'Pro-life paradigm' motivates domestic terrorism: West Point report
WEST POINT, NY, February 4, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A study published by West Point's anti-terrorism center claims the “pro-life paradigm” is a motivating factor in domestic terrorism.
Dr. Arie Perliger, director of terrorism studies at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center (CTC), makes the allegation in his report, “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right.” The document – which references abortion 76 times in 146 pages – was issued in November but only reported last month.
In an analysis of “far-right terrorism,” Perliger likens the pro-life movement to the Ku Klux Klan, skinheads, and Christian Identity (a racist Christian heresy).
“The Christian fundamentalist violent far right emerged from two ideological platforms,” he wrote. “The more influential and popular one is that of the Christian Identity school of thought” – a tiny sect that teaches that Jesus Christ came to save only white people and that Jews are the literal biological children of Satan.
“The second is the anti-abortion/pro-life paradigm,” Perliger wrote.
Perliger writes that the “ideological principles of pro-life violence” include the beliefs that “the abortion industry” engages in “the systematic killing of innocent and pure human beings”; that “since every human being is created in the image of God, it is by definition a sin to end their lives”; and that “any violent acts to end their lives [of 'fetuses'] are immoral and should be prevented.”
Perliger also raps liberty-minded small government activists, whom he calls “anti-federalists.” According to the report, such purported would-be terrorists believe the government has “a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights,” and they “support civil activism, individual freedoms, and self-government.”
According to Perliger, small government advocates' views are not merely violent but “designed to exclude minorities and foreigners.”
The section on the pro-life movement links Dr. C. Everett Koop and Francis Schaeffer's statement that Roe v. Wade “symbolize[d] the triumph of evil over good” to a 1979 attack on an abortion facility and likens it to “the ideological rhetoric of the Identity movement.”
Perliger accuses pro-lifers of “using chemical and biological weapons” by “contaminating the medical equipment of abortion clinics with chemical materials.”
Perliger's competence in U.S. domestic terrorism is not readily apparent. The Israeli received his Bachelor, Master, and Ph.D. in political science at the University of Haifa, writing extensively on Middle Eastern terrorism.
The meandering report appears to come to conflicting conclusions. At once he claims pro-life terrorists “have been extremely productive during the last two decades, amassing 227 attacks.” Yet he adds pro-life “violence” is in “clear decline” and represents “a less salient threat.”
While he acknowledges more than 15 times as many “violent attacks” (3,354) were carried out by “unaffiliated” assailants and that such assaults have a higher rate of “lethality,” he maintains that organized attacks represent a greater danger.
The report's conclusions and funding have sparked outrage. Conservatives, including one West Point graduate who wrote to the Superintendant in protest against the report, have rejected the latest report as another government-financed smear job.
“Like so many in the Obama administration, Perliger does not want to engage in any dialogue on the issues, but just discredit an entire political movement by ad hominem charged words,” said Herb Titus, the former dean of the Regent University School of Law. “Perliger is not a serious scholar but a propagandist for the existing regime.”
John Fund writes that the newest “report manages to lump together every known liberal stereotype about conservatives between its covers.”
Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government, blasted the report's “shameful playing of the race card,” intimating that conservatives are “racist terrorists.”
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Such conflation of conservatives with racist terrorists has become a staple of Obama administration anti-terrorism reports.
An April 2009 DHS report entitled “Rightwing [sic.] Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” identified “groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration” and opposition to same-sex “marriage,” as “the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.” The DHS later pulled the report.
Yet DHS and FBI agents subsequently attended a terrorism training seminar on alleged pro-life terrorism hosted by Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation, and the Feminist Majority Foundation. After equating free speech with violence, organizers distributed a resource guide listing three pages of purportedly extremist websites to monitor, including mainstream organizations such as Priests for Life and the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Yet another DHS-funded report, “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008,” written by Gary LaFree and Bianca Bersani, concluded that single issue groups, including abortion opponents, had perpetrated more atrocities over a longer period of time than “extreme left-wing,” “extreme right-wing,” “religious,” or “ethno-nationalist” terrorists.
Constitutional expert John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute has voiced concerns that the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) “would allow the military to show up at your door if you’re [deemed] a ‘potential terrorist,’ and put you in military detention” indefinitely, without charges.
Bill Wilson noted acts of left-wing terrorism, from groups like the Earth Liberation Front, far outnumber “right-wing” terrorism. “It’s not tea partiers we need to watch out for,” he wrote, “it’s people like Obama’s terrorist buddy Bill Ayers.”
A congressional staffer and veteran told The Washington Times if the government is “looking for places to cut spending, this junk study is ground zero.”
Wilson believes that would not go far enough.
“West Point must immediately fire Perliger — and publicly repudiate his reckless statements,” he concluded.
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