BY JONATHAN VALANIA The following is sadly indicative of just how desperate the Save The War movement is, and an appalling example of how the blogosphere has become the leading edge of the right wing’s efforts to muddy the war debate with meaningless distractions, fear-mongering, half-truths and outright lies. Allow me to explain. First there was an attempted murder-suicide in Willingboro. The murder didn’t take, thank God, but the suicide did:
Air Force Senior Airman Jonathan Schrieken was casually unpacking his car in front of his Willingboro house on the evening of July 4. A moment later, he was fighting for his life. Out of nowhere, an attacker leveled a handgun at him and fired point blank into his chest, before turning the gun on himself and taking his own life.
That much everyone agrees on. However, based on a lot of hearsay in the comments section of wackadoo war-pig blogs like Little Green Footballs, Fox News talking head Michelle Malkin and a posse of right-wing bloggers have been shouting to the heavens that the killer was, in fact, a peace activist — the shooting was a premeditated political statement, and that the victim was chosen because he was in the military:
What motivated 22-year-old Matthew Marren of Pennsauken to open fire is unclear. But the Internet furor stirred by the shooting has been unmistakable. The incident quickly became a cause celebre, fanned by a host of conservative and military bloggers across the country as well as national columnist Michelle Malkin, who claimed that Schrieken had been targeted by an antiwar zealot.
And why haven’t we heard of this, you ask? As per usual, the “liberal media” has engaged in a conspiracy of silence so as not to make the trigger-happy anti-war movement look bad, doncha know.
Bloggers cited two notes left by Marren – in his car and at home – that reportedly blasted the government and military. The general content was revealed by Marren’s Trion, Ga., aunt in a story on the Web site PhillyBurbs.com. The aunt said he “wanted to make a statement” on Independence Day.
“Now, imagine the scenario flipped: What if a soldier had attempted to murder a peace activist over the holidays in order to ‘make a statement?’ ” wrote Malkin in a July 11 piece titled “When Peaceniks Attack, Journalists Snooze” on Townhall.com. “The [New York] Times would be holding a front-page vigil, and Katie Couric’s brow would be furrowed for a week.”
Except, wait. None of that is true — unless of of course the law-and-order loving Malkin is calling the cops liars. To wit:
Investigators point out that the 22-year-old Schrieken did not know the gunman, was not in uniform at the time of the incident, and would not have been an obvious target for someone trying to kill a soldier.
They also said the text of Marren’s notes was indicative of someone with mental-health problems. And they added that toxicology reports, showing whether Marren was under the influence of drugs, would not be available for weeks.
Yesterday, Smith, the spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, described Marren’s final words as “rambling. There was no mention of the military, the war in Iraq or the victim being a soldier.
Wow, exploiting the misfortune of a U.S. serviceman to advance your political agenda, using lies and poorly-sourced half-truths to spin a local tragedy it into some pro-war fantasy just to rile up the jingoistic morons you call The Base — have you people no decency? At long last, have you no decency whatsoever?