PA Director of Homeland Security: Environmentalists are Terrorists, But Timothy McVeigh is Not

by Will Potter on September 17, 2010

in Government Priorities

Pennyslvania’s Department of Homeland Security is in hot water after an intelligence bulletin shows the agency has been monitoring non-violent activists, including a film screening of Gasland, and labeling them “environmental extremists.”

Governor Ed Rendell has said he is “appalled.” But he has said he will not fire the state director of homeland security, James Powers.

As I discussed on the Alyona Show recently, this intelligence memo represents a national problem. Local, state and federal “domestic terrorism” priorities are completely out of line with what most reasonable people would agree are true threats. They are completely detached from any rational definition of terrorism. Perhaps the best example of that is James Powers himself.

As director of homeland security, Powers is responsible for the controversial intelligence bulletins. James Powers wrote in an email that he intended for pro-drilling industry groups, “We want to continue providing this support to the Marcellus Shale Formation natural gas stakeholders while not feeding those groups fomenting dissent against those same companies.” The department chose to focus its resources on non-violent environmental groups such as Climate Ground Zero. But do you know who James Powers does NOT think is a “terrorist”?

Timothy McVeigh.

As I reported here previously, Powers does not think McVeigh is a terrorist, “just a person very angry with the U.S. government.” McVeigh is responsible for the most destructive act of terrorism on U.S. soil prior to 9/11.

Unfortunately, James Powers is indicative of a broader problem. For instance, check out what the head of New Jersey’s homeland security office, Charles McKenna, had to say about his priorities:

“Jihad, Crips, extreme animal-rights activists, it’s all the same: people trying damage the system…”

No one with such a transparent political agenda and absurd priorities should head such a powerful office. It’s time for James Powers to either resign from his position, or for Governor Ed Rendell to force him out. And if reports by the Patriot-News are accurate, and the governor’s staff knew of these operations long ago, they need to be forced out as well.

Such skewed terrorism priorities place all Americans at risks. When people like James Powers and Charles McKenna are focused on environmental and animal rights activists, pandering to their corporate supporters, it means they are not doing their jobs and focusing on more serious threats. It’s time we stop tolerating their political games.

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