Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

June 1, 2009

TERRORISM.... Michelle Malkin, a leading far-right blogger, makes an observation this morning that bears repeating. (via Sullivan)

Late-term abortion doctor George Tiller was gunned down at his church in Kansas Sunday morning in a thoroughly evil, cold-blooded act of domestic terrorism. Yes, terrorism. Not "extremism."

I can appreciate the notion that "terrorism" may seem like a loaded, provocative term. But in a case like the Tiller assassination, the word clearly applies.

We're dealing with an act of politically-motivated violence, against a law-abiding American on American soil, intended to scare, intimidate, and change U.S. policy.

One can support or oppose abortion rights; one can defend or reject the legal medical services Tiller provided for his desperate patients. But whether yesterday's murder constitutes domestic terrorism isn't an especially tough call.

Update: It appears that Malkin's comment may have been intended as sarcasm; it's hard to say. In either case, the larger point here remains the same.

Steve Benen 10:45 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (51)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

And Jim D. Adkisson.

And Richard Poplawski.

And Joshua Cartwright.

And Scott Roeder.

Who will be the next one? FOX and Free Republic continue to cheer them on.

Where will they strike next?

Posted by: JM on June 1, 2009 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and btw.

The terrorists have won.

Posted by: JM on June 1, 2009 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

One can support or oppose abortion rights; one can defend or reject the legal medical services Tiller provided for his desperate patients...

Not really, no.

Posted by: dave™© on June 1, 2009 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

I probably disagree. It's hard to tell because of the ambiguities in term, "domestic terrorism." But to me, terrorism implies a political group behind the terrorist acts. So where's the group?

I don't see any organized or even unorganized group. I see religions and individuals with moral objections to abortion, but if you start attacking them with guilt-by-association, count me out. You have to identify some kind of group if you want to throw that term around.

Posted by: Bob M on June 1, 2009 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

and as MY observes, this is a kind of terrorism that works pretty well

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/05/a-kind-of-terrorism-that-works.php

Posted by: bdbd on June 1, 2009 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, terrorism. Not "extremism."

I think murder is about as extreme as you can get.

Posted by: Danp on June 1, 2009 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

A campaign of terror can be accomplished by a single, determined individual.

Posted by: jen f on June 1, 2009 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't it Malkin's point, though, that "terrorism" is separable from the ideology that it serves? The fact of the matter is that what makes terrorism terrorism rather than just criminality is that it serves an ideological purpose, and that most all of us regard an ideology that thinks terrorism is appropriate to be "extremist." Malkin's observation is thus utterly incoherent--at least until you consider who it's designed to let off the hook.

Posted by: David in Nashville on June 1, 2009 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, it was terrorism. However, I took Malkin's "not extremism" point as an attempt to rebut claims that Tiller's death legitimizes the DHS report on right-wing extremism. Let's be clear: terrorism IS extremism. I wouldn't be so quick to give Malkin credit.

Posted by: Matt on June 1, 2009 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Bob is right: "terrorism" implies that a group conspired to create a climate of fear through violence. This appears to be a lone lunatic committing a murder to express his hostility to abortion.
Opposition to abortion is a perfectly valid position; it's a core religious belief. If it's proven that Operation Rescue or some anti-abortion group was involved, then I am wrong.

Posted by: Fnord on June 1, 2009 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Bob M -

there are reports that the suspect was a member of Operation Rescue. They had engaged in organized disruption at Tiller's clinic in the past, and they have a web site that calls out doctors, including Tiller, and expressly calls him a murderer (indeed, even Randall Terry's comments trying to distance OR from the assassination called Tiller a "mass murderer"). OR clearly seeks to incite violence while maintaining plausible deniability: they do everything but say ". . . so killing Tiller would be morally justified."

Sounds like an organization behind and including the suspect to me.

Posted by: zeitgeist on June 1, 2009 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Well, over at Obsidian Wings the posting rules have been invoked by the usual right wing apologists to prevent other posters from making this exact same point. The reason is that the posting rules, of course, forbid getting excited or personalizing the observation that this form of terrorist murder is simply the *logical consequence of the right wing's decades long insistence on personalizing and demonizing a medical practice, abortion, as the individual immoral act of doctors and their nursing staff.*

My point here is this: the right wing has made all policy arguments into personal arguments. Its not enough to say that Sotomayor (might be) a "liberal" judge--its also necessary to attack her as a racist and as an affirmative action no hoper. ITs not enough to attack abortion at the ballot box and at law, it is necessary (apparently) to attempt to stigmatize and intimidate individual patients and doctors in order to prevent them for accessing the procedure.

