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  • Sterling Hall Bombing: 35 Years Later

       August 24, 2005

    35 years ago today, four Madison men bombed Sterling Hall, home of an Army Math Research Center, on the University of Wisconsin campus. Karl Armstrong, David Fine, Leo Burt & Dwight Armstrong set the bomb off in the middle of the night, but, tragically, a young physics researcher, Robert Fassnacht, was killed in the explosion and several others were injured. Until Oklahoma City, it was the largest act of domestic terrorism the United States had ever seen.

    While Leo Burt still has never been found (and was, for a time, a prime suspect in the Unabomber case), the Armstrongs and Fine were put on trial and served their time. Karl Armstrong ran a food cart business while I was in college in Madison. I never went there. I respect the man's right to earn a living, but I'm not going to help him do it.

    I don't think many people knew who he was back then and, even with the extra attention surrounding this anniversary, few know who he is now. The whole bombing has kind of been swept under the rug by the Madison Left. I think they are rightly horrified and embarrassed by how far someone took their rhetoric. Although, back in the day, some of the most radical wore t-shirts proclaiming "Free Karl" (see the example) and tried to justify the bombing as somehow for the greater good. What's one life when Army Math indirectly contributed to the deaths of thousands of Vietnamese?

    To put Sterling Hall in today's terms is difficult. I don't want to hang today's anti-war movement because of crimes from the Vietnam Era, but, it is disturbing to me that the anti-war crowd is full of the usual suspects, the same people who were about as quick to condemn Sterling Hall as Muslim clerics were to condemn 9/11. Usually, the Cindy Sheehans, Michael Moores and Jane Fondas of the world strike me as nothing more than petulant children stomping their feet and holding their breath until they get their way. However, some of the white hot hatred on the far Left scares the crap out of me, particularly when that hatred is legitimized by people like Howard Dean calling their enemies (Republicans) "evil", "corrupt" and "brain-dead". If some Lefty really thinks that, what's to stop him from making the same calculation that the Madison terrorists did? Perhaps someday some loon will decide it's for the greater good to kill a few hundred conservatives.

    There's a 99% chance I'm just being paranoid, but sometimes hateful rhetoric isn't just words. The actions of the Islamofascists and domestic terrorists like Armstrong and company and Timothy McVeigh are horrible evidence of that fact.

    Posted by at August 24, 2005 07:36 AM

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    #  August 26th, 2005 12:24 PM      crow
    The newspapers and the exhibit both have a disgusting tone of non-condemntation for that terrorist. And Madison lefties, far from sweeping the bombing under the rug, often seem to treat the whole event as a source of nostalgia.

    Fry Karl  



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