Planned Parenthood shooting supsect to face judge

30 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Court appearance set for suspect in Planned Parenthood shooting.

The Republican presidential candidates waited more than 20 hours before making a public peep on Friday’s hours long terror attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Reports over the weekend suggested that Robert Lewis Dear told investigators about “baby parts” after the shooting, a potential reference to undercover videos circulated by an anti-abortion group showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the donation of tissue from aborted fetuses.

Cruz who described the reproductive health clinic a “criminal enterprise,” guilty of “multiple felonies” during a GOP debate this fall, became the first Republican candidate to say anything in public about the attack when he tweeted his condolences on Saturday: “We know that police officers and civilians have been targeted and lost their lives and our prayers are right now are with the families,” Cruz said. For their part, Richards said, Planned Parenthood has been careful not to explicitly link political rhetoric and last Friday’s shooting, though “it’s important to recognize that words matter” and they have a “real impact.” “I think we’ve been extremely careful.

Yet the details of the case reveal that this case seem closer to that of the man diagnosed with schizophrenia who shot then-congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six people in Arizona than to past abortion clinic shooters. He is accused of killing a police officer and two civilians — an Iraq war veteran and a mother of two — who were accompanying separate friends to the clinic. We are working hand in hand with law enforcement, Steve, as we do across the country to ensure the safety of our patients and the safety of our employees. Unlike other clinic shooters, Dear has no history of pro-life activity, just numerous run-ins with the law, including allegations of some rather strange behavior that ranges from “peeping tomism” to animal cruelty.

A law enforcement official said Dear told authorities “no more baby parts” after being arrested, part of a rambling statement that investigators are parsing to understand the reasoning. When “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace introduced Fiorina during his show on Sunday, he noted that the former HP executive has “taken a hard line” against Planned Parenthood and described her as “one of the toughest critics.” Although Fiorina made it clear that “nothing justifies this,” referring to Friday’s terror attack, she described the gunman as a “protestor” and inexplicably linked him to the Black Lives Matter movement. “[P]resumably, this man who appears deranged, if nothing else, will be tried for murder as he should be,” Fiorina told Wallace. “But it’s a tragedy, especially on a holiday weekend.” When Wallace asked Fiorina if she believed her false claims that Planned Parenthood harvested baby parts could have helped to motivate the attacker, the long-shot candidate defended her attacks on Planned Parenthood before blaming “typical left-wing tactics” for “demonizing the messenger.” “First, it is not alleged,” she said. “Planned Parenthood acknowledged several weeks ago they would no longer take compensation for body parts, which sounds like an admission they were doing so.” “This is so typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing a messenger because they don’t agree with the message,” she continued. “The vast majority of Americans agree what Planned Parenthood is doing is wrong.” “So, he’s a mentally disturbed person. Neighbors who live near Dear’s former South Carolina home say he hid food in the woods and lived off selling prints of his uncle’s paintings of Southern plantations and the Masters golf tournament. It’s horrifying to see and I can’t believe we’re seeing it, even this week, as really we should be to me, thinking about the families of the people who were killed and injured and how we can stop this kind of violence in America.” “It’s alarming to see this kind of rhetoric and these kinds of smear campaigns against abortion providers and patients continue,” she said, adding that the organization continues to have “very strong security measures in place” at their facilities nationwide.

But aside from these suggestive biographical facts, there is another good reason to believe that Dear’s alleged actions had little to do with a larger social movement. Ted Cruz, also a candidate for the GOP nomination, cited a report that said the shooter “was registered as an independent and a woman and transgendered leftist activist, if that’s what he is.” The first part of Cruz’s remark was specifically based on reports of a voter registration form in which Dear was listed as female. The violent radicalism that led to abortion clinic shootings represents a historically unique phase of the right-to-life movement, one that seems to have largely died more than a decade ago.

Attorney John Walsh said investigators have been in touch with lawyers from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights and National Security divisions, suggesting officials could pursue federal charges in addition to state homicide ones. The official said the “no more baby parts” comment was among a number of statements he made to authorities after his arrest, making it difficult to know his specific motivation. One possible avenue is the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which makes it a crime to injure or intimidate clinic patients and employees. “The case may fit the criteria for a federal domestic terrorism case, but based on my experience, I would be very surprised if this is not simply a local prosecution,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, a former U.S. attorney and state attorney general. “Murder charges will be more than adequate on the local level.” Planned Parenthood said witnesses said the gunman was motivated by his opposition to abortion. And they’re not happy about it.” Ben Carson chimed in during his trip to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, describing the shootings as a “hate crime” during an interview on ABC’s “This Week” without ever explicitly mentioning Planned Parenthood. “Unfortunately, there’s a lot of extremism coming from all areas. Whatever authorities decide is sure to be controversial, given the political murkiness of Dear’s statements and the debate over Planned Parenthood, which was reignited in July when anti-abortion activists released undercover video they said showed the group’s personnel negotiating the sale of fetal organs.

Violent radicals first attracted attention in the 1980s when they orchestrating many late-night clinic bombings that were successfully timed to avoid casualties. Many of these attackers were radical Calvinists who believed that, as members of God’s elect, they could legitimately right the sins of the world through violence. The Colorado Springs clinic, though, has been heavily damaged and will be closed for an uncertain amount of time, said Vicki Cowart, the regional head of Planned Parenthood.

And there’s no excuse for killing other people, whether it’s happening inside the Planned Parenthood headquarters, inside their clinics where many millions of babies die, or whether it’s people attacking Planned Parenthood.” Jeb!, who has complained that $500,000 spent federally for women’s health is too much money, merely said on Saturday that “there is no acceptable explanation for this violence, and I will continue to pray for those who have been impacted,” in a statement. These Calvinists believed that “it was appropriate for the godly man to take the law into his own hands, because his hands were the tools of the Lord.” This theological fringe, however, did not target abortion providers for execution until the 1990s. In contrast, on Friday night, Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both tweeted that they “#StandWithPP,” while Martin O’Malley followed suit on Saturday. They were controlled throughout the 1980s by the leadership of the larger “rescue” movement, which orchestrated blockades of clinics in the late 1980s and early 1990s in cites such as New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Wichita.

Coalescing in the Army of God organization, these extremists quickly declared war: “We, the remnant of God fearing men and women of the United States of Amerika [sic], do officially declare war on the entire child-killing industry.” Paul Hill, a Presbyterian minister, emerged as the Army of God’s spiritual leader. Hill and his followers emphasized a bellicose reading of the Bible by stressing the significance of Genesis 9:6: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.” A series of shootings soon followed.

Between 1993 and 1998, a total of seven people were killed, including three doctors, two receptionists, a clinic escort, and an off-duty police officer.

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