Where else do we see this kind of twisted, personalized, demonized, social activity other than on the far right? The determination to take the law into one's own hands, or to break the law, through civil disobedience may have started with Gandhi and King but in the hands of the resurgent right wing it has come to include outright violent attacks on every person who the right wing defines as beyond the pale.

We can't use polite language to describe the far right's willingness to use terrorism to get what it wants when it has failed politically and legally. We have to call it out--and that includes the posters are websites like Obsidian Wings who hide behind conventions of comity to protect the violence that their party and their co-religionists foment.

aimai

Posted by: aimai on June 1, 2009 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

And jeebus, Bob M., its important to keep an open mind but you do realize that terrorist acts aren't defined by being done by a terrorist group but done in order to intimidate and threaten many in dividuals in order to gain political points within a larger political universe? In other words, what distinguishes a single murder from a terrorist murder is that the single murder is aimed merely at killing one individual. The terrorist act/murder is aimed at intimidating an entire class of people--in this case women seeking abortions and other doctors who might perform abortions.

That terroristic impulse has been not behind but in front of all of Operation Rescue's acts for the last umpteen years. They have explicitly said so. They want to intimidate women and doctors through social means. They see no problem in attacking both property and persons to get what they want. If that isn't terrorism what is it?

aimai

Posted by: aimai on June 1, 2009 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

fnord, you make it sound as though being a "core religious belief" automatically makes it valid and therefore not an ideology that qualifies as terrorism.

To the contrary, most terrorism in history has stemmed directly from "core religious beliefs" -- most likely including this instance.

Posted by: zeitgeist on June 1, 2009 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

We've dispensed with the "You can't settle differences with violence, we're a nation of laws" inanity. Laws exist and are upheld unless it becomes inconvenient to do so. The Fourth Amendment has proven inconvenient. As have the Geneva Conventions. As have countless other laws. Scott Roeder (allegedly) had a goal and broke laws to achieve it. He sits in jail. George Bush and now Obama have goals and are willing to ignore laws to achieve them. They roam free. If you have enough power and hold the right position laws don't apply to you. It has always been so. "A nation of laws" qualifies as one of the most prominent examples of a bullshit cliché you can spew. I'm curious what laws will be brought to bear against the CIA contractors that killed Iraqi prisoners while in U.S. detention.

Posted by: steve duncan on June 1, 2009 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Terrorism is most definitely *not* extremism. Is terrorism an extreme act? Absolutely, but that's precisely the point: terrorism is an *act.* Extremism is a feeling, or an ideology; terrorism is an act which is likely *based* on extremism. The connection between extremism + terrorism does not make them synonymous.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on June 1, 2009 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Nothing in the definition of terrorism requires a group. It can be a single individual. The question of whether this act amounted to terrorism hinges on whether the shooter was merely trying to stop Tiller, or trying to influence the broader practice of abortion. The former would be a material goal, and not terrorism, the latter would be an ideological goal, and terrorism.

Posted by: steve s on June 1, 2009 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Malkin said that? I'm shocked.

You can call it terrorism, extremism, whatever. I for one chalk it up to another death by the hands of religious fanatics.

The same type of religious fanaticism that has killed millions upon millions of people throughout the history of civilization and organized religion.

Some God they worship, one who condones murder.

Posted by: citizen_pain on June 1, 2009 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

David in Nashville is absolutely correct. Malkin's comments were specifically tailored to separate the murder from the extremism that spawned it. The two are inseparable. Malkin is just trying to provide an excuse for her extremist followers.

Posted by: clonus on June 1, 2009 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

I disagree with Bob M. that terrorism by definition involves a group, but if he's looking for a nice description of a terror cell, he might be interested in the connections among Tiller's killer, another assailant who shot Tiller in both arms and other members of Roeder's circle.

Posted by: shortstop on June 1, 2009 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, Micchelle Malkin speaking sensibly. There's a rarity.

