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Apr. 25 2010 - 12:53 pm | 472 views | 2 recommendations | 8 comments

Someone needs to define ‘terrorism’ for Tiller’s killer

WICHITA, KS - JUNE 3:  In this photo provided ...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Scott Roeder, the man who shot Dr. George Tiller pointblank in the eye and killed him — and who was convicted of first-degree murder — is now complaining that his rights have been violated. (h/t C&L)

Roeder said prosecutors had “made libelous allegations against me.” For example, he said, Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston told the judge that a reasonable person would believe that he had engaged in “alleged acts of American terrorism.”


Terrorism: (n) the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear.

Scott Roeder is a terrorist. The reason he may have a hard time believing that is because his rotten mind has convinced him that he is Christ’s soldier. He’s also a white, American male, and is not a Muslim. Maybe that’s why Roeder does not believe he is deserving of the “terrorist” title.

Insane as he is, Roeder is not alone in this confusion. The media demonstrated great reluctance to describe the IRA attacker Joe Stack as a terrorist. Newsweek editors and writers even had an embarrassing public discussion about their timidity in calling a calculated use of violence against civilians in order to attain goals that are political in nature “terrorism.”

Managing Editor Kathy Jones:

Did the label terrorist ever successfully stick to McVeigh? Or the Unabomber? Or any of the IRS bombers in our violence list?

Here is my handy guide:

Lone wolfish American attacker who sees gov’t as threat to personal freedom: bomber, tax protester, survivalist, separatist

Group of Americans bombing/kidnapping to protest U.S. policies on war/poverty/personal freedom/ – radical left-wing movement, right-wing separatists

All foreign groups or foreign individuals bombing/shooting to protest American gov’t: terrorists.

For the record, McVeigh, the Unabomber, Stack, and Roeder are all terrorists. Whenever white people lynch African-Americans, that is terrorism. When religious zealots bomb abortion clinics, that is terrorism. Regardless of political ideology, any act of violence against a civilian population in order to obtain political or religious goals is always terrorism.

It doesn’t only “count” if the terrorist is a Muslim.


8 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    But what if you really really really really believe you are right? That can’t be terrorism then, can it?

    So, does that make an organization that preaches the “beliefs” that make people think it is okay to perform those acts called a terrorist organization too???

    Hmmm…. may want to rethink that question too.

  2. collapse expand

    Considering the issue is legal, the doctrinal definition is too isolating: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/usc_sec_18_00002331—-000-.html

    The rebuttal to Roeder is a lot easier: just about everyone involved in law enforcement, most definitely including the president, is a terrorist.

    That said, the whole pro-life policy argument justifies killing abortionists. Just as gun control policy arguments justify killing gun owners, arguments for taxing marijuana justifies killing pot smokers, etc. This is all terrorism–activities intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.

    If one is a statist, fine. But just as it’s plain ol’ incorrect for Roeder to deny he’s a murderer or terrorist, it is for statists to deny they support terrorism. Terrorism isn’t a monolithic ideology. It’s a tactic.

  3. collapse expand

    The trick is interpreting “to obtain … goals” in some cases.

    My problem with calling the Ft. Hood guy a terrorist was the improbability of repetition.

    That guy wasn’t part of any group, and there’s no real “movement” of angry Muslims within the US military. There might be a couple of others, but angry/crazy enough to kill? Way improbable.

    So if you don’t think it could happen again, could you be very afraid of it, likely to change your behaviour? No terror, no terrorist.

    And there’s the problem with calling Roeder a terrorist: the word only makes sense because it DOES, frankly, seem likely that it will happen again. There have just been a lot of bombings and attacks on clinics and doctors. So the word applies, even though Roeder was arguably also just a lone, crazy/angry person, not part of any terrorist organization with a plan to terrorize. If you know you’re part of a string of events, the string is what terrorizes doctors and nurses. So he’s a “terrorist” not just because of what he did, but what a lot of other people are doing.

    It implicates a lot more than a few crazy/angry lone nuts out there, it implicates the whole support structure that makes them a statistical certainty rather than a bolt-of-lightning improbable risk. Roeder was part of a string of events because the issue is kept, decade after decade, on the political front-burner by a sustained effort to keep it a hot button issue with a lot of incendiary rhetoric.

  4. collapse expand

    Roeder, needs advice from ANY counsel worth their weight in their first year law books… CONVICTED 1st DEGREE KILLERS/MURDERS HAVE NO RIGHTS… When sent to prison – YOU’RE DONE. STFU and answer Tyrone for your own good.

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