This photo, published on the NYT front page today, is troubling me no end.
The captions reads:
Mark S. Geitzen, chairman of the Kansas Coalition for Life, parked his truck outside Dr. Tiller’s clinic in Wichita on Monday morning. Mr. Geitzen was asked by the clinic’s security guards to move his truck, and he complied after leaving a sign at the site.
In a Wikipedia profile, the owner is identified as follows:
Gietzen is the chairman of the Kansas Coalition for Life. One of the major projects of this organization is to place crosses each day on public property in front of George Tiller’s late-term abortion facility in Wichita. As part of this project, pro-life volunteers are present on public property in front of the facility whenever it is open for business. Gietzen has been protesting the facility since 1978.
Here are just a few of my questions/reactions:
* I don’t see how this truck and this image, positioned so, represents anything less than an act of domestic psychological terrorism.
* I was going to ask, ‘what sick mind would actually park this thing across from Tiller’s office the day after his murder?’, but this kind of sickness knows no bounds.
* Has this vehicle/signage appeared regularly in this proximity to the clinic? Is there no way to have it removed on any legal basis, or is it completely protected under free speech?
* Related question: Did Tiller have any recourse to challenge the use of his image this way?
* I can imagine these nut jobs following Tiller around with cameras 24/7 and capturing this photo in front of a hospital. On the other hand, however, I’m also wondering if it might have been (even partially) photoshopped?
* Isn’t the face of the female EMT blanked out? I’m further appalled by the meticulousness and the pinpoint targeting whereby, in the course of this horrific defamation, somebody thought to protect the privacy of the ambulance worker.
(image: Steve Hebert/Atlas Press for The New York Times. June 1, 2009, Wichita, KS)