The reason George Tiller was killed wasn't because of him so much but more because the rightwing knows that there would be no negative repercussions to the larger movement and that it would be the absolute most efficient way to go about getting what they want. Scott Roeder will be a martyr and they'll see it as necessary that he had to sacrifice himself, but, in the end, any other winger who wants to be a hero will buy a gun and go blow someone's head off that the right decided not to like because one person will always be willing to sacrifice himself for the larger cause.
Tiller's clinic will be shut down because of his death, and there are only two doctors left willing to perform those sorts of late-term abortions. Of course, while late-term abortions are vilified by the right, they're performed in the most extreme of circumstances. They're necessary to reduce suffering and save women's lives, and are in fact the opposite of so-called "abortion on demand."
What gets me, though, is how pretty much all of the rhetoric of the last few years when it comes to the Global War on Terror could be directly applied to American terrorists, and yet isn't. Scott Roeder is a prime candidate for being tortured under the ticking time-bomb argument, but he won't be. We can't let the terrorists win, but they're getting exactly what they want. We can't use a law enforcement approach to fighting terror, but we will in this case. Heck, I doubt they'll even start wiretapping these folks.
So what have we learned about the GWOT? It's primarily about race and power. And if your terrorist syndicate is the right color and has politicians afraid to piss it off as a constituency, suddenly fighting terrorists as terrorists is off the table.
Of course, I wouldn't want all the tactics from the GWOT applied here. Unlike the Operation Rescue, a pro-life group that was apparently OK with demonizing someone as the new Hitler until a guy with a gun went a shot him, my values don't change depending on whom we're talking about. And the largest-scale tactic from the GWOT, invading Iraq, would find its equivalent in this situation if we invaded Venezuela, and that wouldn't do anything for anyone (other than Halliburton).
But can we at least get some sort of acknowledgement from the right that the reason we're not going to use the same tactics here is because Operation Rescue and George Tiller are mostly white? And instead of expressing their outrage at this situation, perhaps politicians can push law enforcement officers to see this as a pattern and a strategy instead of just some crazy guy who wanted to kill someone?
Because the NY Times (in a weird article where they boo-hoo with Operation Rescue about how they don't know what to do now that they've won) says that they're regrouping and will most likely search for another target:
"I think it's too early to say what comes next," he said.
Although Operation Rescue worked for years to close down Dr. Tiller's clinic, his death was never the outcome Mr. Newman wished for, he said. Of the man charged with killing Dr. Tiller, he tearfully said, "This idiot did more to damage the pro-life movement than you can imagine."[...]
"If you went to a meeting, sometimes you would think the enemy was other pro-life people, not abortion," he said.
Not all anti-abortion advocates, he said, favored the bloody "truth truck" ("Abortion is an ObamaNation," it reads) parked outside his house or agreed on what protesters should call out to women going inside the clinic (obscenity-filled insults or offers of help) and how loudly.
Even now, Mr. Gietzen said, they were not of one mind about statements many groups here have issued condemning the killing of Dr. Tiller. "You can't be pro-life and go around killing people, but some people are really mad at me for saying that," he said.
So mad that they'd...?
After the article describes how the group has tried to shut down Tiller's clinic for decades, and none of their tactics worked (other than just killing Tiller), it goes on to say that it might reopen:
Despite the family announcement about the clinic's uncertain future, some here seem convinced that it will secretly reopen on Monday. On Sunday, [Kansas Coalition for Life president Mark] Gietzen said some of his more than 600 trained volunteers already were organized in shifts for a new week, in case visiting doctors were flown in.
"If it happened," he said, "we're going to act like the Minutemen and be there."
Hmmm.... I don't think Gietzen is too stupid to not know that the original Minutemen were soldiers that killed people. It's interesting that he'd choose that word.
So what's the difference here? I think we'll find out more at trial about the connection between Operation Rescue and Scott Roeder, even though we already know that he was told to hate Tiller because of the organization.
If anything, though, this case proves that Guantanamo can be shut down and the people there can be tried in normal courts in the US. If US courts and prisons are good enough for someone like Scott Roeder, they're good enough for any other person suspected of terrorism as well.