A big shout-out to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which saw fit to print excerpts from Eric Rudolph’s self-serving mini-manifesto in which he attempted to justify the bombings of Centennial Olympic Park, several abortion clinics, and a gay bar as a war against the “regime in Washington.”
The “regime,” says Rudolph, has “forfeited their legitimacy and moral authority to govern” by virtue of its not outlawing abortion, which Mr. Rudolph considers to be murder.
Well, Mr. Rudolph is entitled to his opinion, I suppose. After all, opinions are like assholes: everybody has one, and everybody else’s stinks.
But where Mr. Rudolph has crossed the line separating people who have opinions (which are like assholes) from people who are genuine assholes themselves, is that he has used his opinions to justify - to himself, anyway - murdering people.
And I can’t tell you how pleased I am that the AJC has not only published Rudolph’s words, but has placed them in a prominent position on the Op-Ed page, in the spot usually reserved for opinions that run counter to the day’s editorial. Lovely. I’ll bet Eric Rudolph is pleased as well.
Why, if our print media were not available in order to give Armed Freedom Fighters in the Struggle Against Abortio-Terrorism an aura of legitimacy, what would they have to do in order to explain the ins and outs of their "casus belli" [Rudolph’s term] to the people of America? How could they get our attention?
Maybe by blowing up a few more clinics. Maybe by killing and maiming a few more people. Hey, perhaps this time they'll get lucky and take out a few kids who might be conveniently located in day care facilities in the same building! After all, what's a little collateral damage when you're fighting a regime that has forfeited their legitimacy and moral authority to govern?
AJC, you've done the people of America a great service! Mr. Rudolph thanks you as well.
[The AJC has made more of the text of Rudolph’s statement available on their website. I am not linking to it directly - if you want it, you’ll have to hunt for it. And just between you and me, if somebody in prison sticks a shiv into this cowardly fuck’s liver, I will not shed Tear One.]
On Saturday I spoke with Henry Schuster, senior producer at CNN and coauthor of the book Hunting Eric Rudolph. Henry pointed out that the AJC did not, in fact, publish the full text of Rudolph’s screed (I’ve corrected my parenthetical comment above accordingly) - but that other media outlets, such as Atlanta’s Channel 11, have. More ominously, Henry is mentioned by name in a two-page postscript to Rudolph’s statement, dated April 13. Rudolph, as might be expected, takes issue with Schuster’s book, which inconveniently does not cast Rudolph as a noble warrior in the anti-abortion cause. Rather, the book provides details as to Rudolph’s ties to the radical racist movement and, by describing his victims, works against any tendency one might have to romanticize this domestic terrorist.
Henry is not pleased that the government allowed Rudolph to plead guilty and escape a possible death sentence. In effect, the Feds negotiated with a terrorist, something Attorney General Ashcroft had pledged never to do. The consequences will be an emboldened radical racist movement and terrorists’ knowledge that, to effectuate a deal, all they have to do is bury a cache of weapons or explosives.
Henry and I are in violent agreement: Rudolph needs to be dragged out and shot. But, alas.