Can Undercover Investigators Legally Be Indefinitely Detained or Assassinated?

FBI_logoNow that the Presidency has dictatorial powers, will civil disobedience and investigative journalism become capital offenses?  Dean Kuipers writes in the Los Angeles Times:

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has recommended for many years that animal activists who carry out undercover investigations on farms could be prosecuted as domestic terrorists. New documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by activist Ryan Shapiro show the FBI advising that activists – including Shapiro – who walked onto a farm, videotaped animals there and “rescued” an animal had violated terrorism statutes.

The documents, which were first published on Will Potter’s website, Green Is the New Red, were issued by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in 2003 in response to an article in an animal rights publication in which Shapiro and two other activists (whose names were redacted from the document), openly claimed responsibility for shooting video and taking animals from a farm.

The FBI notes discuss the videotaping, illegal entry and the removal of animals, then concludes with “there is a reasonable indication that [Subject 1] and other members of the [redacted] have violated the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, 18 USC Section 43 (a).”

Curiously, the name of the act seems to be an error; the act was called the Animal Enterprise Protection Act until 2006, when it was largely superseded by an act called the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. The crime named in the original 1992 act, however, was always called terrorism. The penalties for such a conviction can include terrorism enhancements which can add decades to a sentence.

Later, in 2004, Shapiro and a colleague, Sarahjane Blum, working as a group called Gourmet Cruelty, were prosecuted for a different but similar act in which they walked onto a fois gras farm, videotaped the operation and took a few ducks. They were prosecuted for felony burglary and pleaded to misdemeanor trespassing.

“Sarahjane and I and everyone with Gourmet Cruelty – the undercover investigation and especially the open rescue were acts of civil disobedience,” said Shapiro by phone. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at MIT. “We openly took credit for the things that we were doing in order to expose the horrific cruelty on factory farms and to educate the public about it. So a trespassing charge seemed like a perfectly reasonable price to pay.”

“However, it’s simply outrageous to consider civil disobedience as terrorism,” Shapiro adds. “Civil disobedience is not terrorism. It has a long and proud place in our nation’s history, from Martin Luther King to Occupy Wall Street, and the AETA takes that kind of advocacy that we celebrate from the civil rights movement and turns it into a terrorist event.”

Read more here.

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  • Mamagriff50

    YES! You know how the government/police, people in authority, intrpret law. Their way to suit their end game. Always have, always will. If you have a voice and use it, be prepared to go underground. or sit in prison, no trial, no jury.      This is a sad sad day.  It will only get worse.

  • Mamagriff50

    YES! You know how the government/police, people in authority, intrpret law. Their way to suit their end game. Always have, always will. If you have a voice and use it, be prepared to go underground. or sit in prison, no trial, no jury.      This is a sad sad day.  It will only get worse.

  • Anarchy Pony

    I’m sure that there are some pro-fascism legal weasels working on it. The pentagon is full of them.

  • Anarchy Pony

    I’m sure that there are some pro-fascism legal weasels working on it. The pentagon is full of them.

    • Nunzio X

      I’m not superstitious, but if I were, certainly this would seem like the work of El Diablo to me…therefore, I’d suggest replacing the word “pentagon” with “pentagram.”

      • Anarchy Pony

        Pentagrams are traditionally pagan symbols which were associated with devil worship by the christ lover churches in order to culturally dominate northern Europe, and was later embraced by the largely satirical church of Satan lead by Anton LeVay. 

        • Nunzio X

          I stand corrected.

          Maybe the new symbol of Satan should be a close-up of a smirking Dick Cheney.

          • Anarchy Pony

            Works for me.

        • Calypso_1

          Perhaps some distinction should be allowed for the more properly termed pentacle if you wish to refer to a circumscribed 5-point star vs. a pentagonal star which has been used by Babylonians and Pythagoreans.  It amazes me that geometry that underlies the structures of our reality and arose at the dawn of humanity’s quest for mathematical knowledge merely evokes occult heeby jeebys in the general populace.  I am also bemused that average Judeo-Christians are unawares that the Pentagram is the “Star of David” and should be proudly displayed within their houses of worship as such.

