According to federal officials who spoke with CNN, a pilot intentionally flew his plane, at full speed, into a federal building in Austin, Texas today:
The pilot of the plane had set his house on fire beforehand….a federal official told CNN.
Two F-16′s were scrambled to the Austin, Texas area in the aftermath of the explosion, but it appears now that no other planes are involved. No official word as of yet regarding the identity of the pilot, however, CNN, Fox, and other media are now reporting that the pilot set fire to his own home before taking flight in a plane earlier today, a fire that continues as of 1PM today. The tragic spectacle of an unhinged pilot intentionally flying a plane into a building in America sadly reminds Americans of the horror of 9/11, albeit on a much smaller scale. The plane involved, Cirrus SR22, is a single-engine four-seat aircraft, much smaller than the airlines hijacked by the 9/11 terrorists on that awful day.
All told, it appears the unnamed pilot had a suicide wish, and he proceeded to implement that twisted desire by flying a plane at full speed (as reported by the Austin Statesman) into the side of a building which houses the IRS and other agencies in Austin, Texas. Whether this incident is a terrorist incident or whether there is any connection to overseas organizations is an open question at this hour.
UPDATE: The suicide pilot has been identified as Joseph Andrew Stack, and a lengthy suicide note was left on Stack’s website in which Stack attacks former President George W. Bush with “Bush and his cronies are puppets of plutocrats” and states his disapproval of the “joke we call the American medical system … [that's] murdering tens of thousands of people a year”. Such sentiments clearly indicates that Stack strongly disapproved of former President George W. Bush and further strongly disapproved of the present American health care system. Indeed, the leftwing new media, the leftwing old media like the NYT and Democrats have often used the same line used by Stack regarding “tens of thousands” of deaths per year caused by the lack of reform of the American health care system.
The primary motivation, however, appears to be Stack’s vitriolic hatred for the IRS, as the building attacked housed IRS agents and his statement in his suicide note that “Well Mr. Big Brother IRS man… take my pound of flesh and sleep well.”
Predictably, the leftwing netroots new media contingent is in full dander, explicitly claiming that Stack was a “teabagger” associated with the Tea Party movement, with the Daily Kos attempting to set the media narrative that the suicide attack by Stack was a result of ideas pushed by “Teabaggers”:
This guy may not have been a member of any organized Tea Party, I have no way of knowing. He may have been a nut with a beef against the IRS. But the kind of crap he spews in this manifesto is just the sort of thing you will hear at a Teabagger rally. Will this be the beginning of further such events, or will the Teabaggers renounce this kind of violence?
Another large leftwing site, Democratic Underground, is also running with the “Suicide pilot is a teabagger” narrative. Of course, none of the leftwing new media sites mention Stack’s attack on former President George W. Bush or his use of the Democrat health care reform talking point regarding the “thousands” who die every year because of the present system. Considering recent reports that the Democrat Party is planning on digging up dirt on Tea Party leaders and otherwise smearing the Tea Party as unhinged extremists in the leadup to the November 2010 elections, it makes sense that the leftwing new media is pushing the clearly unsubstantiated claim that Stack was a tea party member or sympathizer.
However, the most telling part of Stack’s suicide note may be the part that appears at the very end, in bold, regarding the virtues of communism and the vices of capitalism:
The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.
Stack’s clear denunciation of the capitalist system and praise for the communist system, in the last two lines of his suicide note, appear to definitely state a portion of Stack’s ideological makeup. Whether the mainstream media takes its cues from the Daily Kos and Democratic Underground in reporting this horrific attack as the work of a deranged tea partier or whether the mainstream media instead actually reviews Stack’s words and reports on the evidence of his potential motivations objectively will be an interesting test of the media’s level of left wing bias as America moves into a general election season.
UPDATE #2: CBS News becomes the first mainstream media organization to report Stack’s praise of Communism at the conclusion of Stack’s six page long, rambling suicide note. CNN continues, via Rick Sanchez and others, to falsely report that the anti-IRS statements were the conclusion of the Stack suicide note. CBS News headlines the anti-IRS speech, and only reports the conclusion of Stack’s letter in the last paragraph of his suicide note:
He ended with,” The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.”