Harry Reid is right on the mark. The only surprise here is the reluctance to call terrorists what they are. Some common definitions of terrorism are:
violent acts that are intended to create fear (terror); are perpetrated for a religious, political, or ideological goal; and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants (e.g., military personnel in peacetime or civilians). Some definitions now include acts of unlawful violence and war. The use of similar tactics by criminal organizations for protection rackets or to enforce a code of silence is usually not labeled terrorism, though these same actions may be labeled terrorism when done by a politically motivated group. Usage of the term has also been criticized for its frequent undue equating with Islamism or jihadism, while ignoring non-Islamic organizations or individuals
Domestic Terrorism can be defined by:
The statutory definition of domestic terrorism in the United States has changed many times over the years; also, it can be argued that acts of domestic terrorism have been occurring since long before any legal definition was set forth.This seems like a no brainer but the way words are used in this country makes everything an issue. Read on below for some examples and comments.
According to a memo produced by the FBI's Terrorist Research and Analytical Center in 1994, domestic terrorism was defined as "the unlawful use of force or violence, committed by a group(s) of two or more individuals, against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."
Under current United States law, set forth in the USA PATRIOT Act, acts of domestic terrorism are those which: "(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended— (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States."
Here is a partial list of what has been recognized as Domestic Terrorism:
Anti-abortion violenceAnd here is a partial list of terrorist organizations:
Bombing of Los Angeles Times building
Wall Street bombing
Attacks by the Jewish Defense League
Oklahoma City bombing
Centennial Olympic Park bombing
Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting
Southern California shootings
Animal Liberation Front
Alpha 66 and Omega 7
Army of God
Black Liberation Army
The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord
Earth Liberation Front
Jewish Defense League
Ku Klux Klan
May 19th Communist Organization
Symbionese Liberation Army
United Freedom Front
What is most interesting about these lists is not so much what is there but what is lacking. Does a group actually have to carry out the violence they threaten to be classed as terrorist? I think not. The acts of terrorism themselves, awful as they are, are actually a small part of what terrorism is. The use of definitions and labels has a tendency to get us off track. The existence of guns in the homes of people who speak openly about violence can not help but to be a source of threat. In the area that I live I am exposed to this continuously and it gives me the creeps. When I was out in front of the local grocery store passing out leaflets clarifying the ACA before it was passed the local Tea Buggers threatened me and threatened to shoot the president. The Secret Service was involved afterward but they are worse than ever now.
This issue should not be treated as an isolated thing. It is but a part of wider political agenda that encompasses voter rights, women's issues, oligarchy, etc.
Before I dd my postdoc in Israel in 1963-1965 I studied the history of their war of independence. It was a great example of how different organizations were part of a unified cause. One was political the other terrorist. They achieved their goals with finesse.
A good source for this topic is The Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the Center works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.We must never forget the way the government oligarchy has used force throughout our history. The Labor Movement's history is replete with it. They would have called the people they gunned down or framed for crimes "terrorist". It all boils down to which side you are on. As for me, I don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.
We employ a three-pronged strategy to battle racial and social injustice:
We track the activities of hate groups and domestic terrorists across America, and we launch innovative lawsuits that seek to destroy networks of radical extremists.
We use the courts and other forms of advocacy to win systemic reforms on behalf of victims of bigotry and discrimination.
We provide educators with free resources that teach school children to reject hate, embrace diversity and respect differences.