Both Violet and myiq2xu have posts up pointing out that the shooter in yesterday’s tragic events is likely mentally disturbed and may have not been inspired by the increasingly violent rhetoric coming from the right.
I am one of those who made such a connection. However, upon examination of his videos, it is pretty clear that this guy was emotionally disturbed. Having had some up close dealings with it, his fixations and paranoia make me think he is likely schizophrenic, though I am not at all qualifed to make that diagnosis. No doubt we will learn much more about him in coming days.
And let’s be very clear that the vast majority of mentally ill people are not violent towards others, and in fact, are more likely to be the victims of violence rather than perpetrators.
Whether he was inspired by the likes of people like Sarah Palin or Sharron Angle, et al, remains to be seen. I rather doubt it.
That doesn’t mean we don’t have a problem in this country.
Whether or not Palin or Angle or anyone’s words provided justification for Jared Loughner, the violent words that many use to demonize their political opponents and rally their supporters has to stop. If that language had not been out there, if we had not heard phrases like, “Don’t retreat! Reload!“, or seen maps with crosshairs with the words “Time to Take a Stand” on them, or been witness to abortion clinic bombings and killings, heard diatribe after diatribe by rightwing radio hosts and authors pushing the idea that liberals or progressives should be “eliminated,” or gazed upon “Wanted Posters” with targeting abortion providers or web sites which, as early as 1999, posted abortion doctors’ home addresses, can anyone really blame us for immediately thinking that this guy, who specifically went to a political event and shot a Democratic Congresswoman in the head at point blank range, might have been one of those crazies inspired by that inflammatory language? Maybe if all that rhetoric had not preceded this, we may not have jumped to the conclusions we did.
What could ever have given us that idea?
The full 20 minute video and transcript is here.
I have no doubt that such language is responsible for Dr. Tiller’s assassination, and for the likes of domestic terrorists and murderers Eric Rudolph, Timothy McVeigh, James von Brunn, Richard Poplawski, or the wanna-be terrorist headed for the Tides Foundation who was inspired by Glenn Beck’s conspiracy mongering and us-or-them language.
This is not to say that I find our side completely without blame. I’ve heard the some of the same sort of language coming from people on our side of the politial spectrum. Just yesterday, one of my so-called ‘liberal’ Facebook friends expressed an interest in putting a bag over Sarah Palin’s head and, as he put it, “pumping some rounds into her.” Needless to say, he is no longer my friend.
It’s just that I’ve never heard anything comparable from Progressive Talk Radio. Ever. And I’m not seeing a whole lot of shootings or bombings coming from the Left. Stupid language, yes. Violence? No.
Which brings me to Keith Olbermann.
As many of you know, I used to love me some Keith Olbermann, until his misogyny started to grate and finally, his out and out war on Hillary Clinton during the 2008 primaries led me to finally tune out, never to watch again. Still. He is correct here (video and transcript), and as for me, apology accepted. Go and sin no more.
Because tonight, what Mrs. Palin, and what Mr. Kelly, and what Congressman West, and what Ms. Angle, and what Mr. Beck, and what Mr. O’Reilly, and what you and I must understand, was that the man who fired today did not fire at a Democratic Congresswoman and her supporters.
He was not just a mad-man incited by a thousand daily temptations by slightly less-mad-men to do things they would not rationally condone.
He fired today into our liberty and our rights to live and to agree or disagree in safety and in freedom from fear that our support or opposition will cost us our lives or our health or our sense of safety. The bullseye might just as well have been on Mrs. Palin, or Mr. Kelly, or you, or me. The wrong, the horror, would have been – could still be just as real and just as unacceptable.
At a time of such urgency and impact, we as Americans – conservative or liberal – should pour our hearts and souls into politics. We should not – none of us, not Gabby Giffords and not any Conservative – ever have to pour our blood. And every politician and commentator who hints otherwise, or worse still stays silent now, should have no place in our political system, and should be denied that place, not by violence, but by being shunned and ignored.
I guess this is what Sharron Angle and Sarah Palin were talking about. I mean, if you can’t vote the Democrat out…
Ms. Giffords, 40, was described as being in very critical condition at the University Medical Center in Tucson, where she was operated on by a team of neurosurgeons. One of the surgeons said that she had been shot once in the head, “through and through,” with the bullet going through her brain.
[ . . . ]
An official with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department said that six people had been killed and 18 wounded in the shooting, including a federal judge, John Roll, who had been involved in immigration cases and had previously received death threats. Among the six dead was a child about 9 years old, the hospital confirmed.
[ . . . ]
Sylvia Lee, a friend of Ms. Giffords, told CNN that the congresswoman had received numerous threats.
In a statement, the House speaker, John A. Boehner, said: “I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff. An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured and their families. This is a sad day for our country.”
Any word from Sharron Angle?
