The October spree of packaged mail bombs unsuccessfully delivered to media outlets, politicians and politically active benefactors has gripped the United States ahead of the November midterm elections. The media is awash with speculation about the suspect’s inspiration and why he may have carried out the attacks.
While the official narrative makes for captivating commentary amongst pundits, the case bears several suspicious points. Inconsistencies between reported facts and the official version of events, the targets chosen to receive packages and details about the suspect and their social media all represent loose ends to the case that have not been adequately addressed. Additionally, the FBI’s track record and the involvement of Hollywood figures shaping the official story give rise to serious concerns that the FBI has caught the wrong man, leaving the true perpetrators free to strike again should they wish.
Inconsistencies Between Facts And Narrative
The official narrative being promoted by mainstream media sources and law enforcement does not match the facts. Apparent contradictions over whether the bombs were real or inert and indications that at least some were not mailed through USPS create factual conflicts that have not been explained.
On October 24th, The New York Times reported that not a single bomb had exploded and that investigators indicated that they could be hoax devices, constructed to look like bombs but unable to harm anyone. NBC New York reported these claims the next day, suggesting that the “bombs” could have been part of a “menacing political hoax.” The notion that the bombs were hoaxes was so strong that NBC’s Chuck Todd claimed it was part of a Russian operation seeking to divide Americans.
Former explosive ordinance disposal officers opined on Twitter that the construction of the bombs was nonsensical; they did not have proper timers and were sensationally made to look real to an unknowledgeable viewer. Yet on October 26, FBI Director Christopher Wray claimed that the devices were not hoaxes. This conclusion is not supported by the obviously shoddy construction of devices, publicly viewable online.
Reports emerged on October 26 stating that at least some of the parcel bombs were sent from the United States Postal Service in Opa-Locka, Florida. But according to the New York Times, several of the packages sent to George Soros, CNN and possibly Robert DeNiro were delivered by courier. It’s not clear how the alleged perpetrator Cesar Sayoc was able to coordinate this kind of personal delivery in multiple cities while physically remaining in Florida. Although the courier-delivered packages bore a few postage stamps, they did not bear cancellation markings.
Choice of Targets
The choice of targets in this case also raise more questions than provides answers. The ostensible explanation is that Sayoc targeted DNC officials or DNC supporters because he was a Trump supporter. But all individuals targeted by the alleged mail bombs are either Democrat establishment politicians or backers of the DNC’s “old guard.” Not one single intended victim is a Democratic Socialist or left leaning public figure from the new and emergent faction of the DNC challenging current leadership.
These facts could have different implications depending on the angle from which they are considered. If the bombing spree was a calculated hoax, it would explain the ill-constructed inert devices. A campaign targeting “Trump critics” would give the DNC establishment a much needed boost ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Almost all of the targets are politicians with government protections in place to prevent any danger from mailed explosives, or wealthy and successful political donors who are protected by ample private security. There was never a chance that these bombs would reach any of their intended targets. It is undeniable that in the wake of this event, the specific figures who were singled out are effectively insulated from criticism by progressive voters who view the establishment as corrupt. Voicing such criticism now means those speaking out risk being associated with “extremists.”
If the bombs really were part of an intended campaign targeting establishment DNC figures, there are some indications that the plot was planned and executed by someone with a totally different bone to pick with the Democrats. Every package containing a device bore a return address with the name of Debbie Wasserman Shultz, the Florida Congresswoman who is oft ridiculed by Bernie Sanders supporters for her role in helping to rig the 2016 DNC primary for Hilary Clinton. This suggests that if the campaign was in fact not a hoax, the profile of the perpetrator would be one of an individual or group who felt alienated by the DNC and targeted figures they associated with the Democratic elite. The fact that most of the bombs never posed a danger of going off implies inadequate access to proper know-how or a desire to send a message to the recipients collectively.
The choice of targets simply does not create an ironclad narrative that the bombs were mailed by a Trump supporter who wanted to target the President’s critics.
Involvement Of Hollywood In Narrative Creation And Promotion
Hollywood script writers, directors and film makers played central roles in forming narratives and distributing footage during the bomb scares and after Cesar Sayoc’s arrest. Jimmy Kimmel writer Bess Kalb pushed the “#MAGAbomber” hashtag on Twitter when the first reports began to emerge on October 24th. Kalb openly bragged that the hashtag was “branding” meant to influence the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. On multiple occasions, Kalb used the events to urge her followers to vote for the DNC.
Cocaine Cowboys director Billy Corben also helped spread images taken by producer David Cypkin in December 2017 showing Cesar Sayoc’s stickered van. The photos posted by Cypkin show that the imagery covering the van had been altered in the 10 months between December and Sayoc’s arrest in October 2018. Documentary filmmaker and activist Michael Moore also released images of Sayoc attending a Trump rally on October 28.
Filmmakers and script writers were not the only ones able to get in on narrative formation during the bomb scare. Alex Soros was miraculously able to draft, edit and publish an Op-Ed with the New York Times just a few hours after reports of multiple mail bombs emerged on October 24th. Soros took the opportunity to decry “demonization” of his father George Soros, Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton as the reason for the incidents.
