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Thank Heaven for small mercies

Anti-abortion terrorist Eric Robert Rudolph has agreed to plead guilty for four bombings: the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, a lesbian nightclub near Atlanta, an abortion clinic in Atlanta, and the deadly 1998 bombing of the New Woman All Women clinic in Birmingham. Other than having to listen to an unwarranted swipe at anti-government extremists, and hear a few self-congratulatory fork-tongued words from Alberto Gonzalez, this is some very good news:

The deal that led Rudolph to give up will spare him his life, U.S. Justice Department officials said Friday in announcing they had reached an agreement with the man once held up as the ultimate anti-government extremist.

The fugitive who claims he lived on the land for five years as authorities searched in vain agreed to plead guilty and admit setting off a deadly bomb at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and three other blasts. The deal will leave him with four consecutive life sentences.

The many victims of Eric Rudolph’s terrorist attacks … can rest assured that Rudolph will spend the rest of his life behind bars, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said.

Hearings have been scheduled in Birmingham, Ala., and Atlanta on Wednesday, where Rudolph is scheduled to admit his guilt. He will have no possibility of parole.

— Asheville Citizen-Times 2005-04-09: Rudolph avoids death penalty with plea agreement in four bombings

This is justice–a justice that only a year ago many of us never thought we would see. Justice will not bring Robert Sanderson back, and it will not heal Emily Lyons’ wounds. Nothing will. But it is something to welcome, after all these years, and to be glad for, even if our gladness comes with terrible pain.

It is also good to see that justice for Rudolph will come untainted by wrath. The last thing we need is a martyr for the terrorist wing of the anti-abortion movement, and the last thing I need is to be stuck with defending the rights of yet another ghastly shell of a human being who is obviously guilty as hell to be free of the hangman’s noose. Thank Heaven for small mercies.

hello birmingham
it’s buffalo
i heard you had some trouble
down there again
and i’m just calling to let to know
that somebody understands

i was once escorted
through the doors of a clinic
by a man in a bullet proof vest
and no bombs went off that day
so i am still here to say
birmingham
i’m wishing you all of my best
oh birmingham
i’m wishing you all of my best

— Ani DiFranco, Hello Birmingham

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Anticopyright. This was written in 2005 by Rad Geek. Feel free to reprint if you like it. This machine kills intellectual monopolists.