Abdication of Justice

Enacted by Congress in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, the 1996 Anti-Terrorism Act directed the Attorney General to collect data “relating to crimes and incidents of threats of violence and acts of violence” against government employees and their families in the performance of official duties. It was a law that was never implemented.

Citing the expense and impracticality of the law, the Justice Department immediately began lobbying for its repeal. Among other objections, Justice insisted that the law could not be implemented because it required subjective judgment from the FBI in identifying bona fide threats.

In 2002, Justice succeeded in securing a “Repeal of Compilation of Statistics Relating to Intimidation of Government Employees.” So in addition to abandoning its requirement to track threats, Justice does not keep statistics on bombings, arson, shootings and other crimes against public employees.

By contrast to its stance on public employees, the Department of Justice regards “eco-terrorism” as a top domestic security threat and prepares elaborate and detailed annual reports. If you ask public employees to rank the problems they must confront daily, “eco-terrorism” would not even make the chart. Despite the attention paid to the handful of eco-terrorism incidents, their number and impact are dwarfed by the volume and violence directed by Wise Use and resource-user groups against public employees and facilities.

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