- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 13, 2005

Wednesday was the fifth anniversary of the bombing of the USS Cole. Seventeen American sailors were murdered in the attack. They were casualties of a war with radical Islamic terror that America hadn’t yet declared and that the mainstream media still refuses to acknowledge.

Too many of us were blind in 2000 — unable or unwilling or simply too uninterested to connect such blood-stained dots as al Qaeda’s 1993 World Trade Center bombing attack, the 1996 Khobar Tower bombings, the 1998 African embassy bombings, and the attack on the Cole. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon, we should have all had eyes opened wide to the evils of Muslim extremism that exist among us in both organized and freelance form. The watchdogs in the national press, however, insist on clouding our vision.

Since September 11, I have reported on the media’s reluctance to highlight the convicted D.C.-area snipers’ Islamist proclivities and journalists’ refusal to call Egyptian gunman Hesham Hadayet’s acts of murder at the Israeli airline counter at Los Angeles International Airport on July 4, 2002, “terrorism.”

Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes noted how quickly the media sought to whitewash the bloody bus-hijacking by Croatian illegal alien Damir Igric a month after September 11. Although the incident “echoed similar attacks by Palestinians on Israeli buses,” Pipes observed, the “media attributed the violence to post-traumatic stress syndrome.”

National Guardsman Ryan Anderson (a k a Amir Talhah), a Muslim convert who allegedly tried to pass sensitive military information to al Qaeda over the Internet, rated barely a blip on the media radar screen.

Press accounts have downplayed terrorist cells disrupted on American soil: The Lackawanna Six were nice Muslim boys led astray. The Virginia Jihad Network was just a group of weekend paintball enthusiasts. Indicted imams in Lodi, Calif., are misunderstood “moderates.” Terror suspects deported on immigration charges are just victims of discrimination.

Now, many of my readers wonder why the mainsteam media won’t touch the strange and troubling story of the University of Oklahoma bomber, Joel Henry Hinrichs III. On Oct. 1, Hinrichs died outside the school’s packed football stadium when a homemade bomb in his possession exploded. The Justice Department has sealed a search warrant in the case.

University President David Boren is pooh-poohing local media and Internet blog reports of possible jihadist influences on Hinrichs. The dead bomber was, we are told, simply a depressed and troubled young man with “no known ties” to terrorism.

Never mind that, according to local news reporters, the bomb-making material found in Hinrichs’ apartment was triacetone triperoxide — the explosive chemical of choice of shoe bomber Richard Reid and the London July 7 subway bombers.

Never mind the police department’s confirmation that Hinrichs tried to buy ammonium nitrate a few days before his death.

Never mind the concerns of Oklahoma University student journalist Rachael Kahne, who told me this week in a call for the media’s help: “I’ve been working on this story since the night it happened, and have been stonewalled at every turn. … Minutes after the explosion, police busted into a student’s apartment and arrested four Muslim students who were there for a small gathering [the president of the Muslim Student Association assures me this was in no way a “party”]. Among those arrested [and later released] was Fazal Cheema, Joel Henry Hinrichs’ Pakistani roommate. I was baffled when I heard this. I didn’t know how police would be able to identify who Hinrichs was, where he lived, who his roommate was, and then find where his roommate was in a matter of minutes. Something isn’t adding up, and I’ve been wracking my brain for the past week trying to figure out what happened here. OU isn’t saying anything more than the typical PR spin, and the FBI won’t talk.”

Nothing to see here. Move along. Islam is a peaceful religion. Stop asking so many damned questions.

Such is the attitude of the national media, which seems to believe ‘tis better to live in ignorance and indulge in hindsight later than to offend the gods of political correctness.

Michelle Malkin is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of “Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores” (Regnery).

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