UM report labels Discovery Channel incident “politically inspired terrorism”

Via Press release (Eurekalert)
Report from START: Discovery Networks Hostage-Taking a Rare Terror Event

U.S. Violent Terror Rarely Against Media, Capital; Rare for Environmentalists

START Terrorism Center - University of Maryland COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A new report by terrorism researchers at the University of Maryland concludes that the deadly hostage-taking incident at the Discovery Communications headquarters in suburban Washington, D.C. meets the criteria of a terrorist act – a rare one for media organizations and the nation’s capital region. Hostage-taking, though, is a familiar pattern in capital-region terror, the researchers add.

The report from the University of Maryland’s START Center – the federally funded National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism – also finds that there has never been any environmentally inspired suicide eco-terrorism in the United States, and probably the world, but draws no conclusions about whether that’s what occurred in this case.

START maintains the world’s most comprehensive unclassified database of terrorism incidents, and is designed to make it useful to scientists and policy-makers seeking to understand the behavior of terrorists and terror organizations. The report is based on an analysis of this data.

“The use of violence by radical environmentalists is extremely rare, and usually the target is property not people,” says Gary LaFree, who directs the University of Maryland START Consortium and its Global Terrorism Database. “We’ll count this incident as terrorism – the perpetrator has a history of politically inspired activism and his tactics were violent.”

START researchers analyzed the following information in the Global Terrorism Database, which includes more than 85,000 incidents worldwide since 1970:

  • Terrorist activity in the District of Columbia and Maryland
  • Media targets in the U.S.
  • Suicide terrorism in the U.S.
  • Hostage situations in the U.S.
  • The full report is available online.

    TOP FINDINGS

  • Given the nature of James Lee’s political and social goals and his use of illegal force, this incident would qualify as a terrorist incident, according to the definition of START’s Global Terrorism Database (GTD).
  • Although hostage-takings like the one in Silver Spring are extremely rare globally, representing less than one percent of all terrorist attacks worldwide since 1970, three have occurred in the District of Columbia.
  • Environmentally motivated perpetrators, like the gunman in this event, have been active in the United States since the 1970s.
  • Environmentally motivated attacks almost always have no casualties but have caused tens of millions of dollars in property damage.
  • In the event that the Discovery Communications attacker indeed wore explosives that he intended to detonate, this would be the first recorded incident of environmentally motivated suicide terrorism in the United States, and likely the first worldwide.
  • Journalist and media targets are rare in the U.S. Prior to the events at the Discovery building, the most recent terrorist attacks on media targets in the United States were the 2001 anthrax attacks, which included targets such as The New York Post, CBS, ABC, and NBC, in New York, and American Media Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida.
  • GLOBAL TERRORISM DATABASE

    The Global Terrorism Database (GTD) is an open-source database including information on terrorist events around the world from 1970 through 2008 (with annual updates planned for the future). Unlike many other event databases, the GTD includes systematic data on domestic as well as international terrorist attacks and now includes more than 87,000 cases. For each GTD incident, information is available on the date and location of the incident, the weapons used and nature of the target, the number of casualties, and – when identifiable – the group or individual responsible. The full dataset can be downloaded through the “Contact” section of the website at http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/.

    START CONSORTIUM

    The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence based at the University of Maryland. START uses state-of-the-art theories, methods, and data from the social and behavioral sciences to improve understanding of the origins, dynamics, and social and psychological impacts of terrorism. Additional information on START is available at: http://www.start.umd.edu.

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    67 Responses to UM report labels Discovery Channel incident “politically inspired terrorism”

    1. boballab says:

      I wonder how Think Progress is going to spin this one?

    2. rbateman says:

      I don’t think Mr Lee needed a cause per se, but finding the 24/7 media hype of a doomed planet theory got him over the edge. In his case, AGW was his accident looking for a place to happen.

      He certainly made his mark, being the very 1st Global Warming terrorist.

    3. Ed Murphy says:

      So “Save money, live better.” had nothing to do with it?

      Fewer jobs and less, if any, benefits?

    4. evanmjones says:

      Does sabotage or booby traps intended to cause injury or death (such as tree spiking) count?

    5. alan says:

      Lee rants against humans having babies, and attacks the Discovery Communications building where there was a large day-care facility. Fortunately no children were hurt!

