Friday’s 9:00 AM attack on TSA agents in California’s LAX airport quickly caught our collective attention, and just as we’ve done too many times recently, we were glued to our TVs and laptops watching the details unfold. Transportation Safety Administration official, Gerardo I. Hernandez became the first TSA agent to die when he was shot at point-blank range with a Smith & Wesson .223-caliber M&P-15 assault rifle, carried into terminal 3 by Paul Anthony Ciancia while performing his duties,
Ciancia is a 23 year old white male from Pennsville Township, N.J. As is typical, he has been described as a loner with few friends and had never before been involved in any criminal activity. His mother’s death from Multiple Sclerosis apparently had a severe impact on Ciancia and several people who knew him described him possibly “suicidal” after she passed away. On the other hand, quite a few of his former classmates described him as “very sociable” and “just a normal guy.” His profile seemed eerily familiar to that of other recent “shooters” in what is quickly becoming an ugly stain on America’s character.
But it turns out that Ciancia was carrying more than a loaded weapon (and several fully loaded extra clips) when he entered Terminal 3. He also had a note, or a “manifesto” on his person that painted a clear and frightening portrait of this young man. According to the highly respected Southern Poverty Law Center:
“a knowledgeable source with ranking law enforcement contacts” had read Ciancia’s manifesto and that its contents placed him squarely in the right-wing “Patriot” movement of anti-government conservatives.”
According to the SPLC sponsored “Hatewatch” administrator, Mark Potok:
“Paul Anthony Ciancia, who allegedly wounded three other TSA workers before being shot and critically wounded himself, also expressed antagonism toward the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its chief until she resigned in August, Janet Napolitano, the source said. Ciancia’s note called former Secretary Napolitano a “bull dyke” and contained the phrase “FU Janet Napolitano,” the source said.
Ciancia’s language and references seemed to put him squarely in the conspiracy-minded world of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. The New World Order refers to a longstanding conspiracy theory that today, in its most popular iteration, claims that global elites are plotting to form a socialistic “one-world government” that would crush American freedoms. Often, the root of the alleged conspiracy is traced to the 1913 creation of the Federal Reserve and the adoption of fiat currency — paper money that is not backed by gold, as it was once was in the U.S.”
So now we know. We know that this disturbed young man believed in the “New World Order” conspiracy. We know that he was a part of the “Patriot” movement. We know he hated African Americans, homosexuals, the DHS and the TSA. And we know he is not alone in his delusions. Radical right-wing leaders and right-wing media figures have spent the last six years pushing these ideas with tactics like “people are asking” and “some say” and then launching into totally ignorant and unsubstantiated ideas and theories.
Fox News, Limbaugh, Alex Jones, Glenn Beck, Ted Cruz, Joe Wilson, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul and Michele Bachmann have all fanned the flames of paranoia. These people have used ignorant, non-christian Christians, racists, the gay-bashers, and the just plain stupid, to form a coalition of fools. People like Ciancia are easily pulled into the webs created by the “vast right-wing conspiracy”.
I recently wrote a blog piece that asked the “good guys” on the right to kick the assholes out. It needs to be done publicly. It needs to be done vociferously. It needs to be done today.