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Since the city-wide manhunt and apprehension of Boston Marathon bombing suspect 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, government officials and the media have exhibited a troubling tendency to cast Tsarnaev's alleged crimes in military terms.

Commentators have called the bomb Tasrnaev is accused of planting an IED.

A handful of Senators wanted Tsarnaev declared an "enemy combatant" and tried by military commission. Obama deserves credit for not caving and for charging Tsarnaev in civilian federal court, but loses credit for invoking a distorted version of the "public safety exception" in questioning Tsarnaev without reading him his Miranda rights.

Then, the Justice Department charged Tsarnaev with using a "Weapon of Mass Destruction," a crime with a legal defintion so broad that almost any bomb, grenade, mine, or explosive would count. The term "Weapon of Mass Destruction" is ill-defined, inflammatory and prejudicial (See the Iraq War). The FBI's Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, established in 2006, is focused not on bombs but on "nuclear, radiological, biological, or chemical weapons." The definition of "Weapon of Mass Destruction" has caused so much debate that, in 2012, the National Defense University published an entire study on the meaning of the term.

Almost every media outlet and the government immediately called the Boston bombing suspects terrorists, despite the fact that we still know next to nothing about what motivated their actions, the key element in the legal definition of terrorism. Glenn Greenwald hits the nail on the head:

It's certainly possible that it will turn out that, if they are guilty, their prime motive was political or religious. But it's also certainly possible that it wasn't: that it was some combination of mental illness, societal alienation, or other form of internal instability and rage that is apolitical in nature.
It seems that we have been itching to make Tsarnaev the part of some international, terrorist conspiracy - the best we could come up with is that he immigrated to the U.S. as a child. However, despite the frantic attempts to shoehorn Tsarnaev into some terrorist paradigm (almost every media report mentions that he is Muslim and was "radicalized"), the facts fail to support that narrative. Here's what has been attributed to Tsarnaev:
He said that he knew of no other plots and that he and his brother had acted alone, and he said he knew of no more bombs that had not been detonated.

Pulling words from military lexicon like  "Weapons of Mass Destruction," "IEDs," and "enemy combatant," the message is that this crime is somehow not one that the civilian justice system can handle. When we make war terms like "enemy combatant" and "Weapon of Mass Destruction" part of our daily vernacular, they lose their wartime association, and suddenly a whole host of crimes can become acts of war. The dangers of a permanent state of war on domestic soil are obvious.

Even the most stalwart civil libertarians will recognize that the President possesses wartime powers. If murders like the ones Tsarnaev is accused of become "acts of war," then the President has a reason to invoke war powers. (Several Senators specifically encouraged the President to use his powers under "the law of war").

The powers presidents have invoked using war as a justification include removal of Habeas Corpus, torture, assassination, and warrantless searches - all used against American citizens. The justification is always that war is a unique, dire circumstance that temporarily gives the president extra powers.

In the Boston bombing case, there is aboslutely no evidence that Tsarnaev and his brother were members of "Al Qaeda and associated forces," the only group with which the U.S. as a country is involved in an armed conflict authorized by Congress. If any one citizen - or group of citizens - can declare war on the U.S. by committing an especially violent crime, then the executive powers reserved for wartime become executive powers for use anytime. (Not to mention that, in war, the government's objective is to kill the enemy, certainly not a goal we want the government pursuing on domestic soil.)

Greenwald posits the likely explanation for fighting to make Tsarnaev a "terrorist:"

It's hard not to suspect that the only thing distinguishing the Boston attack from Tucson, Aurora, Sandy Hook and Columbine . . . is that the accused Boston attackers are Muslim and the other perpetrators are not. As usual, what terrorism really means in American discourse - its operational meaning - is: violence by Muslims against Americans and their allies.
The Senators demanding that Tsarnaev be treated as some "enemy combatant" did warn about "the threat from radical Islam." Pause to consider exactly what face to put on a terrorist threat from an entire religion.

Obama deserves credit for trying Tsarnaev in federal court, but we should consider the implications of using military terms to describe crimes committed on domestic soil by ordinary criminals. We've become far too casual in our rushed invocation of scary-sounding war words. It delegitimizes actual war crimes to bandy about military jargon when describing criminals. It wrongly elevates criminals to military aggressors. And, it creates a culture of fear that invariably leads to erosion of constitutional rights with no added security.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (121+ / 0-)

    My book, TRAITOR: THE WHISTLEBLOWER & THE "AMERICAN TALIBAN," is Amazon's #1 Best Seller in Human Rights Books for February 2012.

    by Jesselyn Radack on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:41:45 AM PDT

  •  He's a criminal as all terrorists are (39+ / 0-)

    He was charged and will be treated as a criminal. Sometimes criticism is either too hasty or too rote.

    He has counsel. He is entitled to a fair trial. He has not been labelled an enemy combatant as certain Senators wanted.

    He's not a super villain or some poor schlub. He's committed crimes in the state of Massachusetts - he must answer for them.

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:58:12 AM PDT

  •  The WMD statute predates the war on terra. (15+ / 0-)

    It's from 1994. (see, eg, Wikipediaand the bill text)

    It certainly fits the crime at hand, although I wouldn't have any objection to renaming it so as to negate the subsequent association w/ Iraq and the war on terra.  In the grand scheme of things it seems like pretty small beer, but no harm on embarking on a mission to get the terms renamed even if it is pretty quixotic.

  •  I'm pretty sure (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fladem, BlackSheep1, erush1345

    the victims of the bombing were terrorized.

    Obama 2012 http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

    by jiffypop on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:18:53 AM PDT

  •  Diarist makes excellent points. (12+ / 0-)

    However, she states:


    "The dangers of a permanent state of war on domestic soil are obvious."
    I don't think they are obvious. We have not done a good enough job at explaining why it is bad for the Government to use wartime powers on home soil against US citizens.

    But here's a way to wake people up. Remember when HSBC was caught laundering money for terrorists? We should demand that the US executives in charge of these activities be charged with Treason.  We should picket their offices (and HSBC branches) with signs that say "TRAITORS".

    Since "Corporations are People", let's go for the death penalty...

    Seriously, though. Once white-collar executives start getting Guantanamo'ed, there will be calls to restore civil liberties. We don't even have to get them arrested, we just need to make the demands loud enough that they think they might be arrested.

    •  George W. Bush made it perfectly clear (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dadoodaman, AoT

      when he said "we'll fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here".  

      Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

      by PsychoSavannah on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:34:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He also said: "If you're not with us, then you're (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marina

        with the Terrorists."

        So with that broad stroke he painted any opposition to his war "terrorists."

        Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
        I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
        —Spike Milligan

        by polecat on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:44:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Course they had to call em terrorists... (6+ / 0-)

    Because that was the meme that the Right Wing wanted from the instant it happened.

    Funny how they covered their bases on that.  If it had been white guys, it woulda been "A Government Conspiracy", but since it was guys who can be linked to the next war...

    I mean, Chechnya's CLOSE to Iraq... which is close to Iran...

    therefore Terrorists.

    /snark

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:25:17 AM PDT

    •  Uh... It Was White Guys n/t (6+ / 0-)

      Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

      by TooFolkGR on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:35:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope! They lost "White Guy" privilege! (8+ / 0-)

        The instant they became "evil immigrant foreigner bad people!"

        /snark

        I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

        by detroitmechworks on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:39:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Persians, Turks, Arabs are all white (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Be Skeptical

          like Chechnyans. The Middle East is where the notion of "whiteness" hits a wall of ambiguity.

          I never liked you and I always will.

          by Ray Blake on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:40:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, they aren't (0+ / 0-)

            If 'White' as a category was biological then you might be right, but it's a social category and Persians, Arabs, and Turks are definitely not White.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:16:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Racially, they're white. (0+ / 0-)

              Every bit as much as Chechnyans. What race do you imagine Persians to be, for example?

              I never liked you and I always will.

              by Ray Blake on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:50:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is no such thing a "Racially" (0+ / 0-)

                Other than in regards to what's socially accepted.

                "What race do you imagine Persians to be, for example?"

