The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee lauded the Canadian government for quickly labeling this week’s attacks as terrorism, with a dig at the Obama administration’s use of “workplace violence.”
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) noted in a statement that Canada “has always stood with us in troubled times, and we stand with them.”
“I was impressed with the Canadian government’s swift condemnation of what was obviously an act of terror,” McKeon said. “I wish the Obama administration used similar language during the Ft. Hood shooting, rather than pretending that ‘workplace violence’ was an accurate description of a tragic terrorist attack.”
Since the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, lawmakers in both chambers have been trying to get the administration to recognize the massacre as a terrorist attack and make those injured eligible for the Purple Heart.
“I hope the president will follow Prime Minister Harper’s example and recognize terrorist attacks for what they are,” McKeon added.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said today that “based on the fact that the Canadian officials have determined that this is a terrorist incident, you can expect — you should expect that U.S. officials who are responsible for our counterterrorism efforts have also been in touch with their counterparts in Canada to offer assistance and to coordinate both in the investigation and in any needed response.”
“…And there is a very important role for the mainstream Muslim community in this country and around the world to play in this effort, as well, that there are respected religious figures who can effectively counter the extremist messages that are being widely distributed in an effort to appeal to the youth in some communities, both in this country, but in countries around the world,” Earnest added.
“And the Obama administration has made it a priority to engage these local leaders and mobilize them in this effort. We’re pleased with the kind of strong partnership that’s been established in a number of communities across the country. But it’s important for us to continue to be vigilant, both about the threat, but also about our ongoing efforts to counter it.”