April 04, 2013

An Interview w/ FBI Most Wanted Terrorist
We Get Press!

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Spencer Ackerman over at Wired interviews Omar Hammami over Twitter. It's worth the read, and we get a mention:

Jihadis and their American opposites have engaged each other over the Internet for years, notes Will McCants, a former State Department terrorism adviser. But usually those efforts are tentative and rarely substantial — let alone fun. What’s happening with Hammami is something new. “He comes across as quite likeable. He’s willing to listen, hear your argument and respond to it,” McCants says. “He’s not just a robot, he’s got this great sense of humor.”

He’s even winning over who prefer to point and laugh at jihadis, like Rusty Shackleford of the My Pet Jawa blog. Hammami recently tweeted, “rusty, I ain’t comin’ home alive jus like you ain’t gonna stop puttin’ soft porn up on mypetjawa. and to shabab, I’m here till u fix up.” Shackleford blogged, “I’ve actually become kinda fond of the guy — if that’s possible.”

It's true, the guy is kind of likeable. But that's the banality of evil, isn't it?

The worry here, and it's expressed in the article, is that the American people are not mature enough to handle the fact that evil people can also be nice.

Hitler didn't go around stealing candy from little kids. In fact, he never killed any one personally. He didn't go around torturing animals. He loved animals. He was a vegetarian.

Monstrosity is not expressed in small acts of meanness, but in occasional and usually rare acts of great evil.

Most people get that. I hope. It's mostly just Hollywood that doesn't get it (among the many other things they don't get).

And here's where it gets weird: up to now, I was under the assumption that Omar had only killed people in the usual course of an insurgency fighting an organized military.

But it turns out Omar is a murderer:

[Omar direct messages on twitter] that he killed an enemy Somali once, a prisoner Shebab captured working for the Ethiopians who wouldn’t talk under interrogation. “Just told myself he’s worse than a goat,” he says.
When you kill a prisoner for no other reason than he won't talk, that makes you a murderer.

Sorry Omar, when the drones finally come I might miss you a little but my feelings won't be hurt. It'll be justice.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:34 PM | Comments |