Eric Rudolph led authorities to a hidden stash of dynamite in the North Carolina mountains as part of a plea deal allowing him to avoid the death penalty for a series of bombings, including a deadly blast at the Atlanta Olympics.
The Justice Department said Friday that the alleged anti-government extremist will plead guilty to the 1996 Olympics bombing and three other blasts as part of the deal. Two people were killed and more than 120 injured in the explosions.
"The many victims of Eric Rudolph's terrorist attacks ... can rest assured that Rudolph will spend the rest of his life behind bars," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said in a statement from Washington.
How ironic, considering that as Governor George W. Bush's counsel in Texas, tasked with the job of evaluating clemency pleas from death row inmates, Gonzales didn't break a sweat about it:
As chief legal counsel for then-Gov. Bush in Texas, Gonzales was responsible for writing a memo on the facts of each death penalty case – Bush decided whether a defendant should live or die based on the memos. An examination of the Gonzales memoranda by the Atlantic Monthly concluded, "Gonzales repeatedly failed to apprise the governor of crucial issues in the cases at hand: ineffective counsel, conflict of interest, mitigating evidence, even actual evidence of innocence." His memos caused Bush frequently to approve executions based on "only the most cursory briefings on the issues in dispute." Rather than informing the governor of the conflicting circumstances in a case, "The memoranda seem attuned to a radically different posture, assumed by Bush from the earliest days of his administration—one in which he sought to minimize his sense of legal and moral responsibility for executions."
Apparently, being an radical anti-government right-wing terrorist, Rudolph merits a certain modicum of consideration and compassion that all those other murderers didn't deserve.
But, then, law enforcement officials seem uncommonly attuned to Rudolph's particular likes and dislikes:
AP: That may be the harshest punishment of all for a man who thrives in the outdoors, said Charles Stone, a retired Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent who helped oversee the bombing probe.
"He'll be caged for the rest of his life, and from a retribution aspect, that's probably worse than a death sentence for him," Stone said.
I guess all those Texas murderers Bush allowed to be put to death all really enjoyed living indoors in a small cell, and wouldn't have been sufficiently punished if they weren't killed by the state.
Maybe Gonzales was influenced by some of Rudolph's finer points:
AP: Rudolph, believed to be a follower of a white supremacist religion that is anti-abortion, anti-gay and anti-Semitic, was charged with carrying out bombings in Georgia and Alabama over three years ending in 1998.
Anyone who's anti-abortion and anti-gay is surely part of the culture of life, and can't be all bad. I'm sure he richly deserved any special consideration he may have received from our Attorney General.
I suppose opponents of the death penalty should be heartened that the AG has apparently joined their cause, except that only a fool would look for any moral consistency from Bush's bunch of two-faced hypocrits.
As usual, there's a political consideration at work:
AP: The former soldier and survivalist evaded capture for more than five years, hunkering down in the woods of North Carolina and living off the land as federal agents carried out a massive manhunt. ...
After the bombings, someone sent letters claiming credit for the blasts on behalf of the "Army of God," a shadowy group that opposes abortion. Two witnesses spotted Rudolph's truck in Birmingham after the clinic bombing, but authorities couldn't find him until 2003.
In the interim, Rudolph became an almost mythic figure to some residents of the region. A search across 550,000 acres of Appalachian wilderness at one time involved 200 agents.
Yet many mocked the government's inability to root Rudolph out, and he inspired two country-western songs and a top-selling T-shirt that urged: "Run Rudolph Run." A $1 million reward offer from the government went unclaimed.
Investigators suspect sympathizers may have assisted Rudolph during his time on the run, but no one was ever charged.
Can't expect the administration to alienate those "sympathizers" now, can we?
hostile to science
lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
out of control
Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
i've got a little list...
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Bruce Chapman (DI)
The Coors Family
William A. Dembski
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
John Gibson (FNC)
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
James F. Inhofe
Philip E. Johnson
by Joel Pelletier
(click on image for more info)
Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Sun Myung Moon
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Mellon Scaife
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
John Solomon (WaPo)
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
All the fine sites I've
Be sure to visit them all!!
Arthur C. Clarke
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Stephen Jay Gould
"The Harder They Come"
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
Michael C. Penta
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Red Shoes"
"Singin' in the Rain"
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Hunter S. Thompson
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.
If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.
(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)
Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.