December 16, 2015

Social Media and Terrorism

Much has been made lately about using social media to combat terrorism. What people say on their pages, and in their comments, and in their emails and what not can (and should) be used to identify potential terrorists, those radicals who would do us harm, we're told.

See, we coulda stopped that Muslim woman, that foreigner, from killing 14 people and wounding 22 in San Bernadino if only we had been paying attention to what she had been saying and looking at and who she had been talking to on Facebook. The fact that her fellow trigger puller, her husband, was born and raised right here in The Homeland, well, let's not talk about that.

Just like we won't talk about Scott Anthony Orton, known as 'Joseywhales' on multiple social media sites. He's an American, a white man from Washington State, and he's an honest-to-goodness terrorist, even though I suspect no Republican presidential candidate would agree with me on that.

Orton was arrested for making threats against employees of StemExpress, the biotech firm which gained fame and notoriety earlier this year when the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employees talking about baby parts came out. StemExpress is one of the companies on the receiving end of the aborted tissue, which is used by researchers for things like, you know, trying to cure cancer and find other ways to save lives, as opposed to the videos themselves which are used to inflame people like Orton, and the American terrorist who killed three people at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, and those aforementioned Republican presidential candidates.

Orton threatened people in California using social media from his terrorist base in Washington, saying things like:
The management of StemExpress should be taken by force and killed in the streets today.
Stop the death of innocents, Kill the killers.
Now you might think that's OK  -- I mean, what's a little free speech among friends, right?

How about this:
Kill StemExpress employees. I'll pay you for it.
StemExpress your lives don't matter nearly as much as your deaths do.
Or this:
The (specific person) of StemExpress is a death profiteer. The (specific person) of StemExpress should be hung by the neck using piano wire and propped up on the lawn in front of the building with a note attached.
Or this:
(Specific person) must die. End of story. If we as humanity accept her actions, we're to be judged in the harshest manner.
He had also threatened a specific Planned Parenthood employee. And another Fox Fanatic. And the FBI. And get this: the FBI has known about him, they admit, since 2009. That was when he sent threatening emails to the city council where he lives.
I am coming for you, creeps. You have committed crimes against freedom. You MUST be put out of office, permanently, and I loathe you for your deeds.
Guess who else he's threatened?
I'll pay $10,000 to whomever takes out Marilyn Mosby (the prosecutor in  Baltimore's Freddie Gray death-in-police-custody case).
 I'd pay to have a hit on Mosby. She needs to be taken out.
I'll pay ten thousand dollars to the one who fires the shot that takes out Marilyn Mosby. 
Or this one:
N----- Holder you are a dead man you are a dead man walking. We got us a dead man walking here. Dead man walking.
And then there are these:
WE NEED VIOLENCE AT 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVE!
Hey Barack ever seen a skull explode?
Hey Barack you should face a firing squad.
Hey Barack, you should hang by your neck until your feet stop kickin.
Everyone knew this guy was a terrorist. Fox certainly knew it, since he was a very active participant on their comment boards. Everyone knew he was threatening all kinds of people on multiple social media sites. Screen captures had been done, they'd been reported. For six years, this guy has been terrorizing American citizens, including FBI agents, a (black) prosecutor, the (black) Attorney General and the (black) President of the United States.

The argument can be made that this was just talk, he's not a real threat, he was just shooting his mouth off, I mean, does this guy even have $10K? Je Suis Charlie Hebdo, and all. It's just free speech.

When Orton appeared in court, the prosecutor asked that he be held without bail. Despite that request, and despite his history, he was released on an appearance bond and told to come back at the end of December.

After all, it's not like he had a Pakistani wife or anything.

If we're really going to use social media to combat terrorism, we need to open our eyes, accept the fact - and deal with the fact - that terrorism doesn't only come from outside our borders, and that it's not only radical Islamist jihadis that we need to worry about.

We ignore that at our continued peril.