April 23, 2013

Paul Kevin Curtis, the man suspected of sending ricin to President Obama, Senator Wicker and several other Mississippi politicians, was released from custody and all charges dropped on Tuesday after no evidence of ricin could be found anywhere on the premises of his home or vehicle.

When the news broke of his release, I wondered how the right wing would process it, given that they were reveling in the news that Curtis was a Democrat who sported a bumper sticker saying "Christian and a Democrat." It didn't take more than a few minutes for Gateway Pundit to unashamedly post this headline:

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Jim Hoft's shameless smear

But now the plot thickens. Via TalkingPointsMemo, an emerging story of a frame by former GOP candidate J. Everett Dutschke:

On Monday, Curtis’ lawyer, Christi McCoy, said she believed Dutschke could have been responsible for mailing the letters noting he had argued with Curtis over email.

Dutschke denied any involvement in the ricin case in an interview with a local newspaper, though he admitted he spoke with FBI agents on Thursday and allowed them to search his home. TPM spoke with Dutschke Tuesday shortly after the news of Curtis’ release.

“I’m alive,” Dutschke said when asked how he was.

Dutschke expressed disbelief when told of Curtis’ release.

“What did you just say?” he asked.

We repeated that Curtis had been released.

“You’re kidding me,” said Dutschke. “For what?”

We told him we were unsure and asked whether he knew if officials were still investigating him in the case.“I really can’t answer that question at this exact second,” he said.

Dutschke then said he had to go. Subsequent attempts to speak with him were unsuccessful. Less than an hour later FBI agents arrived at Dutschke’s house and he told local reporters on the scene they were there to question him.

From the rest of that TPM article, it appears that Mr. Dutschke had far more motive to send ricin than Curtis.

Dutschke had many interests in addition to taekwondo. In 2007, he ran for a seat in Mississippi’s House of Representatives as a Republican. He lost to incumbent Democrat Daniel Holland.

Along with President Obama, ricin-tainted letters were sent to a local judge named Sadie Holland and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS). Judge Holland is a local judge named Sadie Holland, mother of the man who defeated Dutschke in his 2007 campaign.

I realize politics is a dirty business, but if this man turns out to have framed an Elvis impersonator for his own act of domestic terrorism, it speaks to the depravity Republicans have encouraged in their constituents.

For nearly a week, the right wing has been reveling in Curtis' Democratic affiliations. Will they now look as closely at their Republican suspect? No, of course not! Here's what they're saying, even as I write this:


In case that print is too small to read, the comment is "Sure, let's release the guy who tried to kill the president. That really makes a lot of sense, eh?"

On the Breitbart News article, a sampling of initial comments:


I'm guessing there will be a lot of heat and no light from the right wing netroots in the days to come if the initial reaction is any indication.

Update: For those concerned that the initial article did not mention the complete dismissal of charges, here's TPM with the details. Yes, charges were dismissed, without prejudice, meaning they are gone for now, but the US Attorney reserves the right to refile. This doesn't mean anything other than that the feds want to keep all options open.

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