When we originally reported on the shooting of the Federal Courthouse in West Virginia, we said:
“It’s possible that the attack being directed against a Federal building was a statement in itself.“
Recent evidence coming to light about the shooter, Tom Piccard, has shown that not only was his attack on the building as a symbolic structure a statement about the government as a whole — he had much more specific grievances in mind. And his shots were, metaphorically at least, fired against an evil tyrant named Barack HUSSEIN Obama.
Tom Piccard’s story is a fascinating and tragic one. Tragic because this former police officer had been diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer. He was also clearly mentally ill, and sources report that he had spent some time in rehab for addiction to an unnamed drug or drugs.
The morbidly fascinating part is what form Piccard’s mental illness evidently took. As reported earlier, an acquaintance of Piccard’s told AATTP that he
“Believed that president Obama was intentionally keeping payouts from military spouses.”
This is in reference to an accidental oversight in Obama’s “Pay Our Military Act,” which opened the payment taps for service personnel payment during the shutdown. It is believed that this is what sent Piccard, already suffering from anti-government paranoia over the edge. Ironically, the day after Piccard’s death, Obama addressed the oversight and amended the Pay Our Military Act to include spousal benefits.
The information from Piccard’s acquaintance in reference to his grudge against Obama was backed up by official sources later in the day. U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfield said this during a press conference:
“The investigation, a lot of which we can’t reveal today because we’re still processing everything, indicates that (Piccard) had an anti-government bias. He was upset with the federal government.“
What is unknown at this point is whether Piccard’s Beck-spec paranioa was the sole trigger, or if something else was involved.
Some say that this was a case of suicide by cop; Piccard was terminal, and some have said he might just have been afraid to commit suicide. But evidence points to the contrary. He had plans with his son to live out his remaining days in Florida; according to those who knew him, he’d also recently paid off his truck and home. And according to one witness on the scene, he appeared to have been wearing a bullet-proof vest. That isn’t confirmed through any official source. But, if true, it indicates that Piccard’s “statement” was one that he’d planned on walking away from.
To engage in a bit of speculation, we’re guessing that this attack was a combination of anti-government paranoia and drugs. Those who knew Piccard said that he’d “had his demons,” probably referring to his time fighting drug addiction in rehab. Combined with the words “Abandon hope all ye who enter here” scrawled on his trailer wall…struggles with drug abuse, terminal cancer and mental illness fed by right-wing propaganda seems a pretty likely conclusion at this point.
It may be some time before we know anything more. The FBI has sealed Piccard’s record while the investigation is open, and those records will include any alleged military history and the results of any blood tests conducted post-mortem. It is not known at this point whether Piccard had any kind of medical insurance, benefits from the VA (which he would have had if he had been in the military, and which might have been interrupted due to the shutdown) or much else about his medical history. The FBI has yet to release that information.
But we can draw a few more solid conclusions, mostly based on this: Piccard believed that Obama’s oversight was absolutely intentional…an attempt to deprive military spouses of benefits they were due, because he was an evil tyrant. Gee…why would any right-wing gun nut equivocate an accidental denial of military benefits with an evil, tyrannical government? How could a benefits lapse possibly lead to paranoid, anti-government rhetoric? Can’t imagine. Glenn?