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View Diary: Search continues for Dzhokar Tsarnaev (318 comments)

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  •  But international law does not agree with us, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Villanova Rhodes

    does it? That's where I find it confusing.

    And that does not match up with the dictionary definition perfectly, which is the "systematic use of violence to achieve SOME (emphasis mine) goal."

    •  I'm not aware of an international law (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a gilas girl, Spit, Ninepatch, poco

      consensus definition of the term, but it's not my area of expertise. In any event, I don't see how it would matter in this domestic incident. I do agree that the popular & media usage of the term is distressingly flexible and often incoherent & nativist, if not flat racist.

      In policy (who prosecutes, what penalties, etc.), legal definitions trump dictionary definitions. That dictionary definition would apply to a lot of crimes that aren't federal crimes at present, and I'm not anxious to expand federal criminal jurisdiction. And yet it would not cover a one-off, non-systematic act of real politically motivated terrorism. I don't find it a useful one. But it's an interesting discussion.

      •  This ^^^ (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Villanova Rhodes, poco

        Thanks for posting this.

        I feel like we've been having this conversation for a really long time, though.

        ::sigh::

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 01:23:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My point was there was no consensus on the term. (0+ / 0-)

        Basically.

      •  Sure, in policy, but not in speech. (0+ / 0-)

        Legal definitions totally trump dictionary definitions in law and policy. Just not in speech and internet posts, IMO. Your mileage may vary, of course.

        That dictionary definition would apply to a lot of crimes that aren't federal crimes at present, and I'm not anxious to expand federal criminal jurisdiction.
        My point wasn't to legalize that definition but to point out that the word was used and existed long before 9/11 and has had many different contexts. I think the definition is sufficiently broad to cover how it's been used for a lot longer than the "War on Terror" has existed.

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