Did Billy Long Help Murder George Tiller?

Little did I know that yesterday, as I was criticizing Ozark Billy Long for his co-sponsorship of an abortion bill that would essentially redefine rape, that The Auctioneer was tweeting this:

Let me make his tweet clear:

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Shock Investigation: Planned Parenthood Advises ‘Pimp’ on Underage Sex Trafficking, Secret Abortions for Minors

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You will notice that Ozark Billy references a site called Big Journalism.  Guess what?  That site is officially called:

Andrew Breitbart.  Let me see. Why is that name familiar?

Oh, yeah:  Breitbart tried to destroy a woman named Shirley Sherrod by painting her as a racist via carefully edited video, which when viewed in its entirety, revealed her to be a thoughtful critic of racism.

Oh, yeah:  Breitbart helped destroy ACORN through promotion of James O’Keefe and his highly edited videos of ACORN employees that were later found to be false representations of those employees.  Subsequent investigations of ACORN vindicated the organization, but overreaction in Congress directly related to Breitbart’s and O’Keefe’s accusations effectively killed the group.  O’Keefe is now serving three years probation for “entering a federal building under false pretenses,” as he attempted to set up LouisianaSenator Mary Landrieu in another one of his video “gotchas.”

Now we find that Breitbart is promoting the work of a group called “Live Action,” whose president is Lila Rose, whom you may have seen on Fox’s O’Reilly or Hannity or Glenn Beck.  Rose is a 21-year-old anti-abortion activist who has ties to James O’Keefe, and both admit to learning some of their tactics from Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.”  How sweetly ironic. 

Live Action produced an O’Keefe-like pimp video, this time in order to entrap Planned Parenthood, the most hated target of the anti-choice movement.  The video is called “Undercover at Planned Parenthood” and was released yesterday. You can watch the highly edited version here or watch the allegedly complete unedited version here

Does anyone in southwest Missouri believe that Ozark Billy actually watched these videos before he tweeted about this “Shock Investigation“?  Most of us know that anyone who would get his news from Andrew Breitbart wouldn’t bother to actually do any research before he forwarded such propaganda.

Essentially, in the video a “pimp” and his “prostitute” enter the Central Jersey Planned Parenthood clinic and pretend to be in the sex business, “managing” underage girls, mostly illegal immigrants. They are seeking help for the girls in the form of testing, birth control, and possibly abortions.  The manager of the clinic, Amy Woodruff, assisted them in ways that are obviously inappropriate.  So, the sting engineered by Live Action successfully indicts Ms. Woodruff and she has been fired by Planned Parenthood.  Its executive director said:

“We have a zero tolerance policy for this kind of behavior, and the employee in the video was immediately suspended from her duties [Tuesday] morning and was terminated [Tuesday] evening,” Kinsler said. “We are fully committed to delivering high-quality reproductive health care to the women of our communities, complying with all laws, and upholding the highest ethical standards.”

But the real question is this: Does the video indict Planned Parenthood itself?  Of course not.  Remember that Billy Long’s tweet said that “Planned Parenthood Advises ‘Pimp’ on Underage Sex Trafficking, Secret Abortions for Minors.”  The truth is, though, that Planned Parenthood had already alerted Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department of “potential sex trafficking” well before the Live Action video was released on February 1.  An AP story titled “Planned Parenthood seeks FBI probe” appeared on January 24.  That story noted that the FBI investigation was already under way

So, we have Planned Parenthood notifying federal authorities about suspicious visits to its clinics by men purporting to be sex traffickers prior to the release of the sting video. And we have Planned Parenthood firing an employee who acted improperly during one of those visits. 

Additionally, if one watches the sting video, one sees that Ms. Woodruff is very careful to note that what she is doing would get her in trouble, suggesting strongly that she knew her superiors would not approve of her actions. In that sense, the video exonerates Planned Parenthood as an organization, which isn’t exactly what its creators intended.

And if we applied the logic of this unseemly attack on Planned Parenthood to the so-called pro-life movement, we could say that the entire pro-life movement murdered Dr. George Tiller in Wichita.  Does anyone want to play that game?  Does our anti-choice congressman want me to tweet:

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Shock Investigation: “pro-life” Billy Long “advised” Scott Roeder to kill Dr. Tiller

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Huh?  Of course not.  That would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it?

