Animal Terror(ists)

So, a few days after the administration gets roundly criticized for suggesting that former members of the military might be susceptible to right-wing extremism, we learn today that the FBI’s Most Wanted “Domestic Terrorist” is an animal rights activist who has allegedly bombed two offices in northern California.  Nobody was hurt in either bombing.

Without excusing or condoning the bombings (indeed, even as I condemn them), I have to wonder whether this individual (who the Bureau and CNN describe as a “strict vegan”) would top the terrorism list if he had right wing politics.  Sarah Palin, for example, isn’t sure abortion clinic bombers are terrorists even though such actions kill people.  I wonder if the FBI also senses a discontinuity here.

David Cassuto

2 Responses

  1. While I am tempted to try and draw a distinction between San Diego and other extremists, I think terrorism is terrorism, so I will refrain.

    What I do want to point out is a case of irresponsible journalism on the part of CNN. The AP article, without endorsing or trying to emphasize with San Diego’s reasoning, at least explains towards the end why the buildings were destroyed. CNN, on the other hand, couches it’s stand-alone sentence, “Vegans eat no meat or any other food containing animal products,” with “bombed,” “blasts,” and “extreme property damage.” If this is an intentional conflation of ideas, it is repulsive. If it is an ignorant error, it is reckless. Vegans have a hard enough time appealing to the public without looking like extremists (I’m looking at you, PETA), without the help of CNN making us seem like we will bomb the next McDonald’s that doesn’t offer a veggie burger. Thanks, CNN. You are the Most Trusted Name in Lack of News Outlets.

  2. Sorry, but I applaud the FBI action without engaging in a piercing search for political motive which could only reflect speculation.

    Sarah Palin’s comment about abortion clinic bombing reflected both ignorance of the law and insensitivity to the issue. More importantly, she did not have any authority to make determinations as to who should be honored by winding up on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.

    I applaud putting this alleged bomber on the list because of the motive behind the act, the employment of violent criminal means to cause political and societal change that merits the attention bestowed by the Bureau. For me, and I would suggest many others, a bomber seeking to destroy targets because of political motivation is far more dangerous than even an unapprehended serial killer.

    I don’t consider vegans to be extremists in the legal sense and don’t judge them by the acts of a very few anymore than I turn against Islam because of the violent dogma of some members of that religion. I somehow doubt that, realistically, vegans will be looked upon by their neighbors with fear and suspicion even if it turns out that this Most Wanted person is in fact guilty. The environmental movement hasn’t suffered because of the actions of the handful of dangerous terrorists attached to their cause. Neither will veganism.

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