Tag: terrorism

Jun 06

The US Media Reeling Over British Attacks

In his opening segment John Oliver, host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” laced in the the US media over its narrative the British are reeling and the notion that England is “under siege” after the latest attacks by Muslim extremists in Manchester and London. The British, too, were upset by the coverage and took to …

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Jan 30

Resistance: No Ban, No Fear. We Stand With All Immigrants

Trumps surrogates tried to explain away his executive order banning people from seven countries with majority Muslim populations. Insisting that this was not a Muslim ban former NYC Mayor Rudolph “A noun a verb and 9/11” Giuliani told Fox News commentator Jeanine Piro that Trump asked him to find a way to legally ban Muslims, …

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Jun 14

“Yes, I DO Want To Take Your Guns Away!”

That is what Samantha Bee, host of the TBS show “Full Frontal,” said last night in a righteous rant about the massacre in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning and I’m with her. There is no reason for any civilian to own an Ar-15 or any weapon similar to it. “Well, here we are,” Bee began. …

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Apr 15

The Global War On Terror Hoax

It has long been suspected that the Saudi Arabian government was involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States and that are supporting Sunni terrorism throughout the Middle East. Yet, the US government has continued to support them with billions of dollars in military aid. Now, on the heels of President Barack Obama’s …

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Mar 24

It’s Not Achievable

What Atrios said   I get trying to stop people from blowing up planes, but you can’t realistically stop them from blowing up the parking lot. But despite a series of episodes in recent years that have targeted transportation hubs worldwide, security experts predict that the latest attacks will revive — but not resolve — …

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Feb 12

#OregonStandoff has Ended

After 40 days and several hours of negotiation with the last militant, that could be heard on a YouTube livestream, the illegal occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has peacefully ended. The last four holdouts in the armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon surrendered peacefully Thursday morning, 40 days after the …

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Jan 13

Oregon Terrorist Occupation Enters 2nd Week

The armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by a group of white terrorists from other state has entered its second week with no clear end in site. The FBI, who took over operations, has so far done nothing, allowing these heavily armed men freedom to come and go as they please and destroy …

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Dec 01

Managing Anger

I’ve been really much too angry to talk about many of recent events both here in the US and overseas. Since the bombing of the Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctor Without Borders) hospital by the US military in Kunduz, Afghanistan to Friday’s mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, trying to remain objective …

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Nov 23

What John Said Last Week Today

One of my favorite pundits is comedian John Oliver. Since leaving “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” he has made his mark on the premium cable network HBO with “Last Week Tonight.” Once a week, John takes a satirical look at news, politics and current events, often laced with “colorful” language, videos and costumed characters. …

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Jul 24

The Slaughter of Nine African Americans an Act of Terrorism

Cross Posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a 33 count indictment against Dylann Roof on federal hate-crime charges for the June 17 killing of nine African American worshipers in Charleston, South Carolina This leaves a bigger question that was asked by Jenna McLaughlin at “The Intercept,” why wasn’t Roof charged with terrorism?

Some media outlets, lawyers, public figures and activists have called for Roof to be charged not just with a hate crime, an illegal act “motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias,” but with the separate label of domestic terrorism. Critics contend that the label of terrorism is too often only applied to Islamic extremists, and not white supremacists or anti-government anarchists. Many were outraged after FBI Director James Comey balked at the term during a June 20 press conference, telling reporters he didn’t see the murders “as a political act,” a requirement he designated as necessary for terrorism.

Roof’s crime certainly seems to fit the federal description of domestic terrorism, which the FBI defines as “activities … [that] involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law … appear intended to (i) 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.” [..]

It turns out there was one major obstacle in charging Roof with domestic terrorism: The crime does not exist. [..]

Even when the USA Patriot Act, post 9/11, redefined terrorism to include domestic crimes, the provision simply allowed the government to investigate more broadly what it called “terrorism.” Actually charging someone with domestic terrorism remains a separate matter. Even criminals who use bombs or send money to ISIS – or Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – are not charged with the crime of terrorism. [..]

But shootings, regardless of motivation, intention or number of deaths, likely don’t count. “It doesn’t seem like a shooting would fit,” says Faiza Patel, co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program. “Or else a lot of crime would get caught up” in the terrorism net, she tells me.

There are, however, “aggravating factors” to be considered during sentencing, which prosecutors usually list on a formal indictment, and which can be used to determine whether the death penalty is justified, and those include “substantial planning and premeditation,” to”cause the death of a person” or “commit an act of terrorism.”

In Roof’s case, the DOJ did not mention terrorism as an aggravating factor, but did reference (pdf) “substantial planning and premeditation to cause the death of a person” for several of his charges.[..]