                Not white. I'd bet Semitic would probably cover them. And before you say it, no, it doesn't matter that they aren't genetically related to other semitic races. That's not how race works. Race is not based on biology.

                If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                by AoT on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 04:01:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Persians aren't a semitic group. (0+ / 0-)

                  They speak Farsi. So you're saying language is what determines "whiteness"? How about Israelis? They're mostly a semitic language group. Are they white?

                  I never liked you and I always will.

                  by Ray Blake on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 04:33:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Some Jews are white (0+ / 0-)

                    Some are other races. Persians are middle eastern, which is not white. Race isn't some discrete thing that is genetic or makes sense at all, it's a social thing. We have socially constructed this idea of what race is and various people are excluded based on arbitrary criteria. Some times it is language, some times it's other things.

                    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                    by AoT on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:10:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So now you're saying Persians aren't white (0+ / 0-)

                      because of geography? You said before that they're not white, but rather semitic, which is untrue. You say Israelis are white, even though they are semitic. If race is arbitary and makes no sense, what criteria are you using to decide that Persians, Chechens and Turks aren't white? If Middle Eastern people aren't white, what are they?

                      I never liked you and I always will.

                      by Ray Blake on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:32:38 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  There are Israelis of different races (0+ / 0-)

                        Some are white some aren't.

                        What makes you say that Persians are white?

                        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                        by AoT on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:35:24 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You didn't answer the question. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Be Skeptical

                          If Middle Eastern people aren't white, what are they? Are semitic Israeli Jews not white, as well? Why not?

                          To answer your question, so-called "white people" are the result of centuries of related Eurasian migrations, wars and conquests, whether they're Persian, Bosnian, Italian, German, etc. The word Iranian derives from "Aryan", the Indo-European tribe that settled the region. Hitler tried to distinguish between his beloved blonde, blue-eyed Aryan race and the Aryans to the south and east. So it's ironic that identity politics rests on a principle of likewise cleaving Central Asian and Middle Eastern groups from white folks, while keeping eastern and southern Europe in the fold. From a historical standpoint, it's ludicrous, given that there's no alternate designated group, just the vague "brown people" tag. And yes, it's primarily white leftists making the distinction. This is "Orientalism" at its finest.

                          I never liked you and I always will.

                          by Ray Blake on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:29:45 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Here is what the US Census calls "white" (0+ / 0-)
                            White – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
                          •  Thanks, Be Skep. (0+ / 0-)

                            I should say that it's not just white lefties misusing "whiteness" to push a questionable agenda. White righties do likewise, for different reasons. My agenda is that I refuse to identify Middle Easterners, North Africans or Eurasians as "others", regardless of religion or language. The Boston bombings have foregrounded the racial and religious biases of both the left and right as it pertains to Chechnya and Dagestan.

                            David Sirota wrote a stupid article in Salon last week expressing his hope that the bombers would be white (wish granted) and non-Muslim (wish not granted). I sympathize with Muslims who would feel that way, because they're subject to collective blame from the media. But a white guy whining about "white privilege" is disingenous, because he's trying to assign a mirror-image, leftist form of collective blame, while simultaneously excusing himself from the stigma of "whiteness". What we should be doing is rebutting the demonization of Muslims and building solidarity between our communities.

                            I never liked you and I always will.

                            by Ray Blake on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:37:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Recognizing that middle easternerns (0+ / 0-)

                            Have been "othered" is not the same thing as separating them. When I say they aren't white I make no judgements about them as a group, what I am doing is recognizing a reality that exists. There is no such category as race beyond the social category. You ant to have the government definition be the true definition even though we know middle easterners are not seen as white by the majority of the country, and are treated as such. You've given no reason to consider them white except a declaration that they are. You treat whiteness as a real category and not as something that arises from social processes.

                             You seem to think that if we could only convince everyone that middle easterners are white the racism against them would go away. Of course, your whole discussion ignores the fact that you are bothering the eentire rest of the world. If anyone who isn't white is an other, as you seem to claim, then you're only slightly narrowing the scope of racism. You still. arebuying into a rhetoric that assumes whiteness is better and thus everyone should fight to be white and then racism will be over. That simply ignores how racism and race actually work.

                            Let me rephrase my previous question. What exactly do you think race is? Because you seem to think it's a real category, based on
                            some sort of shared history and culture, which would correspond to ethnicity.  

                            Sorry for the weird errors in this, I'm on my phone, ugh.
                            better

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 09:04:24 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You refuse yet again to answer any of my questions (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT

                            simply offering strawman arguments I haven't made. So, are Chechens white? If so, why not Persians/Iranians? Iranians consider themselves to be white by virtue of their Aryan/Caucasian ancestry. But in your construct, they're “not white” because allegedly the majority of Americans think they're not. It would be safer to say that most Americans know very little about Iran, Chechnya or the Middle East in general, so it's absurd to let their ignorance stand as your definition of “whiteness”.  Americans don't get to define who the Iranians are, that's their prerogative.

                            If you really believe race is a senseless, arbitary construct that has nothing to do with ethnolinguistic origins, then why insist on making narrow race–based definitions at all? I'll guess you're invested in an ideological paradigm ("whiteness") that prioritizes race as the lens through which to analyze social relations, rather than class struggle. This paradigm suits the rich just fine, because it renders social class and economic disparity as secondary concerns. To the extent that Democrats have embraced this ideology, they have served Wall St. elites and continued to alienate the white working class.    

                            I never liked you and I always will.

                            by Ray Blake on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 02:15:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  it would be completely safe to say (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Ray Blake

                            That Americans, generally speaking have no fucking clue what the difference between a Persian, Iranian, Muslim, and taereg, is. And let me be clear here, race is not the only lens through which I try to view race is the lens of those who are oppressed because of their race.  And the people who decide what race a given person is are the people who have racial power. We can't liberate people by insuring that they are identified as being the right race. We can only make people free by regognizing why other people oppress them. People from the middle east have been regularly attacked for the last three years or so on the east coast because they are an "other". That isn't because we haven't educated them enough, it's because the individuals we're dealing with are a lproblem.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 04:31:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Middle Easterners/Muslims have been under attack (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT

                            since 9/11 and stereotyped even earlier by Hollywood and the media. It's our obligation on the left to stand with them and refute the "terrorist" propaganda of ours and Israel's leadership. It has been a privilege for me to have many Iranian students over the past ten years, mostly recent emigres who oppose the current regime and were heartbroken by the failure of the Green Revolution in 2009–10.

                            Persians have a remarkable history and culture dating from 2800 BC, which is why I'm so vehemently against lumping them and other cultures into this undifferentiated bag of "brown people" so popular with guilty white academics. Iranians have no use for our stupid guilt, they're a proud people who mostly love American culture, particularly when we're not bombing the shit out of their Muslim brothers and sisters. BTW, Ahmadinejad is considered a jackass by educated Iranians, much like we felt about Bush (both stole elections as well). Whatever we can do to prevent Netanyahu and our neo-cons from goading  us into bombing Iran, we must begin now to put into practice.

                            I never liked you and I always will.

                            by Ray Blake on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 08:17:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I agree with you completely (0+ / 0-)

                            The problem I see is how we recognize the fact that they are the target of racism and discuss that fact while making sure to also recognize that not only do these various groups have long, varied, and interesting histories, they also aren't unitary societies where everyone agrees with everything. It's a hard balance and it's so important. The main issue I had is that we need to skip these reductive definitions of race that define it as something that's real versus something that's just a category we've made up.

                            Whatever we can do to prevent Netanyahu and our neo-cons from goading  us into bombing Iran, we must begin now to put into practice.
                            I agree 100%. It's one of the most important ideological fights right now. I'm just uncomfortable with using hard definitions of race to do that work.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:59:49 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  Caucasians. Literally. (8+ / 0-)

        However, they were Muslims, so being Caucasian doesn't count.

  •  Greenwald's spot-on, today, with his question... (15+ / 0-)

    ...in the headline of his column: "Why is Boston 'terrorism' but not Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tucson and Columbine?" It's also important to note the reason (he provides to support the legitimacy of the question) WHY he's spot-on: We simply don't know the answer yet!

