NEW YORK – A US Department of Homeland Security memorandum reportedly notes the
fact that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is a Jew may have a factor in the
motives of the Arizona congresswoman’s alleged assailant.
reporting on the memorandum it obtained Sunday night, said that “strong
suspicion is being direceted (sic) at American Renaissance,” an organization the
shooter Jared Loughner referenced on the Internet, and said that federal law
enforcement authorities are investigating Loughner’s possible links to American
Doctors optimistic Arizona congresswoman will survive
According to the memorandum, American Renaissance is “anti
government, anti immigration, anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti
Semitic.” The memo notes that Giffords is the first Jewish woman elected to high
office in Arizona. Investigators are also pursuing Loughner’s alleged
American Renaissance leaders said in a posting on their
website Sunday that Loughner had never subscribed to their magazine, registered
for any of the group’s conferences or visited their Internet
Giffords was first elected to Congress in 2006, and made her Jewish
identity part of her campaign.
“If you want something done, your best bet
is to ask a Jewish woman to do it,” Giffords, a former state senator, said at
the time, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. “Jewish women – by our
tradition and by the way we were raised – have an ability to cut through all the
reasons why something should, shouldn’t or can’t be done, and pull people
together to be successful.”
More than 100 people crowded into a special
healing service Sunday morning for Giffords at Congregation Chaverim, the Reform
Tucson congregation where Giffords was married three years ago, according to The
New York Times
. Giffords’s rabbi, friends and admirers gathered to pray for a
speedy recovery for the congresswoman.
Rabbi Stephanie Aaron, the leader
of Congregation Chaverim, said that Giffords has been an instrument of tikkun
olam, the Times
“In Jewish practice, we have an idea of
repairing the world,” Rabbi Aaron said. Giffords, she added, “was very active in
doing that work and being a pursuer of justice.”
Loughner had apparently
had contact with Giffords prior to Saturday’s shooting. Court papers filled with
the charges against Jared Loughner said he received a letter from Giffords in
which she thanked him for attending a “Congress on your Corner” event at a mall
in Tucson in 2007.
Additionally, investigators carrying out a search
warrant at Loughner’s parents’ home, where the shooter resided, found an
envelope in a safe with the words “I planned ahead,” “My assassination” and the
name “Giffords” next to what appears to be Loughner’s
Authorities would not disclose where Loughner was being held,
and officials were working to appoint an attorney for him before a scheduled
Monday afternoon court appearance in Phoenix.
Heather Williams, the first
assistant federal public defender in Arizona, said a request has been made that
San Diego attorney Judy Clarke be appointed to represent
Clarke, a former federal public defender in San Diego and
Spokane, Washington, served on teams that defended Oklahoma City bombing
conspirator Timothy McVeigh, “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski and Susan Smith, a South
Carolina woman who drowned her two sons in 1994.
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