Facebook recently issued a counterterrorism policy stating unequivocally that it would not tolerate the use of its social network by anyone advocating violence. The policy mentions ISIS and Al Qaeda 11 times yet never once broaches the subject of homegrown white terrorists such as Timothy McVeigh and Dylann Roof. The Intercept's Sam Biddle noticed that the Bundy Ranch Facebook group, devoted to the activities of the armed militants who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last year, has some 200,000 members. Why does Facebook permit supporters of armed extremists who happen to be white and wear cowboy hats to use its platform? "Does Facebook," Biddle asked a spokesperson, "consider the armed takeover of a federal building to be an act of violence?" The company's reply: "I don't have an answer on that."
The anti-Muslim bias reflected in U.S. counterterrorism policy no doubt contributed to the Bush administration's decision to detain hundreds of Muslim men after 9/11, often without charge or trial. The United States has never paid restitution to any of the roughly 700 men released from Guantánamo — at least not that it has acknowledged publicly — or to the victims of the Bush administration's torture program. But last week Canada agreed to a settlement with Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen who was detained at age 15 and sent to Guantánamo. When Canadian officials visited him at the prison camp, Khadr showed them his injuries and said he'd confessed under torture. The Canadian government has now apologized for its refusal to help him and will pay $10 million in damages.