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Quiet warfare

Few have been paying attention to that other ongoing terrorist threat
By JENNIFER L. POZNER  |  November 28, 2006

MINISTER PAUL HILL, who was executed for murdering two abortion providers in 1994, is lionized as a martyr on the Army of God Web site.
On September 11, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the terror attacks that devastated our nation, a man crashed his car into a building in Davenport, Iowa, hoping to blow it up and kill himself in the fire.

No national newspaper, magazine, or network newscast reported this attempted suicide bombing, though an AP wire story was available. Cable news (save for MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann) was silent about this latest act of terrorism in America.

Had the criminal, David McMenemy, been Arab or Muslim, this would have been headline news for weeks. But since his target was the Edgerton Women’s Health Center, rather than, say, a bank or a police station, media have not called this terrorism — even after three decades of extreme violence by anti-abortion fanatics, mostly fundamentalist Christians who believe they’re fighting a holy war.

Since 1977, casualties from this war include seven murders, 17 attempted murders, three kidnappings, 152 assaults, 305 completed or attempted bombings and arsons, 375 invasions, 482 stalking incidents, 380 death threats, 618 bomb threats, 100 acid attacks, and 1,254 acts of vandalism, according to the National Abortion Federation.

Abortion providers and activists received 77 letters threatening anthrax attacks before 9/11, yet the media never considered anthrax threats as terrorism until after 9/11, when such letters were delivered to journalists and members of Congress.

After 9/11, Planned Parenthood and other abortion-rights groups received 554 envelopes containing white powder and messages like: “You have been exposed to anthrax. . . . We are going to kill all of you.” They were signed by the Army of God, a group that hosts Scripture-filled Web pages for “Anti-Abortion Heroes of the Faith,” including minister Paul Hill, Michael Griffin, and James Kopp, all convicted of murdering abortion providers, and a convicted clinic bomber, the Reverend Michael Bray. Another of their “martyrs,” Clayton Waagner, mailed anthrax letters while a fugitive on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list for anti-abortion related crimes.

“I am a terrorist,” Waagner declared on the Army of God’s Web site. Boasting that God “freed me to make war on his enemy,” he claimed he knew where 42 Planned Parenthood workers lived. “It doesn’t matter to me if you’re a nurse, receptionist, bookkeeper, or janitor, if you work for the murderous abortionist, I’m going to kill you.”

That’s textbook terrorism, defined by the USA Patriot Act as dangerous criminal acts that “appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population” or “to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.”

Which brings us back to car bomber, McMenemy. According to the Detroit Free Press (the only newspaper in the Nexis news database that reported his crime), he targeted the women’s health center because he thought it provided abortions. It doesn’t. (Oops!) It provides mostly low-income patients with pap smears, ob-gyn care, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, and nutrition and immunization programs for women and children.

