I heard this on Thom Hartmann's program this morning and it stunned me. H.R. 4239 was introduced on November 4th. Its Senate companion bill (S. 3880) was passed UNANIMOUSLY in September.
Here's the summary:
Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act - Rewrites federal criminal code provisions regarding animal enterprise terrorism to prohibit anyone from traveling in, or using the mail or any facility of, interstate or foreign commerce for the purpose of damaging or disrupting an animal enterprise and, in connection with such purpose: (1) intentionally damaging, disrupting, or causing the loss of property used by or owned in connection with such enterprise; (2) intentionally placing a person in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury to that person or a family member through threats, vandalism, property damage, trespass, harassment, or intimidation; or (3) conspiring or attempting to do so. Prescribes escalating penalties.
Authorizes restitution for: (1) the reasonable cost of repeating any experimentation that was interrupted or invalidated as a result of such offense; (2) the loss of food production or farm income reasonably attributable to such offense; and (3) any other economic damage, including any losses or costs caused by economic disruption, resulting from such offense.
That's right, PETA is now a terrorist organization. In my college days, I protested (along with other students) the biology department of my university when some of the animal experiments they did and their treatment of lab animals came to light. By this definition--so purposefully vague, except for the use of the word "terrorist"--I would be considered a terrorist for my participation. And with powers the President has claimed on fighting terrorism, that student protest could leave me in jail without any rights--or much, much worse.