Wednesday, January 04, 2006

US Makes Strides Against 'Ecoterrorism' - Whatever that Is

I'm still not sure what an ecoterrorist is. It really doesn’t make sense. Even
the article below puts the term in quotes. But anyway, the government is fond
of using the term as a blanket description of anyone who has issues with their
friends in business. As we saw in earlier postings -
resources-hypocrisy-and-self.html - the fib (whoops, small typo, unintended of course) I mean the fbi just loves to target peaceful protestors. So, to them, even those who are
exercising their rights to protest are deemed ecoterrorists.

And in addition, while they target peaceful protestors, they let off radical
true extremists like anti abortionists who kill doctors and militia people who
are armed as well as a small country.

And, as I mentioned prior, none of the actions that the government deems
terrorist have killed or injured one person. See this quote from the writing
below - "Over the years, none of the attacks has caused fatalities or major
injuries. Environmental and animal rights activists typically say their "direct
actions" are meant to avoid harming people and animals."

But, in typical fashion, the government will waste money only to help their
friends. In the mean time, the true terrorists keep on living.

I'm not for destroying electric towers, but is releasing caged and abused
animals terrorism? I really don't think so.

So, should people rejoice when they see the title of the article below? I say
not, as it's pretty clear that the governments resources are grossly misdirected
and will only keep the true terrorists alive and well. I mean really....who is
more likely to harm you - a person protesting the conditions at a cut up lab, or
a jack who's goal it is to kill those who disagree with him/her? Easy answer.

US makes strides against 'ecoterrorism'

The arrest of six activists comes as Congress considers increased penalties. But
acts of intimidation are also rising.
By Brad Knickerbocker | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
ASHLAND, ORE. – The arrest of six animal rights activists and environmental
radicals last week is the clearest sign in years that law-enforcement
authorities now are able to infiltrate the shadowy world of "ecoterrorism."

But the apprehension of four men and two women in five states around the country
- all charged with firebombings and other criminal acts committed years ago in
the Pacific Northwest - also indicates how hard it is to do that.

While the arrests are significant, many more crimes carried out in the name of
protecting animals and the environment remain unsolved. The FBI reports 1,200
such incidents in recent years, ranging from vandalism and the freeing of lab
rats to the torching of housing developments and auto dealerships that sell
sport utility vehicles. Property damage has totaled more than $200 million,
according to members of Congress sponsoring legislation intended to hamper the

Groups such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front
(ELF) usually claim credit for such acts. But as far as law-enforcement
officials can tell, there is little organization or structure to the groups.
Attackers act alone or in small numbers, adhere to strict security measures in
communications and operations, and make use of accessible, unsophisticated
equipment like cheap timers.

"Preventing such criminal activity has become increasingly difficult, in large
part because extremists in these movements are very knowledgeable about the
letter of the law and the limits of law enforcement," said John Lewis, a
counterterrorism FBI official, at a congressional hearing. "Moreover, they are
highly autonomous."

Among other things, the activists arrested last week are charged with attacks on
a lumber company, a meat plant, an electrical transmission tower, and a US
Department of Agriculture animal research facility, all taking place between
1998 and 2001.

Over the years, none of the attacks has caused fatalities or major injuries.
Environmental and animal rights activists typically say their "direct actions"
are meant to avoid harming people and animals.

But threats and other forms of aggressive intimidation directed at researchers,
company officials, their families, and others have been escalating.

Jerry Vlasak, a California physician opposed to the use of animals in medical
research, is a spokesman for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office.
At a recent congressional hearing, Dr. Vlasak insisted that "using any means
necessary" to stop people from hurting animals "would be a morally justifiable
solution to the problem." When asked if that included killing people, he didn't
deny it.

US lawmakers recently proposed legislation targeted at what Sen. James Inhofe
(R) of Oklahoma calls "ecoterror groups." It increases penalties for anyone
convicted of causing economic disruption or damage, or for placing a person "in
reasonable fear of death or bodily harm ... because of their relationship with
an animal enterprise."

Meanwhile, courts have not hesitated to impose stiff sentences in such cases.
One environmental activist was sentenced to 22 years in prison for burning three
SUVs at a car dealership in Eugene, Ore. Two of those arrested last week could
face life in prison if convicted of arson and using an incendiary device.

Though attacks by some radical activists continue, officials believe they are
better able to prevent or prosecute them.

"We are making progress," the FBI's Lewis told a Senate committee in October.

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