Domestic terrorist gets 22 years for arson

posted at 10:25 am on February 7, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

No, it’s not Bill Ayers, more’s the pity, but almost as good.  Marie Mason caused over $4 million in arson damage in a series of fires on behalf of the terrorist group Earth Liberation Front, protesting everything from genetically-enhanced crops to mink ranching.  She may not like her 22-year sentence, but at least she’s alive:

A radical activist who helped set a $1 million fire to protest research on genetically modified crops was sentenced Thursday to nearly 22 years in prison _ even more than the prosecution recommended.

Marie Mason decided to “elevate her grievances beyond the norms of civilized society” through fire and destruction, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney said. The case _ which was prosecuted as domestic terrorism _ was “about an abandonment of the marketplace of ideas,” he added. …

The investigation was cold until spring 2007, when a man looking for scrap cardboard found gas masks, an M-80 explosive, maps and anti-government writings in a suburban Detroit trash bin.

They belonged to Ambrose, who apparently was trying to shed remnants of his past. The FBI searched his home, and he became an informant, blowing the whistle on himself and Mason and going undercover to record 178 conversations with other activists.

At MSU, Mason and Ambrose targeted a campus office that held records on research related to moth-resistant potatoes for poor parts of Africa. Computers, file cabinets and desks were doused with a flammable liquid. Vapors contributed to an explosion, and the fire got out of control.

The explosion burned Mason’s hair and prevented her from finishing the message, “No GMO,” on a wall, a reference to genetically modified organisms.

Her defense team professed shock at the sentence, calling it far out of proportion to other sentences for the same crimes.  Well, that’s the point.  For far too long, courts have coddled domestic terrorists of certain political strains.  Where some have rightly thrown the book at anti-tax militias and those who commit violence at abortion clinics, leftist terrorists who commit arsons and bombings for their causes have gotten treated as misdirected darlings.

No longer, or at least not in Maloney’s court.  The judge got this exactly right.  Political terrorism undermines democracy at its roots.  Instead of pursuing change through debate and organization, Mason attempted to frighten people into surrendering to the will of a tiny, fringe movement.  She professed remorse at her hearing, but on her site refers to her prosecution as a part of a “Green Scare”, in which the government conspires against innocent vegan environmentalists.  Mason has no real remorse over her actions.

It’s time to make domestic terrorism as costly as international terrorism.  Maloney has taken that first big step.  Hopefully, other courts will follow suit.  (via Reason and Instapundit)

Update: Jazz Shaw has an interesting point: does this equate hate crimes prosecution?  Read the whole thing.


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She should have bombed the USS Cole.

Dumbass.

artist on February 7, 2009 at 10:26 AM

this is good news, expect a pardon in 4 years.

rob verdi on February 7, 2009 at 10:29 AM

“blowing the whistle on himself and Mason and going undercover to record 178 conversations with other activists.”

Oops, they “forgot” the qualifier “leftwing” before activists.

artist on February 7, 2009 at 10:29 AM

she will become a cause celeb of the green pigs.

rob verdi on February 7, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Put her in Gitmo… OH! Nevermind…

Wade on February 7, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Rot in jail, skank.

BallisticBob on February 7, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Yeah, she’s “sorry”. Sorry she got caught.

GarandFan on February 7, 2009 at 10:35 AM

These loons would be comical if not so destructive. The site linked above has Marie’s unredacted plea agreement where she pleads guilty to 3 of the 4 original charges BUT the site bemoans that the feds are waging a war on legitimate dissent…as if arson is legitimate dissent.

Maybe we should register our dissent at their homes and meeting places.

EXIT QUESTION: Presidential pardon in the offing?

Mr Snuggle Bunny on February 7, 2009 at 10:38 AM

I don’t see how this is equal to islamic terror.

Xolom on February 7, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Marie Mason decided to “elevate her grievances beyond the norms of civilized society”

Ooh, this ought to be enshrined in a National Museum quickly, because I believe this is going to be the last time you hear such a judgment or sentiment from a sitting U.S. Judge.

His reasoning is going to be a strange relic that high school students will laugh at, like ancient cave art. They’ll stare at the display and ask “what’s wrong with elevating our grievances beyond the norms of civilized society?”