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Related: “A” list, I had an abortion, Shifting sands, More more >
  Topics: News Features , Politics, U.S. Politics, National Abortion Federation,  More more >
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Quiet warfare
Dear Jennifer, It sounds to me like we're stuck in an unwinnable quagmire of a war with these fanatics and we should immediately redeploy all of our abortion providing assets to Okinawa where they'll be safe from harm.
By Bruce E on 11/22/2006 at 2:43:28
Quiet warfare
Dear Jennifer it's too bad that your story could not have been place closer to the front of the paper. I almost overlooked it. Not that I believe the Boston Phoenix would be involved with any attempt to keep these news stories suppressed however you do give us reason to be wary.
By Jarome on 11/23/2006 at 5:37:10
Quiet warfare
Just to let everyone know Planned Parentghood wants it to be legal for women to murder their children after they are born. I'm all for abortion. Women who have them should then be sterilized and any children they have taken from them. They'd kill a child as soon as it became inconvenient. And the men that father these children also be sterilized. Of course since all women who have abortions sleep with 20 men at a time the testing would be tough. And I'm not including rape victims etc. in this group.
By realwoman on 11/25/2006 at 11:39:45
Quiet warfare
So this child molester who wrote this article equates a few people who killed 3 people with people who killed 3000? So this worthless piece of trash thinks that killing someone who only stops raping and beating kids to dance around and profit from doing abortions? Not saying it's right to kill the trash that perform abortions but they are NOT innocent. They profit from murder.
By realwoman on 11/25/2006 at 11:41:56
Quiet warfare
Jarome, you're right that newspaper placement can call close attention to a story, or can make a piece seem like low-priority content. However, the Phoenix is the only newspaper after Newsday that chose to reprint the op-ed, while many others had the option and passed. So, the Phoenix should be congratulated for caring enough to run the story in the first place. Perhaps you might want to write a letter to the editor congratulating them for shedding light on this issue, and asking for follow-up on McMenemy's case. As for the other comments -- usually, I don't reply to blatantly insulting and offensive hate speech, nor will I reply to someone calling me a "child molester" or a "worthless piece of trash" for writing an article with which they disagree. Clearly, there's no reasoning with someone who'd use epithets instead of logic to try to make their point, and I won't try. What I will point out, for others who might be reading these comments, is a quick factual correction from the "realwoman" comment: the antiabortion terrorists to whom I refer killed not three people, but seven, and also attemtped to kill 17 more. In addition, as I wrote in the piece itself, they've been responsible for: " murders, 17 attempted murders, three kidnappings, 152 assaults, 305 completed or attempted bombings and arsons, 375 invasions, 482 stalking incidents, 380 death threats, 618 bomb threats, 100 acid attacks, and 1,254 acts of vandalism." Reducing all of that terror-invoking violence can be reduced to "a few people" and "3" murdered victims is a clear sign of the irrational logic employed by people who willfully, aggressively misunderstand the issues surrounding reproductive rights, responding emotionally (ie., "all women who have abortions sleep wtih 20 men at a time"?) rather than with facts (for example, that married fundamentalist Christian women have also been shown to have abortions when they need them, despite being opposed to the legality of Roe).
By Jennifer L. Pozner on 11/25/2006 at 12:11:42
Quiet warfare
People who advocate violence on unarmed innocents exercising their legal rights are indeed terrorists. Most terrorists in the world today are motivated by religion. Religion is an evil blight on human development. It is a cancer that needs to be educated out of humanity. There is no God. There was no Jesus, or if he even existed, he was simply a nice enough guy, but with delusions of grandeur, and his "followers" have killed and raped and despoiled more than the nazis, communists, huns, and other more political murder for cash movements have combined to do throughout history. I will not have religion in my house, in my govt., on my tv, or being preached to my kids. I consider religious education to be child abuse. After all, what right thinking person would continue to send their children to a school run by pedophiles? This is what catholics do every day. Is that not sickening and stupid? I think so. For the record, clinic blockers and attackers are LAWBREAKERS, and deserve AT LEAST as harsh treatment as was recieved by the LAW ABIDING black man and groom- to- be in NEW YORK. A hail of "contagious" gunfire would seem an appropriate resoponse to a murderous mob of TERRORISTS. And, really, that is all these so called "people" are.
By DrFelch on 12/01/2006 at 11:23:26
Quiet warfare
