Thursday, June 04, 2009
It seems I wasn't the only one to notice the disparity of Dr. Tiller's murderer being charged only with murder, whilst Private William Long's murderer is being charged with murder, attempted murder and 16 counts of "terroristic" acts'.
On the cross-post over at The Zoo, houseofroberts commented "5th, I’ve heard three different talk show hosts use this same comparison on their shows, SINCE you posted yours."
Last night, Rachel Maddow spent a significant portion of her show addressing the exact same issues I'd already written about, the day before her show.
Coincidence? .....Definitely! In a nation of 200 million-plus mass-communication-connected adults unique observations on a national story are going to be very hard to come-by!
But Rachel Maddow drilled a little deeper than I did.
She asked a former FBI counter-terrorism agent how it was that Private Long's murderer under an active FBI 'watch' for a year, Muhammad/Bledsoe had acquired an "arsenal" of weapons.
She also asked how Dr Tiller's murderer, Scott Roeder, had complete freedom of movement when the FBI had been provided with multiple positive witness and security videotape identification of Shroeder violating federal FACE statutes multiple times and particularly just a few days before Dr Tiller's murder?
The former FBI agent responded with a statement of fact--for whatever reason, the 'system' failed--a disappointing analysis but fair-enough on its face; nothing is perfect.
With regard to both Shroeder and Mohammad, two murders which might have been prevented nonetheless unfortunately and tragically were carried-out.
But whilst not all crimes can be wholly predicted and thus prevented, treatment of the perpetrator after the fact should be and usually is quite predictable.
Crimes are measured in degrees of severity of harm and judged and punished accordingly; for example in cases of death distinctions are made between premeditation, accident, and willful negligence and these distinctions also hold true for non-lethal physical injury or financial/material injury.
So, in my previous post I argued that the charges against Shroeder and Muhammad should actually be reversed, or at least more equal.
Shroeder had a known history of intimidation and indiscriminate violent intent and was connected with a well-financed movement with a history of terroristic acts, whilst Muhammad's history presents nothing comparable--Muhammad seems to be a 'first offender', yet Muhammad is having 'the book' thrown at him whilst Shroeder isn't even facing the death penalty, despite it being an option
The "terroristic acts" that Muhammad is being charged-with are connected to those bystanders present at Private Long's murder. There's no public information as yet (to my knowledge) as to how these bystanders/witnesses where actually exceptionally terrorized.
(Everyone who watched 9/11 unfold were surely "terrorized" too --in fact the Bush administration made sure of it, after the fact--but Usama Bin Laden hasn't been charged with millions of counts of "terroristic acts", has he?)
Shroeder "allegedly" murdered Dr. Tiller in the foyer of his own church, during a service. It would appear one other usher was a material witness to Dr. Tiller's murder, as he informed Mrs. Tiller who was in the choir at the time. Is there not then a case for at least two counts of "terroristic acts" against Scott Shroeder? Apparently not.
So after the fact, Shroeder and Muhammad are being treated differently for the same crime--public politically- and religiously-motivated murder.
The former is being treated just a murderer, the latter however is a special case--a terrorist (which means a non-combatant; which means he can be held indefinitely, without corroborated evidence and who can be tortured at a whim. Shroeder meanwhile as a mere murderer is entitled to a public defender and the entire panoply of the US appeals system).
Now all the above is pretty much covered in my original post, so why the sequel?
Well, riddle me this, batperson/blogreader!!!
Radio-host Hal Turner — accused of hosting a website that incited Connecticut Catholics to "take up arms" and singling out two Connecticut lawmakers and a state ethics official — was taken into custody in New Jersey late today after state Capitol police obtained an arrest warrant for him.
SO, New Jersey State police (NOT the FBI) arrested a known racist (and pal of Sean Hannity, incidentally), Hal Turner, of simply inciting violence against officials of another state!.
What does this have to do with Shroeder, Muhammad, politically- and religiously-motivated murder and the responses of secular and egalitarian legal authorities?
Hal Turner has multi-year history of inciting violence.
