Yes, We’re Having This Argument Again

James Joyner rounds this up.

Patterico:

There was a shooting just outside the Pentagon today, at a security checkpoint. Two cops were injured; breaking reports say the suspect, J. Patrick Bedell, has died.

The suspect, believed to be a U.S. citizen, walked up to a security checkpoint at the Pentagon in an apparent attempt to get inside the massively fortified Defense Department headquarters, at about 6:40 p.m. local time. “He just reached in his pocket, pulled out a gun and started shooting” at point-blank range, Keevill said. “He walked up very cool. He had no real emotion on his face.” The Pentagon officers returned fire with semiautomatic weapons.

And Internet research shows that the guy was a 9/11 Truther and an anti-Bush nut case.

Via Charles Johnson comes this link to some crazy ranting from the guy. It was recorded in November 2006 — when Bush was president, to belabor the obvious. I transcribed this part, in which he is speaking of criminal organizations working within the U.S. Government:

This criminal organization would use its powers to convert military, intelligence, and law enforcement bureaucracies into instruments for political control, and the domination and subjection of society, while discrediting, destroying, and murdering honest individuals within those services, that work to root out corruption, and faithfully serve their fellow citizens. This organization, like so many murderous governments throughout history, would see the sacrifice of thousands of its citizens in an event such as the September 11 attacks, as a small cost in order to perpetuate its barbaric control. This collection of gangsters would find it in their interest 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 the satanic violence currently ongoing in Iraq.

There is also plenty of creepily nerdy/calm ranting about government control of the economy. As a correspondent wrote to me: “If he thought Bush was out to get private property, just imagine what he thought after Obama’s first year.”

Zachary Roth at TPM:

In a recorded manifesto called “Directions To Freedom”, the audio of which he posted online in 2006, John Patrick Bedell, of Hollister, California, praised private property as “the most successful basis for structuring society that humanity has ever known.”

Bedell shot two police officers last night during the rampage, before being mortally wounded himself.

“Communist and socialist governments that abolished or disregarded private property,” said Bedell in the recording, “created poverty, repression and murder on a truly enormous scale.” But, he continued, “Even in the United States, however, there has been a continual erosion of protection of private property justified by the belief that government is an efficient instrument for the positive direction of society.”

Bedell added: “Governments lack the profit and loss incentives that individuals and private organizations must use…”

And he warned: “When governments are able to confiscate the resources of their citizens to fund schemes that need only be justified by lies and deception enormous disasters can result.”

Bedell also denounced the monetary system, a frequent bete noir of anti-government extremists. “When the government can control how private property is used,” he said, “and especially when the government controls the monetary system that is use to exchange private property, the government has the mechanisms and the motivation to control individuals to the smallest detail.”

Bedell even railed against the concept of public education. “Government control of the schools that shape minds is pervasive in today’s world,” he said. “The imperative to defend the freedom of conscience must lead us to eliminate the role of the government in education and leave parents and communities free to raise their children as they see fit.” He denounced public education as “no more legitimate than a government-run church for universal religious training.”

As several other outlets have already reported, Bedell also wrote online postings that expressed skepticism about the official explanation for the 9/11 attacks. He wrote that he was “determined to see that justice is served” in the death of James Sabow — a US Marine whose 1991 death was ruled a suicide but whose case has long been the source of cover-up theories, according to Fox News — and that justice in the Sabow case would be “a step toward establishing the truth of events such as the September 11 demolitions.”

Bedell also denounced the government’s enforcement of marijuana laws.

Michelle Malkin:

The Blame the Tea Party push by the MSM begins (h/t allahpundit):

CSM: John Patrick Bedell: Did right-wing extremism lead to shooting?

The Associated Press piles on.

***

Update: www.Electorates.us has 180 million registered voter records available online (thanks to Anne Horrigan). Thirty-six-year-old John Patrick Bedell’s voter registration records in Hollister, CA are available for any journalist before he/she goes off and labels him a “right-wing extremist.”

Guess which party he registered under in 2005 and was actively registered under as of 2008?

DEMOCRAT.

Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs:

The Internet Archive has a series of deranged audio files by “JPatrickBedell:” Internet Archive: Free Download: Directions to Freedom, part two (25 November 2006).

And a JPatrickBedell is also the author of this bizarre page at Wikipedia; he’s apparently a 9/11 Truther and a devotee of libertarian icon Ludwig Von Mises: User:JPatrickBedell – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Ann Althouse:

So, should we make this easy and just consign Stack and Bedell to the dead psycho dustbin? But they attacked government buildings, so it was political. Yes, but a lot of crazy people rave incoherently about the government. That in itself doesn’t make them part of a movement. Do they belong to the left or to the right? Is that a question that interests you? If it does, do you lean in the direction other than the one you feel like saying they lean? No one answers “no” to that last question, do they? And therefore… what?

Allah Pundit

If there’s any silver lining in the very dark clouds created by Bedell and Joe Stack (and even the Kentucky census worker fiasco), it may be that partisans on both sides have necessarily become more cautious about trying to divine coherent motives from incoherent minds. Not all partisans, natch, but some.

Your exit question: Is it possible to be a “left-wing extremist” anymore or do nuts who embrace some lefty ideas before launching an attack automatically fall under the broader heading of “anti-government,” a term that’s conveniently also used to describe conservatives’ opposition to statism? That’s why CSM ended up labeling him a right-winger, I suspect. Righties want a smaller federal government and Bedell hated the military and the military’s part of the federal government. Voila!

James Joyner:

Can we please stop with the political name-calling whenever one of these nuts goes off?

Look, we’re a big country.  There are over 300 million of us.  Almost everyone holds a position or two that’s way off the charts and a whole lot of people believe in 9/11 Trutherism, black helicopters, and all the rest.  Less than a handful of those people are out trying to kill people.    However stupid or loathesome a political view may be, the fact that some nut also holds it adds nothing to the counter-argument.

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