Hey hey ho ho western civ has got to go.

jeff_from_mpls on February 7, 2009 at 10:39 AM

I bet she demands to have live plants in her cell … and gets ‘em.

I met an old hippie lady on my plane who told me that in her younger, mpre radical days, she and her friends tried to burn down a bank to protest capitalism. She was still proud of herself. Of course I couldn’t tell her what an idiot she was ’cause I was working but …

“If you’re not a conservative by 40, you have no brain.” – Churchill

Tony737 on February 7, 2009 at 10:40 AM

Finally, a judge with some cajones — and some sense.

Good for him.

AZCoyote on February 7, 2009 at 10:42 AM

I wonder if she is still wearing the smile exhibited in the lead photo?

Does tend to get a little sticky when you get to that ‘doin’ the time’ part of “If you do the crime…”.

Yoop on February 7, 2009 at 10:42 AM

One down, 52,999.999 to go. sarc/

Mojave Mark on February 7, 2009 at 10:45 AM

“Guilty as sin, free as a bird”,…oh wait…

a capella on February 7, 2009 at 10:49 AM

Starry eyed idealism, gone awry….

DL13 on February 7, 2009 at 10:49 AM

I don’t see how this is equal to islamic terror.

Xolom on February 7, 2009 at 10:39 AM

I disagree with you. Sooo…is it ok for me to burn down your home now?

Patrick S on February 7, 2009 at 10:49 AM

They ought to give her another 22 years for being ugly.

Old Hippie Vet on February 7, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Love the tattoo.

Mason on February 7, 2009 at 10:55 AM

The investigation was cold until spring 2007, when a man looking for scrap cardboard found gas masks, an M-80 explosive, maps and anti-government writings in a suburban Detroit trash bin.

She’s a folk hero to a lot of environmentalist out there, now she has been elevated to the loft perch of martyr. She actually sound kinds of stupid to me. Here’s hoping me get more martyrs in the near future. Side bet: in four or eight years Obama will pardon her on his way out. Any takers?

Tommy_G on February 7, 2009 at 11:03 AM

a “Green Scare”, in which the government conspires against innocent vegan environmentalists.

I see, they love environmentalists, just not vegan environmentalists. I would love to know her financial background. What do you do so that you can terrorize in your “off” hours?

Cindy Munford on February 7, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Have they forwarded the paperwork for release to Eric Holder yet?

Tim Zank on February 7, 2009 at 11:06 AM

I’ll bet she smells as good as she looks. Pity her cellmate.

packsoldier on February 7, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Hah, Mr. Ambrose, the co-conspirator and govt. witness, is Mason’s EX-husband. I wonder if he looks as fetching as she does.

ex Dem from Miami on February 7, 2009 at 11:09 AM

The really juicy part of the story:

“”At MSU, Mason and [her then-husband] Ambrose targeted a campus office that held records on research related to moth-resistant potatoes for poor parts of Africa.

Obviously one can’t be sure that the potatoes under development at MSU would have made it out of the lab, but they sure would have been useful in West Africa right now where swarms of moth caterpillars are ravaging food crops.”"

Get out of the way you poor minority types, us liberal hippys are here to save you. Get back in your huts and starve, content in the knowledge that your destroyed crops were all-natural.

Bishop on February 7, 2009 at 11:12 AM

Bye bye until barry pardons her.

peacenprosperity on February 7, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Lefties seem to have a fascination with fire.

Just A Grunt on February 7, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Lets all join the conspiracy against vegan environmentalists.

KW64 on February 7, 2009 at 11:25 AM

And Obama’s first presidential pardon will be…

canditaylor68 on February 7, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Why is the “terrorism” label needed when she committed a $4,000,000 crime by arson? That alone should lock her up for a while. She’s a criminal. Quit giving her cause more attention.

Keep going down this slope and soon pick-pockets will be “domestic terrorists” since they strike fear in the hearts of tourists, are organized and work together, strike seemingly at random, disrupt commerce, show little or no remorse, use deceit, have a clear agenda, etc.. etc..

popularpeoplesfront on February 7, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Go hug a tree in jail. Oh wait, no trees.

Mr. Joe on February 7, 2009 at 11:49 AM

popularpeoplesfront on February 7, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Amen.

