Rudolph the Red-Handed Terrorist
After nearly four years on the run, Eric Robert Rudolph may be getting some breathing room from law enforcement officials. According to a recent CNN report, the FBI is "scaling back its search" for the suspected 1996 Olympics bomber after spending more than $30 million in the hunt for the missing fugitive.
Rudolph, who some speculate has disappeared into the wilds of the mountains of North Carolina, has been charged with placing in Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Olympic Games a bomb that killed one person and injured more than 100. He is also suspected of the double bombing at the Otherside Lounge, a gay and lesbian bar, in Atlanta on February 21, 1997.
Since May 1998, Rudolph has been on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List.
He was remembered recently in two letters received by a shoe store in Andrews, North Carolina and by the Andrews Journal newspaper--purportedly sent by the Army of God. According to an Associated Press report, "The typed letters were topped with the words 'Eric Robert Rudolph' and 'May God be with you,' " and they vowed to use "lethal force" to stop abortions.
The letters said: "We the remnant of the god-fearing men and women of the United States of Amerika [sic] do officially declare war on the entire child killing industry." Because "all of the options have expired, we are forced to take arms against you. Our life for yours--a simple equation. Dreadful. Sad. Reality, nonetheless. You shall not be tortured at our hands. Vengeance belongs to God only. However, execution is rarely gentle."
The Army of God has had a higher profile of late. Shortly after the New Year's Day beheading of three homosexuals in Saudi Arabia, the Rev. Michael Bray, the so-called chaplain of the Army of God, praised the executions. In an article posted at his website, Bray writes: "While the Christians among us westerners would decline to emulate our Muslim friends in many ways...we can appreciate the justice they advocate regarding sodomy. Might these fellows also consider an embryonic jihad? Let us welcome these tools of purification. Open the borders! Bring in some agents of cleansing. We have no standards of citizenship. Perhaps the issue can be forced and we can get some discussion going."
Bray, author of A Time to Kill and co-host of the annual antiabortion terrorist-fest known as the White Rose Banquet, also praised the actions of antiabortion terrorist Clayton Lee Waagner. After escaping from an Illinois jail, Waagner spent ten months on the lam. Before he was captured in early December, he admitted to sending letters claiming to contain anthrax to hundreds of abortion clinics. "The use of anthrax or the threat of the same is not popular," Reverend Bray said, "especially in the wake of 911. But it was certainly effectual. Abortuaries were closed all around the country. Babies were, by all facts of statistics, saved from death."
While on the run, Waagner told Neal Horsley, the creator of the infamous Nuremberg Files website, that he had put together a list of forty-two abortion workers he was prepared to kill.
On Friday, January 25, in an Urbana, Illinois, courtroom, Waagner was sentenced to thirty years and four months for weapons, theft and escape convictions. Despite the severe sentence, some unfinished business remains--more charges are expected and additional legal proceedings await him. Questions about his "hit list" are still to be answered. Ann Glazier, director of security for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told me that while Waagner's claim of a hit list has not been confirmed, "it is known that he had been doing surveillance and had enough information on abortion workers so that he could find them and kill them. He never was more specific about who might be on such a list." Because the investigation is ongoing, Glazier said, "we have not gotten any specific names, or seen a specific list nor has law enforcement called us about any particular person."
Glazier also pointed out that law enforcement officials confiscated two of Waagner's computers, and she was hopeful that "more information would come out during any future legal proceedings." At this point, it's anybody's guess whether Waagner's list ever existed--on paper or in his computer--or whether it was a product of his fevered antiabortion imagination.
Waiting for Kopp
James Charles Kopp, the antiabortion activist indicted for the October 23, 1998, murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian, a Buffalo, New York, abortion provider, might be extradited by France to the United States within the next few months. In June 2001, a French court recommended Kopp's extradition only if the US agreed not to pursue the death penalty. Attorney General John Ashcroft agreed to that, saying, "The priority must be Kopp's return," according to USA Today. Kopp had been on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list and was captured in March 2001 by French officials, after US authorities traced him there.
Two of Kopp's alleged supporters, Loretta Marra, 38, and her husband, Dennis Malvasi, 52, are due in court in late July, accused of "sending Kopp money and information to help him remain a fugitive for more than two years," according to the Associated Press. AP's early April report also pointed out that "Malvasi has two previous convictions for abortion clinic bombings, and Marra had been arrested with Kopp at abortion protests in Vermont and Italy."
Shaking the Nation
Launched on September 5 but suspended because of 9/11, phase two of the "Shake the Nation Back to Life" campaign was unveiled at a mid-January press conference in Washington, DC, by campaign coordinator Janet Folger. Folger, national director of Dr. D. James Kennedy's Center for Reclaiming America, was joined on the platform by a who's who of the antiabortion glitterati--including Gary Bauer, president of American Values; Ken Connor, president of the Family Research Council (FRC); Sandy Rios, president of Concerned Women for America (CWA); Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition; Allan Parker, president of the Texas Justice Foundation and Operation Outcry; and Shannon Royce, legislative counsel and director of government relations of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The "Shake the Nation" crusade involves several dozen antiabortion groups funding high-profile television advertisements. Thousands of baby rattles will also be delivered to US senators. (By Folger's count, supporters have already purchased 40,000 rattles.) According to the campaign website, phase two showcases an ad featuring "three prominent figures in the legalization of abortion on demand: Norma McCorvey, the 'Roe' of Roe v. Wade; Sandra Cano, the 'Doe' of Doe v. Bolton; and Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). All three are now pro-life and boldly declare in the television ad the truth--that 'abortion is a lie.' " (For more on this, see www.shakethenation.org .)
The Heat's on in Texas
Operation Save America (OSA), one of the country's most volatile antiabortion groups, is hoping to raise the temperature in Dallas this summer. According to OSA's website, Dallas is being targeted because that is where Roe v. Wade began. The website claims "it was in the summer of 1969 that a troubled and pregnant young lady by the name of Norma McCorvey met with attorneys Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee in a pizza parlor off Greenville Avenue in Dallas. These two street wise and publicity hungry attorneys used Miss McCorvey and her pregnancy to perpetrate one of the most heinous crimes in our nation's history."
OSA is asking supporters to come to Dallas, July 13-21, to attend to "unfinished business." There will be "street activities every day"; "rallies every night"; teaching seminars and speeches by longtime antiabortion activists Flip Benham, formerly of Operation Rescue and now director of OSA; Father Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life; and Judie Brown, president and founder of the American Life League. (For more from OSA see www.operationsaveamerica.org/streets/dallas02/index2.htm .)
Simon: Changing the Subject
Immediately after Bill Simon--the son of Nixon's late Treasury Secretary and right-wing philanthropist William Simon--won his surprising come-from-behind victory in the [STATE] Republican gubernatorial primary on March 5, he pledged to "change the subject" if asked about controversial social issues like abortion.
Kate Michelman, the head of NARAL, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, doesn't intend to allow him that luxury. In late March she told the San Francisco Chronicle that Simon "doesn't represent the interests of women on the issue of reproductive rights." While Simon's campaign manager Sal Russo tried to stay on message with comments about the economy and education, Harriet Stinson, the founder of Republicans for Choice, told the Chronicle: "California women deserve to know where Simon stands on reproductive rights issues. These issues matter tremendously. We want no surprises from him."