My post, Add Boston Marathon Bombing to pile of Failed Eliminationist Narratives, seems to have gotten the attention of Dave Neiwert of Crooks and Liars, the developer of the Eliminationist Narrative.
Neiwert responds with Right-Wingers Use Boston Bombing to Paper Over Their Own Extremist Terror.
I’ll deal with the breadth of Neiwert’s post later, but I do quickly want to note that Neiwert continues to push the claim that Jared Lougher, who shot Gabby Giffords and killed several others, was right-wing.
Almost everyone else, even in the left-blogosphere, has given up on that claim. Loughner was a lunatic living in a netherworld who had no obvious political motivation for the shooting. Indeed, Loughner was so out of it that he initially was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial, a really tough standard.
Anecdotally, Loughner in his earlier years seemed to have liberal leanings according to people who knew him. He had no right-wing activism or connection, regardless of how broadly one defines “right wing.”
Here is the heart of Neiwert’s explanation as to Loughner:
We realize, for instance, that the post-shooting narrative favored pretending that Jared Lee Loughner was somehow not a terrorist because he was mentally ill (a claim they for some reason do not make when it comes to Nidal Hasan, the mentally ill gunman in the Fort Hood shooting rampage). They also found other mitigating factors, such as Loughner’s youthful liberalism, to claim that he was not a right-wing extremist, despite the obvious liberal-ness of his targets. However, none of that can overcome the reality that at the time he acted, Loughner was carrying out what he saw as a mission on behalf of his now-adopted right-wing beliefs involving a global monetary conspiracy.  He was indeed a right-wing extremist, and other experts on the subject who have examined the record  have reached the same conclusion .
Neiwert’s primary source, via Neiwert’s own prior post I marked at “”, is Mark Potok of Southern Poverty Law Center, hardly a neutral pundit.
Even Potok, however, did not go as far as Neiwert. Potok makes the strained argument that even though Loughner had no demonstrable political connections, some of his writings suggested he adhered to anti-government ideologies Potok deemed right-wing. But note Loughner’s reading list in Potok’s post:
Is Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged mass murderer who shot U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, a right-wing extremist?
It’s hard to say. When you look at the Internet material he purportedly produced, the first impression you get is that the 22-year-old now in custody for the shooting of 20 people in Tucson was completely out of his mind, or at least mildly deranged. His writings will be virtually impossible for most people to understand, what with his runs of unexplained numbers, his fondness for weird syllogisms, his mysterious references and his apparent semi-literacy.
…. I think Loughner’s reading list, although it included children’s books and a few classics, had an underlying theme — the individual versus the totalitarian state. Certainly, that’s the explicit central theme of Ayn Rand’s We the Living and Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, among others. I would argue that that’s the way Loughner seems to be reading The Communist Manifesto and Hitler’s Mein Kampf — as variants of a kind of generalized “smash the state” attitude.
Neiwert’s “experts” references “” and” ” are one person, Chip Berlet, who devotes himself to arguing about the dangers of the right wing. Berlet presents no new facts, just more of the theories that because Loughner espoused some strange currency and other views, and because some fringe players assert those views, Loughner must have been influenced by the right wing.
Similarly, Neiwert cites left-wing author Michelle Goldberg who similarly speculates about Loughner. But there’s no proof of Loughner having actual right-wing connections, much less any connections to the political right-wing. Neiwert has theories and opinions to back him up, he just doesn’t have facts.
Lougher’s “right-wing” leanings were speculation and conjecture, while his liberal leanings were based on people who knew him.
I don’t blame Loughner on the left, and Neiwert shouldn’t strain to put Loughner in the right column. He was just a murderous lunatic.
It’s too bad Neiwert can’t admit that.
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