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Tilting at Windmills

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June 10, 2009

RIGHT-WING VIOLENCE.... In light of the shootings at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C. this afternoon, allegedly committed by white supremacist James Von Brunn, Matt Yglesias noted, "I hope that everyone who mau-maued the Department of Homeland Security for expressing concern about this kind of thing feel appropriately ashamed of themselves."

It's hardly an unreasonable point. Two months ago, Richard Poplawski, a right-wing extremist, allegedly gunned down three police officers in Pittsburgh, in part because he feared the non-existent "Obama gun ban." A few weeks ago, Scott Roeder, another right-wing extremist, allegedly assassinated Dr. George Tiller in Kansas. A few hours ago, Von Brunn, another right-wing extremist, allegedly opened fire at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

There are other recent examples that bear similar characteristics. This story out of Tennessee from last year continues to haunt.

Knoxville police Sunday evening searched the Levy Drive home of Jim David Adkisson after he allegedly entered the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and killed two people and wounded six others during the presentation of a children's musical. [...]

Inside the house, officers found "Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder" by radio talk show host Michael Savage, "Let Freedom Ring" by talk show host Sean Hannity, and "The O'Reilly Factor," by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly.

The shotgun-wielding suspect in Sunday's mass shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church was motivated by a hatred of "the liberal movement," and he planned to shoot until police shot him, Knoxville Police Chief Sterling P. Owen IV said this morning.

Adkisson, 58, of Powell wrote a four-page letter in which he stated his "hatred of the liberal movement," Owen said. "Liberals in general, as well as gays."

Obviously, we're dealing with sick individuals here. There are key differences between violent right-wing radicals and mainstream Americans who happen to be conservative. Indeed, I'm not suggesting that conservative activists are necessarily dangerous, violent people.

I am suggesting that it makes sense of the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate and communicate with law enforcement agencies about potentially violent extremists -- of every ideological stripe -- to help prevent tragedies like the ones we've seen lately.

The DHS report specifically addressed the possibility of violence from anti-abortion radicals and anti-Semitic extremists. And in the last two weeks, Tiller was assassinated and a white supremacist opened fire at the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The Republican hysteria over the DHS report -- which was, by the way, initiated by a Bush administration official -- was always based more on a partisan scheme than reality, but the incessant complaints look especially misguided today.

Steve Benen 3:25 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (73)

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Comments

I don't know why you think that "obviously" these are "sick" people. There is little evidence that they are mentally ill. They are certainly angry--but they are angry about very specific things, and in very specific ways. For example, each one picked targets that suited their political goals. They stockpiled weapons--not tinfoil--and they carried out their acts of political violence. What makes that a sign that they are "sick" in the sense that these actions might be uncontrollable, or the result of mental illness?

We hardly ever accuse even suicide bombers of being "sick" individuals. We recognize that they are a natural and indeed, cultivated part of various political movements that don't have regular armies or weaponry.

To my mind calling these guys "sick individuals" is like calling IEDs "accidental explosives." IEDs are built, armed, and set by people to carry out certain tasks. That they are improved doesn't really take away from their deadly quality. Similarly, theres a coherence to the life histories of these angry, armed, white males. And the central thread is, of course, right wing hysteria and political goals.

If we heard the exact same story about non white men pursuing, say, issues of ecological justice (protecting trees, insisting through violence that we all recycle) we wouldn't hear anything about it being "just one sick individual."

aimai

Posted by: aimai on June 10, 2009 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Aimai nailed it. Calling these people mentally ill is not only a horrific insult to people who are genuinely mentally ill, but it's inexcusably handing a pass to terrorists.

And no, Steve, we're not dealing with extremists from "both sides." Only one side's extremists are shooting, and it ain't the left's.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on June 10, 2009 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

With the exception of PETA, I do not know of any domestic terrorism perpetrated by anyone other than right wing whackos since the 70's. Have I had blinders on? I am a staunch believer in the Bill of Rights including the First and Second Amendments, but the conservative bias in the media combined with the willingness of the criminal right to use firearms makes that harder every day. You would think that conservatives, Republicans who are not crazy, the NRA etc, would recognize that the nut jobs in the media and the nut jobs who hang with the right wing fringe, threaten what they are supposed to hold most dear. I know I have absolutely no use for PETA because of its tactics and had no use for the Weathermen, SLA, Black Panthers etc back in my youth even if their politics were closer to mine then the Democrats or GOP

Posted by: terry on June 10, 2009 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I always thought calling everybody a terrorist was an unhelpful way to deal with "terrorism."

