A former main pedestrian entrance to the FBI building. (Tim Evanson / Flickr)
It wouldn’t have taken much of an “investigation.” Alarmed citizens had given the FBI not one, but two completely specific, credible tips that Nikolas Cruz would massacre high-school students exactly as he did on Feb. 14. And if the FBI had bothered to mount any investigation at all in response, it would also have found, long before the killings, a third, additional warning that some journalists found within two days afterwards: that Cruz belonged to an “Instagram” chat group where he made similar threats. He showed off his “arsenal” of seven guns, and wrote, “I think I am going to kill people.”
President Trump tweeted yesterday, “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russia collusion with the Trump campaign. There is no collusion. Get back to basics and make us all proud.”
Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott also called the FBI’s response to the second tip “unacceptable,” and called for Director Wray’s resignation. “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.”
Not just the Director. Judge Jeanine Pirro, the Fox News commentator who is a former prosecutor and judge, argues rightly and with passion that the entire top echelon of the FBI must be removed. Any fiasco of this magnitude in any corporation would force the resignation or removal of all the top officers and the Board of Directors. The utter failure shown here by the FBI is so monumental that this rule must apply here.
The FBI could not be bothered to investigate before the massacre, but afterwards, it had the chutzpah to go before television cameras to lie that the Facebook post reported in September, which had Nikolas Cruz’s name on it, was insufficient to establish a “positive identification.” Not only did they have the name, but in fact, Facebook collects additional data to facilitate such identification.
But is this the first such total failure? What about 9/11? And then, we know that Russia had given the FBI warnings about the Boston bombers. Judge Pirro says she knows that serial abuser Larry Nassar had been on the FBI’s radar screen for years. Fiasco after fiasco. She says that there are honest men and women in the FBI, but they are sidelined and denied promotion by top management. The entire top echelon must go. Her ten-minute statement yesterday is worth watching.