• Fighting terrorism with terror

    by  • 9 June, 2004 • Uncategorized • 3 Comments

    From BoingBoing: On June 15, a federal grand jury will convene in upstate New York to consider possible bioterrorism charges against University at Buffalo art professor Steve Kurtz and the Critical Art Ensemble, an internationally-known hactivist collective. From the CAE Defense Fund web site:

    “Early morning of May 11, Steve Kurtz awoke to find his wife, Hope, dead of a cardiac arrest. Kurtz called 911. The police arrived and, after stumbling across test tubes and petri dishes Kurtz was using in a current artwork, called in the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

    Soon agents from the Task Force and FBI detained Kurtz, cordoned off the entire block around his house, and later impounded Kurtz’s computers, manuscripts, books, equipment, and even his wife’s body for further analysis. The Buffalo Health Department condemned the house as a health risk.

    Only after the Commissioner of Public Health for New York State had tested samples from the home and announced there was no public safety threat was Kurtz able to return home and recover his wife’s body. Yet the FBI would not release the impounded materials, which included artwork for an upcoming exhibition at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

    While most observers assumed the Task Force would realize that its initial investigation of Steve Kurtz was a terrible mistake, the subpoenas indicate that the feds have instead chosen to press their “case” against Kurtz and possibly others.”

    This Washington Post article provides more background on this bizarre situation. Protests at the Court House in Buffalo and in other major cities are planned.

    I don’t know what your definition of terror is, but this fits mine completely. Realising that these guys might be walking the streets of Iraklio during the Olympic Games, with all the power handed over to them by the Greek government, really terrifies me. What if they don’t like my face? Should I better shave my beard? If you don’t hear from me for a long time, try sending a postcard to Guantanamo Bay to cheer me up. Ah, if only we could go back to the joyfull days of the Spanish Inquisition

    If you think I am exaggerating, try to put yourself for a moment in the shoes of Steve Kurtz on May 10, on the eve of the unfortunate event. Do you think he thought this possible then?

    3 Responses to Fighting terrorism with terror

    1. Paul
      10 June, 2004 at 16:52

      If you are detained, please don’t be uncooperative…

      June 9, 2004
      Army Now Says G.I. Was Beaten in Role
      LOUISVILLE, Ky., June 8 — Reversing itself, the Army said Tuesday that a G.I. was discharged partly because of a head injury he suffered while posing as an uncooperative detainee during a training exercise at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
      The Army had previously said Specialist Sean Baker’s medical discharge in April was unrelated to the injury he received last year at the detention center, where the United States holds suspected terrorists.
      Mr. Baker, 37, a former member of the 438th Military Police Company, said he played the role of an uncooperative prisoner and was beaten so badly by four American soldiers that he suffered a traumatic brain injury and seizures. He said the soldiers only stopped beating him when they realized he might be American.
      Bruce Simpson, Mr. Baker’s lawyer, said his client is considering a lawsuit.

    2. Tom Hoffman
      13 June, 2004 at 2:55


      Welcome to “Umuruku”.

      When I hear a siren, I expect a knock at the door.

      It is my belief that Umurukuns have gone out of their minds with boredom.

      Anxiety is their only relief from monotony.

      Me? I suffered some biological warfare just last night. A 24-hour flu. I’m certain Osama is responsible.

      Sorry for waking you and Yvonne up last evening. Hope you did the right thing, biological warfare wise, by her in the aftermath of my terrorist attack.


    3. Tom Hoffman
      15 June, 2004 at 3:53

      Does anyone else out there in cyberspace see the irony in the name “Kurtz”?

      Paddle up the Potomac or the Congo River. Either journey will take you to the heart of darkness. It’s all the Thames to me.

      Tom Hoffman

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