Organizations like the Minutemen have reason to look over their shoulders. Any protestors at a Planned (non)Parenthood clinic the same. Jack boots now come in rainbow colors.

Limerick on February 7, 2009 at 11:52 AM

LORD Obama will pardon.

wildcat84 on February 7, 2009 at 12:01 PM

She looks special. Really who are the Eco terrorist enlisting? Oh never mind.

Dr Evil on February 7, 2009 at 12:04 PM

Talk about rebels without a cause! Is this the best they can do?

Anyway, I agree that the sentences have been too light. They cause millions of dollars worth of damages and uncalcutable harm when you factor in that the research they are destroying may save millions of lives.

Blake on February 7, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Justice Finally!

Kini on February 7, 2009 at 12:16 PM

That judge is going to need some major protection, if these people are anything like the Weather Underground — and they appear to be.

There’s this tidbit from her website:

Marie is a long time dedicated Vegan and is unlikely to be able to sustain herself on a standard jail house meal.

I vote for GMO potatoes. Lots of GMO potatoes.

The network of these folks is based at riseup.org:

riseup.net provides mail, lists, and hosting for those working on liberatory social change. We are a project to create democratic alternatives and practice self-determination by controlling our own secure means of communications.

unclesmrgol on February 7, 2009 at 12:21 PM

I see an Oslime-a pardon in the future for this traitorous piece of shit terrorist.

csdeven on February 7, 2009 at 12:25 PM

The judge got this exactly right. Political terrorism undermines democracy at its roots.

Ugh…we are not a Democracy. We are a Republic. Democracy fails every time it is tried.

Tim Burton on February 7, 2009 at 12:27 PM

***
Send her a plant to hug in her cell.
***
I recommend a Texas sized prickly pear cactus! Only a “Greenie” could love one.
***
John Bibb
***

rocketman on February 7, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Brianna Waters who helped firebomb labs at the Uof Washington got only 6 years. Jeff Leurs had a 22 year sentence reduced to 10 years. Wm. Cottrell – 8 years. While in prison and when they get out, they are cause celibres – told how wonderful they are and plenty of job offers. They do not suffer.

And I’m still waiting for Lynn Stewart to actually surrender to serve her sentence. Years after her conviction, she’s still on the loose.

Blake on February 7, 2009 at 12:35 PM

This mother of two is closely tied to Earth First!

Go to http::/www.activistcash.com and look at the goals and financial ties this group has.

daesleeper on February 7, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Wait a minute – she was all upset about moth-resistant potatoes?

That’s kinda lame.

Alana on February 7, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Hmm good ..

but i wonder how long before obama
FREES her and then throws our former president into her jail cell instead?

jcila on February 7, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Now there’s a pair of legs that haven’t seen a razor is quite some time…

Wyznowski on February 7, 2009 at 12:49 PM

Make her pay the carbon tax for the fire

entagor on February 7, 2009 at 12:49 PM

The really juicy part of the story:

“”At MSU, Mason and [her then-husband] Ambrose targeted a campus office that held records on research related to moth-resistant potatoes for poor parts of Africa.

Obviously one can’t be sure that the potatoes under development at MSU would have made it out of the lab, but they sure would have been useful in West Africa right now where swarms of moth caterpillars are ravaging food crops.””

Get out of the way you poor minority types, us liberal hippys are here to save you. Get back in your huts and starve, content in the knowledge that your destroyed crops were all-natural.

Bishop on February 7, 2009 at 11:12 AM

So genetically manipulating potatoes is bad, according to ELF, but genetically manipulating human genes to make stem cells into whatever organ the left wants today is good, according to ELF?

That’s consistency for you! It’s good to kill human embryos to manipulate human cells for a worthy medical purpose for a single human being who can pay for it, but it’s bad to manipulate potato genes to make cells (and plants) that are done so for a worthy purpose like stopping world hunger for poor people all over the world.

ELF: We’re too stupid to understand the positions we take do the exact opposite of what we support….. Rocket Scientists!!!!!

Subsunk

Subsunk on February 7, 2009 at 1:03 PM

That woman looks more like someone who would be selling watermelons out of the back of her pickup at the State Fair.

heavenhelpus on February 7, 2009 at 1:35 PM

ELF is America’s most active terror cell (opinion).