Posted by: phil on June 10, 2009 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with aimai. They aren't so sick they can't hide in plain sight. They weren't so sick during the Shrubwit years that they couldn't control themselves. They can't stand the world not looking like they want it to and the yakking wingnuts are pounding it into them that their world is evaporating.

They may be sick but they aren't uncontrollably sick. They are choosing to give in to their basest instincts at this time.

Posted by: burro on June 10, 2009 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Indeed, I'm not suggesting that conservative activists are necessarily dangerous, violent people.

No, they just cheer from the sidelines, both before and after the fact. People like Limbaugh or network shills like Faux News have been stoking these flames for years and years, and then rationalize the resultant violence while refusing to accept any culpability.

Aimai makes a very good point - don't pathologize the behavior of these individuals unless you know for a fact they're sick. How about some fucking accountability?

Posted by: Monty on June 10, 2009 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

How much you want to bet that O'Reilly will also NOT retract any statements that attributed to either of these. He cannot not claim to be partly responsible for these crimes any more--same with Insannity.

Posted by: Katie on June 10, 2009 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Agree with aimai. These folks are not sick. It is just that they respond with aggressive, violent actions to ideas and conduct they do not like (or even understand, at times). This is your republican party today--isn't Iraq, torture, etc. enough evidence of this? Forget negotiation or compromise. Just bomb or kill or beat.

Posted by: bubba on June 10, 2009 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

How's that ol' fear card working for you, Republicans? It doesn't have the broad appeal it once had, but there are still enough loyal servants on whom it works just fine.

Things have come to a sad state indeed when your chances of unseating the current president in the next election are so dismal that you have to pump up the nutjobs to kill him for you.

Posted by: Mark on June 10, 2009 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

I guess all the right-wing wackos have decided it's time to take back THEIR country. A call to arms has been sent out by every nutjob you see on tv and hear on the radio. But it can't be reported on as such because after all, it's all a planned LIBERAL CONSPIRACY.

Posted by: whichwitch on June 10, 2009 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Republicans:

As soon as you lost power, you turned out to be the terrorists and traitors we always knew you were.

Don't forget to write!

- U.S.

Posted by: JM on June 10, 2009 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Woot to Aimai. Right on. I've said it before, the most underplayed story of the last six months was the arming of the right wing to the teeth. Add radio personalities like Levin, Savage, Rush and Liddy to stir the pot, and some of these boys are going to get all patriotic. Unfortunately, I expect to see more. Can't imagine what the secret service is going through with Obama.

Finally, there is just a fundamental difference between Left and Right in this Country. The two cultures are distinctly different when it comes to violence.

Posted by: Scott F. on June 10, 2009 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Why does calling people "sick" always definitively mean they are mentally "sick"? I'm sure that sentence you guys are obsessed over could also be phrased as "Obviously, we're dealing with [twisted] individuals here." Or look at the lingo of this century. "Sick" is a common adjective among the "young" generation. Like, "That was a sick movie."

How about we not get hung up on one little detail and look at the bigger picture of the actions of the right-wing radicals and what atrocities they are committing on US soil, atrocities which I think should be considered terrorism.

Posted by: Katie on June 10, 2009 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Matt Yglesias noted, "I hope that everyone who mau-maued the Department of Homeland Security for expressing concern about this kind of thing feel appropriately ashamed of themselves."

Don't hold your breath. The shame circuit is missing from these peoples' wiring.

Posted by: mikeypal on June 10, 2009 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

As Steve and others pointed out yesterday, terrorism sometimes works. Murder the doctor and the clinic closes. If we're seeing an increase in right-wing violence, I wonder if the effect in 2012 will be "gee, maybe I shouldn't vote for the non-white guy. Look what happens when I do."