I want to end with a comment posted on Live Action’s website.  The passionate comment demonstrates why Planned Parenthood is so valuable:

commonsense permalink

This video is highly disturbing, however, I don’t believe for one minute that this is planned parenthood policy, that is condoned behavior, or that this type of behavior is rampant within planned parenthood. Hint #1 to this, would be the fact she specifically says “you didn’t hear this from me” (so must know she would be in trouble if she were heard saying any of this), the fact that she calls the nurse who actually treats the girls a c*nt, (I feel pretty safe presuming that nurse would not condone this behavior) and that there is no one else around.

This is disgusting, this is alarming, and this women should be dealt with swiftly and harshly, but there are bad seeds everywhere in life, as well as good ones. Planned parenthood as a whole should not be condemned for this.

I was young and poor many years ago, and the only female health care I could afford was planned parenthood. I found them to be very concerned, legitimate, and attentive to my health needs. I am quite certain if anyone in the office I went to thought I was being pimped, they’d have addressed it properly. This women didn’t call anyone right away and report it, because she is garbage…but someone else did!

The Logic Of “Government Is Evil” Talk

Joseph Stack, the man who flew his plane into a government building, is to the anti-government movement what Scott Roeder, the man who killed Dr. George Tiller, is to the anti-abortion movement. 

The mantra of the strident anti-choicers—that abortion is murder—leads to the most extreme and unstable believers in that cause to do things like kill or maim abortion providers.  The mantra of the strident anti-government movement—that government is evil—inevitably leads to the most extreme and unstable believers in that cause to do things like fly airplanes into citadels of “the enemy.”

Scott Roeder has his supporters in the anti-abortion movement, despite widespread condemnation among most mainstream groups, who while rightly condemning the murder of George Tiller are wrongly providing the Scott Roeders of the world with the logic of such action.

No doubt, Joseph Stack has his supporters, too.  Facebook has already removed some pages quickly created to show support for the anti-government, anti-patriot.  I found the following on a website called “NewsWithViews,” written by a “pastor” named Chuck Baldwin. He posted this today:

After carefully reading Stack’s manifesto, I am quite convinced that he was not crazy, and he was not a “terrorist.” However, he was angry.

A lot of us are angry–and for many of the same reasons that Mr. Stack was angry! While I would certainly take exception to some of the things Stack says in his manifesto, he said things that many of us are feeling.

I think it’s important to know how far some—read: some—of those angry, frustrated people out there—whose “mainstream” fellow-travellers have become the darlings of the Republican Party—are willing to go to defend such actions by the most unhinged among them.  

So, I will quote at some length from the man of God, Pastor Baldwin, as he goes on to approvingly cite passages from Stack’s rambling rhetoric. Referencing Stack, Baldwin writes:

He goes on to say, “Sadly, starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for justice for all. We are further brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble [principles] represented by its founding fathers. Remember? One of these was ‘no taxation with representation’ . . . These days anyone who really stands up for that [principle] is promptly labeled a ‘crackpot,’ traitor and worse.”

For the most part, he’s right about that, of course. It has been a long time since the average hardworking American has been represented in Washington, D.C….

Obviously, Mr. Stack had long felt the frustration of being ignored by these pimps in Washington that we know as congressmen. He wrote, “While very few working people would say they haven’t had their fair share of taxes (as can I), in my lifetime I can say with a great degree of certainty that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind. Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or anything I have to say.”

I suppose that just about every American could say the same thing.

Pastor Baldwin ended his little paean to the things that made Stack tick with this:

My heart goes out to Joe Stack! The sentiments expressed above are shared by millions of Americans who are also fed up with Big Brother. We are fed up with our country being turned into a burgeoning police state, under the rubric of “national security.” We are fed up with the harassments of the IRS. We know the “war on drugs” is merely the government’s way of cutting out the competition (this is exactly what more than one retired federal law enforcement agent–employed in the drug war–told me). We know the “war on terror” is nothing but an excuse to trample our constitutional liberties. We are fed up with the voracious vampires known as the Federal Reserve sucking the lifeblood out of the veins of America’s hardworking Middle Class. We are tired of the CFR, CIA, and America’s State Department manufacturing perpetual wars that cost trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives for the benefit of the global elite. We are fed up with an arrogant and oppressive federal government that is strangling the life and freedom out of our states. We all share Joe Stack’s pain!

