When a New York City Councilman gets shot in the back at City Hall, it
stirs the pot of Terror. It boils to the surface the presence of
the Beast of Terror in all our affairs. Who is safe?
None of us, unless we protect ourselves. Find out how!
2003—Ground Zero Plus 680
Back-Shooting By The Beast Of
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--July 24,
2003-- Don't turn your back on the Beast of Terror. He might
just shoot you. Not once. But over and over. And do
it right smack in New York City Hall.
Yesterday afternoon, in New York City Council Chambers,
two men entered the high security facility that has served as the core
of New York government for nearly 200 years. By all
appearances they were friendly when they slipped past the metal
detectors, ushered around them rather than through them because one
was a New York City Councilman.
off entrances to City Hall and streets around it
Rank has its privileges.
But in this case, the privilege was deadly.
Minutes later, both men left City Hall on stretchers.
One was dead, the other mortally wounded.
America is geared for foreign attacks by Terrorists
seeking to vent their revenge and anger upon our ideology, to fracture
the symbols of security and power represented by the world's most
powerful economic, military and democratic nation.
New York City was not expecting the Terrorist attack
from within its own ranks. It didn't expect one citizen killing another in the council
chambers located just a few blocks from Ground Zero, the site of the
Nine Eleven attack that ushered in our Great War On Terrorism.
But, the surprise attack serves as a horrifying
example that the Beast of Terror lies within, not only without, our
As a survivor of Nine Eleven, I look upon the intense
security imposed on New York public offices as a reminder of
Vigilance--a reminder that Al Queda and other Terrorist-bent factions
are still plotting to deface the security of our nation.
I slip, sometimes, and forget the great enemies of
Vigilance are ourselves, and that the most frightening Beast of Terror
roils inside our marrow, seething and hissing, eager to express his
primal lust in both bold and nefarious ways against all who stand in
The Beast of Terror ranges from the false non-sexucal security of a
cleric's cloth to the gun-toting "friend" of a
Davis, Councilman from Brooklyn, was shot in the back in
Forty-one year-old James E.
Davis, a councilman from Brooklyn, entered City Hall yesterday with
31-year-old Othniel Askew. Because Davis was a councilman,
he was passed around the metal detectors, a privilege unfortunately
offered to high-ranking politicians. Davis ushered his
compatriot around the detectors.
Davis, a former cop, was carrying a weapon. So
According to the New York Times, Askew was a political
opponent of Davis. He was preparing to run against Davis
for the coveted council seat. Based on police
reports, the two had repeatedly clashed. Askew, apparently, filed a complaint with the FBI the day before, alleging that
Councilman Davis was trying to drive him away from the political race
by threatening to release personal damaging information about him
(i.e. that he was gay) and
by offering to buy his support with a job in Davis' camp.
Councilman Davis' staff reported that Askew
had come to the Brooklyn office and asked if he could attend the City
Council meeting with Davis. Davis invited him to join him. Thus, the
two men entered the building together as allies.
A 21-year-old eye witness told the
Times that as Davis
and Askew were leaving the public-viewing balcony just as the Council was opening the
session. Askew pulled out his gun and shot Davis repeatedly in the back before a stunned and shocked
gallery of citizens viewing the Council.
A policeman below in the Council chambers
drew and shot up at Askew, mortally wounding him. Askew would die later at New York University
A herd of young children in the gallery
were rushed to safety in Mayor Bloomberg's office, where the New York
City mayor was working.
No one will ever really know why one man
vying for high political office in one of the world's most famous
cities would shoot his opponent in the back. It was a virtual act of
suicide. There can be no claim to sanity for such actions, as
there isn't in most violent murders. The only good thing is he
didn't strap on his chest rows of dynamite.
It is clear, however, that the Beast of Terror blinded the shooter
with rage of such an order as to make his act so incredulous it seems
The event slapped my face, sobering me back
into the reality of Terrorism.
insidious nature spins glittery gluey webs to entrap you
nature of Terrorism is woven into a web of Complacency. The
strands glitter seductively, forming silvery simplistic designs that blind you to their
true brutal nature. You forget they are sticky traps, geared to
hold you their prisoner as the spider trundles down the web to eat you. You begin to believe--
if you are not practicing Vigilance--that the Beast of Terror cannot
twist "civilized" humans so easily into crazed beasts. You start
to give the Beast too much slack. You start to trust priests and
politicians, to believe what you hear on the news, and to forget
Complacency is Terrorism's great perfume.
The New York City law enforcement
team got Complacent. when they allowed the "higher ups" to pass around the metal
detectors at City Hall. They forgot that "important
people" and their "guests" have Beasts of Terrors inside them also.
They forgot the best of us can become the worst of us.
Of course, who would think a
priest would molest children when he is alleged to be the shepherd of
the flock? Or, who would think a nice, friendly
family who all appeared happy on the outside would end up murdered by
the hands of a mother gone crazed?
