"One man's terrorist..."

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Jan 31 22:57:31 UTC 2007

My local library inexplicably lacks _The Yale Book of Quotations_, so I'm taking a chance that the following may not be redundant.

  The earliest ex. I've seen appears in this quotation from the _ABC World News Tonight_ broadcast of Jan. 17, 1986, spoken by Barrie Dunsmore as part of a series on terrorism:

  "Yet it is precisely because one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter that international attempts to curb terrorism have substantially failed."

  Dunsmore's words are cited in Bethami A. Dobkin, Tales of Terror: Television News and the Construction of the Terrorist Threat (Praeger, 1986), p. 50.

  Ronald Reagan specifically rejected the truth of the statement a few months later, but in so doing he uttered the words, and so is frequently alleged to be the originator of the sentiment.


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