I really wish Joe Stack had not killed himself, however. We need each other. By taking his life, he reduced our strength. The global elites delight in our demise. As we grow weaker, they grow stronger.

But the fight is not over; the battle is not lost! Rumblings of freedom’s revival can be felt across the length and breadth of this nation. The clanging of liberty’s resolve can be heard in hamlets and villages from Montana to South Carolina. There are still millions of us–from virtually every walk of life–who will not surrender our liberties without a fight! And we have not yet begun to fight!

I advise all to go to the website, NewsWithViews, which posted Pastor Baldwin’s nonsense.  The link to the article is here and the website itself is here.  While certainly the site is more extreme than most government-hating sites, like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck and Fox “News,” it is not a qualitative difference.  It’s only a matter of how far one is willing to follow the logic of government-is-evil philosophy, which is the foundation of the tea party movement and of contemporary conservatism.

[IRS Building photo: AP, KVUE-TV; Joseph Stack photo: Billy Eli website]

Rita, Bill O’ And The Necessity Defense

An AP story in the Globe this morning examined an interesting legal question surrounding the upcoming trial of Scott Roeder, the “pro-lifer” charged with the murder of George Tiller in Wichita.

Roeder has confessed to the crime (to the AP, no less), so his guilt is not in doubt, but his apparent defense will be to contend in some way or another that the murder was “necessary” to prevent the killing of unborn “babies.”

Now, even though such a “necessity defense” or “choice of evils defense” will likely fail, I understand why someone like Roeder would raise it. In fact, I’ve written before about the difference between those people in the anti-abortion movement who are “serious” about the rhetoric they use and those who are not.

Many months ago, I criticized our own abortion foe and Globe letter-writer, Rita Crowell, who had submitted a letter to the paper in which she compared President Obama to King Herod, one of the worst figures in Christian history:

A vote for Obama is a vote for dead children and an attack on God Himself. Let us not elect a Herod in this forthcoming election.

I wrote in response:

…the real problem with Ms. Crowell’s position on abortion is that she isn’t serious. I mean really serious. Imagine if, in Springfield, Mo., there were hundreds of elementary schoolchildren being systematically slaughtered every year. Imagine Ms. Crowell knowing where such slaughter was being perpetrated. Imagine her finding out who was doing the killing. And then imagine her merely writing letters to the Joplin Globe about it.

No, what she would do, hopefully along with others who share her convictions about murdering schoolchildren, is go to the slaughterhouse and put a stop to it, even if violence against the perpetrators were necessary.

In the case of Scott Roeder, merely protesting in front of George Tiller’s clinic wasn’t enough for him.  He is one anti-abortion true believer who takes his beliefs seriously, who really believes that abortion is tantamount to murder, thus justifying his actions.  His beliefs, as abhorrent as they are, are buttressed by almost the entire “pro-life” culture, whose members, like Rita Crowell, routinely say and write things like the following:

The No. 1 issue for the forthcoming Nov. 4 election should be the elimination of abortion. Abortion is a grave sin, an unspeakable crime against God and nature. Elimination of abortion supersedes and overshadows all considerations of the economy, poverty, health care, war and illegal immigration. Abortion is concerned about whether an innocent child lives or dies.

Whether local people like Rita Crowell or national figures like Bill O’Reilly realize it or not, their extreme, Manichean rhetoric makes the world safe for Talibanic extremists like Roeder, who see themselves as God’s instruments to accomplish the “elimination of abortion.” 

To be sure, Ms. Crowell, despite her hate-filled missives to the Globe, is not directly responsible for Roeder’s actions. His decision to shoot Dr. Tiller at point-blank range was his and his alone.

But I certainly don’t remember the frequent letter-writer ever submitting a letter condemning the murder of Dr. Tiller, whose gruesome killing really did remind one of the King Herod of old.

The AP story indicates that Roeder’s attorneys probably won’t  use the necessity defense, a legal long shot, but instead:

Legal experts and others close to the case have suggested his public defenders may actually be aiming at a conviction on a lesser offense such as voluntary manslaughter — defined in Kansas as “an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force.”

Part of any “unreasonable but honest belief” would certainly include being persuaded by the incessant extremist rhetoric pervasive throughout the anti-abortion culture, even if most of those who author such rhetoric—hopefully that includes Rita Crowell—don’t take it as seriously as the Scott Roeders of the world.

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