Walter Palmer the hunter is now the hunted, with worldwide reprobation making him a social pariah and social-media threats driving him into hiding. And now a federal investigation into the Minnesota dentist who allegedly poached famed Cecil the Zimbabwean lion has been launched. Yet Planned Parenthood, revealed on video to have been selling the body parts of murdered babies, is receiving relatively little scrutiny.
While controlled trophy hunting is legal in Zimbabwe (more on that later), Palmer’s problems stem from the accusation that his hunt was illegal; the allegation is that he and his guides lured the lion out of his wildlife sanctuary, that the lion wasn’t “fair game.” Consequently, CBS Minnesota tells us, “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the agency is investigating the killing of Cecil the Lion, saying it will ‘go where facts lead.’ The agency made the announcement via Twitter Thursday.” The two men who served as Palmer’s hunting guides in Zimbabwe — Theo Bronkhorst of Bushman Safaris and Honest Trymore Ndlovu, who owns the game farm where the hunt occurred — have already appeared in court. Charged with conducting an illegal hunt, they face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
But what of Palmer’s culpability? On the one hand, Heavy.com’s Sam Prince reports:
The charity Lion Aid says on its website that it will be difficult to prosecute the person who paid for the hunt, because the client did what the professional hunter tells him to do.
“A client usually has no idea about the laws and regulations of the country he is hunting in — he just buys a safari and then places himself in the hands of his professional hunter guide. Finding the client could be interesting to let him tell his side of the story, but in terms of legal prosecution this person is hardly important,” Lion Aid says.
Yet there’s more to the story. There is an allegation that Palmer bribed officials at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park with $55,000 to hunt the lion. While it does seem possible this belief could stem from the confusing of a payment for services with a bribe — Bronkhorst says the dentist paid a $50,000 fee for the hunt — if true the Minnesotan could be charged under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
In addition, Zimbabwean officials have requested the extradition of the dentist (the United States has had an extradition treaty with Zimbabwe for at least 15 years).
And given political correctness’ social dominance today and that Palmer’s trespass was quintessentially politically incorrect — and given that the pc feds have already signaled they want his scalp — it’s easy to imagine them satisfying the Zimbabwean request… with vigor. But what about “the fact that the United States would be turning over a citizen to a country with an abysmal human rights record?” asks CNN in a legal analysis. “Shouldn't the court be concerned that the defendant will receive a fair trial, a lawyer, and three hot meals a day? It isn't.” This is not due to social codes but legal ones explains CNN: “The established ‘rule of noninquiry’ prohibits the judge from examining Zimbabwe's criminal justice system or taking into account the possibility that the extradited person will be mistreated.”
Moving on, though, there’s something else in this story that has been poorly treated: the larger issue of trophy hunting. After all, what if, defying conventional wisdom, the practice is actually a good thing?
Consider: It is a fact that the number one reason for the depletion of species is a lack of habitat, combined with a lack of value of the species to private entities. When large animals, which require lots of space to roam, are made off-limits to hunting, their private value usually drops very low and the animals are poached, or their habitat is used for agriculture or ranching or raw materials. Absent hunting, animals such as lions, elephants, and gorillas are literally worth more dead than alive to most Africans. Dead, the animals' horns, hands, skins, and other body parts can be sold and their meat eaten. Alive, the animals often displace and kill livestock or tear up crops.
When hunting or some similar activity is allowed, the animals become worth more alive. Just consider that a permit to hunt one black rhinoceros in Namibia was auctioned last year for a whopping $350,000. Moreover, a study showed that in 2000, trophy hunters pumped $11 million into Namibia — and such money is generally earmarked for conservation efforts.
But the point is that once animals are valuable commodities, their numbers usually burgeon. Take the white rhinoceros, for example. As the Property and Environment Resource Center explains, in 1900, the white rhinoceros was down to 20 animals; by 2010, there were 20,000. They were saved because citizens were allowed the private ownership of wildlife. People bred the rhinos to sell their horns (which regrow) and to permit limited trophy hunting. The same has held true for other species in Africa, as this 2014 article in Conservation magazine points out.
And what of the matter of bribing foreign officials? If any such U.S. prosecution of Palmer takes place, officials should also arrest almost every person who has adopted internationally and every businessman setting up shop in China. They all pay bribes — whether they are deemed bribes or not. Anyone adopting from Russia can expect to pay up to tens of thousands of dollars in "gifts" to facilitate the deal. And China has stringent "requirements" for businesses that move there, as well as demands for "gifts."
Then we come to the fact that Planned Parenthood (PP) — which has been blithely murdering babies and tearing them to pieces so their body parts can be sold for profit — is not receiving nearly the press the lion has. And it is not nearly the pariah Palmer has become. Why, the Internet is overflowing with a lynch mob of commenters willing to deny Palmer due process and wishing him a variety of gruesome deaths, while PP has received no such treatment. Actress Mia Farrow and a multitude of others even went so far as to disseminate Palmer’s business address, and his dental practice has been targeted and is shuttered. But how many PP abortuaries have had to close down? How many of its “doctors” are in hiding?
In fact, vice president and medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains in Denver, Colorado, Dr. Savita Ginde, was caught on video casually saying, “It’s a baby” while marketing a corpse to a prospective buyer. This is also the woman who concluded “that payment per organ removed from an aborted baby will be the most beneficial to Planned Parenthood: ‘I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it’ [she said],” reports Lifenews. Yet there’s no rush to publicize her personal information, and she’s still out, proud, and doing the Dr. Mengele.
Of course, a couple of congressional committees are investigating PP, along with approximately a dozen states. That leaves 38 states — 76 percent — doing nothing.
Then there was yesterday’s procedural vote to defund PP: It failed with only 53 yea votes, 7 short of the 60 needed to advance the bill. Forty-six senators opposed it, with all but two Democrats voting to maintain funding and all but two Republicans voting to strip it. This means that 46 percent of senators apparently have little problem with the trafficking in innocent children’s body parts — and with PP getting more than $500 million a year in your tax money to help fund the carnage.