Losing His Religion: A Pentagon Terror Scare and a Media Taboo.

James Taranto, Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2011

{snip}As CBS News reports, it started when the U.S. Park Police “came upon” 22-year-old Yonathan Melaku wandering around Arlington National Cemetery, which was closed. “The Park Police then launched a search for a vehicle, which was found near the Pentagon.”

A search of the car turned up “no suspicious items,” but Melaku told the cops “that he was carrying explosive materials.” They checked his backpack and “found what appeared to be an unknown quantity of ammonium nitrate,” a chemical “that is widely used in fertilizers and can be used in explosives with the correct concentration.”

We learn from the CBS story that Melaku is a lance corporal in the Marine Reserves. The Associated Press adds that he is a naturalized American citizen, originally from Ethiopia. CBS also reports that “Melaku was carrying a notebook that contained the phrases ‘al Qaeda,’ ‘Taliban rules’ and ‘Mujahid defeated croatian forces’ when he was detained,” but “that the suspect is not thought to have been involved in a terrorist act or plot.”

{snip} We could only find one news organization that had the answer: Fox News Channel, which reports that Maliku is Muslim.

Now, it’s possible that Fox simply got a scoop here, but our guess is that this fact was omitted from the other reports because of the politically correct taboo against making a connection between Islam and terrorism. {snip}

{snip}

The typical justification for declining to identify criminal suspects as Muslim or black is that it is an effort to counter invidious stereotypes. We’re not sure it is even effective at that. {snip}

When news organizations evade facts that fit what they see as undesirable stereotypes, they train news consumers to fill in the blanks even when the stereotypes do not apply.

yonathanmelaku.jpg

Yonathan Melaku

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  • John Engleman

    Several years ago I read an article in The New York Times that said that most people actively avoid information that challenges their opinions. It added that among liberals this takes the form of an aversion against uncomplimentary facts about minorities that are seen to be disadvantaged.

  • RJS

    Here we go again. This guy just happens to be an east-african AND just happens to be a muslim – but hey, let’s not draw any conclusions, right?

    Why don’t the SPLC and ADL ever draw any conclusions or connect any uncomfortable dots about these types of situations?

    Yet, if this had been a southern White male with a gun, the media and politicians (and of course the SPLC and ADL) would not have hesitated to…oh well, you know the rest…

  • Question Diversity

    When news organizations evade facts that fit what they see as undesirable stereotypes, they train news consumers to fill in the blanks even when the stereotypes do not apply.

    That’s the point I made a few weeks ago in one of AR’s stories about Chicago media’s declared policy of censoring racial identities of suspected criminals and sometimes of the victims. By forcing us to come to our conclusions, they are ultimately responsible when we inevitably sometimes come to the wrong conclusion. For instance, while we all assumed that the party buying all that lobster and porterhouse steaks with food stamps at that supermarket in Michigan was black, because some of us get stuck behind such “customers” in a supermarket line, in that instance, it was found out that the buyer was a white 50-year old looking 30-year old (probably meth addict), and the only reason we found that out is because the right wing blogosphere making a big deal of that erstwhile receipt got people in that area of Michigan to keep their eyes open, and the buyer tried to hawk all those steaks and lobster for money (probably to buy meth), and the authorities popped him for that. They released the mug shot, and that’s how we even know at all he is white.

    As for Mr. Melaku, I might have accidentally had a personal and direct hand in this matter. Because I bowed to pressure from my teachers back in 1985, when that “We Are the World” record was cut and released, the pretense being famine in Ethiopia, I nagged my mother to buy it. (Luckily, as it turns out, she only bought the 45 single, not the full LP album.) The proceeds were used to feed starving people in Ethiopia. I could well imagine that Mr. Melaku only got to be born in the late 1980s because the food I helped put in his parents’ mouth helped them make it long enough to be able to “know” each other that one inevitable night.

    I’m sorry.

    Of course, Ethiopia’s starvation problem was so successfully cured that instead of 26 million starving Ethiopians in 1985, when WATW was cut, we now have more than three times as many starving Ethiopians (88m, 2011 estimate), now, in spite of Eritrea (pop. 5.2m) seceding from Ethiopia in 1993.

  • Anonymous

    There is one lost man.

    Stepped off the plane from the 10th century and hasn’t had a post card from reality since.

    And these are the sterling young people our ‘professional’, volunteer military is placing in control of the weapons that supposedly guard our lives.

    Or maybe just enforce the elites’ edicts…

    I don’t know which is scarier.

