There’s still too much we don’t know about yesterday’s tragedy in Fort Lauderdale. (More)
We do know that a mentally-ill National Guard veteran flew from Anchorage to Fort Lauderdale with a handgun in his checked luggage and then opened fire in the baggage claim area, killing five and wounding eight.
We do know that his aunt in New Jersey said he “lost his mind” while on duty in Iraq, that he had been arrested and faced prosecution for attacking his girlfriend in Anchorage, and that he made some bizarre statements to the FBI back in November:
They say last November, he walked into the FBI’s office in Anchorage, Alaska, claiming that his mind was being controlled by the CIA and that it was forcing him to join ISIS. He appeared agitated and incoherent, and made disjointed statements – and although he said he didn’t wish to hurt anyone, agents were concerned by his erratic behavior and decided to call local authorities, a senior federal law enforcement official said.
Local police took him to a local medical facility for evaluation, and the FBI closed its assessment of Santiago after conducting database reviews, interagency checks and interviews with family members, the official said.
Contrary to the immediate howls on right-wing websites, we do not know that he had any link to ISIS specifically or Islam in general. He is a natural-born U.S. citizen who lived in Puerto Rico for much of his life. His brother described him as “spiritual,” but did not say what religion. And no, his bizarre statement to the FBI is not evidence that he was an ISIS mole … any more than it would be evidence that the CIA was beaming thoughts into his brain.
Contrary to the immediate howls on right-wing websites, we do not know that this tragedy could have been prevented “if the CIA and FBI focused on terrorism instead of Russian hacking.” (No, I won’t link to that rubbish.)
In short, we know that five people died and eight others were wounded and countless others were traumatized, because a man who had been evaluated for mental illness and arrested for domestic violence …
… was allowed to board a domestic airline flight with a gun in his checked luggage.
But let’s all ignore that last, crucial fact, because Second Amendment Uber Alles.
Photo Credit: Wilfredo Lee (AP)
Good day and good nuts