Arizona gunman linked to organized radical right?

Although no other evidence is given, Fox News on Jan. 9 quoted a Department of Homeland Security memo stating that Jared Lee Loughner—primary suspect in the previous day’s shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson—is “possibly linked” to American Renaissance, a self-styled far-right think-tank that DHS says promotes views that are “anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-ZOG [Zionist Occupational Government], anti-Semitic.”

Loughner’s shooting attack at town hall-style meeting Giffords was hosting at a Safeway parking lot gravely wounded Giffords and killed her aide Gabriel Zimmerman, US District Judge John Roll, a nine-year-old girl, and three others. Giffords is Jewish, as was Zimmerman.

American Renaissance is a project of the New Century Foundation. Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, described the American Renaissance journal as a “kind of white-collar, white supremacist outlet.” He said it is not particularly anti-Semitic.

The Anti-Defamation League website calls American Renaissance a “white supremacist journal and companion Website” that “promotes pseudoscientific studies that attempt to demonstrate the intellectual and cultural superiority of whites and publishes articles on the supposed decline of American society because of integrationist social policies.” It states that American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor “himself personally refrains from anti-Semitism.” (CSM, Politico, Jan. 9; ADL “Extremism in America” page)

“There is no information at this time to suggest any specific threat remains,” FBI director Robert Mueller said at a press conference, but added that officials are continuing to investigate possible ties between Loughner and hate groups. Earlier, Pima County authorities said they wanted to speak with a “person of interest” who was photographed near the shooting and may have helped transport the suspect to the scene. (LAT, Jan. 9)

Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik, who is overseeing the investigation with the FBI, sparked a media sensation with his remarks that the “vitriol” of today’s political discourse contributed to the incident and that Arizona has become “a mecca for prejudice and bigotry.” (NewsOne, Jan. 9)

As noted by Huffington Post and the Arizona Republic last year, Sarah Palin‘s political action group included Giffords among several representatives who voted for Obama’s healthcare bill that were identified by congressional district on a map of the US with a cross-hairs icon, urging followers to “reload” and “aim” for Democrats. The cynicism of the response to this controversy is truly mind-boggling. The Washington Post reports: “An aide to Sarah Palin is defending the former Alaska governor’s controversial campaign target map, saying the circles over certain districts were never meant to be gun sights. However, Palin herself described the symbol as a ‘bullseye.'” Huffington Post notes that Palin made no comment on the cross-hairs controversy in her Facebook post offering “sincere condolences…to the family of rep. [sic] Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona.” Yet, as Ha’aretz reports, Palin has meanwhile quietly removed the offending graphic from her website! What a profile in courage and the supposed conservative value of “personal responsibility”!

Right-wing idiots in the blogosphere are rushing to portray Loughner as a leftist, citing his MySpace page that lists among his favorite books The Communist Manifesto—and Mein Kampf! File under “Huh?” These idiots actually seem to think that Hitler was a “leftist”? Time to hit the history books, idiots.

See our last posts on the radical right, the struggle in Arizona and the politics of anti-Semitism.

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  1. Why do assassins always get three names?
    Does Jared Lee Loughner habitually use his middle name? Or is this once again media fetishism of violence, making murder sound respectable by using the accused assassin’s triple name, in the style of Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, Mark David Chapman, Arthur Richard Jackson, Robert John Bardo, John Wilkes Booth, etc?

  2. I love the ending…
    “Time to hit the history books, idiots.”

    This reeks of right wing crazies, you could smell it a mile away.. but at the same time, predictably the media (esp, but not only Faux News) tries to make him a leftie; ie Huffington Post and other sources show the killer’s picture as a long haired guy (as in to imply he’s a hippie/lefty) when clearly recent (very short haired) photos are available, as seen on other sources. Sad especially as a little girl was killed too.

  3. Yes, we understood what you meant
    I wouldn’t get too paranoid about media conspiracies… The short-haired photos of Loughner also seem to be getting around. And long hair is no longer a symbol of “the left” (or anything else). I think the long-haired photo is his high school yearbook picture. He just looks like a long-haired high school kid, not a hippie leftist.

    1. More on the Murderous MoFo
      Here is some more profile information on this miscreant:

      The right is trying to pass the buck but to hell with that. Let’s just calmly show them the above article and take in all of the expressions you will see on their faces. While watching the wheels turn in their heads, as they try to think of some fresh bull**** to sling at you.

      Thanks for this article Bill. Keep us posted on this insanity.

  4. giffords’ election opponent
    Read the following, from the Tucson newspaper:

    Rep Gabrielle Giffords’ 2010 Congressional opponent held a June event that encouraged participants to “Get On Target For Victory In November. Help Remove Gabrielle For Office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”

    An account from The Arizona Daily Star notes that the guns vs Democrats theme was popular with Republicans during the primary:

    Jesse Kelly, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to be bothered in the least by the Sarah Palin controversy earlier this year, when she released a list of targeted races in crosshairs, urging followers to “reload” and “aim” for Democrats. Critics said she was inciting violence.

    He seems to be embracing his fellow tea partier’s idea. Kelly’s campaign event website has a stern-looking photo of the former Marine in military garb holding his weapon. It includes the headline: “Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”

  5. Historical Revisionism
    Bill Weinberg writes:

    “Right-wing idiots in the blogosphere are rushing to portray Loughner as a leftist, citing his MySpace page that lists among his favorite books The Communist Manifesto—and Mein Kampf! File under “Huh?” These idiots actually seem to think that Hitler was a “leftist”? Time to hit the history books, idiots.”

