Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oh, God, not this: Tiller assassinated
MORE UPDATES:: Suspect arrested

6:10 p.m. EDT:

PREVIOUSLY (4:35 p.m.EDT): While we await the police press conference, pro-life blogger Becky Banks Brindle has aggregated reaction from pro-life activists, including condemnation of the assassination by National Right to Life.

4:45 p.m.: Steve Marshall of USA Today is trying to outblog me on this story. Good luck with that, Steve. Beers to the winner, eh?

Reaction from Rude News, and linked at Comments From Left Field. Someone else has linked, proving again the truth of Rule 4 that linky-hate is the same as linky-love.

Expect further updates . . .

PREVIOUSLY: 3:45 p.m.: KMBC-TV reports:

A man sought in connection with the shooting was taken into custody south of the Kansas City area on Sunday afternoon. . . .
Police were not immediately identifying the name of the man arrested.
Attorney Dan Monnat said Tiller, 67, was shot at about 10 a.m. as he served as an usher during morning services at Reformation Lutheran Church. Monnat said Tiller's wife, Jeanne, was in the choir at the time of the shooting.
4:05 p.m.: Details about the suspects arrest are still very sketchy. The Wichita Eagle is on the story:
The suspect in this morning's fatal shooting of George Tiller is in custody, according to emergency dispatchers.
Authorities have yet to release more information about the arrest. Wichita police have scheduled a 4 p.m. news conference to discuss the case . .
Patterico is also blogging, as is Gateway Pundit. Meanwhile, some self-proclaimed "Putz" counterfactually accuses me of "blaming the victim."

Sigh. I've laid aside an essay I had worked on for four hours, so that I could try to get the updated news here, and put it in historical perspective. This insulting response is the thanks I get. So to the Putz, I say, in the famous words of Rahm Emanuel . . .

UPDATE 4:20 p.m.: Sweet mother of pearl! I'm not going to link Andrew Sullivan on this one, but Professor Donald Douglas does. Go read that and come back, because big news is breaking, and I'm holy unshirted hell on deadline when news is breaking.

PREVIOUSLY (2:36 p.m. EDT): While I was working on a long Hayekian essay today, the New York Times reported this awful news:
George Tiller, the Wichita doctor who became a national lightning rod in the debate over abortion, was shot to death this morning inside the lobby of his Wichita church.
Tiller, 67, was shot just after 10 a.m. at Reformation Lutheran Church at 7601 E. 13th, where he was a member of the congregation. Witnesses and a police source confirmed Tiller was the victim.
Police said they are looking for white male who was driving a 1990s powder blue Ford Taurus with Kansas license plate 225 BAB . . .
Via Memeorandum, which links reaction by Professor Donald Douglas, among many others. Prayers for the law enforcement officers who seek the killer, and prayers for the families and friends of both Tiller and his assassin.
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same . . ."
-- Romans 13:1-3 (KJV)
Sometimes, when the stubborn wickedness of a people offends God, the Almighty witholds His divine protection, permitting those sinners to have their own way, following the road to destruction so that they are subjected to evil rulers and unjust laws. Never, however, does the wise and faithful Christian resort to the kind of lawlessness practiced with such cruelty today in Kansas.

And so much for finishing my Hayekian essay, I suppose.

UPDATE: One reason I so despise such criminal idiocy is that, as a student of history, I cannot think of a single instance in which assassination has produced anything good, no matter how evil or misguided the victim, nor how well-intentioned or malevolent the assassin.

From Brutus and the other republican Senators who slew Julius Caesar to Charlotte Corday, from John Wilkes Booth to Gavrilo Princip, and so onto Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan and James Earl Ray, assassination seems inevitably to work against the purposes of its practicioners.

Those who slew Caesar did not save the Roman republic. Marat's death only incited the Jacobins to greater terror. Booth's pistol conjured up a spirit of vengeance against the South more terrible than war itself. Assassination is an act of nihilism. Whatever the motive of the crime, the horror it evokes always inspires a draconian response, and involves other consequences never intended by the criminal.

UPDATE II: Checking the major conservative blogs as of 3 p.m. EDT, Professor Glenn Reynolds seems not to have noticed this story yet. Nothing as yet from Michelle Malkin, either. Gateway Pundit is on it. Will check others. If anyone else is aggregating, please be sure to link here.

UPDATE III: More news reports from AP/Fox News.

Expect further updates . . .