Posted by: emd on June 10, 2009 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with the comments by aimai. There is little evidence that any of these people were sick in a clinical sense. Though, to be fair, Steve does have "sick" in quotations. So the interpretation can only be considered loosely. The point to be made is that there is a thread that is running through conservatism in general today that is motivating, driving and inspiring these people to perform these heinous acts. And it is the daily drip, drip, drip of information they receive in their eyes and ears that eventually fills their vessel of rage to overflowing and they have to act out. It is the accumulated rage from a million small bits that leads to their violence. There is no way that a thinking, logical person can deny that the constant exposure to the demonizing and vilifying of certain groups of individuals leads, eventually, to the acting out of individuals who might be predisposed to a certain hatred. Yes, these people might be on the fringes of a movement, but does that matter one damn bit to the innocent person who ends up dead? We as a country are going to have to come to terms with the fact that these people are being driven to these acts, in some small part, by mainstream figures who are feeding their bigotry, hatred and paranoia. We are destined, I'm afraid, to see much more of this coming from the right side of the political spectrum. And until those on the right recognize and deal with the actions of their core leaders which are helping to drive these violent crimes, there will be no abating of the problem. More death. More innocent lives lost. And the blood will be on their hands.

Posted by: Mike on June 10, 2009 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Aimai nailed it in one.

Posted by: dob on June 10, 2009 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm looking over at some right-wing blogs, and some folks are making a point that I think is worth considering: In general, your O'Reillys, your Hannitys, your Limbaughs, etc, are staunchly pro-Israel.

The Tiller murder could be neatly put in the box of right-wing extremism. But this case might not fit in so neatly.

In fact, they're trying to make the case that it's the American Left who are less inclined to uncritically support Israel (which is true, I'd say), and thus this guy is more appropriately referred to as a left-wing extremist (I would not agree with this part).

Posted by: TG Chicago on June 10, 2009 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's TCinLA who frequently says that being Repulican is a mental disorder. I think given the mounting data this statement can be safely moved from hypothesis to fact.

Posted by: doubtful on June 10, 2009 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

terry wrote: "With the exception of PETA, I do not know of any domestic terrorism perpetrated by anyone other than right wing whackos since the 70's."

PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals) is an entirely legal, nonprofit organization headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia and recognized by the IRS as a 501c3 charitable organization. As its name implies it is an educational and advocacy organization that promotes the ethical treatment of animals. PETA does not engage in any violent activity of any kind, let alone "terrorism".

You may be confusing PETA with the Animal Liberation Front, or ALF. The ALF is not a well-defined organization, but rather a loose term for a variety of individuals and small groups that engage in "direct action" against animal abuse. Some individuals or groups calling themselves "The ALF" have engaged in activities that could fairly be described as terrorism, including harrassment and bombings of animal research facilities.

Repeated investigations by the IRS, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have concluded that there is no connection between PETA and the ALF, although propagandists for industries and businesses that profit from animal abuse often dishonestly try to equate them in the public mind.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 10, 2009 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Why does calling people "sick" always definitively mean they are mentally "sick"? I'm sure that sentence you guys are obsessed over could also be phrased as "Obviously, we're dealing with [twisted] individuals here."

Yeah, that's how I read it too.

Posted by: TR on June 10, 2009 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

With the notable exceptions of the 1993 attack on the WTC and 9/11, I believe that all terrorist attacks in US history have been staged by right-wingers. Abortion clinic bombings? Check. Murrah Federal Building? Check. Holocaust Museum today? Check.

Profilers should have a field day with this.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on June 10, 2009 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Again, just reiterating the previous post of mine dealing with interpretations of the word "sick". Here's dictionary.com's definitions of sick:


1. afflicted with ill health or disease; ailing.
2. affected with nausea; inclined to vomit.

3. deeply affected with some unpleasant feeling, as of sorrow, disgust, or boredom: sick at heart; to be sick of parties.

4. mentally, morally, or emotionally deranged, corrupt, or unsound: a sick mind; wild statements that made him seem sick.

5. characteristic of a sick mind: sick fancies.

6. dwelling on or obsessed with that which is gruesome, sadistic, ghoulish, or the like; morbid: a sick comedian; sick jokes.

7. of, pertaining to, or for use during sickness: He applied for sick benefits.

8. accompanied by or suggestive of sickness; sickly: a sick pallor; the sick smell of disinfectant in the corridors.

9. disgusted; chagrined.

