I went through a brief period of being obsessed with the Bush administration’s transparent attempt to elevate so-called "eco-terrorism" to the status of Biggest, Baddest Domestic Bogey Man. (Honestly, what threat will these supposed tough guys not piss their pants about?) But the Bushies are caught up in other struggles now, and the propaganda push […]
Here in Seattle we have an alternative weekly called The Stranger, with a clever feature called I, Anonymous, wherein some unnamed someone lambastes some unnamed someone else over ... something. Viciously. It's short and amusing.
Anyway, the paper's online forums have an I, Anonymous message board. This was posted there today (tucked away beneath the fold, for those offended by foul language, of which there is much):
There's a lot of good stuff in Pat Morrison's op-ed on the overuse of the word "terrorism." Like this:
From the White House to the soccer pitch, "terrorist" has "cooties" and "your mother wears combat boots" flat beat as the top playground potty-mouth slur for the 21st century.
Who's surprised? The Bush administration has been scattering the word like ticker tape on a Manhattan parade. Old McDonald left the farm for the NSA, and now it's here a terrorist, there a terrorist, everywhere a terrorist.
I couldn't agree more about the politically driven cheapening of the word. But he also makes a good point about environmental activism:
Osama bin Laden has said that he fears mockery more than death. If eco-protesters want to do some real damage, they should give up arson and take up ridicule. Don't torch those SUVs; put a cardboard cutout of Bin Laden in the passenger seat of an H2, and one of Dubya in the driver's seat beside him, then alert the media.
Hm ... sounds like something I've heard before ...
Seattle Times reporter Hal Bernton had an excellent story on "eco-terrorism" in Sunday’s edition. Most of it will be familiar to readers of my obsessive blogging on the subject, but a couple of tidbits were new (to me). There’s this: In making its 2003 recommendations, the FBI Office of Inspector General said that funneling those […]
The cover story of Pacific Northwest Magazine is about "eco-terrorism." It's decent enough on its own terms, but disappointingly cursory.
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:
Three people indicted in connection with arsons in the Sacramento area were sentenced last Friday. Sisters Eva Holland and Lili Holland, portrayed by their lawyers as innocents caught up in a plot they didn't fully understand, were given two years apiece. The alleged ringleader, Ryan Lewis, was portrayed as a devoted follower of the ghostly Earth Liberation Front.
The other day I linked to a letter to the editor in the Toronto Star in which the head of the U.S. Humane Society defended his organization against accusations by the Center for Consumer Freedom that it is tied to "eco-terrorist" organizations. Today another letter, from David Martosko at CCF, insists that no such accusations were made. Martosko sent me a link to the letter and asked, "care to retract?"
As it happens, no, I don't. I don't know any of the specifics about what CCF may have said about HSUS, or why HSUS may have misinterpreted it, but I'm perfectly willing to accept that CCF did not make the accusations in question. But the specific accusation was never my point. Martosko makes much of the distinction between HSUS and other animal-rights groups: