Recently Rev. Wiley Drake endorsed the murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian by Army of God terrorist James Kopp. James Koop had killed the doctor in front of his family using a high-powered rifle for providing abortions. James Koop is the prime suspect in four other abortion related killings. The Army of God has a pattern of murders and bombings of abortion providers. Southern Baptist VP Rev. Wiley Drake signed a petition endorsing the actions of James Koop and has indicated his strong support of the Army of God.
Fredirick Clarkson noted the abortion exception to how American religious leaders, the media and the government responds to terrorists and terrorist groups like the Army of God.
Let's briefly look at the matter at hand: The Army of God has killed people and destroyed millions of dollars in property, but it is not listed as a domestic terrorism organization by the Department of Justice -- but "eco-terror" groups are. We hear a lot of media hype about the latter, but not much about the former. That said, the federal government's counter terrorism taskforce has thwarted several planned crimes and serial crimes against abortion providers, but with minimum fanfare. So even though these crimes are dealt with by the federal counter terrorism experts, (including the use of infiltrators and informants) antiabortion violence is not officially recognized as domestic terrorism.
Not persuaded? Here is more.
In the wake of 9/11 and the anthrax attacks against congress and media outlets; a convict named Clayton Waagner escaped from federal custody, posted a manifesto on the Army of God web site and threated to kill employees of abortion providers. Waagner made clear in his several internet postings that he had lists of clinic workers and would spare their lives if they quit their jobs. He stole weapons, robbed banks, hijacked and stole cars for months while on the lam and driving all over the country. He described himself as a terrorist. I covered his escapades for Salon.com. But there was little other national media coverage. Waagner was celebrated by AOG leaders, and soon, Waagner fed-exed threatening letters in the name of the Army of God to hundreds of clincs and abortion rights organizations. Each envelope contained white powder and said the person opening it had just been exposed to anthrax. In the post 9/11, post real anthrax attacks period, the responses were dramatic as people were sometimes forced by first responsers to strip and be sprayed with bleach, among other indignities, and police, fire and hazmat resources were moblized on massive scales, closing down several city blocks in some places.
Waagner today is a an AOG "Hero of the Faith," just like James Kopp....
Would it be OK for the U.S. Congress to turn a blind eye to a member who endorsed the assasination of an American citizen and was involved in any way with a member of a domestic terror organzation? Would it be OK for a labor leader to endorse a murder of the management of a company, and be invovled in a domestic terror organization? (Wouldn't say, the United Auto Workers investigate the matter immediately and publicly distance themselves and call for his resignation? Don't we think the media would be all over it?) Would it be OK for an elected national feminist leader to endorse the murder of an anti-feminist and be publicly associated with a domestic terror organization?
I'll conclude by asking by what standard does the Southern Baptist Convention get to ignore the endorsement of domestic terrorism by one of its national officers? And by what standard of news judgement does the national media ignore the story? And what is it about all this that even the blogosphere (with a few notable exceptions) has not jumped on this?