It takes a nation to protect the nation
by Mark Steyn
The War on Free Speech
May 18, 2017
For years now I've said that anti-free-speech leftists and the men who slaughtered the staff of Charlie Hebdo, shot up Lars Vilks' event in Copenhagen, etc, are merely different points on the same continuum: They're both in the shut-up business: both groups find it quicker and easier and more satisfying to silence you than to debate you.
There were those who found the comparison offensive - to whom I would on good-humored days grant that the two points on the same continuum were nevertheless some distance apart.
Well, they got considerably closer in Reykjavik last week.
Robert Spencer, the author of several bestselling books on Islam, a brave crusader against the dopier multiculti illusions and the proprietor of the indispensable Jihad Watch, gave a speech at the Grand Hotel, went to unwind at dinner afterwards, and was poisoned by a social-justice warrior. Here's Robert's account of what happened:
After the event, my security chief, the organizers of the event, Ms. Williams, and I went to a local restaurant to celebrate its success. But I was quickly recognized: a young Icelander called me by name, shook my hand, and said he was a big fan. Shortly after that, another citizen of that famously courteous land likewise called me by my name, shook my hand, and said "f*** you."
Back in my hotel room, I began to feel numbness in my face, hands, and feet. I began trembling and vomiting. My heart was racing dangerously. I spent the night in a Reykjavik hospital.
A hospital test confirmed that I had been poisoned -- Ritalin mixed with MDMA (Ecstasy). One of the local Icelanders who had approached me (likely the one who said he was a big fan, as he came much closer to me than the "f*** you" guy) had dropped drugs into my drink. I was ill for several days afterward.
That's quite a sophisticated operation - a two-man team, the first a fake fan, the second a post-kiss-of-death gloater.
Before the banking crash of '08, Iceland was flush, and celebs like Elton John were flown in for gala bashes. But it's all quietened down a bit since then, so the Spencer event was a big deal. He drew an audience of 500 - which in a town of 125,000 and a nation of 300,000 is pretty impressive. There was lots of coverage of his visit - none of which actually quoted him or excerpted his speech or interviewed those who were interested in hearing what he had to say. Instead the media preferred to cover the few dozen protestors of his trip. In all the column inches devoted to Robert Spencer, no journalist thought to seek a comment from Robert Spencer. There are two sides to every story - except this guy's story: he doesn't deserve a side.
This kind of dehumanization sends a message - and the man who poisoned Robert got it loud and clear:
Those who paint the targets, and those who shoot at them, think they're doing something great. Not only does the Left fill those whom it brainwashes with hate, but it does so while portraying its enemies as the hatemongers, such that violent Leftists such as the young man who drugged me feel righteous as they victimize and brutalize for the crime of disagreement.
I have no doubt whatsoever that whoever poisoned me in Iceland went away feeling happy over what he had done. If he told anyone what he did, I'm sure he was hailed as a hero. I'm also aware that many who read this will crow and exult in knowing that someone who hates my opposition to jihad terror and Sharia oppression made me seriously ill. This is how degenerate and evil the Left has become.
I don't know how I'd stand up to a cocktail of Ritalin and Ecstasy. I do know there's at least one person in my modest entourage it would kill. And I have no doubt that had the fellow in the restaurant switched on the radio the following morning and heard that Robert Spencer had died in hospital overnight he would have celebrated.
Like the guns at Singapore, the social-justice mob's fingers are pointing in the wrong direction: They accuse their opponents endlessly of "otherization"; yet they are the ones who so deny the humanity of "the other" that it seems cool and heroic to attempt to kill a chap who gave a speech you object to - even though you never heard the speech, and, even if you had, are incapable of articulating what exactly in it you take issue with.
Douglas Murray and I noted after the tenth anniversary of the Mohammed cartoons how strangely controversial the post-event dinner has become. In Copenhagen, the restaurant panicked at the sight of the PET - the Danish security-service agents - and canceled our booking. As Douglas wrote:
Ten years ago, you could publish depictions of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper. Ten years later, it is hard for anyone who has been connected with such an act to find a restaurant in Copenhagen that will serve them dinner.
For those in Robert Spencer's line of work, these events are undeniably stressful. There are security precautions, of course, but you never know, from the Vilks event in Copenhagen to Robert's in Garland, Texas, whether some jihadist will succeed in breaking through. There's a sense of relief when you exit the stage and it's all gone off without incident. You're looking forward to a drink and a bite to eat in convivial company. And you're on your post-performance high, so you're generally bonhomous when people approach professing to be fans and seeking a selfie or an autograph. And there's three or four and they're all around you, and you put your drink down on the table - as Douglas and I did again and again in the bar we wound up in late that night. And the fans move on, and you pick up your glass without a thought...
Robert Spencer will never do that again.
