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

1 Trackback

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Recent Posts
belle Legacy of the Big Black Buck November 20, 2014
Br'er Rabbit and Tar Baby A Tar Baby and a Rented Mule November 18, 2014
ww1trench Eleven, Eleven, Eleven November 10, 2014
Comments
Don Jewett
Legacy of the Big Black Buck
http://wavy.com/2014/11/21/former-students-defend-school-administrator-re-tweet/
2014-11-22 13:31:30
Don Jewett
Legacy of the Big Black Buck
I neglected to point out, she shared this with one of her daughters (who's date to prom was a young black man) and I'd like to think she was pointing out the obvious stereotype portrayed. (Apparently others can see those type of posts, I'm not familiar with it.)
2014-11-20 22:42:57
Don Jewett
Legacy of the Big Black Buck
Eric, actually that was just a small tidbit I took from her interview to share. I personally don't think she's a racist, things can be skewed so far out of control in the PC world we live in. I live close to where she works, if you knew the demographics you'd know she maybe made…
2014-11-20 22:30:46
Eric Lamar
Pope Francis as Company Officer
Thank you, Mick.
2014-11-20 21:34:12
Eric Lamar
A Tar Baby and a Rented Mule
Thanks, Cortez. As you no doubt know, the tar baby motif has an antecedent in Native American culture, as well.
2014-11-20 21:33:52
IAFFLogo
January 2012
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Apr »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

FireEMS Blogs eNewsletter

Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter

LATEST FIREFIGHTER NEWS

HOT FORUM DISCUSSIONS

LATEST ON FIRE ENGINEERING

FEATURED DISCUSSIONS