Earl Krugel was not an "extremist." He was a terrorist. Treat him as such.
It was only Earl Krugel's third day in a federal penitentiary outside Phoenix, Arizona when a fellow inmate came from behind, struck him with a cement block and shuffled loose his mortal coil.
"Earl did not deserve what he got. It was all political," wife Lola said after learning of her husband's murder. "I'm devastated and I'm shocked that the system allowed this to happen."
"He was killed in cold blood," added sister Linda ominously.
Undoubtedly, Linda. But what did you expect? Your brother was a terrorist.
. . . . .
Earl Krugel was not an "activist" or an "extremist." He was a terrorist, and I am weary of news reports that attempt to dilute just what a dangerous man he was.
As the West Coast Coordinator of the Jewish Defense League, Krugel and JDL chairman Irv Rubin attempted to bomb both the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City and the field offices of Congressional Representative Darrell Issa (who is of Lebanese descent) in 2001. Rubin himself was also implicated in the 1985 bombing death of Alex Odeh, a local chairman of the pro-Palestinian Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Make no mistake; this is sponsored terrorism, the same as any bombings or attacks occurring in the Middle East, Northern Ireland or Palestine. Given today's political climate in the United States, I expected to see Rubin and Krugel arrested, tried under the USA PATRIOT Act's provisions on supporting terror and punished in the same gulags it appears only wrongfully accused men and women languish in. Similarly, I imagined the JDL's doors shut forever, particularly after its two highest ranking members were convicted in not one but two separate bombing plots.
Attempting to kill a U.S. congressman? How were these men not tried in a Star Chamber or "disappeared" four years ago? How does the Jewish Defense League — an association so openly militant that most mainstream Jews and Jewish organizations disavow it — not come under closer scrutiny by our draconian federal government?
There is a serious disconnect in the United States today. Those who practice Islam are considered suspect solely for their religious beliefs and color of skin. Do nothing yet expect punishment. Meanwhile, a Jewish organization of admitted extremism gets repeated free passes during a terror lockdown. Get convicted of planning to bomb a mosque and be labeled an "activist;" do nothing but visit a mosque daily and be labeled a "person of interest."
Why should I be surprised, though? This is the same country that routinely holds people on suspicion for simply being Muslim. And we're overshadowed by the same media that considered a black man swimming through the aftermath of Katrina a looter while white people in the same predicament were "finding" their food. It is simply disturbing the way people in this country are being programmed to believe one segment of society good and the other bad.
I could not care less what your ethnicity or choice of god is, if you commit a crime you should be punished as the law dictates. As appalled as I am by legislation rammed through Congress in the aftermath of September 11th, it was there to countermand and punish real domestic terrorist acts. Rubin and Krugel's acts fit the bill perfectly, yet they weren't rounded up and detained as terror suspects are, they weren't tried as terrorists and they weren't sentenced under terror statutes. Krugel was able to plea bargain his case down to 20 years in prison. Does that sound fair to you?
It's time to call a spade a spade. Regardless of how idolized Krugel was (is he as great an American hero as convicted spy Jonathan Pollard?) by the extreme Jewish population within the U.S., the press should have highlighted his crimes, not watered them down. As much a shame as it is that Krugel is dead — he should have had a chance to serve his term — the man was a criminal with a history of violence and terror. He's no saint. He's no hero. He's just some ass who thinks the world holds a grudge against Judaism.
So while the mainstream press might skirt the issue, I'll proclaim it loudly. Earl Krugel was a terrorist. It's my hope that when people do a search for his name they'll find this piece and learn just that. He deserves the same honor and deference as a suicide bomber; his organization and his actions have made worldwide Jewry look bad and again highlight how militant Israel's supporters are.
Think about this: He was willing to kill men, women and children during their daily prayers to God.
He was willing to destroy the office of someone sworn to uphold the faith and direction of the United States Constitution.
That made him a terrorist. It makes the Jewish Defense League a terrorist organization. Treat them as such.
Canon Fodder is a bi-weekly analysis of politics and society.