Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Vernon Hunter, American hero

Vernon Hunter, American hero

This is what a real American hero looks like:

In the hours that followed, Ken said he heard lots of talk about the pilot's motivations and felt compelled to speak out on his father's behalf.

"There was just too much going on about what the guy did and what he believed in, and enough's enough," he said. "They don't need to talk about him. Talk about my dad. You know, some people are trying to make this guy out to be a hero, a patriot. My dad served two terms in Vietnam. This guy never served at all. My dad wasn't responsible for his tax problems."

The Hunter family identified Vernon Hunter's body Saturday. That same day, as Ken drove to his father's home, he saw firsthand the destruction the small plane caused.

"We turned the radio down, almost off, and we just looked. No one said anything and we just kept coming in. My wife almost broke down, so it was tough," he said.

Vernon Hunter was a guy who fought for his country in Vietnam and went to work for it when he came home; he had a loving family who cared about him very much. And then he went to work one morning he was murdered in cold blood by a narcissistic loser named Joe Stack. And yet some of our nation's so-called political leaders are refusing to criticize Stack, the murderer of Vernon Hunter.

The latest is a U.S. congressman, Steve King of Iowa. Here's what he said:

I don’t know if his grievances were legitimate, I’ve read part of the material. I can tell you I’ve been audited by the IRS and I’ve had the sense of ‘why is the IRS in my kitchen.’ Why do they have their thumb in the middle of my back. … It is intrusive and we can do a better job without them entirely.

It seems so outrageous, and yet King is hardly alone. Two of the most egregious example include whacked-our far-right Texas gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina, who said this weekend that Hunter's killer reflects "the hopelessness many in our society feel," and of course Massachusetts pin-up guy Scott Brown, who said that Stack's suicide attack is a sign that voters "want transparency" in government.

First of all, what the (expletive deleted)?

Second of all, aren't these the same people who jump all over anybody who calls an al-Qaeda or Taliban thug a "murderer" instead of a "terrorist," even though at the end of the day that's what even the people who bombed the World Trade Center were -- low-life, no-good killers, a notion that even Republicans understood back in Reagan's day? But now these same people refuse to condemn Joe Stack, let alone call him what he really was: A cheap, heartless murderer.

The one thing that's clear from Stack's vain and nonsensical "manifesto" is that the man was not insane, just an egomaniac who gave no thought to the innocent person he was about to kill, to that man's family or even his own family that he left behind to deal with the mess...after he burned them out of their home. The only insane people here are the ones who call Joe Stack a hero. He wasn't a hero. He was a coward. To see Joe Stack as something more than a two-bit killer is the greatest case of adding insult to injury that I have ever seen.

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Will Bunch
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