10. not in proper condition; impaired.


Posted by: Katie on June 10, 2009 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

It's time to start referring to FoxNews as Radio Rwanda. They've been pounding the drums of radicalism long enough that some listeners can't help but start dancing.

Posted by: James Harrigan on June 10, 2009 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, they're trying to make the case that it's the American Left who are less inclined to uncritically support Israel (which is true, I'd say)

The problem with this analysis is that Israel and Jews are not one and the same thing. And, to go further, wanting Israel to make a just peace with the Palestinians and being upset when their actions go against this goal is not the same as anti-Israel, much less anti Semitic or anti Jewish.

Many, many, many of the prominent liberal who speak out against Israel's aggressive policies against the Palestinians are themselves Jews.

And everyone should know by now that one can be "pro Israel" (meaning in favor of Israel's most aggressive actions and against the Palestinians) and also be anti Semitic since many of the extreme Christian "supporters" of Israel only give that support because they believe that a rising Israel is one of the portents of the apocalypse in which, among other things, all living Jews will be killed and sent to eternal torture in Hell.

Posted by: Rob Mac on June 10, 2009 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

I believe that all terrorist attacks in US history have been staged by right-wingers.

To be fair, around the turn of the last century (1899-1900) America, indeed the world, was plagued by terrorist attacks carried out by anarchists. They even assassinated a US president. These were hardly right wingers. And, of course, 60s radicals bombed a lot of buildings and more recently, animal rights and environmental extremists have set off some bombs and engaged in other activities that could be labeled as terrorist.

Posted by: Rob Mac on June 10, 2009 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

TG Chicago:

The O'Reillys, Hannitys, Limbaughs, etc are pro-Israel because Jews in Israel are setting the stage for the second coming and all that. It doesn't mean they much like actual Jews, and it doesn't mean they won't be sorry when we Jews go and they live forever in ShangriLa or whatever.

Posted by: katmom on June 10, 2009 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

I still do not believe these folks are sick. A large percentage of the public thinks and believes as they do. I am sure there are many professionals out there who share their views as well and would testify to their beliefs as being 'normal' (for them at least). Calling them or deeming them sick only provides an excuse, or defense, to such conduct. These folks know what they believe, know what they are doing, and now apparently feel free to act accordingly--heck, they see the 'tainted victory' of other such groups.

Posted by: bubba on June 10, 2009 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Rob Mac: duly noted, I had forgotten the anarchist violence of the late 1800s. I'll amend my statement, then: every terrorist attack in recent US history, save the WTC in '93 + 9/11, has been by a right-winger. And, in this case, we can define 'recent' as meaning post-WWII, although you can perhaps go back further than that before finding a non-right-wing terrorist incident aside from the above exceptions.

It's a pretty clear record. Right-wing crazy talk isn't 'just talk'; people act on it, and kill innocent people when they do so.

Prosecution under RICO might not be out of the question.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on June 10, 2009 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

What are the prospects of victims' families suing the bejesus out of Limbaugh, Fox News, etc?

Posted by: Monty on June 10, 2009 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

terry wrote: "With the exception of PETA, I do not know of any domestic terrorism perpetrated by anyone other than right wing whackos since the 70's."

In addition to ALF, there were also the Earth Firsters. But both were reasonably careful to attack property and not endanger human life. And the FBI came down on them like a ton of bricks.

Posted by: J. Frank Parnell on June 10, 2009 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

re: PETA, ALF, + Earth Firsters, given that they specifically attacked property, and made an effort to avoid injuring people, their actions might be more accurately termed vandalism, albeit on a large scale, than terrorism.

The right-wingers, on the other hand, appear to have specifically targeted human beings, which certainly defines their acts as terrorism.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on June 10, 2009 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Tg in Chicago finds a great example of right-wing logic.
Right-wing propagandists are pro-Isreal.
The American Left is anti-Isreal.
Therefore, a white-supremacist is a left-wing extremist!
All cats die.
Socrates died.
Socrates was a cat.
With thinking like that whirling around in the right's universe, we should be not only nervous, but our leaders should start addressing the vitriol of the right-wing talking heads even more aggressively.

