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green scare | human & civil rights

Government Blows Its Wad Prematurely

Despite US Attorneys insistence that the labeling of "Operation Backfire" defendants as terrorists is not a political move from Alberto Gonzales and the Bush administration, the following prematurely released press release proves the motivation.
Throughout the course of the sentencing hearings in the Oregon Green Scare case, US Attorneys have insisted that the application of the terrorism enhancement in the cases is not a political move by the Bush administration. During the hearing about the terrorism enhancement, Assistant US Attorney Stephen Peifer said, "This is not a political prosecution," and that there was no mandate from DC to apply the enhancement, but that the decision came solely from the District of Oregon.

This despite Alberto Gonzales' and FBI Director Robert Mueller's press conference in January 2006, labelling the defendants (presumably innocent until proven guilty) as "eco-terrorists", and insuring no possibility of a fair trial.

It was noted in the report from Jonathan Paul's sentencing that the government had called a press conference to crow about the wrap-up of the case which had to be cancelled due to Jonathan's attorney objecting to the judge's sentencing calculations, delaying the final sentencing. Fox News had their satellite and tent set up outside. There were uniformed Eugene Police standing outside the courtroom to escort the US Attorneys, FBI Agent (ret.) John Ferreira, and EPD Joint Terrorism Task Force lackeys to the waiting cameras, presumably to quell any possible disturbances (but more likely to make sure the press could see how 'dangerous' the crowd was.) But alas, the holy press conference had to be cancelled, and a lot of scrambling had to be done to retract their press release, lest it be aired on the evening news and show their political hand prior to Judge Aiken's final ruling.

A late night search of the internet (usually a morning person, my inner night owl has been active the last few weeks) turned up the retracted release. The webmaster must have gone home for the evening and missed the frantic call from the office of Karen Immergut, US Attorney from the District of Oregon. If there is any doubt that labelling these defendants terrorists is a political move, behold:

=========================================


Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front Members
Sentenced in Oregon for Acts of Eco-Terrorism in Five
Western States
Posted : Tue, 05 Jun 2007 22:16:00 GMT
Author : U.S. Department of Justice
Category : PressRelease

EUGENE, Ore., June 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today U.S.
District Court Judge Ann Aiken sentenced the final
defendant in the conspiracy case involving twenty acts of
arson committed by members of the Animal Liberation Front
(ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), the Justice
Department announced.

The ten defendants acted in an underground cell of what
they called "The Family." In their previously entered
guilty pleas, the defendants acknowledged that they, and
their group, sought to influence and affect the conduct of
government, private business, and the civilian population
through force, violence, sabotage, mass destruction,
intimidation and coercion, and to retaliate against
government and private businesses by similar means. The
investigation of the environmental extremists involved
multiple federal, state and local law enforcement and
spanned over nine years.

"Today's sentence is a fitting culmination to the largest
prosecution of environmental extremists in U.S. history.
These defendants were responsible for a broad campaign of
domestic terrorism that spanned five states, included
roughly 20 arsons or attempted arsons, and caused more than
$40 million in property damage. The lengthy sentences
should serve notice to others who use violence to further
their causes," said Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.

"We are pleased with the sentences imposed by Judge Aiken
in this matter," stated U.S. Attorney Karin J. Immergut.
"They are significant sentences that reflect the
seriousness of the crimes committed by the defendants in
this case. This is the largest case of environmental
extremists ever prosecuted in the United States. This
successful investigation and prosecution would not have
been possible had it not been for the intense and dogged
persistence of all of the law enforcement agencies involved
who worked collaboratively and cooperatively on the local,
state and federal levels."

The defendants were sentenced to the following prison terms
for the charges listed:

