Selective Justice: Arson as Terror

Harry Burkhart in Los Angeles and Ray Lengend, recently of New York, have both been arrested and charged with a string of serial arson fires that all but dominated the headlines during the New Year.

Burkhart, a German national, hates Americans (F–K the United States), and Lengend hates Muslims and anyone who has pissed him off, ever.  They engaged in a spree of fires and fire bombings which left both cities seriously on edge as law enforcement scrambled to find them.

Burkhart apparently targeted vehicles, including those in the garages of occupied dwellings, and Lengend bombed a deli, houses and a Mosque. Burkhart is charged with arson fires, 50 of them, and Lengend with arson and arson as a hate crime. He used molotov cocktails.  Neither is charged with terrorism.  Why not?

Both are surely terrorists.  They wished to incite fear and uncertainty in citizens.  They appeared to act recklessly and indiscriminately to target innocent people to the point that no one would be sure of their safety.  They both attacked at night when people are especially vulnerable. (By the way, a very special shout-out to NYPD’s spokesman Paul Brown for his astute observation about Lengend’s capture: “They [police] were observant and persistent, literally through the dark of the night.”  Most nights are dark.)

Perhaps we don’t consider it terror since Burkhardt is apparently Caucasian and Lengend attacked a Mosque rather than being from one. If Lengend had self-identified as a Muslim and targeted a synagogue, would the T-word have been invoked?  If you don’t think “yes”, I would like some of what you are smoking.

The applied definition of terror is apparently slippery, squishy and open to the interpretation of government officials (and the press) who may have their own agendas for preventing its use.  We should all care deeply about that, especially so,  if we are firefighters.

These were both craven acts of terror and firefighters were on the front-line in the defense of their communities.

The next time a pimply-faced, two-bit punk is busted by the ATF for building an amateur-hour pipe bomb and “TERRORIST STOPPED” is splashed across the web, we should all chuckle and roll our eyes at the hypocrisy of it all.

Sources: NYT, LA Times, Time

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Comments
Glenn
Some Kimchi Blow Back
I have been contemplating our response to a N. Korean movie maker producing a comedy based movie with a story line about the assassination of our President. I can’t believe that we would hack into their government IT systems. Of wait, we already do that. Never mind.
2014-12-19 14:37:11
Eric Lamar
Some Kimchi Blow Back
S- Nail on the head. Imagine if Iran made a film, comedy or otherwise, about the assassination of Obama. The S@#t would hit the fan. But, somehow, it's OK if we do it. E
2014-12-18 22:54:39
Victoria Huckenpahler
Some Kimchi Blow Back
What's most disturbing about this is that, however great or little their involvement, North Korea has won a cyber-war. This does not bode well for the future, not only for our relations with N. Korea, but with other terrorist states. I agree it was foolhardy to invite the inevitable by making this film.
2014-12-18 22:33:08
Mike
Some Kimchi Blow Back
Well done Mr Kim! I hope the movie is as funny as all the drama it cause. I guess we will just have to wait for it to make its way to the $5 table at Walmart to see it. That were is get to see most movies anyway.
2014-12-18 22:24:23
Smitty
Some Kimchi Blow Back
That's right, Eric. It was the studio who decided they would lose too much money if they distributed the film and nobody came to see it. Besides, you're right on point about a film that never should have been made. Do we ever ask ourselves how we'd feel if the tables were turned?
2014-12-18 21:31:09
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