Posted by: -jlinge- on June 10, 2009 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly why does America tolerate the disciples of hate who dominate talk radio? The airways belong to all of us. Inciting the kind of violence we have seen over the last months is exactly Rush, Savage and the rest do on a daily basis. Inciting violence isn't protected free speech. That their followers don't recognize that some of the talk jocks are "staunchly pro-Israel" shouldn't be surprising. Hate speech is hate speech.

Damn, I wish we had civil political discourse in America.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 10, 2009 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

TG Chicago writes:

In fact, they're trying to make the case that it's the American Left who are less inclined to uncritically support Israel (which is true, I'd say), and thus this guy is more appropriately referred to as a left-wing extremist (I would not agree with this part).

The (alleged) perpetrator was a white supremacist. Those guys aren't usually considered left-wing.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on June 10, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

What aimai said @3:26 pm.

Posted by: Gregory on June 10, 2009 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Rob Mac: It should be pointed out that ALF has never killed anyone (I'm not a supporter in any way, not am I much in sympathy with PETA although I understand their concerns). And remember that the 60's bombings were planned to avoid human casualties, being aimed at property. The only deaths I know of were the Greenwich Village bomb-makers (themselves radicals) and a grad student in Madison who was pulling an all-nighter in a research facility that did some contract work for the military.

As one who was very much present in those days (I was in my late 20's at the time) who knew people who had started on the right (then, quite center by today's measures) and moved into SDS and traveled left with them, I can testify to the feelings of helplessness and outrage over the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. I also understood them, but seriously disagreed with such tactics. In my country, you change things by winning elections, not by smashing windows in Chicago (the "Days of Rage" set back progressive causes by decades, IMHO)

But for the modern American Left (anarchists in the 19th century lived in a very different world and time) lethal terrorism has never been part of the program. That is almost exclusively the bent of Right whose rhetoric on main-stream outlets like Fox blends all too well with the stuff you can find on Stormfront and the pamphlets in McVeigh's home. You might also want to check out Hannah Arendt (and Adolf Hitler) on the connection between terror and propaganda. It's not a tenuous or casual one; it is a major component of fascism (using the word correctly, I hope). The "spontaneous" riot during the Florida election recount (intimidating the election officials) which was on TV, was a good start in that direction.

Posted by: jrosen on June 10, 2009 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

My apologies to PETA. I did confuse PETA with the groups who break into labs, mink farms and burn down subdivisions. I do not consider such acts vandalism. While not killing people purposefully, it certainly impacts people and destroys their lives. Sort of like Armstrong et al with the building in Madison--he did not intend to kill the math researcher, but that single act of violence did more to hurt the cause of ending the Vietnam War then anything the pro war faction could do.

Posted by: terry on June 10, 2009 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting O'Reilly and Limbaugh don't see this for what it is:

A Hate Crime

And hate crimes are often fostered, fed and fueled by the very likes of O'Reilly and Limbaugh.

Posted by: Insanity on June 10, 2009 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Zorro wrote: "re: PETA, ALF, + Earth Firsters, given that they specifically attacked property, and made an effort to avoid injuring people, their actions might be more accurately termed vandalism, albeit on a large scale, than terrorism."

Again, PETA is a legal nonprofit organization, recognized by the IRS as a 501c3 charity, which works to educate the public about, and advocates policies for, the ethical treatment of animals. PETA does not engage in any violent activity of any kind, either against persons or property.

Indeed, PETA's founder Ingrid Newkirk began her career in animal protection as a police officer in Washington DC, enforcing animal cruelty laws, and much of PETA's work over the last two or three decades has focused on strengthening and broadening such laws and seeking stricter enforcement of them.

Those who attribute the actions of "the ALF" (which can be anyone who chooses to call themselves that) to PETA are either misinformed, or are deliberately spreading disinformation.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 10, 2009 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

If O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity, etal., don't think their words are an inciting factor in these horrendous acts, then why do they think advertising works? Court testimony? Daily conversation? The words we speak have meaning; otherwise, why bother talking?

Remember that case on the West Coast where Tom Metzger (iirc) was put out of business for inciting the murder of an African immigrant? The SPLC cleaned his clock in the lawsuit.

Posted by: athena on June 10, 2009 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

There's very little difference between the rightwing nuts who crack and those who don't act out their hatred. The difference mostly comes down to how much they're tied into the overall community through family and work. In the former case, you get someone who is legitimately scary and unstable; in the latter case, he's your crazy uncle Larry.

