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When Did An Act of Terror Not Imply Terrorism?

  1. 0
    Sooner28posted 4 years ago

    No one had any question that George Bush's War on Terror was at least partially referring to terrorists.  It wasn't "up in the air."

    An act of terror would have to be performed by a terrorist!  No other action would be described as such, unless the meaning of the word terror was being stretched too far. 

    It wouldn't be comfortable to call Jeffrey Dahmer or John Wayne Gacy a "terrorist" because they were not killing for political purposes.  Their actions may have incited terror within their victims, but the actions would not be described as "acts of terror" because the term terror is far too loaded with political connotations. 

    There are two options to deal with this ambiguity.  The first is to differeniate between political and non-political acts of terror, with political being the only ones actually tied to the FBI definition of terrorism itself.  Or, we can use the FBI definitions as a rough guide, and not use the phrase "act of terror" at all unless we are talking about terrorism itself.  Both would use the FBI definition, but one would not differentiate different kinds of terror.

    Here are the official FBI definitions of Domestic and International Terrorism.

    Domestic-"Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives." (my emphasis)

    International-"International terrorism involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or any state. These acts appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping. International terrorist acts occur outside the United States or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to coerce or intimidate, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum." (my emphasis)

    Insert acts of terror with: violent acts or acts dangerous to human life, and it becomes clear. 

    The phrase could also be completely scrapped because it is so ambiguous, but that isn't likely to happen anytime soon.

    The Romney campaign wasn't arguing about semantics; it argued that Obama waited 14 days to call the attacks in Benghazi acts of terror, which Candy Crowly rightfully pointed out was factually false.

    However, Megyn Kelly on Fixed News did claim it wasn't "clear" that an "act of terror" referred to "terrorism."

    What are your thoughts?

    1. Repairguy47 profile image60
      Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Still grasping at straws I see.

      1. 0
        Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Lol.  Or just don't respond at all.

        1. Repairguy47 profile image60
          Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Nothing to respond to, If Obama on September 12th claimed it was terrorism why then did he continue to say it was a spontaneous rally caused by a video?

          I'm sure you will be able to answer that simple question.

          1. 0
            Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

            You're asking me why politicians aren't clear and send mixed messages, but you are not addressing the majority of the forum post.

    2. Freeway Flyer profile image83
      Freeway Flyerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Why does it matter what this attack was called? And why do the motives of the attackers matter? Whether this was a response to a video, a preplanned attack, or some of both, the United States should respond the same: work to find out who did it, bring them to justice, and figure out ways to better secure our people overseas. But no matter what the United States might do, these types of attacks are going to occur periodically. You can never stop all of the extremists.

  2. 0
    JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago

    Subject: Benghazi

    Content: We rebuke attacks against religion(wonder what that means?).

    Change Subject: 9/11

    Content: We won't stand for acts of terror.

    Lesson: Context matters.


    Regardless, it did take 2 weeks for the administration to clearly call these acts of terror. You have one obscure implied remark, and multiple accusations that it was a protest.

    1. 0
      Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      No argument on mixed messaging at all.  The administration was inconsistent.  The only point was Romney was wrong about Obama's actual words.  But that is a side issue.

      Are you basically arguing that an "act of terror" should be defined by the context it is used in?

      1. Repairguy47 profile image60
        Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Romney was not wrong, Obama lied and Crowely assisted him in the lying. She then apologized.

        1. 0
          Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Unless "acts of terror" doesn't imply terrorism, Romney was wrong on the semantical point.

          Romney believes it does.  He specifically claimed Obama didn't call it an "act of terror" for 14 days.

          1. Repairguy47 profile image60
            Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Get over it, its done and most of us understand! I'm sorry you don't and never will.

      2. 0
        JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I'm saying, if the subject is 9/11, and you reference 'acts of terror', it should be fairly clear that 'acts of terror' is in reference to 9/11.

        See, when you are talking about a subject, and you say something, it usually has to do with that subject... not the previous subject.

        1. 0
          Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Another side topic.

          Does an act of terror mean the same thing as a terrorist act?

          I'm not trying to bait you into anything.  This is a linguistic issue I'm concerned about.  Even if you think Obama wasn't referring to Libya at all, that's not what I am focusing on right now.

          I'm not going to respond and try to say aha I win!

          1. 0
            KDuBarry03posted 4 years ago in reply to this

            On the subject of linguistics, it truly depends on who's saying it and how people interpret it; to me, the terms generally mean the same because (1) a terrorist is someone or a group that advocates and/or implements terror and (2) an act of terror is an act to implement terror. With this, an act of terror cannot be completed without someone performing it; hence, a terrorist act = an act of terror.

