FBI investigates Illinois environmental activist

Add Jim Bensman of Alton, Ill., to your ever-growing list of People the Feds Think You Should Fear. Mild-mannered Bensman is a coordinator with an environmental group (terror level yellow!). In late July, he attended an Army Corps of Engineers public meeting on the proposed construction of a fish-bypass channel for a Mississippi River dam. At the meeting, Bensman proposed that the Corps destroy the dam (terror level orange!!) — an idea the Corps had already considered. A newspaper reported that Bensman “would like to see the dam blown up” (terror level red!!!). A week later, Bensman received a call from an FBI agent, who wanted to visit him at home, accused him of not cooperating, and told him that someone from the Corps had asked that he be investigated — a claim disputed by the Corps official who moderated the meeting, who said Bensman is a familiar, if irritating, face at many Corps public meetings. Bensman has since been informed that he is not suspected of anything. Yet.