      I can’t help noticing an eerie parallel with a number of fatal attacks on schools and kindergartens in mainland China recently carried out by angry, disgruntled, single Chinese men. There, a lot of children have died. Motive is usually unclear, but maybe a hatred for human kind and reproduction could be a factor?

    6. James Sexton says:

      evanmjones says:
      September 2, 2010 at 10:01 pm

      Does sabotage or booby traps intended to cause injury or death (such as tree spiking) count?
      ========================================================

      Apparently not. Those were obviously not eco-terrorists, but rather misunderstood people that wanted to torture trees with nails and spikes.

    7. Doubting Thomas says:

      A sadly deranged individual committed a heinous act for reasons we will never understand. (Mostly because we’re not bonkers, like poor Mr. Lee). This is not about the climate. I say close the string. We have more important things to think about.

      - dT

    8. Andrew W says:

      Can you have terrorism without a terrorist organization? Does one person qualify as a terrorist organization?

    9. James Sexton says:

      James Sexton says:
      September 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm

      evanmjones says:
      September 2, 2010 at 10:01 pm

      Does sabotage or booby traps intended to cause injury or death (such as tree spiking) count?
      ========================================================

      Apparently not. Those were obviously not eco-terrorists, but rather misunderstood people that wanted to torture trees with nails and spikes.
      ========================================================

      It goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, either way you look at it, if trees are people too, and if people are people too, then the tree spikers are some sadistic SOBs. Yes. they tried to kill people. But they tortured trees too!!!!

    10. D. King says:

      “START uses state-of-the-art theories, methods, and data from the social and behavioral sciences to improve understanding of the origins, dynamics, and social and psychological impacts of terrorism.”

      Well, as long as they don’t use models….ok then.

    11. Jimmy Haigh says:

      James Sexton says:
      September 2, 2010 at 10:43 pm

      “It goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, either way you look at it, if trees are people too, and if people are people too, then the tree spikers are some sadistic SOBs. Yes. they tried to kill people. But they tortured trees too!!!!”

      And also left them to suffer the rest of their (long) lives in agony! At least when you cut a tree down it dies and its worries are over.

    12. pat says:

      Wow. That took a lot of guts. Wonder how Bush arranged it?

    13. Dave F says:

      @ Andrew W:

      ter·ror·ism
         /ˈtɛrəˌrɪzəm/ Show Spelled[ter-uh-riz-uhm] Show IPA
      –noun
      1.
      the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.

      I know, I know, cherry-picking going to the dictionary for a definition, but I can’t help myself. I am like cherry-Midas. Everything I touch…

    14. RW says:

      I’m appalled that you are continuing to use the sad life and untimely death of a horribly ill person in this nasty way. Shame on you.

    15. Andrew W says:

      Thanks Dave, it does seem though that the currently popular definition of terrorism would include violent acts or threats of violence by any individual with a political ax to grind. Not happy with paying so much tax to support excess government? Go into IRS, punch someone on the nose, and you’re a terrorist. Deface a politicians billboard, or punch a politician on the nose, you’re a terrorist.

    16. Dodgy Geezer says:

      Andrew W says:
      “Can you have terrorism without a terrorist organization? Does one person qualify as a terrorist organization?”

      Ever since the end of the Cold War, there have been a a lot of workers in the military and intelligence sectors with no obvious reason for their jobs, who have been frantically looking for a justification for their continued existence.

      So, yes, one man can be a ‘terrorist’, so long as that requires 20 people sitting in Washington and London putting him on a database and analyzing his motives….

    17. Tenuc says:

      “START uses state-of-the-art theories, methods, and data from the social and behavioral sciences to improve understanding of the origins, dynamics, and social and psychological impacts of terrorism.”

      Like climatology, most of the theories behind human behaviour are not falsifiable. Like climatology, they substitute correlation and belief for the scientific method – they are ‘cargo cult sciences’.

      Just by giving something a label doesn’t mean we understand it!

    18. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

      The ABC News “Virtual View” CGI model showed a white dark-haired terrorist.

      If they just keep showing the model and don’t show or talk about the reality… (Does this sound familiar?)

      BTW, nice graphics. Do they make their “Virtual View” in Second Life?

    19. H.R. says:

      Andrew W says:
      September 2, 2010 at 10:39 pm
      Can you have terrorism without a terrorist organization? Does one person qualify as a terrorist organization?”

      At least the organization chart is easy to follow, unlike the typical multinational, multi-divisional organizations. Very short chain of command, eh?

    20. Otter says:

      ‘The use of violence by radical environmentalists is extremely rare’

      ARE.
      THEY.
      STUPID!?!

      Or just lying through their teeth.

    21. NZ Willy says:

      What about the 2002 Dutch assassination of Pim Fortuyn (who looked en route to be prime minister) by an “animal rights” activist?

    22. Stefan says:

      I can appreciate that environmentalists will feel that this tragic individual has nothing to do with environmentalism, and that the right-wing will seize on it to paint enviros as nuts.

      But surely the best way to handle that PR problem is to first, acknowledge that this individual committed a terrorist act in the name of environmentalism (just like acknowledging that some terrorists commit their acts in the name of Islam — I mean that’s just a fact — it is not inflammatory — that is simply what they themselves say and they say it on video, just like here the guy posted it all online for the world to see, to make clear what his conscious philosophy was).

      Second, the environmentalists should be the first to make clear that they do not agree with nor condone his actions. Whether he was a nut or not doesn’t matter, his psychological profile doesn’t matter, what matters is making clear that taking hostages is NOT an acceptable means for the environmental movement.

      The thing with Islam (if I may touch on this very very lightly) that can worry people, isn’t that a few nuts are insane enough to become terrorists, and do so in their own extreme view, in the name of Islam (and by the way I narrowly missed a terrorist bomb years ago so the subject has some meaning to me) — we all appreciate that actual bona fide terrorists are a very tiny minority globally — but what actually worries is the feeling that there hasn’t been enough public condemnation of those acts by supposed moderates. It is like people can’t divorce the philosophy from the morality, which is to say, can’t distinguish between what people say (environmentalism cares) and what they do (taking hostages is not ok, ever).

      If environmentalists don’t vocally denounce his actions, up front, by saying, yes he claims he was acting in our name, but he is NOT one of us and we detest his methods and we denounce his violence and we will denounce anybody who acts this way, then that leaves everyone with a sense that, um, yeah, this guy was “crazy” in that sense of, “brave or stupid” enough to actually go take “direct action”.

      The environmentalists didn’t hire this guy — we all know that — but if you print in the paper that you’re in favour of direct action, and some guy turns up on your doorstep “fully equipped”, then you have to deal with him. It is not your responsibility in the sense of you hired him, because you didn’t, but you are forced to respond in the sense that certain consequences have arrived and you have to now respond. (Response-ability, the ability to respond).

      Not something nice or desirable for anybody, but how many more might come knocking? The terrible fear that such acts generate in the back of people’s minds is, how many more might there be? What might they do next? How far will they go? Nobody can know these answers, but the fear escalates.

    23. jmrSudbury says:

      A National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism figures it was terrorism. Big surprise there. Kind of like a surgeon diagnosing a patient as needing surgury, or a psychiatrist diagnosing a patient needing therapy. It is what they know and all they know. — John M Reynolds

    24. hunter says:

      Hmmmmm…but the attack at Ft. Hood, according to our ‘leadership’ was not.
      Perhaps since this one was against a media organization there is a tad more sensitivity?

    25. ExpVid says:

      So far no mention of Uni-bomber, Ted Kaczynski.

      A brief look inside his cabin, mention is made of a hooded sweat shirt!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKg3CN0dDnQ

    26. Stefan says:

      RW says:
      I’m appalled that you are continuing to use the sad life and untimely death of a horribly ill person in this nasty way. Shame on you.

      It might help me change my mind if you could say what it is that is “nasty” ? Or is it so obvious that if I need to ask then I’ve no hope of understanding?

      I accept he was mentally ill. But if I accept that, does that mean we dismiss people who set fire to university buildings as simply “mentally ill” ? (I’m referring to animal liberation front protesters). By labelling them as mentally ill, are we robbing them of their voice as protesters?

      Where do you draw the line — serious question — between direct action and mental illness?

      By quickly labelling this guy mentally ill, are you inviting that label onto many other protesters who take actions which ordinary people find out of the ordinary?