Posted by: Jamie on June 1, 2009 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Bob M asks, "where's the domestic terrorist group?"

Try Operation Rescue. Go read what they did in Wichita during the 1990s and ask yourself if that isn't "terrorism." Look at all the other things they have done and the number of their members who are in prison for attempted assassinations, bombings, etc. if they were Muslim instead of Southern Baptists, they'd all have been rounded up long ago.

Posted by: TCinLA on June 1, 2009 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Deluded and crazed individuals believe they can speak or act for their gods. Like Scott they pull the trigger or blow themselves and 40 others up.

But who primed the trigger? When we have persons actively inciting terrorism by calling Tiller a killer on the PUBLIC airwaves, you have the terrorist lynch pin. Many seek to rouse the rabble for political reasons and just use the emotional issues to get the reponse they seek.

Someone on Huff just wrote that these murders occur primarily when a Democrat is in office...because the pot stirrrers didn't do it during the Bush era.

Posted by: Evergreen2U on June 1, 2009 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

As to those who think Roeder is a "lone nut," I suggest you google "Lone Wolf" and read the essays by white supremacists about developing a "leaderless, organizationless organization," where the members know what to do when the opportunity presents itself, so that they can be claimed as "lone nuts." By all evidence, Roeder has long been a part of this movement - the strategy was part of the "Montana Freemen" organization.

Go over to Orcinus and read what Dave Neiwert has about this. http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/

An important point the MSM will most likely miss, but which is important when dealing with these guys (from Orcinus):

The fact that this killing happened on the sixth anniversary of Eric Rudolph's capture bears this out. The date was chosen with a message in mind. It seems very likely that the venue was, too.

Posted by: TCinLA on June 1, 2009 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Bob is right: "terrorism" implies that a group conspired to create a climate of fear through violence.

Not really. The FBI's definition of terrorism is simply "The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a Government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives" -- there's nothing in there about how many perpetrators need to be involved.

For an example, Carlos Ilich Ramirez, aka Carlos the Jackal, was a well-known terrorist in the 1970s and '80s but was not a member of any organized group; he was simply a freelance terrorist.

Posted by: Stefan on June 1, 2009 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Bob M writes: " It's hard to tell because of the ambiguities in term, "domestic terrorism." But to me, terrorism implies a political group behind the terrorist acts. So where's the group?"

Open your eyes Bob. These folks are in groups, with newsletters and religionist "leaders" egging on the fringe crazies to take up a gun or a bomb. In fact, in the aftermath, look for them to say that these acts are understandable and have a biblical foundation. (Imagine how long the line would be if they brought back stoning for adultery. And that's if we just start at the churches.)

No, this is precisely like the KKK misfits who do the work for the Grand Dragon who believes it is "understandable" but who denies responsibility for it.

Attention must be paid. People who incite this must be held responsible.

Posted by: Frak on June 1, 2009 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

For those who think the far right is just a collection of nuts (which it is), read this:

The Far Right's First 100 Days: Shifting Into Overdrive
Thursday, April 30, 2009

-- by Sara


Somewhere back in February, about three weeks into the Obama Administration, everybody on the left suddenly noticed that there was something different going on with the conservatives. The outrageous screeds and paranoid delusions sounded pretty much as they always had -- but there was a new fury behind them, a strident urgency that hadn't been there before, and a very audible shift of the gears in right-wing behavior and rhetoric. None of this came as a surprise to veteran right-wing watchers -- we'd been predicting a bad backlash since the 2006 election -- but three months into the new administration, it's increasingly hard to ignore the fact that this ominous new trend is taking on a momentum of its own.

read the entire post here:

http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2009/04/far-rights-first-100-days-shifting-into.html

Posted by: TCinLA on June 1, 2009 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Christ Kills Two, Injures Seven In Abortion-Clinic Attack

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/christ_kills_two_injures_seven_in?utm_source=onion_rss_daily

Posted by: steve s on June 1, 2009 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

these murders occur primarily when a Democrat is in office...because the pot stirrrers didn't do it during the Bush era.

