WUSA, a local station in D.C., threw a jolt through Twitter by claiming that the guy is a nutjob on an environmental crusade and that this is his manifesto/list of demands. Now they’re saying that that’s unconfirmed. Way to toss a political hot potato into a story that may be completely unrelated, guys.
Here’s what we know, sort of:
ABC affiliate WJLA in Washington, DC is reporting that the gunman is an Asian man and may be a former Discovery employee.
“A man entered the lobby and may have fired a weapon and declared, ‘Nobody is going anywhere,'” Montgomery County police told WJLA. Witnesses said they
Police are trying to establish contact with the suspect. A person inside the building tells The Associated Press the man had something strapped to his chest and has hostages.
It was, apparently, an Asian man who wrote the manifesto, and a cop on the scene says the suspect has “concerns” about the Discovery Channel, but that’s the closest thing to “confirmation” that anyone has that it’s the same guy. I actually don’t care if it is; I’m not going to blame the actions of a nut on all lefties and environmentalists. I will, however, be sure to remind them of this the next time they pull that on the right. Which they do, merrily, at every conceivable opportunity.
Stand by for updates.
Update: NBC says the gunman has been identified as James Lee. “Lee” is the name given at the end of the manifesto. The page appears to be down since it’s getting slammed with traffic, but here’s a taste. It’s basically a long rant about overpopulation and pollution and finding solutions to global warming, etc etc. One of the nuttier parts:
Humans are the most destructive, filthy, pollutive creatures around and are wrecking what’s left of the planet with their false morals and breeding culture.
For every human born, ACRES of wildlife forests must be turned into farmland in order to feed that new addition over the course of 60 to 100 YEARS of that new human’s lifespan! THIS IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE FOREST CREATURES!!!! All human procreation and farming must cease!
It is the responsiblity of everyone to preserve the planet they live on by not breeding any more children who will continue their filthy practices. Children represent FUTURE catastrophic pollution whereas their parents are current pollution. NO MORE BABIES! Population growth is a real crisis. Even one child born in the US will use 30 to a thousand times more resources than a Third World child. It’s like a couple are having 30 babies even though it’s just one! If the US goes in this direction maybe other countries will too!
Also, war must be halted. Not because it’s morally wrong, but because of the catastrophic environmental damage modern weapons cause to other creatures. FIND SOLUTIONS JUST LIKE THE BOOK SAYS! Humans are supposed to be inventive. INVENT, DAMN YOU!!
The world needs TV shows that DEVELOP solutions to the problems that humans are causing, not stupify the people into destroying the world. Not encouraging them to breed more environmentally harmful humans.
Saving the environment and the remaning species diversity of the planet is now your mindset. Nothing is more important than saving them. The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels.
Update: TMZ says it’s the same guy and has a PDF version of more of his rantings about global warming, animal extinction, etc.
Update: Here’s Lee’s MySpace page, which apparently hasn’t been updated in a few years. Note the references to Daniel Quinn, who’s also mentioned at the beginning of the manifesto.
Update: Via MKH, some relevant message-board postings from Lee. He’s been working up to the point of going off for awhile, it seems:
Discovery is the enemy. They must be protested into saving the planet and reducing their propaganda. But if you feel that this is wrong, then don’t show up. You’re welcome to stay at home and watch TV or do whatever it is you do.
And if I look like an idiot, so what? But I won’t fail in this. This is going to happen and Discovery is going to change their course and start saving the planet. I will never personally feel like an idiot for trying.
Update: How nutty is he?
At the time of his conviction in March 2008, Lee was identified as a 40-year-old man from San Diego. Court records said he was arrested Feb. 21, 2008, on the sixth day of a protest at the Discovery building. Police were called when a crowd that had gathered began growing “unruly” as Lee threw thousands of dollars of cash into the air, some of it still in shrink-wrapped packages, police said at the time.
Update: Enjoy this tweet from lefty blogger Atrios because, like I say, the narrative shall be a-changin’ the next time some nut on the right does something nutty.
Update: Speaking of lefty bloggers, Think Progress blames Lee’s madness partly on rhetoric from … groups opposed to illegal immigration. Even liberal Adam Serwer of the American Prospect is embarrassed by their post.
Update: A bad day ends on a good note:
Suspect in Discovery Channel standoff shot and in custody; all three hostages are safe, police chief says.
That’s all CNN has right now, but keep trying that link. Updates should be coming momentarily.
Update: The shots were fatal. Lee is dead.
Update: Max Fisher of the Atlantic somehow read this post to mean that I think (a) Lee was a liberal and (b) because liberals relentlessly politicize “lone nut” incidents involving right-wingers, conservatives should do the same to them. (His tagline in summarizing this post at the Atlantic is “Hang This Attack Around Liberals’ Necks.”) On the first point, I don’t know if Lee was a down-the-line doctrinaire liberal or not; my point was simply that the green concerns that motivated him are typically identified with the left and therefore many people will conclude that he’s some species of liberal. By the same token, when someone bombs an abortion clinic, no one waits to find out the bomber’s opinion on, say, Iraq and federal spending before identifying him with the right. It’s the motive that defines the suspect politically in incidents like these. As for the second point — and I’m frankly amazed that anyone might have misunderstood it — what I’m saying is that liberals and environmentalists shouldn’t be blamed for this. Don’t politicize the incident by hanging the actions of a lunatic around their neck. What I meant up top about reminding them of this the next time they politicize something done by a right-wing nut was merely how this proves that there are crazies of all stripes and that I didn’t try to score a cheap political point against them today when the opportunity presented itself. Is this really that complicated?
The boss emeritus puts it more clearly than I can, apparently:
The gunman was reportedly motivated by Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth eco-propaganda. Guess what? I’m not playing that opportunistic blame game here. It’s not Al Gore’s fault when an enviro-nut goes off unhinged (and I’ve said that before). The blame in this case lies with the crazy man who terrorized the Discovery Channel employees. Period.