The Sanctity of Life

RIP.At our childhood Lutheran church, the chapel was called the sanctuary:

George Tiller, the Wichita doctor who became a national lightning rod in the debate over abortion, was shot to death this morning as he walked into church services.

Tiller, 67, was shot just after 10 a.m. at Reformation Lutheran Church at 7601 E. 13th, where he was a member of the congregation.…

Protesters blockaded Tiller’s clinic during Operation Rescue’s “Summer of Mercy” protests during the summer of 1991, and Tiller was shot by Rachelle Shannon at his clinic in 1993.

A 51-year-old male suspect was arrested about three hours after the murder.

George Tiller shot to death at Wichita church [Wichita Eagle, continuously updated]

Photo: Friend of Dr. George Tiller places flowers outside of Reformation Lutheran Church. [Wichita Eagle]

Update: Last Tuesday, Operation Rescue posted a news release titled “Tiller Abortion Worker Honored at White House by Obama”:

Gold Star Mother Betty Pulliam, who lost a son in Viet Nam, now works to take the lives of other women’s sons and daughters at George Tiller late-term abortion mill in Wichita, Kansas. Yesterday, she breakfasted with President Obama and was honored in our nation’s capital as part of a Memorial Day observance.

This is yet another connection between Obama and late-term abortionist George Tiller. Obama’s new Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, had close connections with Tiller. Pulliam was among those who were honored by Sebelius at a party held in Tiller’s honor at the Kansas governor’s mansion.

Pulliam, at 83, volunteers her time at Tiller’s clinic on busy abortion days. She told the Wichita Eagle of her role as a Gold Star Mother, “You really don’t want to belong to this club because in order to belong to this club, you have to lose a child. So nobody wants to belong to it.”

That Wichita Eagle story — “Wichitans are special guests at Memorial Day events in nation’s capital” — appeared last Monday. A commenter on that story observed that “Betty Pulliam is a prized employee of TILLER THE KILLER.”

Update II: Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry (no longer affiliated with the group) reacts:

George Tiller was a Mass-Murderer, says Randall Terry — We Grieve That he Did Not Have Time to Properly Prepare his Soul to Face God

Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, led protests against George Tiller’s late-term abortion clinic in Wichita in 1991.

Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue states, “George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller’s killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder.

“Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches.”

Update III: The official Operation Rescue press release, attributed to president Troy Newman:

We are shocked at this morning’s disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down. Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning. We pray for Mr. Tiller’s family that they will find comfort and healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

Blogenfreude also notes (via Sully) a Bill O’Reilly connection:


This is domestic terrorism. I want the leaders of Operation Rescue rounded up and waterboarded and forced to reveal all the infromation they might have about other unlawful combatants prowling our streets seeking doctors to murder.

After all, what’s good for the goose…

I’ll guarantee the shooter wasn’t no Lutheran. Jesus fuck – the Adkisson Brigades are coming out to play.

Sully points out the O’Reilly connection:

On Friday, November 3, 2006, Bill O’Reilly featured an exclusive segment on his show, The O’Reilly Factor, saying that he has an “inside source” with official clinic documentation indicating that George Tiller performs late-term abortions to alleviate “temporary depression” in the pregnant woman. According to reporting data provided to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts for the year 1998, all of the post-viable partial-birth (dilation and extraction) abortion procedures performed in Kansas during that year were performed because “the attending physician believe[d] that continuing the pregnancy [would] constitute a substantial and irreversible impairment of the patient’s mental function.” Tiller responded to O’Reilly’s statements by demanding an investigation into the “inside source” through which the information was leaked, suggesting that Phill Kline, then the Kansas Attorney General, was responsible. Kline denied the charge.

Christianist terrorists are the new black.

I thought there were rules about this sort of thing, kind of like the Highlander: opponents didn’t get to square off in places of worship.

@blogenfreude: Although a 30-month gap is something of a stretch. I’m thinking there’s a tenuous connection to the Notre Dame speech.

@nojo: Who knows what sets the whackjobs off. The tell will be whether they find evidence of the influence of Hannity, O’Reilly, Savage, etc., like Adkisson had.

@blogenfreude: Christian News Wire, May 26:

Tiller Abortion Worker Honored at White House by Obama

Yet another connection between Pres. Obama and late-term abortionist George Tiller

Gold Star Mother Betty Pulliam, who lost a son in Viet Nam, now works to take the lives of other women’s sons and daughters at George Tiller late-term abortion mill in Wichita, Kansas. Yesterday, she breakfasted with President Obama and was honored in our nation’s capital as part of a Memorial Day observance.