  • Nunzio X

    I’m not superstitious, but if I were, certainly this would seem like the work of El Diablo to me…therefore, I’d suggest replacing the word “pentagon” with “pentagram.”

  • Anarchy Pony

    Pentagrams are traditionally pagan symbols which were associated with devil worship by the christ lover churches in order to culturally dominate northern Europe, and was later embraced by the largely satirical church of Satan lead by Anton LeVay. 

  • Tio Holtzman

    Yes.  Let me explain why:  [REDACTED].

  • Tio Holtzman

    Yes.  Let me explain why:  [REDACTED].

  • Anonymous

    An undercover investigator, though engaged in subterfuge and beguilement, need not commit and is keenly aware of transgression of legal statutes.

  • Calypso_1

    An undercover investigator, though engaged in subterfuge and beguilement, need not commit and is keenly aware of transgressions of legal statutes.

  • DrDavidKelly

    When did legality become an issue?

  • Monkey See Monkey Do

    Oh man, America is getting screwed in the ass with all these new laws, I wonder how far this will spread around the developed world. Animals should be given more rights. and humans trying to protect them from torture and abuse are being branded terrorists? this is the world we live in folks. one big WTF ride.

  • Robert Kelly

    When did legality become an issue?

  • Monkey See Monkey Do

    Oh man, America is getting screwed in the ass with all these new laws, I wonder how far this will spread around the developed world. Animals should be given more rights. and humans trying to protect them from torture and abuse are being branded terrorists? this is the world we live in folks. one big WTF ride.

  • Nunzio X

    I stand corrected.

    Maybe the new symbol of Satan should be a close-up of a smirking Dick Cheney.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Works for me.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps some distinction should be allowed for the more properly termed pentacle if you wish to refer to a circumscribed 5-point star vs. a pentagonal star which has been used by Babylonians and Pythagoreans.  It amazes me that geometry that underlies the structures of our reality and arose at the dawn of humanity’s quest for mathematical knowledge merely evokes occult heeby jeebys in the general populace.  I am also bemused that average Judeo-Christians are unawares that the Pentagram is the “Star of David” and should be proudly displayed within their houses of worship as such.

  • Word Eater

    As the old saying goes, civil disobedience is still disobedience.

  • Word Eater

    As the old saying goes, civil disobedience is still disobedience.

  • rtb61

    The 99% as enemies of total control by the 1% are all defined as terrorists. It is just a matter of time before all the 99% are convicted of crimes against the 1% and end up prison labour http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penal_labour.
    There was a time when the US used to ban all produced produced by prison labour and now it is being actively promoted all over the place to save money not for the state but for corporations free slave labour in increase corporate profits.

  • Anonymous

    The 99% as enemies of total control by the 1% are all defined as terrorists. It is just a matter of time before all the 99% are convicted of crimes against the 1% and end up prison labour http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penal_labour.
    There was a time when the US used to ban all produced produced by prison labour and now it is being actively promoted all over the place to save money not for the state but for corporations free slave labour in increase corporate profits.

  • believein1

    Point is, they’re still just throwing you “bills” and “laws” to make you think you’re even part of any type of morally based system. Regardless of the new bill, they will always do what they want. If they want to “detain” you, they can and will simply just make you disappear. If they want, they can just kill you. Period.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Chanbonpin/1460775184 James Chanbonpin

    Point is, they’re still just throwing you “bills” and “laws” to make you think you’re even part of any type of morally based system. Regardless of the new bill, they will always do what they want. If they want to “detain” you, they can and will simply just make you disappear. If they want, they can just kill you. Period.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Chanbonpin/1460775184 James Chanbonpin

    Point is, they’re still just throwing you “bills” and “laws” to make you think you’re even part of any type of morally based system. Regardless of the new bill, they will always do what they want. If they want to “detain” you, they can and will simply just make you disappear. If they want, they can just kill you. Period.

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