Comment: We're re-running this article because today - Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 - marks the two-year anniversary of the San Bernardino mass shooting. Notice how many elements this bloody event had in common with US mass shootings that have occurred since then...


Bernardino shooting

'Hands up, don't shoot' - Employees at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, are marched out of buildings following the massacre that took place there on Wednesday December 2nd, 2015
Another day, another massacre of innocents in the US of A. 14 people were shot to death during a mass shooting on December 2nd at the Inland Regional Center in the city of San Bernardino, California, about 100km east of Los Angeles. Another 21 people were wounded in what was the worst mass shooting since the Sandy Hook massacre in December 2012.

Another turkey shoot

At 11am local time last Wednesday, masked gunmen - initially reported as a team of three - "dressed head-to-toe in black tactical gear and vests stuffed with ammunition magazines", entered one of the three main buildings on the site and made their way to the conference room, where staff for the county's Department of Public Health were enjoying a Christmas office party. From the moment they opened fire, the shooting reportedly lasted 5-8 minutes, during which the gunmen "never said a word" and fired about 75 rounds into the group of unarmed civilians, with eyewitnesses saying they paused only to reload their weapons.

The sight of heavily-armed police officers swarming the Regional Center was apparently so familiar to employees there that they initially thought they were witnessing "another active shooter drill". Indeed, according to the LA Times, active shooter drills take place there every "every month or so". Watch as employees remark upon how realistic this latest 'drill' appears, completely oblivious to the fact that some of their colleagues nearby have been shot to death:


The perpetrators also left behind "three pipe bombs, rigged-together" that they apparently intended to remotely detonate, but which failed to explode:

pipe bomb Bernardino
© CBS/CNN
A blurry photograph of a photograph shown on a screen at an initial press briefing after the mass shooting in San Bernardino. It allegedly shows three pipe-bombs connected to a detonator.
The gunmen then reportedly left the center in "an SUV with blacked-out windows." One witness, Glenn Willwerth, who runs a business across the street, said he saw such a vehicle - the only one in the parking lot - pull out "very calmly, very slowly" and drive off. Another witness, Sally Abdelmagee, an employee at the Inland Regional Center, described "three gunmen dressed exactly the same" to CBS News:


Note that she is clear about what she saw: three masked, tall, white, well-built men, dressed in identical military attire, vests stuffed with spare magazines, and carrying huge assault rifles. This fits with the earliest media reports...


...and with what other eyewitnesses saw:


And that was the end of the bloody drama, until, four hours later, something else happened. Allegedly working on a tip they had received about a Regional Center employee, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, leaving the office party following an argument with a colleague, San Bernardino police staked out his residence in the nearby Redlands suburb. As luck would have it, just as police arrived at his home at about 3pm "to set up a watch", an SUV matching the description of the one seen leaving the Regional Center approached the Farook residence, but then took off and the police gave chase.

In the "furious gunbattle" that ensued during the police chase, the occupants of the moving blacked-out SUV (which was rented in California, but apparently had Utah license plates) allegedly discharged a similar quantity of rounds as reported fired at the Regional Center. Dozens of police units caught up with, and at some point riddled, the SUV - with about 380 bullets.

The aftermath, but not the actual chase, was filmed by media helicopters. Media footage only picks up the scene after the SUV - shot-up with windows blown in and doors open - has come to a halt and the wide avenue is crawling with hundreds of police and other security personnel. A dead body - now presumed to be Farook's - is seen lying across the street from the SUV, apparently bleeding from a head wound. Did he run from the SUV, only to be shot at this point?

Farook SUV Bernardino

A body, believed to be that of 28-year-old Syed Farook, lying across the street from the shot-up SUV.
His hands appear to be bound at this point:

Farook SUV Bernardino
Here we can certainly see that his hands are bound:

Farook SUV Bernardino

The body of an alleged gunman at the Inland Regional Center, identified by police as Syed Farook, handcuffed across the street from a black SUV on San Bernardino Avenue
Later photographs and video stills show what appears to be the body of a woman next to the SUV, along with other materials taken from inside the vehicle, including what police said were more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition. The body of the person alleged to be Tashfeen Malik in the image below does not appear to match the eyewitnesses descriptions of the shooters at the Inland Regional Center: three large males in tactical gear. It also does not match the police description of Tashfeen Malik as the shooter at the Inland Regional Center, who was also said to be wearing black tactical gear. It can be clearly seen in the image below that the person is wearing either a short grey skirt or grey shorts.

