meanwhile, there's a flock of folks locked up in guantánamo who haven't been charged, have spent over seven years there, and have no prospect of being released... why...? "suspicion" of terrorism... what about these other folks...? aren't they to be "suspected" of terrorism too...? not that i recommend putting one more person into the perpetual detainee netherworld, but aren't we incredibly vulnerable to accusations of gross hypocrisy...?
jill filipovic in the guardian...
Not surprisingly, [George Tiller's] killer is strongly suspected to be affiliated with the "pro-life" movement. If that's the case, it makes Tiller the 10th person in the United States to be murdered by anti-choice terrorists.why isn't action being taken against groups that incite to violence...? why isn't action being taken against bill o'reilly...?
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Since 1977, there have been at least 17 attempted murders, 383 death threats, 153 incidents of assault or battery and three kidnappings [PDF] committed against abortion providers in North America. Tiller himself survived an assassination attempt in 1993.
Some pro-life groups are issuing statements of condemnation and attempting to paint this murder as the work of an extremist. But this latest act of terrorism is, sadly, not an anomaly. It is part of a clearly-established pattern of harassment, intimidation and violence against abortion providers and pro-choice individuals. And mainstream pro-life groups shoulder much of the blame.
Pro-life organisations routinely refer to abortion as "murder", a "genocide" and a "holocaust". They post the full names abortion providers on their websites, along with their addresses, their license plate numbers, their photos, the names of children and the schools those children attend (sometimes with helpful Wild-West-style "Wanted" posters offering $5,000 rewards).
When you convince your followers that abortion providers are the equivalent of SS officers slaughtering innocents by the millions, tell them that "it's all-out WAR" against pro-choicers and then provide the home addresses and personal information of the "monster" "late-term baby-killer" abortion providers you're supposedly at war against, you can't act surprised when those followers conclude that it's morally justified to use the information to kill doctors.
These are not fringe groups. Conservative television personality Bill O'Reilly called Tiller's clinic a "death mill", referred to Tiller as a "baby killer" who was "executing babies about to be born" and said Tiller was doing "Nazi stuff" for which he "had blood on his hands."[...]
Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, who had this to say about Tiller's assassination:
George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama administration will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name: murder.
Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches.
That's some definition of "peacefully protesting."
While individuals who self-identify as pro-life may be well-meaning and against violence, mainstream pro-life groups and the people who run them do not care about life, before or after birth. And while today anti-choice groups are half-heartedly condemning Tiller's murder, they continue to use the same outlandish and inflammatory rhetoric that inspired and enabled it.
Words mean things. Anti-choicers should certainly have every right to express their views, but they must also realise that actions have consequences and their rhetoric is not harmless. If you yell "Fire!" in a crowded theatre, it's reasonably foreseeable that people will panic and someone will be injured. And if you yell "Murderer!" "Baby-Killer!" and "Holocaust!" long enough, it's reasonably foreseeable that someone will take it upon themselves to make sure that vigilante justice is done (especially if you provide the name and address of the person who you claim is committing "genocide"). This was not the act of a lone extremist. It is one more act of violence to add to a long, long list of crimes committed by anti-choice terrorists, and it is the logical outcome of years of increasingly violent, dehumanising and threatening rhetoric and action on the part of supposedly mainstream pro-life groups.
Labels: abortion, Bill O'Reilly, domestic terrorism, Guantánamo, pro-choice, pro-life
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