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August 27, 2007

Overzealous Terrorism Prosecutions

Prosecutors in Greece are examining whether those responsible for setting the recent fires there, which so far have resulted in 63 deaths, can be prosecuted under terrorism laws.

Now it could be just one overzealous prosecutor. It looks like the head of the terrorism and organized crime unit is trying to get in on some arson action:

The public order ministry said Dimitris Papangelopoulos, who is responsible for prosecuting terrorism and organised crime, ordered the investigation to determine "whether the crimes of arsonists and of arson attacks on forests carried out in the country during the summer of 2007" could come under Greece's anti-terrorism law.

On the other hand, this wouldn't be the first time that folks have used terrorism's current popularity as the Cause of the Moment to simply name everything "terrorism" and be done with it. For example, many on the Left called the Virginia Tech massacre "terrorism" despite the fact that the atrocity was not perpetrated for any particular message or purpose. (They did this largely so that they could claim that domestic terrorism had occurred on President Bush's watch--not that this excuse makes them look any better.)

It is apparently enough that people are terrorised to implicate terrorism laws. Of course, most victims of violent crime could be said to be "terrorised."


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:37 AM

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