Did The FBI Get The Wrong Suspect?
Much has been made of Cesar Sayoc’s life in Miami and his apparent support for Donald Trump by the media. But the cartoonish display that was the suspect’s van, the strange posts coming from online accounts attributed to him and the continued delivery of bombs after his arrest all indicate that the FBI could have the wrong man.
Photos of Sayoc’s sticker-covered van have been distributed widely in news reports and on social media. Strangely, no stickers are found on the paint or bumpers of the vehicle. There are no signs that the van was vandalized in any way, something that would be expected in the strongly blue Broward County. The stickers in the windows of Sayoc’s vehicle would have constantly singled him out for traffic citations from police. As Sayoc’s lawyers and family have stated that he has been living in his car for years, it strains credulity to think that police officers would not search his vehicle and find some evidence of his involvement in the letter bomb campaign during the course of issuing a citation.
Although the media has made much of the suspect’s social media posts, closer examination raises further questions. A Twitter account now attributed to Sayoc showed that he followed a number of celebrities and Democrat politicians but not a single conservative figure, including President Donald Trump. The account would spam the same images multiple times a day, with posts that suffered severely from incorrect grammar and punctuation. This style of transcription can be seen in the apparent death threat that the account sent to Democratic strategist Rochelle Ritchie. In the past, an account displaying this behavior would have been dismissed as automated or running a bot script. It adds yet another layer of confusion to an already cloudy case.
Lastly, Sayoc’s arrest has not stopped the delivery of packages to victims, resulting in further scares and security responses. On October 29, 2018, CNN’s Atlanta headquarters were evacuated after the delivery of a package that the FBI said was similar in appearance to the 14 others delivered the previous week. After the coordinated manner in which the majority of the bombs were delivered in the same day, the subsequent delivery of another package days after Sayoc’s arrest creates the impression that the true culprits are tauntingly thumbing their noses at law enforcement.
History Of FBI Incompetence And Misconduct
This would not be the first time that an individual has been incorrectly accused of involvement in an event where deadly mediums were mailed to intended targets. In 2001, the FBI systematically harassed virologist Dr. Steven Hatfill amid a media campaign accusing him of being behind a series of anthrax letters sent to media organizations and politicians, in a case that is somewhat analogous to the current “mail bomb” scare. Hatfield found himself vilified in the media and presumed guilty despite his innocence.
Evidently, the FBI failed to learn from this experience. In May 2018 federal prosecutors were forced to release an individual they had arrested and accused of responsibility in an Orange County, California bomb attack which killed the suspect’s ex girlfriend. The FBI admitted initial accusations that recreational explosive devices in the arrestee’s possession matched the device used in the attack were incorrect. The case has not yet been solved. Failures by law enforcement at the federal level are sadly more commonplace than many in the public realize.
The FBI itself is no stranger to creating a case out of thin air to smear a suspect and generate grounds for their arrest. In 2016, Iceland’s former minister of the interior Ögmundur Jónasson told Katoikos that in 2011 he refused to cooperate with a team of FBI agents that had been sent to the country with the intention of framing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. This level of corruption and incompetence is unfortunately a trend that discredits hardworking members of America’s top law enforcement agency. The FBI and DOJ are also currently addressing an ongoing legal challenge by a victim of the 2015 “Draw Muhammed” ISIS attack in Garland, Texas alleging that an undercover agent encouraged the terrorist perpetrators to commit the shooting.
This is the same FBI that has been strongly criticized for mishandling their investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of an email server and improperly working with assets of foreign intelligence agencies to undermine the campaign of President Donald Trump. The latter scandal, which is ongoing, involved the effective framing of a now-sitting US President. Are observers incredulous at the idea that a common (albeit possibly mentally ill) citizen may have been fed to dogs during a time of serious political strife?
To say that one does not place confidence in the ability of the FBI to remain above politics and avoid mistakenly identifying and arresting the wrong suspect is hardly a conspiracy theory. Rather, it is a reasonable contention supported by years of missteps, both unintentional and otherwise.
The Importance Of Speaking Out On Inconsistencies
Fortunately, no one has lost their lives as a result of the October 2018 mail bombing scares. Because of this, the social cost for speaking out and questioning the official narrative being fed to the public about the incident is lower than it might otherwise be had innocent victims been killed. This episode is a litmus test for those who are skeptical of government and wary of media manipulation. One need not cry “false flag” to raise objections about the discrepancy between the official story and the publicly available facts.
If anti-establishment figures on the Left and Right cannot take a bold stand now, they will show themselves unfit to deal with the implications of a future event where the toll is unfortunately much greater.
The facts of the case, the choice of targets, details about the suspect’s van and social media, and continued delivery of parcels after his arrest all indicate that law enforcement has erred in finding the parties truly responsible for the delivery of the mail bombs. The FBI’s history of incompetence and unethical behavior provides further incentive to contest the official story being fed to Americans and the world. Hollywood and media involvement in perpetuating public bias against the accused has similarly contributed to this unfortunate situation.
To expect that the FBI and local law enforcement officials will admit their mistake and correct it would be a waste of time and energy. But when it comes to understanding the truth about who may have been behind the attacks, the public need not be fooled.