Ms. Giffords, who represents Arizona’s Eighth District in the southeastern corner of the state, has been an outspoken critic of Arizona’s tough immigration law, which is focused on identifying, prosecuting and deporting illegal immigrants.
Last March, after the final approval of the Democrats’ health care law, which Ms. Giffords supported, the windows of her office in Tucson were broken or shot out in an act of vandalism. Similar acts were reported by other members of Congress, and several arrests were made, including that of a man who had threatened to kill Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington.
And in August 2009, when there were demonstrations against the health care measure across the nation, a protester who showed up to meet Ms. Giffords at a supermarket event similar to Saturday’s was removed by the police when the pistol he had holstered under his armpit fell and bounced on the floor.
During the fall campaign, Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential candidate, posted a controversial map on her Facebook page depicting spots where Democrats were running for re-election; those Democrats were noted by crosshairs symbols like those seen through the scope of a gun. Ms. Giffords was among those on Ms. Palin’s map.
Any word from Sarah Palin?
Talk about reaping the whirlwind.
Well, this makes sense. Not.
Private security contractors protecting the convoys that supply U.S. military bases in Afghanistan are paying millions of dollars a week in “passage bribes” to the Taliban and other insurgent groups to travel along Afghan roads, a congressional investigation released Monday has found.
The payments, which are reimbursed by the U.S. government, help fund the very enemy the U.S. is attempting to defeat and renew questions about the U.S. dependence on private contractors, who outnumber American troops in Afghanistan, 130,000 to 93,000.
Banging head against desk.
The report alleges that neither the contactors nor the military know specifically how the trucks arrive safely at bases when many of the country’s roads are regular targets of Taliban attacks.
The report quoted e-mails, PowerPoint presentations and meeting notes of HNT officials alerting local military commanders to the problem but the report found the military did little in response.
“The Department of Defense has been largely blind to potential strategic consequences of its supply chain contingency contracting. U.S. military logisticians have little visibility into what happens to their trucks on the road and virtually no understanding of how security is actually provided,” the report found.
More than nine months of desperate pleading finally paid off for the mothers of three American hikers detained in Iranas they embraced their children in an emotional reunion in Tehran today.
It was the first time the mothers have seen the hikers since the group was arrested in July for crossing the Iranian border and accused of spying by Iranian officials. The brother of one of the hikers was nearly overcome with emotion when he saw video of his mother hugging and kissing his brother on the cheek when they met at the Esteghlal Hotel in north Tehran.
In an interview earlier this month with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said it was up to a judge to decide whether the hikers were telling the truth when they claimed that they simply got lost.
“They have to provide proof and evidence to the judge in Iran that shows that they lost their way or made a mistake,” Ahmadinejad said. “When the time comes, they will have a lawyer.”
A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that prisoners being held without trial in Afghanistan by the military have no right to challenge their imprisonment in American civilian courts. The decision, overturning a lower court ruling in the detainees’ favor, was a victory for the Obama administration’s efforts to hold terrorism suspects overseas for extended periods without judicial oversight.
In a unanimous 26-page ruling, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that detainees who were captured outside of Afghanistan and brought to a military prison at the Bagram air base have no right to a hearing in which a judge would review the evidence against them and could potentially order their release.
Such habeas corpus rights do “not extend to aliens held in executive detention in the Afghan theater of war,” wrote David B. Sentelle, the chief judge of the appeals court, who was appointed by former President Ronald Reagan. His opinion was joined by Judges Harry T. Edwards, a Carter appointee, and David S. Tatel, a Clinton appointee.
I am so ashamed.
Can you smell the hypocrisy? How could anyone miss its pungent, suffocating odor? Apparently, what Obama called “a legal black hole at Guantanamo” is a heinous injustice, but “a legal black hole at Bagram” is the Embodiment of Hope. And evidently, Obama would only feel “terror” if his child were abducted and taken to Guantanamo and imprisoned “without even getting one chance to ask why and prove their innocence.” But if the very same child were instead taken to Bagram and treated exactly the same way, that would be called Justice — or, to use his jargon, Pragmatism. And what kind of person hails a Supreme Court decision as “protecting our core values” — as Obama said of Boumediene — only to then turn around and make a complete mockery of that ruling by insisting that the Cherished, Sacred Rights it recognized are purely a function of where the President orders a detainee-carrying military plane to land?
This is what Barack Obama has done to the habeas clause of the Constitution: if you are in Thailand (as one of the petitioners in this case was) and the U.S. abducts you and flies you to Guantanamo, then you have the right to have a federal court determine if there is sufficient evidence to hold you. If, however, President Obama orders that you be taken to from Thailand to Bagram rather than to Guantanamo, then you will have no rights of any kind, and he can order you detained there indefinitely without any right to a habeas review.
I don’t have much time for this post, so forgive any typos or egregious grammar.