    Do we even know if this guy was ‘equipped for the job’, mentally, of rigging a diesel-nitrate bomb sufficient to kill dead people?

    I suppose we’re gonna have to pay 40,000+20,000 a year for him to see a shrink in prison?

  • Anonymous

    How any White person, no matter how desperate for 3 hots and a cot can join the third world trash heap that is the US military I can’t understand.

    How can White military families raise their families on those thug infested bases and housing areas? How can White men stand to know that no matter how superior their preformance and qualifications they will never be promoted.

    How can Whites stand to listen to blacks yakking and screeching their obscene blithering nonsense all day. MOfa Mofa Mofa.

    I’d rather be homeless than in our black and hispanic thug infested military.

  • Anonymous

    Wait, did something happen in Croatia? Croatian nationalists?

    This prick needs to have his citizenship revoked and to be sent back to ethiopia. He clearly does not hold allegiance to my country.

    It figures that the PC taboo kept most stories from telling the truth. Fox news seems to be the only one, but we must remember that all media is controlled, and “They” are watching to see how many people make the connection between this guy and jihad. “They” are watching all.

  • SKIP

    3 — Question Diversity wrote at 6:55 PM on June 20:

    About the starving Ethhiopians I read some time back (probably right here) that if a billion starving whites were given 10 billion dollars we would see an increase in the quality of life whereas if a billion starving blacks were to be given 10 billion dollars all we would see is 5 billion starving blacks. This may be paraphrased, but you get the picture. I too, well remember the old joke of pulling the skin of your neck out to the sides and describing the look as being a starving Ethiopian with a grain of rice stuck in his throat. NOTHING can be done to raise the quality of blacks, NOTHING!

  • White, Jewish, and Proud

    Well, at least the subject was broached, that there is a taboo against metioning that the words Muslim and terrorist are often connected. And at least it was broached in a mainstream publication of some notoriety.

    The fact that those words at least had the potential to reach tens of thousands of people for a moment or two is worth taking note. That is a good thing, small that it was.

  • flyingtiger

    I agree with question diversity. I sent in my money 1985 and this is the thanks I get. I want my money back.

  • White, Jewish, and Proud

    Well, at least the subject was broached, that there is a taboo against metioning that the words Muslim and terrorist are often connected. And at least it was broached in a mainstream publication of some notoriety.

    The fact that those words at least had the potential to reach tens of thousands of people for a moment or two is worth taking note. That is a good thing, small that it was.

  • Howard W. Campbell

    Are the Marines having that much trouble with recruiting that they needed to take this guy on? My guess is that they will quietly process him out of the service and we won’t hear about Mr. Melaku again (unless he officially joins Al-Qaeda). Good thing he didn’t get caught blogging for Christian web site that doesn’t fall in line with the PC views on Gays, Abortion, and a number of other hot button issues. Or even worse, standing with a group of people quietly protesting an abortion clinic. He might be a real threat to all of us.

    Isn’t it ironic that the Catholic church here in the US will bend over backwards to help people like this, but probably don’t give a hoot about Croats in general. Even though Croatia is probably one of the most die hard Catholic areas in the world.

    Anonymous No. 5 Wrote. “How any White person, no matter how desperate for 3 hots and a cot can join the third world trash heap that is the US military I can’t understand.”

    Unfortunately, many are pushed into it. There are a lot of people looking to leave dead end jobs, dead end towns &/or dead end marriages. I hate to say it, but how many places do you come across where if you don’t leave by the time you are 21, you are stuck for life. Uncle Sam offers you this option if you take a chance on going to the Middle East. It wouldn’t take much to update Sinclair Lewis’ book “Main Street”. If you are under 21 and especially if you are from a rural area, patriotism is really in play here. For my generation, many either had a parent or grandparent serve in WWII and those were the glory days of the US military. Are their things our grandparents would recognize about the service today, certainly. Even Napoleon and Julius Caesar would recognize some aspects of the service. But there are a lot of insidious things that you can’t explain to grandpa now without his being there. Truth be told, how many boomers (and others) look at the younger crowd and think, too bad sucker, I got mine. You can go join the service and try to make a nice life for yourself.

  • Wordy Anonymous

    @Anon #4:

    There is one lost man.

    Stepped off the plane from the 10th century and hasn’t had a post card from reality since.

    True, that.

    But perhaps in reality a false flag.

