Laugh? Or cry? Hard to say. Here’s a bulletin issued yesterday by the Department of Homeland Security. Among other things, it says this:
Attacks against corporations by animal rights extremists and eco-terrorists are costly to the targeted company and, over time, can undermine confidence in the economy. … Although we have no specific, credible information at this time suggesting animal rights extremists and eco-terrorists are planning to target known corporations, we encourage private sector owners and operators to remain vigilant, report suspicious activity, and continue to enhance protective measures.
On the TPM Muckraker site, which is hosting the document, Justin Rood adds:
Such radical extremist groups may use several tactics — each devastating in its own way — including:
– "organizing protests"
– "flyer distribution"
– "inundating computers with e-mails"
– "tying up phone lines to prevent legitimate calls"
– "sending continuous faxes in order to drain the ink supply from company fax machines"
That’s right. If the ink runs out of your fax machine, that means the terrorists have won.
Joking aside, though, Rood makes the relevant point:
The real outrage in this is that on the very day some DHS yahoo spent time and government money producing this bulletin, a jury was convicting a white supremacist on five counts of trying to obtain a chemical weapon and stolen explosives. The man’s dream: to explode a briefcase "dirty" bomb inside the U.S. Capitol.
Needless to say, I’m told DHS has yet to send out a warning on wackos like him: white supremacists, militias, anti-abortion groups or other violent far-right groups that have actually killed people. It’s the vicious left-wing flyer brigades that pose the greatest danger.
Of course, we can’t say we didn’t see this coming.
That’s the nut. The point is not whether you approve or disapprove of arson or intimidation (or "email inundating"). The point is that the DHS is complicit in a decidedly political attempt to smear and generate hysteria about domestic opponents, on ideological, not security, grounds.