Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Special Interest Terrorism

An article entitled U.S. terror hunt targets animal activists starts out on a note of perfect falsehood:

Kevin Kjonaas is an unlikely casualty of George W. Bush's war against terror.

No one, including the U.S. government attorneys who just finished prosecuting him for so-called animal enterprise terrorism, says that the 28-year-old Minnesota native killed anyone — or even hurt anyone.
Kjonaas - whose crime was running a Website critical of animal experimentation - is not an "unlikely casualty." People like him, who inconvenience or slander large industries, are a primary target of the "War on Terror," and always have been:
"This is just the starting gun," says David Martosko, research director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, an organization funded by the U.S. restaurant industry and a fierce opponent of animal rights.

He says the government should move against more mainstream organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or the Humane Society of the United States, which he calls "the farm teams for the eco-terror problem."
And why not? It's not like the feds have anything better to do:
FBI spokeswoman Cathy Milhoan says there have never been any deaths or injuries in the U.S. attributable to animal rights or environmental terrorism.

By comparison, radical right-wingers killed 168 people in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Since then, according to a Southern Poverty Law Center report, police have uncovered 60 more right-wing plots, including plans to assassinate judges, bomb synagogues and destroy mosques.

In 2000, the head of Pittsburgh's tiny Free Market Party killed five and critically wounded a sixth. Three years later, a neo-Nazi videotaped himself firebombing a synagogue.

Yet in spite of this, as the Alabama-based law centre points out, the U.S. government has decided the radical right presents little or no threat. And the FBI says illegal activities of the extreme right have been eclipsed by the "special interest terrorism" of the animal rights and environmental movements.
The real enemy in the "War on Terror" is anyone who calls for accountability and transparency in industry or government. It's no surprise that under our "CEO president," federal law enforcement is becoming a goon squad for corporatism.

Of course, there's so much wastefulness and inefficiency in government that privatization is probably a much better long-term option for maintaining "order":
Maj. Pete Tufaro scanned the fenced lot packed with hundreds of stark white trailers soon to be inhabited by Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Shaking his head, he predicted the cramped quarters would ignite fights, hide criminals and become an incubator for crime, posing another test for his cash-strapped sheriff's department, which furloughed 206 of its 390 officers after the storm.

Tufaro thinks the parish has the solution: DynCorp International LLC, the Texas company that provided personal security to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and is one of the largest security contractors in Iraq.

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