The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Why Do We Know Almost Nothing About Pittsburgh Gunman Robert Bowers?

Posted on | October 30, 2018 | 3 Comments


There has been a remarkable failure of journalism in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. The gunman, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, remains a cipher. Except for the fact that he posted anti-Semitic rants on the Internet, worked as a truck driver and lived alone in an apartment, we know nothing about Bowers. Who are his parents? Does he have any siblings? Girlfriends? Did he have any hobbies other than hating Jews?

We know none of the answers to such questions. The guy’s a complete mystery. If there are any reporters trying to fill in the background on this guy, so far they have produced nothing, and so the question of why and how this guy turned into a mass murderer cannot be answered.

This bothers me, for some reason. Think about any previous mass murder or terrorist attack — the Boston Marathon bombings, the Parkland massacre, etc. — and remember how within 72 hours we had a vast pile of biographical background on the killers. Obviously, we want to know this information, since it helps us understand the motives. What created the monster? What are the warning signs? Who is vulnerable to online appeals to hate? But in this case, we’ve got nothing.

Three reporters for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette worked on a profile of Bowers, who dropped out of Baldwin High School sometime after his junior year. His photo appears in the school’s 1989 yearbook, however: “He is not listed as taking part in any clubs or activities, and classmates reached by the newspaper said they had no recollection of him.”

A total blank — a neo-Nazi NPC, you might say.

The blankness of Robert Bowers should disturb us. Evidently, any random loner — the quiet, nondescript high-school dropout with no friends or family — could log onto the Internet, find some kind of hate that appeals to him, and become a mass murderer. And in all the world of journalism, nobody except some reporters for the local newspaper will expend any effort to figure out what went wrong in this guy’s life. Why? Because they can explain it all with one word: Trump.

That’s the answer, you see. There is no need to examine Robert Bowers’ biographical background in search of an explanation, because the reasons are ready-made: Trump, and “hate” sites on the Internet.

Everything on CNN for the past 72 hours has been about how President Trump’s “rhetoric” allegedly incited the “climate” that led to the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, depiste the fact that the gunman explicitly expressed disdain for Trump, e.g., “Trump is a globalist, not a nationalist. There is no #MAGA as long as there is a kike infestation.”

Because I am not an anti-Semite, my habit is to ignore such rhetoric and to avoid the people who spew it, and I think most conservatives practice this ignore-and-avoid strategy. Who has time to pay attention to such people? I’m too busy keeping up with the craziness of feminists, but I have to say that Robert Bowers succeeded in calling my attention to something I’d never noticed, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society:

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, or HIAS, known for its resettlement work in the United States and internationally, is one of the oldest refugee protection agencies in the country. The organization became part of the national conversation Saturday after the man accused of shooting and killing 11 at a synagogue in Pittsburgh appeared to have referred to the group online.
In a post on the social network Gab, the accused shooter, Robert Bowers, 46, linked to a directory of synagogues participating in a HIAS event, National Refugee Shabbat, saying he “appreciated” the list. As part of the elaborate anti-Semitic conspiracy theory to which he subscribed — which prosecutors say motivated his crime — Bowers claimed that HIAS was working to bring people to the United States to do violence. . . .
Founded in 1881 as a storefront on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the organization began as a mission to help Eastern European Jews who were fleeing anti-Semitism and war. . . .
In 1980, HIAS became an official voluntary agency for the State Department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement, joining eight other organizations, which include other religious-based groups like Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services and the Church World Service.
The U.S. government refers immigration cases to HIAS, which works with 20 sites and affiliates across the country to help resettle refugees. Most of the people working on the ground to deploy resources are associated with Jewish family centers.
Nearly two decades ago, it began to help non-Jewish immigrants from countries like the Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Syria — mainly resettling migrants from war-torn countries and providing them with housing and financial and job assistance.
“As our president likes to say, ‘We used to help refugees because they were Jewish but now we help refugees because we’re Jewish,’” [HIAS spokesman Bill] Swersey said.
HIAS is also involved in immigration causes around the world through its 10 international offices. The recent issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and a migrant caravan have also become part of their work.
“As far as the migrant caravan goes, we are actively advocating for asylum seekers,” Swersey said.

Whoa! I had no idea about this group. Did you?

Here we have an organization “actively advocating” for open borders — fanatics committed to preventing the United States from enforcing its immigration laws — and the only people who seem to have noticed were Jew-haters like this high-school dropout from Pittsburgh.

Of course, there are all kinds of tax-exempt non-profits, including liberal Catholic and Protestant groups, doing the same thing as HIAS, but the anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists either ignore those other organizations or claim that they are somehow “controlled” by Jews. This is how ignorance, combined with the liberal bias (and/or laziness) of journalists, creates a void from which dangers emerge.

Liberal reporters don’t want Americans to know about the network of tax-exempt non-profit organizations that are working to subvert our national sovereignty, which is why you’re never going to see a critical examination of these groups on CNN. Jew-haters, however, are going to dig around obsessively and even a blind pig finds the occasional acorn, which yields the remarkable intersection of (a) a little-known fact that is actually important in the context of current public-policy debates, and (b) a dimwit kook whose response to this information is to take his guns to a synagogue and murder a bunch of innocent people.

Well, mass-murder is a bad idea and I’m against it, but the frustration that seems to have inspired Robert Bowers — why is everybody ignoring the role of HIAS in flooding the United States with Third World “refugees”? — is understandable. This organization that was founded to help relocate persecuted Jews (e.g., HIAS brought Google founder Sergey Brin’s family here from the Soviet Union in 1979) has been hijacked for other purposes, and is now “actively advocating” on behalf of this lawless caravan from Honduras. Nobody in the world of media or politics seems interested in discussing this unpleasant subject, which is why the only people talking about it were dimwit Jew-haters.

Shouldn’t intelligent critics of the open-borders lobby stop ignoring this? And shouldn’t conservative Jews be outraged that groups like HIAS are damaging the reputation of Jewish Americans, including patriotic citizens who don’t want to see their country overrun by a lawless horde of “refugees”? This is a shanda fur die goyim.

If I, as a righteous Gentile, am obligated to denounce anti-Semitic idiots like Robert Bowers, I should hope that Jews would feel a duty to reciprocate by denouncing those left-wing Jewish idiots (like the people running HIAS) who do things that inspire anti-Semitism.

By the way, my friend Jeff Dunetz wants you to know that hating George Soros doesn’t make you an anti-Semite, and this NRCC ad in Minnesota makes clear why every American should hate George Soros:


One of the problems that has plagued the Republican Party for more than half a century — going back as far as the 1964 Goldwater campaign, at least — is the unfortunate perception that, because conservatives are “right-wing,” they are somehow therefore analogous to Nazis. This smear has been reiterated so endlessly that most Republicans have grown weary of debunking it, but every once in while something happens that forces conservatives to confront this decades-old libel directly. The blankness of Robert Bowers’ biography, a mysterious opaque void which no journalist seems interested in penetrating, has given rise to such an occasion.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!




3 Responses to “Why Do We Know Almost Nothing About Pittsburgh Gunman Robert Bowers?”

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    October 31st, 2018 @ 5:27 am

    […] Reynolds quotes Stacy McCain this […]

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    […] McCain is quite right to point out that the press’s unwillingness to ask the usual questions (who is this guy, where did he come […]

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