Monday, June 1, 2009

Home Grown Terrorists

When MSNBC says in it's reporting today that Scott Roeder, the suspect in the murder of OB/GYN, Dr. George Tiller, appears to have "acted alone" in the murder I think they are wrong. Anyone who's followed this issue knows that it's clear that he was not really acting alone. While the evidence may show that he was the lone shooter, the awful truth is that far too many people in the so called "pro-life" movement actively support and encourage this suspect and others to murder doctors who provide abortion services.

The most well known supporters for murdering abortion providers are the zealots who signed the lawless 1990s Defensive Action Statement. That extremist statement claims that use of lethal force in the defense of unborn babies is justifiable. One of the people who signed that statement, Regina Dinwiddie, said this about Mr. Roeder.

As news of Roeder's arrest traveled, Kansas City activist Regina Dinwiddie remembered the day a dozen years ago when Roeder hugged her in glee after trying to frighten an abortion provider by staring him down inside a Planned Parenthood clinic.

"He grabbed me and said, 'I've read the Defensive Action Statement and I love what you're doing,' " Dinwiddie said in a telephone interview. She was a signer of the 1990s statement, which declares that the use of force is justified.


"I don't think he was murdered. I believe he was absolutely stopped in his tracks and it was long overdue," Dinwiddie said. She declined to say when she last spoke with Roeder.

Another person who signed the Defensive Action Statement, Dave Leach, also knew Roeder.

Dave Leach, a Des Moines antiabortion activist who also signed the statement, said Sunday night by telephone that he published some of Roeder's writings in "Prayer & Action News," which describes itself as "a trumpet call for the Armies of God to assemble.

"Leach described Roeder as "anti-government" and said he once stopped to see Roeder in Kansas. At the time, Leach said, he was on his way home to Iowa after paying a prison visit to Rachelle "Shelley" Shannon, an abortion foe convicted of shooting Tiller in both arms outside his Wichita clinic 16 years ago.

Leach said he lost touch with Roeder and does not recall the specifics of his writings.

The zealots who signed the Defensive Action statement are not the only extremists in the "pro-life" movement who stir up hate against doctors who provide legal abortion services to women. There is also Randall Terry and his Operation Rescue organization. Terry and his followers have used extreme, hate filled methods for years against abortion doctors. The Operation Rescue web site even had a special section where they documented Dr. Tiller's movements. According to a Daily Kos post today by Blue Intrigue, shortly after the news that Dr. Tiller had been murdered the information about him on the Operation Rescue website was suddenly inaccessible.

Operation Rescue has long maintained Tiller Watch, a section of their website devoted to keeping tabs on Dr. George Tiller, the abortion provider who was murdered today in Wichita. Shortly after the news of the murder was announced - and I mean within minutes - the link from Google to Tiller Watch returned a Forbidden 403 error. Other links referencing Tiller but not in the Tiller Watch directory also returned the 403 error. The front page of the site was still active but there were no links to anything about Tiller other than the statement on the front page regarding the murder. Thanks to Google cache, though, what Operation Rescue is trying to keep you from reading is still available.

Note: Since Blue Intrigue posted this diary you now get the 403 error for the entire Operation Rescue website, not just the Tiller information.

The Huffington Post has another piece up about Terry and his group that discusses his inappropriate press release after the murder of Dr. Tiller.

Randall Terry, the founder of anti-abortion group Operation Rescue who led protests against George Tiller's clinic in Wichita, Kansas in 1991, issued a statement about today's killing of the abortion doctor.

In his comments, Terry does not grieve for Tiller or denounce the murder but seems more concerned about President Obama's reaction and what it bodes for the pro-life movement.

In addition to Terry and the Defensive Action zealots there was also an extremist anti-abortion group that created old west style wanted posters for abortion doctors where once the doctors were murdered their names were crossed off the list. And sadly, there is a whole network of other extremist anti-abortion groups that encourage violence against abortion providers. These groups are quite simply home grown terrorists whose actions should be condemned by all law abiding citizens regardless of their views about abortion.

While I believe that most pro-life supporters don't support murdering abortion doctors they can't entirely escape responsibility for these crimes when they continue to use or allow to be used over-the-top rhetoric calling these doctors murderers. That kind of over-heated language helps contribute to the atmosphere of hate which in turn encourages these murderous anti-abortion zealots to take the law into their own hands. Every time these zealots see a sign at a pro-life rally calling these doctors murderers they are more convinced than ever that they are right.

