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Tiller assassination suspect linked to Des Moines activist
The suspect in the fatal shooting of late-term abortion doctor George Tiller in Kansas was an occasional contributor to a Des Moines-based newsletter that believes that killing abortion providers is justifiable homicide.
Des Moines resident and anti-abortion activist Dave Leach publishes the newsletter, called “Prayer & Action News,” which describes itself as “a trumpet call for the Armies of God to assemble.” In an interview with The Washington Post, Leach said not only has he published the writings of alleged gunman Scott Roeder in the past, but he visited him in Kansas several years ago on his way back from speaking with Rachelle “Shelley” Shannon in prison. Shannon was convicted in 1993 of shooting Tiller outside his clinic. She later confessed to setting fires at abortion clinics in Oregon, California, Idaho and Nevada.
In an interview with the Iowa Independent, Leach said calling “killing a killer a crime is too simplistic.”
“Indeed, ‘taking the law into your own hands,’ as the idiom goes, is morally, legally, and spiritually dangerous territory,” he said. “But to say it is never right or legal is ignorance of our own laws. Every state has some version of the Necessity Defense, which says if you break a law to save a life, it’s not a crime. Taking dozens of lives by the cruelest devices, from burning to death in acid, to dismemberment, to Dr. Tiller’s scissors in a baby’s brain, as a single day’s work for any abortionist.”
Leach said when human law conflicts with God’s Laws, “we ought to obey God rather than man.”
He will not “advocate” that anyone go out and kill someone who performs abortions, but his “mind remains open on the question.”
“So while I am waiting for more dialogue, I must say that so far, the Bible discussion I have seen overwhelmingly supports anyone willing to sacrifice everything in order to physically stop an abortionist from killing thousands of babies,” he said.
Leach is no stranger to controversy. In the mid-90s, Leach’s association with the accused killer of a Florida abortion doctor helped persuade U.S. marshals to guard the Planned Parenthood clinic in Des Moines.
In 2002, he tried to air videotape of patients entering a local Planned Parenthood clinic on public-access cable TV. Mediacom Communications Corp. decided it would not allow him to air the footage.
He has also run unsuccessfully several times as a Republican for a seat in the Iowa House.
The Wichita Eagle newspaper in Kansas reports that Tiller’s clinic will re-open for business next Monday.