The Pentagon Shooting

by Patrick Appel

Patterico has a transcript of John Patrick Bedell's manifesto. He was a 9/11 truther:

[The US government], like so many murderous governments throughout history, would see the sacrifice of thousands of its citizens in an event such as the September 11th attacks, as a small cost in order to perpetuate its barbaric control. This collection of gangsters would find it in their interests to foment conflict and initiate wars throughout the world in order to divert attention from their misconduct and criminality. The true nature of such a regime would find its clearest expression in Satanic violence currently ongoing in Iraq.

In a rare moment of agreement, I'd like to second this part of a comment by a reader at Michelle Malkin's place:

We all know that John Patrick Bedell and Joseph Stack are basically insane, plain and simple as are any number of similar whackjobs who periodically go loco and erupt into violence. Violent psychopaths often incorporate some seemingly random overarching theme into their mindset, and on occasion that theme involves politics. Whenever someone like Bedell or Stack goes ballistic, every pundit jumps into the fray and tries to spin the outburst as “exemplifying” the political viewpoint of those with whom the pundit disagrees. But that only rises to the level of a valid argument when a distinct pattern emerges.

In general, I find scoring political points off of tragedies distasteful. Malkin's reader continues:

[T]he truth is, paranoid people simply feel threatened by the external power structure in general, so they lash out at any symbol of authority, regardless of its political affiliation.

This is largely true but obviously partisans out of power are more likely to see the government as a malevolent force. Still, if politically motivated shootings do spike, something I've seen no hard data on, it will have more to do with the state of the economy than anything else.