This is yet another connection between Obama and late-term abortionist George Tiller. Obama’s new Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, had close connections with Tiller. Pulliam was among those who were honored by Sebelius at a party held in Tiller’s honor at the Kansas governor’s mansion.

Pulliam, at 83, volunteers her time at Tiller’s clinic on busy abortion days. She told the Wichita Eagle of her role as a Gold Star Mother, “You really don’t want to belong to this club because in order to belong to this club, you have to lose a child. So nobody wants to belong to it.”

Posted by Operation Rescue. I smell fumes.

Wichita Eagle, May 25, “Wichitans are special guests at Memorial Day events in nation’s capital,” from commenter ICTisInferior:

Betty Pulliam is a prized employee of TILLER THE KILLER. She has worked for TILLER THE KILLER for more than 20 years. She really enjoys being around death. Too bad she doesn’t give a crap about the lives of unborn children like she does our brave men and women fighting to defend our freedom. What a hypocrite.

@nojo: Why does it surprise me that Christianists care more about a clump of cells than they do an Iraqi adult? I should know better.

@blogenfreude: You probably don’t want to do a Wingnut Roundup today — cursory review suggests it’s already ugly out there.

Update to post above: Operation Rescue has posted a news release about the murder.

White guy in a 90’s powder-blue Taurus. That figures. How many religious nuts will help hide him?

George Tiller has also been in the news lately because of the Kathleen Sebelius HHS nomination. Family Research Council, April 28:

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement after the U.S. Senate approved Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’s nomination as Secretary of Health and Human Services by a vote, 65 to 31.

“We urged senators to vote no on a nominee who has abandoned women and children in her state and aligned herself with notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller. Despite how liberals portray her, Kathleen Sebelius is not your garden variety ‘pro-choicer.’ Her record, including support for gruesome third-trimester abortions, veers well left of even Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), and former Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

“Considering the country’s revulsion for late-term abortions, it should be toxic for anyone to associate with a man like George Tiller. It is even more reprehensible that our President would elevate such a person to a leadership post at the largest government agency.”

@nojo: Today would not be a good day to do the roundup. Maybe later, when I can breathe.

And from — Friday, May 29 — new Vatican ambassador Miguel Diaz is thrown into the mix:

Miguel Diaz, a self-proclaimed “faithful Catholic” and a professor of theology at St. John’s School of Theology, was appointed as ambassador of the United States to the Holy See by President Obama yesterday.

Pro-life groups have expressed their significant concerns about the appointment. Diaz most recently made headlines after he threw his support, as a fellow “Catholic,” behind the nomination of Kathleen Sibelius as the new Health Secretary. Sebelius is considered by pro-life advocates to be one of the most notorious pro-abortion Catholic politician in the United States…

Sebelius, however, vetoed a bill in Kansas that would have placed restrictions on partial-birth abortions just this past April. The move was simply the latest in a long series of pro-abortion actions on the part of the governor. The governor is know to have a close relationship with notorious Kansas late-term abortionist George Tiller.

Operation Rescue website seems to be offline. It’s not responding. I daresay they want to purge it of their calls for the late Dr. Tiller’s death.

Breaking: Suspect arrested. News conference at 4 p.m. Kansas time.

Passing note: CNN, MSNBC running canned weekend programming.

@nojo: Thanks for best reporting on story I’ve seen so far.

Appointment to Kan. ethics panel raises eyebrows, Wichita Eagle, Thursday, May 28 (boldface mine):

The manager of Democrat Paul Morrison’s 2006 campaign for attorney general is now a member of the state ethics commission, and anti-abortion groups and some conservatives are upset about it.

Mark Simpson joined the Governmental Ethics Commission last month, named by House Minority Leader Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat. Simpson, an assistant Douglas County district attorney, also is a former executive director for the Kansas Democratic Party.

Morrison, an abortion-rights Democrat, unseated Attorney General Phill Kline, an anti-abortion Republican, in a contentious campaign in which Morrison questioned Kline’s investigation of one of the nation’s few late-term abortion providers and Kline’s pursuit of patient records for potential evidence. Morrison left office in January 2008 after admitting to an extramarital affair.

