February 12, 2007

Leftist Terrorist Gains Early Release

My, how quickly five lifetimes fly by! The notorious Baader-Meinhof terrorist Brigitte Mohnhaupt has won parole from Germany and will be released shortly. Despite involvement in nine murders and being sentenced to five life terms, a German court has decided that she poses no risk to society:

A former member of the Baader-Meinhof gang is to be freed on probation after serving 24 years for her involvement in kidnappings and murders in the 1970s.

A German court ruled that Brigitte Mohnhaupt, 57, qualifies for early release after serving a minimum proportion of her five life sentences.

The group, also known as the Red Army Faction, were behind kidnaps and killings in West Germany. ...

The BBC's Steve Rosenberg, in Berlin, says she was once described as the most evil and dangerous woman in West Germany.

Well, that was back at the tail end of an era that still believed in archaic concepts as evil and punishment. The point of five life sentences was not just to keep society safe, but also to exact justice for the nine lives she took in her murderous spree. As the son of their most prominent victim testified to the court that granted her five years' probation -- five years! -- none of the Red Army faction terrorists ever expressed remorse for their killings.

One suspects that the reason Mohnhaupt and her twisted colleagues receive such mercy is that the German establishment has sympathy for their original aims. The radical Leftists had plenty of fellow travelers in the 1970s, when many of them agitated for the kind of socialism exemplified in East Germany. Some of those went into politics, others into academia, and still more into the legal system. Baader-Meinhof was just a more violent expression of a movement that many supported, and that many still do.

However, one had hoped that the advent of Islamist terrorism would have stripped the romance from the Baader-Meinhof thugs. They slaughtered civilians to make themselves important, giving it a patina of Marxist revolution by spouting political manifestos that had grown tired even at that time. They're no different than al-Qaeda suicide bombers in London, Morocco, Turkey, Madrid, or at the World Trade Center; they just used a different ideology as an excuse for the same mass and serial murders. Not only has Germany made a mockery of life sentences, they have shown that they do not understand the message that this sends to terrorists -- the kind that used Hamburg as a base to kill almost 3,000 Americans on 9/11.

The rest of the Baader-Meinhof gang still in prison will likely join Mohnhaupt soon. Germans can then expect lecture tours around their nation and throughout Europe by these terrorists, scooping up fees and book deals like good capitalists, explaining why the West is decadent and needs a revolution -- a violent revolution. When that happens, Germans can then ask why their court believed them to be no threat to society.


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