Scott Shane is one of the best journalists working today. In today’s NYTs he digs into the influence that American wingnut bloggers had on the mass murderer in Norway. It is a story well worth reading.
The quote above is from a former CIA officer who frame the link of violence to wingnut rhetoric quite nicely:
Marc Sageman, a former C.I.A. officer and a consultant on terrorism, said it would be unfair to attribute Mr. Breivik’s violence to the writers who helped shape his world view. But at the same time, he said the counterjihad writers do argue that the fundamentalist Salafi branch of Islam “is the infrastructure from which Al Qaeda emerged. Well, they and their writings are the infrastructure from which Breivik emerged.”
That a racist mass murderer has cited the racist bile spewing from their pens as a major influence on his twisted thinking has outraged writers like Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and others, but not that much–what really outrages these assholes is that anybody would dare to mention that their bile has consequences. As always, it is any effort to be held to account for their words and the influence of their propaganda that really inflames these weak-minded, fearful, racist slugs.
One of the folks pointing out this free flowing exchange of Transatlantic racist bile is Charles Johnston over at Little Green Footballs. It is interesting to watch as he documents the links of wingnut hate rhetoric to these murders and his back and forth with dim-bulbs like Geller. It is fair that he pulls this duty as the killer’s manifesto contained a link to an old post of his in a footnote. And even though he decided to get off the wingnut crazy train a couple of years ago, his old posts give him plenty of reasons to take up this fight and the tools to leave a mark when he lands a punch. His rejection of wingnut magical thinking has made him a prime target of the rage of folks like Geller who are super pissed that anybody would notice the call to violence implicit in their body of work. As a deflection Geller pretends that Johnson’s minor link as one footnote among many is far worst than the killer’s specific praise for her work, and Spencer’s and their fellow merchants of hate. It’s not, but logic and honesty have never been wingnut virtues.
Shane’s article goes on to cite the shutdown of efforts to track domestic wingnut terrorists in the US after Conservative outrage of a 2009 draft Homeland Security report on the subject. He quoted a former analyst at Homeland Security as saying:
The killings in Norway “could easily happen here,” he said. The Hutaree, an extremist Christian militia in Michigan accused last year of plotting to kill police officers and planting bombs at their funerals, had an arsenal of weapons larger than all the Muslim plotters charged in the United States since the Sept. 11 attacks combined, he said.
Over at the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence they have been tracking the rise of violent rhetoric and action in Wingnutopia on their Insurrection Timelime. This is a far bigger threat to America than al Qaeda and one would hope that folks here wake up to the danger of these domestic enemies. Shane’s article ends with this kicker from a Homeland Security official:
“What happened in Norway,” Mr. Cohen said, “is a dramatic reminder that in trying to prevent attacks, we cannot focus on a single ideology.”
And we can no longer afford to let wingnut poutrage shield the violent extremists among them from scrutiny. As Breivik in Norway demonstrated, it is only a matter of time before the Right wing kills again. These are dangerous times and we are confronted with crazy people who view most of the world as sub-human–crazy people with guns and a proven willingness to use them.
And with that, how about an open thread.