Monday, January 10, 2011


On November 5, 2009, Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan shouted, “Allah Akbar!” an opened fire with an FN 5.7 on his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, TX, killing 13 and wounding 30 more.

The next day President Obama, after speaking about the need to pass his healthcare reform bill and having a “shout out” in honor of one Dr. Joe Medicine Crow at a meeting of Indian Tribal leaders, finally got around to mentioning the Fort Hood shootings.

At a press briefing the day after, he said, "This morning I met with FBI Director Mueller and the relevant agencies to discuss their ongoing investigation into what caused one individual to turn his gun on fellow servicemen and women. We don't know all of the answers yet, and I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all of the facts.”

It took Department of Motherland Security head honcho Janet Incompetano until February 24th of the next year before she finally concluded that, "Violent Islamic terrorism ... was part and parcel of the Ft. Hood killings. There is violent Islamic terrorism, be it Al Qaeda in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen or anywhere else, [and] that is indeed a major focus of this department and its efforts."

This past Saturday, Jared Loughner walked into an open political event being held by Arizona Democratic Representative Gabrielle Gifford and opened fire, apparently in an assassination attempt on the Congresswoman. Six people were killed and a dozen more wounded.

Within a couple of hours, the Department of Homeland Insecurity “leaked” an internal memo to the press connecting Loughner to a group called the American Renaissance, which the Southern Poverty Law Center, always known for objectivity and accuracy, called a “white nationalist” organization.

The DHS memo states that there is "no direct connection" between Loughner and the group "but strong suspicion is being directed at AmRen / American Renaissance. Suspect is possibly linked to this group. The group's ideology is anti government, anti immigration, anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti Semitic." (AmRem’s president said they had never heard of the guy and he had never had anything to do with him.)

Just the facts, ma’am.

By noon, it was reported that the shooter was, “A 22-year-old veteran of the War in Afghanistan named Jared Laughner.” (The Army later said he had tried to join once but never made it past the piss test for drugs.) When the media first (mis)reported the shooter’s name as Jared Laughner, by no later than 1400 “Jared Laughner” had a Facebook page where people who inspired him were listed as “Tea Party Patriots” and “Sara Plain and Sarah Palin.” The account was soon scrubbed.

Yet, instead of, “Don’t jump to conclusions before we have the facts…” here is just a small sampling of what we get…

“Rhetorical attacks on officials have been getting tougher, and words that once would have seemed out of bounds now are almost routine. South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson. shouted ‘You lie!’ at Obama when the president spoke to a joint session on health care in 2009. Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has compared the president to Adolf Hitler. Rep. Giffords was also on Sarah Palin's ‘target list.’"

USA Today

“Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ Blood is on Sarah Palin's Hands After Putting Cross Hair Over District.”

N.Y. Daily News headline

“The extremists and their voices, the crazy voices that sometimes get on the TV, that's not who we are, that's not who you are, and what we have to do is get through that and make it clear that that doesn't represent either American or Arab ideas or opinions."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

"The vitriol has gotten so elevated until people feel emboldened by this."

South Carolina Representative James Clyburn

"Words matter, and those who use inflammatory rhetoric to achieve cheap political gain weaken the entire fabric of our democracy."
Manhattan-Queens Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
"I do not believe in negative campaigning. It serves no purpose. It creates a problem out there with people who don't understand and they go out there and they do some ridiculous kind of things. So my advice is, let's eliminate negative campaigning, let's deal with the facts, talk about the facts and if we disagree, lets disagree in a very kind of a very wholesome and healthy manner."
Brooklyn Congressman Edolphus Towns
Carson “wondered whether Loughner was also affected by the political climate in Arizona, where dissatisfaction with the federal government runs deep and elected officials are regularly the targets of threats and vandalism.”
Dr. Chris Carson, Urgent Psychiatric Care Center in Phoenix.

"The rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates — and to try to inflame the public on a daily basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week — has impact on people, especially (those) who are unbalanced personalities to begin with."
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik
“The questions about violent rhetoric were already being asked even before the first shots were fired on Saturday."
Kirk Hanson of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California
BTW, and generally unreported, A Twitter account by Caitie Parker, a former friend who went to high school with, was in the band with, and in college with Loughner, noted such things as:

“he was a pot head & into rock like Hendrix,The Doors, Anti-Flag. I haven't seen him in person since 07”

“As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy.”

“he had a lot of friends until he got alcohol poisoning in '06, & dropped out of school. Mainly loner very philosophical”

“I haven't seen him since '07. Then, he was left wing.”

Maybe the political hacks and the talking heads have something about all this “vitriol” and “violent rhetoric”, as we here at ye olde blogge noted on more than one occasion.

No comments: