Incitement to violence? Conspiracy to commit murder? Soliciting a criminal act against a specific individual? Willful disregard? All of these, and perhaps others, are questions that warrant, at least, an investigation.
Both Palin, and Angle, have garnered a great deal of press for their violent rhetoric. Both have been warned that their public calls for “second amendment remedies”, and to “don’t retreat, reload” – accompanied by maps with gun-sites directly identifying Congresswoman Giffords, among others – could lead to acts of violence. They were made aware of the potential dangers, and yet they chose to continue on their course.
Immediately following the incident, Sarah Palin scrubbed her websites of all such material. This can easily be interpreted as a profession of guilt. Too little, too late, but a sign that, perhaps finally, she realized her culpability for Jared Lee Loughner’s actions. After all, he did pursue Sharron Angles “second amendment remedies” against an elected politician of the opposing party identified with gun-sites on a map distributed publicly by Sarah Palin.
This goes beyond just rhetoric. This is a direct prescription for an act of gun violence by Sharron Angle against a public figure identified as a gun target by Sarah Palin. This is not simply rhetoric. These are clear instructions of what to do, and against whom to do it. This warrants a criminal investigation against these two individuals and should potentially be expanded to include other politicians, and pundits, that aided and abetted them in this scheme.
The current conservative, Tea Party, congress is unlikely to initiate any such action. State and local police are unlikely to get any support, and likely to receive a great deal of opposition, to any investigation that proceeds down this road. If there is going to be a real investigation, it can only come through the action and support of communities and individuals dedicated to ending the violent threats, and calls to arms, relentlessly repeated by far right politicians and their media counterparts.
Perhaps Attorney General Holder will consider this miscarriage of free speech rights, by these two individuals, that has resulted in the loss of life of American officials, rather than pursuing Julian Assange and WikiLeaks that has only resulted in the establishments embarrassment. WikiLeaks has made no such prescriptions to violence, or resulted in any deaths. Sharron Angle and Sarah Palin have obviously crossed the line of ‘yelling fire in a crowded theater.’ If anyone should be investigated, and charged, it should be these individuals, and their supporters, and not those who have simply exposed the American governments dirty laundry.
These two people have acted in a way that can arguably be attributed to the cause of the deaths of six individuals, including a federal judge and a young child, as the actions they prescribed – the second amendment remedy against a particularly targeted individual – were being carried out. We must call for an official investigation, subpoenaing of the posts that Palin has scrubbed from her sites, and any other relevant material from all connected parties, and exercise the power of the American judicial system. Let the courts settle it, but insist on it, and insist that they follow the letter of the law.