Malik Bernardino SUV

A body on the ground, believed to be that of 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik, outside a black SUV on San Bernardino Avenue
Initial reports said that a third person, also in the SUV as it was pursued by police down San Bernardino Avenue, was arrested:


However, this report was updated to say that third this person was detained after being seen "running from the scene" where the pursuit ended. One wonders, of course, whether this third person was driving the SUV with the couple inside it. In any event, the authorities later said this suspect was not at all connected to the SUV, and thus - presumably - to the attack on the Regional Center. There has been no further update on what happened to this mystery suspect.

Meet Mr. & Mrs. Massacre

"Federal officials" were able to tell the Associated Press right away that four weapons were used in the Regional Center shooting - a .223-caliber DPMS Model A15 rifle, a Smith and Wesson M&P15 rifle, a handgun made by Llama, and a Smith and Wesson handgun - all of them "purchased legally four years ago"; the handguns supposedly by Farook himself, and the assault rifles by "an unknown third party." Farook apparently never told anyone about this because we later learn that no one who knew him ever saw him with a gun or express any interest in owning one. Meanwhile, another "anonymous law enforcement official" was telling the LA Times that Farook bought all four firearms at 'Annie's Get Your Gun', a firearms store in the city of Corona. The store's owner, however, has denied that the store sold them any weapons.

We were later told that the dead woman photographed next to the SUV was the second of just two shooters at the Regional Center. She was named as Tashfeen Malik, 27, the wife of Syed Farook. Right there we run into a couple of problems: 1.) numerous eyewitnesses reported seeing three gunmen do the deed, and 2.) Tashfeen Malik was a small South Asian woman, not a "tall, athletic, white male." As the family attorney points out in an interview with CNN (below), a 90lb (45kg) woman is not exactly a likely candidate for clinically killing numerous colleagues of her husband while carrying a 'huge' assault rifle, an automatic handgun, a vest full of ammunition magazines, and three pipe-bombs.

syed farook

Syed Farook, 28 years old, a 5-year public service employee, father to a 6-month-old daughter... and heavily-trained terrorist?
Beyond these mere physical feats of superhuman strength, Malik also apparently possessed multi-tasking superpowers. It was, we're told, she who first identified herself and her husband as the perpetrators by affiliating herself, via a Facebook post, with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the alleged leader of ISIS/Islamic State. Investigators, like the public, learned about this 'claim of responsibility' through media reports, which cited a "Facebook executive speaking on condition of anonymity because this person was not allowed under corporate policy to be quoted by name." This 'executive' claimed that Malik published a Facebook post under an alias account at 11am - i.e., during the Inland Regional Center attack - and then deleted her own message. We'll never be able to verify any of this this because the 'executive' said the account was then immediately removed by Facebook, even though the social media site could not have immediately known that Malik was the real person behind this alias account, nor that she was associated with the San Bernardino shooting. Malik was only publicly named as "the second shooter" many hours later, following the "gun-battle" on San Bernardino Avenue.

Speaking of social media, yet more "anonymous officials" also reported that the suspects "scrubbed" their regular social media accounts prior to the attack. Also, police said that after entering the young couple's apartment, they found the couples' cell phones, computers and other electronics destroyed. It seems strange that they would remove all digital traces of their involvement in a crime... only to claim responsibility for it - albeit in a convoluted manner - and while carrying it out.

If that wasn't confusing enough, more "law enforcement officials speaking to the press on condition of anonymity" in the immediate aftermath of the massacre stated that Farook had recently been "in touch by phone and through social media with more than one international terrorist group" - namely, al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) and al-Shabbab (al-Qaeda in Somalia).

In addition to the small arsenal investigators found in the shot-up black SUV, they also claim to have discovered "another huge arsenal - including nearly 5,000 rounds of ammunition, a dozen pipe bombs and hundreds of tools for making IEDs" at the couple's Redlands home. This was presumably all carted away by the time reporters for national and international media entered the home and broadcast its contents to the world, because weapons were not among them.

