Carol Platt Liebau: Just a Hate Crime?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Just a Hate Crime?

As Hugh Hewitt points out, the Seattle Times hastens to inform one and all that the man who shot two at the Jewish Federation yesterday -- after yelling that he hated Israel -- was "mentally ill." And by implication, therefore, not a terrorist.

Blogger The American Muslim seizes on the MSM coverage to take the argument one step further:

It is still unclear why Naveed Haq did what he did. So far, however, none of the news reports I have read indicate that he did this out of religious conviction. You would be right in calling it an act of terrorism, but not the sort of terrorism of Al Qaeda, but rather the terrorism of Benjamin Smith, the Midwest man who went on a tirade in 1999, killing Jews, Blacks, and Asians. It was a hate crime committed against Jewish Americans, similar to the many hate crimes committed against Muslim Americans, especially after September 11.

Ignoring the fact that there, in fact, weren't "many hate crimes" committed against Muslims in the wake of 9/11, it's not clear, in this context at least, that there's a meaningful distinction to be made between a "hate crime" and terrorism. Both are directed at innocent civilians without warning; perhaps the only difference is that the former term is more often used to describe an individual act of animus, while the latter refers to an often (but not always) organized effort to instill fear for some religious/political end.

We don't know the full story of Naveed Haq, the shooter. So we don't really know whether Haq is a terrorist, or merely one who happens to be Muslim, randomly engaging in a crime against Jews. But in the middle of a war that's pitted Islamofascists against the state of Israel (because of the Jewish faith of its inhabitants), it's slicing the bologna pretty thin to argue that a man who shoots two, on the cusp of the Sabbath, in the Jewish Federation building, after screaming out his hatred for Israel is nothing more than a mentally ill bigot who (like Benjamin Smith) was equally likely to go after Asians or African Americans.

After all, couldn't one argue that every suicide bomber in Israel has done nothing more than engage in a "hate crime"? Or that it takes a certain kind of "mental illness" deliberately to place one's own children in danger for the anti-Israeli cause?

Certainly, Haq is entitled to the presumption of innocence as a legal matter. But it's far from clear that he deserves the benefit of the doubt either from fellow Muslims or from the MSM that's proved itself profoundly unwilling to give the benefit of the doubt to American soldiers.


Blogger Dittohead said...

In light of the crazy people out there. Carol sure is brave posting things like advocating Israel carpet bomb a 20 mile border.

In other news, a new live poll.

Do you believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment?
* 280767 responses

Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial.

No, like any president, he has made a few missteps, but nothing approaching "high crimes and misdemeanors."

No, the man has done absolutely nothing wrong. Impeachment would just be a political lynching.

I don't know.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Diane Tomlinson said...

Hmmm, that's one tasty poll there DH. Now do only liberals watch MSNBC I seem to have lost my scorecard. I almost wish bush could run for reelection this time so he could get back into office with a democratic Congress so he could be impeached and forced to resign. He's too full of himself to stand trial it would look to much like Saddam in the dock in Baghdad. I can dream can't I?

Okay enough posturing. On the topic at hand:

It was a terror attack an act of recrimination against a peoples who have been persecuted throughout history for their ability to survive despite all of Christendom trying to gig, hang, boil or burn them. Now they've got their own piece of turf and devil take the hindmost. I applaud Israel and hope they are able to restrain themselves in destroying Lebanon as they anihilate Hezbollah.

This being a terror attack by the lone gunman in Seattle does mean the war in Iraq is now officially a failure because once again terror has come back to the USA. Neocons over and over again blared that America had to fight terror in iraq or they would have to fight it in America. Wasn't this the second fabricated "reason" to demolish Iraq?
We told you it wouldn't be long. Now the terror is back because of Arab hatred and misdirected aggression which has nothing to do with iraq a nation that had nothing to do with terrorists.


4:40 PM  
Blogger amber said...

Was he born here? If not, how old was he when he became a citizen?

6:14 PM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

Two comments above: "iraq a nation that had nothing to do with terrorists" [sic]. Really? Not according to the nonpartisan(and hardly conservative) Council on Foreign Relations: (Iraq: A Terrorist Haven).

9:56 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

During Reagan's presidency:

Bin Laden a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies. Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, literally "the database", was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians. Inexplicably, and with disastrous consequences, it never appears to have occurred to Washington that once Russia was out of the way, Bin Laden's organisation would turn its attention to the west.,12780,1523838,00.html

11:04 PM  
Blogger Diane Tomlinson said...

I should have said, "nothing to do with terrorist attacks in the US." However, Carol, if you used the CFR definiton of state sponsors of terror then the US through its support of al Qaeda in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union qualifies as well!


7:19 AM  
Blogger Diane Tomlinson said...

And a few links for your enlightenment Carol.


7:29 AM  
Blogger Laurie Johnson said...

You absolutely must read Richard Miniter's DISINFORMATION if you want to get the information straight about who received CIA support in Afghanistan. Otherwise you look completely stupid to keep talking about us supporting Bin Laden as you do. Facts are better than fiction when arguing matters of substance.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...


I think I'll stick with congressional testimony and historians instead of right wing propagandists like Miniter.

You are correct facts are better than right wing fiction.

5:40 PM  
Blogger JillMartin said...

Not to belabor the point, but the 9/11 Commission, the Senate Intelligence Investigation, and the Kerr Report all found the same thing: there was no cooperation between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. Defectors and witnesses who allege that there were had agendas and were lying. Intelligence reports seeming to confirm cooperation turned out to be false. These investigations were all more thorough, more exhaustive, and had more access to intelligence than Richard Miniter, Stephen Hayes, et al. But more importantly, they didn’t have a right-wing agenda.

This right-wing campaign to refute its own intelligence sources and prove Hussein was a terrorist mastermind are simply the desperate delusions of people seeking to justify the war in Iraq in their own minds. Hayes and Miniter get play on every FOX News channel and right-wing radio station. Regnery Press, the infamous imprint of the conservative movement, printed Miniter’s work. The Weekly Standard, the most right-wing of right-wing magaizines, printed Hayes’ work. This willingness to print and distribute misinformation is the defining characteristic of this right-wing media machine.

To quote Miniter’s dustjacket: You’ve been fooled.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

Did you catch that, Laurie? It works like this: Whatever info, sources, etc, you use to country the moonbat assertions, it is only part of a right-wing agenda. THEIR'S, however, is pure as the driven snow. YOURS--right-wing propaganda, THEIRS--the unadulterated selfless truth, as if from on high. And all these documents secured from Baathist locations purporting to show evidence of the claims made by the administration before the war? We made them up. Yeah. You see, our reporters such as Miniter, are self serving, and theirs are the freakin light of truth.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Greg said...


Are you propogandizing polls again?

I thought you were house broken.

9:13 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

87% in a "live poll".

First: what is a live poll? I suspect, given the skew, a self-selecting sample.

10:57 AM  

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