Is the FBI completely incompetent? Or is the Bureau just stupid?
Unfortunately, those are the only two choices available at this point.
In the aftermath of the tragic shooting at a Florida high school which left 17 dead and 14 wounded, it was revealed that the FBI had been warned five months ago about the shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.
A video blogger on YouTube notified the FBI in September about an alarming comment on a video he'd posted. "Im going to be a professional school shooter," read the comment left by a user with the name Nikolas Cruz — the same name of the now-confessed shooter.
But on Thursday, the FBI agent in charge of the Florida shooting probe said the Bureau (make sure you're sitting down for the next part) COULD NOT IDENTIFY THE PERSON WHO LEFT THE COMMENT!
That's right, the FBI couldn't identify a YouTuber whose username was literally his REAL name. Yes, the same FBI which thinks the leaks of emails from the Democratic National Committee was somehow connected to "Russians" — and the same FBI that wiretapped officials on the Donald Trump presidential campaign.
The Bureau had received information about the comment last year, said Robert Lasky, the special agent in charge of the Miami division. But he said the tip did not include details that could have helped.
“No other information was included with that comment, which would indicate a time, location or the true identity of the person who made that comment,” he told reporters. “The FBI conducted database reviews, checks, but was unable to further identify the person who actually made the comment."
Huh. Well, the Bureau — of Investigation! — could've started with the ID on the comment — one Nikolas Cruz. I'm no professional investigator, but that seems a good place to start.
If they had done that, they might have found a kid named "Nikolas Cruz" at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who had been expelled for disciplinary problems. Maybe their ears would've perked up a bit then.
Then the FBI might have connected that "Nikolas Cruz" with another guy posting things on Instagram — where he also used his real name. On the social media site are several photos of Cruz in a mask holding a gun.
"If the FBI couldn't identify the shooter from his name — How was 4chan able to find all his online accounts and assess that he was a wacko in 1 hour?" one Reddit user wrote.
But the FBI has been busy jousting with windmills of late. They've been off on a wild goose chase trying to find evidence to prove that Trump colluded with Russians to influence the 2016 election. As part of that effort, they wiretapped phones of Trump campaign aides, winning court approval by using questionable "evidence" of wrongdoing.
The bureau has also been in internal turmoil. One FBI agent, Peter Strzok, was demoted after text messages with his mistress showed a hatred of Trump. And Strzok, it turns out, was heavily involved in both the Russia probe and the decision to clear Hillary Clinton in her sordid email scandal.
Deputy Director Andrew McCabe left the bureau earlier this month, reportedly amid a Justice Department probe into his handling of the Clinton email investigation.
Now, though, the endless shortcomings of the FBI are coming into focus. If the Bureau can't track down a kid WHO USES HIS REAL NAME IN A THREATENING MESSAGE, then maybe it's time to disband the agency and start over.