ALF/ELF Recent Spokesman Takes Fifth Amendment Before Congress FBI Calls Groups “Most Active” Domestic Terrorist Organizations
AMERICANS FOR MEDICAL PROGRESS NEWS SERVICE, FEBRUARY 13, 2002
ALF/ELF Recent Spokesman Takes Fifth Amendment Before Congress
FBI Calls Groups “Most Active” Domestic Terrorist Organizations
THE FBI’s TOP DOMESTIC TERRORISM OFFICIAL told a congressional hearing Feb. 12 that the Animal Liberation Front and the related Earth Liberation Front are now the most active domestic terrorist organizations. James Jarboe, Domestic Terrorism Section Chief of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, testified that at least 26 FBI field offices have pending investigations associated with ALF/ELF activities, and that 44 Joint Terrorism Task Forces around the country are dealing with the challenge, but admitted that law enforcement had “a long way to go to adequately address the problem of eco-terorism.”
He told the subcommittee that it was only “a matter of time” before someone died as a result of ALF/ELF actions.
Former ALF/ELF spokesman Craig Rosebraugh was subpoenaed to appear before the hearing by the House Resources Committee‘s Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health. As expected, he was unresponsive. Over 50 times he replied to the subcommittee’s questions – ranging from his involvement with criminal activity to his belief in the role of science in society – with the same phrase: “I’ll take the Fifth Amendment.” He responded to only one question, and that after conferring with his counsel. He confirmed he was a citizen of the United States.
The subcommittee chair, Republican Scott McInnis of Colorado, noted that Rosebraugh’s invoking of the Fifth Amendment did not mean that right is automatically conferred to his testimony. He told frustrated subcommittee members that the next step would be to submit written questions to Rosebraugh. If he does not respond appropriately to those to which the right of protection from self-incrimination does not apply, he could be held in contempt of Congress, and face a prison term of up to one year.
One subcommittee member observed that Rosebraugh was “so proud of what he does he doesn’t even want to talk about it.”
Rosebraugh did submit an 11-page statement to the subcommittee prior to the hearing. Beginning with the phrase “…I came into the world as a child of two wonderful parents living in Portland, Oregon…” and invoking historical events ranging from the civil rights movement and the Industrial Revolution, the statement was more of an essay about Rosebraugh’s political education and his determination that “there must be a serious effort made, by any means necessary, to abolish imperialism and U.S. government terrorism.”
“A major hypocrisy exists when the U.S. government labels an organization such as the Earth Liberation Front a terrorist group while simultaneously failing to acknowledge its own terrorist history,” he wrote.
Several subcommittee members told Rosebraugh that the ELF’s criminal activity did not serve the cause of environmentalism.
Several other witnesses testified about the damage ALF/ELF has caused to the environment and to small businesses. Because the scope of the subcommittee’s investigation was limited to ALF/ELF’s impact on the environment, no representatives of biomedical research testified, but the issue of the activist threat to research was raised time and time again by both witnesses and subcommittee members.
Rick Berman, executive director of Center for Consumer Freedom, a trade group for restaurant and tavern owners, discussed the possible financing of the ALF and ELF by national animal rights and environmental groups, including PETA. Materials may be found on the CCF website.