Todd Akin Finds His Own "Reverend Wright" in Radical Militia Leader

Categories: Politics

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In the '90s, Dreste and his compatriots created "wanted" posters for abortion providers, listing their home addresses, relatives, personal telephone numbers and offering "rewards."
This week isn't the first time Todd Akin has had to answer questions about his relationship with Tim Dreste, one of the country's most infamous anti-abortion activists of the 1990s. But with election day just two weeks away, a national media that's always achin' for some Akin and news that Akin was arrested not just once (as he had previously disclosed) but four times in the 1980s for participating in anti-abortion protests, Akin is receiving some high-profile scrutiny this time around.

Salon's Alex Seiz-Wald published a lengthy piece yesterday about Akin's alleged ties to extremist militia and pro-life groups led by Dreste. Seiz-Wald asserts that Akin was arrested with Dreste's group Pro-Life Direct Action and other anti-abortion organizations that used highly intimidating, sometimes violent, tactics to prevent women from getting abortions.

So who is this Tim Dreste guy Salon and other media outlets are so upset about?

The Riverfront Times profiled the man many consider to be some mix of "domestic terrorist, religious fanatic, paramilitary right-wing nut" in 1999, following his federal conviction for co-conspiring to kill, assault or do bodily harm to physicians who provide abortions.


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Protesters in downtown St. Louis in the late 1970s.
Yesterday, Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald published a lengthy piece called "Todd Akin's Militia Ties Exposed"We reached Dreste by phone last night, but he said he was unaware of the articles that tie him to Akin and didn't want to comment. Dreste has been prohibited from distributing pro-life literature, fined $6 million by federal court and scorned by the "mainstream" pro-life movement -- moves that have effectively silenced him in the last decade.

But RFT's Melinda Roth uncovered some pretty chilling anti-abortion tactics Dreste innovated and personally practiced back in the 1980s and 1990s, when Akin was still running in his circles:

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12 comments
JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

If a clinic were murdering 3-year olds, would anyone see anything wrong with entering the premises to stop the murders? If you view abortion as murdering an unborn child, stopping a murder is not wrong. Protesting and shouting a clinic for what you believe cannot be wrong either. The OWS crowd was cheered by the readers of RFT. Imagine such a crowd near an abortion clinic. These same readers would be outraged. Legalizing murder of the unborn does not make it right, just lawful. But now we see how far the RFT will go. They condemned the tarring and feathering by association with Rev. Wright, but now they are willing to do the same with someone who opposes the murder of an unborn child. You can disagree whether abortions should be permitted in cases of rape and incest, but you ought not agree with engaging with the sort of behavior you condemn. Fight fire with fire, and we all get burnt. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and we all are blind searching for our dentures. Do try and take the high road... oh, wait, this is the RFT. Sorry. Disregard. The high road is the road untraveled.

columbiamocowboy
columbiamocowboy

Very interesting article, extremely troubling headline. There's nothing remotely comparable in Rev. Wright's background. Jeremiah Wright was the victim of a racist campaign of slander, and to tie him to a violent extremist is just offensive and wrong.

shortwave8669
shortwave8669

@JaneDueker Joe Donnelly co-sponsored the "forcible rape" bill with Todd Akin. Mourdock did not @dsm012 @moscarlet #RapeIsRape #withMourdock

TBrendlinger
TBrendlinger

@FiredUpMissouri Todd Akin thought that $200 was going to a Pro life group. Not!

JaneDueker
JaneDueker

@shortwave8669 @dsm012 @MoScarlet Akin's and Donnelly's offense on women (which it is) does not excuse Mourdock.

shortwave8669
shortwave8669

@JaneDueker So I have to believe your partisan reading of Mourdock's words rather than his direct answer after debate? @dsm012 @MoScarlet

shortwave8669
shortwave8669

@JaneDueker Only the most partisan slanted observer would exclude the reasonable interpretation of the stmt @dsm012 @moscarlet #INsen

shortwave8669
shortwave8669

@JaneDueker If the predicate for "it" is unclear you are not entitled to make up a condemnatory reading @dsm012 @moscarlet #INsen

shortwave8669
shortwave8669

@JaneDueker Mourdock said if a rape happens and conception then happens the conception is intended by God. Nice try @dsm012 @moscarlet

jeremyfriesen
jeremyfriesen

@shortwave8669 Please expand on reasonable interpretation?

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