Why do the women of America War against their children? Is this a war agaisnt your lifestyle or because of it. Why does your Supreme Court Authorize 1st degree murder. Is it for the men? How do you deal with such horror. What is wrong in bringing the child to Life then putting them up for adoption if you ar unable to afford them or from a rape or evil situation. It is life. You have no true authority over that unless you can trump the Divine. But, here in this "Modern" world wrong is right and right is wrong. Then it is out of style to do right unless it benefits you alone? Truth will prevail. The reason this is allowed are children lead you with the minds of a child. No wisdom of the aged here. You dispense with the aged here, you do not honor them whatsoever. Hence the elder homes and etc etc etc....Your ways are not balanced not just. They are evil like your hearts. I hope and pray you will see. As blind as you are it can happen. Shalom
By Brad on 12/01/2006 at 12:41:50
Quiet warfare
It is so easy to say that women can have children and give them up for adoption if they don't want/can't afford them....but who is willing to adopt these children? There are so many unwanted children in this country that it is sickening. The government makes it so difficult and expensive to adopt an American child that many couples go overseas...what a travesty. Instead of killing law abiding women and doctors who are excercising their rights as an American, why doesn't this so called Army of God adopt those children who are given up for adoption? Besides, it is QUALITY of life....not QUANTITY. Foster care in this country can be awful, and many kids are shuffled throught the system as if they don't matter, and they never become productive members of society. This is no fault of their own....they're just a product of their environment. If you believe in God and heaven, then shouldn't you also believe that an unborn child is better off with their Father in Heaven?!?! The hypocrasy in this country is disgusting, and I for one am ashamed. P.S. Dr. Flech, I agree with you in many ways, but let's not forget that not all christians are violent, murderous, child molesters....although you make a very good point.
By Elizabeth on 12/01/2006 at 2:52:38
Quiet warfare
If a body count is the criteria for defining terrorism, then where do the abortionists rank? Or how about the mothers who terminated an innocent life for the sake of convenience (Statistically, more than 90% of all abortions are for non life threatening, non-criminal reasons). I am not supporting the actions of the individuals cited. But the careless, so-called adults (or near-adults) creating these children should be held responsible for their actions as well.
By balloo76 on 12/01/2006 at 3:42:24
Quiet warfare
Mercernary killers could be categorized as abortionist or US Military. The prospect of control and destroy for money is all these deprived reprobates achieve for this life. To realize the depth of mercernary theocracy just lighty esteem the Pope and all those homosextual petophiles and the US military doctrine intertwined with exploiting and abusing anyone they can. To avoid and shun those people and MARK them with all identity so that nieve are not deceived to their destruction. So what I'm trying to say is teach others to protect themselves from associating with those kind of people so they don't learn their ways and suffer the effects of picking up the most perverted of ways of life.
By enforcer on 12/01/2006 at 4:38:55
Quiet warfare
I get so tired of hearing threats and hate speech. I think abortion is a vile and reprehensible act, but it is also legal. We are all accountable before God for our actions. God is perfectly capable of holding people accountable for their actions without the assistance of violent acts on the part of anti-abortionists. I was once on the other side of the abortion debate before I had the Gospel in my life. I can tell you that people who support abortion do not feel it is murder. If they did, they would most certainly not support it. Years ago I used to feel just as self-righteous about supporting abortion as the most vocal anti-abortionist feels about opposing it. Back then I couldn't believe that someone would put the "rights" of a mass of cells that had no ability to develop independently above the right of every child to be born into a family where it is wanted and loved. I see things differently now, but I have not forgotten the important lesson that intelligent, reasonable people see things differently. (Just look at the 2000 election to prove that to yourself. Each half of the Florida debate - and indeed the entire nation - felt righteously indignant about their stance.) It is one of the crucial principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that each individual is accountable before God for our actions REGARDLESS of the provocation. It's not "an eye for an eye" anymore, but "inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Yes, there have always been and will always be people who commit crimes in the name of God, but they are clearly not exempt from his justice.
By Christian Woman on 12/01/2006 at 5:06:41
Quiet warfare
