Waiting For Retractions: FBI Says Arrested Colorado Springs Bomber Did Not Target NAACP

February 20th, 2015 11:32 PM

Earlier today, Thaddeus Murphy was charged in U.S. District Court in Colorado in connection with an attempted January bombing in Colorado Springs.

The targeted building houses that city's chapter of the NAACP, a barber shop — and, apparently at one time, a tax accountant's office. Quite a few people leaped to the conclusion that the bomb had to be meant for the NAACP, even though, as syndicated columnist and area resident Michelle Malkin noted last month, "The NAACP office is located on the opposite side of the building" from where the explosion occurred. The Criminal Complaint filed today indicates that the NAACP was not the target. The long vacant accountant's office was.

An Associated Press report this evening indicates that at least one person who at some point reached a racial narrative-feeding conclusion is having a hard time handling this turn of events (bolds are mine throughout this post):

Thaddeus Murphy, 44, told federal agents that he made the pipe bomb out of a shotgun shell and fireworks fuses, the records said.

He said he was angry because the accountant wouldn't return his phone calls or give him back his tax records. It was unclear whether Murphy knew that the accountant, Steve DeHaven, died in June in Mesa, Arizona.

DeHaven pleaded guilty in 2010 to filing false tax returns and was released from federal prison in April 2013.

A sign for an accountant's business was still on the wall of the building, but it has been closed for 20 years, according to the president of the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP. The NAACP, which has been at the site since 1985, and a barbershop are the only tenants in the building.

Henry D. Allen Jr., president of the local NAACP chapter, expressed skepticism Friday about the accountant version of the story, but he would not say whether he believed his organization was the target.

"He targeted somebody in this building, and in my estimate it was not the tax people," Allen said. "Does anyone really think this guy is going to admit to this?"

Murphy has been charged with arson of a building and being a felon in possession of a firearm. DeHaven's death will not likely affect Murphy's prosecution, said Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Denver.

Time.com's Josh Sanburn is only conceding that the "Colorado Bombing May Not Have Been Aimed at NAACP."

There's a long list of others besides Allen and Sanburn who may resist recognizing the motivation the FBI-submitted Criminal complaint alleges, despite the bomb's actual location noted earlier, and despite the fact that the Bureau was open to the possibility that the incident might involve domestic terrorism from the beginning of its investigation.

The biggest walkback we'll probably never see needs to come from Trymaine Lee at MSNBC, who absolutely knew that the bombing targeted the NAACP two days after the bombing took place:

Bombing of NAACP headquarters harkens to bad old days

A manhunt is underway for a suspect in the bombing this week of a small NAACP chapter headquarters about an hour south of Denver. The incident in Colorado Springs has shaken that quiet city, sending ripples across the country as the nation continues to weather a months-long wave of social and racial unrest.

Federal agents and local police say someone placed an improvised explosive device and containers of gasoline outside of the one-story building that houses the Colorado Springs NAACP and a black-owned barber shop on Tuesday morning. The detonation left the outer wall and a swath of the sidewalk charred and sent items inside the building crashing to the ground.

In a statement on Thursday morning, the FBI said hate crime or not, it condemns the act of violence.

“We stand with the business owners at Mr. G’s Hair Design Studio and the NAACP denouncing any violence or aggression brought against our community,” the statement read.

No one was hurt in the blast and the containers of gasoline apparently failed to ignite. But the many what-if’s, given the ongoing turmoil sparked by a rash of police killings and non-indictment of officers across the country, begs memories of a bygone era when white supremacists turned southern black communities into bombing fields.

... Rep. John Lewis, a veteran of the civil rights movement, took to Twitter yesterday to say “I am deeply troubled by the bombing in Colorado. It reminds me of another period,” followed by the hashtag #NAACPBombing.

Julian Bond, another stalwart of the civil rights era and former head of the NAACP said “Obviously, this is a terrorist attack” and that all NAACP branches are vulnerable and “We want to send a message to everyone to be on their guard of this occurring to them.”

Oddly, in the MSNBC report, Allen, who is now having a hard time with Murphy's professed motivation, was arguing in favor of caution.

Malkin's January 21 column identified others in the media who appeared quite eager to see the incident tagged as racially motivated:

“Colorado Springs explosion recalls violence against NAACP” — The Washington Post

“NAACP Bombing Evokes Memories of Civil Rights Strife” — Time magazine

“Explosion outside NAACP office could be a hate crime, officials say”— Los Angeles Times

J. Christian Adams at PJ Media has several additional examples.

Politicians like Sheila Jackson Lee ("#NAACPBombing undermines years of progress") predictably joined in the hysterics.

MSNBC's Chris Hayes, separate from Trymaine Lee's disgraceful item above, was caught shortly after the incident "fraudulently passing off a photo of a bombed-out kebab shop in France as a photo of the 'NAACP bombing.'"

Will any of these media outlets and politicians walk back what they implied, alleged, or assumed? Of will they, like the NAACP's Allen, bitterly cling, in the face of all current contrary evidence, to the idea that it really had to be a hate crime, and that Murphy just won't dare admit it?

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.