Prominent conservative Republicans argue someone with such a partisan past shouldn’t sit on the commission that enforces campaign finance laws…

Troy Newman, president of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, said Simpson’s appointment is “bold and in-your-face” because of the Morrison tie.

“It’s one of these things, you look around the state and say, ‘Where’s the outrage?'” Newman said. “I guess they assume the people of Kansas are complete fools because they play them for such.”

Abortion opponents believe Morrison should have prosecuted Dr. George Tiller for allegedly violating the state’s late-term abortion law. Kline pursued such a case, but it was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds shortly before he left office.

Morrison then conducted his own investigation and filed 19 misdemeanor charges against the Wichita doctor accusing him of failing to comply with a legal requirement to obtain a second opinion from an independent physician for some procedures. A jury acquitted Tiller in March.

Pre-news conference summary: Although Tiller’s been a target for a very long time, events of the past few weeks, from the Sibelius nomination to the Notre Dame speech to the Vatican appointment, seem to have brought the issue to a boil.

@nojo: CNN now live with the story.

@nojo: West Coast geography lesson: 4 p.m. Kansas is 5 p.m. Eastern, or 2 p.m. Sandy Eggo.

The bad guys have crossed the fucking line. Now what?

@homo limeyensis: @Dodgerblue: Thanks. Just trying to understand the local context to address the hypothetical question, Why now?

CNN had a phoner with a Wichita reporter who said — I think — something to the effect that the murderer was not an unfamiliar face. Protesters at the church are a common sight.

Presumably speculations about the motive will be addressed at the news conference. And while this certainly looks like a political assassination, for all we know there’s something completely off-the-wall behind it.

Now I have to go back to work after lunch break. Will check in later.

The ignorance and unreasoning violence make this very hard to bear. The doctor was clearly very courageous. To say nothing of his wife.

Wichita Eagle gets through to the Operation Rescue website:

“We are shocked at this morning’s disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down,” anti-abortion group Operation Rescue said in a statement on its Web site. “Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning. We pray for Mr. Tiller’s family that they will find comfort and healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ.”

That’s nice. Didn’t they post their Christian Newswire press release as well?

George Tiller was a Mass-Murderer, says Randall Terry — We Grieve That he Did Not Have Time to Properly Prepare his Soul to Face God

Or is that a fake?

ADD: It’s a fake.

ADD2: No, it’s not. Randall Terry and Operation Rescue have parted ways.

It appears that Kansas still has the death penalty. Poetic justice.

@nojo: The joy of breaking news…

The flagrant Operation Rescue “mass-murderer” press release, posted on Christian Newswire, is a fake — it lacks the boilerplate contact and blurb included in previous OR releases there. The later release calling the murder a “cowardly act” is the official one. The main post has been updated.

Provocateur note: You can post your own Christian Newswire release for as little as $65.

(Update for future robot overlords: The Author was confusing Operation Rescue with Randall Terry, who no longer runs the joint. The words put in Terry’s mouth are indeed his.)

Mr. Tiller? Don’t they even grant him his MD?

CNN & MSNBC didn’t carry the press conference, and I found local radio just at the tail end — still trying to hunt down the details…

Here we go — from the main story link, which the Eagle is constantly updating:

A suspect in this morning’s fatal shooting of George Tiller is in custody and on his way back to Wichita, deputy chief Tom Stolz of the Wichita Police Department said today at a news conference.

51-year-old male.

The presser only lasted a few minutes. From what I caught at the end, the police said they were investigating all possible motives — including the obvious — but didn’t provide details.

I was so livid at this news I had to get out of the house because I knew I’d lose it watching teevee. In the fucking sanctuary, no less.

This article by a woman who had to have a late-term abortion describes who Tiller’s patients were. Now there are only two doctors left in the country who openly admit they will perform abortions for women in her situation. You saw that right.

Two. In the country.

K-Lo ran the Randall Terry quote at NRO (as did many others), so I’ve emailed and called Terry’s office to confirm. The nice lady on the phone says it’s his, but she may have been confused by my explanation. Terry himself may be calling me back.

@nojo: Randall Terry is no longer affiliated with OR, in part because of his failure to even pretend to denounce violence, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he did say that, as that’s the type of shit he said in 1998 when Dr. Slepian was assassinated.

@SanFranLefty: I’m just now grasping the institutional distinction, not having followed the story closely over the years. And the “Sandy Veritas” listed as a contact does match “Sandra Veritas” on previous Terry press releases, most recently regarding Notre Dame.