  1. First off, Paul was a salesman. I'll go with Pelagius. As far as the assassination stuff, all that will happen is the martyrification of the person killed. Look at the Kennedy's. Philandering half-wits of a bootlegger raised to the pedestal of greats such as our founding fathers. You are right, nothing good ever comes of it.

  2. Kansas doctor George Tiller killed today!
    WICHITA, Kansas - Media reports say that abortion provider Dr. George Tiller has been shot and killed at his Wichita church. Tiller has been among the few U.S. physicians performing late-term abortion. His clinic has repeatedly been the site of protests for about two decades. He was acquitted in March of misdemeanor charges stemming from procedures he performed, but moments after the verdict the state’s medical board announced it was investigating allegations against him that are nearly identical to those the jury had rejected.
    The video from the scene:Dr. George Tiller-video

  3. Stick a fork in the prolife movement, it's done. The full force of the federal govt via the Patriot Act is going to come down hard on prolifers.

  4. The assassination of Julius Caesar led (eventually) to the Pax Augusta.

  5. The suspect just got arrested:

  6. "Never, however, does the wise and faithful Christian resort to the kind of lawlessness practiced with such cruelty today in Kansas."

    Oh, bullshit. It is exactly this kind of farcical human being who fans the flames of hate and division which rsults in acts like this by unbalanced people. The lunatic who committed this act is only the pathetic, manipulated instrument of the church. They may not admit it today, but there are more than a few "wise and faithful Christians" who are drinking a toast to this terrorist tonight.

  7. Smitty - linking to you since you are ahead of the curve. I just stepped in from working outside and was shocked.

    You're doing a great job! Thanks

  8. DailyKos says GOP "must be proud of the killer"

    "Rush will praise the killer in his show tomorrow"

    Here is the screenshot immediately after it happened from Kos..

  9. Never heard of this doctor ,but if he was a killer of babies,then it comes back to him. I have heard of beliefs from people from India that somehow if you put out good it returns to you and if you put out bad it returns to you.Sad about all of this in America we hurt each other ,when we should be an example for the rest of the world .Well I guess today God will judge if the doctor was right or wrong,when they meet face to face.

  10. I would submit that the targeted killing of Admiral Yamamoto over the Pacific and the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich were exceptions to the rule. Although I have isues with the morality of the Yamamoto deal, because despite being the architect of Pearl Harbor I believe he was an honorable man. Heydrich? Scum.

    Having said all that, I'm glad Kansas has the death penalty again. And it appears you have not mentioned the alleged assassin's name in your updates. Thank you for that refusal to give 15 minutes of notoriety to this unspeakable beast.

  11. Someplace linked, which seems to be down now. For those aborting babies for serious physical defects, he offered pictures of the baby after "delivery" holding the baby after "delivery", footprints and handprints, and cremation or burial.

    For those aborting babies for other reasons, no such services were offered.

    God's peace to those parents who felt they had to do this and then wanted to memorialize their baby.

  12. I know this is going to be way out there, conspiratorially speaking. But could it be a setup?

    This is just way too convenient for the Obamanation. An attack on abortion. A crime with a firearm. I think this one needs really, really close examination.
    Just too damned convenient. Conservatives are already in retreat. I really wonder.

  13. Well, Gavrilo Princip pretty much got what he wanted, you might say. He was an anarchist, and he got anarchy!

    Although, I admit, it was probably not the anarchy he had in mind...

    Confused? Learn more.

  14. People need to acknowledge the fact that the anti abortion movement is a terrorist network similar to Al Qaeda.

  15. At my blog, I have been running a series of posts about what is needed to be able to judge anything, including murder, as morally wrong. I am specially thinking about grounding moral judgments rationally.

    I think it's ironic that people who believe in God are able to ground an objective moral standard about right and wrong. And so they can make a judgment that murder is wrong. If the universe is designed, then there is a way humans ought to be.

    I wrote here about whether such judgments are possible on atheism:

    Christians can and do condemn the murderer of George Tiller. But if morality is just personal or cultural preferences, on atheism, how can atheists say anything is wrong? Isn't it just their opinion? How can you expect other people to act based on your opinion?

    Something to think about if you get creamed by angry atheists tomorrow for being pro-life. Agree with them that murder is wrong, and ask them how that standard that applies to others is grounded, on atheism.

  16. i am tired of these anti-abortion freaks; "hey don't kill a baby or we will kill you"; although iam opposed to abortion, i am not about to force my viewpoint on others, esp by murdering!!! Bunch of looser groups, whose amount of members will continue to diminish in the next 100 yrs and only loosers, mentally slow and easily convinced, criminals, jobless people (who else has so much free time to protest) and people with mental disorders will exist in this group. Hey bacteria can never be erradicated completely.

