On Tuesday, I read a New York Times online report about a press conference held by Geir Lippestad, the defense lawyer for admitted Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik. I found one of Lippestad's statements of interest, and saved it for future reference. Little did I know it would apparently disappear from the news website.
The statement was: "Asked if the rampage was aimed at the Labor Party or at Muslim immigrants, Mr. Lippestad said: 'This was an attack on the Labor Party.'"
The lawyer's statement is the first credible assessment of motive, and as such it is a significant piece of the story. So why did The New York Times cut it from the final version of the story online and in Wednesday's newspaper?
The answer, I think, has much to do with how Lippestad's opinion fails to accelerate the rush of Times insta-spin, and could even slow what looks like a swift-moving drive to limit free speech about Islamization in the West.
The "updated" Times report that omits Lippestad's statement now features comments from Jonas Gahr Store, Norway's foreign minister. Sure, Store's comments are significant, but why they obliterated the defense lawyer's statement, I don't know. But I can guess.
Lippestad believes his client was attacking the Labor Party, not Muslim immigrants. The final version, minus Lippestad's comment, reports on an official, post-attack event: the foreign minister's visit to the World Islamic Mission, a large Oslo mosque, "to express solidarity," as the Times explains, with Norwegian Muslims. Over the weekend, Store visited a church as well, but the Times doesn't mention that. The overall patina to the mosque event then, certainly minus Lippestad's assessment, becomes one of Muslim aggrievement -- an artificial creation given that the majority of Breivik's victims are most likely non-Muslim. Such aggrievement, however, fits the Times' anti-anti-jihad narrative to date, also dovetailing with machinations on the Left.
We may assume Norway's Labor Party, like all parties on the European Left, draws votes from a majority of Norway's Muslims for its support of Islamic immigration and the cultural, legal and financial accommodations that follow. Indeed, it's the resulting pattern of Islamization across Europe that drove what has been absurdly glorified as Breivik's 1,500-page "manifesto." After I checked out the nine times my own name appears -- all in cut-and-pasted essays by the Norwegian blogger Fjordman -- I learned via counterterrorism expert Jarrett Brachman that the "manifesto" is partly plagiarized from the Unabomber. Jawa Report has now identified multiple other plagiarized sources throughout the first 350 pages (and counting). This means the myth of the "manifesto" as some magnum opus of counter-jihad written by the killer over many years is a phony. Still, I'll wager it's pure Breivik where the "manifesto" notes his fave TV shows, from "Vampire Diaries" to "Dexter."
"Dexter" is about a police forensics expert/serial killer. "Quite hilarious," wrote Breivik, who killed Labor Party campers wearing a police uniform.
But watch such tripe become a catalyst for a clampdown. The Times reports: "While many in Norway do not want Mr. Breivik's actions to affect politics here, Mr. Store said that was inevitable, too. Politics, once the mourning period passed, was the way to deal with the issues raised by the killings, he said.
"'What kind of statements and actions can lead to this?' he said. 'How can we have an inclusiveness that brings all views inside the camp of democracy while drawing lines in the sand about incitement and hatred?'"
Uh-oh. I know what "statements" the foreign minister means -- and it's not the saying of Muhammad, "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him." Store means the histories, analysis and reportage related to Islam copied into the phony "manifesto." These, in the spin that Lippestad's assessment doesn't quite match, "led" to the massacre -- not the madness or evil of a drugged-up killer.
Forgive my cynicism, but I don't see how else to interpret the omission of highly relevant news, the projection of Muslim victimization, and the apparent elevation of a criminal lunatic's pseudo-thesis to a means to silence "politically incorrect" critiques of Islam. Which is in itself a kind of tragedy. The cynics and manipulators, eager for political advantage, fail to see the attack for what it was: a shattering blow to all of civilized society.
Diana West is the author of "The Death of the Grown-up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization," and blogs at dianawest.net. She can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.