"If You Are Not With the Polluters, You Are With the Terrorists"

Ann Coulter's recent death threat against liberals is only the latest in a string of deliberate efforts by conservative propagandists to turn the "war on terrorism" into a domestic war against people who dissent from their conservative agenda. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a long-time foe of environmentalists, is working with the PR firm of Nichols-Dezenhall to sponsor a conference that attempts to equate environmental activists with Al Qaeda. Titled "Stopping Eco-Extremism: A Conference On Legislative, Legal And Communications Strategies To Protect Free Enterprise," it is schedule to be held March 7 in Washington, DC. The CEI website claims that the conference is free and open to the public, but when Dan Barry of the Clearinghouse for Environmental Education, Action and Research attempted to register, he was turned away. "We can only imagine that the security risk comes from us exposing the true nature of their specious campaign," Barry says. (For more on propaganda uses of the war on terrorism, read "Terrorism As Pretext" in the Fourth Quarter 2001 issue of PR Watch.)