Posted by: ... on June 10, 2009 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

was Squeaky Fromme a right-winger?

Posted by: andy on June 10, 2009 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

You cannot allow hate radio and talks show hosts to cultivate radical extremism and hatred without having these kinds of results. This is not "we have a disagreement", this is they are enemies, traitors, baby killers, mass murderers who want to destroy our country.

You cannot sit back and say we never meant for anyone to be killed when "execution" is the implied order when radicals who aren't very bright to begin with and easily led hear such words. They begin to think of themselves as patriots who simply must kill to get the monsters destroying the nation to go away.

FOX is the worst for cultivating hatred and extremism. People like Beck, Hannity, O'Reily, Cavuto and many more are only listened to by the willfully ignorant...who else would listen to them? They cultivate hatred of the opposition not by legitimate discussion or argument but by name calling and smearing with lies and condemning all who oppose.

Scan a few O'Reilly shows and hear the hatred. Same with Beck...listen to the insanity. Before FOX came along people this contemptible could never find a public voice...and not they are cultivating thousands of politically sick individuals looking for some target to vent their unjustified hatred on. It's not a revolution they are stirring but a civil war. We even have insane legislators who breed ignorance and hatred like Bachmann, Inhoff and many others.

Very few dems breed ignorance but it's every other republican...and the more frustrated they become the more desperate so the cultivate the most ignorant and sickest just to gain political power.

It will get much worse because...these entrenched Mordrids to America's round table will be allowed to continue cultivating America's destruction. The only tool to combat this issue is rolling back media consolidation so it is not controlled by a handful of profiteers blind to Patriotism of any kind that involves the people.

btw...your list should have included the recent murder (during the presidential campaign)of the head of the dem party in Arkansas by a right wing fanatic also reading Hannity/O'Reilly/Savage who just walked into dem headquarters, asked for the director, pulled a gun out and murdered him...then tried to go back to work.
It's too late for O'Reilly...he should be banned form the airways...but we only do that if he says nasty words not baby killer and mass murderer and kill him...unless he's Muslim of course.

Posted by: bjobotts on June 10, 2009 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK
With the notable exceptions of the 1993 attack on the WTC and 9/11, I believe that all terrorist attacks in US history have been staged by right-wingers.

Several (as others have noted) exceptions exist to this, and, of course, the WTC and 9/11 attacks were carried out by right-wing religious extremists (just not domestic ones.)

Posted by: cmdicely on June 10, 2009 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, some referring to "ALF" - you mean "ELF", the Earth Liberation Front? They destroy stuff sometimes, but rarely or never kill or severely harm anyone.

And it is ironic, that both far lefties and far righties despise Israel. But it is the righties who more often despise "Jews" as a people or "race" and admire Nazis, and the lefties who (often with good cause) object to what the nation Israel does as such. They are often Jews themselves, like the brilliant and excellent true progressive Glenn Greenwald. They get the "traitor Jew" flack from the Likudniks.

Posted by: Neil B on June 10, 2009 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Neil B wrote: "BTW, some referring to 'ALF' - you mean 'ELF', the Earth Liberation Front?"

No. ALF is an acronym for the Animal Liberation Front.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 10, 2009 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

What makes Al Qaeda a left wing extremist organization? They are generally religious fundamentalists. How many of our religiously oriented fundamentalists are categorized as liberals?

Posted by: verberne on June 10, 2009 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

My kids often use the word "sick" to indicate something way "cool". Depravity is a sickness but one that is cultivated and coddled. People who want to murder people are definitely "sick individuals" but not in the same way as being ill by disease.

Beck is insane...obviously insane...mentally sick... but is he as depraved as O'Reilly or Rush?...or as filled with hatred as Savage. Hannity is just stupid, bought and paid for mouthpiece, whose agenda is written out for him each day.

(Operation Rescue's Terry Newman wishes Tiller had had a chance to make peace with God...before we murdered him to let others know what would happen if they did what he did...that is terrorism)

Posted by: bjobotts on June 10, 2009 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

was Squeaky Fromme a right-winger?

