McCain/Palin: right-wing terrorism is not really terrorism

United States
October 24, 2008 9:34am CST
"NBC's Brian Williams asked Sarah Palin a good question last night: "Is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist, under this definition, governor?" Palin, seemingly annoyed by the question, responded, "There's no question that Bill Ayers via his own admittance was one who sought to destroy our U.S. Capitol and our Pentagon. That is a domestic terrorist. There is no question there. Now others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or facilities that it would be unacceptable to, I don't know if you're gonna use the word 'terrorist' there..."" -- http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_10/015339.php So, let me get this straight. Attacking and killing doctors for performing a legal medical procedure, as a means of scaring them (i.e. eliciting terror) into ceasing the performing of that procedure...how is that NOT terrorism? I'm pretty sure that's the DEFINITION of terrorism.
3 people like this
11 responses
@Latrivia (2889)
• United States
24 Oct 08
I guess it the term 'terrorism' doesn't apply if you agree with the attacker on the issue. Probably for the same reason some hard-core environmentalist and animal lover nuts doesn't think ALF is a terrorist organization. I'd imagine some of the folks over in the middle east probably hold the same opinion of their Hamas and Al Queida buddies.
4 people like this
@spalladino (17922)
• United States
24 Oct 08
Clarus, why are you surprised by Palin's answer? It's just more of the double standard we've been seeing again and again by her and now, according to the recent revelations about campaign spending, by the McCain campaign itself. Palin's ethics and beliefs are skewed. If she believes something is acceptable, it's acceptable, even if it flies in the face of decency or ethics or federal rules and regulations. Her response to that question disgusted me because not only does she believe that it's acceptable to terrorize physicians, as you said, but also to terrorize other innocent Americans. Meanwhile, Grandpa just sits there and nods.
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
24 Oct 08
Any acts of violence when it's something you support is not terrorism lol. It's a bunch of BS, I'm sure that she "didn't hear the question correctly" or "she didn't understand the question because it was a gotcha question" or pretty much whatever other lame excuse they can come up with.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Oct 08
"I'm sure that she "didn't hear the question correctly" or "she didn't understand the question because it was a gotcha question" or pretty much whatever other lame excuse they can come up with." See answer #6 for said lame excuse.
2 people like this
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
24 Oct 08
If there weren't lame excuses, we wouldn't have anything to start discussions over
2 people like this
@tthom64 (535)
• United States
24 Oct 08
Maybe terrorism per se needs an element of killing lots of innocent people not involved in whatever it is you're protesting, while protesting means you target just those involved in the activity you oppose. To me it's the same thing and both are wrong.
@spalladino (17922)
• United States
24 Oct 08
Under that definition Ayers wouldn't be considered a terrorist since the group he belong to didn't kill anyone...other than a couple of their own when a bomb they were building accidentally went off.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Oct 08
I think protesting an abortion clinic is closer to terrorism than bombing one when they are closed. Since it is an abortion clinic it isn't terrorism if you blow it when there is no danger of anyone getting hurt.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27280)
• United States
25 Oct 08
CV, I'm coming to realize that what you and I may see as a "good question" will clearly be seen by some of Palin's biggest fans as another "gotcha" from the liberal mainstream media. As soon as I heard Brian Williams ask that question I knew she'd have to really dance around it because to give what I would consider to be the ONLY answer would be to admit McCain, who was sitting right beside her, had his own "terrorist connections". I remember a decade or more ago there was a shooting at an abortion clinic where a doctor was killed as well as a young woman who was only the receptionist there. I'll have to look it up because I don't remember the exact date or location of this event but I do remember discussing it at work with my coworkers at the time and how some of them thought it was justified because they "murdered babies" there. I mentioned that even if they could somehow use that twisted reasoning regarding the doctor, what about the receptionist, who was a very young woman in her twenties? Of course, as expected, according to the most extreme right-wingers among my colleagues, it was her fault for having chosen to work at such an evil place where such evil acts occurred. I think that attitude among some is still alive and well! Annie
1 person likes this
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
24 Oct 08
I missed that interview. Thanks for sharing the link.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
24 Oct 08
Clarus, she's not a lawyer or a legal expert and frankly, the interviewer did not provide sufficient information to give a complete answer. The definition of domestic terrorism has changed several times. At the most basic level it is specifically the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property in order to coerce or intimidate a government or the civilian population in furtherance of political or social objectives. As with most legal definitions, that is not entirely clear as to whether it would apply to the bombing of an abortion clinic. They would need to establish intent to intimidate the government or the civilian population. Now granted, intimidating civilians MAY be the intent when one bombs an abortion clinic, but it may just be an angry person trying to murder the abortion doctors. You need to know the underlying circumstances of each specific case to determine whether it qualifies as domestic terrorism. It's no different than determining whether someone is guilty of manslaughter or murder. That's why judges with legal expertise make these rulings. As such, she's right, you're wrong. The word terrorist in the legal definition, does not necessarily apply all the time even though some may want it to.
• United States
24 Oct 08
"Clarus, she's not a lawyer or a legal expert and frankly, the interviewer did not provide sufficient information to give a complete answer." Are you for real? CHILDREN could correctly identify abortion clinic bombings as terrorism. Terrorism = influence through manipulation of fear It's not rocket science. The point of attacking abortion clinics is to scare doctors out of performing abortions. Ergo, terrorism. The interviewer was not asking for a "from the books" diagnosis. It's very obvious what he was asking, and I found the video of the interview here, since I feel an "out of context" complaint coming: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27347418#27347418 The straw-grasping is getting more and more outrageous with each passing day.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
24 Oct 08
I'm often baffled by not only how big a moron you are, but how often you lie. Did you listen to the interview? You took one snippet and used it to attack her. When pressed on whether she would stretch the definition to include abortion clinic bombings and people who used Molotov cocktails during protests she said it would apply to anyone who "Anyone else who would seek to campaign to destroy our united states capital and pentagon and would seek to destroy innocent Americans." So right there, you took a single line and attacked her while omitting the other statements she made regarding anyone who would seek to destroy innocent Americans. "It's not rocket science. The point of attacking abortion clinics is to scare doctors out of performing abortions. Ergo, terrorism." That's your narrow minded and ignorant assumption. Here's a scenario for you if you can wrap your small mind around it: A man's girlfriend gets pregnant. He's excited to have a son. She finds out he cheated and has an abortion to punish him. He, out of rage, bombs the clinic to kill her and the doctor. That is murder. It's not terrorism. He's not trying to invoke fear in anyone. He's trying to kill people plain and simple. THAT is why we have trials to determine what offense was committed. THAT is why we have so many levels of each crime such as murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, etc.
• United States
24 Oct 08
"I'm often baffled by not only how big a moron you are, but how often you lie. Did you listen to the interview? You took one snippet and used it to attack her." Which of us just linked the other to the full interview? I'M the one that provided the full context! Get real.
2 people like this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
25 Oct 08
I am not at all sure what their definition of terrorism is. I would have thought that anyone that goes around bombing places was a terrorist as they define it these days. Perhaps if they are doing something you agree with then it is ok. I have not seen this interview. Is she admitting that it is wrong to attack abortion clinics? So they are not terrorists then they are just a bit naughty? Is that her message. Funny I would have thought that anyone who blew up or attacked a place like a clinic would be classified as a terrorist as they are using fear but maybe they are just murderers.
• United States
25 Oct 08
"Unlike Ayers who did not endorse terrorist activities during his meetings with Obama, this woman, Shannon, said of the shooter -- as McCain sat there -- quote 'she's a fine lady,'" Olbermann said. "A judge who later sentenced his fine lady for a campaign of yes, bombing women's clinics, said quote, 'Though I am loathe to call anyone a terrorist, you are a terrorist.'" -- http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Olbermann_McCain_guilty_by_association_1009.html If it's 'good' enough for a judge, it's good enough for me. Don't you agree?
2 people like this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
25 Oct 08
Yes I do agree. If a judge calls it terrorism then that makes it terrorism under the law as far as I am concerned.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Oct 08
So Mr. V, Would you have a problem if you found out that Mrs. Palin started her Political Career in the living room of someone who blew up abortion clinics?
@cripfemme (7713)
• United States
25 Oct 08
I think that anyone who wants to disrupt legal activities by shooting or blowing up things (no matter their motives) is a terrorist. Frequently, people call me a terrorist and all i do is commit civil disobedience I don't hurt anyone ever and I never have or never will own a fire arm, much less shoot one.
@coffeebreak (17815)
• United States
24 Oct 08
I think everyone is to busy labeling things, they don't have time to deal with the issue - gotta have a politically correct title, label or name. Can't just be called killing. Cant just say pro-choice. Can't just say "enemy attacked us without provication". Gotta be a policically correct term or name, gotta have a flare to it that will spark even just verbal violance amongest those that are talking about it and of course, there will never be a "Right" answer. Then, no law enforcement can do anything, no courts can do anything because the definition of a single word is holding up justice and decision, not to mention consequences. We have gotten to a point were the saying "You can please some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time but you can never please all the people all the time" sums it up. And all because of the definiation of a word!