The first ‘graph of this Post-Gazette story really says it all:

The [Pennsylvania] state House approved a measure yesterday to impose harsh penalties against "eco-terrorists," even though legislators sharply disagreed on what types of activity constituted eco-terrorism.

We’re not sure exactly what it is, but it’s got "terrorism" in it, so it must be horrible and worthy of the most draconian penalties we can think of!

Godshall contended that some environmental protesters, including those who protest what goes on inside drug-testing labs or research activity at veterinary schools, have gone too far, threatening to harm buildings and even scientists engaged in lawful activity.

The story is full of this kind of stuff. Note that a) they’re only talking about animal-rights protesters, not "eco"-anything, b) they are advisedly using the word "protester," to cast the widest possible net, and c) all they can come up is that "some" have "threatened." And normal criminal penalties won’t suffice for this? This is "terrorism"?

Godshall said one extremist group called the Environmental Liberation Front has said it "would no longer hesitate to pick up a gun" to protect the environment.

Not only did they "threaten" something, they "said" something else! Perhaps it’s time to call in the National Guard!?

Rep. Kathy Manderino, D-Philadelphia, said veterinary and agricultural schools have been targeted by such protesters, who have even threatened violence against professors and researchers and their homes.

After "threatening" and "saying," now they’re "targeting" — and more "threatening"! Would declaring a state-wide emergency be too much?

But critics of the bill, including Rep. Greg Vitali, D-Delaware, said someone who protests the treatment of puppies at a pet store could be seen as an "eco-terrorist" under the bill.

"It’s too broad," he said. "If a protester at a pigeon shoot picks up a wounded pigeon from private property he could be convicted of eco-terrorism under this."

Oops! I’m sure that wasn’t the intention.

Look, I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, but I hear more and more noises like this. Ever since 9/11 this country has been piss-our-pants panicked, gripped by an existential fear that’s drifted free of any mooring in the real world and become a thing-in-itself, a beast that must be fed. It wants to generate domestic enemies. And since greens are so darn unreasonable — a group even progressives won’t defend — what better candidate?

Imagine what’s going to happen if one of these groups actually does hurt anyone.