Animal Rights Activist Named Alongside Bin Laden on FBI’s Terrorist List

by Will Potter on April 23, 2009

in Government Priorities

Who should the FBI spend resources pursuing as a "most wanted" terrorist?An animal rights activist, Daniel Andreas San Diego, is the first “domestic terrorist” to be added to the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists. The FBI says: “At the time of his flight Mr. San Diego was a committed vegan. If he has maintained this discipline, people around him may notice that he avoids consuming or wearing anything made with animal products.” (Of course, none of the others have their dietary preferences noted. As one reader said in an email, “Word on the street is bin Laden really likes falafel.”)

Mainstream news outlets and blogs on both the left and right have been going nuts about the FBI’s announcement. Yet they’ve overwhelmingly missed the point: this was an overtly, shamelessly political move by the government to deflect attention away from another “terrorism” controversy.

First, some background:

Sounds like a lot of old news, right? It is. So why did the FBI hold a press conference announcing the new addition to the list?

It was an overtly political move to neutralize the growing chorus of opposition to the recent DHS memo warning of right-wing extremism. When the memo came out, right wing groups sprang into action (much more so than environmental or animal groups have) and have already filed a lawsuit. Meanwhile, some environmentalists mistakenly saw it as reason to believe the Green Scare is over.

Enter Daniel Andreas San Diego. He hasn’t harmed anyone, and his alleged crimes are nothing compared to Osama bin Laden and others on the list (and nothing compared to right wing groups who have admittedly created weapons of mass destruction). But he’s an easy way to create the false impression that this “War on Terrorism” is somehow bipartisan, that both the left and right are being targeted equally.

Chuck Norris recently showed us that’s a load of garbage. This political maneuvering my placate the right (and the DHS memo may placate some environmentalists). And then it’s back to business as usual.

The press, activists and right-wingers should all know better than to fall for it. Americans shouldn’t settle for anything less than a complete overhaul of “terrorism” priorities, beginning with the removal of political activists who have never harmed anyone from the top of all “terrorism” lists.

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