Let's forget about who is an "agent" of who. Let's not allow every conversation after an incident to devolve into random whodunit speculation. Let's stop trying to focus on who killed how many people and why. That's not in our control.
What is it that allows us to consider Jared Loughner a mentally troubled young man acting alone and Faisal Shahzad, the mentally troubled young U.S. citizen who tried to blow up Times Square last May, a terrorist "Made in Pakistan"?
Terrorism will always make headlines, but given the political jockeying in Pakistan, many media groups are running alarmist, nearly hysterical headlines predicting the imminent doom of Pakistani democracy.
In Arizona the assailant is the crazy guy, the loner, the anti-social, the one everyone is quick to disown. The sigh of relief is that he acted alone. In Pakistan, he immediately becomes proof of something systemic.
Salman Taseer was a stranger in Pakistan. His millions of dollars, British mother, private relationships, and extravagant Western lifestyle could not possibly have been more in contrast with the population of Pakistan.
The U.S. government should support Pakistanis who are willing to risk their lives and their political capital to repeal dangerous blasphemy laws, lest Pakistan be taken over again by those who oppose freedom and basic rights.