1. Stanislas Gregory Meyerhoff (age 29) -- 156 months --
October 11, 1998 -- attempted arson at the Bureau of Land
Management Wild Horse Holding Facility near Rock Springs,
Wyoming -- October 19, 1998 -- arson at the Vail Ski
Facility in Eagle County, Colorado -- May 9, 1999 -- arson
at Childers Meat Company, Eugene, Oregon -- December 25,
1999 -- arson at the office of the Boise Cascade Company in
Monmouth, Oregon -- December 30, l999 -- destruction of a
Bonneville Power Administration energy facility
high-voltage tower near Bend, Oregon -- September 6, 2000
-- arson at the Eugene, Oregon, Police Department West
University Public Safety Station -- January 2, 2001 --
arson at Superior Lumber Company, Glendale, Oregon -- March
30, 2001 -- arson and destruction of 35 SUVs at Joe Romania
Chevrolet Truck Center, Eugene, Oregon -- May 21, 2001 --
arson and attempted arson at the Jefferson Poplar Farm,
Clatskanie, Oregon -- October 15, 2001 -- arson at the
Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse Facility, Litchfield,
California 2. Kevin Tubbs (age 38) -- 151 months -- October
30, 1996 -- arson at the U.S. Forest Service Oakridge
Ranger Station near Oakridge, Oregon -- July 2l, 1997 --
arson at Cavel West, Inc. in Redmond, Oregon -- November
30, 1997 -- arson at the Bureau of Land Management Wild
Horse and Burro Facility near Burns, Oregon -- October 11,
1998 -- attempted arson at the Bureau of Land Management
Wild Horse Holding Facility near Rock Springs, Wyoming --
December 22 and 27, 1998 -- arson and attempted arson at
U.S. Forest Industries, Medford, Oregon -- May 9, 1999 --
arson at Childers Meat Company, Eugene, Oregon -- September
6, 2000 -- arson at the Eugene, Oregon, Police Department
West University Public Safety Station -- January 2, 2001 --
arson at Superior Lumber Company, Glendale, Oregon -- March
30, 2001 -- arson and destruction of 35 SUVs at Joe Romania
Chevrolet Truck Center, Eugene, Oregon -- October 15, 2001
-- arson at the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse
Facility, Litchfield, California 3. Chelsea Dawn Gerlach
(age 30) -- 108 months -- October 11, 1998 -- attempted
arson at the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse Holding
Facility near Rock Springs, Wyoming -- October 19, 1998 --
arson at the Vail Ski Facility in Eagle County, Colorado --
May 9, 1999 -- arson at Childers Meat Company, Eugene,
Oregon -- December 25, 1999 -- arson at the office of the
Boise Cascade Company in Monmouth, Oregon -- December 30,
l999 -- destruction of a Bonneville Power Administration
energy facility high-voltage tower near Bend, Oregon --
September 6, 2000 -- arson at the Eugene, Oregon, Police
Department West University Public Safety Station -- May 21,
2001 -- arson and attempted arson at the Jefferson Poplar
Farm, Clatskanie, Oregon 4. Nathan Fraser Block (age 26)--
92 months -- March 30, 2001 -- arson and destruction of 35
SUVs at Joe Romania Chevrolet Truck Center, Eugene, Oregon
-- May 21, 2001 -- arson and attempted arson at the
Jefferson Poplar Farm, Clatskanie, Oregon 5. Joyanna L.
Zacher (age 29) -- 92 months -- March 30, 2001 -- arson and
destruction of 35 SUVs at Joe Romania Chevrolet Truck
Center, Eugene, Oregon -- May 21, 2001 -- arson and
attempted arson at the Jefferson Poplar Farm, Clatskanie,
Oregon 6. Suzanne Nichole Savoie (age 29) -- 51 months --
January 2, 2001 -- arson at Superior Lumber Company,
Glendale, Oregon -- May 21, 2001 -- arson and attempted
arson at the Jefferson Poplar Farm, Clatskanie, Oregon 7.
Kendall Tankersley (age 30) -- 46 months -- December 22 and
27, 1998 - arson and attempted arson at U.S. Forest
Industries, Medford, Oregon 8. Darren Todd Thurston (age
37) -- 37 months -- October 15, 2001 -- arson at the Bureau
of Land Management Wild Horse Facility, Litchfield,
California 9. Jonathan Mark Christopher Paul (age 41) -- 51
months -- July 2l, 1997 -- arson at Cavel West, Inc. in
Redmond, Oregon 10. Daniel Gerard McGowan (age 33) -- 84
months -- January 2, 2001 -- arson at Superior Lumber
Company, Glendale, Oregon -- May 21, 2001 -- arson and
attempted arson at the Jefferson Poplar Farm, Clatskanie,
Oregon

"If this case proves anything, it is that the FBI and its
partners on the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and in
other law enforcement agencies are absolutely committed to
defeating terrorism in this country," said Special Agent in
Charge Robert J. Jordan. "We will not let those who inspire
fear and commit criminal acts with the intent of changing
the policies of our government or her people succeed.
Whether a case takes one day or ten years, we will pursue
it until we can ensure justice for our shared community."

"ATF is pleased to have provided its expertise in arson
investigations to this case, demonstrating once again that
no one is entitled to take the law into their own hands,"
said Special Agent in Charge Kelvin N. Crenshaw, Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Other members of the conspiracy took part in the following
arsons:

(1) October 28, l996 -- arson and attempted arson at the
U.S. Forest Service's Detroit Ranger Station in Detroit,
Oregon;

(2) June 21, 1998 -- arson at the National Wildlife
Research Facility in Olympia, Washington; and

(3) May 2l, 200l -- arson at the University of Washington
Horticulture Center, Seattle, Washington.

Three other charged defendants are international fugitives:
Joseph Dibee, Rebecca Rubin and Josephine Sunshine
Overaker.

These cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys
Kirk Engdall, Stephen Peifer and John Ray. The ALF/ELF
arson conspiracy was jointly investigated over a nine year
period by the FBI, ATF, Oregon Department of Justice,
Eugene Police Department, U.S. Bureau of Land Management,
U.S. Forest Service, Oregon State Police and Lane County
Sheriff's Office. U.S. Department of Justice

CONTACT: Gerri Badden of the Office of United States
Attorney Karin J.
Immergut, District of Oregon

Web site:  http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/or