Newt Gingrich: Terrorist Mastermind

by: Paul Rosenberg

Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:30


By threatening to burn copies of the Koran on Saturday, Terry Jones is holding the world hostage to his insane hatred, threatening to unleash intold violence.  He  is, in effect, a terrorist. He seeks to intimidate and coerce through the threat of violence and the generation of hatred and fear.  And, as Rachel Maddow explains below, he is only able to do this because of a climate of hatred and fear that's been deliberately created over the years by  a number of extremist political figures, most notably, Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich is whipping up hatred and fear towards Muslims and Islam today.  But it's merely a matter of political convenience.  He will target anyone he finds convenient.  In mid-1990s, starting just before he became Speaker, Gingrich bkamed liberals, welfare recipients and the welfare state for all manner of horrors, real and imagined.  For someone who spoke endlessly about "personal responsibility", he had an amazing ability to shift the blame for a series of horrific murders off of those who actually committed them, and onto vaguely defined groups of people defined by Gingrich as the enemies of "normal Americans.  Consider some of the most striking examples (these aren't available online, to my knowledge, but can be found in databases such as Proquest or Lexis/Nexus):

Paul Rosenberg :: Newt Gingrich: Terrorist Mastermind
Remember?  There was this:

REMARK PUTS GINGRICH ON HOT SEAT;
The Associated Press. St. Louis Post - Dispatch St. Louis, Mo.: Nov 8, 1994. pg. 13.A

Rep. Newt Gingrich came under fire Monday for using the South Carolina child-murder case to urge voters to back Republican candidates....

In an interview Saturday with The Associated Press, Gingrich was asked how the campaign was going in the final week.

"Slightly more moving our way," he replied. "I think that the mother killing the two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we need to change things. . . .

"How a mother can kill her two children, 14 months and 3 years, in hopes that her boyfriend would like her, is just a sign of how sick the system is, and I think people want to change. The only way you get change is to vote Republican. That's the message for the last three days.

And this:

Gingrich revises history in partisan attack
KENNETH J. COOPER. Houston Chronicle Houston, Tex.: Mar 8, 1995. pg. 9

Monday, Gingrich condemned liberal Democrats for "the monstrosity they have created, their public housing projects that are death traps for the poor, their public schools that are illiteracy traps for the poor."

But neither public education nor public housing were the legislative products solely of Democrats, as Gingrich partially acknowledged Tuesday when reporters pressed him to explain his remarks. But he insisted the blame for failures in both systems belongs to Democrats.

The nation's oldest public school, Boston Latin School, was established in 1635 -- long before either of today's major political parties was formed. It was Whigs who pushed universal public education in Northern states before the Civil War, and Republicans who opened schools throughout the South afterward.

"The public schools don't belong to one party or another," said Arthur Levine, president of Teachers College, Columbia University. "It's foolish. One would expect more of a former college professor."

Tuesday, Gingrich revised his remark to blame Democrats for ""the modern, unionized, big city school system with work rules that make no sense, with very big bureaucracies, with a tremendous amount of money wasted and with buildings that don't function."

Amd this:

Gingrich blames welfare for woman's death: Speaker's remarks on people who killed pregnant woman enrage Democrats
McCollum, M.J.. Philadelphia Tribune. Philadelphia, Pa.: Nov 24, 1995. Vol. 112, Iss. 94; pg. 1-A

By M.J. McCollum
Tribune Staff

House Speaker Newt Gingrich blamed welfare for the murder of a pregnant Illinois women and her two children.

Gingrich said the killing of 28-year-old Debra Evans, 10-year-old Samantha and 8-year-old Joshua was "the final culmination of a drug-addicted underclass with no sense of humanity, no sense of civilization and no sense of the rules of life, in which human beings respect each other."

A woman and two men are accused of killing Evans to get to her unborn baby. The suspects allegedly killed Evans, then used scissors to cut out the baby who was due the next day.

It has not been revealed whether or not any of the assailants are welfare recipients. They have no prior convictions or drug violations.

Gingrich also blamed the criminal justice system and the education system for the murders.

Amd This:

Gingrich under fire for murder claim Speaker uses horrific killing to attack welfare state
MARTIN WALKER IN WASHINGTON. The Guardian Manchester (UK): Nov 23, 1995. pg. 014

AN INTER-RACIAL murder, in which a pregnant woman was murdered so that the father could steal the child from her womb, triggered a political row yesterday as Democrats denounced a claim by the Republican House speaker, Newt Gingrich, that the killing was the fault of the liberal welfare state.

The slaughter in Chicago last Friday of Deborah Evans, aged 28, and two of her children, has stunned an America which had thought itself beyond shock at crimes of sexual violence. Mr Gingrich's use of the case to draw a political moral has made it a national issue.

"The speaker is out of control," said David Eichenbaum for the Democratic National Committee.

"Last week he shut down the government because he got a bad seat on Air Force One. This week he blames his political opponents for a most brutal murder that has revolted the whole of America. Where does it end?"

Deborah Evans was a white welfare mother, with two white children of 10 and 8, and all three were found stabbed to death. Her former lover, Laverne Ward, a black man and father of her 19-month-old child and father of the child in her womb, has been arrested and charged with her murder. He is further charged with then cutting open her uterus with a pair of household scissors, and taking away the baby to give it to his cousin, who had tried and failed to have a baby.

"Let's talk about the moral decay of the world the left is defending. Let's talk about what the welfare state has created," Mr Gingrich told a conference of Republican governors. "We end up with the final culmination of a drug-addicted underclass with no sense of humanity, no sense of civilisation."

Deborah Evans was on welfare, but there is no evidence that drugs were involved in the crime, Illinois police said. That did not stop Mr Gingrich before, when he last year blamed "liberal values" in the case of Susan Smith, who drowned her two children in her car so that she could go off untrammelled with a new lover. At the trial, she blamed her behaviour on sexual abuse by her father, a prominent member of his local Republican Party.

Already criticised for damaging the Republican case in the budget battle with the White House by complaining of being snubbed on the presidential plane, the accident-prone Mr Gingrich was sticking to his combative guns yesterday, insisting that the case was a parable of the social decay caused by the welfare state.

"What's going wrong is a welfare system which subsidised people for doing nothing; a criminal system which tolerated drug dealers; an educational system which allows kids to not learn and which rewards tenured teachers who can't teach, while destroying poor children who it traps in a process with no hope," Mr Gingrich said.

"This happened in America. It happened because for two generations we haven't had the guts to talk about right and wrong. We've talked about situation ethics. We've talked about victimisation. We've talked about our needs. We've had soap-opera-like television shows where people get on and describe the most disgusting behaviour."

Gingrich has always been about stirring up an atmosphere of fear and hatred, inventing imaginary horrors, distracting attention from those who are actually responsible for real horrors, in order to blame his political enemies, and posturing ludicrously as a know-it-all authority, while getting an amazing variety of fundamental facts totally and embarrasingly wrong.  He is a buffoon.  But an incredibly dangerous one.  And he is becoming even more dangerous than he was in the mid-1990s.  He is, in fact, a de facto terrorist mastermind bent on stirring up another Crusade, another Hundred Years War or better.


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Gingrich may be a buffoon, but he's Obama's buffoon. (0.00 / 0)
In a nation of over 350 million people, there is always someone willing to burn a Koran - or hate on "welfare queens," or yell "Baby killer!", or strike up any number of phonied up issues to gobble up air time and distract from issues that actually matter.  And there is always about 20% of the population to appeal to on these issues.  

Sure, the corporate media loves to jump on them, but it's hardly without the active cooperation of Democrats.  In the latest "Oh! No! They're going to burn Korans!" hissy fit, the President, the Secretary of State, and the General in charge of U.S. forces in Afghanistan have stoked the flames.  Why are three of the most powerful people in the world commenting on the actions of an insignificant pastor in Podunk, NoWhere?

