“Chattanooga Five” Memorial Event Ignored by National Media

September 28, 2015


An estimated 100,000 people showed up at a memorial event last week in Chattanooga, Tennessee to honor and remember the four Marines and one Navy Sailor who were assassinated at the hands of a Muslim jihadist in July. The national news media chose to ignore this massive outpouring of gratitude and remembrance for these fallen American heroes.  However, while the local media provided ample coverage, they took exception to remarks by Admiral James “Ace” Lyons (ret), who was invited to be one of the principal speakers.
 
So what were Admiral Lyons’ offensive words that so upset the local officials who organized the event, and the local media who reported on it? Specifically, Admiral Lyons laid the blame for the assassination on the “evil of radical Islam.”
 
Among other things, he said, “This tragedy never had to happen. They weren’t cut down on a battlefield. This was not workplace violence,” a clear reference to the Obama administration’s characterization of the attack by Major Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 and wounded 32 at Ft. Hood in Texas back in 2009.
 
Lyons stated “Make no mistake, it is clear our Constitution and way of life are under attack.” He also argued that it was President Obama’s policies that have contributed to the social unrest and the atmosphere of hate.
 
The mainstream media and Obama administration continue to deny this, and will find any excuse to blame domestic terror attacks on anything but radical Islam.
 
Lyons also said, “This Memorial Service isn’t the end. It’s the beginning of the Chattanooga Five Movement to take back America, and that will be their legacy.” He urged the crowd to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance in honor of the five heroes.
 
“This is what America is all about. We unite, we stand together. They represent the best of America.”
 
In July, NBC News cast Abdul Azeez's attacks as not motivated by Islam, despite the fact that the Chattanooga attacker had downloaded the speeches of radical al Qaeda cleric Anwar al Awlaki. Major Nidal Hasan, an army psychiatrist, had also been influenced by Awlaki, and had been in frequent email communication with him.
 
President Obama, likewise, refrained from using the word terrorism to describe the attacks, according to Marc A. Thiessen, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, and a columnist for The Washington Post.
 
“Give the president this much: At least he didn’t call the Chattanooga, Tenn., shooting workplace violence,” wrote Thiessen in a column for the Post. “Speaking from the Oval Office just hours after the attack, President Obama did not once use the word ‘terrorism’ in relation to the assault by Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez on military sites in Chattanooga,” he notes.
 
Even more forbidden is commentary on the jihadist nature of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
“A quick online search shows that this isn't the first time Admiral Lyons has been outspoken against the Obama administration,” reported ABC News Channel 9 about the event. “Back in February, Lyons claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood had succeeded in infiltrating every U.S. security agency under the Obama presidency during a National Press Club conference.”
 
The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein made similar observations last month when he attempted to tarnish Admiral Lyons’ reputation.
 
“President Obama has been unduly influenced by [the Muslim Brotherhood] during both terms in office,” we reported in response.
 
“Should the Muslim Brotherhood be viewed as some benign, moderate organization?” we asked. “Or instead as the organization that spawned Al Qaeda and other significant terrorist organizations?”
 
“President Obama’s declaration to fundamentally transform America is anti-American,” Admiral Lyons asserted, and was greeted with the crowd’s vocal cheers. “And I might add a violation of his oath of office.”
 
Admiral Lyons is an esteemed member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB). As outlined in the CCB Interim Report from April of last year, “The U.S. facilitated the delivery of weapons and military support to al Qa’eda-linked rebels in Libya” under President Obama’s leadership—effectively switching sides in the war on terror.
 
Listening to the crowd’s reaction, it appears that Admiral Lyons’ comments were very well received.
 
Yet, “Some in the crowd applauded, others were surprised by what they heard—including festival organizers,” maintains the local ABC News channel. It is clear from the video that the organizers, not the crowd, are the ones who had a problem with Admiral Lyons’ speech.
 
The media continue to ignore this administration’s decision to ally itself with radical groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, and how this endangers all of America. By casting Admiral Lyons’ comments as offensive, local news outlets merely continue the liberal media attitude that criticism of radical Islam and President Obama should somehow be off limits, to the detriment of our national security.
 
One person associated with the event asked Lyons to apologize for his remarks. Lyons told me that he informed him that he never apologizes for telling the truth. He told him, “I believe they [the five men murdered] should receive the purple hearts and other benefits just as if they were killed on a foreign battlefield.”

Copyright ©2015

Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at roger.aronoff@aim.org.