Last year Sarah Palin published what she called her "hit list" of twenty names that were to be targeted by voters in the mid-term elections. This list included the name of Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and was illustrated with the graphics of a rifle-like telescopic sight.
Today Gabrielle Giffords is in intensive care having been shot in the head at a political meeting in Arizona. Six other people were killed by the gunman. Local media reports that a man called Jared Loughner is being held in custody for the shooting. A video posted by Loughner on YouTube entitled "My final thoughts" presents a text of incoherent, rambling statements about sleepwalking, numerology and grammar over a background of soft lounge music. Loughner writes about the US Constitution, about a currency not backed by gold and about him not being able to trust the government and its treasonous laws.
Ms Giffords herself had warned of the danger of the list after her office was vandalised in March. She said: "We're on Sarah Palin's 'targeted' list, but the thing is that the way she has it depicted, we're in the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they've got to realise that there are consequences to that action."
Ms Palin hasn't directly commented on whether she thinks there were consequences to her actions but she did issue a statement saying: "My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shooting in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice."
It had been widely reported that Ms Palin would stand as the Republican candidate in the 2012 presidential elections. While she has yet to confirm these reports, rumours are rife that a second season of her television show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, has been put on hold thereby indicating her intention to proceed with the nomination.
UPDATE 10/1/11 09:00
Loughner note reveals aim to assassinate Gabrielle Giffords, the Guardian