Get out of the way you poor minority types, I would love to do an undercover expose on these pukes. But I can only stand the smell of patchouli, sage and rank BO for so long.

Wouldn’t she would be the minority type in Africa?

“Green Scare”

Jack my beanstalk.

LORD Obama will pardon.

wildcat84 on February 7, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Bush pardoned a crack/coke dealer, didn’t he? Clinton pardoned enough dunnage to start an Australian prison colony. Presidential pardons are always disappointing. Expect no less from Obama.

The Race Card on February 7, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Her defense team professed shock at the sentence, calling it far out of proportion to other sentences for the same crimes. Well, that’s the point. For far too long, courts have coddled domestic terrorists of certain political strains. Where some have rightly thrown the book at anti-tax militias and those who commit violence at abortion clinics, leftist terrorists who commit arsons and bombings for their causes have gotten treated as misdirected darlings.

The United States has become a nation of laws selectively enforced, more a nation of men, not laws, and that is the most terrifying of all.

MB4 on February 7, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Bye bye until barry pardons her.

peacenprosperity on February 7, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Has Eric Holder received her file yet?

Mallard T. Drake on February 7, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Ugh…we are not a Democracy. We are a Republic. Democracy fails every time it is tried.

Tim Burton on February 7, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Dimwit – we are a democratic republic.

Go back to school and suck it down you tool.

Ares on February 7, 2009 at 2:33 PM

What’s the background on this judge? Who appointed him?

Log on February 7, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Life would be better… 22 years not long enough.

gdonovan on February 7, 2009 at 3:04 PM

I bet the sound of “22 years” wiped that smirk off her face.

Greed on February 7, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Way to light by a mile. The research she destroyed represented a great many years of intense labor. It probably caused some graduate students to give up on their PhD theses and caused the poor in Africa to be even hungrier. It even had repercussions at Berkeley where subsequently one had to have a controlled ID to enter the biology building.

burt on February 7, 2009 at 4:10 PM

Will part of the sentence be served at Club Gitmo? She is in dire need of waterboarding to get more information on her terror cell. Can this skank’s citizenship be revoked and be declared an enemy combatant.

Mooseman on February 7, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Didn’t read all the comments so pardon if I am repeating some points.
1.Shows how doorknob dumb they are to leave evidence in a public trash bin.
2. Reveal true priorities when they turn in their comrades to save their own ass.
3. Vegan food in prison has got to suck.
4. Buh Bye.

pleaseandthankyou on February 7, 2009 at 4:18 PM

OK, everyone, here’s the obligatory “I’d hit it” post……
.
.
Ready?
.
.
I’d hit it.

UltimateBob on February 7, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Twenty-two years is too short. This woman’s actions probably delayed scientific research, and that probably delayed the development of more productive agriculture. Agriculture is a basic need of human life, and is under constant attack by insects, blight, drought and flood, as well as banditry and government action. Improving agriculture even a little can save many lives.

This woman is guilty of willfully interfering with lifesaving action, and doing so by violent, illegal, and terroristic means. The predictable consequences are avoidable deaths of strangers all over the world.

A life sentence in isolation is a reasonable minimum.

njcommuter on February 7, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Get out of the way you poor minority types, us liberal hippys are here to save you. Get back in your huts and starve, content in the knowledge that your destroyed crops were all-natural.

Bishop on February 7, 2009 at 11:12 AM

See: DDT.

baldilocks on February 7, 2009 at 5:52 PM

See: DDT.

baldilocks on February 7, 2009 at 5:52 PM

Amen Baldi. How many Africans and South Americans still carry or have died from Malaria because Condor eggs showed signs of thinning. I know the Condors appreciate the sacrifice all those folks made.

Go Human Race! We’re so good to each other.

hawkdriver on February 7, 2009 at 6:18 PM

I’d hit it.

…with an inflatable bat.

pleaseandthankyou on February 7, 2009 at 6:25 PM

Political terrorism undermines democracy at its roots.

This seems true in general. However, I wonder, what should we think about political violence against institutions and individuals who are themselves undermining liberal democracy?

Kralizec on February 7, 2009 at 8:15 PM

This seems true in general. However, I wonder, what should we think about political violence against institutions and individuals who are themselves undermining liberal democracy?

