Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Good Question

Jack Balkin asks:

If bombings of abortion clinics and murders of abortion providers are acts of terrorism, should we treat the problem of terrorism that they present the way we treat the problem of terrorism from Al Qaeda and other groups? That is, should Scott Roeder, who is currently suspected of being Dr. Tiller’s murderer, be treated the way we would treat a suspected terrorist who we believe may have ties to Al Qaeda? Should we treat him like Jose Padilla, an American citizen who was apprehended at O’Hare airport and detained in a military prison in the United States for several years? (That is, until the government transferred him to the criminal process in order to avoid judicial review of his detention.)

Perhaps we should put this question to Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), who ruled out housing the Gitmo detainees at Leavenworth or anywhere in his state. After all, Mr. Roeder is currently being detained in the facilities in Wichita. So why is a non-Muslim terrorist being treated differently? Could it have anything to do with his target? Are some acts of terror more acceptable than others?