It just seemed so blatant a plant on second reading — who in their right mind would say such a thing? I guess I have my answer.

@nojo: If you want, I can give you more info in the back of class.

@redmanlaw: They’ll congratulate themselves and canonize the killer. Every O’Reilly, Hannity, Savage broadcast will end with the hosts signing off saying, ‘God Bless, {Tiller ‘s assassin}, a real American who I know is in all our prayers.’

@SanFranLefty: We’re good. Since I spent the past day shooting darts at Gawker, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t running a statement like that because it too easily played to my prejudices.

The nice lady on the line did seem to know what I was talking about, differentiating herself between the OR statement and Terry’s. I started stammering because I was sure she didn’t understand that it must be a fake.

I also had in the back of my mind Gawker’s email to Olbermann, something like “Why are you still promoting a fake waterboarding video?” (Quoted in the Countdown segment, but curiously not mentioned in Gawker’s late-Friday followup.) I wanted to give the nice lady every opportunity to disavow the Terry quote.

@nojo: You really didn’t expect the OR people to do anything but cackle with joy and bark that the killer is, “the glory and the hand of our One True God made manifest! Praise the hand of God with the strength to strike down satanic agents who murder the unborn! PRAISE! PRAISE! Ha! Hahaha! Hahahahahahaha!”

@nojo: Today is the sixth anniversary of Eric Rudolph’s capture for the Alabama abortion clinic and Atlanta Olympics bombings. You know how the nutters love to do things on anniversaries.

From Kos:

1. In 1993, Dr. David Gunn was murdered outside his clinic in Pensacola, Florida, by Michael Griffin, an “pro-life” terrorist. Griffin was at the clinic for a “pro-life” protest and, like a coward, shot him three times in the back. According to published reports, the “pro-life” protesters appeared to be “happy” in the immediate aftermath of the murder. One of the organizers of the protest insisted that the protesters had no intention of hurting Dr. Gunn.

2. The next year, also in Pensacola, Dr. John Britton and his clinic escort James Barrett were murdered outside their clinic by Paul Hill, a “pro-life” terrorist. Hill also critically wounded Barrett’s wife. Hill was executed six years ago by the State of Florida for his crimes, but his terrorist organization, the “Army of God,” continues to this day to hail him as a martyr and a hero and to spread the gospel of murder as an appropriate response to a legal medical procedure they don’t like. (Did I mention that the guy running the website for the “Army of God” happens to be the chairman of Pro-Life Virginia? Yeah, that’s the Reverend Donald Spitz. More on him in a bit.)

3. In late December 1994, Lee Ann Nichols and Shannon Lowney, receptionists at two different clinics in Brookline, a suburb of Boston, were murdered by John Salvi, a “pro-life” terrorist. As he was murdering Nichols by firing ten shots into her body, Salvi shouted, “This is what you get! You should pray the rosary!” Just before being sentenced to consecutive life terms in prison plus another 18-20 years for his crimes, Salvi addressed the court, saying, “As you know, I haven’t pled guilty though I am against abortion. My position is pro-welfare state, pro-Catholic labor union and, basically, pro-life.” (Except, you know, for the part having to do with actual life, but what did we expect from a “pro-life” terrorist?)

4. Today marks the sixth anniversary of the capture of Eric Rudolph, a “pro-life” terrorist who demonstrated his opposition to a legal medical procedure by bombing clinics in Sandy Springs, Georgia, in 1997, and Birmingham, Alabama, in 1998. His bombs were packed with nails — a sure sign that his goal was not only to destroy the clinics, but to murder anyone inside. And he succeeded in murdering a security guard, Robert Sanderson, and critically injuring a nurse, Emily Lyons, in the Alabama bombing.

5. One night in October 1998, Dr. Barnett Slepian returned home with his family from Friday night services at his local synagogue in Buffalo, New York, and went into his kitchen to prepare soup for their dinner. James Kopp, a “pro-life” terrorist, shot him through a window, murdering him. Even George Pataki, the Republican then-Governor of New York, called it a cold-blooded act of terrorism. The “pro-life” movement responded by celebrating the murder with a series of protests in Buffalo and Rochester. And Rev. Donald Spitz had this to say in the 2007 documentary, “Unborn in the USA: Inside the War on Abortion”: “What would I say to the family of Slepian? They live in a $500,000 house that was paid for with blood money – the blood of those babies that Barnett Slepian murdered… He knew what he was doing, he was murdering children. That’s too bad if he was killed in front of his family…”