Lynch did not explain why “terrorism” was not listed as an aggravating factor in Roof’s indictment, though she did emphasize that the DOJ views hate crimes as “the original domestic terrorism.” She noted that Roof’s case, including his “discriminatory views towards African Americans” and his decision to target “parishioners at worship,” made his crime a clear-cut case of a federal hate crime. [..]

Lynch was asked whether or not there should be a federal domestic terrorism penalty to help bridge the gap between crimes like the shooting of five military personnel in Chatanooga, Tennessee – which was immediately branded as terrorism, by law enforcement and media alike – and Roof’s case, which was not. Lynch acknowledged the argument that leaving out the word terrorism may cause people to feel like the government “doesn’t consider those crimes as serious.”

Ms. McLaughlin is incorrect in her statement that “domestic terrorism” does not exist in the law. This FBI’s definition of 18 U.S.C. § 2331 which defines “international terrorism” and “domestic terrorism” for purposes of Chapter 113B of the Code, entitled “Terrorism”:

“International terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:

   Involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;

   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; and

   Occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S., or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.*

“Domestic terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:

   Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;

   Appear 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; and

   Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

18 U.S.C. § 2332b defines the term “federal crime of terrorism” as an offense that:

   Is calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct; and

   Is a violation of one of several listed statutes, including § 930(c) (relating to killing or attempted killing during an attack on a federal facility with a dangerous weapon); and § 1114 (relating to killing or attempted killing of officers and employees of the U.S.)

Emphasis mine

And just as a note, to those in this piece who don’t think that guns are not “dangerous weapons,” well, they are

By his own statement and the fact that Rev. Clementa Pinckney was an elected state official, Dylann Roof’s acts, under this definition, is clearly an act of terrorism.

The argument against the charge of terrorism by a young white man who was clearly influenced by the politics of racial hatred is specious. It is clearly indicative of the Obama administration and its Justice Department think that black lives do not matter as much as instilling the fear in US citizens of attacks by those who have been influenced by Islamic extremism. Racism is political and it is an extremist view and it is endemic in this country. it is long past time that the law is brought down to bear on the greater threat that racism is to Americans and our democracy.  

Jun 21

Tell FBI Director to Read the Law!

The murder of nine people in the AME Emanuel Church in Charleston, NC Wednesday night was a racially motivated hate crime. It was also an act of domestic terrorism, just not according to FBI Director and war criminal James Comey

“Terrorism is act of violence done or threatens to in order to try to influence a public body or citizenry, so it’s more of a political act and again based on what I know so more I don’t see it as a political act,” Comey said at a press conference Friday in Baltimore.

Authorities arrested Dylann Roof, 21, earlier this week in connection with the killing of nine members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Some have called the incident an act of terror. The FBI’s official definition of terrorism is: “The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.

The Department of Justice thinks otherwise

Federal officials are investigating the shooting at a historic black church in South Carolina as a potential “act of domestic terrorism” as well as a hate crime.

“The department’s investigation of the shooting incident in Charleston, South Carolina, is ongoing,” Justice Department spokeswoman Emily Pierce said in a statement Friday.

“This heartbreaking episode was undoubtedly designed to strike fear and terror into this community, and the department is looking at this crime from all angles, including as a hate crime and as an act of domestic terrorism,” she added.

Someone needs to tell the Director to rad the law. Here is the legal definition of “domestic terrorism” from 18 U.S. Code § 2331:

   (5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that –

     (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

   (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 influence the policy of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

   (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

What part of that law did Comey miss? The assassin, Dylann Roof made it abundant;y clear in his manifesto what his intentions were. On, wait, it’s a white guy that’s not a Muslim.

Jun 19

You’ ve Got to Be Carefully Taught


If racism, as many right wingers are claiming, is a mental illness, there a lot of mentally ill people in the world and too many of them are given access to guns. But the Republicans who can’t seen to admit that the murder of nine black women and men in a church in Charleston, South Carolina by a 21 year old male, white supremacist is an act of racial terrorism of the black community, not mental illness. Racism is taught. You have to be taught to hate and fear, you have to be carefully taught. The United States has a problem racism that a good many prominent whites are refusing to admit.

Why the GOP Hates Talking About Hate: Conservatives Can’t Confront Racism in Charleston Shooting

By Ana Marie Cox, The Daily Beast

In the 24 hours after the massacre inside Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church, GOP politicians and members of the conservative commentariat have tried to explain Dylann Storm Roof‘s motivations on a spectrum that runs from merely murky to the explicitly anti-religious.

They have taken pains to avoid the abundant evidence that Roof was a sadly familiar figure: a young man motivated by racism to violence.