  • Ciccio

    Question Diversity, thank you, thank you, thank you very much. I have been making this point for years, drawn up graphs and pages of statistic all to no avail. The poorest countries in the world have another thing in common, they are also the ones with the highest fertility rates. Apart from Ethiopia which is only partially Muslim, the others are 100% Muslim.

    If you have looked into the problems of starving Ethiopia you may have noticed one little thing. Last year the UN’s world food program spent $50 million buying food for the starving Ethiopians from the not-starving-but-rather-well-to-do-Ethiopians who find it far more profitable to sell their surplus food to the WFP rather than their neighbours.

  • Jupiter7

    After the Fort Hood shooting and now this…I would cut the Pentagon’s budget by 90 percent. Just what exctly are they protecting us against? Iraq,Iran,Libya and Afghanistan pose 0 threat to America. The Pentagan,The Marines, The Army and the Navy and Airforce are in fact a major threat to the Native Born White American Majority. The number one mission of the “US” military is to race-replace the Native Born White Majority.

    There was no economic,demographic,cultural, environmental-ecological and national security reason for importing this Ethopian-Eritrean Muslim foreigner into America.

    As far as I am concerned, the Pentagon is engaging in massive treason. Cut the Pentagon’s budget by 90 percent.

  • Who In Their White Mind?

    Poster #5- very true about the US military and the bases and posts. Look up Camp Legeune, Fort Hood, Fort Dix, Fort Bragg. Pope AFB. These places have actually turned into ghettos before our very eyes over the past twenty years. I don’t blame anyone except for OUR government for these atrocities. Spending billions in Iraw &Afghanistan and the War on Terror instead of cleaning up our own military

    bases and infrastructure. It’s absolutely absurd. Instead of the War on Terror & The War on Drugs we should have started the War on Morons & The

    War on Thugs.

    Before I even read this story I could tell this guy was either Somalian or Ethiopian. You can definitely see the Arab traits in this guy. He could have made a good suicide bomber because he’s black. Oh wait, he would have failed in his mission for that exact reason. He’s stuck in two worlds. Let America have him. Thanks alot!

  • Anonymous

    Question Diversity says, “Of course, Ethiopia’s starvation problem was so successfully cured that instead of 26 million starving Ethiopians in 1985, when WATW was cut, we now have more than three times as many starving Ethiopians (88m, 2011 estimate)”

    People are starving and the population grows 3x in 25 years? They can’t be starving too much. More likely, providing food to an historically poor and starving nation has seen infant mortality improve, resulting in a much larger population. Wash, rinse, repeat. Now when famine comes, even more people will starve. This is an area that can’t support too many. Yet with altruistic tendencies we create a bigger problem. Sound familiar?

  • Sardonicus

    The people attacking us are Muslims from South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Shouldn’t we be circumspect about accepting immigrants from these countries? Why is this racism and why should we care? Unfortunately, many of the deluded, living-in-the-past, sentimentalist advocates of open door immigration fear Native Christian whites more than Third World Muslim Middle Eastern or African terrorists. These influential, media-connected and wealthy multiculturalists are pushing Western Civilization off a cliff! It seems like one day these fools are praising anti-white leftist Hugo Chavez and the next day they are marching against circumcision in San Francisco.

  • Anonymous

    Not your grand daddy’s Marine Corps. If The USMC was filled with this type in 1941, we’d all be speaking Japanese today.

  • SKIP

    You people simply MUST get on board with the PC military, it IS NOT the war on terror, it is “FOREIGN CONTINGENCY OPERATION” otherwise known by White people here in the muslim wars as “SUBMISSION”!!! And in any reports we do here, we CANNOT mention the words islam and terror (any form thereof either) in the same report because muslims read the reports and may become “outraged” thereby putting our troops in DANGER!!! imagine!

  • shaunantijihad

    “CBS also reports that “Melaku was carrying a notebook that contained the phrases ‘al Qaeda,’ ‘Taliban rules’ and ‘Mujahid defeated croatian forces’ when he was detained,” but “that the suspect is not thought to have been involved in a terrorist act or plot.””

    After all, what could be more normal than taking a stroll with a backpack full of amonium nitrate and telling officers you have explosives?

  • Dr. zero

    There’s a good take on Ethiopia and related issues here

    http://goo.gl/6Uma1

  • Question Diversity

    Update: Melaku linked to mysterious heretofore unsolved shooting incidents in the DC area:

    http://goo.gl/gmHx9

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to take a long shot and bet that the driver of the semi who crashed into the commuter train in Nevada was a Muslim. Any bets?