            1. 0
              Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

              That's my view.

              I had a discussion with a family member who said "act of terror" could apply to a variety of actions, such as a serial killer or rapist.  He then said he had heard people describe situations like that as "acts of terror" (I have not heard anyone do this).

              What about a person who is a sadist and gets off by torturing people and filling their hearts with terror?

              1. 0
                KDuBarry03posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                The way I look at it in a linguistic sense, when someone says "an act of terror" in today's world normally means an act to cause social disruption (i.e. 9/11, bombing the US Embassy, etc.) Now, in a dictionary term you could say that a sadist could perform an act of terror upon one person; however, meanings of words change throughout history and experience. I would assume that when someone says "an act of terror", they would first think of 9/11 and the like because of set experience. The two terms (terrorist act & act of terror) could be depicted as synonymous to a good majority of people in today's world.

                1. 0
                  Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Also, even if you were to draw a distinction, linguists will tell you ambiguity should take into account the context of the words used.  It's clear what was being referred to, even if you think the description itself was inaccurate.

  3. peoplepower73 profile image86
    peoplepower73posted 4 years ago

    You people are all sawing sawdust. Here are the actually transcript from the debate and the Rose Garden. You be the judge:

    Here was the entire exchange from the transcript of the debate:

    CROWLEY: Because we're -- we're closing in, I want to still get a lot of people in. I want to ask you something, Mr. President, and then have the governor just quickly.
    Your secretary of state, as I'm sure you know, has said that she takes full responsibility for the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi. Does the buck stop with your secretary of state as far as what went on here?

    OBAMA: Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job. But she works for me. I'm the president and I'm always responsible, and that's why nobody's more interested in finding out exactly what happened than I do.
    The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we're going to hunt down those who committed this crime.
    And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.
    And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the secretary of state, our U.N. ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we've lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That's not what we do. That's not what I do as president, that's not what I do as commander in chief.

    CROWLEY: Governor, if you want to...

    ROMNEY: Yes, I -- I...

    CROWLEY: ... quickly to this please.

    ROMNEY: I -- I think interesting the president just said something which -- which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.

    OBAMA: That's what I said.

    ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you're saying?

    OBAMA: Please proceed governor.

    ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

    OBAMA: Get the transcript.

    CROWLEY: It -- it -- it -- he did in fact, sir. So let me -- let me call it an act of terror...

    OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?

    CROWLEY: He -- he did call it an act of terror. It did as well take -- it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.

    ROMNEY: This -- the administration -- the administration indicated this was a reaction to a video and was a spontaneous reaction.

    CROWLEY: It did.

    ROMNEY: It took them a long time to say this was a terrorist act by a terrorist group. And to suggest -- am I incorrect in that regard, on Sunday, the -- your secretary --

    OBAMA: Candy?

    ROMNEY: Excuse me. The ambassador of the United Nations went on the Sunday television shows and spoke about how --

    OBAMA: Candy, I'm --

    ROMNEY: -- this was a spontaneous --

    CROWLEY: Mr. President, let me --

    OBAMA: I'm happy to have a longer conversation --

    CROWLEY: I know you --

    OBAMA: -- about foreign policy.

    CROWLEY: Absolutely. But I want to -- I want to move you on and also --

    OBAMA: OK. I'm happy to do that, too.

    CROWLEY: -- the transcripts and --

    OBAMA: I just want to make sure that --

    CROWLEY: -- figure out what we --

    OBAMA: -- all of these wonderful folks are going to have a chance to get some of their questions answered...

    And here is the transcript from Obama's Rose Garden remarks on September 12, the day after the attack:
    "Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe," he said. "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done."
    Obama repeated the "acts of terror" line during a campaign event in Las Vegas on September 13:
    "No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world, and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America."
    Timeline: What the Obama administration has said about the Libya attack
    In the debate, Crowley, who is anchor of CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley," also said that Romney was correct to say that it took the administration some time to say conclusively and with one voice that the attack was not the spontaneous outgrowth of a protest against an anti-Islam film.

    CROWLEY: He -- he did call it an act of terror. It did as well take -- it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.
    On September 16, Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said, "We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned."
    On September 19, Matthew Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the ambassador and three other Americans "were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy."

    But, as to the original accusation from the conservative critics that Obama never mentioned "acts of terror" until weeks after the attack, they were wrong. Crowley was right.

    I hope this helps.

    1. JSChams profile image61
      JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Wonderful game of let's see how many times we can interrupt Mitt and let Barack speak on.

    2. 0
      Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      It's clear what he was referring to.  Excellent job of posting the full transcript people!

