How? On government order, the FBI doesn't know -- can't know -- that it is actually fighting Islamic jihad and sharia subversion. The kind of review Bachmann hoped for could possibly have saved fact-based analysis at the FBI and related agencies. To grasp the stupefying impact of the see-no-Islam status quo, imagine the FBI of the Cold War era officially denying and suppressing the role Marxism played in animating subversives. No communist espionage rings would ever have been stopped.
Such blindness is the official rule today. An examination of the FBI's Counterterrorism Analytical Lexicon, which was published in 2008 at the end of the Bush administration, shows that the words "Islam," "Muslim," "jihad," "Muslim Brotherhood," even "al-Qaeda" -- all of which appear in the 9/11 Commission Report -- have disappeared entirely from the lexicon of FBI analysis. Instead, agents must focus on the literally meaningless concept of "violent extremism." As if that's not mentally paralyzing enough, the FBI definition of violent extremism includes this: "An analytical judgment that an individual is a 'violent extremist,' 'extremist,' or 'radical' is not predication for any investigative action or technique."
Another way to view such a security shambles is to say, as the president did, that the FBI performed well in the run-up to Boston 4/15. "The FBI investigated that older brother," he said. "It's not as if the FBI did nothing. They not only investigated the older brother, they interviewed the older brother. They concluded that there were no signs that he was engaging in extremist activity."
This makes perfect sense -- in the government's see-no-Islam world. FBI agents, operating by the book, might well have tagged Tamerlan Tsarnaev a "violent extremist," and then, also operating by the book, done nothing. Ka-boom. Having de-Islamized counterterrorism techniques, Obama could then say: "Based on what I've seen so far, the FBI performed its duties, the Department of Homeland Security did what it was supposed to be doing."
According to U.S. government's see-no-Islam policy, Obama is correct. In fact, for meritorious achievement leading up to the Boston bombing, special commendations for all U.S. security personnel up to and including cabinet secretaries from Justice, Homeland Security and the Pentagon are in order. The Obama team effort may not have stopped terrorism, but it sure made Islam disappear.