My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families - and the whole gay community still in shock over this horrific event - as we mark its two week anniversary.
It was also deeply moving to see so many Gay Pride parades honoring and remembering the victims. A sad day of 'celebration' and mourning for many of us.
I had originally prepared a much longer post - detailing many of the troubling questions that have come to light over the past few weeks regarding the shooting, and providing links - but decided out of respect for the victims - to postpone it for a time. And I may decide that my other blog, Crime Scene Reviews, is a more appropriate locale for such reflections.
I was gratified to learn that the investigative team at Who Why Why. Org has decided to take on the case of Omar Mateen and to undertake a full scale investigation. These are serious, responsible people (some of whom are my personal friends - full disclosure here) and it will most likely take them up to a year to achieve any clarity. They are not 'conspiracy theorists' rushing to judgement.
What is clear at this very early stage is that the story we have been told and the event behind it are anything but simple. Many troubling questions remain about the nature of the shooting itself, how many victims may have been shot by police 'friendly fire' when the building was breached, Mateen's precise relationship to the FBI:
(see Altnet: Before Omar Mateen Committed Mass Murder, the FBI Attempted to Lure Him Into a Terror Plot)
Also troubling is the nature of Mateen's relationship - alleged or otherwise - to radical Islamic imam, Marcus Robertson, 'former' covert operative for the CIA and the FBI.
And The Rebuttal -See The Intercept: Florida Man Falsely Accused.
(In my opinion, the denial needs to be taken with great caution. This is a story that requires very careful, in depth. long-term investigation. In the Fox News interview in which Robertson denies any connection with Omar Mateen, he also expresses his belief in the necessity of killing gays.)
The precise nature of the relationship - if any - between James Howell, the young man who turned himself in to authorities in LA before "attacking" the Gay Pride Parade = and Omar Mateen and failed Trump assassin, Michael Sandford. You can read the interview with Howell conducted by attorney, Brenda Corplan, here at
Questions also arise as to the FBI's manipulation of the narrative about Mateen's supposed gay side.
However, it seems appropriate to end this short reflection with a superb piece by Sam Husseini at Counterpunch magazine that describes the irresponsible journalistic practices used to report on Noor Zahi Salmon, wife of Omar Mateen. Indirectly, Husseini offers an example of what responsible journalism should look like.
Husseini includes this provocative statement in his piece that is deeply troubling:
Some friends of Noor Zahi Salman are apparently speculating that what actually happened was that Omar Mateen was about to be outed as gay — and went nuts. This could have broader implications since “Israel surveils and blackmails gay Palestinians to make them informants.” That clearly is speculative. But far more responsible than speculation that is streaming forth from your TV.
Troubling questions that leave one somber, reflective and sad. It was understandable that in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, thoughtful commentators within the gay community had an obligation to provide meaningful, insightful reflections that would help us in our grief and enable us to come to terms with some of the shocking homophobic reactions to the events - from religious leaders in particular. However, a mere two weeks after the event and it is becoming clear that we were in some sense manipulated in our understanding of the story. And in fact the narrative seemed to be carefully shaped to focus exclusively on the memes of 'Radical Islamic Terrorism', 'Gun Control', 'Homophobic hate crimes'. When, in fact, the real story may lie elsewhere.