Because they like this fight; they want this fight.  Obama, Clinton, and Petraeus not only get to play the parts of sane, rational, intelligent, caring people, they actually come off looking like defenders of religious tolerance and the followers of Islam.  Talk about cruel irony.  Is there anyone on the planet responsible for more Muslim suffering in the past couple years than Obama?

How many Muslims were bombed, killed, maimed, imprisoned (secretly or not) on his orders just in the last six months?  Yet this clown gets to pretend he's a defender?

Obama loves this fight, and it's difficult to believe it's happening without his active cooperation if not his outright instigation.  Gingrich is simply playing the "bad cop" in a political theater that is becoming increasingly transparent and desperate.

But this is hardly new for Gingrich.  "Bad cop" has his been his role for decades.


In context of this post... (4.00 / 1)
...it's hard to see a comparison between Obama and Gingrich; even as a good-cop/bad-cop relationship. Obama's surely responsible for commands that have caused unnecessary death and human misery, but I don't think he's guilty of ratcheting up hatred between religious or political factions in furtherance of a war agenda.

Maybe I'm in denial and Obama is some kind of terrorist too, but there's no evidence to support the insinuation.


[ Parent ]
I wasn't comparing Obama and Gingrich . . . (0.00 / 0)
. . . I was just pointing out how each serves the other's ends.

[ Parent ]
That Much Is Certainly True (0.00 / 0)
Remember how we all got lectured so often and so high-and-mightily about Obama as a "transformational" political leader, vs. a "transactional" politician?

Turns out, not so much.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
I'm Not Excusing Obama, But (4.00 / 2)
in case you didn't notice, I was citing all sorts of stories about Gingrich in the 1990s.  The world we live in today is very much a world that Gingrich's hatred and fear-mongering has helped to create.

Obama's big sin is that he has done virtually nothing to change that world--despite his lofty campaign rhetoric to the contrary--and has, instead, been quite content to continue playing by its rules.

It's fine to get angry at Obama for doing this.  But don't let yourself get so blinded by anger that you lose track of what's going on. Then--despite your best of intentions--you inadvertently start becoming part of the problem as well.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
Gingrich in the 1990s (0.00 / 0)
I believe he played exactly the same role.  He allowed Clinton to play the role of "liberal" while at the same time Clinton was enacting/continuing extremely conservative policies.  

NAFTA is one obvious example, but I think high-end taxation is an even better one.  In 1981 the top marginal tax rate was 70%.  We then had Reagan and his ilk and the rate dropped to 50%, then 38% then 28%.

Then we had Clinton.  He was portrayed by Gingrich & Ilk as a tax raiser.  However, Clinton only "raised" the top marginal rate to 39%.  By doing so Clinton consolidated the majority of Reagan's tax cuts for the wealthy - a major conservative victory.

Yet all that time, Clinton was able to do so while still maintaining the role of a "liberal."  Gingrich was essential to that process.  Not only was he a major proponent of the "liberal" Clinton mystique, but Gingrich also provided endless distractions (oval office fellatio being only one of many) which consistently cast Clinton (in the eyes of many liberals) in the role of victim and, more importantly, in the role of a "liberal" as defined by Gingrich.

Gingrich, IMHO, is merely continuing that practice with Obama.  It's far easier to be the "good cop" when the "bad cop" is so far out there.


[ Parent ]
Sorry, You're Just Like GIngrich (0.00 / 0)
You've got your super-simplistic script, and the facts be damned!

But for those interested in the facts (again, not to excuse Clinton, but to replace cartoons with reality):

(1) Clinton passed NAFTA before Gingrich became Speaker, and before he was seen as the leading GOP figure, so he wasn't playing the same game on that score.

(2) Clinton passed his tax cuts before Gingrich became Speaker, and before he was seen as the leading GOP figure, so he wasn't playing the same game on that score.

(3) Clinton also had some genuinely populist policies, some of which--like a major expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit--were enacted and proved very successful, while others--like his stimulus/investment plan--were killed by Senate conservadems.

