U.S. prosecutors compare “eco-terrorists” to KKK

In its unyielding quest to root out terror at its terror-y roots, the U.S. government is battling to have 10 eco-activists sentenced as terrorists. At a hearing in Eugene, Ore., yesterday, attorneys argued that 10 members of the loosely coalesced Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front deserve the label, which could not only net them longer sentences in scarier prisons, but also redefine how other forms of activism are prosecuted. U.S. attorneys compared the 10 — who have pleaded guilty to arson and conspiracy in connection with 20 fires from 1996 to 2001, including a mega-blaze at a Vail ski resort — to the Ku Klux Klan. The defense objected, pointing out that the KKK killed people. On purpose. The U.S. attorney’s response? The fires are “a classic case of terrorism” because the groups were trying to coerce the feds into changing their policies, and it was “pure luck” that no one was killed or injured. Did we mention no one was killed or injured? A ruling is expected next week.