Friday, April 15, 2005
Via our indefatigable colleagues at Cursor: Abortion clinics around the nation are "bracing for attacks" after domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph released an 11-page manifesto rationalizing his homicidal bombing sprees: "Because I believe that abortion is murder, I also believe that force is justified ... in an attempt to stop it." (We frankly doubt that Mr. Rudolph stopped any abortions by blowing up a gay nightclub. Perhaps he was feeling rusty and needed the practice.) The manifesto goes on to explain why Rudolph believes the Gonzales DoJ let him cop a plea instead of pressing for the death penalty, as Andrew Cohen elucidates:
The Justice Department chickened out, Rudolph surmised, because federal lawyers figured they never could get a unanimous jury in the South to recommend a death sentence for a man convicted of trying to stop the practice of abortion — even though he chose to do it by bombing a clinic and killing a cop (and by bombing the 1996 Olympics and killing an innocent bystander). "They were afraid," Rudolph boasted in his diatribe, "that in at least one jurisdiction they were going to run into this recalcitrant pro-life juror who would hang the jury and deliver a political defeat and embarrassment to Washington's efforts to make an example out of the person who assaulted their specially protected policy of child murder" . . . .Since November 2002, actually, when Rudolph's constituency helped put the President back in office. It's a simple matter of knowing your audience and catering to its tastes; the fair & balanced savants of Fox News, you will note, were similarly genteel in their handling, two years ago, of Rudolph's initial hearing:
But whether it is a pro-life juror or an anti-government juror, the fact that the feds would back off this notorious terror case for fear of a possible jury holdout (or anything else, for that matter) is stunning. We have been told since Sept. 11, 2001 that the federal government would never waver, never falter, and never stop short of delivering to terrorists the justice they deserve. But now, suddenly, federal prosecutors aren't willing to trust an American jury in a case involving domestic terrorism involving hundreds of victims? Now, suddenly, the feds are afraid of taking a murder case to trial even when a law enforcement official (Robert Sanderson, an off-duty cop at the clinic in Birmingham) has been killed? Now, suddenly, we're afraid of putting a nasty racist like Rudolph in the dock of justice because some people think he is a hero? Some people thought McVeigh was a hero, too, and look where he is now. Since when does our federal government go easy on a guy who murders in anti-government fervor?
We have good perp walk video of Eric Rudolph which we should use. We should NOT assume that anyone who supported or helped Eric Rudolph is a racist. No one's in favor of murder or bombing of public places. But feelings in North Carolina may just be more complicated than the NY Times can conceive. Two style notes: Rudolph is charged with bombing an abortion clinic, not a "health clinic." and TODAY'S HEARING IS NOT AN ARRAIGNMENT. IT IS AN INITIAL HEARING.NOTE: The CBS hyperlinks to pages 2 and 3 of Andrew Cohen's column appear to be broken. If anyone figures out how to access those pages, please let us know; we'd love to read the rest of the story.