How Many Times Will Roeder Get Waterboarded?

June 9, 2009

Someone needed to say it:

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Then there’s this little piece of news:
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“The man charged with murdering a high-profile abortion doctor claimed from his jail cell Sunday that similar violence was planned around the nation for as long as the procedure remained legal, a threat that comes days after a federal investigation launched into his possible accomplices.
A Justice Department spokesman said the threat was being taken seriously and additional protection had been ordered for abortion clinics last week. But a leader of the anti-abortion movement derided the accused shooter as ‘a fruit and a lunatic.’
Scott Roeder called The Associated Press from the Sedgwick County jail, where he’s being held on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the shooting of Dr. George Tiller one week ago.
‘I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal,’ Roeder said. He would not elaborate.”

Wow. Too bad this guy’s a Christian white man. If he were Muslim or had brown skin, we could waterboard him 183 times and keep him awake and naked for 180 hours at a stretch to MAKE him elaborate! I mean, after all, he’s a terrorist with knowledge of coming attacks. Sounds pretty ticking-time-bomb to me. Where’s Dick Cheney?

Here’s the definition of terrorism from the US State Department:

“[T]he term ‘terrorism’ means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.”

I’m no lawyer (but hey, neither is Dick Cheney!), and I don’t know what’s required to meet a legal definition of “terrorism” in a courtroom, but it sounds like we’re on the right track here. And certainly other US citizens held for terrorism and tortured such as Joe Padilla (who was held for years without trial in a military prison) didn’t have any opportunity to challenge whether he met any government definition in court. So I assume we’ll be shipping Roeder to Guantanamo Bay or Bagram any day now. And going after any Christianist ‘terrorist organizations’ that provided him ‘safe harbor’ or material support.

For a less snarky and more enlightening post on this very topic by esteemed law professor Jack Balkin (who, unlike me, knows what he’s talking about), follow this link.

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