The Backstory

The 'press invasion' was a strange episode. A British Sunday Times 'journalist' claimed he entered by removing some of the boarding erected by police, with the elderly landlord's permission, who was with him when he did this. A swarm of press hounds then followed him inside. The landlord's story is that he was unable to prevent reporters from "rushing" him and entering into the apartment. There was apparently no law enforcement in sight prior to the press somehow getting into the apartment, but the landlord was subsequently "escorted from the premises in an unmarked car."

As reporters did live TV reports from inside the apartment and tweeted updates and photographs on their social media feeds, a 'furore' erupted over the 'ethics' of entering the couple's apartment in this way, with the reporters being accused of "ransacking" the apartment. However, it appears to us that they took photographs and video footage of the apartment as they found it.
Farook apartment photos

Those family photos aren't on the bathroom sink because journalists rifled through boxes and placed them there; they're there because they were placed there before the journalists entered the building.
We're left with a puzzling question: why would the perpetrators meticulously remove all digital traces of their involvement in a crime... only to leave ID cards on the coffee table, credit card bills on the counter, korans on the bed, and family photos on the bathroom sink? One tempting answer is that the apartment scene was arranged in this manner, and the media allowed in - against protocol - to broadcast it to the world and 'fill out the murderous couple's backstory'.

Natural Born Killers?

Little is known of the Saudi wife, but Syed Farook could not have been a more integrated American if he was caught fleeing the scene while stuffing his face with apple pie and waving the stars and stripes. An American citizen born in Chicago, Farook was a 5-year full-time city employee - a health and safety inspector - of the San Bernardino County Division of Environmental Health Services - with an $80,000 salary, and studying towards a Masters degree. Farook's brother served in the US Navy from 2003-2007. Farook's family said they last saw him on the previous Sunday for a family meal. Married about one year to his alleged accomplice, Farook dropped their 6-month-old daughter off at his mother's place that morning. All of which means, as one of the family attorneys put it, "Farook was living the American dream," which is to say; as regular and successful a life as anyone can muster in sunny Southern California these days.

The alleged shooters' family doesn't understand how the young couple could possibly be involved. Farhan Khan, who is married to Farook's sister, described his brother-in-law as follows:
"Couches, TV, kitchen. I mean, you know, a play area, a treadmill to run... He liked to work on cars. That was his hobby, to go buy a used car, work on it. He loved buying used Mustangs, fixing them, and then selling them."

"He was a normal person; as normal as you can imagine. A person who goes to work, comes back home, plays with the kid, eats dinner, sleeps. You know, a normal person."
The family's attorneys were equally stumped, describing their shared amazement with investigators about the couple's involvement to CNN:


Even the FBI is puzzled, with Director James Comey remarking:
"There's much about this that doesn't make sense, even to those of us who do this for a living."
The narrative now goes that Farook was in attendance at the office Christmas party in the conference room where the attack took place. He is alleged to have "stormed out after a dispute," then returned later with his wife, both of them dressed head-to-toe in tactical military gear and ammo magazines, and carrying assault rifles.

So, are we looking at one seriously disgruntled employee, who impulsively took revenge on his colleagues over some slight? This is extremely unlikely because there is consensus about the nature of this attack indicating a high degree of planning and sophistication.

The Fallout

In the immediate aftermath of these events, before investigators formally announced they would widen possible motives to Islamic terrorism, gun control measures went up before Congress: a law to ban gun sales to people on the US government no-fly terror watch list, and a law to expand background checks on gun sales. Both measures failed, narrowly. Meanwhile, other authority figures are calling for people to arm themselves, a new '24/7 gun shopping channel' was launched even as the event dominated headlines, and, predictably, gun sales have increased.

Note that the two narratives about such events - 'Islamic terrorism' and 'loner gone postal' - are combined in the San Bernardino massacre narrative. So Farook is at once a 'loner disgruntled employee' with too much access to guns, and a 'bearded jihadi with connections to avowed enemies of our freedoms'. Liberal Democrats like Hillary Clinton can utilize the 'gun control' narrative, while her Conservative Republican counterparts can blame 'those Muslims'. And vice versa; you're invited to pick and choose - it is a free country after all.
Farook terrorist headline
© New York Daily Post
They hate us for our freedoms, so they terrorize us from behind a mask of sanity
The common denominator is fear; fear that only The Authorities can assuage. Facts, evidence and due process no longer matter when the judicial process is trial-by-media and enforcers are free to execute people on the street. It doesn't matter whether the mass shooting is later found to have been motivated by something else entirely. Its purpose is to shock the American people, and Westerners in general who followed this globally mediatized event, in order to maintain the 'strategy of tension' and promote a generalized atmosphere of insecurity so that the Powers That Be can continue their criminality with impunity.
"You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security." 1
The above is testimony of convicted right-wing Italian neo-fascist and terrorist, Vincenzo Vinciguerra, stated in sworn testimony regarding the NATO/CIA-run terror campaign called Operation Gladio, which operated for decades in Europe. Governments and media at the time blamed the attacks on the official enemy of the day, the 'extreme left' and 'communists.' As Joe Quinn explains in this article, we're in a slightly different, re-branded, era now, so the narrative for these atrocities has changed, but the methods remain exactly the same.

