Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Right And Domestic Terrorism

Dr. George Tiller, allegedly murdered by anti-abortion fanatic Scott Roeder in Kansas; army recruiter William Long shot and killed, and another recruiter wounded, in Arkansas by a Muslim described as "having political and religious motives"; and now security guard Stephen Tyrone Jones fatally wounded at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., apparently by elderly white supremacist James Von Brunn.

On Monday evening, June 8, Keith Olbermann had asked about Roeder

You got both words wrong, Sonny. If this man, meanwhile, shot a doctor for religious and political reasons, he is, by definition, a terrorist in the 21st century meaning of the word. If, as he said from prison, there will be other attacks, why are we still not treating this case as terrorism?

Olbermann's question has not been answered, and the issue of domestic terrorism- or just plain terrorism- was largely ignored by all but the openly liberal media (such as Olbermann) following the successful attack on one of the few doctors performing late term abortions in the U.S.A. Now it is being reported that the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85) defines terrorism as

the systematic use of terror or unpredictable violence against governments, publics, or individuals to attain a political objective. Terrorism has been used by political organizations with both rightist and leftist objectives, by nationalistic and ethnic groups, by revolutionaries, and by the armies and secret police of governments themselves

The F.B.I. distinguishes between domestic terrorism and international terrorism and defines domestic terrorism as

the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or its territories without foreign direction committed 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 you have it: the murder of Dr. Tiller was a terrorist attack, though you'd never realize it by watching, or listening to, the "liberal media."

Nor are you likely to hear a mea culpa by the right wing talkers, who excoriated the report, issued by the Department of Homeland Security on April 13, entitled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment." Michelle Malkin, whose condemnation of the report was typical, imagined it as evidence of "The Obama DHS hit job on conservatives."

Not only was the report commissioned by the Bush Administration- which would make it a conservative hit job on conservatives- but a paragraph on page 2 was eerily prescient:

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

Even this afternoon, Republican Talking Point Sean Hannity was still claiming that that the DHS report was an unsconscionable attack on the conservative movement, and no denizen of the right-wing echo chamber has admitted error or expressed any humility. Facts matter little, and the attack today won't change that.

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