Remember Anders Breivik, the Norwegian man who carried out terror attacks including the bombing of an Oslo government building and mass shooting at a Workers' Youth League camp, killing 77 people and injuring 319 more in July 2011?
Much more important, and universally overlooked, was the news that came to light last month: Breivik released a letter to the international media indicating that he had intentionally portrayed himself as a counterjihadist and Zionist in order to trick the media into attacking these very people and to cover up his true allegiance to "nordicists" and "ethnocentric nationalists" (i.e. neo-Nazis).
In contrast with the heavily covered Playstation 3 letter, this prior one received little to no coverage in the American press beyond a Wall Street Journal article focusing on Breivik's allegations of inhumane prison conditions. The Journal's only mention at all of information even tangentially related to Breivik's true motives came in the last line of their report: "Mr. Breivik in his letter said the manifesto shouldn't be taken seriously because it was "a cut and paste job" from other authors and didn't necessarily reflect his intentions."
Only one organization that received Breivik's letter, the Swedish Expo Foundation, an allegedly leftist organization that claims its purpose is to challenge intolerance, stated anything substantive about the ideological portions of Breivik's letter. In an article dated January 10, 2014, Expo noted that Breivik indicated that he used counterjihadist rhetoric to protect "ethno-nationalists" and instead launch a media drive against counterjihadists -- employing a tactic of "dual psychology," claiming he sought "pure Nordic ideals," and noting that his affinity for Israel only consisted of viewing it as a place to deport "disloyal Jews."
The proprietors of the blog Gates of Vienna, following up on the Expo article, did the yeoman's work to actually obtain and analyze Breivik's prior letter, leading to the aforementioned astounding but ignored revelations. In the letter, Brevik stated:
"When dealing with media psychopaths, a good way to counter their tactics is to use double-psychology, or at least so I thought. The compendium [i.e. Breivik's manifesto] was, among other things, of a calculated and quite cynical gateway-design (the 2+?+?=6-approach), created to strengthen the ethnocentrist wing in the contra-jihad movement, by pinning the whole thing on the anti-ethnocentrist wing (many of the leaders are pro-multiculti social democrats or liberalists), while at the same time protecting and strengthening the ethnocentrist-factions. The idea was to manipulate the MSM and others so that they would launch a witchhunt and send their media-rape-squads against our opponents. It worked quite well." [emphasis added and formatting fixed]
The key to manipulating the media into covering his story, according to Breivik, was to explicitly disavow his ties to Nazis:
"I could have easily avoided excessive pathologisation by keeping the message short and by clinging to the already established ideological cliff of national socialism (its important to remember that this was at a time when all right wing radicals were labeled as nazis), but if they had been allowed to label me as a nazi, the ideological considerations and discussions would be over, and my court-speeches and propaganda performance would never be broadcasted world wide, during the trial." [emphasis added]
On the topic of Zionism, Breivik argued:
"I know a lot of people will be disappointed when reading this, but my love for Israel is limited to its future function as a deportation-port for disloyal jews."
As a brief aside, interestingly, one of those most cited in Breivik's manifesto, Daniel Pipes, had hypothesized that this was all Breivik's true intent back in June 2012.
The authors of Gates of Vienna feel that media outlets "chose to bury those portions of the text that would destroy the 'narrative' they had so painstakingly crafted over the past two and a half years."
Further in their view:
"If there were any honesty and decency left among journalists, they would have immediately issued an apology for their previous blindness and stupidity, and a retraction of all the stories in which they had so faithfully promoted a false explanation for the deeds of a mass killer — just as the murderer himself had intended."
The "narrative" to which the bloggers at Gates of Vienna are referring reflects the media's attack on the so-called Islamophobes Breivik most frequently cited in his manifesto, who were critical of jihadists and Islam more broadly. Such counterjihadist bloggers and published authors as "Fjordman," Bat Ye'or, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Pamela Geller were repeatedly harangued in the media, implying guilt by association if not culpability by those portrayed as anti-Islamic right-wingers in the wake of Breivik's attack.
Here are a sample of some of the articles that ran in the wake of Breivik's killing spree:
• The New York Times (July 24, 2011): Killings in Norway Spotlight Anti-Muslim Thought in U.S.
• The Washington Post (July 25, 2011): Anders Behring Breivik and the influence industry of rage
• Al Jazeera (July 26, 2011): Islamophobes distance themselves from Breivik
TheBlaze's Buck Sexton wrote an article on August 1, 2011 titled, Why Does the Left Seem Determined to Call Anders Breivik a 'Christian Terrorist', where he questioned the narrative.
Spencer said in a recent post:
"English-language media has completely ignored this story, not even bothering to publish stories designed to shore up their earlier demonization of the counter-jihad movement, and claiming that Breivik is cravenly trying to obscure his counter-jihadist tracks, or simply delusional and crazy, as Greenfield does. Instead, no one mentioned it at all...Contrast that to the huge media barrage when Breivik’s “manifesto” was first discovered: I was on NBC for the first time in ten years, I was on the front page of the New York Times, I was on the BBC, and in a hundred other places — everywhere being blamed for the murders. But now, when Breivik says he was a Nazi and was not only not influenced by the counter-jihad movement, but was trying to destroy it?"
Whether Breivik's letters merely reflect the rantings of a murderous psychopath or not (the court deemed Breivik sane in a controversial decision), the facts are clear. In the aftermath of Breivik’s attack, Breivik was portrayed as an anti-Islamic right-winger, heavily influenced by the counterjihadists Breivik cited, toxifying a group of people for their criticism of jihadism and Islamic supremacism. Now that Breivik claims that he manipulated the media, that in fact he used the counterjihadists to shield his true neo-Nazi allies, which he cites by name in the letter at hand, the media has gone mum.
Whatever the truth given Breivik's questionable psychological state, serious damage has been done to the lives of those cited in Breivik's manifesto, along with their associates. Does not the media have an obligation to report on Breivik's newest writings in full, as a matter of equity to those damaged by his manifesto, regardless of whether or not it fits a narrative?
Author's Note: This post has been updated to clarify that Gates of Vienna obtained a digital copy of Breivik's letter that was written in English, following up on a review of the letter's contents by the Expo Foundation. Gates of Vienna's proprietors indicated that the letter was translated into English by a Norwegian speaker before being circulated to the press via snail mail.