This week, victims' relatives and survivors of gun violence will hold 265 vigils around the US, led by a ceremony in Washington, to remember the people killed since 14th December 2012, the day another team of gunmen murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. We're not even going to comment on that incident because it has become so riven with misinformation and disinformation, but we note the timing of its anniversary with this latest mass shooting.

Black Lives Matter

A protest in Chicago against police brutality, October 15th, 2015
Completely overlooked and blanked out as a result of this shooting are the dozens of protests going on in cities across the US right now against police brutality, a sadistic regime in itself, which has killed thousands (not hundreds) of people since December 2012.

As millions of upset and stressed-out Americans (and Westerners generally) continue to voice their discontent in myriad ways, consider that 'Black Lives Matter' protests are just one expression of this. Growing disparity between rich and poor (because the rich plunder from the poor) is another. 'Detroit' is all over the US now. San Bernardino, once a middle class 'All-America City', is now bankrupt and the poorest city of its size in California. As described in this recent LA Times article, San Bernardino is symbolic of America's worst urban woes, with "sub-par schools and potholed streets, high crime, slow police and fire response times, and trash and tumbleweeds that pile up against rusty chain-link fences."

Finally, this event must be placed in the context of US foreign policy. US interests abroad are inseparable from US interests at home. As some have already noted, the massacre in San Bernardino took place amid escalating geopolitical tensions over Syria, where US ally Turkey had just shot down a Russian bomber, and where the US and other allies are scrambling to retake the initiative from Russia, whose real efforts to target the gunmen massacring innocents in the Middle East has done serious damage to the credibility of America and its allies' claim to be "defending Western civilization from terrorism."

Still though, why?

Islamophobia
Why do this? What tangible goals can such a violent strategy ever hope to achieve? Putin's Russia can thwart some asymmetrical attacks against its interests and homeland, but what counter-strategy could possibly compete with one that is prepared to countenance the slaughter of its own in order to 'protect its own'? Here we come, as we often do, to the bottom line: trying to make sense of this horribly dystopian world is a futile endeavor, because as much as anyone can explain what's happening to our world, it is ultimately going to be driven off a cliff by fundamentally insane individuals.

No doubt they believe themselves to be exceptionally clever, periodically 'prodding' and 'culling' the herd in order to corral it in the direction of their liking. But as psychopathic individuals, they are incapable of realizing that their wishful thinking blinds them from seeing that 'the herd' kicks out in ways they don't anticipate. It's this wishful thinking on the part of the overlords that inspires revolutionaries and activists with hope that one such unexpected reaction may be that the world changes for the better.

Alas, with each subsequent terror attack, and each subsequent mass shooting, the masses - if they're even aware that an event has taken place - fall into confluence with the prevailing mood. And the prevailing mood is ripe with foreboding. Observe that large numbers of people around you now believe that Muslims are inherently evil. This, it seems to us, is the primary goal of those in power; to deflect the masses' ire onto a large segment of the human population, and thereby maintain their rule for all 'eternity'.

And so here we are, watching the re-establishment of totalitarianism through divide-and-conquer, only this time on a global scale and with far more efficient techno-gadgetry. People, being good Authoritarian Followers, will accept this state of affairs for a while, but in time the forces unleashed will result in food shortages, economic collapse and a host of other 'non-linear' effects, including significant environmental disruptions. When they experience real hunger for the first time, only then will people become truly angry at 'the injustice of it all'. Only then we will see 'the second coming'.
The Second Coming ~ William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Notes

1 Quoted in NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, Daniele Ganser, 2005