Sunday, March 31, 2013

What Is Terrorism?

     The United States government declared the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) a terrorist organization.  Eco-terrorism is acts of violence committed in the name of the environment.   The violent acts committed by the ELF consist of sabotaging plans made by corporations to cut down forests or otherwise damage the environment in ways that are ecologically irreversible or are deemed to cause lasting damage to the environment.   One "terrorist" technique is spiking trees, which involves driving a metal wedge into a tree so that a chainsaw will be broken when an attempt is made to cut the trees down.  Eco-terrorism is a carried out by small, grassroots organizations without central leadership, and this is by design, to avoid infiltration by government agents.
     Saving forests is one eco-terrorist cause;  others include preventing animal cruelty (the Animal Liberation Front was founded in 1979), saving nature preserves, and intervening against illegal whaling and seal hunting.
     Not one person has been killed as a result of eco-terrorism, and there have been almost no injuries, not even when arson is used as a tactic.
     Nevertheless, the FBI has labeled acts aimed at defending the environment a federal terrorist crime, described as "the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature against people or property by an environmentally oriented, subnational group for environmental-political reasons or aimed at an audience beyond the target, often of a symbolic nature" (Wikipedia). 
    What is "terrorism"?
    In a program on National Public Radio (NPR) today, a speaker said that individuals belonging to groups that might be targeted by grassroots organizations say they feel terrorized.
     Terrorism, then, is any act which makes others feel frightened that they may be attacked.  It's the act of holding something over someone's head.   Eco-terrorists, as the FBI calls them, are attempting to halt corporate efforts (aided by lobbyists) aimed at decimating forests or overfishing.   Whether or not this is "terrorism" has been the subject of debate, and is a question for another day.   I don't see how acts of civil disobedience can be categorized as "terrorism," but it's the FBI's call, isn't it?  We have given the FBI the power to declare any group it wishes a "terrorist group," and we've given the FBI the leeway to wage a "war on terror."
     My question is this.  Hasn't the FBI been, by the definition above, a terrorist organization toward me?  Aren't I a victim of FBI terrorism?
     After three years of FBI investigation, and nearly two years of "having something being held over my head," without a clue as to what, or why, without evidence, information, an arrest, or a trial, I consider myself a victim of FBI terrorism.  Every day I live with the possibility that, for no reason I can fathom, FBI agents may show up at my house, or while I'm grocery shopping, or while I'm watching my autistic son swim, or when I'm in the garden counting grasshoppers... and handcuff me, and haul me off to jail. 
     If the FBI is going to call ecologically-minded people who can't afford the million-dollar lobbying agency fees required to promote their causes in Congress "terrorists," fine.  But what about the FBI itself?  Raiding businesses that have done nothing wrong, stealing money from those business owners' bank accounts, refusing to give a reason, forcing people like me, who have become targets of FBI attacks, to live in a state of constant trepidation, holding the threat of indictment and incarceration over my head, for years--maybe as long as ten years, my lawyers tell me--is terrorism.
     I would like to name the FBI a terrorist organization.  Let's put it on the list.  Let's target it.

1 comment:

  1. Best not to call anything or anyone a "target", as you are most likely well aware of, yet in a moment of what is sure to be frustrating to your life and family, it is relevant. Right now our government, evidently has no clue as to what they are doing, as Obama has been leading them all over the proverbial cliff so to speak. Why are they too stupid to follow, or more to the point not follow and obvious idiot? i.e.- idiots do not know who they are anymore than who a terrorist is. (oh sorry for those of you that do know, yet do nothing about your know nothing bosses, as in yes boss...reminds me of the slave days when folks said "yesa boss".....get it?