Southern Baptist...would the feds be investigating his church for possible KKK connections?

bendedknee
bendedknee

Young male  Muslims who travel to the Mideast returning and easily  buying Ak-47s to shoot and kill US soldiers who fought to contain Muslim fanatics-


Something is terribly wrong with that picture. Tell me the killer (whose name I will not honor) is part of a "well regulated militia" deserving second amendment protections??????????????????

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@lvg

Something is terribly wrong with that picture

Well, not if you're in the business of selling arms. Everything's going just fine and dandy from the NRA's perspective, isn't it?

bendedknee
bendedknee

@Visual_Cortex @lvg He was just exercising those constitutional rights Scalia and his henchmen on SCOTUS gave everyone including terrorists so gun sellers can make more money.

Peachs
Peachs

The Trump attack on McCain is interesting, and I am sure more thought out than we give him credit.  One thing America has turn into is a country of complainers. me included. Trump is capturing that tail wind.  There are people really mad over the VA, the way vets are treated and want someone to blame. Instead of being the positive and usually BS voice of change from a party that has absolutely nothing in the tank for imagination Trump has tapped what that crowd does best complain.  I think he has legs and he is also forcing the rest to that party to run from stupid where most to the votes are in the GOP. 

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@CherokeeCounty @Peachs I don't entirely agree.  In your first sentence..he's not telling the truth, he's just saying whatever he thinks will get him attention.  But I do agree with the rest of  your post.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@CherokeeCounty @Peachs

There's no way in the world he's going to apologize for offending Mexicans, or McCain, or anyone else.

Yeah, the more I think about this, the more defensible Trump probably believes his McCain remarks likely are.

I don't think it was necessarily premeditated to generate the kind of reaction it's received--I don't think Trump's anywhere near as smart as that (nor as smart as he claims to be, of course). But there's really not much downside to him standing by his statement.

Bulls_3y3
Bulls_3y3

@Peachs You gotta love the way NBC is running with the story, they're acting like a bitter lover...  FYI - NBC nightly news ran the Trump story first on Friday night followed by the Chattanooga shooting and then Iranian agreement...  Is Trump that important to America or is NBC just pushing their liberal agenda??? 

Cherokee51
Cherokee51

@Peachs 

I think you're correct.

Trump's whole schtick is that he's going to tell the truth, and offend a few people in both parties.  There's no way in the world he's going to apologize for offending Mexicans, or McCain, or anyone else.  And the Republican base, who've been told for years that they're victims of the liberals, and gays, and minorities, and the Muslim Kenyan in the White House, are going to love him for it.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Bulls_3y3 @Peachs

followed by the Chattanooga shooting 

Mass murders are pretty routine in America, given that y'all seem to think they're an acceptable by-product of FREEDOM via our glorious 2nd Amendment. 

Sure, you get real rightously angry when its a brown Muslim dude who's the shooter, but otherwise, that mass shooter, he's just a "troubled individual" and we can't possibly intrude on Jim Bob Billy-Jeff's right to own and wield a piece whenever and wherever he might care to, in order to make it any less likely that the next "troubled individual" mows down multiple Americans.

Ya reap what ya sow, pal.