    Nice try at historical revisionism Bill. You need to get your history correct regarding Marx/Engels and Hitler. Marx/Engels the authors of the Communist Manifesto and Hitler the author of Mein Kampf were socialist/communist not conservative at all. (It was a group of conservatives who attempted to assassinate Hitler.) Most people do not realize that the term Nazi is the acronym of “National Socialism”. Please check your history of Hitler you’ll find that he studied his fellow German Marx. Communism and Nazism were not dissimilar in the realities they created for society even though both were in competition and Hitler attacked both communism and capitalism. Remember it was communism and National Socialism that led to the deaths of over 70 million people in the last century as a result of wars and genocide.


    1. Revisionist charges revisionism
      The historical revisionism is all yours. I am so sick of this idiocy about how Hitler’s facile play to populism with “National Socialism” as he wheeled and dealed with the Krupps, Farbens and Deutsche Bank proves he was a “communist.” Nazism was virulently anti-communist. Fascism is an ideology of the right, and everyone understood this before you revisionists started propagating. Except during the Hitler-Stalin Pact period, Communists solidly resisted Hitler across Europe. Russia sacrificed more than any country to defeat Hitler, by far. What you don’t know can and does fill volumes. Spend some time in the library before you clutter up my website with transparent propaganda that exploits the ignorant.

      1. Bill, “The historical revisionism is all yours”

        Why are you leaving out the millions of people killed and murdered last century by communists/socialist? Between Moa, Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Hitler upwards of 100 million people perished in wars and genocide. Gee Bill you forgot about the other socialist/communists who used totalitarian methodology to exterminate millions. Dare you talk of Moa and his murderous rampages in China? Do you not want to talk about the Soviet Union under Stalin? “Nazism was virulently anti-communist” true as one socialist might hate another as they vie for power. Thanks for the discussion.


        1. Go away, revisionist idiot
          Why do I waste my time arguing with idiots? I never contested the millions killed by Stalin and Mao (not “Moa”), but it is irrelevant to the question we are discussing. Take a hike.

      2. Usually I don’t post
        Usually I don’t post, but you’re comment is laughably ignorant or intellectually dishonest.

        You don’t seem to understand the difference between socialist and communist, Bill Weinberg.

        Also, you created a straw-man logical fallacy of your opponent’s argument.

        Bill, seek 1st to understand what your opponent says before you ridicule them as ignorant. Maybe then you can end less arguments with “go away.”

        Peace and understanding ya’ll

        1. As well you shouldn’t.
          It really scares me how many of you idiots there are out there. “National Socialism” was not socialist. There was no public control of industry or the means of production. Germany’s capitalists did just great under the Nazis. Hitler was funded by the Deutsche Bank, bought arms from the Krupps, and provided slave labor from the death camps to IG Farben! Nazism was not predicated on economic justice! It was predicated first and foremost on the kind of racial supremacist theories evidenced by your pal Jared Taylor; and secondly on the kind of rabid anti-communism evidenced by yourself! A distant third was the appropriation of socialist rhetoric as a means of tricking the German working class.

          Go to the library. Immediately. Do not post here again until you have read William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich cover to cover. Thank you.

          1. Bill is basically correct, but …
            There was a substantial section of the Nazi Party that did take the socialist rhetoric seriously, and they were dominant in the SA, the ‘Sturmarbeit Teilung’, a.k.a. ‘Brownshirts’ or ‘Storm Troopers’. After the Nazi seizure of power, they talked about a ‘second revolution’. This discomforted Hitler’s capitalist backers and the Reichswehr (later ‘Wehrmacht’, now ‘Bundeswehr’) enough so that, on the night of June 30, 1944, ‘The Night of the Long Knives’, and in the following days, Hitler, using the Gestapo, carried out a massacre of the SA, killing hundreds, arresting thousands, and destroying the organization.

            There have been other instances of national, or nationalist, ‘socialism’, where socialist rhetoric and even some of the formal structures of socialism (such as cooperatives) have been used to harness the socialist sentiments of workers to a capitalist national project. Probably one of the most important of these was Labor Zionism.

            1. Aaron is basically correct, but…
              The Brownshirts and the Strasser brothers were exactly what I was referring to when I said “appropriation of socialist rhetoric.” But the Night of the Long Knives was June 30, 1934, not ’44—that is, just months after Hitler achieved power. He certainly didn’t wait ten years to chuck the populist element of his apparatus overboard.

              Early Zionism wasn’t all that capitalist, and vulgar Zionism = Nazism analogies are to be avoided. There are many good reasons to oppose Zionism without equating it to Nazism. (Not that you quite did that, but still.)

              1. That ‘1944’ was a typo; Zeev Sternhell on nationalist socialism
                The ‘socialism’ of the early Zionists was a way of incorporating Jews with socialist ideals into the project of capitalist nation-building. The process is described in detail in Zeev Sternhell’s ‘The Founding Myths of Israel’.

                Zionism and Nazism have a lot in common, and also a lot of differences. But if I try to get into it right now, I’ll be up all night.

                Later, maybe.

  6. American Renaissance and ZOG
    American Renaissance is bad news, but they don’t go in for the crude “ZOG” stuff. According to the SPLC:

    One issue that has proven problematic for [Jared] Taylor and his foundation has been anti-Semitism. Taylor, unlike many on the radical right, is known for his lack of anti-Semitism and for including racist Jews in his events.

    …In 2006, Taylor issued what was seen as a weak-kneed statement by his Jewish supporters condemning anti-Semitism but stating clearly that all would be welcome at his conferences regardless of their views and so long as they maintained the proper decorum.

    That was after a row at one of his events between Michael Hart and David Duke