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:25:32 AM PDT

    •  According to the terrorists, they were (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Smoh, jaywillie, Be Skeptical

      terrorists "defending" Islam, per CNN.

      “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

      by jeff in nyc on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:32:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  can you post a link to back that up? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobswern, middleagedhousewife
        •  yeah--this is just CNN (7+ / 0-)

          http://www.cnn.com/...

          Tsarnaev has conveyed to investigators that Tamerlan's motivation stemmed from jihadist thought and the idea that Islam is under attack, and jihadists need to fight back, the source said Monday.

          “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

          by jeff in nyc on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:38:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Greenwald (3+ / 0-)

            as usual will shape the facts to fit his argument.  He writes there was no evidence about the motive, but any review of the youtube video's proves he is wrong.

            The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

            by fladem on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:48:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's possible that the motivation info is new as (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              erush1345, middleagedhousewife

              of today, although obviously we've known about the elder brother's radical Islamist identification for most of a week.

              “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

              by jeff in nyc on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:50:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The Youtube (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jeff in nyc, erush1345, Be Skeptical

                stuff has been around since Thursday.

                To state there is "no evidence" is simply wrong.

                The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

                by fladem on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:53:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hmmm...let's see...you've got semantics and... (5+ / 0-)

                  ...(personal) ad homs about Greenwald to support your (vacuous) "argument" in support of....what, exactly?

                  "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                  by bobswern on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:09:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There is evidence of a motive (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    fladem

                    The problem is that the media refuses to look at the same sort of evidence in other cases. Like the Laughner case or the guy who went to an Unitarian church in Kentucky and shot it up.

                    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                    by AoT on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:02:22 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There is far more evidence that the older... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BradyB, aliasalias, marina

                      ...brother had many other issues in his life which--whether the guy would acknowledge it or not is almost secondary to the matter at hand--trumped his religious/political beliefs; and, those other issues sent him over the edge. Either way, there's nothing that we know about this case, so far, the confirms nor denies that this entire episode of "terrorism" was, in reality, more of a crime than a terror act. The greater truth, as Greenwald is the first to point it out, is that we just don't know for sure, one way or the other...even though it's all being quite heavily framed as an act of "terror."

                      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                      by bobswern on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:27:21 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Really this is nonsense (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Be Skeptical, AoT

                        Nothing?  The playlist is evidence.  Any court would find it relevant - and yes

                        Is it dispositive - not by itself.  But to say there is no evidence is simply and demonstrably not true.

                        The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

                        by fladem on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:54:22 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Really (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Be Skeptical, AoT

                    that is silly.

                    He said there is no evidence.  There clearly is.

                    It isn't actually debatable.

                    And it directly relevant to the point he was making.

                    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

                    by fladem on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:48:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  I would not put it by Greenwald to start to argue (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GoGoGoEverton, fladem

              that the individual in custody is being mistreated by the government and that there is no evidence linking him to the "crime" of setting off bombs to hurt or kill limitless individuals, and has so far killed three once living, breathing, once alive now gone people.

              As far as I am concerned if Greenwald said it is raining outside I would tend to believe it is a bright sunny day. He has no credibility with me.  

              As a political tool, I for one, like the terrorist label, for since these individuals had guns and were not licensed gun owners the Republicans who are so jingoistic in terms of stirring up public fear based on terrorism could be forced into a corner of having to take the blame for allowing guns to be sold without a background check.

              If Democrats were as savvy politically as Republicans they would make this a point of attack against those individuals who killed the gun bill last week.

              •  So... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cardboardurinal, BradyB, aliasalias

                ...besides the baseless straw men and ad hominems, you're just admitting that you want to label stuff as terrorism because you think that will allow you to better execute your political agenda?

                More or less proves Greenwald his point.

                •  Well, the fact that I like it as a political (0+ / 0-)

                  argument doesn't mean I don't have a reason for viewing the term terrorist as appropriate for these individuals....

                  He is asking why not refer to Sandy Hook as an act of terrorism? Or any other act seen as criminal as terrorism.

                  OK, well why not call a local mugging on the corner of Night and Lonely an act of terrorism? Or a breaking and entering and killing of a home owner as terrorism. Yes, why not classify every crime under the sun as terrorism? And then what?

                  I don't want to laugh out loud here, but let me just say that common criminals do not go out with bombs to maim and kill limitless people gathered to enjoy a sporting event.

                  Last time I checked, and tell me if I am wrong, common criminals do not meticulously plan to execute an act of violence on an entire city, or society, out of some idealized wish of being common criminals.

                  It has been reported that one of the individuals involved in the "crime" last week posted videos online extolling the virtues of Al Qaeda. I'm not sure common everyday criminals involve themselves in such an endeavor then go out and strategically plant bombs along a city street at a major international event to kill and hurt as many people as possible.

                  You are suggesting I have no reason for calling these individuals terrorists, but think how much lesser evidence you and Greenwald and the diarist have for opining that this was simply a crime.  

                  Even if he is assuming that there needs to be a full accounting of the evidence before individuals can begin to assume this was terrorism, he and the diarist are not waiting for such evidence before suggesting that this was a crime.

                  Unless Greenwald has specific evidence to accompany his suggestion that it is wrong to refer to these individuals as terrorists, he is simply not bringing anything but lofty "holier than thou" talk to the table, which is a position he enjoys reveling in.

                  •  ... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    marina, BradyB
                    He is asking why not refer to Sandy Hook as an act of terrorism? Or any other act seen as criminal as terrorism.

                    OK, well why not call a local mugging on the corner of Night and Lonely an act of terrorism? Or a breaking and entering and killing of a home owner as terrorism. Yes, why not classify every crime under the sun as terrorism? And then what?

                    You're completely missing the point. Greenwald is asking people to use consistent standards and to stop automatically labeling every attack by Muslims as terrorism. At no point is he advocating that those school shootings should have been classified as terrorism.
                    I don't want to laugh out loud here, but let me just say that common criminals do not go out with bombs to maim and kill limitless people gathered to enjoy a sporting event.

                    It has been reported that one of the individuals involved in the "crime" last week posted videos online extolling the virtues of Al Qaeda. I'm not sure common everyday criminals involve themselves in such an endeavor then go out and strategically plant bombs along a city street at a major international event to kill and hurt as many people as possible.

                    Yet, that is exactly what the Columbine killers did, go out to kill and maim people. Yet it wasn't classified as terrorism.
                    You are suggesting I have no reason for calling these individuals terrorists, but think how much lesser evidence you and Greenwald and the diarist have for opining that this was simply a crime.  

                    Even if he is assuming that there needs to be a full accounting of the evidence before individuals can begin to assume this was terrorism, he and the diarist are not waiting for such evidence before suggesting that this was a crime.

                    Of course this is a crime.

                    How the hell is this not a crime?

                    Unless Greenwald has specific evidence to accompany his suggestion that it is wrong to refer to these individuals as terrorists, he is simply not bringing anything but lofty "holier than thou" talk to the table, which is a position he enjoys reveling in.
                    More ad hominems, nice.
                    •  Who says Columbine wasn't characterized as (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AoT

                      terrorism? Many including national news publications have called the Columbine event terrorism. The individual involved in columbine wrote a manifesto declaring his willingness to kill as many people as possible including as a group Christians.

                      And here is an article by a paper in Boston, the Boston Globe, referring to Columbine as a terrorist act:

                      A State Police report in 2003 warned that the Marathon could be a “possible prime terrorist target” because it ­involves such a large number of runners and spectators, draws a live worldwide television audience, coincides with the Patriots Day holiday in ­Boston, and is shortly before the anniversaries of two other terrorist attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19 and the Columbine High School shooting on April 20.
                      http://www.bostonglobe.com/...

                      In terms of what occurred in Boston being a crime...of course it is a crime, but unlike Greenwald, yourself, and the diarist, I believe it was also an act of terrorism....

                      You all are promoting the idea that it was just a criminal act, not to be associated with terrorism, this is where we differ. I thought you understood this.  

                •  What is baseless (0+ / 0-)

                  and ad hominem?

                  He made a material misstatement of fact directly relevant to the argument he was making.

