Executive Intelligence Review


America’s Culture of Violence Starts with Perpetual Wars

Feb. 26, 2018 (EIRNS)—In a recent discussion, former FBI whistleblower and now member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) Coleen Rowley addressed the issue of “domestic terror” behind mass shootings, pointing to the media’s role in fostering a widespread “culture of violence.”

In a Feb. 21 podcast discussion with Jeff Schechtman of “WhoWhatWhy,” Rowley stated that, while the FBI liked to look at everything as a simple “Perry Mason detective plot,” the reality of what we are dealing with is something much larger. “The CIA and the Pentagon have been backing, helping make about 1,800 movies,” she said, pointing to titles like the 2014 “American Sniper” and (2012) “Zero Dark 30,” or even, years earlier, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1984 role in “The Terminator.” “The hero will be someone who’s wronged,” Rowley said,

“and then at the end they shoot everyone.... A mentally impaired or emotionally troubled person is seeing themselves as that hero in those movies.... Even with suicide this happens. If a person in a—a friend commits suicide, that often will have such an impact on that group of people that it will spawn copycat suicides.”

“Our culture is doing this,” she insisted, “it’s promoting this violent culture. And of course this is over and above the availability and easy access to weapons.... You put all of those things together and that does not explain the question, ‘Columbine, why is this happening?’ Why are we experiencing an epidemic of mass violence? Again, our news never mentions that because we want to ... compartmentalize this and make it seem as if it’s easily—it’s not us as a culture.”

By pointing to mental illness, or to the easy availability of guns, “you want to make it something that doesn’t reflect badly on our culture.”

In addition, Rowley pointed out the influence of the “perpetual war” on the society. As far back as the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Timothy McVeigh was “a product of Gulf War One,” as was Washington Beltway sniper John Muhammad in 2002. Two studies have now shown that veterans are “twice as likely” to become one of these mass shooters. She continued to tick them off: the 2016 Dallas, Texas ambush of police (killed 5, wounded 9); the 2013 D.C. Navy Yard shooter (killed 12); and more. “This is twice as likely.” (The Feb. 14 Parkland, Florida shooter was a junior ROTC member, though not a veteran per se.)

When then-Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge pointed to “violent video games” as a cause of mass shootings, “he got hushed up right away,” she observed, instead of beginning a necessary discussion.