Here's a story that is just coming in over the wire services....
Eric Robert Rudolph will be pleading GUILTY to the bombing of Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Olympics! He'll also be pleading guilty to the bombing of an Atlanta nightclub, a women's clinic in Atlanta, and a women's clinic in Alabama. In return for the guilty pleas, Rudolph will be spared the death penalty. Instead he'll only get four life sentences, one for each location he bombed.
This information is supposedly coming in from a source close to the case, who also mentioned that Rudolph has told federal authorities to find even more explosive material hidden in his little hiding places in North Carolina, where he was ultimately found.
If this is true, this will put an end to nine years of pain and misery that he caused, including a black mark on the City of Atlanta during the Olympic Games. Yes, the games themselves were a fiasco... partly because of the shyster lawyers looking to make as much money as they could off of the event. But what Rudolph did was make a marginally tolerable situation even worse with his bombing of the spectators. Because of what Rudolph did, one man who should have been hailed as a hero was instead wrongly accused of carrying out the bombing!
Let's not forget what those other bombs did. The bombing at the women's clinic in Atlanta was specifically designed to first bring attention, and then kill whomever found the second bomb. In other words, it was designed to kill police officers! And it did just that. The bombing in a women's clinic in Alabama left one clinic worker with shrapnel in her head that cannot be completely removed. She will wear the scars of Rudolph's attack for the rest of her life. She lost an eye because of this! Rudolph won't lose an eye when he pleads guilty.
Let's get brutally honest here... if this story is true and Eric Robert Rudolph pleads guilty, he will be pleading guilty to carrying out acts of terrorism. He will essentially admit to being a DOMESTIC TERRORIST!
Of course that's not a word that the media likes to use. But that's what he'll be. If Eric Robert Rudolph pleads guilty, he will be admitting to being a TERRORIST, no different and no better than the Muslim terrorists who bombed the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon, and certainly no different or better than the Muslim terrorists who are killing innocent people in Iraq today.
But there's something else missing here as well... Rudolph may have acted alone, but it's crazy to believe that he was somehow able to elude numerous manhunts on his own and survive for several years on the run. He had help. He had people who agreed with his cause and in what he was trying to do.
Remember that all of the targets of Rudolph's attacks were controversial. The two women's clinics performed abortions. The nightclub catered to gays and lesbians. The Olympic Park was full of foreigners and catered to the international community. There are people in this country that passionately hate what went on at all four locations, and while they may not be willing to do what Rudolph did, they would not have any guilt about helping him hide so he could carry out even more acts of terrorism.
In pleading guilty, Rudolph would also protect the folks who helped him hide, and would potentially become either the next batch of domestic terrorists, or their willing accomplices. Now isn't that a comforting thought?
If the news report is true, Rudolph will be put away for the rest of his life - under our tax-paid care for many decades - unscared and unmolested... unlike his victims who will have to live with the pain that he caused.