                  The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

                  by fladem on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:49:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  These (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    BradyB

                    Straw man:

                    I would not put it by Greenwald to start to argue that the individual in custody is being mistreated by the government and that there is no evidence linking him to the "crime" of setting off bombs.
                    Ad hominem:
                    As far as I am concerned if Greenwald said it is raining outside I would tend to believe it is a bright sunny day. He has no credibility with me.  
            •  Watching youtube video (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cardboardurinal

              isn't a crime. Nor evidence of anything.

              •  Why wouldn't it be evidence of something? My (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Be Skeptical

                youtube watching is indicative of a lot of things. It's not evidence in the legal sense, but it is evidence of one's interests, is it not?

                “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

                by jeff in nyc on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:19:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Really (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Be Skeptical

                this is silly.  The list of video's on the playlist HE created give evidence as to motive.

                It is dispostive? No.  But it is damn relevant and any judge would find it under FRE 40.1

                The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

                by fladem on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:51:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  this is all according to "the government source" (4+ / 0-)
            The preliminary interviews with Tsarnaev suggest the two brothers fit the classification of self-radicalized jihadists, the government source said.
            (emphasis added)

            also

            The government source cautioned that the interviews were preliminary, and that Tsarnaev's account needs to be checked out and followed up on by investigators.
            (emphasis added)

            There is a large amount of spin on those words from "the government source" and CNN would never parrot government talking points.

            •  More from WP (0+ / 0-)

              http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

              The 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack, according to U.S. officials familiar with the interviews.

              “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

              by jeff in nyc on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:47:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Well, ok, but given the legal def of terrorism (13+ / 0-)

            which Jesselyn posted above, how does what they did fit with
            (B) appear to be intended—
            (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
            (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
            (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping;

            What policy were they trying to influence?  What actions did they demand the government or civilian population take to prevent further terrorism?

            Personally, given that they never took credit until little brother was caught; given that they never demanded anything (i.e. release Chechen political prisoner X, or Islamic prisoner Y, or get out of Afghanistan now, or stop being pissy about Mosques being constructed at ground zero, or quit blaming Muslims for anything you don't like, or I want American Capitalism to fall on its face, or anything at all), I'm not seeing coercion or  influence.  I'm seeing their actions as murder, mayhem and generalized sociopathic behavior.  

            Simply stating "murder because Islam" has all the meaning of "murder because Batman" or "murder because Jesus" to me.  There's no substance.  Maybe Older Brother would have made a better case for terrorism than Little Brother, had he survived.  I'm not convinced Little Brother was into any cause other than murder and mayhem because nothing better to do on a Monday afternoon.  Of course, maybe more information will convince me otherwise.

            "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

            by middleagedhousewife on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:12:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well, that's neither necessary nor sufficient (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PsychoSavannah, AoT

            for it to be terrorism, but it helps.  The main thing Greenwald is overlooking is that the primary purpose of the terrorism statute is for conspiracy liability -- they presuppose a violation of other crimes, but one can conspire to violate the terrorism statute more easily.  In other words, these things weren't terrorism because they didn't have to be.

            I think the fact that it was a shrapnel bomb at the Boston Marathon adequately does it, though.  They allegedly tried to kill a lot of people at a time when they were congregated most peacefully, which fits in the statute JR quoted above.  They don't need the political motivation for it to be terrorism, definitionally, and not all political violence is terrorism if it doesn't "appear intended" to alter government policy.  (I don't see from Tsarnaev's statement any sense that there was an attempt to change government policy, so the the second and third prongs of the statute wouldn't be applied).

            Because Tucson was an assassination attempt on the Congresswoman (and successful assassination of a Judge), I think it fits better than some of the other mass shootings.  Do the mass shootings change one's sense of safety in the same way?  There's a symbolic aspect of the Boston marathon bombing, OKC, the WTC bombings and 9/11, and the attack on the IRS building in Austin that might not be there in the single-shootings, just the usual statistical risk of random violence.  Maybe in the school case, that applies, but none of the school shooters seem to ever live to face charges.  The abortion clinic bombings are clearly intended to change public policy, so they fit as well.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:23:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ... (0+ / 0-)
              I think the fact that it was a shrapnel bomb at the Boston Marathon adequately does it, though.
               Why? There is nothing in the official definitions about the usage of specific weapons.
              They allegedly tried to kill a lot of people at a time when they were congregated most peacefully, which fits in the statute JR quoted above.  
              No different from school shootings...
              There's a symbolic aspect of the Boston marathon bombing, OKC, the WTC bombings and 9/11, and the attack on the IRS building in Austin that might not be there in the single-shootings, just the usual statistical risk of random violence.
              What symbolic aspect? The only difference is the media framing.
            •  The attacks on the Sikh temple (5+ / 0-)

              and the attack on the UU church in Kentucky both spring to mind as examples of the media's refusal to call certain things terrorism. I think the Aurora shootings would fall into under intimidation and probably terrorism by the broad definition in the statute. The breadth of the statute is a real problem in my eyes. It lets them call a broad swath of actions terrorism and treat those responsible differently.

              The most successful act of terrorism, as defined under the statute, that I know of is the Brooks Brothers Riot. It probably swung the election in 2000. And now it's all but forgotten.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:08:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yes, i overlooked those. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, middleagedhousewife

                about a decade ago, there were a series of African-American church bombings in the South.  I think those would have qualified, but I couldn't find anything on how they were ultimately charged. (I think they caught the parties responsible, but that may have also been a West Wing episode.)

                The Brooks Brothers riot, I'm not sure fit the first prerequisite, the violation of a federal criminal law.  The fact that Miami-Dade was so far behind in counting its ballots as a result of the riots made it slightly easier for the Supreme Court to issue a stay, but I think it would have done so anyway, since all counties would have had to complete the ballot count under the new standards the Florida Supreme Court put forth, by the Dec. whatever deadline.  It didn't help, but the felon purge, butterfly ballot, and Nader campaign were all bigger problems.

                Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                by Loge on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:18:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think the church burnings ended up (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Loge

                  being some idiot college kids who weren't racially motivated and it was a coincidence that most of the churches were black churches. Although I could be remembering a different incident.

                  And it doesn't have to be a federal law broken under the terrorism statute, it can also be a state law. Given that I think it would fall under the statute. And when they did a recount after the fact they found that it would have swung the election if they had been allowed to finish and hadn't been interrupted. That along with the voter purge were the two main causes. The butterfly ballot and Nader were not in the same league, although did have some effect clearly.

                  If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                  by AoT on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:58:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I thought it was Gore would have won (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT

                    if they did the statewide recount, but under just the counties he asked for, he wouldn't have won, so Miami-Dade would have helped Gore, but not enough.  This was the Miami Herald counting after the fact; who knows how the actual commissioners would have done under time pressure.  

                    I forgot the "of any state" part, you're right, but I'm still not convinced it would work.  Individuals who followed the commissioners into the elevator, maybe assault, but the staffers outside chanting?  The statute's too broad, but it's not unlimited.

                    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                    by Loge on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:04:56 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I would say that it (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Loge

                      definitely "Appears intended to intimidate".

                      The incredible breadth of that phrase is really what the issue should be here. Because of that anyone who is Muslim really is a terrorist if they do these things even if they aren't intending to be because the general public and the media see all Muslims as terrorists and see their actions as intending to intimidate. Their actual intentions do not in fact matter at all under the statute. What it boils down to is that if it seems like terrorism it is.

                      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                      by AoT on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:19:10 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Potter Stewart lives on (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        AoT

                        '"I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it[.]"  

                        I see that language as a way of getting at an objectively reasonable test, but it's not evident that's the case.  At the very least, I think the scope should be limited to crimes of violence consisting of risks of serious bodily injury or death.  I'd argue that's implicitly in the standard by the operation of the three enumerated examples.