Kralizec on February 7, 2009 at 8:15 PM

The people of Washington waited 3 decades for the Heller decision. The fact of the matter is, it was a 30 deprivation of a constitutionally guaranteed right, but who among us would have put an end to the US as a whole in the intervening time rather than appeal to the process. Ditto the holocaust of abortion, civil rights, etc. We can–and have–ended these crimes AND keep our union and well we should.

The 1st amendment says we can petition the government for the redress of grievances. It assumes there will be grievances, the government will err, rights will be abridged…but the process to peaceable resolve these errors shall not be abridged.

Mr Snuggle Bunny on February 7, 2009 at 8:36 PM

Yippie ki-yay

29Victor on February 7, 2009 at 9:13 PM

22 years? Sweet!

And the beauty part is that she was prosecuted by the Feds which means she’ll have to do the ENTIRE sentence, not two thirds of it as any state convict would.

Urban Infidel on February 7, 2009 at 9:36 PM

U-G-L-Y

she ain’t got no alibi! She’s ugly! She’s ugly! Her momma says she’s ugly!!

(Not very nice, I know, but a lot of fun).

brushman on February 7, 2009 at 9:46 PM

She and my mother-in-law would get on famously.

I had to listen to her over the holidays for a month!

“Oh, milk has pus and blood in it! I won’t drink it!”

“Thank you for breakfast Ken, but are these organic eggs?”

“I won’t eat at Denny’s. They inject their food with antibiotics before they serve it to you so they can avoid a lawsuit. Their eggs are rotten, and their ham is dirty.”

“McDonald’s hamburger is not made from beef. It’s processed from a mixture of pork and horse.”

what. a. beyotch.

Black Adam on February 8, 2009 at 8:24 AM

The outrage about Genetically Modified is such a crock. The Euro-Morons are really aggrieved about it, too. Farmers and Ag Scientists have been managing the characteristics of plants and animals for years, so its nothing new and certainly nothing dangerous.

These lefties just hate the world and themselves. They want to take us all down with them. Nice bunch of losers that Obie loves.

billypaintbrush on February 8, 2009 at 12:00 PM

And the beauty part is that she was prosecuted by the Feds which means she’ll have to do the ENTIRE sentence, not two thirds of it as any state convict would.

Urban Infidel on February 7, 2009 at 9:36 PM

Actually, I was surprised to learn that Oregon has also done away with parole when I looked up that other terrorist, Jeff Leur.

Blake on February 8, 2009 at 12:02 PM

oh please tell me she is going to end up doing her 22 years in the Special housing unit

Mojack420 on February 8, 2009 at 12:06 PM

I despise ELF. They blew up a laboratory which had some remains of my brother, who died from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and where they were making great progress on some of the possible causes of SIDS; but ELF “mistakenly” thought that particular lab was working on “animals.”

That lab was actually several counties away from where the remains of my brother were helping researchers; so other families would not have to go through what my family went through when he died.

All research was destroyed and my brother received an undignified “cremation” at the hands of human-animals.

22 years is not long enough for any of ELF!

Branch Rickey on February 8, 2009 at 2:18 PM

Go to jail you piece o’ shit.

And I’m glad they’re calling it a terrorist act.

Dave Rywall on February 8, 2009 at 6:41 PM

ElF, Peta, radical Islam, etc. Worthless terrorist smegma. All of them are only worthy of lead poisoning when caught in the action of terror by fire/bombs or other tools of “militant” ‘tards. Gitmo sounds way to pleasant.

That Arizona dude with his tent city prison has the right approach for them, but eastern Oregon has more appropriate winters. They could get to earn coats, shoes, and gloves once they show their mad skills at refuse processing.

trl on February 9, 2009 at 7:15 AM

I’m late to the party, again.

Some people commit violent acts out of spite, some because they are intoxicated, some because they want to steal and some for political ends.

All of them can cause feelings of terror in the people they attack or target.

Can anybody explain to me why we need “terrorism” legislation?

YiZhangZhe on February 9, 2009 at 9:49 AM

22 years is not long enough for any of ELF!

Branch Rickey on February 8, 2009 at 2:18 PM

OMG RB, that is an aweful thing to have to remember.

hawkdriver on February 9, 2009 at 10:04 AM

“BR”

hawkdriver on February 9, 2009 at 10:06 AM