Yesterday a “well-dressed, well-educated” man armed to the teeth walked up to the Pentagon, pulled out a gun, and started shooting. Police responded by shooting him in the head, and he is now resting comfortably in a freezer in someone’s morgue. The man, John Patrick Bedell, was connected to “anti-government writings.” Unfortunately, the media didn’t get too far with their “violence+anti–government=tea party” meme before the truth came out — Bedell was a left-wing, anti-Bush 9/11 truther.
Patterico takes a look at Bedell’s online history, including his Amazon and Wikipedia profiles. William Teach at Right Wing News asks why the media seems reluctant to reveal his political motivations, especially after Joe Stack was so casually assumed to be affiliated with the Tea Party movement. Counterculture Conservative notes the media’s emphasis on Bedell as “anti-government.” Kevin Glass at Townhall and Moe lane at Red State take note of the media’s unsupported claims that Bedell was a right-wing extremist. And Zombie pens an article for Pajamas Media about the incident, and looks at why there is such a desire to associate the actions of people like Bedell and Stack with political movement instead of crazy movements.
The media are gearing up for the “he was a right-wing nutjob” narrative anyway. A commenter below attempts to tie Bedell with libertarianism, apparently implying that Bedell and I are kindred somehow because I distrust the authority of the federal government. Michelle Malkin, however, decided to do a little — what’s that thing called? Oh yeah, journalism — and checked the site http://www.electorates.us/ which reveals that Bedell was a registered Democrat. A more careful look at his Amazon profile also suggests he had an interest in economic systems other than capitalism — not exactly a far-right ideal.
It does seem a bit pointless to speculate about Bedell’s politics, unless it becomes evident that his politics has a direct bearing on his actions. He didn’t leave much of a manifesto or anything, other than his online ramblings, so I’m not too sure that this was much more than crazy. The Left, however, is so desparate to cast the Tea Party and conservatism in a negative light, that they seem eager to attempt to link any act of violence with the Right, despite all evidence to the contrary. Violent actions against the government have always been relied to much more heavily by the left than by the right, and the last three major incidents of terrorist-like violence in the past few months have been by people on the Left.