Legitimate pro-life supporters must actively take steps to help eliminate these home grown terrorist groups who twist the bible in order to justify their violence just like the Muslim terrorists twist the Koran to support their murderous deeds. Pro-life activists must make it clear that they view these violent zealots for what they are - terrorists. They must strongly denounce them and their methods in order to help disrupt their ability to recruit others to their murderous cause. Saying you are against the murder of doctors after a doctor has been murdered is too little, too late. The pro-life movement must finally accept that these violent extremists are part of their movement whether they like it or not and that it's in the best interest of everyone (including the pro-life movement) if they stop pretending that the pro-life movement has nothing to do with these people. It does.

If pro-life activists truly wish to distance themselves from these violent extremists they can't sit on the sidelines any longer leaving it to everyone else to fight these groups. They can't continue to pretend that these violent extremists have nothing to do with them because they do. They must take responsibility for the most extreme members of their political movement and finally join with the rest of us to help end this reign of terror. They must stop thinking that if they join with the pro-choice movement to fight these extremists that it will somehow damage their pro-life movement. It won't, unless they consider murdering all doctors who provide abortion services helpful to their movement. They can't have it both ways. If they don't support the views of these people they need to do much more than just say we don't support murdering doctors, they need to really help fight these extremists.

Here are the self-identified anti-abortion terrorists who signed the Defensive Action Statement in support of violence against abortion providers.


 We, the undersigned, declare the justice of taking all godly action necessary to defend innocent human life including the use of force.  We proclaim that whatever force is legitimate to defend the life of a born child is legitimate to defend  the life of an unborn child. We assert that if Michael Griffin did in fact kill David Gunn, his use of lethal force was justifiable provided it was carried out for the purpose of defending the lives of unborn children. Therefore, he ought to be acquitted of the charges against him.
  Mike Bray  - Pastor, Reformation Lutheran Church, Bowie, Maryland
  C. Roy McMillan - Executive Director, Christian Action Group, Jackson, Mississippi
  Andrew Burnett - Director, Advocates for Life Ministries, Portland, Oregon
  Cathy Ramey - Associate Editor, Life Advocate Magazine, Portland, Oregon
  Matt Trewhella Pastor, Mercy Seat Christian Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  Paul J. Hill - Director, Defensive Action, Pensacola, Florida (executed Dec. 6, 1994 for the double murder of Dr. John Britton and his clinic escort, James Barrett)
  Paul deParrie - Author of Numerous Titles, Portland, Oregon
  Regina Dinwiddie - Christian Pro-Life Activist & Producer of Rescue Radio, MO and KS
  Michael Dodds - Leader of Wichita Rescue Movement, Kansas
  Henry Felisone - Director, Queens Pro-Life Group, Queens, New York
  Tony Piso - Pastor, Evangelical Mission Church, Forest Hill, New York
  Jacob Miller - Evangelist, Assembly of Yahweh & Pro-Life Activist, Tampa, Florida
  Dan Bray - Director, Defenders of the Defenders of Life, Bowie, Maryland
  David Crane-  Director, Rescue Virginia, Norfolk, VA
  Donald Spitz- Evangelist & Assistant Director for Rescue Virginia, Norfolk, Virginia
  Michael Jarecki - Ret. Pastor, Saint Mary's Church, Brushton, New York
  Bill Koehler - Director of Project Awareness, North Bergen, New Jersey
  Kenneth Arndt - Director, New Hampshire Rescue, Windham, New Hampshire
  Dave Leach - Editor, Prayer and Action Weekly News, Des Moines, Iowa
  Mike Walker - Leader in National Assoc. of Planned Parenthood Fighters, Alabama
  Thomas Carleton -  Catholic Priest, Presently Incarcerated in Billerica, Massachusetts
  Joseph F. O'Hara - Director, Wyoming Valley Rescue Group, Pennsylvania
  David Graham - Attorney at Law, Olathe, Kansas
  David Trosch - Catholic Priest, Publisher Justifiable Homicide Cartoon & President
  Life Enterprises Unlimited, Mobile, Alabama
 Dawn Stover -  Assistant Director, Advocates for Life Ministries, Portland, Oregon
 Mike Meyer - Chairman, Tri-State Rescue Committee, Cincinnati, Ohio
               David Craig -  Former Presby Pastor, Hope, Indiana 
 John Brockhoeft -  Author of "The Brockhoeft Report," incarcerated in Burlington, Kentucky

 Donna Bray - Co-Founder, Defenders of the Defenders of Life, Bowie, Maryland
 Media Consultant - Gary  McCullough; Publicist - Jerry McGlothlin
Update: The WSJ has a piece up with more biographical information on Scott Roeder.

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