And these are just examples, just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. All told, according to statistics provided by the National Abortion Federation and not including this morning’s murder, since 1977, there have been seven murders, 17 attempted murders, 41 bombings, 175 arsons, 96 attempted bombings or arsons, 390 invasions, 1400 cases of vandalism, 1993 cases of trespassing, 100 butyric acid attacks, 659 anthrax threats, 179 cases of assault and battery, 406 death threats, four kidnappings, 151 burglaries, and 525 cases of stalking specifically directed at clinics, their workers, or their volunteers in the US and Canada. That’s over 6,100 cases of terrorist activity by the “pro-life” movement. And that’s just what was reported — the actual numbers are probably much higher.

@FlyingChainSaw: I expected most folks to express shock — shock! — that anyone would take them seriously. And most of them have, including Operation Rescue itself.

I didn’t expect what now indeed appears to be Randall Terry’s honesty about his position. If everyone were as forthright as he is, we’d settle this generation-spanning debate immediately. Which of course is why everyone runs away from their own rhetoric when something like this happens.

“Everyone” meaning institutional groups, of course. Individuals commenting at the Wichita Eagle have no need to be polite about it.

It’s a sick irony that the sort who won’t let people “play” god, “play” god.

The problem with terror is that most cases it doesn’t work. The strategic bomber campaigns of WW1/WW2 were supposed to break the morale of the enemy populace. It didn’t work. The various organizations of the Palestinians/the IRA/AQ have tried and it didn’t work. The problem with terror is that it works against the intent in the first place.

In Canada City, we had our own problems with folks sniping gynecologists who performed abortion procedures in the early 90s. It backfired badly on the pro-life forces to the point (exposing the hypocrisy of the sanctity of life) where the controversy is rarely brought up today and being anti-abortion is considered a political liability (where abortion rights pioneer Dr Henry Morgantoler received an order of Canada City without much fuss). Despite the Jeebus chorus in the Contard Gubbiment, there is no way that Fat Boy Harper can change the laws without an electoral backlash.

Well, this story has kind of swamped the “How dare Barack and Michelle fly to NYC” meme the GOPers were trying to pass around this morning.

@nojo: The fundies live for this sort of thing. Most of them won’t die for it, but some will do. In this case, count me as a lefty in favor of the death penalty. Normally I’d reserve it for war criminals, but what the hey.

So much for Cheney’s statement that the U.S. hasn’t been hit by terrorists since 9/11.

6,100 domestic terror attacks since 1977. That’s an attack every other day.

And I’m reminded of what George Carlin, baked’s hero, had to say about this topic:

“If you’re pre-born, you’re fine, if you’re pre-school, you’re fucked. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers. Pro-life, these people aren’t pro-life, they’re killing doctors, what kind of pro-life is that? What, they’ll do everything they can do save a fetus, but if it grows up to be a doctor they just might have to kill it?”

@SanFranLefty: That doesn’t count to Cheney because they aren’t ragheads.

@SanFranLefty: Barry’s scheduled to talk about GM in the morning, but I suspect they’re revising the text.

Not that it needs saying, but I’ll say it anyway: This is profoundly ugly — not just the act itself, but the political scrambling around it. I’ve already come across someone rehashing the “domestic terrorist” issue, which feels wildly inappropriate today. (Meaning: Don’t frame this as a fucking debating point over a Homeland Security report.) There’s much to say — I’ve said some of it — about the relation between rhetoric and action, but I really resent the way this shit gets swept up into a tidy Hardball segment.

@nojo: But you’ve got to expect that. How much subtlety do you see on the cable wank-a-thons?

@Dodgerblue: Army of God is one of the most violent and virulent anti-choice groups.

Do you know what Army of God translates to in Arabic?


@blogenfreude: I’ve been on the fence about the death penalty in cases like this for 25 years now. My personal official line remains fundamentally in favor of abolishment, and while that principle does not allow exceptions, I find myself from time to time not pressing the point.

@nojo: Anyone who registered Republican will be calling their local fascist talk show praising the heroism of the assassin and shrieking that we need more Americans to take out Obama and everyone who voted for him and their families. Glen Beck will fly out to Tiller’s church and dry hump the corner of the building closest to to the shooting.

@Dodgerblue: Just another example where the world refuses to bend itself to my will. Watch how fast this gets trivialized by cable shouting matches.

