First – I was wrong. I wrote that I “have yet to hear insistence that Islam had nothing to do with it.” – and I hadn’t – but only because I didn’t dig further into the official statements by Cuomo, de Blasio, etc. We’re getting responses like:
Bomb experts will analyze the device and how it was made, according to CNN senior law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes.
“It could be somebody that has grievance against the US military, possibly the Marine Corps specifically, and have nothing to do with an overseas-inspired attack like ISIS. So it still could be terrorism without being international, without being al Qaeda or ISIS or another affiliated group.”
Even better, de Blasio:
During a press conference, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that there is no evidence that the explosion in Manhattan had any terror connection
Similar statements are being made, that it’s not certain it was terrorism, etc.
And it’s all bullshit.
I get it, if we don’t know, we don’t fucking know, but then the only four words we have to say are “we don’t know yet”. Meanwhile, there’s also no evidence it was white supremacists, the Amish Sepratist Front, or Leprechauns, but there damn well is reason to believe it had something to do with Islam.
Look, one major tell someone is bullshitting you is when they use a lot more words than are needed. They’re trying to hide something, talk around something, misdirect you from something, but more importantly, obscure something like a needle in a haystack and distance you from what they’re saying (it’s George Carlin, worth watching). Yes, we geeks are often accused of overspeaking when trying to be precise, and very smart people of “using big words to show off” – but there is a difference, in cadence, in feel when someone is bullshitting you (Aside – the Harry Frankfurt book “On Bullshit” is worth reading, and he also has an online essay).
In the above cases we get handed a bunch of words that are – sometimes only in the barest technicality (what counts as “evidence”?) – true, but intended to sell you a lie, minimize the problem, make you believe a falsehood.
I’ve been told “But they don’t know for sure so they can’t say it was terrorism” – much like the news is trying to slam Trump for saying “bombing” before the official statement was made. Again – bullshit. if they don’t know, those are the only three words they have to say. Every extra word in those statements, especially prepared ones, has a purpose – so look, again, at what they’re minimizing.
And how did Trump “know” it was a bombing? How did we figure it wasn’t a radicalized Mennonite?