While the GOP presidential candidates, led by Donald Trump, and a cowardly Congress spent the better part of the past week fear mongering about Muslims in America and Syrian refugees fleeing civil war and terrorism, it turns out that the one terrorist attack in America this past week came from a domestic terrorist in Colorado Springs.
The definition of “terrorism” is ter·ror·ism /ˈterəˌrizəm/ (noun) the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims. The American media is loath to use the term “terrorism” when reporting the acts of anti-abortionists who kill doctors and patients and vandalize or blow up abortion clinics, but make no mistake, they are terrorists.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reports, Possible motive for accused Planned Parenthood gunman: ‘No more baby parts’:
As Colorado Springs tried coming to grips with its second mass shooting in a month, the revelation of four words uttered by the gunman upon his surrender hinted at anti-abortion zealotry leading up to the attacks.
The comment offered the first clue as to a motive for the shooting spree, which left two civilians and a university police officer dead and nine others – most of them law enforcement officers – wounded from gunfire.
Dear’s remark alluded to videos released over the summer by anti-abortion activists, which sparked a storm of controversy about Planned Parenthood’s practice of using fetal tissue for research. The videos led to calls on Capitol Hill by Republicans to de-fund the organization.
Dear’s remarks were among many topics he mentioned – one of which being President Barack Obama – and it remained unclear how much the “baby parts” remark played into the attack, NBC News reported.
Dear remains in El Paso County jail without bond. His first court appearance is scheduled for Monday.
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Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch called the attack “a crime against women receiving healthcare services at Planned Parenthood, law enforcement seeking to protect and serve, and other innocent people,” and said federal attorneys are assisting with the situation.
Please, just call this what it is, domestic terrorism.
Initially, the GOP contenders were nearly silent on Colorado Springs shooting:
The Republican presidential field, which for much of the year has been full-throated in its denunciations of Planned Parenthood, has been nearly silent about the shooting in Colorado at one of its facilities that left a police officer and two others dead.
In contrast, all three of the leading Democratic contenders quickly issued statements in support of Planned Parenthood.
The reason for this is that the demagoguery of anti-abortion Republicans over these highly edited videos — not one state investigation into Planned Parenthood has turned up any violation of law — has incited an increase in the number of threats made to Planned Parenthood clinics.
“Since the series of highly edited, misleading anti-abortion videos was released in July, we have seen an unprecedented increase in hate speech and threats against abortion providers,” says Vicki Saporta, the president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, which has been tracking violence against providers since the 1970s. The new, ugly surge in violence and threats against abortion providers.
GOP consultants no doubt advised their clients in their best pig latin, “ixnay on the ideovay” demagoguery. Since then some GOP candidates condemn Planned Parenthood shooting but dismiss link to anti-abortion rhetoric:
Several Republican presidential candidates on Sunday condemned the attack on a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs but stopped short of agreeing with liberal critics who say that fiery anti-abortion rhetoric contributed to the shooting.
“It’s obviously a tragedy. Nothing justifies this,” former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Any protesters should always be peaceful. Whether it’s Black Lives Matter or pro-life protesters.”
Oh, nice, Carly. Comparing the murderous terrorism of Robert Lewis Dear to peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters. This just makes you even more a pathetic loser than your unabashed lies about the Planned Parenthood videos. Fact checking GOP lies about Planned Parenthood.
Calls to defund Planned Parenthood through congressional action have escalated in recent months amid a protracted national debate about the ethics of collecting fetal tissue for research.
[Note: Riders to defund Planned Parenthood are being attached to the appropriations bills Congress must pass before December 11. These riders will be debated in the next two weeks. The farther-far-right GOP Freedom Caucus has not backed down from its threat to shut down the federal government over defunding Planned Parenthood.]
That dialogue was cast in a grim light after reports that the suspected Colorado gunman is said to have used the phrase “no more baby parts’’ while discussing his motives for the attack, as reported by The Washington Post on Saturday.
Liberal critics of anti-abortion activism have linked escalating rhetoric on the right with Friday’s attack, including Vicki Cowart, president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, and Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
“We’ve seen an alarming increase in hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns against abortion providers and patients over the last few months,” Cowart said in a statement. “That environment breeds acts of violence.”
“It is offensive and outrageous that some politicians are now claiming this tragedy has nothing to do with the toxic environment they helped create,” Laguens said in a statement on Sunday. “One of the lessons of this awful tragedy is that words matter, and hateful rhetoric fuels violence. It’s not enough to denounce the tragedy without also denouncing the poisonous rhetoric that fueled it.”
As every demagogue does when their incendiary rhetoric leads some nut to act on their words, Carly Fiorina tried to distance herself from her comments, calling criticism of her comments “typical left-wing tactics.”
“This is so typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing a messenger because they don’t agree with the message,” she said. “The vast majority of Americans agree what Planned Parenthood is doing is wrong.”
Wrong again, Carly. Support for Planned Parenthood is down, but support for its federal funding is not:
[W]hatever hit Planned Parenthood’s image has taken, it’s on firmer ground with the issue of federal funding; majorities or pluralities have supported federal funding for the group in every public poll this year, and the share willing to risk a government shutdown over the issue was even smaller than those who opposed the funding.
It’s not clear whether the current debate has had much impact on the funding question.
Businessman Donald Trump called the alleged Colorado shooter a “sick person” in an interview on Sunday with NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.”
“Well, this was an extremist. And this was a man who they said prior to this was mentally disturbed,” Trump said, according to an early transcript of the interview. “So, he’s a mentally disturbed person. There’s no question about that.”
He added: “I will tell you, there is a tremendous group of people that think it’s terrible, all of the videos that they’ve seen with some of these people from Planned Parenthood talking about it like you’re selling parts to a car,” he said. “I mean, there are a lot of people that are very unhappy about that.”
Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson called the shooting the work of “extremism.”
“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of extremism coming from all areas. It’s one of the biggest problems that I think is threatening to tear our country apart,” Carson said on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, according to a transcript of the exchange. “We get into our separate corners and we hate each other, we want to destroy those with whom we disagree.”
Carson did not directly address antiabortion rhetoric but did warn of increasing political divisions in the country.
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Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee expressed similar dismay at the attack and added that the gunman’s actions in fact stood against the principles held by anti-abortion activists.
“Regardless of why he did it, what he did is domestic terrorism,” Huckabee said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “What he is did is absolutely abominable, especially to those of us in the pro-life movement, because there’s nothing about any of us that would condone or in any way look the other way at something like this.”
There you go, media villagers. If “Huckajesus” of all people can call it domestic terrorism, so can you.