The FBI Releases Unredacted Orlando Shooting Transcripts After Republican Pressure

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In the wake of the Orlando nightclub mass shooting, gunman Omar Mateen’s motives appear muddled. Those who knew him weren’t shocked to learn that his unhinged and homophobic ways revealed themselves in the worst way possible. The media also dug up evidence of Mateen’s previous visits to the Pulse nightclub and his use of a gay dating app. Mateen’s professed alliance to ISIS proved just as confusing to the FBI, and Director James Comey revealed how the 911 call featured shoutouts to parties unaffiliated or in direct conflict with the Islamic State.

On Sunday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that transcripts of the gunman’s call would be released in a partial nature to avoid replaying Mateen’s vows of allegiance, which would “further his propaganda.” Indeed, the released transcript contains statements such as “I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.” All references to ISIS (or those that Mateen believed were part of ISIS) have been omitted as promised. Naturally, there are some folks who aren’t pleased with these redactions, including Rudy Giuliani, who wondered, “Why didn’t they do this with the Mafia, to spare Italian-Americans?” Giuliani believes ISIS should have been mentioned, which would raise awareness to bring down the terrorist organization.

Other Republicans were more forceful in their protestations. Florida Governor Rick Scott, who believes ISIS is the sole force responsible for this tragedy (and definitely not the Second Amendment), spoke with the Tampa Bay Times to voice his displeasure:

“This seems like it is another example of not focusing on the evil here. This is evil. It’s ISIS. It’s radical Islam. At some point – we lost 49 lives here, we lost Steven Sotloff in 2014 that was beheaded by ISIS. At some point, we’re going to get a president that’s going to say I care about destroying ISIS. I want it for everybody that was impacted by this. I want a focus on how we get rid of ISIS. How do we stop this, how do we stop radical Islam. This is wrong. It’s hurting our country.”

Speaker Paul Ryan agreed that the full transcripts serve a purpose, and in a statement, he called the edits “preposterous.” Ryan believes everyone should have access to the unredacted call, “so the public is clear-eyed about who did this, and why.” And perhaps the pressure worked? The Justice Department just released the full transcript while lamenting the “unnecessary distraction” that the redaction prompted. All of Mateen’s references to the Islamic State are now intact and can be read here.

(Via Fox News, Tampa Bay Times, New York Post & CNN)