Scott Shroeder has a multi-year history of being incited to violence.
Muhammad/Bledsoe has about one year (by the FBI's reckoning) of being incited to violence
Hal Turner was just arrested for simply inciting violence, by local police, even though to the best of anyone's knowledge no-one has acted on his incitements (interestingly he's also apparently been an FBI informant precisely because of his connections with extremists).
Scott Shroeder had a public record of violent intent and was an active participant in agressive demonstrations promoted by "pro-life" anti-abortion organizations that have a record for inciting violence and praising violence against its "spiritual/intellectual"and political enemies.
From their extremist ranks, extreme 'Christian soldiers' have sprung who have terrorized and murdered for the anti-abortion cause--which is to render abortion in any form, illegal.
(Except natural abortion of course, otherwise known as miscarriage. When God Himself kills babies it's perfectly okay, even though godless sinners may have the capacity to prevent miscarriages through the application of secular, sinful, medical science).
Scott Shroeder, even though he was known to the FBI and to Wichita locals, even though he had publicly expressed violent tendencies and participated in threatening actions towards a specific individual, even though he had bee proven to have violated anti -terror FEDERAL law multiple times, was NEVER arrested fopr his actions, let alone his own incitement or his propensity for being incited by others.
And those organizations that incited Shroeder, and continue to incite others to violence, were likewise allowed to continue and remain untouched by federal and local authorities.
Muhammad/Bledsoe, a newly-minted 'terrorist' with no local support whatsoever faces the maximum punitive weight that Federal authorities can bring to bear against him.
Shroeder, on the other hand is faced with the minimum sanctions available.
And yet Hal Turner who hasn't killed anyone or personally threatened to kill anyone or even engaged in any targeted property damage has been arrested by local authorities for verbally threatening 'across state lines' ( that's the only way I can express it).
Anyone CAN be arrested for verbal threats--it happens all the time, and when such official action is taken it usually results in a misdemeanor charge.
So why, if Hal Turner can be arrested by local police on one instance of 'verbal' (communicated) threats (supported by a record of threatening verbiage) wasn't Scott Shroeder with a record of aggressive behavior and proof of violation of federal law also arrested by either local or Federal law enforcement?
And why wasn't Muhammad/Bledsoe (under investigation for a year apparently) hauled-in for simple questioning at least, as the FBI is authorized to do? Did the FBI need him to actually commit a criminal act before charging him with anything?
Compare Muhammad/Bledsoe's case to that of any other 'domestic terror plot' the FBI has supposedly thwarted in the past 8 years. The ONE time a domestic MUSLIM 'terrorist' actually kills someone symbolic of US hegemony, and the FBI has to LET SOMEONE GET MURDERED before they DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?!!!
By these three examples (and those that have gone before) it is evident to me that the rule of law and jurisprudence is not merely inconsistent but dangerously (and stupidly) so.
And the culprit for this regression of legal form and practicality appears to me to be an inordinate tolerance (to say the least) of the concerns of a minority of organized religious fanatics with no interest in democratic principles and the secular law that derives from those principles, in exchange for a temporary voting advantage that through temporary advantageous results became a perceived 'enduring' electoral advantage which has thus encouraged its most direct beneficiaries to sustain and promote minority sensibilities as a universal societal ( and thus political 'Zeitgeist'.
Thus a lone dark-skinned non Christian neophyte murderer is charged with 16 counts of terrorism, a white Christian practiced in terror tactics is charged with simple murder.
The 'spanner in the works' is the arrest of a white 'Christian' simply threatening violence.
But the example of Hal Turner's arrest dozen't actually refute the arguments I'm making:
Turner isn't part of a powerful religious/political entity. He's easily swept-up by the authorities. He's insignificant.
But Shroeder actually represents powerful domestic political interests, so he enjoys some some protection from the full force of the law (as do the organizations that encouraged him).
Muhammad/Bledsoe , through his religion, represents a political entity that has no relevant domestic power and thus is much easier to condemn than Shroeder.
Thus the discrepancies in the application of the law between the three of them.
One nation, indivisible, with liberty and equality for all"?
