Sunday, January 9, 2011

an assassin's rants

Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged shooter of congresswoman gabby giffords in arizona yesterday, gave what have been roundly described as "rants" on youtube videos he is said to have posted, but if you should care to see them for yourself, you're out of luck.

why should anyone want to hear the ravings of someone described at unbalanced and disturbed? don't we want to be protected from such pernicious messages as a mass killer would seek to send?

frankly, no. i don't want to be protected from this individual's message. i'd prefer to hear it for myself, and to make my own interpretation of what it means. no, i do not trust the media to be a filter, and to vet the ideas and images i can be exposed to.

after the va. tech massacre several years ago, the shooter in that incident, Seung-Hui Cho, was reported to have made a video, which he mailed to NBC news at some point during his rampage. while we have been told about the contents of cho's statement, we have it only on second hand, as interpreted by the network and the authorities.

those same authorities were the subject of much criticism for their response to the killer's earlier run-ins with law enforcement, as well as the university's hapless and confused response to cho's disturbing behavior.

we are entirely too complaisant about accepting the official statements of the authorities when the same authorities have reasons to be less than candid about facts that might raise questions about their performance. the officially redacted version, if we're allowed any version at all, seems to satisfy most of the people most of the time.

we're the worse for it. the drama over wikileaks, which continues to unfold and is far from having played out, is just one example of government insisting that it alone knows what information is suitable for release to the public. usually, that information is what serves the interest of those whose activities have the potential to cause embarrassment of officials whose actions diverge greatly from how they would characterize those actions in public.

to put it simply, officials will endeavor not to be caught in lies about what they do in private in the name of the public. wikileaks would insist that publics deserve to know what their governments are about -- and that it is not the place of the government to decide which of their actions should be concealed so as to duck out on their responsibility to serve those whose interests they ostensibly represent.

now that the media in the united states is now a fully owned subsidiary of the corporate security state, we find a mad scramble on to distract and misdirect the public mind in its understanding of the giffords shooting. instead of a rightwing nut who took the blandishments of sarah palin and  those of her ideological ilk literally, loughren is being depicted as a lone wolf,  unbalanced and not a follower of any consistent ideology. the GOPpers have already hit the talkshow circuit to deny any responsibility for the crimes, like tennessee's lamar alexander:
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), cautioned against tying Loughner's alleged actions with the rhetoric of tea party activists or other political groups.
"I think in all of the talk about this, we have to be very careful about imparting the actions of a deranged individual" to other groups," Alexander said. But he agreed that politicians and commentators "ought to cool it, tone it down" and "do our best not to inflame passions."
the rhetoric of palin or bachman or angle, and their firearms references when talking about taking on their political opposition, shouldn't be an issue, and ought to be disregarded as part of the incitement to violence of a receptive, if unbalanced, individual in the community. palin, et. al, after all, are mainstream american politicians, and their words or actions ought not to be conflated with those of the terrorists and insufficiently patriotic "others" in the american public.

you'll see this gradually being escalated into a higher and higher profile in the news columns until the furor dies down, and then it goes dark. then, the left will mope and helplessly moan about the unfairness of the right, while the rightwing echo chamber will go on full-time rotation of their victim's lament -- incessant repetiton of what a raw deal the right gets in the "lamestream" media, which will keep their resentments just short of the boiling point.

we will get absolutely nowhere. we will be deprived of any insight into what drove this guy to kill. what his motivations were, who and what inspired him. he'll cop a guilty plea, or be convicted by a judge and either way he'll end up dead before too long. he won't be around long enough to cause anyone any trouble, if you know what i mean...

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