                        The civil libertarian side has a philosophical conundrum when faced with this statute:  point out the statute's breadth to mobilize political opposition, or argue for any conceivable internal limitations, to build a record to justify a narrow construction in the event one is defending a client charged under it?  The ACLU may well regret someday arguing that a statutory power "potentially could" be interpreted by a future administration to cover x,y,z, in the event the future President  takes them up on the invitation.  There goes any possible statutory defense.  Not that they're wrong, per se, about breadth, but I'd recommend approaching it as, "we know the statute isn't supposed to do x,y,z, but to remove all doubt, however unreasonable, why don't we change these three words to make it absolutely clear even to the most idiotic of idiots."  

                        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                        by Loge on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:25:20 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  So, the elder Tsarnaev speaks from the grave? (5+ / 0-)

        CNN's coverage of this story has been among the very worst of all media outlets. Furthermore, based upon yesterday's released transcript of what transpired in the younger Tsarnaev's hospital room, I find this comment even more incredulous. The bottom line is an attorney has been appointed by the court to represent Tsarnaev. He can't speak. We only know of him writing ONE word: "No," as far as yesterday's commentary was concerned. And, everything else is unsubstantiated hearsay. Furthermore, the fact that Tsarnaev is NOT being prosecuted as an enemy combatant would appear to at least partially contradict CNN's unsubstantiated comment. (And, I still don't see a link to this to substantiate it.) That being said, the real bottom line is: We don't know what we don't know, as even Greenwald acknowledges that as being the over-arching reality. So, it'd appear that some Kossacks are focusing upon  unsubstantiated memes at this point...which would be par for the course. Once we have a verified response to this from the defendant, that's all that's needed. And, it's a non-issue.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:21:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dude, of course all this is provisional and (0+ / 0-)

          of course it may turn out not to be true. That's is always already the case everywhere. Must I append such a caveat to everything?

          “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

          by jeff in nyc on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:25:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Frankly, the entire framing of this event as... (15+ / 0-)

          ...being about a follower (the older Tsarnaev brother) of radicalized Islam (at least partially) belies the greater realities that this may have been as much, if not moreso, about an individual's rage, frustration, and the general sociopathic nature of someone (the older Tsarnaev) who's life in the U.S. was a mess and he "cracked." Period. More in line with the behavior of hundreds of stories we read about in this country, every year, relating to generalized sociopathic behavior it seems! (And, the younger brother being a follower along for the proverbial ride.) If we want to make a comparison--based upon the superficial facts as they've been presented to the public to date--there IS a strong argument to be made for this inconvenient reality (one that doesn't fit in with the military-industrial complex's view, unfortunately for them), with politics being NO EXCUSE for any of these sociopaths' actions, but, perhaps secondary to the greater truth that, indeed, the older Tsarnaev was--as his uncle described him--a "loser," albeit a sociopathic one...with all the political overtones relating to this story being embellishments to (in some instances, conveniently) obfuscate greater truths. Again: WE JUST DON'T KNOW, and we may never know the greater, twisted realities of this story!

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:35:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it seems to me the question to be asking is (6+ / 0-)

            (and Im sure it is being asked in that hospital room)

            What was the point?

            Beyond the background mindset of the older dead brother and the apparently more recent mindset of the younger brother, who it seems got suckered into or whatever)...  B#1 was Muslim and "self-radicalized", B#2 maybe less so (we still dont really know yet but I havent seen "evidence" to that effect on him), they're both immigrants/refugees?, they're both I dunno alienated and whatever... all these speculations as to where were they coming from...  and we can keep asking all those questions, but ... bottom line, WHY bomb the finish line of the Boston marathon on Patriot's Day beyond the obvious goal of killing and maiming people?

            If it was - per the definition of "terrorism" - to make some kind of political (or social?) point ... WHAT WAS IT?

            If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

            by Lady Libertine on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:50:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sure (0+ / 0-)

            that everyone who's committed terroristic act are alienated from society, and probably have many of the same frustrations and sociopathic nature. That does not make them any less of a terrorist. Some are just smarter at avoiding detection.

            47 is the new 51!

            by nickrud on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:14:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Neither does the act of committing violence, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bobswern, BradyB

              or being religious, or even a religious extremist make you a terrorist.

              Terrorism requires goals and an effort to influence a government or a society.

              What was the goal? And were was their list of demands?

              •  I don't think they had any. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bobswern

                I think Tamerlan was disaffected and turned to religion and basically had a tantrum and it ended up in the extreme. He was able to persuade his brother and his mother and his girlfriend to convert or adopt more stringent adherence to what he believed. From all accounts he and little brother were normal students, and pot smokers. Then there is the triple murder, after Tamerlan gave up the college life of partying. He may have snapped, able to keep himself on simmer until he concocted a religious excuse bold enough to satisfy his guilt and we got the Boston Marathon Bombing.

                IANAP, but I think this is what happened.

                •  ... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bobswern, BradyB
                  I don't think they had any.  I think Tamerlan was disaffected and turned to religion and basically had a tantrum and it ended up in the extreme.
                  Exactly, and that's why it becomes hard to classify it under terrorism, and why people object to those words being thrown around so casually.

                  This isn't your run of the mill Irish terrorist for example, who is committing terrorism for a Irish reunification. Which is a very clear and distinct goal. Or Bin Laden who demanded the United States leave Saudi Arabia, stopped supporting Israel and stopped the aggression towards Iraq.

                  This case seems a lot less cut-and-dried and seems to point more to the kind of circumstances under which your average tragic spree shooting occurs.

                  At least as far as we know.

      •  I wonder how CNN came up with that (4+ / 0-)

        One of them is quite dead and the other is in the hospital in serious condition with a couple of bullet holes in him.

        I guess talking to the spirits of dead people constitutes "a credible source" at CNN.

        •  The answer to your question would be... (4+ / 0-)

          ...the same way that John King came up with the identity of "the bomber" being a "dark-skinned" or "brown-skinned" male, less than 48 hours after bombing..."based upon a very reliable source"....per my comments LINKED HERE about the greater reality that most/many initial "facts" reported regarding coverage of major events of this nature turn out to be false!

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:07:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  CNN was given the same press info (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Be Skeptical

          that NBC was given last night right before Rachel Maddow's show came on.  A "senior government official" released information about the questions being asked and the answers provided so far by the patient/prisoner/criminal.  They didn't make it up, they didn't pull it out of their ass.....it was given to them by the people doing the questioning.  You can believe it's inaccurate, or not.  

          Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

          by PsychoSavannah on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:03:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So, where is the link to the released info? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias

            (Not the reports about it.) People are discussing this up and down this thread, but I have yet to see a link to the defendant's testimony that confirms this claim. The reports I've read about his testimony cover the fact that (the only thing) he stated was he couldn't afford a lawyer; when he was asked by the judge he answered: "No." At which point the judge informed him that the court would be appointing a public defender on his behalf. Furthermore, the fact that the younger brother followed in his older brother's footsteps neither confirms nor denies the inconvenient reality that the real cause for the older brother's actions was that his life was a crumbling mess; and, as noted in a comment upthread, political references to the contrary were merely an excuse he was making for his self-destructive behavior. In fact, there's a very good chance we may never know the real motivations for the older Tsarnaev's actions.

            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

            by bobswern on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:40:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not testimony when cops/feds (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              are questioning a suspect.   Testimony happens at a trial.  He's not on trial in his hospital bed.  

              Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

              by PsychoSavannah on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:20:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  It's pretty terrorizing living in a country (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobswern, 417els

      with so many guns. But we're not about practical definitions.

  •  This is good news for George W. Bush (7+ / 0-)

    If any explosive device is now a WMD, then it turns out we did find WMD's in Iraq.

    Also, a water balloon is now a chemical weapon. H2O is a chemical.

    "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

    by nightsweat on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:34:18 AM PDT

  •  These guys are criminals. (14+ / 0-)

    Even if they are supported by Al Qaeda, they should still be treated like criminals.

    Why can't people understand that they want to be treated like "combatants" and "soldiers"? They want the publicity (isn't that how "terror" is generated?) and they want their cause to be respected as an equal to the United States.

    But we must not treat them like equals. They mustn't get Geneva Convention. They mustn't get military tribunals, or respect under the laws of war.

    What they should get is a cell in the local City Jail, next to the pimps, murderers, drug dealers, and muggers.