How much evidence does anyone need that this is not the case, not by a 100 miles?
And how much evidence does anyone need that protection from terrorism, that "National Security", and justice and the rule of law are still utter farces?
American Christian fundamentalists are more of a danger to the the rule of law and the principles of the US Constitution than any violent threat by their extremist foreign Islamic counterparts.
American 'Christian' extremists don't have to resort to the tactics of Al Qaeda because the 'Christians' have powerful options; they have the world's most powerful country and a gullible forgiving public that they can and do manipulate for their own ends.
Al Qaeda killed nearly three thousand in one day for their cause--their stupid criminal, venal jihad.
The US has likely killed 100-times that number in a misdirected response driven by an equivalent sense of Christian "jihad", led by a 'Christian' idiot president, loudly supported by a 'Christian' idiotic voting flock.
And here in the cases of Muhammad and Shtoeder, we see the same partisan allowances for politically privileged white 'Christians' in a nation where supposedly "all men are created equal" where religion and politics werer supposed to be divided, and where secular law was supposed to enshrine and support all the ideals the Constitution sow wisely provided.
These founding ideals hang by a thread, and the extremist 'Christians' , most clearly embodied by the pro-life movement, will kill to see that thread cut.
And yet despite all the evidence, they still have what is a reasonable hope of getting-away with the murder of the Constitution and all that it entails, for GOD.
And they are prepared to kill anyone who gets in their way because whatever retribution they may suffer in the process, they will still be comforted by the tolerance of others and the legal institutions the extreme 'Christians' nonetheless seek to destroy.
Thus white Christian Scott Shroeder faces a single charge he can appeal by the graces of secular law, whilst dark-skinned Muslim Muhammad faces either death or life with no parole--for the exact same crime.
And our legal system and all its policing authorities are allowing this inequality of judgement and punishment to pass unhindered and our pliticians are allowing it all to pass unremarked.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
On Monday, June 1, 2009, in
Dr. Tiller’s ‘suspected’ murderer, 51-year old Scott Roeder, faces “possible first-degree murder charges, according to the
Private William Long’s ‘suspected’ murderer is 23-year old Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (formerly known as Carlos Leon Bledsoe). Muhammad was apparently being investigated by the FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force since his return from
Muhammad was “not part of a larger group or part of a conspiracy” (according to Lt. Col. Thomas F. Artis of the Oklahoma City Recruiting Battalion) but was nonetheless driven by "political and religious motives" (according to the
So Scott Roeder is facing one count of murder (and two counts of aggravated assault) whilst Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad/Carlos Bledsoe is being charged with murder and sixteen counts of terrorism?
In 1996, when Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad was 11 year-old Carlos Leon Bledsoe, Scott Roeder was a 38 year-old member of the anti-government Freemen group and was charged in Topeka for having bomb components in his car (for which he served 16 months in jail and 8 months on probation before the conviction was overturned on appeal due to issues with the search of his car).
Roeder was known to Morris Wilson, a commander of the Kansas Unorganized Citizens Militia in the mid-1990s, who said "I'd say he's a good ol' boy, except he was just so fanatic about abortion. He was always talking about how awful abortion was.”
According to CNN, Roeder’s associates describe him as a regular participant in anti-abortion demonstrations in Kansas City and Wichita---a characterization corroborated by one worker at the Kansas City Central Family Medicine clinic, who said that Roeder was “hard to miss” because of his height. Roeder had been interrupted several times trying to disable the locks of the clinic with epoxy, but was never convicted. Another employee of the clinic memorized Roeder’s license plate number.
Roeder has spent at least the last 8 years physically interfering with Dr Tiller’s legal and medically necessary practice with the explicit or tacit support of a network of “pro-life” religious organizations that have been pandered-to and encouraged-by the GOP, the Catholic Church and influential media personalities who have been calling abortion providers “mass-murderers” for the past 30 years or more.
And then, convinced of his ‘moral’ duties Roeder succeeded in killing Dr Tiller where others before him had failed.