Go read Madamab’s post at The Widdershins. She has something to say about the woman challenging Carolyn Maloney. I’d like to focus on a quote that madamab pulled from said challenger’s web site:
My parents, originally of Indian origin, barely escaped the brutal regime of Idi Amin in Uganda. Forced to flee during the government’s violent persecution of foreigners, my family lost everything. But amnesty in America gave them a chance to rebuild.
Compare to this story. There is just so much wrong in this story, that I don’t know where to begin. You’ve read my posts on indefinite detention, so I won’t belabor that point, but there is more to this than “just” indefinite detention. It is a story of our leaders never admitting error, of never righting a wrong.
A federal court on Thursday ordered the Pentagon to set free from Guantáaamo a former Russian Army ballet dancer turned devout Muslim whose plight captured the imagination of a Massachusetts college town.
Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. ordered the Obama administration to take “all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps . . . forthwith” to release Ravil Mingazov, 42, an ethnic Tartar who was captured in Pakistan in 2002 and turned over to U.S. forces.
Thursday’s midday ruling raised to 35 the number of Guantánamo detention cases the U.S. government has lost since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled two years ago that the war-on-terror captives can sue for their freedom in federal courts.
The Justice Department has so far successfully defended the indefinite detention of 13 Guantánamo captives.
Indefinite detention. No trial. Just hold’em. It gets worse. For those who are actually successful in challenging their detention and are set free, we are perfectly willing to send them back home where they are in mortal danger, or to force another country to take them. We don’t want any reminders of our duplicity.
Spaulding was seeking talks with the Obama administration to arrange for his client’s release to a country other than his homeland because of the stigma of nearly a decade in U.S. detention. Seven other Russians, who were released from Guantánamo in 2004, were tortured, beaten, harassed and sent into hiding, according a Human Rights Watch study.
But will we allow this political refugee on our soil? We detained him, found him innocent of all charges, but there is no welcome for him here.
Liberal activists in Massachusetts showcased the tale of Mingazov and an Algerian man named Ahmed Belbacha in a campaign last year that condemned the detention policies of the Bush administration.
On Nov. 4, Amherst’s 240-member Town Meeting voted to offer asylum to two Guantánamo captives cleared of wrongdoing who cannot go home.
Congress has since blocked any resettlement of cleared Guantánamo captives onto U.S. soil. The Obama administration has turned to Europe mostly to take in released captives.
A Democratic-controlled Congress, by the way.
In western Massachusetts, activist Nancy Talanian of a grass-roots group, “No More Guantánamos,” said Pioneer Valley residents were still eager to take in Mingazov for resettlement.
“Guantánamo detainees who cannot safely return home are really no different than other refugees whom western Massachusetts communities have welcomed in the past,” she said.
If the Obama administration can tell Europe that former detainees “would not pose any danger,” she said, “that should be sufficient assurance that we can be safe with some of them living here.”
You would think. But, hell, that would mean we are soft on Terra.
Awesome OpEd. Go read it all.
We are conditioned to think of terror wrought by Islamic fundamentalists as something strange and alien and other. It is the violence of men with long beards who jabber in weird languages and kill for mysterious reasons while worshiping God in ways that seem outlandish to middle-American sensibilities. And whatever quirk of nature or deficiency of humanity it is that allows them to do what they do, is, we think, unique. There is, we are pleased to believe, a hard, immutable line between us and Them.
“Preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive,” it says on Hutaree’s website. And you wonder: Who is this Jesus they worship and in what Bible is he found? Why does he bear so little resemblance to the Jesus others find in their Bibles, the one who said that if someone hits you on your right cheek, offer him your left, the one who said if someone forces you to go one mile with him, go two, the one who said love your enemies.
Why does their Jesus need the help of men in camo fatigues with guns and bombs? In this, he is much like the Allah for whom certain Muslims blow up marketplaces and crowded buses. Muslim and American terrorists, it seems, both apparently serve a puny and impotent God who can’t do anything without their help.
Mobs burned homes, churches and mosques Saturday in a second day of riots as the death toll rose to more than 300 in the worst sectarian* violence in Africa’s most populous nation in years.
Sheikh Khalid Abubakar, the imam at Jos, Nigeria’s, main mosque, said more than 300 dead bodies were brought there on Saturday alone and 183 could be seen lying near the building waiting to be interred.
Those killed in the Christian community likely would not be taken to the city mosque, raising the possibility that the total death toll could be much higher. The city morgue wasn’t immediately accessible Saturday.
Police spokesman Bala Kassim said there were “many dead,” but couldn’t cite a firm number.
Sec*ta”ri*an\, n. One of a sect; a member or adherent of a special school, denomination, or religious or philosophical party; one of a party in religion which has separated itself from established church, or which holds tenets different from those of the prevailing denomination in a state.
Syn: See Heretic.
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.