    We need to tell them: You are not special. Even if you want us to think you are. You're not a freedom fighter, not a jihadi, not a warrior, and you're damn sure not Tamerlane, the Sword of Islam. Your a f'n criminal.

    Go to jail.

  •  It Was an IED (17+ / 0-)
    Commentators have called the bomb Tasrnaev is accused of planting an IED.
    IED Means "Improvised Explosive Device." Tasrnaev took explosives and ball bearings and stuffed them in a pressure cooker.

    Now it MIGHT have been a pressure cooker from Presto's "Bomb-Making Signature Line," but I'm guessing it was just a regular Pressure Cooker.  

    How could you refer to that as anything but an improvised explosive device?

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:38:56 AM PDT

  •  What needs to happen, IMO, is that this kid (12+ / 0-)

    needs to be charged with murder.
    The murders of the MIT police officer, Sean Collins, and the three people killed on the day of the Boston marathon.
    And attempted murder.
    One count for each person in the bombing.
    One count for each of the injured police officers.
    One count for each person present during the shooting escapades in Watertwon.

    Separately, if need be.
    This was not some grand terror plot.
    This was conspiracy to commit murder. More than one murder, for motives best described as known only to the two men who made the bombs, set off the bombs, threw bombs at police, shot several policemen and tried to shoot many more.

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:49:26 AM PDT

  •  It's an IED pretty much by definition. (7+ / 0-)

    Being all three of the elements listed therein with the rights and privileges thereunto appertaining.

    Sorry, it's college graduation season.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:51:47 AM PDT

  •  How about trial by Massachusetts? (0+ / 0-)

    I am not enthusiastic about having the Federal government waging criminal prosecutions. The Justice Department expanded much when Ronald Reagan revved up the War on Drugs.
    This case may not be the best one to leave to the states, but let's consider.
    I prefer the Federal government's primary role to be a guardian of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:01:33 AM PDT

    •  He broke federal laws, just not state laws. (7+ / 0-)

      As a Massachusetts resident who happens to work in Copley Square, I support his being tried in federal court.  The fact that this took place on Massachusetts soil does not mean that residents of Massachusetts (or, narrowing it further, the city of Boston) are the only ones who have a say in where or how he is tried.  The Marathon is an international event.  The bombing affected people from all over the world.  If anything, that's almost an argument for moving his trial to an international criminal court, but that's unrealistic.

      The only reservation I have about a federal trial is that he may face the death penalty, which I oppose.  I would much rather see him spend the rest of his days in a Supermax prison with the rest of his ilk.

    •  Let both of them try him (0+ / 0-)

      They both have grounds to do so.

    •  ? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical
      I am not enthusiastic about having the Federal government waging criminal prosecutions.
      Then who should try people for for federal crimes?
    •  I said "let's consider" (0+ / 0-)

      I am not happy with the growth of Federal prosecutions since Ronald Reagan was elected. I took this discussion as an opportunity to bring that up. I was asking a question.
      Is Federal law enforcement more discretionary than that of states? I have the impression it is. Example: Strom Thurmond amended a civil rights bill to make it a Federal crime to cross state lines with the intent to incite riots. That law was used in 1968 against the Chicago 8. I have not heard of a case since then.

      Censorship is rogue government.

      by scott5js on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:41:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not the same at all.... AT. ALL. (10+ / 0-)

    That argument is such a fucking lie

    It's hard not to suspect that the only thing distinguishing the Boston attack from Tucson, Aurora, Sandy Hook and Columbine
    Using anti-personnel shrapnel bombs planted at a major public event is NOTHING like a mass shooting.

    Columbine was about some imagined slight, some teen-angst-gone-wrong revenge fantasy.  

    Sandy Hook and Aurora are the work of disassociated mentally ill perpetrators.  I mean, WTF?  The Aurora shooter was under psychiatric care (by someone who thought we was about to harm people) and thought he was the fucking JOKER!

    Tucson, mental health questions aside, was an assassination attempt.  Giffords was the primary target and he sought her out and shot her point-blank in the head.  He then starting shooting the people around him.

    Shame on you on trying to equate a planned and executed public bombing designed to MAIM to these things.  Why not try to shrink it down to the level of a serial rapist or the BTK killer?

    The obvious analogy to McVeigh has validity... this is nonsensical tripe.

    For fuck's sake... these diaries are an embarrassment.  This kind of logic certainly answers questions about why the diarists bogus lawsuit against the DOJ got dismissed.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:09:28 AM PDT

  •  Treat murderers as murderers. (4+ / 0-)

    I think this whole feeding frenzy about "terrorism" merely gives these narcissistic jihadi types something to aspire to.  Treat them as the common murdering scum they are, and bombing civilians suddenly becomes a lot less glamorous.

  •  I'd argue the opposite (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimball, Ray Pensador, aliasalias

    The issue isn't whether terrorism defines a crime.  The issue is why this crime is so different that it's not treated like any other capital offense.  And why Aurora and Sandy Hook, which are "stochastic terrorism" treated differently from acts such as the Marathon bombing?  The right wing used propaganda designed to shake their nuts loose and commit random acts: that's why guns are so important to them; it takes time to plan a bombing.)

    •  easy... (3+ / 0-)

      If the shooters at Sandy Hook or Aurora were Muslim... That's terrorism.

      Freedom isn't free. So quit whining and pay your taxes.

      by walk2live on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:05:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not that easy (0+ / 0-)

        Fort Hood shootings were done by a Muslim. He has not been charged with terrorism.

        •  I just mean in the media... (0+ / 0-)

          and being a bit cynical as well.

          I'm not sure how you'd charge someone with "terrorism" anyway - it's a pretty squishy term. If someone is stalking their ex-spouse and leaving dead bunnies in their kitchen... the purpose is to terrorize them, so are they terrorists? Most schoolyard bullies operate by instilling a sense of fear/terror in their victims... are they terrorists? Or are they only terrorists if they start killing people? Are glitter-bombers terrorists because they have a political agenda?...

          Freedom isn't free. So quit whining and pay your taxes.

          by walk2live on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:05:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  He arguably could be (0+ / 0-)

          as he consulted with a radical Islamic cleric whether it was OK for him to kill American soldiers.  I don't know if he asked him if it was OK to kill them if they were all unarmed.

    •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

      How were Aurora and Sandy Hook "Stochastic terrorism?"
      There was no use of mass media that I know of.

      •  The other way around (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Dr Swig Mcjigger

        The RW noise machine keeps on blasting out apocalyptic images of the United Nations coming in black helicopters to take our guns and impose the new world order.

        This could easily push someone who is mentally unstable and inclined toward this ideology to go over the edge, which is the intent.  It is a strategy that sits just this side of inciting violence.  The RW has been good at this for decades.

        No, not all the high profile shootings are stochastic terrorism; Columbine appears to be screwed up kids who had easy access to guns, and Aurora involved someone who just got unglued (and was able to get guns); there is no indication that teabagger propaganda set them off.  The Giffords shooting and Sandy Hook, on the other hand, involved people who were on the wavelength of the fanatics.

  •  Hey Daily Kos: Here's some context on the junk (3+ / 5-)

    the diarist and ::all hail:: Moral Lord Glenn Greenwald did post-bombing.

    Glenn posted this via Guardian ONE DAY after the bombing:

    It's just like Yemen.

    The widespread compassion for yesterday's victims and the intense anger over the attacks was obviously authentic and thus good to witness. But it was really hard not to find oneself wishing that just a fraction of that compassion and anger be devoted to attacks that the US perpetrates rather than suffers. These are exactly the kinds of horrific, civilian-slaughtering attacks that the US has been bringing to countries in the Muslim world over and over and over again for the last decade, with very little attention paid.
    emphasis mine

    Bull.shit. When our soldiers went haywire and tortured or disrespected people, the dead, or mere printed words on a book, we fell over ourselves apologizing and there were international scandals. Setting off IED's in a crowd of INTERNATIONAL, CIVILIAN runners/spectators is NOT the same thing, Glenn. Take advantage of a tragedy to drive home your agenda much?

    The diarist's entries the week of:

    Haha Surveillance State! Look at all the dead people! Told ya!