Over the past 8 years Carlos Bledsoe, along with a growing number of Americans that has become a majority in the past two years, apparently became aware of the constant killing, mass arbitrary incarceration and torture of non-Christian human beings---babies, children, women and men---by a US military under orders from a wholly Republican and Christian government; and presumably convinced of his own ‘moral duty’ decided to side with the Muslim faith and then ‘protest’ by murdering a new Army recruit as blameless as anyone for the actions of the organization he’d just joined.
Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad/Carlos Bledsoe apparently acted on his own volition and without any 30 year-long explicit or implicit support from issue-specific organizations propped-up by a major political party, or exhorted to action by any media personalities with long standing social and business relationships with the same.
Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad appears to have been driven to an act of murder solely by the brief evolution of private personal convictions.
Scott Roeder, on the other hand, joined an anti government militia and then later the powerfully-represented and politically well-connected anti-abortion movement as a mature adult and acted in accordance with behaviors encouraged and praised by a long established national network of well-funded anti-abortion organizations whose members have consistently resorted to violence and murder in opposition to perfectly legal and majority public supported medical policy.
No one with national media access has appeared to defend or explain Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad’s actions, whilst Scott Roeder on the other hand is being offered affirmation of the morality of his actions by the likes of Reverend Rusty Thomas of Operation Save America and Randall Terry whose Operation Rescue organization moved from California, where it began, to Wichita Kansas specifically to terrorize Dr Tiller into closing his clinic.
Bill O’ Reilly insists that his ‘reporting’ on Dr Miller over the past four or five years has been entirely fact-based---despite the fact that O’Reilly has for example presented as ‘fact’ at least twice on his show that Dr Miller would perform abortions “any time, for no reason, for five thousand dollars”, which is simply a lie.
So one 23 year old with no evident history of political activity, incitement to violence, proof of violent intent nor any trace of material support for violence is now about to be charged with terrorism as well as murder.
At the same time one 51 year old, known to have been a member of an anti-government militia, known to have manufactured bombs and known to be a regular member of the politically supported anti–abortion movement that has a decades-long record of death threats, of bombings and of murder, faces NO terrorism charges.
“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” —Randall Terry of Operation Rescue, June 1 2009
And what's the analysis from a presumably less-extreme, more impartial and respectable religious figure?
"Yes, both Scott Roeder and Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad acted independently in their crimes this week. But while Scott Roeder’s ideology was just the fruit of his own psychological imbalance, Abdulhakim’s ideology is shared by dozens of well organized groups and thousands of men and women who have done harm to our country in the past and have sworn to wreak greater havoc on our homeland and military in the future.
Proof of this important distinction between the nature of these two tragic events has been the unanimous condemnation of Scott Roeder’s crime by every major pro-life group in our nation. That’s on the one hand. On the other hand, we get nothing but silence from the leaders of the particular strain of Islam that Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad studied in
In other words, it is crystal clear that Scott Roeder, the man suspected of killing Dr. George Tiller, in no way represents the pro-life cause he heralded, while Abdulhakim will be considered a hero by many of his fellow Islamists whose cause is the destruction of America and Christianity in particular."–(emphasis added)--Father Jonathan Morris, Roman Catholic priest and FOX News Religion Contributor.
The Holy and Most Reverend Father Miller of the tax-exempt, child-molesting Catholic Church and ‘Christian’ foot-soldier of a nationwide multimedia propaganda arm of politically active religious Conservatives is doing exactly what the anti-abortion religious right has been doing for decades—ignoring the cumulative results of their own rhetorical persuasions on those who take the message to ‘serve God’ and punish the wicked according to God’s Will to heart and thus murder in God’s name according to the message of God’s ordained representatives and self appointed champions.
Apparently despite three decades of consistent death-threats, intimidation, arson, attempted bombings, successful bombings, attempted murder and assassinations directed at a select group of people for the specifically political cause of denying a majority of Americans their legal and constitutional rights in pursuit of the overthrow of a democratically determined secular law, religious white Christians Conservatives simply can’t be organized terrorists—that distinction is reserved strictly for Muslims.