All I can say is that this is really weird. Billmon has found a story from today's New York Times and put it together with something he found in the Boston Globe from February--and taken together, they are, well, troubling, to say the least. The NY Times piece mentions, in passing, that one of the protesters outside the Woodside Hospice House is a former military intelligence officer in Iraq named Bill Tierney, who "cried as he talked about watching the Schiavo spectacle on television and [felt] the utter need to be at the hospice." He brought his daughter with him.
Next comes a quote from the Boston Globe story of Feb. 13, where the same Bill Tierney, described as a civilian contractor who worked for the Army, goes on at some length more or less admitting that he had not only mistreated prisoners himself, out of a necessity to break them, but thought it was a good thing, justifying it on our civilization vs. their civilization grounds. He ended by saying that the torturer arrives at a place where he says "this is fun."
If these quotes are real, and it looks like they are, we are obviously in the presence of a very troubling person. There is just something creepy about this, a guy who claims that he got off on torturing Iraqi prisoners now showing up in the center ring as part of the milling pro-life crowd in Florida.
So now, before I go to bed, I find that the story has somehow activated the least charitable and most unpleasant part of my own psyche, the part that I don't sleep well with--that wants to believe these guys are a nasty piece of work, complete wackjobs from another planet.
Maybe it'll turn out to be a hoax.