    Would it be OK to 'drone' Watertown for the missing bomber? Of course, because all those cops, ATF and FBI agents available and shutting the town down is the same thing as inaccessible badlands of Yemen and Pakistan!

    Just so you know who you're reading on, the unfortunately-but-aptly-referred-to-at-times, "Wreck' list here at Daily Kos.

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:58:57 AM PDT

  •  no it isn't... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, PsychoSavannah
    The dangers of a permanent state of war on domestic soil are obvious.
    ...if such a thing occurs it will be a failure of calmly, rationally arguing civil libertarian values in the political arena. Certainly the media stirs up aimless, nonsensical frenzy within the public which may influence political action... but that would happen no matter the buzz-word they adopt. I find a focus upon these particular terms rather silly.

    They were IEDs, and WMDs, and this was, rather blatantly a terrorist act. Changing the name wouldn't change the nature of the thing.

    There certainly is an absurd double-standard concerning mass-murders in the public eye (as well-discussed in teacherken's earlier diary). I'd readily argue the Tucson shooting meets the "terrorism" label, and that other mass shootings could as readily be labeled "stochastic terrorism" as suggested above. But if you want to fix irrational policy, harping on definitions using this case as a backdrop seems counterproductive.

  •  The terrorization of non-white crime. (7+ / 0-)

    If they'd turned out to be teabaggers, the media would have instantly shifted gears to non-inflammatory coverage and Washington would be exclaiming about their intentions to "bring these criminals to justice."

    Democracy is a habit, not a circumstance.

    by Troubadour on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:21:45 AM PDT

    •  Exactly. (5+ / 0-)

      They'd be mass-murderers who set off a bomb.  Muslims are terrorists with IEDs.  I also love how an IED became a WMD.  IEDs for me were roadside small-scale amateur homemade explosives.  WMDs were capital-intensive products of a laboratory or factory, with international commodities (uranium, etc).  Now a IED = WMD, militarizing the American home soil.

      No word, of course, of how our imperial ventures abroad, our global militarism, has anything to do with bombings on our home soil.  Can't connect that militarism to the story, oh no!

  •  Thank you SO much. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lady Libertine, Ray Pensador

    I'm in the middle of writing a similar letter to my local editor.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:22:59 AM PDT

  •  It's mostly just the media... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cardboardurinal

    "terrorist" sounds more sexy - gets more clicks, more views, and sells more crap... it also gets politicians on TV so they can look tough.

    Call this guy a criminal, and it's too boring for 24/7 coverage.

    Anyway, I agree this is annoying.

    Freedom isn't free. So quit whining and pay your taxes.

    by walk2live on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:21:15 AM PDT

  •  If Religions are to blame (0+ / 0-)

    for their followers,

    I guess that means its the Pope's fault,

    McVeigh bombed Oklahoma City ...


    simple as A, B, C.

  •  Bombing Suspect Cites Islamic Extremist Beliefs (3+ / 0-)

    as Motive

    From todays NY Times

    NY Times story

    The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon attacks told federal agents that he and his late brother were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs but that they were not connected to any known terrorist groups
    It seems this is a fundamental fact to keep in mindwhen chatting about whether or not this is "terrorism."
  •  Spot on! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Damnit Janet, marsanges, KenBee

    This is a great diary.

    I think its crazy that they would call pressure-cooker bombs (basically a modified pipe-bomb) a WMD.

     Just like "terrorist", they are stretching the words to mean just about anything. And then make all those guilty of those stretched words to be exempt from the law.

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:09:37 AM PDT

  •  I wish I could recommend this a hundred times (0+ / 0-)

    The reaction to the Boston bombing highly worries me. Immediately they go to associate the perpetrators with Chechen religious fanatics. Without a shred of evidence. The images of SWAT teams swarming residential areas are hard to witness.

    We don't inherit the world from the past. We borrow it from the future.

    by minorityusa on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:12:37 AM PDT

  •  Choice of 'pressure' cooker bombs interesting. (0+ / 0-)

     I'm thinking that the motives for the crimes weren't totally about international terror, but more about the simmering personal misery of one young man who had been culturally programmed for a role as the oldest son in a family to be a dominant male, physically powerful and influential in his community.   High expectations for eventual wealth, success, and a large family.   Hard work and discipline didn't pay off in citizenship, prestige, or admiration.  
      There are a lot more young people prepared for success who are going to be frustrated in this current economy, under pressure from expectations by family and wives, and will "blow up" along the line.   We see it every day when workers 'go postal.'
     

    •  Is that why Al Qaeda recommends pressure cooker (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, beaky

      bombs?  To relieve simmering personal misery?

      •  No, they recommend, I am sure, all kinds of (0+ / 0-)

        different bombs.   I'm pointing out the irony that someone under a lot of pressure would select such.

        Still think it was personal issues he had with being a successful alpha male in a tribal society and frustration with not fitting in with American expectations.   If rigid religious propagandathat encouraged his sense of superiority  hadn't set him off, something else would have.  

        He was angry and wanted to hurt people, possibly commit suicide by cop.

        If he hadn't done this, he probably would have suicided his whole family.  

  •  Not swallowing the "terrorist" pill. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, KenBee, 417els

    The media insists that all things Islam are Evil.  That terrorism is a foreign intrusion.

    It's not.

    I'll tell you what terrorizes me.  Homegrown Terrorism:  White, angry men.  The Portland Police Dept.  Religious Extremists who insist  bombing abortion clinics is god's work.  My neighbor who is "packing 24/7" so he can be Jack Bauer.  Americans who insist that "teh gayz" are out to destroy Amerikkka.  People who support torture and drones.  People who scream, "drill here, drill now".  People who hate.  People who say my child is a burden to society simply because he is disabled.  People who hate public schools and seek to destroy them.  People who vote against schools.  Idiots who watch Fox and CNN.

    Those are the ones causing me real fear.  

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:33:10 AM PDT

    •  Who would you rather get on a bus with? (0+ / 0-)

      Ten Al Qaeda sympathizers or ten teapartiers?  Assume they are all "white."

    •  I take a broader look at terrorism... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marsanges, beaky

      As a tactic it's designed to terrorize people. It's been around for quite awhile...long before we even considered "Islamic terrorists."

      Our problem is not the use of the terms terrorists or terrorism, it's that we have a bias against Muslims in that regard...in the media, in our government, and in the populace to some extent.

      Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist, so was the Unabomber, and those who attacked the Sikh temple...so is this act by the Boston bombers.

      "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

      by valadon on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:23:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But we had no problem (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        valadon, Be Skeptical

        Calling McVeigh a terrorist. Why do people here have trouble with calling terrorist acts committed by Muslims terrorist?

        •  because since then (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          valadon, KenBee, Damnit Janet, 417els

          the reaction of society has become very different. Back then, it was a point of unspoken pride to not let terrorists like that determine the face of society. Kind of like the British or the Spanish reacted to their own internal terrorists not long ago. But in the US, it seems nowadays terrorists - even genuine ones - are serving, whether they want or not, as pawns for an interested drive towards an authoritarian reshaping of society. Hence a certain reluctance to have murderers called terrorists for their motivations is understandable. The consequences have changed.  

          that is my suggestion as an outside observer mind you.

          •  I think that's a good explanation (0+ / 0-)

            Marsanges, attitudes have changed since 1995 and certainly since 9/11.

            "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

            by valadon on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:25:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  it's our weakness that we didn't (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Damnit Janet, 417els

            when churches were bombed, houses, burned, miner's strikes settled by para military gun thugs, abortion clinics bombed, Indian peoples slaughtered...we have a long history of terrorism to deal with...probably why we are so late and clumsy to the task.
            And why the term terrorism is a useless term, where criminal is readily and obviously defined, terrorism definitions can easily be clouded by accusations of racism and hypocrisy and rendered less effective.

            It seems I remember Candidate Kerry advocating for treating the 911 suspects as criminals...so some of us have tried.

            This machine kills Fascists.

            by KenBee on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:50:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely. See above. :) (0+ / 0-)

            You just put things far more better than I do.

