Who You Calling Terrorist?

Friday, April 02, 2010


The press have mostly referred to the Hutaree members as militiamen, but the label "terrorist" could apply as well. Daniel Levitas, an expert on homegrown terrorist groups, says that there's a double standard regarding which groups get the label.

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Comments [11]

Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Mr. Richard, "This far outruns the 'kill' list of any of these 'right wing' groups that get liberal knickers in a twist"? Oklahoma City had 168 dead. Eric Rudolph only killed two but injured 56. Need I go on? Should we include David Koresh?

Apr. 09 2010 10:25 PM
Mark Richard from Columbus, Ohio

I missed that story confronting the issue of whether political correctness (OTM stinks of it) prevents the press from a frank discussion of whether indulgent affirmative action attitudes had anything to do with the failure to do something about Hasan before he murdered 12 people last year at Fort Hood. This followed by six months the murders of two young men by another killer professing fundamentalist Moslem beliefs. This far outruns the 'kill' list of any of these 'right wing' groups that get liberal knickers in a twist. By obsessing about the potential threat from right-wing extremism, and averting its eyes from frank discussion of extremism that is also racially or culturally based, but not 'white', OTM once again displays its cowardice about challenging the rigid narrative of liberal poltics in the U.S.

What a bunch of posers OTM producers, editors, and writers are - posing as a press review, but mainly peddling left-wing cultural attitudes. Two stories in one program about scary right-wingers, while groups (urban gangs come to mind) who actually kill people on a regular basis are not discussed as imminent dangers - liberals would sooner pee their pants than tar 'non-white' cultural groups the way they do 'white' classes and sub-cultures. They do the latter paradoxically because the latter are less threatening. What courage. What principle.

Apr. 08 2010 12:58 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Well, nowadays, Barkon.

I clearly remember people quite committed to such acts on the Left, in an earlier era. I'm pretty sure that I knew some. The thing is, the message Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi before him, preached found fertile ground to take root there as the natural alternative to the Right's bullying. Hence the less violent path. The deaths of Kennedy, King and Kennedy must have been fervently prayed for by the right at the time, but I doubt that things turned out quite as those who had harbored those prayers might have expected had they been answered.

Apr. 07 2010 11:56 PM
Barkon from Vermont

I find it funny that there seems to be an idea that if some extremists on the Left aren't called terrorists, that the label shouldn't be given to those on the right.

Here's the difference. The ALF is, to my mind, a very warped organization. However, their agenda is not to murder the scientists who perform animal experiments. And, with a few exceptions, such as those despicable people who spike trees in the hopes of injuring loggers, eco-terrorists target buildings and machinery. Their actions while sometimes destructive, do not cause terror. Are you afraid of the ALF?

The Hutaree were planning mass murder in the hopes of upsetting the government. Timothy McVeigh and the man who flew his aircraft into the IRS building also wanted to kill as many people as possible.

I'm not saying there aren't bastards on the left who would want to murder to further their agenda. I'm just saying that you'd have to look a lot harder.

Apr. 05 2010 03:02 PM
Allen Hjelmfelt from Washington, DC

I felt this report was shallow, and mostly confirmed left wing biases. The real issues is that the media and government is inconsistent as to whom theylabel a terrorist. This Christian group, the attack on the IRS building, the Ft Hood shooter, the shooter at the Holocaust museum, the killer of the abortion provider all could be labeled terrorists. As could the eco terrorists and Hamas which have been mentioned. Terrorist seems to be the epithet of choice. I'd like to know what segments of the media and government have and have not labeled them terrorists and why? The answer that we use the term to support international war efforts seems off the mark.

Different segments of the media seem to jump to calling someone a terrorist if it suits their world view. The right very quickly called the Ft Hood shooter a terrorist but seemed reluctant to call the attack on the IRS terrorism. Perhaps the right sees the coverage of the Christian group and Hamas the same way.

Additionally, in comparing Jose Padilla with this Christian group this speaker left out one very important factor. Jose Padilla was connected to a foreign power with whom we are at war. I doubt that this Christian group has any international connection. (Not that this should alter the standards of humane treatment.)

Apr. 05 2010 12:29 PM
Tom Hanks from Durham, NC

mem - I didn't say there is no domestic terrorism on the right. I said that there is also terrorism on the left. The article I pulled up is from 2009. I haven't heard that the Animal Liberation Front has renounced their tactics. Have you? This is from one of their leaders in 2006 (Wikipedia). "Animal Liberation Press Office Press Officer Jerry Vlasak said of the attack on Fairbanks: "force is a poor second choice, but if that's the only thing that will work ... there's certainly moral justification for that". That just about exactly duplicates the statement made by George Tiller's murderer.

Apr. 03 2010 03:52 PM

If you repeat the lie often enough...

Apr. 03 2010 03:23 PM
Eric Sprague

This report reeks of hypocrisy because media outlets are doing the same thing all the time, especially NPR. The 9/11 hijackers are never referred to as "the 911 militants," they are always termed terrorists by the media. Yet groups like Hamas are most likely to be called "militants" by the mainstream media, even when they deliberately target civilians. It all depends on who the victims and perpetrators happen to be and on the unacknowledged political agenda of the media outlet involved.

Apr. 03 2010 10:19 AM
mem from Kansas

wow an article from 2009....

lets see what we can find about domestic militia related terrorism...

tiller's killer just got put away for life.. that's terrorism against medical providers. didn't even have to look it's so fresh.

Apr. 03 2010 10:19 AM
Tom Hanks from Durham, NC

As usual, NPR selected a "person of the left" (made clear in the title of his book) as the sole source for this interview. Has anyone at NPR read the LA Times lately regarding the ongoing attacks on people and property by Animal Rights Activists?

Apr. 03 2010 08:41 AM
Stu from usa

ah yes, more stories about terrorists. keep em coming. public radio is obsessed with terror and al-qaeda. morning noon and night. constant repetition. terror terror terror.

so informative.

Apr. 03 2010 07:51 AM

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