Washington: Sarah Palin today slammed as
"blood libel" charges that overheated political rhetoric
contributed to a weekend shooting rampage in Arizona that
left a US lawmaker fighting for her life.
"Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding,
journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel
that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that
they purport to condemn," she said in an online video message.
The conservative former Republican vice-presidential
candidate made her remarks after Saturday`s shooting in the
southwestern state by a lone gunman who killed six people and
wounded 14 others in the assassination attempt on
congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot through the
Palin rejected liberal claims that conservative
figures like herself have whipped up a frenzied climate of
hate that could push the deranged or hate-filled over the edge
into acts of violence.
"It is time to restore the American precept that each
individual is accountable for his actions," said Palin, who is
widely viewed as a possible 2012 presidential contender.
"Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own,
they begin and end with the criminals who commit them -- not
collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those
who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts
used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens
who respectfully exercise their first amendment rights at
The former Alaska governor who has become a fixture
on the US media landscape since leaving public office, has
been at the center of the recent media firestorm about the
impact of inflammatory political language.
She has been most criticized over a tweet she sent
during last year`s health care debate urging ardent opponent
of the legislation, "Don`t Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!"
She was also condemned for setting up a website
called "Take Back the 20," which included a map of the United
States with cross hairs on congressional districts of
Democratic candidates she had singled out for defeat.
One of those seats belong to Giffords, a Democrat who
squeaked out a narrow victory over her Republican challenger.
Gifford was among those who criticized Palin at the
"The way she has it depicted has the cross hairs of
a gun sight over our district," Giffords told MSNBC television
"When people do that, they`ve got to realize there`s
consequences to that action."