19 February 2010

Terrorism - we'll know it when we don't see it.

From the BBC:
The pilot of a plane which crashed into an office block in Austin, Texas left a note expressing his anger at federal tax authorities, police say.

Police are linking the apparent suicide note left online to Joseph Andrew Stack, the man named as the pilot.

The note criticised the Internal Revenue Service - based inside the office block and declared: "Violence is the only answer".

...

The White House said the crash did not appear to be an act of terrorism.
So, a man, angry with the approach taken by the US state, crashes an aircraft into an office building, apparently leaving a note saying that violence is the only answer and the White House concludes that this doesn't appear to be an act of terrorism.

There seems to be a interesting tendency in the US media and government to conclude that it wasn't terrorism because it doesn't fit the current narrative. A line of reasoning is then sought which justifies that conclusion, the most common appearing to be that it was an isolated incident, rather than part of an ongoing campaign.

The main problem I have with that reasoning is that the same could have been said of Timothy McVeigh, yet, in the pre-2001 world in which he carried out his bombing, there appeared to be no desire to view his actions as anything other than terrorism.

So, by what standard is terrorism now defined?

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