She was part of Manson's group, so I would say yes. Sara Jane Moore, however, who also tried to kill Ford was clearly a lefty.

Posted by: Danp on June 10, 2009 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Suprising, all of this rhetoric this coming from the same crowd who was slandered as "terrorist-sympathizers" for the last eight years.

Posted by: lazarus on June 10, 2009 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Why are anti-Semites assumed to be "right wing" when Reverend Wright seems to have been a good example and is clearly of the left? An 89-year-old with this fellow's opinions is likely a registered Democrat considering where he lives.

Posted by: Mike K on June 10, 2009 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K, no one is *assuming* except you (assuming that we merely assume ...) The assesment of von Brunn is, he was a white supremacist, hated Jews, blacks, and gays, anti-liberal, a Birther ...
You are so silly, we basically ignore you and read Myke K instead who is at least entertaining.

Posted by: Neil B on June 10, 2009 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK
An 89-year-old with this fellow's opinions is likely a registered Democrat considering where he lives.

"Likely" if we did not already know something about this 89-year old. I can assure you this person is no liberal and, if he's ever voted for a Democrat, it was many decades ago.

Don't play stupid. You know better.

Posted by: JTK on June 10, 2009 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

An 89-year-old with this fellow's opinions is likely a registered Democrat considering where he lives.

Wow, you really have no shame, do you? The shooter was a white supremicist who hate Jews and blacks. Clearly, he was no Democrat, and criminologists not only agree but warned recently that these right-wing nuts would be triggered by an administration whose racial composition represents everything they hate.

You can't even be right by accident. Remember two months ago when you were claiming that the stock market was down because it hated Obama's policies? And now it's up almost 2000 points?

Not only have you no integrity, I've come to believe you're just not that bright.

Carry on.

Posted by: trex on June 10, 2009 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Oh and Mike, just so everyone reading knows just how stupid you really are:

"He's a well-known right wing extremist," says Frank Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University. "It's tragic. The fact that you had someone in their '80s doesn't fit the demographic most people would think you'd have to worry about as far as terrorism is concerned."
Posted by: trex on June 10, 2009 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

Those who attribute the actions of "the ALF" (which can be anyone who chooses to call themselves that) to PETA are either misinformed, or are deliberately spreading disinformation.

Or they've heard of Rodney Coronado and still haven't heard a good explanation from PETA about why they funded his defense.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on June 10, 2009 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Let's not forget the right-wing terrorist in Maine who was building a dirty bomb, or the right-wing crazy out to kill Obama that was just arrested.

The Reich Wing Leadership is seemingly trying to instigate mass unrest in order to terrify or bullying we sane people into capitulating to their agenda. You know, like when a little spoiled kid throws such a scary tantrum that you give in to his bratty desires.

The death-throes of the Republican party will be nasty, but we mustn't be afraid of it.

Posted by: JWK on June 10, 2009 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

A 71-year-old with *this* (Mike K.) fellow's opinions is likely a registered Republican considering where he lives (Mission Viejo, Orange County, California).

Posted by: staplefood on June 10, 2009 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

These people are the very definition of sick. But that doesn't excuse a thing.

Posted by: stevenz on June 10, 2009 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

A lot of these attackers like Adkisson are probably being mind-controlled to commit their assaults, the furtherance of the police-state agenda being the goal.

Posted by: starviego on June 10, 2009 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Don't know about Squeeky's leanings, but Manson was no leftie ... he was into race wars, and after he was arrested, he carved a swatsika into his forehead.

Posted by: G.Kerby on June 10, 2009 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

Indeed, I'm not suggesting that conservative activists are necessarily dangerous, violent people.

No, they're just like the "good Germans" who stood on the curb and watched the jackbooted thugs of Hitler's Brownshirts kick Jews, liberals, socalists, etc. into the gutter, and said to themselves "Well, those people brought it on themselves, didn't they?"

Posted by: TCinLA on June 11, 2009 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Terry, you drooling fucking moron. PETA is not now nor has it ever been a "terrorist" organization, nor has it ever advocated terrorist acts. PETA has involved itself in nonviolent actions and has disavowed the actions of those "animal rights activists" who have engaged in violence.

You've probably been eating so much fatty undercooked meat, the fat has all gone to your head, you worthless idiot.

