President Obama addresses the motivations that may have fed the shooter’s heinous actions:
“Well, look, we — we have seen, in the past, rampages of this sort. And in a country of 300 million people, there are going to be acts of violence that are inexplicable. Even within the extraordinary military that we have — and I think everybody understands how outstanding the young men and women in uniform are under the most severe stress — there are going to be instances in which an individual cracks. I think the questions that we’re asking now and we don’t have yet complete answers to is, is this an individual who’s acting in this way or is it some larger set of actors? You know, what are the motivations? Those are all questions that I think we have to ask ourselves. Until we have these answers buttoned down, I’d rather not comment on it.”
Oops. I apologize for any confusion — these remarks came not in the wake of Tucson, but Ft. Hood, TX, in which Maj. Nidal Hasan murdered 13 and wounded scores of others when he opened fire inside the most populous US military installation in the world, while shouting “Allah akbar!” on Nov 5, 2009. Hasan had links with radical Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who praised Hasan’s terrorist attack, and he had tried to contact al Qaeda. Hasan’s motivations are not mysterious, and weren’t when President Obama delivered the above remarks a few days after the attack.
If, when he speaks about the Tucson shooting in Arizona Wednesday, the president goes any further than the above and ascribes Jared Lee Loughner’s acts to some “broader context” after it is abundantly clear that he is a very unstable individual with a history of bizarre behavior, the president will have chosen very poorly.