Thursday, March 21, 2013

Little Piggy Went to Market

Trey Smith

Bills being shopped in six states by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) would make it a crime to film animal abuse at factory farms or lie on job applications, in hopes of shutting down animal rights activists who infiltrate slaughterhouses to expose ghastly conditions.

“The meat industry’s response to these exposes has not been to try to prevent these abuses from taking place, but rather it’s really just been to prevent Americans from finding out about those abuses in the first place,” Paul Shapiro, spokesperson for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), told Raw Story. “What they’re doing is trying to pass laws throughout the country that don’t just shoot the messenger, they seek to imprison the messenger.”

The proposals mandate that evidence of animal abuse be turned over to law enforcement within 48 hours, or face a financial penalty.
~ from Business Lobby Moves to Criminalize Filming Animal Abuse on Factory Farms by Stephen C. Webster ~
I can just imagine the reaction of many Democratic Party stalwarts to these proposed bills. It is an outrage, they will say. The companies that condone abusive business practices want to get away with it by blocking public exposure. If these big corporations get their way, they can continue to operate in an illegal and unethical manner and it will be the investigators, not the corporations themselves, who will be punished.

While I certainly do not disagree with this analysis, I would like to point out to such Democratic Party folks that ALEC merely is following the Obama blueprint. This is precisely the strategy employed by the Obama administration in terms of whistleblowers.

As we have learned from the Bradley Manning trial, only Manning is facing consequences for exposing government hijinks and malfeasance. None of the people who directly participated in alleged war crimes has been charged with any crime. No government official who ordered these actions and/or worked to cover them up has even been investigated. The sole legal action has been against one man -- the guy who exposed it to the public.

So, my Democratic Party friends, if you're going to condemn ALEC for these proposed bills, you should also condemn the Obama administration's war on whistleblowers. If not, then you have no room to squawk.

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