The real villians of the early Clinton era--whose disastrous advice and opposition helped create the conditions in which Gingrich could flourish--were folks like Rubin and Baucus, not Gingrich.

I"m sorry that the world is not a cartoon, since you would obviously be much happier if it were. But these things are a bit more complicated than you imagine.

Which is rather ironic, given your shtick of denouncing it as a cartoonish shadow-play.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
Um, ok, but that wasn't my point - at all. (0.00 / 0)
I'm not claiming that Gingrich allowed Clinton to pass NAFTA or preserve the lion's share of Reagan's tax cuts.  My claim is simply that Gingrich, among others, allowed Clinton to preserve his image as a "liberal" despite enacting some very conservative policies.

Clinton approached his 1996 reelection bid having angered much of his base with policies such as NAFTA ratification. Yet he was still allowed to cast himself as a "liberal" with the help of then Speaker Newt Gingrich (among others).  Not only did Gingrich and his "movement" consistently smear Clinton with that wholly inaccurate appellation, Gingrich also took positions so far to the right that Clinton actually looked like a liberal by comparison.  Hell, who wouldn't?

Sorry if my poor communication skills resulted in your missing what I thought had been an obvious point, but I had no intention of presenting either a shtick or a cartoonish picture. Have a nice day.


[ Parent ]
I Think You're Still Missing The Point (0.00 / 0)
Was it absurd to consider Clinton a liberal?  Sure it was.  But did Clinton himselfportray himself as a liberal?  Not so much. In fact, he made a huge deal out of his "brilliant" triangulation policy, remember?

And remember how everyone made such a big deal of this in the 2008 primaries?  And remember how Hillary was going to be just the same, because look at all the same old advisors around her?  And Obama, OTOH, was going to be this bold new progressive, with the change we can believe in?

Now does it start to dawn there's something a bit more complicated going on that's worth not losing track of?

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
Shifting the conversation (4.00 / 1)
Terry Jones makes Gingrich the moderate and Obama the lefty when in fact Gingrich is a radical right winger, Obama is a moderate.  Terry Jones and the band of 50 take the millions of people from the left and eliminate coverage of their views.  Nice job, MSM.

True (0.00 / 0)
but terrorism always has that intent, now doesn't it?

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
. (0.00 / 0)
"He  is, in effect, a terrorist. He seeks to intimidate and coerce through the threat of violence and the generation of hatred and fear."

paul, his only threat is burning books. Call it stupid, call it extremely distasteful, call it idiotic, but its not a threat of violence. if only real terrorists only threatened us with burning books, instead of blowing up buildings, launching rockets, smuggling explosives in underwear....


Terror (4.00 / 2)
Think for a second.  What is terror?  Not terrorism, but terror itself.  It is an emotion, right?  Terror is extreme fear.

Terrorism is anything that invokes the feeling of terror.  That's the definition.  There are a variety to do that.

Newt gives the bombers power.  Without the amplification provided by our radical right, bin Laden and the others would hardly have any power at all.  As bad as 9/11 was, our country was never threatened existentially.  They can hurt us no more than a bee can hurt a bull.  As bad as the sting feels, the worst that can happen is for the bull to panic, buck and damage himself.

So yes, Newt Gingrich is a terrorist.


[ Parent ]
RE: "paul, his only threat is burning books..." - Zugzugzug (4.00 / 1)
MY COMMENT: ...his only threat is burning books...
...and thereby subjecting our soldiers to increased danger...
...and subjecting Americans abroad to more danger...
...and subjecting Americans abroad in Muslim areas to ridicule...
...and etc, and etc, and etc...
"If you don't do X, then I will cause all of these terrible things to occur by making a big public display of burning a bunch of Korans."
When the Nazis burned books in 1930s Germany, was it simply about burning some books, or was there something far more malevolent going on?

[ Parent ]
If It Weren't A Threat of Violence, No One Would Pay All This Attention To It (0.00 / 0)
You're as clueless as usual,  Zugzugzug.  

But this time, you aren't funny.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
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