A direct effect of the massacre by Jared Loughner may be the downfall of a public figure, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. The Sheriff’s bazaar public political statement led his first report. Since then, he has raised the stakes each day. A Blogger from Tucson has done some work. First some history on how powerful I believe this will be.
Labor day, 2004, Scott Johnson and John Hinderaker, Twin City writers with local distinction and their Washington friend, Paul Mirengoff operated a small conservative Blog, Power Line. September changed everything. September 9, commenting on what would become known as Rathergate (for News Anchor Dan Rather), Johnson wrote the key revelation that the computer font used in the “smoking gun” letter did not exist in 1973. Several people with specific technical knowledge confirmed Johnson’s analysis in the next few days. All three at Power Line continued to dig and post during this period. By October, Rather was done —headed for retirement. His producer was fired. Power Line emerged and remains one of the very most influential Blogs.
I do not predict a similar rise to Blog stardom for James Kelley, Tucson, at The Cholla Jumps, a WordPress.com Blog location. Mr. Kelley has really connected the dots concerning Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik.
As I reported, Dupnik immediately called out (rightwing) rhetoric from politicians, radio and “some” TV. While I knew Dupnik is an apologist for illegal immigration, I separated him (Here) from the “Never let a serious shooting go to waste” crowd of leftists. His case is different, indeed. It seems he may have some culpability in the 1.08.2011 Tucson massacre. Sunday evening, Kelley wrote:
This is the report that Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has been dreading since the tragic event on Saturday January 8.
The sheriff has been editorializing and politicizing the event since he took the podium to report on the incident. His blaming of radio personalities and bloggers is a pre-emptive strike because Mr. Dupnik knows this tragedy lays at his feet and his office. Six people died on his watch and he could have prevented it. He needs to step up and start apologizing to the families of the victims instead of spinning this event to serve his own political agenda.
Jared Loughner, pronounced by the Sheriff as Lock-ner, saying it was the Polish pronunciation. Of course he meant Scott or Irish but that isn’t the point. The point is he and his office have had previous contact with the alleged assailant in the past and that is how he knows how to pronounce the name.
Jared Loughner has been making death threats by phone to many people in Pima County including staff of Pima Community College, radio personalities and local bloggers. When Pima County Sheriff’s Office was informed, his deputies assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system. It was also suggested that further pressing of charges would be unnecessary and probably cause more problems than it solved as Jared Loughner has a family member that works for Pima County. Amy Loughner is a Natural Resource specialist for the Pima County Parks and Recreation. My sympathies and my heart goes out to her and the rest of Mr. Loughner’s family. This tragedy must be tearing them up inside wondering if they had done the right things in trying to manage Jared’s obvious mental instability.
Every victim of his threats previously must also be wondering if this tragedy could have been prevented if they had been more aggressive in pursuing charges against Mr. Loughner. Perhaps with a felony conviction he would never have been able to lawfully by the Glock 9mm Model 19 that he used to strike down the lives of six people and decimate 14 more.
This was not an act of politics. This was an act of a mentally disturbed young man hell bent on getting his 15 minutes of infamy. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department was aware of his violent nature and they failed to act appropriately. This tragedy leads right back to Sherriff Dupnik and all the spin in the world is not going to change that fact.
Update: Rush covered this James Kelley post Tuesday