@nojo: Really, how can the death penalty compare to removing chunks of the killer’s body and forcing him to eat them at gunpoint until he disappears? Justice takes time.

@SanFranLefty: Yep. I’m sure the irony is lost on them.

@FlyingChainSaw: It’s been done: the drawing and quartering method built on that.

I come back from an absolutely gorgeous hike (during which we got to walk behind 3 huge waterfalls) and find this. I want to go back to the woods.

The killer is a terrorist, without a doubt. Call yourself a Christian and then gun down a man while he’s ushering at his church? I for one will be sending a contribution to Planned Parenthood in Dr Tiller’s honor. He was a hero for standing up for women and for never giving in to the threats.

@nojo: I try to stay in the abolitionist camp, but these sorts of things do push me into the “Fry, Motherfucka, Fry” camp. Then I remind myself that just makes them martyrs, kind of like how Paul Hill is the patron saint of the anti-choicers because he got the needle for killing the doctor and the off-duty cop. So don’t make them martyrs. Then of course I realize there’s a part of me that is in favor of the death penalty for people who kill animals and children.

Oh, a good essay by a journalist* who covered the 1991 Summer of Mercy outside Dr. Tiller’s clinic.

*The CBS producer who got railroaded for the GWB military service docs on 60 Minutes…after she broke the story on Abu Gharib. /adjusts tin foil.

@Mistress Cynica: That’s why I had to leave the house when I first heard the news and did my “BREAKING HARD” comment on the previous post. Needed to get away. And thanks for the donation – if you want to make it go farther, send it to the Idaho or Eastern Oregon affiliate. My PP donations go to affiliates in places like Nebraska or South Dakota or Alabama. They need the money more than the PP in my town.

@SanFranLefty: Thanks, great idea.

ADD: Donation made. Must go out into garden to calm down now.

That Terry press release:

George Tiller was a Mass-Murderer, says Randall Terry — We Grieve That he Did Not Have Time to Properly Prepare his Soul to Face God

He was shot IN A CHURCH. Idiot.

This is alluded to upthread — but wasn’t Tiller, at least indirectly, a central issue with respect to AG Kline? (Notably, Phil Kline is out of Kansas politics. But he’s landed on his feet over at — SHOCK — Liberty University School of Law(?).)

Tiller was acquitted a few months ago on charges initially laid by Kline (and stricken, and then renewed by the new boss). In Adkisson Brigade math, acquital must require direct violent action, right?

@chicago bureau: Yep, yep, yep. You mean, of course, Phill Kline, who wanted to have the names and medical records of every woman who had ever had an abortion at Tiller’s clinic?

SanFranLefty: Yeah, that’s the one.

Reportedly, the shooter was from the Kansas City (Kan.) area. This (among other things) makes me believe that KCK exists to make K.C. (Mo.) look sparkling by comparison. (Truth be told — it kind of works.)

I wonder if the asshole deliberately picked the Pentecost or if that’s just a coincidence. I can’t think of an addled-brained way to connect the two things but I guess that’s one reason why I’d make a shitty terrorist.

@Jamie Sommers: There’s that, there’s the anniversary in the Kos post SFL provided, and what I was trying to do while the story was breaking was to find recent examples of Tiller in the news. (Which does include Kline.)

We won’t really know until the arraignment — if then — but there were a lot of folks hyperventilating about the Sibelius nomination (including Team Sarah), and in recent weeks I recall CB(?) wondering here about their use of the term “abortion industry.”

Add in the Notre Dame speech, and you have what looks like in retrospect a perfect storm. And what looks ahead like everyone ducking for cover.

nojo: Nope — that wasn’t me.

Also not me: the banner ad for Together Christian on the front page today. The ad bots are uncanny.

@chicago bureau: Ah: drinkyclown, April 28. Sibelius had just been confirmed, and I dropped in a pre-confirmation Team Sarah email:

Sen. Sam Brownback is said now to be rethinking his support, Sen. Jim DeMint has joined GOP Chair Michael Steele in calling upon President Obama to withdraw her nomination, Sen. Mitch McConnell is leading a fight against her, and the abortion industry is in a panic to try and rally supporters to contact their Senators.

