Did you know the shooting of Rep Gabrielle Giffords and others was all a fake government conspiracy done by actors? Because according to some nutballs, it is. And the supporters are now harassing survivors of the attack!
Such obviously fantastic claims would usually not merit the attention of law enforcement, but they have in this instance because some believers have been confronting, and alarming, some of the people associated with the case in recent weeks.
Manuel J. Johnson, a spokesman for the F.B.I., said the bureau was aware of the site, but he declined to say whether an investigation was under way. One shooting victim said he notified the F.B.I. recently after two men showed up at his Tucson home claiming to be investigators and saying they were trying to determine whether the shooting was a hoax.
“They tried to get into my home,” said the victim, who asked that he not be identified because it might attract more such visitors. “They wanted to know if I had any pictures. They said they didn’t believe the event took place.”
The victim said that when he pressed the visitors for identification, one of them presented a business card that listed the Texas conspiracy site, which describes the shooting as an exercise conducted by the Department of Homeland Security. Other people connected to the case, including hospital personnel, victims’ relatives and possible trial witnesses, have received similar visits or seen their images on the Web site, officials said.
The site, which solicits donations from visitors to help with its “investigation,” shows pictures of people who appeared on television after the shooting — including the suspect, Jared L. Loughner — and claims they resemble photographs of Tucson-area actors found on the Internet.
“We are only trying to uncover the truth and give the information to the Citizens,” the site says. “We would love nothing more than to debunk our own theory.”
Ed Chiarini, who runs the site, identifies himself as an inventor and Web entrepreneur. He could not be reached for comment.