      A person takes extreme action to get attention in a world that won’t listen, only to be ignored and swept away by being labelled just a mental illness?

      I’m not trying to be mean, but it is hard question. Answer the hard question, and help me see your point of view, please.

      At what point does direct action become mental illness? Is it that he put people’s lives in danger? That he put himself in danger? That he believed the message quite literally and logically? You intuit he was mentally ill, but can you say more clearly what it is that you are intuiting?

    27. J.Hansford says:

      Sea Shepherd use terror tactics all the time.

    28. John Whitman says:

      Doubting Thomas says:
      September 2, 2010 at 10:22 pm

      A sadly deranged individual committed a heinous act for reasons we will never understand. (Mostly because we’re not bonkers, like poor Mr. Lee). This is not about the climate. I say close the string. We have more important things to think about.

      - dT

      —————-

      dT,

      Is a terrorist like Mr. Lee who was motivated by environmentalism a sociopath? Maybe or maybe not. I think he is.

      One of his beliefs, out of the wild mix of mainstream ideological beliefs that Mr. Lee referenced, was dangerous GW caused by man. So, it was Mr. Lee himself who introduced us to the idea that this was about climate, at least in part. Mr. Lee linked himself to it. We didn’t, we just took his word.

      I have no sympathies for any terrorist on principle. I have sympathies for his directly intended victims, for his family and friends/associates.

      John

    29. John Q Public says:

      James Jay Lee: the face of environmentalism. Is it any surprise. At the root of the movement is irrational fear. We’re not dealing with reason, folks.

    30. Craig says:

      Is this just another case of someone trying to justify their grant money?
      All acts of violence can be deemed acts of terror. Not all acts of terror can be deemed acts of terrorism. Surely many motives can be ascribed to political ends in all manner of crimes?
      Americans have never known terrorism bar two serious acts yet now seem desperate to see terrorism in everything and everyone.

      just see it for what it is. A sadly disturbed individual with an axe to grind who was probably failed by the medical system.

    31. Frank K. says:

      It nice to know that the Nobel Peace prize, that was given to Al Gore and the IPCC gang in 2007, had it’s intended effect on this individual…

    32. Bill Tuttle says:

      RW: September 2, 2010 at 11:38 pm
      I’m appalled that you are continuing to use the sad life and untimely death of a horribly ill person in this nasty way. Shame on you.

      According to the information we have, he didn’t have a sad life until *after* he he was fed the AGW alarmist Kool-Aid, he chose the manner of his own death, and you’re only assuming he was “horribly ill.” And if you think merely writing about what occurred and the backstory for it is nasty, this must be your first experience with the internet — my condolences on the loss of your innocence…

    33. Jason Calley says:

      I understand the opinion that this thread should be closed, that the actions of Mr. Lee had nothing to do with environmentalism, that his acts were those of a sick individual. I understand — but I disagree, and here is why.

      It is foolish and unethical to disassociate a cause from the rhetoric used by those who support that cause. When Dr. Hansen equates trains carrying coal to trains carrying victims of genocide, he implicitly justifies the idea that actions against coal trains are (at least in a sense) equivalent to actions against genocide. Would a reasonable person be justified in using violence to save victims from genocide? Most people would say yes. They have made a parallel between CO2 production and murder and someone has acted on the belief that stopping CO2 is parallel with stopping murder. We may argue about how strong the link and how clear the responsibility those who demagogue for CAGW have for Mr. Lee’s actions, but pretending that they have no responsibility at all is a lie.

    34. Curiousgeorge says:

      The definition of “terrorist” depends greatly on who is doing the defining. To the tree huggers, anybody who takes a chainsaw to a tree is a “terrorist” and they view themselves as the heroes and/or victims. Greenpeace view themselves as martyrs-in-waiting when they attack a “terrorist” whaling ship.

      The old “one man’s terrorist is another mans freedom fighter” pertains to this.

      It’s a pointless argument that simply disguises the truth, which is the everlasting lethal game of “King of the Hill”. Reasons are irrelevant – except as tools to be used to become the King or remain so.

    35. Gail Combs says:

      RW says:
      September 2, 2010 at 11:38 pm

      I’m appalled that you are continuing to use the sad life and untimely death of a horribly ill person in this nasty way. Shame on you.
      _________________________________________________
      This affects all of us. If Cap and Trade does not past in the lame duck session after November I doubt this will be the only incident.

      Remember the Greenpeace threat?
      Let’s talk about what that mass civil disobedience is going to look like.

      “If you’re one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this:
      We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work. And we be many, but you be few.”

      Remember the bomb that injured a woman? http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=7928778

      As this article states:
      “Environmentally motivated attacks almost always have no casualties but have caused tens of millions of dollars in property damage.”

      Lee is not an isolated incident he is just a new twist and the criminal behavior that will soon may escalate. Some of the people posting at this website maybe targets just like the woman in the bombing incident.

      If you want to talk about “use the sad life and untimely death of a horribly ill person in this nasty way” aim your disgust at Al Gore and others who KNOWINGLY have been using children and the mentally unstable to push their get rich quick schemes.

    36. Jimash says:

      There is a terrorist streak to the whole thing.
      The tree spikers.
      Those idiots who harrass the Japanese Whalers ( I am not in favor of whaling, but…)
      The house burnings and car lot fires.
      And of course the overheated dooomy rhetoric, that inspires nuts to take arms.
      The “other terrorists” that have been attacking us for some time also get freelance nuts
      to snap and do crazy things based on their scare stories and lies.
      They also want to to kill or “retire” western Civ. and return us to the idyillic utopia of 600 years ago.
      They also rail against technology while using it to push their message .
      Starting to look very similar.

    37. Gail Combs says:

      H.R. says:
      September 3, 2010 at 2:30 am

      Andrew W says:
      September 2, 2010 at 10:39 pm
      Can you have terrorism without a terrorist organization? Does one person qualify as a terrorist organization?”

      At least the organization chart is easy to follow, unlike the typical multinational, multi-divisional organizations. Very short chain of command, eh?
      ____________________________________________________
      AHHHHhh, but does anyone know if Lee was a member of Greenpeace or WWF???

    38. BraudRP says:

      Stefan says: September 3, 2010 at 3:01 am

      “… but what actually worries is the feeling that there hasn’t been enough public condemnation of those acts by supposed moderates.”

      This is a point many have made over the last decade. IMHO this should not surprise anyone. Moderates tend by their nature toward inactivity. Otherwise they would not be moderates. They would be activists. But moderates it seems to me generally need to be in a position to moderate “between” two opposing forces to have any influence. In the example Stefan presents, there seems to be only one extreme and a middle.

    39. Ralph says:

      Hıs manıfesto saıd …..

      Quote:
      Focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution.

      He should have protested at the Greenpeace offıces ınstead. Thge last tıme I enquıred, they replıed.. ‘we have never campaıgned on populatıon ıssues, and never wıll.’

      So, whıle populatıon ıs the bıggest threat to the envıronemnt, Greenpeace refuses to even dıscuss the problem.

    40. trbixler says:

      Government BioFuel programs have starved millions in the name of AGW, how soon we forget. The subsidies will be renewed and the costs of corn will be inflated to satisfy AGW beliefs. Governments world wide push AGW and raise the cost of energy harming individual people. It hurts the lower income people the most!

    41. Wiglaf says:

      I think the IPCC fits the definition of a terrorist organization even without the actions of loners like this guy. Do the IPCC and their contributors intimidate? I think it’s clear they do plenty of bullying so only their view gets “peer reviewed.” Do the IPCC and their contributors use violence? Global environmental taxes wouldn’t be voluntary. They’d be mandatory. If governments require payment, they require it under the threat of force; aka violence. Do the IPCC and their contributors deal in fear and terror?
      Well, let’s see:
      “Two thousand scientists, in a hundred countries, engaged in the most elaborate, well organized scientific collaboration in the history of humankind, have produced long-since a consensus that we will face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming.”

      “All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it’s here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster.”

      “So instead, we’re ending up with these grotesque affronts massive heat waves, dying coral reefs, huge floods and so on, popping out across the face of the planet like an alcoholic’s veins. But we’re in denial about the Greenhouse thing. “

      “Climate change is no longer a doomsday prophecy, it’s a reality.”

    42. Harry Bergeron says:

      I see those well-orchestrated G7 – G20 protests by Anarchists as being environmentally inspired. They certainly use the rhetoric of Leftist Greens.

      I’m not going to look them up in the official Govt-funded database because I have no faith in its decisions.

    43. Alex the sketic says:

      This eco-terrorist was demanding basically what John Holdren, today Obama’s science and technology zcar, wrote in his (in)famous book on global population, environment and end-of-the-world-prognostications thereof many years ago, prophesies that went totally awry.

      Should Holdren take some of the responsibility of what happened at Discovery Channel?

    44. Wiglaf says:

      Of course, here’s the ultimate scare tactic:
      “For the first time in history, my community has had to use air conditioners. Imagine that, air conditioners in the Arctic.”

      - Inuit leader Sheila Watt-Cloutier
      cited in Sierra Club Currents, Vol VI, #54 6 Mar 07

      You got that? For thousands of years, the Inuit have not needed to turn on their air conditioners and now, for the first time, they HAD to use them! Game over. We’re all going to die!

    45. Gail Combs says:

      Stefan says:
      September 3, 2010 at 4:58 am

      …..I accept he was mentally ill. But if I accept that, does that mean we dismiss people who set fire to university buildings as simply “mentally ill” ? (I’m referring to animal liberation front protesters). By labelling them as mentally ill, are we robbing them of their voice as protesters?……
      ________________________________________
      One of the points about this whole business that really bothers me is a conversation I had with a couple of teenagers working as cashiers at a book store. I mention a bit about what was happening on a food safety issue and their immediate response was “WHO do we protest” I responded do not protest just spread the word and vote.

      This conversation really bothers me. How many of our young people are infected with this type of mind set? That the correct response to any problem is protests which, with increasing frustration, could escalate. Why are they not taught instead to work with the political system as volunteers and vote. Why are they not taught how our form of government (USA) works? Why are they not taught about their rights and duties as jurists?

    46. Henry chance says:

      Greenpeace had a terrorist incident Tuesday this week. They jumped a drilling platform off Greenland and did great economic damge by halting drilling.
      Who started a fire on a rig?

      Can’t blame it on mental illness. Too much conscious activity to see it as illness. He was logical and well planned.

    47. DirkH says:

      ALF, ELF, Unabomber. Lee is right in the tradition of ecoterrorism with the intent to kill.

    48. Pascvaks says:

      I know it’s beneath me to say things like this, but I’ve been beneath myself a lot lately and ever sence the current administration came on board there has been an increase in the reeking smell of garbage from UM’s START Center nutcases. This may all be just an unfortunate cooincidence, but I doubt it. I vote that all federal funds and student loans to UM be cut immediately until a proper investigation of this stench can determine the cause of this environmental pollution, say 6 months, like the Great Gulf Oil Drilling Shutdown. Fair’s fair. Left?

    49. DirkH says:

      RW says:
      September 2, 2010 at 11:38 pm
      “I’m appalled that you are continuing to use the sad life and untimely death of a horribly ill person in this nasty way. Shame on you.”

      Hmm, he died before he could kill an innocent in the name of the froggies and squirrels; that’s not too untimely methinks.

    50. ShrNfr says:

      Lee was a disordered person. Those people happen in every “cause” from anti-abortion to environment (remember the nails put in trees that were designed to maim or kill loggers). I do not regard him as representative of anything except a very sick puppy. Hopefully this will not re-occur in the future.

    51. Curiousgeorge says:

      Gail Combs says:
      September 3, 2010 at 6:34 am

      ………………….This conversation really bothers me. How many of our young people are infected with this type of mind set? That the correct response to any problem is protests which, with increasing frustration, could escalate. Why are they not taught instead to work with the political system as volunteers and vote. Why are they not taught how our form of government (USA) works? Why are they not taught about their rights and duties as jurists?

      In a word: Ego. Protesting feeds the ego (“one man can make a difference” ), and they get an immediate response (positive or negative makes no difference, they know they were “heard”). Voting does not – one feeble anonymous voice is lost in the crowd.

    52. John Whitman says:

      Gail Combs says:
      September 3, 2010 at 6:34 am

      Stefan says:
      September 3, 2010 at 4:58 am

      …..I accept he was mentally ill. But if I accept that, does that mean we dismiss people who set fire to university buildings as simply “mentally ill” ? (I’m referring to animal liberation front protesters). By labelling them as mentally ill, are we robbing them of their voice as protesters?……
      ________________________________________
      This conversation really bothers me. How many of our young people are infected with this type of mind set? That the correct response to any problem is protests which, with increasing frustration, could escalate. Why are they not taught instead to work with the political system as volunteers and vote. Why are they not taught how our form of government (USA) works? Why are they not taught about their rights and duties as jurists?

      ——————

      Gail Combs ,

      You ask, “How many of our young people are infected with this type of mind set?”

      I do not know, but I do know the source of the philosophy that contains what they say, think and do. Nihilism. It has been around at root since ancient Greek times and has extended itself in the last ~150 years with expansion of neo-Kantian thought.

      Good news is that it is a quite trivial philosophy. It cannot withstand any light-of-day serious analysis. Squash it like a minor bug on a martini glass. I used the martini glass as a way of thumbing my nose at the nihilist’s contempt of the affluent middle class. : )

      John

    53. Pascvaks says:

      We should stay away from the ‘value of human life’ thing. It opens too many doors; some very, very heavy doors that are best left shut.

    54. Zeke the Sneak says:

      The depression and anxiety caused by the worldview that an individual human life is a burden on the environment should be taken seriously.

      I suffered this in my early twenties.

      I now have incredible children, enjoy life, love long showers and other of the earth’s beautiful bounties. This man is responsible for his actions, but try to remember that those who have this socialistic/green worldview often gravitate towards the teaching profession and influence young people.

    55. Leon Brozyna says:

      Spare me all this talk of fashionably chic emotionally politicized crime, whether it be a “hate” crime or “terroristic” activities.

      Let’s get real and make this simple — a person robbed in Central Park feels terror. Was the perpetrator a terrorist or a robber? Much criminal activity involves the use of the tactic of terror, so let’s not get bogged down on the use of tactics and let’s get to the actual crime. So also do criminal gangs employ terror tactics to enforce their will in their territory. And what happens to gang members when arrested for a crime? They’re (normally) not charged with terrorism but with specific crimal acts — murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, extortion, etc. Not quite as glorious when the “glamor” title of terrorist is removed, just a simple street thug.

      Skipping over the mess of international organized quasi-government gangs of criminals, what of Mr. Lee? If he had not been shot & killed in ending the situation he should have been charged just for the crimes he committed. (whoops – allegedly committed – wouldn’t want Mr. Lee’s estate going after WUWT for smearing the good name of Mr. Lee, who has never been convicted of any criminal offense following the events in Maryland). So, what could Mr. Lee have been charged with? Well, for starters, with three hostages, that would be 3 counts of kidnapping and 3 counts of attempted murder. Doesn’t sound quite as “sexy” and “glamorous” as having committed terroristic acts.

    56. Neo says:

      Just read some of the manifesto he posted on the internet and see for yourself:

      The humans? The planet does not need humans.

      You MUST KNOW the human population is behind all the pollution and problems in the world, and YET you encourage the exact opposite instead of discouraging human growth and procreation. Surely you MUST ALREADY KNOW this!

      Does this sound like the ravings of a sad, deranged loner on the wilder fringes of eco-fascist lunacy? Not to me it doesn’t. Strip away the block capitals and what you have, word for word, is the core manifesto of the entire global green movement.

    57. Matt says:

      Discovery falls victim to a deranged person who believes that an act of violence will somehow advance his agenda.

      Discovery promotes and broadcasts a show, Whale Wars, in which deranged persons commit acts of violence in order to advance their agenda.

      Can someone please turn off that Irony Alarm? I’m trying to think here.

    58. dp says:

      How do we know the eco-terrorist was mentally ill? What if he was simply strongly motivated, and believed soundly after long consideration in what his actions would be?

      It’s a bit too early to know if he was an OBL, a Timothy McVeigh, a una-bomber, or a case of human wreckage that desperately needed help from the community. The science is not settled regarding this so quickly, is it?

    59. MartinGAtkins says:

      I just wonder what it would be like to be reincarnated in an animal whose species had been so reduced in numbers than it was in danger of extinction. What would be its feelings toward the human species whose population explosion had denied it somewhere to exist…. I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus.

      Prince Philip

      Having spent this life as a parasite Prince Philip looks forward to doing even better things.

    60. PhilJourdan says:

      Matt says:
      September 3, 2010 at 9:44 am
      Can someone please turn off that Irony Alarm? I’m trying to think here.

      I think it goes back to that banned book – you reap what you sow. ;)

    61. Vince Causey says:

      dp,

      “How do we know the eco-terrorist was mentally ill?”

      Depends what you mean by mentally ill. In the legal sense as to being unfit to stand trial, he would probably be certified as sane. A defendent is unfit if his illness is such that he cannot understand the difference between right and wrong. This does not refer to a moral understanding. And example of such a mental illness would be paranoid schizophrenia – often, suffers don’t even have a recollection of their actions, or in their minds are acting out a very different reality. The one name that comes to mind is the so called Boston Strangler. In the UK I think you have the Yorkshire Ripper (Peter Sutcliffe) and one or two others.

    62. Enneagram says:

      He was following the teachings of his prophet’s books. His master should be accountable.

    63. vigilantfish says:

      Zeke the Sneak says:
      September 3, 2010 at 8:34 am

      The depression and anxiety caused by the worldview that an individual human life is a burden on the environment should be taken seriously.

      ——————

      I agree, having been afflicted with these concerns as a young woman, and prone to depression. I still get recurrences of existential guilt re the environment, especially since I now have four sons… But my real worries are now more about what kind of a world they’re going to live in, which I suppose is a question that has haunted many parents for nearly the entire past century.

      We are blessed in the west with the comforts and abundance that modern science and technology have enabled. One benefit of having suffered from the ‘looming environmental disaster/the world is too overpopulated’ world view is that I don’t take these comforts for granted. I just hope that these benefits can be shared more widely in the future.

    64. Walter Dnes says:

      The social problem that Mr. Lee is an example of is the attitude that “God/Gaia/Truth is on my side, and therefore ordinary laws do not apply to me”. There really isn’t any difference in principle between James Lee, Greenpeace damaging a powerplant chimney, James Hansen getting arrested, Unibomber, abortion-clinic bombers, snipers who shoot abortion-doctors, or the guys who pilot planes into skyscrapers. They’re all nutcases who ignore the law when it doesn’t fit their beliefs.

      The only difference is the degree of damage/suffering they inflict. We have to draw a line in the sand. Otherwise…
      1) But officer I was only going 1 mph through that stop sign
      2) But officer, I was only going 1 mph faster than the guy you let off
      3) But officer, I was only going 1 mph faster than the 2nd guy you let off

      60) But officer, I was only doing 60 mph through the stop sign, only 1 mph faster than the last guy you let through

    65. anticlimactic says:

      James Lee wrote “Civilisation must be exposed for the filth it is. That, and all its disgusting religious-cultural roots and greed. Broadcast this message until the population of the planet is reversed and the human population goes down! This is your obligation. If you think it isn’t, then get the hell off the planet! Breathe Oil! It is the moral obligation of everyone living otherwise what good are they??”

      Entertainment Weekly asks James Cameron about criticism of his film: ”’Avatar’ is the perfect eco-terrorism recruiting tool. ” His response: ‘Good, good. I like that one. I consider that a positive review. I believe in ecoterrorism.’

      Marc Morano reporting on his presentation at the recent James Cameron fiasco : “One participant confused carbon dioxide with carbon monoxide. She suggested I kill myself by driving my car into my garage and then close the doors with the engine running.”
      __________________________

      This is at a time when Western governments are in the thrall of CAGW and are willing to destroy their economies in it’s name. It is a time when the CAGW propaganda is promptly reported by the mainstream media, and even pushed in the classroom as incontravertable truth.

      What concerns me is when CAGW starts to fade away : James Lee’s views are by no means unique, and there will be thousands of gullible fanatics who will be angered as governments wake up to what they are doing and change course. These believers may decide to take matters in to their own hands and any action will be ‘justified’. As CAGW is mostly a white, Western, middle class concern it will be those economies which will be attacked.

    66. Mike says:

      Historically, the primary source of terrorism in the US was attacks on black Americans by groups like the KKK.

    67. A Nalien says:

      Humans. What a wonderfully mature species. Not! Eco-terrorism and, inevitably, eco-corruption…

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/renewableenergy/7981737/Mafia-cash-in-on-lucrative-EU-wind-farm-handouts-especially-in-Sicily.html

      Nice planet, shame about the caretakers.

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