-- by Dave
Ari observes that Sarah Palin refused to acknowledge the existence of right-wing domestic terrorists in her NBC interview that aired last night:
Brian Williams: Back to the notion of terrorists and terrorism, this word has come up in relation to Mr. Ayers -- hanging out with terrorist – domestic terrorists. It is said that it gives it a vaguely post uh 9-11 hint, using that word, that we don’t normally associate with domestic crimes. Are we changing the definition? Are the people who set fire to American cities during the ‘60’s terrorists, under this definition? Is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist under the definition?
Sarah Palin: There is no question that Bill Ayers via his own admittance was um one who sought to destroy our US Capitol and our Pentagon -- that is a domestic terrorist. There’s no question there. Now others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or um facilities, that uh, it would be unacceptable -- I don’t know if you could use the word terrorist, but its unacceptable and it would not be condoned of course on our watch. I don’t know if what you are asking is if I regret referring to Bill Ayers as an unrepentant domestic terrorist. I don’t regret characterizing him as that.
Williams: I’m just asking what other categories you would put in there. Abortion clinic bombers? Protesters in cities where fires were started, Molotov cocktails, were thrown? People died.
Palin: I would put in that category of Bill Ayers anyone else who would seek to destroy our United States Capitol and our Pentagon and would seek to destroy innocent Americans.
Well, just in case Mrs. Palin forgot, there was a running spate of domestic terrorism in the United States in the 1990s created by the far-right "Patriot" movement, much of it revolving around abortion and hatred of the federal government.
The signature event, of course, was the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. But that was hardly the end of it. Indeed, by the end of 1999, we were able to document over 40 such cases -- many of which were nipped in the bud before they reached fruition. Some were not.
It seems Palin needs a refresher course. The Jed Report video above mentions two abortion-clinic shooters, Paul Hill and Michael Griffin, who were among the murderous terrorists who inspired the federal law that protects abortion providers -- a law John McCain twice voted against.
But that was hardly all. Below, a rundown of other significant domestic terrorists:
Eric Robert Rudolph (born September 19, 1966), also known as the Olympic Park Bomber, is an American radical described by the FBI as a terrorist who committed a series of bombings across the southern United States which killed two people and injured at least 150 others.
Rudolph declared that his bombings were part of a guerrilla campaign against abortion and what he describes as "the homosexual agenda." He spent years as the FBI's most wanted criminal fugitive, but was eventually caught. In 2005 Rudolph pleaded guilty to numerous federal and state homicide charges and accepted five consecutive life sentences in exchange for avoiding a trial and the death penalty. Rudolph was connected with the white supremacist Christian Identity movement. Although he has denied that his crimes were religiously or racially motivated, Rudolph has also called himself a Roman Catholic in "the war to end this holocaust" (of abortion).
James Charles Kopp (born August 2, 1954) is an American citizen who was convicted in 2003 for the 1998 sniper-style murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian, an Amherst, New York physician who performed abortions. Prior to his capture, Kopp was on the FBI's list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. On June 7, 1999 he had become the 455th fugitive placed on the list by the FBI. He was affiliated with anti-abortion group "The Lambs of Christ." He has been referred to as a terrorist by the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.
The Phineas Priesthood:
Letters left at the scene of an April 1996 bank robbery/clinic bombing in Spokane, Washington, contained Identity propaganda, diatribes against the banking system and were signed with the symbol of the "Phineas Priesthood." [At the time of the robbery, a bomb was set off at a nearby Planned Parenthood clinic as a diversion, with death threats toward abortion providers contained in the note left with that bomb.] The three men arrested, Charles Barbee, Robert Berry and Jay Merrell, were linked to white supremacist and "Identity" groups and were also charged with setting off bombs at a newspaper office and a Planned Parenthood clinic. All three were convicted.
Timothy James McVeigh (April 23, 1968 – June 11, 2001) was a United States Army veteran and security guard who bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on the second anniversary of the Waco Siege, as revenge against what he considered to be a tyrannical federal government. The bombing killed 168 people, and was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Buford O'Neal Furrow, Jr. (born November 25, 1961) perpetrated the August 1999 Los Angeles Jewish Community Center shooting on August 10, 1999, when he attacked a day care center at the North Valley Jewish Community Center. The shooting injured three children, and a receptionist. He also shot dead US Postal Service carrier Joseph Ileto who was Filipino American. Furrow was a member of the white-supremacist group Aryan Nations in 1995.
On January 24, 2001 Furrow pleaded guilty all of the counts against him. In exchange for pleading guilty, Furrow avoided a possible death sentence, but was instead sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. According to the indictment, Furrow expressed no regrets for any of his crimes.
This is just a sampling. There were many more such cases in which clinics were bombed, government officials and offices threatened or attacked.
These activities slowed considerably in the past eight years, but continue to bubble along. There was, for instance, the case of Demetrius "Van" Crocker, who was caught trying to buy explosives he planned to bomb Congress with. Or William Krar, who put together a cyanide bomb he planned to set off in a public venue. Or Chad Castagana, the self-described Coulter/Malkin worshipper who sent various liberal figures fake anthrax threats. There have been many others.
And they haven't gone away. As recently as last year, bombs were being left at an abortion clinic in Houston, and Alabama militiamen were being arrested for plotting to commit a massacre of Latino immigrants.
But we understand why Sarah Palin may not want to acknowledge the existence of this kind of domestic terrorist.
After all, every one of them proceeded out of the ranks of the far-right "Patriot" movement. The very movement whose members she "palled around with" in Wasilla -- and indeed empowered them at every turn.
[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]