People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently threatened to sue Australia’s Agricultural Minister Warren Truss after Truss accused the animal rights group of providing aid and comfort to animal and environmental terrorists.
Truss apparently cited testimony by the Center for Consumer Freedom about PETA’s alleged involvement with the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front. CCF reprinted part of Truss speech which said,
But even more concerning, it has been alleged in a US Senate hearing by the same organization that PETA has provided aid and comfort to people associated with two groups considered domestic terrorist threats by the FBI — the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).
According to the FBI, the two groups have been responsible for more than 600 crimes since 1996, causing more than $43 million in damage. The ALF even brags on its website that the two groups committed “100 illegal direct actions” — like blowing up four-wheel-drives, destroying the brakes on seafood delivery trucks, and planting firebombs in restaurants — in 2002 alone.
PETA lawyer Jeff Kerr threatened to sue Truss calling the claims part of a smear campaign by a “discredited group.”
If the statements are untrue and part of a smear campaign, then why hasn’t PETA sued the Center for Consumer Freedom for making the same statements for several years now? Perhaps PETA doesn’t think it would help to go into court only to have CCF show PETA’s own 2001 tax return showing a $15,000 donation to the Earth Liberation Front. Or maybe it doesn’t want to be reminded of Ingrid Newkirk’s odd behavior in the Rodney Coronado case which was cited in the government’s sentencing memo (emphasis added),
Forensic evidence discovered during the investigation confirmed that Coronado played an important role in planning and executing the ALF’s campaign of terrorism. Investigators learned that immediately before and after the MSU arson, a Federal Express package had been sent to a Bethesda, Maryland address from an individual identifying himself as “Leonard Robideau”. The first package went to Ingrid Newkirk, PETA’s founder.
. . .
Significantly, Newkirk had arranged to have the package delivered to her days before the MSU arson occurred.
Not to mention quotes from everyone from Bruce Freidrich to Dan Mathews to Newkirk herself expressing approval for actual acts of violence and destruction and anticipation that more such acts might be forthcoming.
I suspect that this lawsuit will have the same sort of longevity as PETA’s lawsuit against New Jersey over another PETA attorney’s violent altercation with a deer.
PETA may sue over Truss’ terror comments. Australian Associated Press, March 3, 2005.
Not A G’Day For PETA Down Under. Press Release, Center for Consumer Freedom, March 4, 2005.