Terror Attack on the Pentagon

Terror Attack on the Pentagon

John Patrick Bedell shot two law enforcement officers in Arlington Virginia yesterday, and was shot dead in return.  This was more than an all-too-routine “suicide by cop” incident.

Mr. Bedell, a neatly-dressed software engineer, was at a subway station at rush hour; the officers were members of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, stationed at the entrance to the Pentagon itself, center of U.S. military operations and policy.

Despite disavowals by partisan extremists, Mr. Bedell was clearly politically motivated, blaming  U.S. government policies for everything from the destruction of the World Trade Center and the financial crisis to his own pot bust and personal disappointments. Anti-government extremists tend to call themselves “libertarians,” much to the consternation of the Cato Institute. Everyone else knows them by other choice terms. 

J. Patrick Bedell and Joe Stack seem to have much in common. It is not just that each justified deadly attacks against random civil servants with confused ideological rage. Both were computer engineers from Silicon Valley.

Does writing code make you crazy, or does the software industry attract weird loners? Perhaps both. But at the end of the last century the “Information Economy” was touted as the new wave that would lead America to greatness and Americans to personal success. Then the Dot Com Bubble burst and a software-industry shakeout preceded the worldwide financial collapse. Someone or something must take the blame. Must be … government.

Security alert: Look for a wave of similar incidents a decade hence by young people now training for the “Green Economy.” There is no way “sustainability” can match all the hype we hear today.

 

Image by Mike Licht (who doesn’t care if the shooter used different Sturm Ruger or Taurus models). Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

5 Responses to “Terror Attack on the Pentagon”

  1. Mike Licht Says:

    Update:

    Excellent commentary:

    “Pentagon Shooter Saw Vast Gov’t Conspiracies,” Andrea Stone, AOL News.

  2. Lawrence E. Rafferty Says:

    This attempted attack was another example of the militants that the right wing have created with their constant fear mongering. I am afraid that this kind of domestic terrorism is only going to get worse.

  3. Mike Licht Says:

    Lawrence E. Rafferty wrote: This attempted attack [snip]

    It was an actual attack. Two federal officers were wounded by gunfire.

    . . . was another example of the militants that the right wing have created with their constant fear mongering.

    While conservative Republicans have stoked the fires, enabling and emboldening the Tea Party and Ron Paulistas, these movements are composed of disgruntled people from all over the political map with one thing in common: they blame the government for their personal ills and all the ills of the world. Any government, at any level; it is all the same to them. the Republican Party is going to regret getting into bed with these delusional misfits.

    I am afraid that this kind of domestic terrorism is only going to get worse.

    You and me both.

  4. jjgeorge Says:

    The Pentagon will always be a target–as a symbol of the United States. The key is how to minimize the hostile attitude toward the US while maintaining our values. The mentally unstable are a just a wild card, though, who need to be protected from themselves.

  5. Mike Licht Says:

    jjgeorge wrote: The key is how to minimize the hostile attitude toward the US

    Agreed.

    The mentally unstable are a just a wild card … who need to be protected from themselves.

    The event summarized above demonstrates they can be a danger to the rest of us, too. Would subsidized mental health care cost as much as the huge and ineffective Department of Homeland Security? No.

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