I have read the article, I have read the comments. Have you ever noticed that men for the most part especially "Christian Men" are the most vocal. Why isn't ever Christian Household adopting at least two children. Is it easier for them to look down on someone who knows that she can't raise or support a child without help and knows there is no help. Our government is afraid to okay birth control pills, will only support a mother for so long (and rightly so). It is better to destroy a few cells, than to have a child starve, get killed or put into most foster care systems in this country. When every foster child, no matter what age, is adopted than maybe there is time for a new discussion. But until that happens, until ever child is wanted, until every man learns how to wear a condum, until ever woman learns about birth controa than I'm glad that abortion is legal.
By questioning on 12/01/2006 at 7:53:13
Quiet warfare
Hello! HELLO!!! Are you folks insane? You're arguing abortion when the whole point of the article was to point out the bias that media employs in order to steer public perception. Geez...
By Mad World on 12/01/2006 at 11:54:11
Quiet warfare
From the commandments, "Thou Shalt Not Kill" Let's see, major religious law, right up there in the top ten. It doesn't have any exceptions listed. It is what is known as an Absolute. Each shall suffer for their own sins, even when cloaked in a deception of righeousness, your crimes shall be known to god. Don't delude yourself into thinking that killing of anyone is the will of god, it is only the will of man, and criminal as well. Do not aid or support these terrorists, else your actions may paint you with their sins.
By Kagayaki on 12/02/2006 at 1:33:59
Quiet warfare
A class I took about 7 years ago that was offered for mostly police and firemen on the topic of "domestic terrorism" (meaning that it takes place here, not necessarily that the perpetrators are from here) defined terrorism as "the use, or the threat of the use of force to achieve political or ideological gain." Examples given included a religious cult in Washington state that wanted to have a particular ballot measure pass, so they poisoned all the salad bars in town so many people would be too sick to vote the next day (cult members were warned not to eat the salad.) The subway gassing cult in Japan performed a test-run on the apartment building that contained the home of a judge that ruled against that cult in an earlier court action. In the current discussion, I fail to see how these lawbreakers actions could be anything but terrorism. I also see in the fact that many so-called "news outlets" (I'm indicating all the newspapers, television news agencies, and news magazines that did not carry the story)decided not to carry this story as a self-deception: they don't want to admit that with all the safeguards we have in place, terrorism can still strike in this country and we don't have to look down the block at Islam for the culprit, it's the religion that lives right here at home with us. I'd also like to point out that the 100 acid attacks listed should be included in the figure for attempted murder - this act is not qualitatively different from pouring gasoline on someone and lighting a match. There is a chance it will only be disfiguring, but also a great chance it will kill the victim. Fire extinguishers are commonplace nowadays, but when was the last time you saw an acid extinguisher? Whether the lawbreaker is Moslem or Christian, they are still willing to kill in order to force their religious views upon masses of others who are not violating the law of the land, and that is terrorism.
By Chilehead on 12/02/2006 at 3:25:44
Quiet warfare
"From the commandments, "Thou Shalt Not Kill" Let's see, major religious law, right up there in the top ten. It doesn't have any exceptions listed." What, not even for the convenience of the mother?
By sjj on 12/02/2006 at 1:24:01
Quiet warfare
"DrFelch" you sound like just the kind of maniac you say religion creates, and yet there you are outside religion. Weird, eh? Forbidding anyone in your house to practice any religion, saying that protestors excercising first amendment rights should be murdered by gunfire, yeah you're a real peach. I can't imagine anyone not being swayed by your eloquence and diplomacy.
By sjj on 12/02/2006 at 1:30:52
Quiet warfare
David Robert McMenemy tried to save innocent babies from being murdered by babykilling abortionists. He made a mistake, but at least he tried. A lot more than you have done. The real terrorists are those who murder helpless babies. Stop picking on this guy. SAY THIS PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and am headed to eternal hell because of my sins. I believe you died on the cross to take away my sins and to take me to heaven. Jesus, I ask you now to come into my heart and take away my sins and give me eternal life.
By RevSpitz on 12/02/2006 at 8:33:33
Quiet warfare