      1. peoplepower73 profile image86
        peoplepower73posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Thank you.  I try to deal in facts, whenever I can.  But it's interesting that even when you supply the facts that some folks focus on other things, like counting how many times one debater interrupted the other one.

        1. JSChams profile image61
          JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          It wasn't the debater....it was the moderator and I am nowhere near the only person that noticed........nationally.
          But then again he deserved to be interrupted didn't he?

          1. 0
            Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

            When you look at the moderator, and you look at the president, and you claim you want it on record that the president didn't say something he actually did say, she had no choice but to smack him down.

            Romney is the one who turned the exchange into what it was.  If he wasn't so insistent about pushing for his lie, it wouldn't have had to go down like that.

            Anyway though, why are you upset a moderator actually fact checked him?

            1. JSChams profile image61
              JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Well I guess when you only fact check the one you don't want elected it's ok.

              1. 0
                Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Or you can just ignore what I said.

                1. JSChams profile image61
                  JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  I didn't ignore anything. you and her and Barack do everything you can to make it looks like Mitt was lying because he was answering.  It's poppycock and male bovine fecal matter but somebody has to help Barack because he can't debate.

                  1. 0
                    Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    At least he doesn't make up stories about meeting Marines at parties or seeking out "binders full of women" tongue.

              2. peoplepower73 profile image86
                peoplepower73posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                The only reason that she was able to do the fact check is because she is a journalist and had a copy of Obama's transcripts.  If she could of had Romney's transcripts that would have been O.K.  Remember, it was Romney who was accusing the President, not the other way.  In her transcript, she says they were both right, but on a different timeline.

            2. JSChams profile image61
              JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              There was debate about her from both sides before it happened.
              Might as well get Keith Olbermann or Alan Grayson.

          2. peoplepower73 profile image86
            peoplepower73posted 4 years ago in reply to this

            You are right, I'm wrong. Nobody deserves to be interrupted.  But then isn't that the nature of these debates?

            1. JSChams profile image61
              JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              As long as you go by the premise that you don't want you opponent to be heard....sure.

  4. Reality Bytes profile image92
    Reality Bytesposted 4 years ago

    Can anyone provide a legal definition of "terrorist"?  Not terrorism!

    1. JSChams profile image61
      JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Well someone this week tried to label Tagg Romney as a terrorist so I think it's going to depend on emotion.....

  5. maxoxam41 profile image80
    maxoxam41posted 4 years ago

    America and the Atlantist countries are the perpetrators of terror. I still reject the idea of muslim countries (since they are the scapegoat) that used medium of terror to frighten people. Facts stated that the US (the leader) originates the terror, if it is not by attacking its own soil or droning North Pakistan, Somalia..., it is financing and supporting dictatorships in former democracies (Honduras 2009 and Paraguay 2012) and is creating mercenaries/terrorists (the Talibans, Al Qaeda, death squadrons in Syria under the disguise of freedom fighters...) massacring the local populations.

  6. Mighty Mom profile image90
    Mighty Momposted 4 years ago

    We really should be moving on from the semantics of "acts of terror" vs. "terrorist act."
    However, I'm a bit surprised that the Obama team is not trotting out this:

    This is what Clinton said September 12, according to State Dept. transcript:
    ‘This was an attack by a small and savage group – not the people or Government of Libya.’

    A terrorist attack by any other name would smell as sweet.

    As it is, the current version of events includes:
    1. The group that perpetrated the attacks DID get riled up about the video. It's not clear (nothing in this story is!) whether they actually watched it, or were reacting to reports of it, or what.
    2. Their attack on the Benghazi consulate was perhaps not planned weeks in advance as a 9/11 "terrorist" attack. Instead, it is being categorized as an "opportunistic" attack.
    3. There was actually a mob protest at the Benghazi scene. However, it appears that it FOLLOWED and did not PRECEDE or INSTIGATE the deadly attack on the ambassador and 3 others.

    I don't know about you, but I don't really care at this point. What matters is finding who did it and bringing them to justice.
    The GOP wants to equate this with Watergate.
    Given what happened on Bush's watch, and how many American lives were lost on 9/11 and subsequently in Iraq and Afghanistan -- I find this disingenuous at best.
    Unless, of course, it's all by design to once again get Americans whipped up into a froth of fear. Oh no! The TERRORISTS are BACK!
    We need some neocons in the WH again. And we really need to give our military a whole lot more money, too.
    Yep.
    Pretty darned convenient. Right before the election.
    Anyone else find it curious that Mr. Romney had a press conference berating the POTUS on his lack of response to the attack even before the WH?
    Could it possibly, possibly be that this was engineered??? Bought and paid for?
    Stranger things have happened.
    Oh no! They're BACK!!

 
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