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[TechDirt] When We Call Criminal Acts 'Terrorism' We Destroy Our Rights And Sacrifice Our Principles

Every so often over the past decade or so in the "age of terrorism," someone has raised the issue of why we treat "terrorism" as somehow distinct from criminal activity. We let the intelligence community, rather than law enforcement, focus on terrorism (even as some in law enforcement -- notably, the FBI and the NYPD -- have tried to redefine their missions as being about terrorism). In the past, I've actually seen the wisdom of treating terrorism and criminal activities as separate, especially when terrorism was part of a larger, coordinated effort (especially when connected with state-level actors). However, these days, we're quick to call so much terrorism, it's really problematic. And not just because of the semantic argument. This hit home reading Hamilton's thought-provoking piece pointing out that "Terrorism Works." [...]