General Question

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Asked by jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities (19687points) June 2nd, 2009

I’ve always wondered this.

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18 Answers

hug_of_war's avatar

I always thought it was a political thing.

DarkScribe's avatar

A Head of State as a rule but is has become used/misused to indicate anyone, even high ranking crime figures.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Wow, I just now noticed that somebody has already asked this. Boy is my face red!

DarkScribe's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities It will happen, it is a little hard to search before every question when they can be categorised in so many ways.

bythebay's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities: WHAT? You asked a duplicate question? You’re fired! :)

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@bythebay That’s only fair. I’ll walk the plank now.

bythebay's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities: Never mind, now I feel guilty about making you leave. Now I’m all stressed out, shit. I’ll be back, I have to go ask an inane question about dealing with self inflicted guilt. Just stay, at least my burden will be lessened. ;P

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@bythebay Ok, but do I have to make some sort of sacrifice to the Fluther gods?

CMaz's avatar

A covert killing is an assassination. How important, is only to the person killing.

marcosthecuban's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities gave you a ‘great question’ vote!

cwilbur's avatar

It’s not only the importance of the person killed, but the relationship between the people and the reason for the killing.

If Michelle Obama shoots Barack Obama in a fit of jealous rage, it’s not assassination even though he’s the President. If someone shoots the person in charge of a Walmart construction project because he thinks Walmart is evil, it’s an assassination because it’s not personal and it’s done for political reasons, even though the person in charge is relatively unknown.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@cwilbur Nice, that sounds like a winner.

marcosthecuban's avatar

i agree with @ChazMaz ; assassination is more in the eyes of the killer in that it, by definition, has to be deliberate, pre-meditated.

to me, the A word (notice how it has ‘ass’ in it twice) also connotes dispassionate engagement most of the time; ie, NOT a crime of passion or opportunity.

bythebay's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities: No sacrifice necessary, because you made us all laugh!

AstroChuck's avatar

Remember to use the search function before posting. This question by Allie is almost worded verbatim.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@AstroChuck Yeah, I noticed that shortly after posting. Lesson learned.

Jeruba's avatar

I find the search function diabolically frustrating to use. Even when I correctly remember the exact wording of the entire question (rare, but it happens), I can’t get it to come up in results. Search on keywords that I know are in the responses (including my own) either almost never works or yields hundreds of hits, which, when combed through, seldom include my target. Results do not appear to be in any particular order or logic. Groups of keywords that should work as in Google (including names) do not help. I estimate that about one in thirty of my attempted searches on content actually brings up what I’m looking for. So I am inclined to be exceedingly forgiving toward people who have attempted to search for duplicate questions and failed to find them, and I don’t even blame those who haven’t tried since the results are likely to be about the same.

astrocom's avatar

cwilber has it right. I think the important bit is that an assassination is killing a specific person for political reasons. If Michelle Obama killed Barrack, because she disagreed with his policy on a conflict in Africa, it could still be an assassination; and when terrorists kill random civilians for political reasons those aren’t considered assassinations, because the random civilians weren’t specifically involved in the politics behind the killing.
(Amusingly, if interpreted in a direct manner, this would mean if someone was payed to kill someone else, that killing couldn’t be an assassination. However an action taken by someone, provoked by someone else can be interpreted as being caused by the latter person’s reasons.)

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