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Thread: Domestic political violence (USA)

  1. #41
    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
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    Default Follow up du Schmedlap......

    "Is this any more troubling than some high-profile school shooting that is likely to cause copycat shootings?"
    While the age of the victims in a school shooting evokes sympathy, terrorism is more troubling because it is directed at the legitimacy of the state or society. If either unravels problems are significant and scale up.

    To use school shootings as a test case, Columbine is a less threatening example of violence than was Beslan, because Beslan demonstrates how motivated terrorists could systemically strike at soft targets.

  2. #42
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    Default Defining terrorism - for what purpose ?

    I start with a mindset that considers "terror", "terrorism", "terrorist", etc., to be subjective terms. My mindset corresponds closely with this discussion of those terms in SORO, Human Factors: Undergrounds in Insurgencies (1966; linked here, Two more 1960s freebies ...), p.169 note:

    Terror may be described as state of mind. Its effect upon individuals cannot always be determined from an objective description of the terrorist act. That which threatens or terrorizes one individual may not affect another in the same way.

    Essentially, however, the process of terrorism can be viewed in the following manner: The stimulus is the threatening or terroristic act, and the response is the course of action, or inaction, pursued by the individual upon perceiving and interpreting the threat. If the perception of the threat leads to disorganized behavior such as hysteria or panic or the inability to take appropriate action, the individual is said to be in a state of terror.

    Terror is not a static phenomenon: As threatening acts accumulate or escalate, the degree of terror heightens. A stimulus can be anything from an act of social sanction to threats of physical violence or actual physical attack. The corresponding interpretation of these threatening sets is a heightening state of terror.

    The response may vary from coerced compliance to acquiescence, from physical flight to psychological immobilization and breakdown.
    Given my mindset, it should not surprise anyone that I agree with Rifleman, I don't like the "terrorism" category:

    I believe violent acts should be considered either criminal acts or acts of war regardless of motivation and aims. I don't see "terrorism" as a useful classification for violent acts either foreign or domestic. I see terrorism as a tactic, not a useful legal definition.
    and here, I understand the argument and I still disagree...:

    I can see terrorism as a tactic. I can also see it as an effect - did someone get real scared because someone else was threatened or killed? Well, then they were terrorized, weren't they?

    I still don't think it's a useful legal definition, regardless of the perpetrators motive or intent. We have crimes. We have acts of war. We even have war crimes. What else is needed?

    What useful purpose does debating whether or not an act of violence or intimidation should be called domestic terrorism serve? Is it not enough to call it murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, arson, property destruction, stalking, etc.?
    Rifleman's point (and mine) is exemplified by 18 USC 2332f, Bombings of places of public use, government facilities, public transportation systems and infrastructure facilities (link below), which has to be one of the most confusing pieces of legislation in effect.

    But, of course, that portion of the "Patriot Act" goes beyond criminalizing "terrorist acts" (which were criminalized well before its enactment). So far as Title 18 U.S. Code, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, Chapter 113b - Terrorism, is concerned, you have to read the whole thing. Here is the table of contents:

    Chapter 113b - Terrorism - 18 USC ...

    Sec. 2333. Civil remedies
    Sec. 2334. Jurisdiction and venue
    Sec. 2335. Limitation of actions
    Sec. 2336. Other limitations
    Sec. 2337. Suits against Government officials
    Sec. 2338. Exclusive Federal jurisdiction
    Sec. 2339. Harboring or concealing terrorists
    Sec. 2339A. Providing material support to terrorists
    Sec. 2339B. Providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations
    Sec. 2339C. Prohibitions against the financing of terrorism

    Sec. 2331. Definitions
    Sec. 2332. Criminal penalties
    Sec. 2332a. Use of certain weapons of mass destruction
    Sec. 2332b. Acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries
    [Sec. 2332c. Repealed. Pub. L. 105-277, div. I, title II, Sec. 201(c)(1), Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681-871]
    Sec. 2332d. Financial transactions
    Sec. 2332e. Requests for military assistance to enforce prohibition in certain emergencies
    Sec. 2332f. Bombings of places of public use, government facilities, public transportation systems and infrastructure facilities
    The "direct criminal acts" prohibitions are encompassed in Secs. 2331-2332f.

    The Secs. 2333-2338 provisions primarily deal with the rights and limitations of victims of terror in bringing civil actions because of "terrorism". Those provisions require a definition of "terrorism", etc.

    The Secs. 2339 provisions are really the key to the need to define "terrorists" in this statutory complex:

    18 USC 2339, Harboring or concealing terrorists
    18 USC 2339A, Providing material support to terrorists
    18 USC 2339B, Providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations
    18 USC 2339C, Prohibitions against the financing of terrorism
    Most AQ prosecutions have involved the "material support" provisions, in one way or another. Of course, the Secs. 2339 provisions are similar to the various "Communist Control" measures of the early Cold War era. - Are you now or ever have been a member of the Communist Party or of any other subversive organization ?