Who would think leaders of huge
corporations such as Enron would pilfer the pockets of the old and
young, then run off with millions at the expense of thousands?
We all should know better than to
think certain "types" of people--because of elevated social, political,
religious or economic status--stand above the Law of the Beast.
None of us is exempt since we are all human, all of us subject to
character defects that can turn us from instant "saints" into instant
"sinners." Ask Jessie Jackson.
In Vietnam, I
witnessed an unnecessary, brutal killing by a young marine who
didn't stand above the Law of the Beast
In Vietnam, one of
the first combat deaths I witnessed occurred when a young, 19-year-old
Marine I was with on my first combat patrols took a farmer prisoner. He made him kneel in front of him as he
searched him, then told him to "di-di," to run. The
Vietnamese was an innocuous character, old and wrinkled, hands
leathered from planting rice all day. He was barefoot, in
black pajamas, his teeth rotted and blackened from chewing Beetle Nut.
He was hardly a threat.
But as the man ran wildly toward the
rice paddy, my fellow Marine raised his M-14 and shot him repeatedly
in the back. I was stunned. I turned to him and
said: "My God, why did you kill him?" I will never
forget the rage in the young man's eyes. Each orb roared with the
fires of Hell, lasering through me as though I were the enemy as he
spewed: "When you've seen as many of your buddies killed by
these fuck'n gooks as I have, you'll kill 'em all too!"
Then he slithered away from me,
hunkered down, hunting more humans.
The Beast, however, doesn't just
shoot people in the backs with guns either in Vietnam or New York City
I know a close friend, a beautiful
woman from a high-ranking family. These family members are looked upon with
respect and admiration as pillars of their society. Her
father, a great statue in the society, had two roles.
During the day, he was the model citizen, the man you looked up to.
Each night, while the girl's mother took her evening bath, the model
citizen sexually molested his daughter from ages seven to fourteen.
Beasts take on many forms.
You can shoot
your children in the back without using a gun
Then there are
mothers and fathers who ignore their children, or beat them, or tell
them they are "stupid" or "ugly." And others who buy their
children all the "things" they want because they don't have time to
love them. These commercial parents turn their children into shells
who compare everyone's outsides to theirs, never looking or knowing
how to look "within" for the riches of human nature. They go on
to Yale to become the CEO of Enron, or a politician, or a lawyer.
One doesn't have to take a gun and
shoot another in the back.
Talking down a person behind his or
back is a form of character assassination. The tongue
becomes the bullet: it shoots its target with deadly purpose.
Whatever the reason for the killing
in New York City Chambers, there are far more acts of Terror being
conducted outside them.
As a Sentinel of Vigilance, I need to
remember that wounding and killing people can be done by our actions
or lack of them against others. When we fall victim to
Terrorism's Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, we open the door to
human brutality not unlike that unleashed yesterday by one person
shooting another in the back.
We run headlines on such acts such as the
killing of Councilman Davis as though
they were the "most criminal" of all, but forget to run headlines that such acts of violence are only signs of a deeper, more
troubled system of feeding Terrorism before it erupts. The Beast
grew in Askew. It evolved within, as it will within all of us
unless we stunt its growth.
beat their kids because they were beaten are guilty of a
Retribution Terror Act
Askew did not
kill Davis for any one reason. In a lifetime of
Terror-Thoughts, Askew learned that violence was a solution, a
payback, a retribution act. He wasn't Vigilant, for were he, he
would have countered his Fears with Courage, neutralized his
Intimidations with Convictions, and rather than fall Complacent to the
urge of murderous violence, taken Right Actions that would benefit the
Children's Children's Children. And those actions would not
include shooting an "enemy" in the back.
But Askew should not be the focus of
attention. The parent who beats his or her kids
because his or her parents beat him or her, is just as guilty of a
similar Terror crime. Such a parent is passing down the Legacy
Because the father never hugged the
son, or talked to him soul-to-soul, is not justification for the next
generation of fatherhood to deny showing love to his children.
The Beast, however, enjoys the Complacency of Vigilance.
The real Metal
Detectors in life are Courage, Conviction and Right Actions
hopes we do not take
a Pledge of Vigilance when we become parents or politicians
or the CEO of a major corporation.
He's glad the Pledge of Vigilance is not a requirement for priesthood,
motherhood, fatherhood, boss-hood. He feels safe as long
as people think they are smarter than he, more "civilized," more
"intelligent," more "moral."
The real metal detectors in
life--those things that will ultimately thwart Terrorism--are Courage,
Conviction and Right Actions in behalf of the Children's Children's
Children. These Principles of Vigilance will
keep us from shooting others in the back, from becoming victims of the
Triad of Terrorism.
Put on your metal detector
Expose the Beast of Terror.
Take the Pledge of Vigilance.
23--Dead Sons of the Beast of Terror
- 2004, VigilanceVoice.com, All rights reserved -