They do it when they're out of power and intensely angry about that. Anti-abortion violence was far strongest -- so far -- during the Clinton administration. All of these calls for "armed revolution," "uprisings," "taking back America," and comments like Dobson's "We've lost the culture war" are invitations to followers to go outside the political process to get what they want. For the least intelligent, the worst problem solvers and the most prone to violence, that translates into murder and terrorism.

Posted by: shortstop on June 1, 2009 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Zeitgeist wrote: "OR clearly seeks to incite violence while maintaining plausible deniability: they do everything but say ". . . so killing Tiller would be morally justified."

Well, not every one of these groups are so shy as evidenced today in NYT reporting: "Scott Roeder, 51, of Merriam, Kan., whom authorities have described as a suspect in Sunday’s fatal shooting here of George Tiller, the doctor who had been a focal point for abortion opponents for decades, was once a subscriber and occasional contributor to a newsletter, Prayer and Action News, said to Dave Leach, an anti-abortion activist from Des Moines who runs the newsletter. Mr. Leach said he and Mr. Roeder had met once, and Mr. Roeder had described similar views to his own. Of Dr. Tiller’s death, Mr. Leach said, “To call this a crime is too simplistic,” adding, “There is Christian scripture that would support this."

Yep, and now we should expand it to adulterer stoning...

Posted by: Frak on June 1, 2009 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Malkin's distinction is utterly meaningless. Terrorism has never been an ideology. It's a tactic deployed in the service of an ideology. It absolutely does not follow that all people who subscribe to a specific ideology support using terrorist means to achieve their ends.

Posted by: Mike from Detroit on June 1, 2009 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Malkin said that? I'm shocked.

NO.

Malkin did not say that. Check Sullivan again, Steve. She was mocking a liberal for calling it terrorism.

Posted by: Brian on June 1, 2009 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

US code Title 18 ss2331:

(5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—
(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Posted by: steve s on June 1, 2009 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Trying to maintain that Roeder was nothing more than an isolated gunman with no connections to groups that were sympathetic and supportive of his beliefs and actions requires the suspension of huge amounts of disbelief.

From McClatchy:

The suspect in custody for the slaying of Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller was a member of an anti-government group in the 1990s and a staunch opponent of abortion.

"I know that he believed in justifiable homicide," said Regina Dinwiddie, a Kansas City anti-abortion activist who made headlines in 1995 when she was ordered by a federal judge to stop using a bullhorn within 500 feet of any abortion clinic. "I know he very strongly believed that abortion was murder and that you ought to defend the little ones, both born and unborn."

Dinwiddie said she met Roeder while picketing outside the Kansas City Planned Parenthood clinic in 1996. Roeder walked into the clinic and asked to see the doctor, Robert Crist, she said.

"Robert Crist came out and he stared at him for approximately 45 seconds," she said. "Then he (Roeder) said, 'I've seen you now.' Then he turned his back and walked away, and they were scared to death. On the way out, he gave me a great big hug and he said, 'I've seen you in the newspaper. I just love what you're doing.'^"

Roeder also was a subscriber to Prayer and Action News, a magazine that advocated the justifiable homicide position, said publisher Dave Leach, an anti-abortion activist from Des Moines, Iowa.

"I met him once, and he wrote to me a few times," Leach said. "I remember that he was sympathetic to our cause, but I don't remember any details."

Leach said he met Roeder in Topeka when he went there to visit Shelley Shannon, who was in prison for the 1993 shooting of Tiller.

"He told me about a lot of conspiracy stuff and showed me how to take the magnetic strip out of a five-dollar bill," Leach said. "He said it was to keep the government from tracking your money."

Roeder, who in the 1990s was a manufacturing assemblyman, also was involved in the "Freemen" movement.

"Freemen" was a term adopted by those who claimed sovereignty from government jurisdiction and operated under their own legal system, which they called common-law courts. Adherents declared themselves exempt from laws, regulations and taxes and often filed liens against judges, prosecutors and others, claiming that money was owed to them as compensation.

In April 1996, Roeder was arrested in Topeka after Shawnee County sheriff's deputies stopped him for not having a proper license plate. In his car, officers said they found ammunition, a blasting cap, a fuse cord, a one-pound can of gunpowder and two 9-volt batteries, with one connected to a switch that could have been used to trigger a bomb.

Jim Jimerson, supervisor of the Kansas City ATF's bomb and arson unit, worked on the case.

