Look! It’s an election year! Time for the media to scare the low-information voters again. CNN’s Peter Bergen and David Sterman from the “New America Foundation” write a piece at CNN which warns that right wingers are more dangerous than Muslim extremists based on a simple statistic;
According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11. (The total includes the latest shootings in Kansas, which are being classified as a hate crime).
By contrast, terrorists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology have killed 21 people in the United States since 9/11.
See? That’s how easy it is to understand; 34 is a bigger number than 21, so Bergen and Sterman are right. But, you have to look a little deeper at the people they’re calling “right wing terrorists”. For example;
In 2009, for instance, Shawna Forde, Albert Gaxiola, and Jason Bush raided a house in Arizona, killing Raul Flores and his daughter Brisenia. The three attackers sought to use the burglary to finance their anti-immigration vigilante group, Minutemen American Defense. Forde and Bush were convicted and sentenced to death. Gaxiola was sentenced to life in prison.
Coincidentally, that case was when this blog split from Little Green Footballs’ Charles Johnson. Jason Bush was the ringleader of that little venture, he was pretending to be a retired special forces master sergeant, but he was just a career criminal who had mesmerized a few disorganized anti-immigration bigots. The murder was a crime, hardly terrorism.
Berman and Sterman give only two examples of “right wing terrorism” and then they resurrect the Timothy McVeigh zombie to bolster their vacuous “research”;
Of course, the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil prior to 9/11 was the Oklahoma City bombing, which was masterminded by Timothy McVeigh, a man with deep ties to far-right militant circles. McVeigh killed 168 people when he bombed the Alfred P. Murrah federal building on April 19, 1995.
Despite this history of deadly violence by individuals motivated by political ideologies other than al Qaeda, it is jihadist violence that continues to dominate the news and the attention of policy makers.
I guess it would be inconvenient if I mentioned a few left wing terrorists at this point like Floyd Lee Corkins, who was influenced by left wing hate speech to try his hand at a mass shooting in the offices of the Family Research Council – that’s terrorism, fellas. Unlike Jason Bush who was only robbing his victims, Corkins’ intent was to just kill people to punctuate his political statements.
But, yeah, I guess this is the next shiny object to use to distract the attention deficit Headline News viewers/voters from the scandals and incompetence of the current administration.
And to distract from this CNN story about 100 decimated al Qaeda leaders at a very public convention in Yemen.
But, yeah, let’s take our eyes off the al Qaeda ball and start hunting people with opinions different from most journalists.