A greater tragedy

In no way is this post meant to take way from the fact nearly 60 people died, hundreds more were injured, and thousands subjected to terror in Las Vegas Sunday night.  But after reading and watching this, I realized there is a much greater loss we’ve sustained as a nation:

FBI special agent Aaron Rouse said at a press conference Wednesday that the FBI has leads in the investigation of the Las Vegas shooting “all across the United States and all across the world.” …

“This is about informing on an investigation, this is about resolving an investigation, so specifics regarding any individual contact cannot be answered. You need us, you trust us, and the way we have that trust is by using good discretion about what we share.”

At that point I realized: “I DON’T trust the FBI.”  Or the Justice Department.  Or the Department of Homeland Security.  Not at all.  Not anymore.  And I’m certain I’m far from alone.

Isn’t it odd our investigators insisted within 12 hours of the attack that despite the terror organization’s repeated claims, the gunman had no connection to ISIS — but after more than several months and more than 100 witnesses testifying, the Senate Intelligence Committee is still clinging desperately to the idea the Trump campaign colluded with Russia somehow?  How can they be so sure in either case, unless it’s a predetermined outcome?  Isn’t it odd the FBI can remain tight-lipped about investigating Las Vegas, but leaks like a sieve when it comes to investigating a sitting president?  Isn’t it odd that last year the former Director of the FBI, James Comey, could read off what was in essence an indictment of Hillary Clinton and her team’s use of an unauthorized email server, and yet claim there was no need to press charges?  Isn’t it odd that despite conclusive evidence the IRS illegally discriminated against conservative political groups that former IRS official Lois Lerner won’t face any penalties?  Isn’t it odd that a man who boasted to employees on Capitol Hill about his ability to get people “worked over” in Pakistan was allowed to remain in charge of the Democratic National Committee’s information technology support? (And isn’t it odd how supportive–even threatening–the former DNC chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has been of Awan, considering he was in a position to know a lot of unpleasant secrets?)

It’s sad that in the wake of the worst mass shooting in American history I have no confidence our government will level with the public about what happened.  It’s sad that I believe the most sincere participation by concerned citizens in our process of governing is unlikely to produce the desired changes, because of the action of unknown, unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who thwart any attempt to “drain the swamp.”

What’s saddest is that being patriotic may soon mean choosing between country and government.  That’s what happens when the latter forfeits the public’s trust.

 

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Quote of the day

“The problem with trying to induce the benefits of nationhood onto Afghanistan is that there’s no nation there. Afghanistan is a more of a blank spot on the map where neighboring nations aren’t.” — Stephen Green, via Instapundit

Many Americans just can’t seem to understand that many people groups don’t want to live like us, and that our efforts to shape them that way is seen as aggression of the highest order.  One cannot make a state where there is no national identity. And for much of the Middle East and Central Asia, identity is found in family, kinsmen and tribe.  Lines drawn on a map by outsiders mean nothing, as the Pashtuns of both western Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan have shown.

Same is true of Iraq, an artificial conglomerate of Sunni, Shia and Kurds.  Left alone without Saddam as the heavy-handed glue to hold them together, the country would fragment and the Kurds would no longer be the largest ethnic group in the world without its own homeland.  While I was in Baghdad years ago, President Bush announced our mission had shifted from toppling Saddam to building a free, united and stable Iraq.  A quick wit on our team quickly turned that into a drawing on the wall, with the caption of “pick any two.”  That’s still the wisest assessment I’ve ever heard about that instance of mission creep.

Notwithstanding efforts to spread the Gospel, it’s time to let others live as they’ve chosen, and stop bringing so many of them here so we can do the same.