Technorati tags: politics; history; protest; crime; Samuel Adams engaged in terrorism at the Boston Tea Party
Two hundred thirty-three years ago today, a crowd of between one hundred and one hundred fifty men boarded three ships -- the Beaver, the Dartmouth, and the Eleanor. Wearing disguises, these men proceeded to destroy the ship's cargo.
Today, this would be considered an act of terrorism.
The Department of Defense defines terrorism as "the unlawful use of -- or threatened use of -- force or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives." The FBI; "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." What's missing in these definitions is any mention to actual terror. Acts of civil disobedience, while illegal, are generally not terrifying. The Boston Tea Party's 233rd anniversary is celebrated today, not remembered as an act of terrorism.
Today, terrorism is defined way too broadly. The head of the General Services Administration -- Bush appointee Lurita Alexis Doan -- said recently, "There are two kinds of terrorism in the United States — the external kind, and internally, the Inspector Generals." After Ann Coulter was nearly hit in the face with a pie, she told FOX News' Hannity & Colmes, "[A]n act of terrorism was committed against me." In 2004, Education Secretary Rod Paige called the National Education Association -- the nation's largest teachers' union -- a "terrorist organization."
Why anyone would admit being terrified by any of these things is beyond me. Things the government finds terrifying are quakers and a woman who thinks you shouldn't eat HoneyBaked brand Ham.
If teachers, a pie, and Inspectors General are terrifying, imagine what a bunch of patriots on liquid courage, dressed up like Mohawks, boarding ships and throwing cargo into the harbor would be.