            "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

            by Damnit Janet on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:14:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Mass Murder, Terrorism (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        417els

        it's all the same, really.  Dead is dead.  What it's labeled isn't really going to bother those small children in Newtown, the little kids who at the day care in OKC.  When you hear gunfire, you don't ask, "hey, is this a madman, or a terrorist?"

        It's a term.  

        But I worry about all the things that have changed since the term "terrorism" has been used so much.  The war on terror...  

        I know the things I need to fear in my daily life.  But honestly, when I hear the word/term "terrorist, terror, terrorism" I feel like someone is trying to sway.  It feels more like a spin than a fact.  

        "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

        by Damnit Janet on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:14:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well I suppose (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Swig Mcjigger, Damnit Janet

          dead would be dead, and I don't expect that it would bother anyone who is dead, but it may have terrorized them before death or it may have incapacitated a whole community. There must be a reason that we use various terms for particular kinds of violence. This term seems appropriate to violence that can affect a lot of people.

          "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

          by valadon on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 01:15:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Valid and I agree (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not debating the personal and public.  I guess I'm just concerned about the political-propaganda use of the term "terrorism".  

            Thanks for the discussion.  I liked what you had to say.

            "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

            by Damnit Janet on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 07:47:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The use of the word 'terrorism' has come to mean (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Damnit Janet

          that a lot of people will be willing to throw our laws and claimed values right out the window.  THAT is what is most disturbing to me.

          After #2 was captured I heard a Sen. or Rep. say (forget who, there were so many obscene things being said by the wingers) that he thought the guy should be lynched right then & there in Boston.

          "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

          by 417els on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 08:10:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  So (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical, beaky

      People who attack an event with thousands of people with homemade bombs and who murder a policeman are not terrorists but people who sit at home  watching Piers Morgan are? Seriously, WTF?

  •  killing is not the object of war. (0+ / 0-)

    thats the only thing I might add to a truly good diary that deserves to be in the rec list for a long time.

    I dont know where this fantasy comes from that the object of war is killing "the enemy" whoever that may be. In fact, it is long since established - since Jomini and Clausewitz at the least - that war is "politics with other means": its object is to force the unwilling enemy to do or accept what the own side wants politically. NOT the creation of mass graves. Creation of mass graves may be necessary as a means to that end, but it is most certainly not what guides military strategy!

    In truth, even this fiction that the object of war is killing is simply and plainly a relapse into barbarity. Pre-civilized. That is what the people employing such terminology represent. A return to barbarity. Thats their vision for their country.  

  •  There is the question of intent (5+ / 0-)

    if Suspect #2, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, admits that he was motivated by our government's activity in Afghanistan and that he felt a solidarity with Islamic extremists, then it would certainly provide malice aforethought or an intent to terrorize. That doesn't mean that I think he should be treated as an enemy combatant. I think it's another case of domestic terrorism and a crime. I am glad he will be tried in a civilian court..to do otherwise is unconstitutional. It also doesn't mean that there was necessarily any foreign involvement or training.

    "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

    by valadon on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:46:25 AM PDT

  •  who knows (0+ / 0-)

    tsatsaev could end up in Gitmo. :-(

  •  what the label of "terrorism" really has become, (3+ / 0-)

    is a means used by the government to strip individuals of all rights they may have.

    Once you are declared a "terrorist," you are a nonperson. You don't have the right to free speech. You don't have the right to a trial in a court of law. You don't have the right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure. You can be imprisoned for years without charge, even executed without due process, at the whim of the authorities.

    It doesn't mean they'll kill you. But if they don't, it's not because they are forbidden from killing you by the Constitution, but because they find it more convenient not to kill you at the moment.

    People debate extensively over what the word means--what does it describe, exactly? But this is a red herring--in fact, it is not used as a description of a particular kind of behavior.

    Like the scarlet "A" of Hawthorne's novel, the word has no inherent meaning as a description of someone's actions. Its meaning is prescriptive: it prescribes the kind of behavior the community is expected to show towards people branded as  "terrorists."

    To call someone a terrorist is not to describe an act that person has committed; it's to declare "henceforth this person has no rights" and to exhort the populace to treat him/her accordingly, as a nonperson.

    And the populace has largely agreed with this use of the word. Once the authorities say someone is a terrorist, that person is instantly placed outside the pale, and most people immediately stop caring what happens to that person and whether the government is violating that person's rights--or even the rights of others--in the pursuit of the "terrorist."

    "Why was it OK for Obama to kill Anwar al-Awlaki without trial?" "Because he was inciting terrorism."

    "What if they torture him?" "Who cares, he's a terrorist."

    "Was it really justified to shut down an entire city and do door-to-door searches to catch two men?" "Yes, the government did what it had to do to catch the terrorists."

    This is a very dangerous state of affairs, for more and more people to accept that whoever the government calls a terrorist has no rights.

    In the future, and increasingly more often, those the 1% deems a threat to their interests will be called "terrorists." The "terrorists" will be tried and sentenced by the media in the court of public opinion. Then the government will do whatever it wants to those people, confident that the rest of the population won't bother their heads about the "terrorists".

    And eventually, the 1% will start using it to designate people you never imagined it would be used for. Environmental advocates. Political dissidents. Perhaps certain ethnic or cultural groups, or people of a certain sexual orientation, or certain religious groups. Any group at all.

    And then it will do whatever it wants to those groups, confident that the rest of America will ignore what it's doing. Because after all, those guys are "terrorists." So anything goes.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:41:52 PM PDT

  •  I agree it was not a "weapon of mass destruction" (0+ / 0-)

    however I do think of their bomb as an "IED."  One is a value loaded term from the politicians and the other is a descriptive term from the technicians and planners.  

    It is what it is.  

  •  To me the word terrorist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    417els

    is being used to dehumanize people who hold views that do not agree with our government when they go out and commit a crime.

    I watched a debate between a woman from the ACLU and a former justice department man. He argued passionatly tha we should have locked up this kid for months and basically torchered him until he confessed everything.

    Guess he missed the fact he can't currently talk.

    Truthfully the justice deaprtment guy was more frightening than the bomber.

    It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

    by PSWaterspirit on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:20:28 PM PDT

paradox, AggieDemocrat, BOHICA, jotter, teacherken, simaramis, CleverNickName, LEP, leftyboy666, Rachael7, gjohnsit, niemann, Heart of the Rockies, TheMomCat, SamSinister, susakinovember, whenwego, Janie, Loquatrix, taonow, psnyder, annan, minorityusa, ManhattanMan, lucid, roseeriter, Damnit Janet, Lilith, rapala, Bluesee, marina, jrooth, tle, greycat, Simplify, lotlizard, Sandino, peacestpete, Alan Arizona, esquimaux, detroitmechworks, Kingsmeg, 417els, cardboardurinal, KenBee, rhetoricus, triv33, joe shikspack, middleagedhousewife, Dianna, blueoregon, shaharazade, bstotts, NonnyO, One Pissed Off Liberal, Sapere aude, SpecialKinFlag, FishOutofWater, david mizner, aliasalias, artisan, Kentucky Kid, bobswern, edbb, cloudbustingkid, MKinTN, also mom of 5, gfv6800, scooter in brooklyn, limpidglass, elwior, jamess, carver, petulans, Troubadour, Mad Season, Robobagpiper, rhutcheson, CIndyCasella, humanunit, legendmn, rubyclaire, imchange, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, shopkeeper, JesseCW, catilinus, eXtina, David Harris Gershon, marsanges, mookins, Lady Libertine, albrt, Funkygal, Johnny Q, DrTerwilliker, Nada Lemming, science nerd, Oh Mary Oh, slice, Mac in Maine, slowbutsure, lamplighter, muddy boots, climate science watch, Fire bad tree pretty, The Rational Hatter, PhilJD, dradams, Kathleen McClellan, Bea Edwards, doubleplusgood, livingthedream, WhistleblowerAdvocate, greenbastard, 420 forever, radical simplicity, Noddy, George3, BradyB, CalBearMom, Ray Pensador, Sarah Damian, jbob, Brooklyn Jim, sgt sarcasm, peterfallow, Klusterpuck, dadoodaman, Barton Funk

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