A year ago today, Omar Mateen murdered 49 innocent men and women at Pulse Nightclub, armed with an assault rifle and semi-automatic pistol before pledging allegiance to the Islamic State during a phone call with police negotiators and then killing himself.
A superlative of horrors, the attack was both the worst single-shooter massacre in the country and the worst domestic terror-attack since Sept. 11.
It was also the worst episode of forced ignorance imposed by political correctness.
Rather than tell the truth, Attorney General Loretta Lynch told Orlando's gay community that the FBI didn't know Mateen's real motivation. And when she told grieving families that "we stand with you," Lynch didn't tell them that the Obama administration didn't trust them with the facts about the terrorist that just killed their loved ones.
At Lynch's direction, the FBI edited a partial 28-minute transcript of a 911 call, redacting all references to the Islamic State. As a result, grieving families played a tasteless and tragic fill-in-the-blank to learn about the killer. The most poignant moment of that text reads:
Mateen: I pledge allegiance to [omitted] may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of [omitted].
The redacted terrorist leader's name was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the redacted organization was the Islamic State. Lynch only released that information after lawmakers led by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., raised holy hell, slamming the Obama administration for whitewashing evil.
"We know he intentionally targeted the LGBT community," Ryan wrote. "The administration should release the full, un-redacted transcript so the public is clear-eyed about who did this, and why."
More than semantics, Ryan was right. Lynch's censorship had real consequences. Had the Obama administration had their way, the public and later history would simply remember the attack as something that just happened akin to a natural disaster, an inexplicable tragedy without a culpable villain.
Either by accident or design, that willful ignorance continues a year later. It was on full display at the Washington Post where a news article commemorating the victims didn't call the tragedy a terror attack and didn't mention the Islamic State. Neither did an otherwise touching piece over at the New Yorker.
While there's no need to relive every horrible moment, hiding the truth cheapens the tragedy. They became targets because they were gay and a terrorist murdered them because of it. The nation does a disservice to the victims by blindly papering over the truth. Their memories deserved to be commemorated and the Islamic State, cursed.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.