The social-justice crowd are moving toward the same point as the Charlie Hebdo killers, and for the same reason: They're too stupid to argue. For the Islamic imperialists, debate is a largely alien concept. For the left, it's simply too much effort. As I said here many years ago, the great appeal of multiculturalism is that it absolves you from having to know anything about other cultures: If they're all equally valid, what's the point? Slap on the CO-EXIST bumper sticker and off you tootle. No need to worry whether the "C" might have a bit of a problem with some of the other letters, and that indeed, if not for the "C", you wouldn't need a bumper-sticker admonition to CO-EXIST in the first place. But, after two generations of social engineering, of the substitution of attitudes for education, it would require too much effort to equip yourself to argue against the difficult questions a man such as Robert Spencer raises. It's literally easier to kill him.
Not yet in the blood-lusting exultant scimitar-raising style of the decapitators of French priests. But just through whatever you've got in your stash that might ensure he'll be flying out of Reykjavik by the handles. So for the moment there is still a continuum. But it's narrowing, and will narrow still.
Get well soon, Robert.
To get justice, you have to have the correct political opinions.
Wed Dec 4, 2019
An Icelandic police report, which they recently sent me on a freedom of information request, details what happened when I was poisoned at the Bar Ananas in Reykjavik on May 11, 2017. I spent the night in the Emergency Department at Landspítali, the National University Hospital of Iceland, suffering from serious symptoms of poisoning that were not adequately treated.
The police treated four people as suspects in the investigation:
1) Sindri Geirsson, the proprietor of the Prikið Kaffihús in Reykjavik, down the street from the Bar Ananas. He handed me the poisoned drink;
2) Sigurður Ólafsson, a friend of Sindri Geirsson who sat by his side at the bar, and who went (as can be seen on the recording from the security camera) into the bathroom with a siphon. He returned to the bar and can be seen stirring the drink that was later brought to me with a siphon under the bar table. He was also seen squeezing something from the siphon into my glass.
3) Sigurður Hreiðar Elíasson, who walked up to me, shook my hand, and said: “Fuck you!” The report the police took of him is very short. He claimed he couldn’t have put anything in my glass since he had to stretch across a person sitting by my side to shake my hand.
4) The taxi driver who drove us to the Bar Ananas.
It is important to note that only two of the four suspects or defendants asked for their lawyer to be present during their interrogation: Sindri Geirsson and Sigurður Ólafsson. This is the same pair that can be seen in the recording of the security camera, acting very suspiciously. They were eventually charged by the Investigative Branch of the Police, which wanted the case brought to the court for judgment.
Under interrogation, both Sindri Geirsson and Sigurður Ólafsson denied they had poisoned me. They were shown the recording of the security camera; each time something was shown that implicated them in the act, they were asked “What were you doing?” Or “Why did you do that?” They repeatedly responded: “I don’t remember.”
Asked if they themselves used illegal drugs, both Sindri Geirsson and Sigurður Ólafssondenied doing so. When the police reminded Sindri Geirsson that he had been involved indirectly in a drug bust that happened at a party while he was present, Sindri Geirsson said he was there only because he knew so many people from the nightlife. When he was asked if his friend Sigurður Ólafsson used drugs, Sindri Geirsson said he used amphetamines sometimes, but not often. Sigurður Ólafsson denied using illegal drugs.
When the police told him that his friend Sindri Geirsson had claimed he used amphetamines, Sigurður Ólafsson said Sindri Geirsson was lying.
A security camera picked up Sindri Geirsson and Sigurður Ólafsson and another Icelander who was treated as a witness in this case smoking outside as they met Sigurður Hreiðar Elíasson; they were pointing and looking in the window of the bar/restaurant at where our group was seated. At the beginning of the security camera recording, the three of them, Sindri Geirsson, Sigurður Ólafsson and the witness can be seen sitting together at the bar when Sindri Geirsson points in my direction. Sigurður Ólafsson and the witness both claim that Sindri Geirsson recognized who I was, but they did not, but confirmed it was so after having looked at news on the internet about me via their mobile phones. The recording does not show this witness taking an active part in committing the crime.
Reviewing the results of the investigation, Assistant Prosecutor Kjartan Ólafsson wrote a letter dated August 25, 2017 to the District Public Prosecutor, saying that in light of the recordings of the security camera and other things brought forward in the investigation that this was a criminal case that should be brought to court, because there was a likelihood of conviction against Sindri Geirsson and Sigurður Ólafsson. In his letter, he says: “The accused in the case are suspected of having poisoned Robert Bruce Spencer with narcotics by putting a combination of amphetamine and MDMA into his drink.”
The Assistant Prosecutor also writes: “A recording from the security camera of the place shows the accused Sindri hand a siphon over to the accused Sigurður, who afterward takes the siphon to the bathroom. When he comes back to the bar, he takes the drink into his hands, and puts in under the bar table and seems to be doing something with it. Afterward, he stirs continuously in the drink like he is mixing something into it. The accused are at this point very secretive and there is no doubt that there is something more going on than just a simple ordering of a drink.”