Posted by: TCinLA on June 11, 2009 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

mike k: Why are anti-Semites assumed to be "right wing"..

simple..

it's probably due to the confederate hat that van brunn was wearing during the shooting...


Posted by: mr. irony on June 11, 2009 at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK

Oh yes! They put me out of business.RESIST.COM
SILLY WABBIT!

Posted by: Tom Metzger on June 11, 2009 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Props to Aimai. The assertion that the root cause or immediate trigger here is "illness" is rhetorically exculpatory.

Posted by: RuperttheBear on June 11, 2009 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

hope they had their hunting license
http://patriotshop.us/product_info.php?cPath=21&products_id=584

Posted by: clark on June 11, 2009 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

I think it is folly to try and label any extremest and explain their actions.

There are extremests everywhere where the world is black and white, right and wrong, one culture or race only.

Almost universally you can expect violence from extremists as a way to blame someone for their situation in life. It is always "Their fault."

To label Sara Jane Moore as a lefty is way off the map. Was Squeaky a Right-wing because she was a Manson Woman? Yes, Charlie wanted to start a race war, but remember Squeaky also became an environmentalist.

Sara Jane Moore was a double agent. She spied for the FBI while also feeding information to the underground groups. She voted Republican for many years.

It is not so simple to label thesefolks. One might say their methods are misguided, yes. Assassination, except by the CIA, is rarely successful in bringing about change.

Posted by: Geri Spieler on June 11, 2009 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Aimai and the chorus are wrong. Each of these men had his contact with reality lost or highly distorted (Obama's coming to disarm me, the Jews are to blame for everything, the Holocaust never happened, abortion is murder, killing a doctor is God's will, etc.). That is the very definition of psychosis.

"Sick" may be too mild a word. These guys are not merely neurotic, they are psychotic.

Posted by: Russ on June 11, 2009 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

"The Republican hysteria over the DHS report -- which was, by the way, initiated by a Bush administration official -- was always based more on a partisan scheme than reality, but the incessant complaints look especially misguided today."
___________________

None of the concern over the DHS report was hysteria. The criticism (as opposed to the usual idiotic comments found on all sites) was that the report was so imprecise as to be useless, except as blogging material. Case in point: How does an 89-year-old WWII veteran with a long history of instability and hatred have anything to do with the report's supposed warning profile? Nothing. His problems long predated any recent development.

Posted by: trashhauler on June 11, 2009 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

None of the concern over the DHS report was hysteria.

False, obviously, as violence by three right-wing nuts in just three weeks shows. Are you crazy?

The criticism (as opposed to the usual idiotic comments found on all sites) was that the report was so imprecise as to be useless, except as blogging material

Utter fucking bullshit. In fact, the intelligence in the report was so excellent and detailed as to be almost prescient in how narrow it was able to target this individual. You may want to, you know, actually READ it. The DHS was ale to narrow it down to very fine points, such as individuals who believe that the current economic problems are due to the actions of a cabal of "Jewish financial elites" -- which this guy wrote about verbatim all the time, who believe the Constitution is threatened, who will target police and security officials, et al.

How does an 89-year-old WWII veteran with a long history of instability and hatred have anything to do with the report's supposed warning profile? Nothing. His problems long predated any recent development.

I can answer that question. The 89 year-old veteran (does his age matter???) was pointed to specifically by the report because he was:

1) a veteran

2) a white supremacist and well known right-wing extremist, who;

3) was going to be triggered by:

a) the election of the first African-American
president, and:

b) anxiety that comes with a recession

Here's just one paragraph pertaining to this profile:

(U//LES) Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts. Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic downturn—including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit—could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.

Sure his problems predated these developments. So did Al Qaeda's, and the Klan, and the Nazis predate theirs. The point of the report was that all of these right-wing militaristic kooks WITH A HISTORY OF PROBLEMS were GOING TO BE TRIGGERED BY THE CURRENT ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL CLIMATE. The whole point!

Are you being intentionally stupid, or....? Doesn't matter.

Also, I'd point out it was just one more thing that "liberals" were right about but that would just be piling on.

Posted by: trex on June 11, 2009 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

not everyone is a terrorist, some are just crack heads or crazy and down right messed up in the head

Posted by: debt relief on June 11, 2009 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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