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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Terrorism's what We say It Is

(Keywords: politics, terrorism, domestic surveillance, ignoring the obvious )

Raw Story reports that the FBI has been spying on a religious group critical of the School of Americas.

Citing an ACLU press release, they say, "The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Georgia today released new evidence that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is using counterterrorism resources to spy on peaceful faith- and conscience-based advocacy groups. School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) and its multinational faith-based network is the latest organization uncovered by the ACLU to have been subject to Federal Bureau of Investigation counterterrorism surveillance."

Here's the thing - why don't you ever hear about government spying on rightwing groups? Doesn't history show that they're more dangerous? From Timothy McVeigh to abortion protesters, we see real terrorism. Bombings, arsons, and bullets. These idiots are a real danger, the opponents of violence are not.

From Planned Parenthood:

Today, abortion providers know that risking their lives goes with the territory. But in 1993, 20 years after Roe v. Wade was decided, killing abortion providers was not yet a tactic of anti-choice terrorists. Until March 10 of that year, that is, when Michael Griffin stationed himself behind the Pensacola [FL] Women's Medical Services clinic next to an unmarked rear door and shot Dr. David Gunn, the clinic's founder and abortion provider. Gunn took three bullets in the back and died two hours later.

So, of course, the FBI's going to focus on granola-crunchers. We're not the psychotics with the guns and a mission from god. If you want to monitor terrorism, it'd be a damned good idea to look at people who share the ideologies of actual terrorists.

The problem is that this is an ideology is shared by the party in power. So the 'war on terror' becomes selective. It's not so much a war on terror as it is a war on people the right doesn't like. Some of those targets are people we all agree are a problem, others are people who disagree with the GOP or corporate influence. Meanwhile, actual terrorists gain power and influence.

If you doubt that, remember back to the circus of idiots outside Terri Schiavo's hospice. These people were given real authority. An advocate for 'pro-life' terrorism, Randall Terry was given legitimate talking-head status on CNN. The magazine Humanist wrote in 1998, "Terry has been a staunch advocate of assassinating medical personnel involved in abortion clinics." This is a man who said to homosexuals, "When I, or people like me, are running the country, you'd better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we'll execute you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of my mission to see to it that they are tried and executed." How, exactly, is that statement any different from something Osama bin Ladin or Mullah Omar might say? Yet, here we are, fighting terrorism by investigating people who aren't terrorists.

And ignoring real terrorists to our peril.