Monday, March 27, 2006

Terrorists, We Are Not

When the (p)resident says the illegal eavesdropping program he initiated is only used to spy on “terrorists” a lot of people think they don’t have to worry.

But an article in the “Los Angeles Times,” by Nicholas Riccardi should serve to remind them that they do.

highwayscribery has expressed concern before that the administration plays it fast and easy with the word terrorist (“A Little Common Censure,” March 15). Riccardi’s piece sheds further light on the tendency:

“For years, the [Federal Bureau of Investigation’s] definition of terrorism has included violence against property, such as the window-smashing during the 1999 Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization. That definition has led FBI investigations to online discussion boards, organizing meetings and demonstrations of a wide range of activist groups. Officials says that international terrorists pose the greatest threat to the nation but that they cannot ignore crimes committed by some activists.”

No one is saying they should ignore the crimes, rather that the perpetrators should not be classified as “terrorists” because that’s a whole new ball of wax.

the scribe thinks most Americans would agree that a terrorist is someone who uses indiscriminate violence against innocent and unsuspecting civil populations walking around doing their own business.

Bill Carter, a spokesman for the FBI in Washington, “stressed that the agency targeted individuals who committed crimes and did not single out groups for ideological reasons. He cited the recent arrest of environmental activists accused of firebombing an unfinished ski resort in Vail [Colorado]. ‘People can get hurt,’ Carter said. ‘Businesses can be ruined’.”

Maybe. But that’s not the same as using an airplane to bring down a building full of people, or detonating a bomb in a crowded street market.

You should read the piece, but the scribe will highlight one further item. An FBI guy making a class presentation at University of Texas/Austin listed groups under the category “anarchism” as those with potential links to terrorist groups.

That hits close to home especially when the American Civil Liberties Union thinks the FBI is targeting people “who opposed the government.”

the scribe opposes the government with all his heart and was under the vague impression that was a primary guarantee to the American system. He’s no martyr for the First Amendment. He’ll use it if it’s there.

highwayscribery thinks anarcho-syndicalism is a nice theory for organizing society. Throw in the facts the scribe is not a Mormon, and has been seen inebriated in public, and what you have in this Web blog is an unqualified federal bete noir and that’s wrong because it misrepresents anarchism; the highest expression of order.

And besides, the highway scribe is a sleepy pacifist who abhors the current band of Muslim fascists seeking god down the barrel of a gun.

The upshot here is that the new “terrorist” label is applied more easily than the “communist” one law enforcement spent 12 years looking to replace; fits so many more sizes. Before they had to prove membership in a particular political party. Now the ideas in your head are enough to mark you.

The goal is not always to prosecute, rather to put a scare into activists and it’s simply not right.


The highway scribe was graciously invited by Kiko's House to write on the red hot immigration question. It was posted today.

1 comment:

Stefanie said...

Well written post!