  17. I have absolutely no sympathy for this doctor or his family, he has been ending lives for over 25 years. He finally got what was coming to him.

  18. I know that things move quickly in 2009. I would like to see us stop and realize that a man was murdered today. He was killed because someone else disagreed with him. That should be enough to make all of us on the right and left sides of any political issues take a moment to consider the effect terrorism has on all of us.

    P.S. I can't understand why any blogger would allow comments from "Anonymous."

  19. Who can really be surprised? Evangelical Christians are more supportive than any other group of torture, too.

  20. Give a big punishement to the culprit done.With that no one in the country should do it again.

  21. Nobody from the pro-birth group has any right to say a one word about this. Not Randall Terry, not the National Right to Life Organization, not Robert Stacy McCain. You all are awash in this man's blood. The tactics and language employed by these terrorists practically guarantee something like this is going to happen. Using Fox News as a mouthpiece and allowing a major media figure like O'Reilly to continually profile an abortion provider as bloodthirsty as Caligula means you are all have as much blood on your hands as the actual terrorists who pulled the trigger. Sorry, we really don't want to hear any of your cynical, self-serving "regrets."

    Conservatism: the party of illegal war, torture and murder. Congratulations. Hope you are really proud of yourselves.

  22. Not everyone on the Right is Pro-Life. Many of us libertarians are stridently Pro-Choice, though agree with our conservative friends on ending taxpayer-funding of abortion.

    And then there's Ann Stone and Republicans For Choice.

    So, the Left cannot say with any legitimacy that this is a "Rightwing" deal.

  23. Ummm...just as soon as you can point out one hate-spewing, rabble rousing, lunatic-inspiring freak from the left like Randall Terry or Bill O'Reilly, you let us know, k, Eric?

    Until then, it most certainly is a "Rightwing"

  24. Tiller was a mass murderer and a scumbag. But he shouldn't have been murdered himself. Sad to say but the violence of the abortion industry - as deadly and malodorous as Cyklon B - will continue to beget violence. And the most fanatical supporter of that violence in the major leagues of US political history is the country's President.

  25. "Never, however, does the wise and faithful Christian resort to the kind of lawlessness practiced with such cruelty today in Kansas."

    Did I miss it ? Was this your posted sentiment each and every day that Tiller practiced his craft ?

    Or just the day that he stopped ?

  26. I am not so sure that assassination only ever works against the intentions of the assassins. Leaving aside the assassinations by states (don't you think that the U.S. assassination of Zarqawi was good for us?) and the general problem of counterfactuals (i.e. you can't know how things would have turned out if the assassination had not taken place), I can think of at least one clear case where the an assassination had a very helpful effect: the assassination by ETA assassins in 1973 of Spanish fascist dictator Francisco Franco's handpicked successor Luis Carrera Blanco. With Blanco out of the picture, the transition to democracy following Franco's death two years later became far easier, and with that has come significant devolution of autonomy to the Basque region, albeit not the independence that ETA continues to strive for.

  27. I wonder if the rightwing nuts of the oughts will be as awesome as the rightwing nuts of the 90s. Why is it (in recent history) that whenever the left so much as protests a govt action when the right holds political power it's viewed as nothing short of treason, but when the right is out of power the full-on crazy is brought to bear. McViegh, Koresh, Rudolph, Ruby Ridge and now Poplawski, the weird anti-immigrant GOP'er in NY, the KY nut who attacked the Unitarian church, and Roeder. Did you clowns know that not only was Roeder an anti-choice Jesus freak but also a tea-bagging militia nut? Awesome! Something tells me this won't be a replay of the 90s. Now we can spread the truth about rightwing domestic terrorists a lot easier thanks to the intertubes, and thanks to W's Patriot Act provisions and the DHS we can turn the spotlight on America's white trash underbelly and really turn the hurt on. Better prep your bunkers and get ready to live out your Left Behind fantasies, because like doo doo in your pants it's coming!

  28. What is it that O'Reilly said that is any worse than what the presidents pastor, Reverand Wright said in his sermons. He is one of your radical left leaders.

  29. How does Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge figure into your fanatical rant. All he was guilty of was wanting to live alone without being harrassed by the government. The government was the one who used entrapment, which is illegal, to arrest the man, killing his family in the process. Sounds to me like you must have been personal friends with Roeder, with all the information you claim to have about him, that must make you white trash too.