After just 37 minutes of deliberation, a jury in Kansas found Scott Roeder, the murderer of Dr. George Tiller guilty on all counts. The 51-year-old airport shuttle driver faces a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole in 25 years, though prosecutors have expressed they hope to get a "Hard 50" for him --- meaning he'd not be eligible for parole unless he lived to be 101.
Though during the trial the domestic terrorist Roeder told the court he'd decided as long ago as 1993 to try and kill Tiller, it wasn't until after months of increasing demonization by the rightwing media that Roeder finally found the courage to shoot Tiller in the head during a Sunday church service in Wichita last year.
Before his murder, Tiller, who for years had performed perfectly legal abortion procedures, had been villainized in an ongoing media campaign, led most notably by Bill O'Reilly of Fox "News." O'Reilly, who, despite his own false claims to the contrary had described him on air, time and again, as "Tiller the Baby Killer" and repeatedly told viewers on the most popular program on cable "news" that "This guy will kill your baby for $5,000, any reason. Any reason."
Roeder testified during the trial that he "did what I thought was needed to be done to protect the children. ... If I didn’t do it, the babies were going to die the next day."
Other related statements, for which O'Reilly has never been held accountable, include:
- "In the state of Kansas, there is a doctor, George Tiller, who will execute babies for $5,000."
- "For $5,000, 'Tiller the Baby Killer' --- as some call him --- will perform a late-term abortion for just about any reason."
- "Tiller has killed thousands, thousands of late-term fetuses without explanation."
- "No question, Dr. Tiller has blood on his hands."
- " 'Tiller the Baby Killer' out in Kansas, acquitted, acquitted today of murdering babies."
- "This guy will kill your baby for $5,000, any reason. Any reason."
- "If we allow Dr. George Tiller and his acolytes to continue, we can no longer pass judgment on any behavior by anybody."
- "If we allow this, America will no longer be a noble nation."
O'Reilly also said of Tiller:
- He "destroys fetuses for just about any reason right up until the birth date for $5,000."
- He's guilty of "Nazi stuff,"
- a moral equivalent to NAMBLA and al-Qaida
- "This is the kind of stuff that happened in Mao's China, Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union"
- "operating a death mill"
- "has blood on his hands"
- "executing babies about to be born"
...Among many other similar statements.
While legal abortion providers have been forced to further defend themselves against continuing terror threats such as that carried out by Roeder, O'Reilly, who arguably helped foment the rage expressed by the murder of Tiller, remains on Rupert Murdoch's cable channel where he continues to "report" in similarly irresponsible fashion to millions of Americans each night.
VelvetRevolution.us has called on the U.S. Dept. of Justice to take the threat of domestic rightwing terrorism such as Roeder's, and the use of public and government-subsidized broadcast media to help foment it, seriously, via its StopDomesticTerror.com campaign. Please sign on to that campaign in you haven't already. [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.]