I noted yesterday the unavoidable non-existence of any link between Jared Loughner and either mainstream-right or far-right groups. Today, Ken Vogel at Politico thoroughly debunks the juciest of those claims — that Loughner was aligned with the white supremacist group American Renaissance:
An Arizona law enforcement agency is backing away from a document it produced in the aftermath of Saturday’s shootings in Tucson – and which was leaked to Fox News – that linked the man accused with carrying out the crimes to a white nationalist publication.
After Fox News began citing the document in its broadcasts, initially describing it as a memo from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the story was picked up by other media, which suggested that the federal government was looking at the role of the publication, American Renaissance, in motivating the shootings.
David Denlinger, commander of the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center acknowledged that the document came from his agency, but contained errors and overstated the link between Jared Loughner, the 22-year-old charged with shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others outside a Tucson supermarket, and American Renaissance.
“I do have no reason to believe in anything that we did that (Loughner) had any direct connection or was being directed by American Renaissance,” Denlinger, an Arizona state police major, told POLITICO Tuesday.
Denlinger said the document “was never intended for public dissemination. It was also not a police report or even a record that is in our system. It was simply two people that put a quick summary together for their bosses in terms of here are some of the things that are being looked at right now.”