It seems like a simple question. The United States government has a definition of what a domestic terrorist act is. It's pretty cut and dry. What's a little more complicated is how it's applied and which acts of violence are given the designation. It seems that if you are a general nutcase, you can be labeled a domestic terrorist... but if you are a Muslim and commit similar violence, you aren't... at least according to the Obama administration.
Fox News takes a look at four distinct events and reports on the incredible lack of consistency used in labeling an act as "domestic terrorism."
According to the Patriot Act, domestic terrorism is defined as an act of violence that is intended to "intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping."
So... what falls under this category?
According to the report, the shooting earlier in August at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin does. The shooting this week at the Family Research Council "is also being handled as an act of domestic terrorism, a source told Fox News."
But look at what is NOT being labeled as "domestic terrorism":
A recruitment center shooting in the summer of 2009 by a man who described himself as an operative for Al Qaeda in Yemen was not handled as a terrorism case. It was prosecuted in an Arkansas state court.
And the Fort Hood massacre in November 2009, when 13 were killed and more than 30 wounded, has never been described officially as an act of terrorism even though the alleged shooter shouted "Allahu Akbar," or God is great, when he opened fire.
"Now, you know, we can have really a legal discussion about whether it's a hate crime or an act of terrorism," Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told Fox News. "I just wish there was some consistency here and certainly to me Fort Hood would be the classic case (of) what should be a clear case of terrorism."
Here's a video report:
Does it matter how an act of violence is labeled? It does when it means additional resources will be used to bring suspects to justice and to find out if others are involved. It also matters if politics and political correctness are being used to gloss over acts of violence that could be part of a trend or much larger plan.
What we should all be saying to the Obama administration is to forget about political correctness and fight terrorism! And yes... that even means going after al Qaeda and other Muslim extremists.