"There wasn't enough there to blow up a building,'' Jimerson said at the time, ``but it could make several powerful pipe bombs...There was definitely enough there to kill somebody.''

Roeder, who then lived in Silver Lake, Kan., was stopped because he had an improper license plate that read "Sovereign private property. Immunity declared by law. Non-commercial American.'' Authorities said the plate was typical of those used by Freemen.

Roeder was arraigned on one count of criminal use of explosives and misdemeanor charges of driving on a suspended license, failure to carry a Kansas registration and failure to carry liability insurance.

He was found guilty and sentenced in June 1996 to 24 months of probation with intensive supervision and ordered to dissociate himself from anti-government groups that advocated violence.

Posted by: bluestatedon on June 1, 2009 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

as someone from Iowa, let me just confirm that Leach is seriously unhinged.

Posted by: zeitgeist on June 1, 2009 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Except she doesn't say that. She quotes someone who says that, and considers it ironic that now liberals are using the "t" word again.

She quite clearly condemns the killing, but it's rather unclear whether she herself agrees it qualifies as domestic terrorism.

Posted by: Greg on June 1, 2009 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Don'cha hafta be one of dem brown-skinned Maw-slams or Ay-rabs to be called a terr'ist?

Posted by: Ohioan on June 1, 2009 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

I guess I'm surprised that Malkin even went so far as to condemn the murder as directly as she did. However, I'd be interested to know if she's ever said one word about David Leach's endorsement of murder as a justifiable strategy. Trying to separate Leach's published advocacy of murder from Roeder's action is like the Mafia don denying responsibility for murders, drug running, and extortion done by those in his organization because there are no written records of his orders.

Posted by: bluestatedon on June 1, 2009 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

I know it's painful to follow through a link to Malkin, but Sullivan left out the key sentence which followed: "Interesting how the t-word has been rediscovered." Clearly, she is taking the opportunity to complain that liberals don't use the t-word enough when talking about Islamic terrorism. This doesn't preclude the possibility that she agrees that Tiller's murder is an act of terrorism, but that's not the point she is making.

Furthermore, she goes on to point out that "mainstream" anti-abortion groups are denouncing the murder. It's possible that she contradicting herself, but I think this suggests that she believes Roeder really is an extremist. So when she says it's not "extremism" (which is in quotes in her original), she is pointing out that in her view, liberals too often use the word "extremism" when they should call it "terrorism."

Posted by: ibid on June 1, 2009 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

"I know it's painful to follow through a link to Malkin, "

Yep. I need a stiff drink after spending three minutes there. Oy.

Posted by: bluestatedon on June 1, 2009 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

"mainstream" anti-abortion groups are denouncing the murder."

Those denunciations aren't worth a bucket of warm shit if they haven't been long preceded by open denunciations of the people and organizations and publications (like Leach) who have publicly advocated doing exactly what Roeder did. Absent that, the only regret that Operation Rescue really has is that this murder may make their objectives more difficult to reach.

Posted by: bluestatedon on June 1, 2009 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Guess I'm in the minority but I don't care what anyone calls it. It's violence for political ends, and it is probably meant to send a message. People do this kind of thing every day actually, though not usually going quite that far in the US.

Posted by: flubber on June 1, 2009 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Bob M (and others) are defining terrorism narrowly to suit their current needs. but he'll need to narrow it a bit more in order to say that the murder of dr. tiller was not an act of terrorism.

people who identify as "pro-life" constitute a group. just as football fans are a group, motorcycle fans are a group, weekend gardeners are a group. groups don't act in formal concert, receiving instructions from one hierarchy, but nonetheless individual members can act in furtherance of the goals of the group.

terrorist groups, whether informal or formal, are not organized exclusively to achieve religiously-oriented goals. the tamil tigers, for instance, are a terrorist group not acting to further or protect religious beliefs. basque separatists are not acting to further or protect religious beliefs.

timothy mcveigh did not bomb the federal building in oklahoma as part of a plot of an organized group, he did it with the help of some friends, but that bombing was an act of terrorism. people are still terrified. you see proof of that every time you enter a courthouse or large federal building and walk through security. we are not being protected from common criminals but from terrorists.

