As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, June 08, 2009

Roeder, Terrorist, Lights The Ticking Time Bomb

Last week I wrote this post about applying the standards of terror policies against Muslim extremists to the anti-abortion right, and when I cross-posted on Daily Kos I used the provocative title Should We Waterboard Scott Roeder? A lot of people got really mad, failing to read the entire post and just angered that I would suggest such a thing. Of course I wasn't, I was merely playing out the implications of the belief that we must torture terrorists who might have information on future attacks, and presumptively detain suspects who might engage in attacks in the future, and try them in national security courts instead of the criminal justice system.

Now we have yet another data point.

The man charged with murdering a high-profile abortion doctor claimed from his jail cell Sunday that similar violence was planned around the nation for as long as the procedure remained legal, a threat that comes days after a federal investigation launched into his possible accomplices.

A Justice Department spokesman said the threat was being taken seriously and additional protection had been ordered for abortion clinics last week. But a leader of the anti-abortion movement derided the accused shooter as "a fruit and a lunatic."

Scott Roeder called The Associated Press from the Sedgwick County jail, where he's being held on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the shooting of Dr. George Tiller one week ago.

"I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal," Roeder said. When asked by the AP what he meant and if he was referring to another shooting, he refused to elaborate further.

The conservative philosophy of a "one percent doctrine" means that if there's a one percent chance Roeder is telling the truth, then we must use every tool at our disposal to stop attacks. So intellectually honest conservatives like Dick Cheney will presumably endorse harsh interrogation tactics and indefinite detention for the anti-abortion right.

Waiting for that press release to come by my desk any time now.

Of course, like John Cole I don't think any of these policies work. And in fact, the Justice Department reacted to the Roeder comments by stepping up enforcement at abortion clinics. Which is how you deal with crime, through the system tested for 200-plus years that provides the right balance between liberty and security.

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