Thursday, December 14, 2006


The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are filled with passionate intensity

-- Yeats

One of the more striking traits of haters, particularly those who act out their hate violently, is that they never see themselves as the rest of us do, as monsters who have lost their humanity. Rather, they see themselves as heroes, engaged nobly in a herculean task of redemption.

Hate-crime perpetrators are like this. They rarely express any remorse for their crimes, because they believe they are acting on a higher imperative than the law. They all believe they're expressing a higher will, either that of the community, or at the behest of God himself.

So we have the prospect of watching Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph, in this report from the Colorado Springs Gazette, smirk and mock his victims from the prison cell where he will rot:
FLORENCE -- Unrepentant, Olympics and abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph sits in his cell at Supermax complaining about being treated like a "terrorist" and composing "satires" mocking his victims.

Yeah, it's just a damn shame that the guy who set off a pipe bomb at the Olympics is being treated like a terrorist.
Rudolph's homemade bombs in Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala., killed two people and injured 120. He was captured in 2003 after hiding out for five years in the North Carolina mountains.

In correspondence with The Gazette during the past 15 months, Rudolph refers to himself as a political prisoner and accuses the federal Bureau of Prisons of inhumane treatment for keeping him and other terrorists in their cells for 23 hours a day.

...Nearly 16 months in isolation have not changed his attitude. Last month, Rudolph sent The Gazette a 16-page story he said was a "satire" based on his sentencing in Birmingham in July 2005.

The names were changed slightly, he wrote, because the Bureau of Prisons won't let him send mail that deals with crimes or acts of violence.

In it, he mocks the prosecutors, judge and victims of his 1998 bombing of the New Woman All Women clinic, which killed off-duty policeman Robert Sanderson and maimed nurse Emily Lyons.

Lyons was struck by flying nails and shrapnel, which tore out one of her eyes. She has had 22 surgeries since 1998.

In a narrative dripping with sarcasm, Rudolph wrote that he "never learned that there is no freedom more dear to women than the right to dispose of their own unwanted children."

Lyons, he wrote, "is a facilitator of this sacred right," adding that he "had pointed his finger in judgment of Emily. And there is nothing more repugnant to citizens of the Brave New World than being called to account for one's actions."

Rudolph described Derzis as "brassy, worldly, the kind of woman who had not only been around the block a few times but was probably dragged behind a truck the entire way."

"Releasing women caught in the shackles of maternity became her mission in life," he wrote.

Sanderson, he wrote, was "a hero who stood steadfast watch as thousands of women made it to freedom over the corpses of their unborn children. That's heroism folks!"

Of course, as Diane Derzis, who runs the clinic he bombed, points out, the victims will have the last smirk:
"At the end of the day, he hears bars clanging," she said. "He can mock the rest of us as much as he wants, but we still have lives."

Derzis said it's appropriate he'll spend his life in a cell.

"I thought, for him, he's someone who loves the outdoors, this was the most appropriate punishment," she said. "He'll never see that again. That to me is a fate worse than death."

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