The State Deparment’s Green Scare Wing

by WILL POTTER

A PowerPoint presentation, leaked from a division of the State Department, reveals that the government is briefing corporations about animal rights activists and offering “countermeasures” to protect corporate profits.

For years, the government has relentlessly pushed to label animal rights and environmental activists as “eco-terrorists” and domestic terrorists. The FBI even labels these groups the “number one domestic terrorism threat.” But this State Department PowerPoint puts the “Green Scare,” as many activists are calling it, in much different perspective.

It spells out, with startling candor, that animal rights and environmental activists are less a threat to national security than to corporate financial security. And it shows that the targets of this “War on Terrorism” aren’t just people burning SUVs: the targets are people using their First Amendment rights.

It’s a harrowing glimpse at what this country has become: the dissolution of all lines between corporate interests and government interests, between “terrorism” and free—albeit controversial—speech.

The presentation, “Animal Rights Extremists: Targets, Tactics Business Response & Countermeasures,” is by the Overseas Security Advisory Council, a division of the U.S. State Department. It was leaked to me by someone who attended the briefing, and I have made it available for download at GreenIsTheNewRed.com.

The notes section of the PowerPoint shows the comments of State Department officials, including a listing of illegal activist tactics by groups like the Animal Liberation Front, from arson to the beheading of a snowman (seriously). [If that seems unbelievable, check out the memo from DHS about “eco-terrorism” like tying up company phone lines.]

But what’s most disturbing is how this presentation on “extremism” and “eco-terrorism” includes so much First Amendment activity. The first slide on “major tactics” lists four “extremism” examples: one has only happened in the UK (“physical assaults”) and the other three are legal (posting personal information, videotaping, and demonstrations at executives’ homes).

The State Department admits as much, noting that activists “push the envelope right up to the line where another step would mean they are breaking the law.” In other words, most of these “terrorists” aren’t committing any crimes.

But that hasn’t stopped the government from surveilling, harassing and demonizing legal activists. In fact, this State Department briefing includes a flier for the Animal Rights 2006 National Conference, a mainstream event with hundreds of attendees where I spoke about the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. This year, among the “terrorists” in attendance was Heather Mills.

“Although many legitimate activists attend these events,” the presentation notes, “the conference holds workshops on successful tactics used against your companies…”

So what gives? Why are these activists such a threat?

The first reason: money. These activists are directly targeting corporate profits. “Although incidents related to terrorism are most likely to make the front page news, Animal Rights Extremism is what’s most likely to affect your day-to-day business operations…”

These activists don’t just want reforms, they want to force corporations like Huntingdon Life Sciences out of business. And they’re “calculating, persistent and often effective.”

The second reason: activists aren’t afraid. Despite the “eco-terrorism” rhetoric, despite the FBI attempting to infiltrate vegan potlucks, despite Joint Terrorism Task Forces arresting activists for wearing masks, and on and on and on, activists aren’t backing down and they aren’t caving in to fear. That, after all, is the entire point of all the “eco-terrorism” scare-mongering: to instill fear in everyday people and make them afraid of using their rights. If this chilling effect doesn’t occur, well, the government and corporations have quite a problem on their hands.

“Never confront the protesters,” the State Department warns corporations. “These individuals are clever. Most of them know what their rights are…”

WILL POTTER is an award-winning independent journalist who focuses on how lawmakers and corporations have labeled animal rights and environmental activists as "eco-terrorists." He is the creator of GreenIsTheNewRed.com, where he blogs about the Green Scare and history repeating itself.

     

 

Your Ad Here

 

 

 


Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 30, 2015
Bill Blunden
The NSA’s 9/11 Cover-Up: General Hayden Told a Lie, and It’s a Whopper
Richard Ward
Sandra Bland, Rebel
Martha Rosenberg
Tracking the Lion Killers Back to the Old Oval Office
Ramzy Baroud
Darker Horizons Ahead: Rethinking the War on ‘IS’
Stephen Lendman
The Show Trial of Saif Qaddafi: a Manufactured Death Sentence
Karl Grossman
The Case of John Peter Zenger and the Fight for a Free Press
Cesar Chelala
Cultural Treasures Are Also Victims of War
John Grant
The United States of Absurdity, Circa 2015
Jeff Taylor
Iowa Conference on Presidential Politics
July 29, 2015
Mike Whitney
The Politics of Betrayal: Obama Backstabs Kurds to Appease Turkey
Joshua Frank
The Wheels Fell Off the Bernie Sanders Bandwagon
Conn Hallinan
Ukraine: Close to the Edge
Stephen Lendman
What Happened to Ralkina Jones? Another Jail Cell Death
Rob Wallace
Neoliberal Ebola: the Agroeconomic Origins of the Ebola Outbreak
Dmitry Rodionov
The ‘Ichkerization’ Crime Wave in Ukraine
Joyce Nelson
Scott Walker & Stephen Harper: a New Bromance
Bill Blunden
The Red Herring of Digital Backdoors and Key Escrow Encryption
Thomas Mountain
The Sheepdog Politics of Barack Obama
Farzana Versey
A President and a Yogi: Abdul Kalam’s Symbolism
Norman Pollack
America’s Decline: Internal Structural-Cultural Subversion
Foday Darboe
How Obama Failed Africa
Cesar Chelala
Russia’s Insidious Epidemic
Tom H. Hastings
Defending Democracy
David Macaray
Why Union Contracts are Good for the Country
Virginia Arthur
The High and Dry Sierras
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, the Season Finale, Mekonception in Redhook
July 28, 2015
Mark Schuller
Humanitarian Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years and Counting
Lawrence Ware
Why the “Black Church” Doesn’t Exist–and Never Has
Peter Makhlouf
Israel and Gaza: the BDS Movement One Year After “Protective Edge”
Carl Finamore
Landlords Behaving Badly: San Francisco Too Valuable for Poor People*
Michael P. Bradley
Educating About Islam: Problems of Selectivity and Imbalance
Binoy Kampmark
Ransacking Malaysia: the Najib Corruption Dossier
Michael Avender - Medea Benjamin
El Salvador’s Draconian Abortion Laws: a Miscarriage of Justice
Jesse Jackson
Sandra Bland’s Only Crime Was Driving While Black
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Paul Craig Roberts - Dave Kranzler
Supply and Demand in the Gold and Silver Futures Markets
Eric Draitser
China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz
July 27, 2015
Susan Babbitt
Thawing Relations: Cuba’s Deeper (More Challenging) Significance
Howard Lisnoff
Bernie Sanders: Savior or Seducer of the Anti-War Left?
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma’s Profiteers: You Want Us to Pay What for These Meds?