The White House is probably regretting its decision not to show FBI Director Christopher Wray the door when he reportedly threatened to resign last year over the administration's push to oust now-former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe...
In what the bureau has called a "failure of protocol," the Wray admitted that the bureau had failed to follow up on an anonymous tip delivered to one of its hotlines by somebody who knew Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old gunman who killed 17 people and wounded more than a dozen more at his former high school in Parkland, Fla. on Wednesday. Instead of being forwarded to the FBI's Miami field office, the tip was essentially ignored...and now nearly 20 people, most of them teenagers, are dead.
On Jan. 5, a person close to Cruz called an FBI tip line warning them about the 19 year old's behavior, and warning them that he might try to carry out a school shooting. They also discussed his expressed desire to kill people, his erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts. And the FBI was also notified about a comment on a YouTube video posted by a "Nikolas Cruz" last year.
Wray said in a statement that he is "committed to getting to the bottom of what happened in this particular matter, as well as reviewing our processes for responding to information that we receive from the public."
"We have determined that these protocols were not followed for the information received by the PAL on January 5. The information was not provided to the Miami field office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time," the FBI said in a statement released Friday.
Yesterday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott called on Wray to resign, saying the bureau's failure to act was "unacceptable" and that "an apology isn't going to cut it."
"The FBI’s failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable....The FBI Director needs to resign," said Scott in a statement.
"We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI. And the FBI failed to act. ‘See something, say something’ is an incredibly important tool and people must have confidence in the follow through from law enforcement. The FBI director needs to resign," Scott added.
"Seventeen innocent people are dead and acknowledging a mistake isn't going to cut it. An apology will never bring these 17 Floridians back to life or comfort the families who are in pain. The families will spend a lifetime wondering how this could happen, and an apology will never give them the answers they desperately need."
Florida officials, including Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Ted Deutch, criticized the FBI's inaction.
And already, conservatives are pointing to the irony that Special Counsel Robert Muelller indicted 13 Russians yesterday - allegations that the Russian government has called "absurd" and will almost certainly not result in the imprisonment or prosecution of a single individual - while the bureau appears to be ignoring potentially life saving tips...
...conservatives including Anne Coulter...
Last September, FBI was sent a screenshot of a comment by nikolas cruz:— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) February 15, 2018
"I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”
Unfortunately, the FBI was busy running down Clinton campaign leads about a nonexistent Russian conspiracy with Trump.https://t.co/8FgxcZu7pW
Even Attorney General Jeff Session, in what the New York Times described as an "unusually harsh" rebuke of a sitting FBI director, said the bureau technically Wray's boss - who, in a rare move, criticized the director, saying "the FBI in conjunction with our state and local partners must act flawlessly to prevent all attacks. This is imperative, and we must do better."
Per Reuters, Sessions said he has ordered a review of FBI procedures following the shooting - which was carried out with an AR-15 assault rifle purchased legally by the shooter, despite his long history of violent threats and mental instability.
And as the Times also pointed out, the bureau was criticized by Congress in 2009 for not preventing the shooting at Fort Hood Texas. The bureau also was aware of one of the two brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing, and Omar Mateen, the shooter in the Pulse Nightclub attack in Orlando.
The bureau's defenders say, asking that they anticipate every attack is unreasonable, and that the public will never be aware of the attacks that are foiled because of the bureau's diligence...
But in this case, the warning signs were so obvious, and so plentiful, that it's not just remarkable that law enforcement didn't take them seriously - it's downright disturbing...