the important and the not-so-important, horribly conflated.

Define “Terrorist”

In human behavior on March 30, 2010 at 10:54 am

In the news yesterday, several members of an extremist group were indicted by US authorities. Should the media call them terrorists? You decide! The facts:

1) The group “planned to kill an unidentified law enforcement officer and then bomb the funeral caravan using improvised explosive devices based on designs used against American troops by insurgents in Iraq.

2) “The group’s Web site suggested that it was motivated by apocalyptic religious scenarios more than any secular political fears.”

3) It was reported that “in anticipation of a war against its enemies, [the group] had been engaging in ‘military-style training,’ from weapons proficiency drills to ‘close quarter battle drills’ and the use of ‘ambush kill zones.’ [They] had acquired guns, ammunition, medical supplies, uniforms, communications equipment and ‘explosives and other components for destructive devices,’ it said.”

4) Their website claimed that “[We] will one day see our enemy and meet him on the battlefield if so God wills it.”

5) The group faces “a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.”

*Oh, and they’re called the Hutaree, they’re White, they’re Christians, they believe Barack Obama is “the antichrist,” they’re from Michigan and Ohio, and their goal is to incite an anti-government uprising.

But if they’re really terrorists, shouldn’t we legally define them as enemy combatants, ship them off to Guantanamo, waterboard them a few hundred times—instead of reading them their Miranda rights and treating them as criminals like the authorities in Michigan did?

I mean, the fact that they’re Christian or Right-wingers shouldn’t matter, right Dick Cheney, Mark Thiessen, and John Yoo?


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