07 January 2010

Terrorism's Cools as Long as It's Committed by Members of My Ethnic Group, Otherwise...WAR ON TERROR!

Congressman Peter King from New York is one of the those tuff guyz who's always on the teevee saying that we need to be tougher tougher always tougher on terrorism and terrorists. As you've probably noticed, this type of trenchant analysis is especially en vogue right now in the wake of the undie bomber plot--you know, the usual "round up all the brown people" and "establish a police state" boilerplate. Mr. King recently claimed that one of the most important steps President Obama could take against terrorism was to "say terrorism more." Brilliant.

Anyway, here's a great find by TNR regarding Mr. King:

In 1980, Mr. D'Amato, then the senator-elect, fulfilled a campaign pledge and went to Belfast on a fact-finding trip, taking Messrs. King and Dillon with him. It was the start of Mr. King's long entanglement with the IRA, and he took to it with the zeal of a convert.

He forged links with leaders of the IRA and Sinn Fein in Ireland, and in America he hooked up with Irish Northern Aid, known as Noraid, a New York based group that the American, British, and Irish governments often accused of funneling guns and money to the IRA. At a time when the IRA's murder of Lord Mountbatten and its fierce bombing campaign in Britain and Ireland persuaded most American politicians to shun IRA-support groups, Mr. King displayed no such inhibitions. He spoke regularly at Noraid protests and became close to the group's publicity director, the Bronx lawyer Martin Galvin, a figure reviled by the British.

Mr. King's support for the IRA was unequivocal. In 1982, for instance, he told a pro-IRA rally in Nassau County: "We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry."

By the mid-1980s, the authorities on both sides of the Atlantic were openly hostile to Mr. King. On one occasion, a judge threw him out of a Belfast courtroom during the murder trial of IRA men because, in the judge's view, "he was an obvious collaborator with the IRA." When he attended other trials, the police singled him out for thorough body searches.

It's kind of depressing that the news networks that bring King on to righteously posture against terror don't do this basic research or ask him about it.

It's also a little odd that a right-wing member of Congress would so vehemently support a left-wing terror group, but I guess ethnic identity trumps political ideology for Mr. King.

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