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November 6, 2005
You Have To Break A Few Humans To Prevent An Omelette

Dafydd at Big Lizards notes this Robert Novak column blurb about an exchange regarding ecoterrorism at the US Senate last week. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) interrogated ecological activist Dr. Jerry Vlasak about the aims of the radical environmental movement. Novak has the key, chilling exchange that reveals the utter lack of perspective that produces ecoterrorists:

Dr. Jerry Vlasak of North American Animal Liberation was quoted as saying at an animal rights convention: "I don't think you'd have to kill, assassinate too many. I think for five lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million, or 10 million non-human lives."

Questioned by Inhofe whether he was "advocating the murder of individuals," Vlasak replied: "I made that statement, and I stand by that statement."

That, however, gives only part of the story. Americans for Medical Progress has more of the transcript, which oddly does not appear readily accessible on the Senate's website. (Animal Crackers has the entire exchange archived, along with pungent and dead-on commentary.) Inhofe only got the ball rolling. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) becomes more and more disgusted with Vlasak as the hearing progresses, finally demanding that the witness be removed from his presence. But first, Inhofe makes sure that Vlasak hasn't been misunderstood:

Sen. Inhofe: So you call for the murder of researchers and human lives?

Vlasak: I said in that statement and I meant in that statement that people who are hurting animals and who will not stop when told to stop, one option would be to stop them using any means necessary and that was the context in which that statement was made.

Sen. Inhofe: Including murder, is that correct?

Vlasak: I said that would be a morally justifiable solution to the problem.

And now Lautenberg has his moment of epiphany:

Sen. Lautenberg: Dr. Vlasak, you approve of these dastardly acts in the name of liberation, of a liberation movement?

Vlasak: Yes.

Sen. Lautenberg: Do you have any children?

Vlasak: I have no children. And may I Just to be clear, I dont approve of any unnecessary suffering and I wish these things didnt have to happen

Sen. Lautenberg: You do, and what you said confirms this, so I just want to go there. I want to know who you are and what makes you tick, because it is so revolting to hear what you say about murder. These arent extermination camps. What is being done whether you like it or not is to try and improve the quality of life for human beings. This isnt Germany. How do you feel about the people? You said you think that people who have a cause have a right to violence. How about the guys who kill our soldiers and who killed the people in the Trade Towers? They have a cause. Is that okay with you?

Vlasak: No the unnecessary loss of life is never okay with me. But I extend that loss of life to animal life, non-animal (sic) life as well.

Sen. Lautenberg: You are the super moralist. You are deciding where it is right and where it is wrong. There are many people who have causes. Some of them are justified, but to take tactics like the intimidation of people, to spoil their lives or spoil their ability to make a living is an outrageous thing to propose. You are anti-social in your behavior, obviously. But to sit here so smugly and be proud of the fact that you stand by this statement about five or ten livesif those lives were your kidsmaybe you dont have anyone you love. Maybe you dont have any kids.

Now here's the most frightening part of all. Vlasak claims to practice medicine on live human beings while arguing for murder as a political solution to end animal suffering. Lautenberg presses him for a CV to confirm this:

Sen. Lautenberg: Where do you practice now?

Vlasak: I practice in the Los Angeles area.

Sen. Lautenberg: You practice at a hospital.

Vlasak: I do, at a number of hospitals.

Sen. Lautenberg: What is your favorite what is your dominant hospital?

Vlasak: I practice at several hospitals in the Riverside and San Bernardino area.

Sen. Lautenberg: Name one.

Vlasak: Uh, Loma Linda University. ... I deal in trauma patients, I see people die everyday. I save lives, but I lose lives sometimes as well. I see these people

Sen. Lautenberg. But you are willing to take lives. That is the anomaly here. You are willing to say that somebody you dont know, somebodys kid, somebodys parent, somebodys brother, somebodys sister take that life, thats okay.

Vlasak: These are not innocent lives.

These are not innocent lives. Where have we heard that before? It has all the echoes of Ward Churchill and his assertion that 9/11 victims at the WTC were "little Eichmanns" who had death coming to them. The ecoterrorists have the same mindset as the antiabortion lunatics who thought themselves justified in assassinating doctors who disagreed with them and performed abortions. In those cases, the lunatics at least thought they were protecting human life, although murdering to support a pro-life position sounds almost as dumb and deranged as one person can possibly get. Vlasak manages to provide the one position more deranged than that.

And bear in mind that Vlasak is the ecoterrorist spokesperson -- the supposedly legitmate mouthpiece that advances their case, similar to the role Gerry Adams played for the IRA. Vlasak supposedly provides the rationality that will convince the world of the rightness of their cause.

Murder humans, save rats. It sounds like the natural progression for the radical environmentalists -- and don't be surprised to see them start this kind of strategy soon.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 6, 2005 10:58 AM

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» Human Worth from The Strata-Sphere
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