    To provide a flavor, here is 18 USC 2339A, Providing material support to terrorists:

    (a) Offense. - Whoever provides material support or resources or conceals or disguises the nature, location, source, or ownership of material support or resources, knowing or intending that they are to be used in preparation for, or in carrying out, a violation of section 32, 37, 81, 175, 229, 351, 831, 842(m) or (n), 844(f) or (i), 930(c), 956, 1114, 1116, 1203, 1361, 1362, 1363, 1366, 1751, 1992, 1993, 2155, 2156, 2280, 2281, 2332, 2332a, 2332b, 2332f, or 2340A of this title, section 236 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2284), or section 46502 or 60123(b) of title 49, or in preparation for, or in carrying out, the concealment of an escape from the commission of any such violation, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life. A violation of this section may be prosecuted in any Federal judicial district in which the underlying offense was committed, or in any other Federal judicial district as provided by law. (b) Definition. - In this section, the term "material support or resources" means currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel, transportation, and other physical assets, except medicine or religious materials.
    A related section (2339B) is currently before SCOTUS - Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, with oral arguments this Tuesday, 23 Feb.

    At what point does a "terrorist supporter" become prosecutable, or more narrowly re: "high value targets", killable ?

    How does "terrorism" differ from insurgency, insurrection, rebellion and revolution in regard to its impact on the "legitimacy of the state or society" ?

    What is the reasoning (other than the legal uses to provide a not very useful civil action for terrorist victims, and a more useful prosecution tool against material supporters of "terrorists") for defining "terrorism" ? In short, are there non-legal reasons for using the term ?

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 02-21-2010 at 03:28 PM.

  3. #43
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    What is the reasoning (other than the legal uses to provide a not very useful civil action for terrorist victims, and a more useful prosecution tool against material supporters of "terrorists") for defining "terrorism" ? In short, are there non-legal reasons for using the term ?

    Regards

    Mike
    Hey Mike,
    This makes the most sense to me. So, how to get tough on domestic's gone postal without a stronger set of rules?

    Way back when, being a traitor or committing treason was worse than any other criminal act known in the USA.

    Terrorism (and lately IED, IEDD and CIED) seems to be a catch all phrase for the USG and the Beltway Bandits. Include any combination of the two and you have instant funding and recognition.

    In my current field, you merely state "all personnel have combat experience" and their are automatically "instructors" in spite of the fact "they" were never instructors.

    Regards, Stan
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenpundit View Post
    While the age of the victims in a school shooting evokes sympathy, terrorism is more troubling because it is directed at the legitimacy of the state or society. If either unravels problems are significant and scale up.
    That's surprising. I would have thought the school shootings are more problematic because one can make a case that there is a causal "copycat" effect. In other words, one school shooting can lead to more. Is there any fear that someone is going to copy this guy?

  5. #45
    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
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    Default Process is already unfolding

    "Is there any fear that someone is going to copy this guy? "

    Stack is a copycatter. Austin is the third incident of using a plane to crash a building ( not including other plots that were disrupted prior to going operational).

  6. #46
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rifleman View Post
    I see the term "terrorism" as Wilf seems to see terms like manuever warfare, 4GW, OOTW, etc. It's a hip term for an ancient tactic/effect that serves no useful purpose and diverts attention away from the essence of what's really going on.
    That's the rabbit! As an aside, I recently I had some guy advertised to me as being a "Counter-Terrorism Expert". I fed back that I was a "Warfare Expert." - not that I am in anyway, but I am thinking of claiming to be a "COIN Expert" since it seems there is no minimum standard in that field!

    When folks call themselves "Student of Warfare" I think we'll be getting somewhere.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  7. #47
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    That's surprising. I would have thought the school shootings are more problematic because one can make a case that there is a causal "copycat" effect. In other words, one school shooting can lead to more. Is there any fear that someone is going to copy this guy?
    1-It all goes to motive. Anyone with a similar motive may attack. The whole copycat theory is questionable IMO.

    2-School shootings are usually the result of bullying. The Austin incident was the result of Government policies. The Method.....Terrorism was used in both cases.

    3-The video I posted of the guy who bulldozed his house because of Bank and IRS problems has the same motive as Joe Stack, his method is exactly the same, but his target (opportunity) was slightly different.

    4-That is why motive is so impoertant. Just like War if you want to prevent it or end it, sooner or later you must address the motvie.

  8. #48
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default Joe Stack's Daughter Says He Is A Hero

    Link to article where Plane Driver's Daughter calls him a hero.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/...n6231193.shtml

  9. #49
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    Default The Austin "Mucker"

    Joining the debate late, but led here from Zenpundit's link. I'll apologetically take a moment to disagree with much of what ZP says; the Committee on Public Safety was an organization of the State - chartered by the National Assembly. If their actions were terrorism, then so are the actions of every brutal dictatorship in the world - so, in fact, are the actions of every state that uses deadly force to enforce state policy.