radical pro-lifers share a philosophy with a goal to impose their views on the rest of us whether we like it or not, regardless of the death and destruction necessary to achieve their goal.

terrorism is a tactic, it is an act, it is not a philosophy or goal. it is the means to an end. a hallmark of terror is randomness, not knowing where it will strike.

the "pro-life" crowd wants you to believe it was a random act but only in a very narrow sense ("we're not responsible!"). but dr. tiller's murder was anything but random. he was targeted. to people who don't know dr. tiller, couldn't find kansas on a map if it was the entirety of the map, it appeared out of the blue, in a church -- someplace people think of as being safe -- it feels entirely random, it could have been their church, their medical clinic, their neighborhood.

that is terrorism.

roeder was encouraged, aided and abetted by his fellow travelers ("the group") to murder a fellow human being in furtherance of their common goal. that act of murder was done in a way to evoke fear of a similar fate in other people.

that is terrorism.

people are feeling terrorized today as a result of an act intended to elicit those feelings. an intent shared by roeder and the group of which he is a member.

that is terrorism, even by Bob M's definition.

Posted by: karen marie on June 1, 2009 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

US code Title 18 ss2331:

(5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—
(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

While all of the above seems to apply, terrorism more simply defined is politically inspired violence perpetratedt on a random, and presumably innocent, individual or population. Tiller was not a random target, and not 'innocent' in the sense that he was uninvolved in the activity objected to by the perpetrator(s). Tiller was assassinated.

Using imprecise language makes terrorism into an elastic term stretched to fit all sorts of political violence. A bomb exploded in a market place is terrorism. An abortion doctor killed by an anti-abortionist is an assassination.

Posted by: rrk1 on June 1, 2009 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Tiller was not a random target, and not 'innocent' in the sense that he was uninvolved in the activity objected to by the perpetrator(s).

The Murragh Federal Building, and the law enforcement officials working there, weren't a random target either, nor were they considered "innocent" by McVeigh, but few would dispute that atrocity was terrorism.

Yes, Tiller was assassinated -- in a terroristic act.

Posted by: Gregory on June 1, 2009 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

No mention of "group" in US Code, as noted above.
Or
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrorism
or
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/terrorism

If you don't like what you see in the mirror, changing the angle isn't really going to help.

Posted by: kenga on June 1, 2009 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

wow. even a cunning stunt can say the right thing occasionally, sarcasm or not.

But then, she'll be back, advocating for more terrorism and assassination.

Posted by: dejah on June 1, 2009 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

I smell some inconsistencies.

Posted by: Luther on June 1, 2009 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Bob M (and others) are defining terrorism narrowly to suit their current needs."

Uh, that's going a bit far. I have no "needs", other than being clued in, which some folks kindly did.

"roeder was encouraged, aided and abetted by his fellow travelers"

Well, that thinking what scares me. You need clear evidence, not just a sweeping assertion. Linus Pauling was hauled before subcommittees and denied his passport because he was supposedly a "fellow traveler" of the Commies. He was not, period. Liberals should not make the same vicious charge. Otherwise, ideology trumps brains.

Maybe Roeder is part of a group, and maybe domestic terrorism groups exist, but let's leave it to the FBI to do their job, and not use the guilt-by-association nastiness. That's for lamebrain righties.

Posted by: Bob M on June 1, 2009 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

That first section was a quote and lead in to crack about rediscovering the word "terrorism", but later Malkin writes:

*Princeton University professor Robert P. George is right about this: “Whoever murdered George Tiller has done a gravely wicked thing. The evil of this action is in no way diminished by the blood George Tiller had on his own hands. No private individual had the right to execute judgment against him. We are a nation of laws. Lawless violence breeds only more lawless violence.”

*President Obama is right about this: “However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.”

*Unfortunately, some are not content to leave it at that for now. They fail to respect that there is a proper time and place to indulge in political battle.

That isn't sarcasm.

Posted by: Neil B ♪ on June 1, 2009 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

If these crazy christians would at least follow their namesakes exhultations, I might be one. But, they seem crazier than the muslim fanatics in that they have more education offered to them. Of course, our christian nation did bomb those schools right to hell, but still... I really don't get their homicidal god.

Posted by: Jim Lunsford on June 1, 2009 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly