This story made the rounds of the local blogosphere a month or so ago, but it’s now hit the national news. Alabama’s Homeland Security has apparently identified some pretty interesting people as potential terrorists. The web page that gives examples of “single-issue extremists” has been taken down because of complaints, but it’s a little scary to know that most of my blogger friends and I (regardless of our political leanings) could have fit the state’s definition.
(Montgomery, Alabama) The Alabama Department of Homeland Security has taken down a Web site it operated that included gay rights and anti-war organizations in a list of groups that could include terrorists.
The Web site identified different types of terrorists, and included a list of groups it believed could spawn terrorists. The list also included environmentalists, animal rights advocates and abortion opponents. [It also included those who speak out in opposition to the actions of the government, which pretty much includes every political writer in the blogosphere.]
…The site included the groups under a description of what it called “single-issue” terrorists. That group includes people who feel they are trying to create a better world, the Web site said. It said that in some communities, law enforcement officers consider certain single issue groups to be a threat.
“Single-issue extremists often focus on issues that are important to all of us. However, they have no problem crossing the line between legal protest and … illegal acts, to include even murder, to succeed in their goals,” it read.
It’s particularly offensive to me that gay rights groups were included on the list, which was supposedly intended to inform Alabama citizens of potential threats. Try googling “gay murder”. You won’t see killings carried out by gay rights groups; you’ll get a long list of gay people murdered because of their sexual orientation.
I’ve been a part of Equality Alabama since its inception. It’s the only statewide gay rights organization in Alabama, and it could never remotely be considered a terrorist group by anyone who’s rational. OTOH, the nuts and hate-mongers who target gays could potentially excuse their actions by saying they were going after terrorists — and use the website to back their claims.
It’s a good thing that the state took down the page — and terrible that it was ever posted in the first place. Vigilance can be a good thing, but it should have some connection to reality.