Some people don't seem to grasp the idea of religion. The purpose of religion is to assist with ones relationship with God. Not everyone is called to have this relationship, some are called to pursue a relationship with themselves and their own reality (individualism). Regardless of what one is called to do, allowing others to live their in their own reality is a modernism brought forth from democracy. I hear very little decent about democracy (compared to other governments) Christian fundamentalism does not respect this democracy and neither does Muslim funtamentalism. People who act out in voilent ways toward their opposing view (whether it be againt abortion advocates, zionism, or non radical muslims) are truely weak people because they don't feel they are able to change the course of their world through a movement, and must therefore take blood into their own hands. I believe Al Queda thought that after 9/11 all Muslims would rise up against the zionists. For the same reason Al Queda will always remain a small group of fundamentalists, this did not occur. Respecting democracy is important because not accepting other people views is truely ignorant, selfish, and close minded. Education is the cure for this. For religious people, this education can come from the Bible, for scholars it may be ethics, for everyone else it may be experiencing a normal loving family. The collapse of family can be traced as a root cause to many of the ignorant, selfish, and closed minded people. Some forms of individualism favor the individual over the family. Some forms of religion favors the religion over the family. Religious fundamentalism is a product of religion and bad education, but do not discredit religion because some forms are harmful. Bad education in any variant is troubling. Democracy is founded on the principals of a healthy spirituality. These are essentially just good values. Do not discredit these values. I think fundamentalism is seen differently between radical muslims and radical christians simply because the violent anti-abortionists should know better. These people grew up in a democratic society and should know the value of this freedom. Radical muslims are mostly from non democratic societies. It is the lack of educated democracy and the attack on the whole idea of democracy that can scare us. If there was an entire region of the US that spawned violent anti-abortionists, it would be in the news ever day...because they would probably rise up together and attack the US gov't for their stance on Rowe vs Wade. This region does not exist. As a result, there are people attacking those who have different ideas about abortion but they are not attacking the government. There are however regions in the world where groups are attacking democracy. Of course there was another very influential period of our countries life where we worried about democracy...the anti-communist movement of the 40's and 50's. We took that pretty seriously as well. Guess what won? Even China is changing... Few people are taking seriously the moral shift in America. (and I'm not talking about evil doctors performing abortions) The real problem that exists is the breakdown of the family. This breakdown on a societal level is making fundamentalist people kill themselves for an abortion cause. This is a true enemy of democracy, happiness, and peace.
By Scott Morabito on 12/03/2006 at 1:54:29
Quiet warfare
Ms. Pozner, Thank you for bringing attention to this attack on a women's health clinic. It deserves greater attention, although the comments do show that there are a lot of people out there who do not think terrorism that predominately affects women is worthy of attention. This fits every definition of terrorism. The number of terrorist apologists on this thread, well, maybe it's the full moon. They do seem to have the same ideology as the islamic terrorists of al qaeda and think they can mete out God's punishment for God (as though God needs them for that). I suppose this McMememy guy was expecting his 50 virgins. I think the simplistic idea about the 10 commandments was interesting too, since of course US law (there is no country that rules according to the 10 commandments) makes all sorts of exceptions for "do no kill" -- that's why there's voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, different degrees of homicide, and of course killing in self-defense or when it is determined that no crime is committed. for example, when there was no person involved. Again, thanks for the article, and I hope to see some follow-up.
By halle on 12/03/2006 at 8:34:03
Quiet warfare
I think the above comments from realwoman and RevSpitz are as good an illustration as any of the extremism, insanity, and murderous arrogance of this self-appointed mob of religious enforcers. In Matthew the Bible says, "Judge not lest ye be judged." And yet these fools keep digging themselves in deeper and deeper. Supporting and encouraging terrorists like Michael Bray and David Robert McMenemy SHOULD be treated no differently from supporting Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. Both groups of fundamentalists are a threat to society. And given their numbers in the USA, I'd say the Christian fundamentalists are a much greater threat to the TRUE traditional American values enunciated by our founding fathers than any swarthy looking Middle Eastern types will EVER be.
By Keith Blevins on 12/03/2006 at 10:23:11

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