Why? The Not on Our Watch! project has been EFFECTIVE. With Team Sarah, the Susan B. Anthony List, and pro-life organizations across the country, we ARE making a difference.

nojo: Truth be told, this whole sorry episode will be a blip. I mean, if you asked a man in the street about the shootings of Unitarians in Tennessee, he (after leaving the street for fear of being run over) would say, “huh?” And then he would express surprise at the existence of Unitarians, and of Unitarians in Tennessee. People who pay attention know the reference immediately. But people who pay attention are in short supply nowadays.

Stuff like this gets lost in the shuffle and fades to black. It’s a shame, but just watch. In three or four weeks, this will not be talked about at all — much less hold a place, front-and-center, in the minds of most Americans.

@nojo: There is no reason for capital punishment. I will not be reduced to their level.

@chicago bureau: Hell, it’s a blip already — after scouring Google, I finally got around to turning on the tube this afternoon, figuring CNN would be all over it.

Silly, silly me. My naivete is self-endearing.

This is not a time for reasoned, rational response. Fuck them and their motherfucking horses they fucking rode in on. This is an example of an evil, a dark fucking evil, infecting this culture, a fucking american taliban, a murderous evil cult of religious fundamentalits who are more of a threat to this fucking country than any external threat in our history.

They are a massive boil on the asshole of this country, and this fucking boil, this puss-filled festering massive infection, needs to be fucking lanced, and the evil fucking disease needs to be exposed to the light, so that the good people will turn against the pious hypocritical insane motherfuckers who are destroying this country from within.

Fuck them, fuck them all hard with fucking red hot fucking halberds like the fucking nasty things you see in museums of medeival weaponry, fuck them and their god and their worldview and their evil fucking fucktarded fucking insane fucking churches and everything about them, fuck them, burn their fucking houses down, salt their fields, infect them with boils and brain-eating worms, fuck their dead corpses, fuck their memory, fuck their ideology, fuck their fucking piety and hypocracy, fuck their dead skulls in their eyeholes, fuck them, fuck them the motherfucking pigfucking fucking nazi fucking evil abhorrent fucking shitstains of humanity that they are, fuck them fuck them.

@Promnight: Where there’s skull-fucking, there is hope.

Via the blog Questionable Authority, some dots being connected…

1. KSHB is reporting that the suspect’s name is Scott Roeder.

2. Folks at DemocraticUnderground have found at least one Operation Rescue post attributed to Roeder. (Unclear whether this is a forum post or something official-ish.)


Scott Roeder was arrested in Topeka in 1996 for parole violations related to his having bomb making materials in his car trunk. At that time, he was identified as being 38, which would make him 51 today.

Alas, the guy connecting the dots also feels compelled to drag in that Homeland Security report. Save it for later, pal.

@Promnight: Yeah, I’m sort of sick of candlelight vigils.

And this is terrorism….flashbacks to my life in Fall 1998. It is terror.

@nojo: The alleged killer also taught his fellow anti-government anti-choice protesters “how to take out the magnetic strip out of a 5 dollar bill.”

The snakehandler right is convinced the assassin holds exactly the same moral standing as Rosa Parks, breaking a law to advance a greater good.

The state needs to make sure that Tiller’s patient files are destroyed because there is no way they can ask his patients to take the risk that they be hunted down by Jesopaths after they get their hands on them.

@FlyingChainSaw: Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline already tried a few years ago to get the names and files of all of his former patients and all of the patients at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Overland Park. I’m sure he’d love to go harass the women who flew to Kansas from around the world to have an intact delivery of their dead anencephalitic fetuses.

@SanFranLefty: And, between McClatchy and Sully, it’s now clear that Roeder was commenting on an Operation Rescue post, not originating the post from inside the office.

So, OR will be able to disavow direct involvement. Roeder will be labeled a lone extremist, and the band will play on.

@homo limeyensis:
my initial outraged knee jerk reaction was, at least kansas still has the death penalty, but i remain with you, totally against state sanctioned murder. it reduces us to their barbaric level. the death penalty is as hypocritical as these psychopaths.
however, i’m not opposed to a “dexter” squad.

@SanFranLefty: Kline was one member of a large cult. Just because he failed to use the courts to get those womens’ records doesn’t mean every other cult member is not plotting around the clock to get those records and hunt down Tiller’s patients. His wife has got to burn them and get herself to a remote location under a different name. The Adkisson Brigades are real and they can turn on Fox or any radio talk show in America and hear encouragement 24/7 to kill everyone in America who votes Democrat or anywhere to the left of the Spanish Inquisition.

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