AP: Giffords Shooter 'Believed the U.S. Government Was Behind 9/11'

As media outlet after media outlet advances the bogus theory that Jared Lee Loughner was incited to kill innocent people by the rhetoric of prominent conservatives, details emerging about the life of the Tucson gunman completely refute such assertions.

Adding to the growing list of evidence countering these claims is the following juicy tidbit buried in an Associated Press piece published Sunday (h/t Hot Air):

He believed the U.S. government was behind 9/11.

You know many conservatives that think the government, led by George W. Bush at the time, orchestrated the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon?

Further countering the absurdity of media claims concerning Loughner, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday:

"All he did was play video games and play music," said Tommy Marriotti, a high school friend. Mr. Marriotti said much of Mr. Loughner's free time was devoted to the school band. He wasn't especially political, Mr. Marriotti said, though he expressed frustration with the Bush Administration.

Did Loughner's "frustration with the Bush Administration" and belief "the U.S.government was behind 9/11" come from watching Fox News? Or listening to conservative talk radio? Or reading Sarah Palin's midterm elections strategy?

More importantly, it seems Loughner had a personal disliking for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) that had absolutely nothing to do with anything conservatives were saying about her, President Obama, or Democrats.

Once again from the Journal:

[Alex] Montanaro said his friend "was never really political," but "really tried to be philosophical." Mr. Loughner liked "contemplating the meaning of words and the origin of language," Mr. Montanaro said.

That interest might have triggered Mr. Loughner's first meeting with Ms. Giffords in 2007. Mr. Loughner said he asked the lawmaker, "How do you know words mean anything?" recalled Mr. Montanaro. He said Mr. Loughner was "aggravated" when Ms. Giffords, after pausing for a couple of seconds, "responded to him in Spanish and moved on with the meeting."

Mother Jones elaborated on this Monday:

At 2:00 a.m. on Saturday—about eight hours before he allegedly killed six people and wounded 14, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), in Tucson—Jared Lee Loughner phoned an old and close friend with whom he had gone to high school and college. The friend, Bryce Tierney, was up late watching TV, but he didn't answer the call. When he later checked his voice mail, he heard a simple message from Loughner: "Hey man, it's Jared. Me and you had good times. Peace out. Later."

That was it. But later in the day, when Tierney first heard about the Tucson massacre, he had a sickening feeling: "They hadn't released the name, but I said, 'Holy shit, I think it's Jared that did it.'" Tierney tells Mother Jones in an exclusive interview that Loughner held a years-long grudge against Giffords and had repeatedly derided her as a "fake." Loughner's animus toward Giffords intensified after he attended one of her campaign events and she did not, in his view, sufficiently answer a question he had posed, Tierney says. [...]

The affidavit [filed against Loughner Sunday] also mentions that police searching a safe in Loughner's home found a letter from Giffords' office thanking the alleged shooter for attending a August 30, 2007, event.

Tierney, who's also 22, recalls Loughner complaining about a Giffords event he attended during that period. He's unsure whether it was the same one mentioned in the charges—Loughner "might have gone to some other rallies," he says—but Tierney notes it was a significant moment for Loughner: "He told me that she opened up the floor for questions and he asked a question. The question was, 'What is government if words have no meaning?'"

So Loughner has been angry with Giffords for well over three years - well before Sarah Palin and the Tea Party burst into the limelight.

Adding to this, as NewsBusters reported Sunday, another friend of Loughner's has come out and stated definitively that he was a liberal, a fact that ABC's "This Week" chose to ignore during their interview with Caitlin Parker.

Hours later, Pima County Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik admitted that there is currently no evidence that Loughner was in any way motivated by what Dupnik during a news conference described as "vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business."

Which means that as Glenn Reynolds marvelously observed in Monday's Wall Street Journal:

With only the barest outline of events available, pundits and reporters seemed to agree that the massacre had to be the fault of the tea party movement in general, and of Sarah Palin in particular. Why? Because they had created, in New York Times columnist Paul Krugman's words, a "climate of hate." [...]

To paraphrase Justice Cardozo ("proof of negligence in the air, so to speak, will not do"), there is no such thing as responsibility in the air. Those who try to connect Sarah Palin and other political figures with whom they disagree to the shootings in Arizona use attacks on "rhetoric" and a "climate of hate" to obscure their own dishonesty in trying to imply responsibility where none exists. But the dishonesty remains. [...]

I understand the desperation that Democrats must feel after taking a historic beating in the midterm elections and seeing the popularity of ObamaCare plummet while voters flee the party in droves. But those who purport to care about the health of our political community demonstrate precious little actual concern for America's political well-being when they seize on any pretext, however flimsy, to call their political opponents accomplices to murder.

Indeed. Especially hypocritical is that these same folks now pointing fingers at the Right were willing accomplices for the prevalent hate speech directed at the Bush administration by the Left:

  • Were media outraged when a film came out in 2006 about the assassination of George W. Bush?
  • Were media outraged when Bill Maher was sorry the 2007 assassination attempt on then Vice President Dick Cheney failed?
  • Were media outraged by comments made by The Real Radio Hatemongers?
  • Were media outraged by all the examples of progressive invective in the past ten years chronicled by Michelle Malkin Monday?

The answer to all four questions is "No," for in media's view, anything said about a conservative irrespective of how virulent is protected by free speech.

How different this tune gets every time there's an act of extreme violence in this country that they can disgracefully tie - irrespective of the facts! - to conservative voices.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.