The Pentagon Shooter’s Extreme Right-Libertarian Beliefs
I posted a link to the audio of Pentagon shooter John Patrick Bedell’s “manifesto” last night, but here’s a summary of what’s on that audio recording: Pentagon Shooter Worshipped Private Property Rights, Denounced Government ‘Schemes’ Like Public Education.
The California man who opened fire last night outside the Pentagon was a property rights extremist who railed against the government’s ability to “confiscate the resources of their citizens to fund schemes that need only be justified by lies and deception,” and wanted to “eliminate the role of the government in education.”
In a recorded manifesto called “Directions To Freedom”, the audio of which he posted online in 2006, John Patrick Bedell, of Hollister, California, praised private property as “the most successful basis for structuring society that humanity has ever known.”
Bedell shot two police officers last night during the rampage, before being mortally wounded himself.
“Communist and socialist governments that abolished or disregarded private property,” said Bedell in the recording, “created poverty, repression and murder on a truly enormous scale.” But, he continued, “Even in the United States, however, there has been a continual erosion of protection of private property justified by the belief that government is an efficient instrument for the positive direction of society.”
Bedell added: “Governments lack the profit and loss incentives that individuals and private organizations must use…”
And he warned: “When governments are able to confiscate the resources of their citizens to fund schemes that need only be justified by lies and deception enormous disasters can result.”
Bedell also denounced the monetary system, a frequent bete noir of anti-government extremists. “When the government can control how private property is used,” he said, “and especially when the government controls the monetary system that is use to exchange private property, the government has the mechanisms and the motivation to control individuals to the smallest detail.”
Bedell even railed against the concept of public education. “Government control of the schools that shape minds is pervasive in today’s world,” he said. “The imperative to defend the freedom of conscience must lead us to eliminate the role of the government in education and leave parents and communities free to raise their children as they see fit.” He denounced public education as “no more legitimate than a government-run church for universal religious training.”
If you gave a speech at a tea party rally consisting of nothing but the quotes from Bedell you see above, you’d get a standing ovation.
These statements show an extreme right wing libertarian, the kind of person who posts comments at the Campaign for Liberty website. Hatred for George W. Bush is widespread among this group, so the fact that he was anti-Bush definitely does not put him in the “left wing” camp — as many wingnut bloggers seem desperate to do.
Also very prevalent among the far right Ron Paul contingent — 9/11 Trutherism and support for conspiracy theories of all kinds. So this does not put him in the left column either.
How about the fact that Bedell was angry about anti-marijuana laws? Well, guess who else wants to legalize pot? Yep. Ron Paul.
And let’s deal with one more excuse that’s circulating among those who are desperate to assign Bedell to the “left wing” — that he was registered as a Democrat in California.
Here are some facts. In order to vote in primary elections in California, you are required to do one of two things: declare a party affiliation, or declare yourself “unaffiliated.” If you declare as unaffiliated, when you go to vote you’ll receive a ballot consisting of only unaffiliated candidates, unless you specifically request that you be allowed to vote for a particular party.
Bedell, by the way, had not voted in the past five years. And given his extreme right wing variant of Bush Derangement Syndrome, it makes perfect sense that he would register as a Democrat. He certainly wasn’t going to vote for Bush.
To sum up, Bedell’s party registration tells you absolutely nothing about where he lies on the political spectrum. His actual words, however, paint a very clear picture of an anti-government right wing extremist of the Ron Paulian persuasion.
UPDATE at 3/7/10 8:53:43 pm:
Hi, Tim! Thanks for the traffic. I’m touched to find out that you still read LGF; sorry I can’t return the favor.