Louisiana Governor and passive presidential aspirant Bobby Jindal inserted the shruggie icon into the debate, averring that we should defer to the expertise of police detectives in sussing out the connection between Roof’s documented history of racist sympathies and his perhaps coincidental murdering of black people: “Law enforcement will figure out what his so-called motivations were.”

South Carolina Senator and presidential candidate Lindsey Graham pointed out that it’s Christians who are the serial killer flavor of the month: “It’s 2015, there are people out there looking for Christians to kill them.” His fellow campaign traveler Rick Santorum opined that the slaughter was part of a larger “assault on religious liberty.” And Rand Paul blamed the massacre on “people not understanding where salvation comes from.”

Fox & Friends couldn’t help dumbing down the debate by framing it simply as an “Attack on Faith,” while anchor Steve Doocy wondered aloud how people could “unbelievably” “call it a hate crime.”

Shooters of color are called ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs.’ Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?

By Althea Butler, The Washington Post

Police are investigating the shooting of nine African Americans at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston as a hate crime committed by a white man. Unfortunately, it’s not a unique event in American history. Black churches have long been a target of white supremacists who burned and bombed them in an effort to terrorize the black communities that those churches anchored. One of the most egregious terrorist acts in U.S. history was committed against a black church in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963. Four girls were killed when members of the KKK bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church, a tragedy that ignited the Civil Rights Movement.

But listen to major media outlets and you won’t hear the word “terrorism” used in coverage of Tuesday’s shooting. You won’t hear the white male shooter, identified as 21-year-old Dylann Roof, described as “a possible terrorist.” And if coverage of recent shootings by white suspects is any indication, he never will be. Instead, the go-to explanation for his actions will be mental illness. He will be humanized and called sick, a victim of mistreatment or inadequate mental health resources. Activist Deray McKesson noted this morning that, while discussing Roof’s motivations, an MSNBC anchor said “we don’t know his mental condition.” That is the power of whiteness in America.

U.S. media practice a different policy when covering crimes involving African Americans and Muslims. As suspects, they are quickly characterized as terrorists and thugs, motivated by evil intent instead of external injustices. While white suspects are lone wolfs – Mayor Joseph Riley of Charleston already emphasized this shooting was an act of just “one hateful person” – violence by black and Muslim people is systemic, demanding response and action from all who share their race or religion. Even black victims are vilified. Their lives are combed for any infraction or hint of justification for the murders or attacks that befall them: Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie. Michael Brown stole cigars. Eric Garner sold loosie cigarettes. When a black teenager who committed no crime was tackled and held down by a police officer at a pool party in McKinney, Tex., Fox News host Megyn Kelly described her as “No saint either.”

That has been evident today on both Fox News, who trotted out conservative racist Rich Lowery, and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough was pushing the mental illness meme. Heavens forbid, they should call Dylann Roof what he is, a racist terrorist.

Along with Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, Ms. Butler discussed the double standard with Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman.



Transcript can be read here

No, people, racism in NOT a metal illness but it does have an effect on the mental state of its targets.

Racism Is Not A Mental Illness

By Julia Craven, The Huffington Post

Racism is not a mental illness. Unlike actual mental illnesses, it is taught and instilled. Mental illness was not the state policy of South Carolina, or any state for that matter, for hundreds of years — racism was. Assuming actions grounded in racial biases are irrational not only neutralizes their impact, it also paints the perpetrator as a victim.

Black people, on the other hand, do suffer actual mental health issues due to racism. Here are a few things to keep in mind as the media digs into Roof:

   Black people are often expected to “shift” away from our cultural identities, which can heighten our vulnerability to depression and other psychological issues, as well as cause us to internalize negative stereotypes.

   Racial discrimination, according to The Atlantic, increases the risk of stress, depression, the common cold, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, hypertension and mortality — all of which exist at high rates in my community.

   Race-related stress is a stronger risk factor for mental duress than stressful life events are.

   Black people’s physical health takes a hit as well due to the perception that whites want to keep us down.

   Racism created socioeconomic barriers that also can be detrimental to black mental health.

   For black women, the common “strong black woman” trope leaves no room for mistakes, which can force black women to internalize perfectionist tendencies in terms of our professional and academic work, our bodies (which are held to European standards) and our social lives. This leads to a tendency to not seek help and, in turn, heightened suicide rates. {..]

Racism isn’t a mental illness, but the psychological, emotional and physical effects on those who experience it are very real. And I’m exhausted.

It is long past time that American and the news media stopped skating around the issue that racism has gotten worse in this country. Racial hatred needs to be confronted not buried under the guise of mental illness.

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