It can also be seen in the recording that before Sigurður Ólafsson goes into the bathroom with the siphon he takes something from his right pocket and shows it to Sindri Geirsson and to the witness. It can also be seen that just before Sigurður Ólafsson enters the bathroom, he puts his hand in his right pocket. The recording shows also that Sindri Geirsson is also stirring in the drink, and one point there are two siphons in the glass. They ordered three drinks in three similar glasses, and the drink that was brought to me was the only one that had a siphon in it. “The alleged poisoned drink is the only one marked by a siphon,” the police say in their description of the events shown in the recording of the security cameras.
The Assistant Prosecutor concludes: “In light of all this and given the evidence of the case, especially the recordings of the security cameras, I think this case if brought to court would likely result in a guilty verdict.”
The investigation of this poisoning case was handed over to the District Public Prosecutor on August 25, 2017. About seven months later, on April 5, 2018, the District Public Prosecutor (in a letter signed by Pétur Hrafn Hafstein, Representative of the District Public Prosecutor) said a follow-up investigation was needed. He requested two things:
1) A note from the doctor who was supposedly caring for me in the hospital emergency room, Hjalti Már Björnsson, whose gross and likely politically motivated negligence and violation of his Hippocratic Oath I explained in an ethics complaint I filed against him with the Icelandic Medical Board. Hjalti Már Björnsson downplayed and obfuscated what he had to acknowledge were clear symptoms of poisoning in his medical report, lied about what I told him, and failed to take basic tests that should have been done on any emergency room patient. It later turned out that he was a highly politicized Leftist – which explains his criminal negligence and false claims, as well as his strongly urging me to end my work.
Dr. Andrew Bostom, who is a practicing physician as well as a premier researcher of jihad and Islamic antisemitism, examined the records of my emergency room stay and wrote to me:
This was a dismissive work-up of a middle-aged man who was at risk for potentially catastrophic acute illness: myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolus, status asthmaticus, etc. ad nauseam, and who was already suffering from tachycardia and tachypnea, with low sodium and detectable levels of potentially toxic amphetamines clandestinely spiked into something he drank unwittingly.
At minimum, you should have been placed on continuous electrocardiogram monitoring for rhythm, had a 12-lead ECG and cardiac enzymes drawn to rule out a heart attack, had simple pulse oximetry continuously, and routine blood pressure, and other vital signs monitoring serially with full documentation in the ER Record until all your vital signs normalized.
None of that was done. Was Hjalti Már Björnsson hoping I would just die?
2) The blood sample and urine sample that the hospital took. The representative of the District Public Prosecutor also said in his letter if there was no longer any blood sample and if it was not possible to measure the quantity of the drugs in the urine sample, it “might be necessary to discontinue the investigation.” To back up this assessment, Pétur Hrafn Hafstein cites a paragraph from the code of criminal procedure. And as was to be expected, no blood sample or urine sample was available, as this was nearly a year after the incident. The hospital claimed it was a standard procedure of the hospital to dispose of all samples four days after they had been taken. The report Hjalti Már sent on July 18, 2018 contained basically the same lies and misinformation he had sent to the Ethical Committee of the Icelandic Medical Association on August 29, 2017.
All this is clear from the police report. Two things, however, were missing from the files that the Icelandic police sent me about their investigation: the second page of the report from Hjalti Már Björnsson to the police, and the testimony of the fourth suspect to the police. I have requested this information, but Icelandic authorities have not replied.
I went to the police on May 13, 2017. The police investigated the matter and submitted their conclusion to the District Prosecutor on August 25, 2017, after only three months and ten days. My contacts in Iceland tell me that this is very quick work given the workload they have; they must have given my case priority. But then it took the District Prosecutor around seven months to write one simple letter requesting a follow-up investigation, and stated already at that point (April 5, 2018) in the letter that if the blood sample or urine sample was not to be found, they might need to call everything off.
Did they really expect the hospital to keep these samples for eleven months? Was this the District Prosecutor’s way of sabotaging the case? Did they wait all those months in order to ensure that the samples would be unavailable? Were they afraid they would lose the case because the lawyers for the poisoners would get the quack doctor Hjalti Már Björnsson to testify on their behalf and lie again?
One of the people who invited me to speak in Iceland commented: “I know for sure there is not always a good working relationship between judges and the police, even to the point of being hostile. But at the same time, if there is any political motive behind this, it most certainly came from the top, not from the investigative police themselves.”
Nonetheless, the police report and medical report make what happened abundantly clear. Sindri Geirsson and Sigurður Ólafsson should be in prison right now for poisoning me. Since Sindri Geirsson is the proprietor of the Prikið Kaffihús in Reykjavik, down the street from the Bar Ananas, both of these places should be shut down as hazards to the public health, or at very least, Sindri Geirsson should be made to divest himself of his interests in the Prikið Kaffihús and never again allowed to work in a place that sells food or drinks. Hjalti Már Björnsson should be permanently barred from practicing medicine.
None of this will happen, of course. Because Sindri Geirsson, Sigurður Ólafsson and Hjalti Már Björnsson are Leftists and I am not, they suffered no consequences for their actions. At least now what happened is a matter of public record, as is the willingness of Icelandic authorities to allow a man to be victimized if he doesn’t hold the accepted political opinions.