    I'll suggest that there are two phenomena here - one is what I've been calling the phenomenon of "muckers" (after John Brunner) - people who because of some anomic defect simply decide that killing people - sometimes lots of people - is the only way to scratch some psychic itch. We're rich in them in the West, for philosophical reasons that are interesting to explore, but a sidebar.

    One is the growing acceptance, in the face of new standards of behavior in warfare that explicitly attempt to restrain military behavior, of non-state violence.

    Some of the non-state actors are political participants within a state (Sri Lanka, the Taliban) some are transnational movements (currently the one that is active and attention getting is based on a modern interpretation of fundamentalist Islam - Islam crossbred with modern European philosophy).

    I'll suggest a kind of "occam's razor" in distinguishing muckers from terrorists; if there are policy issues at stake - even irrational ones, we are probably talking about terrorists, even if they are lone wolf or self-initiated terrorists.

    Muckers have no addressable complaints - as the Austin pilot didn't, the Washington state trooper murderer didn't. And they had no social network supporting and encouraging this kind of violence.

    The Aryan Nation bank robbers in the 1980's? terrorists. Random cranks who go off and spout inchoate rage against the government and the system? Not so much, I'll argue.

    So it seems dangerous to define terrorism down to the level of someone like this...


    Marc

  10. #50
    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
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    Default Disagreement is healthy

    "Joining the debate late, but led here from Zenpundit's link. I'll apologetically take a moment to disagree with much of what ZP says; the Committee on Public Safety was an organization of the State - chartered by the National Assembly. If their actions were terrorism, then so are the actions of every brutal dictatorship in the world - so, in fact, are the actions of every state that uses deadly force to enforce state policy"
    Yes, that however was the point of origin for the concept of terrorism and "Terrorists", as a state agency, propagators of "the Terror" during the French Revolution, though the tactic is ancient (see LaQueur, Voices of Terror). The Jacobins and the Paris Commune were the heavy historical influence on Lenin's ideas of revolutionary violence ( along with the theories of Sergei Nechaev). Terrorism later became associated with groups and individuals which is how we use it today but "state terrorism" has never disappeared, we just call it something else.

  11. #51
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default A Terrorist by any other name...

    I'm sure some will think so. Seems like not a terrorist, simply yet another nutter...

  12. #52
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    SPLC special report on the rise of hate groups. Up 244% for 2009


    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informe...e-on-the-right

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    SPLC special report on the rise of hate groups. Up 244% for 2009


    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informe...e-on-the-right
    I heard an equally credible report from an equally credible group (though on the other side of the political spectrum) claiming that left-wing politicians want to destroy our way of life. Panic! If someone reports it, it must be objectively true!

  14. #54
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    I heard an equally credible report from an equally credible group (though on the other side of the political spectrum) claiming that left-wing politicians want to destroy our way of life. Panic! If someone reports it, it must be objectively true!
    I never really understood the differance between left wing and right ring hate groups.

  15. #55
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Gotta be on an upward trend, the more up the better...

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    SPLC special report on the rise of hate groups. Up 244% for 2009
    Only way to keep those grants and donations coming in...

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    I never really understood the differance between left wing and right ring hate groups.
    "Right-wing" groups are those that hate people of a certain ethnicity or appearance. Generally racism.

    "Left-wing" groups are those that hate people of certain vocations or beliefs. Generally bigotry.

    But, yeah, the left and right labels don't make much sense.

  17. #57
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Only way to keep those grants and donations coming in...
    Exactly, the head of the Southern Poverty Law Center is notoriously sleazy. I am very skeptical about the information put out by the SPLC.

  18. #58
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    Default A Christian commentary

    Hat Tip to Leah Farrell.

    Threats of right wing violence have doubled in the past year. What is behind the latest upsurge in the movement to create a Christian theocratic state?
    Link:http://www.religiondispatches.org/ar..._______?page=1

    Note the only comment on the SPLC.
    davidbfpo

  19. #59
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Thread re-named

    This thread was originally a reaction to the plane flown into an IRS building and entitled 'Plane Strikes IRS Building In Austin, Texas'. Having read the entries, which have dealt with definitions and more I have re-titled it: Domestic political violence (USA).
    davidbfpo

  20. #60
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    This thread was originally a reaction to the plane flown into an IRS building and entitled 'Plane Strikes IRS Building In Austin, Texas'. Having read the entries, which have dealt with definitions and more I have re-titled it: Domestic political violence (USA).
    1-Hi David,and we have had a few more incidents of that nature since then too, sad and disturbing state of affairs IMO.

    2-Can not remember which TV Network is going to air the program but on 19 APR 10 The Timothy MacVeigh Tapes are going to be aired. These are tapes of some type of LE or Legal interview and are supposed to be very detailed. Will post the Network when I can find it, unless somebody here already knows?

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