President Joe Biden has been working on federal efforts to combat domestic terrorism since before taking office. While he has been building up support for increased national law enforcement efforts directed at ordinary Americans, he has been busy rewarding a violent left-wing extremist with a top federal appointment.
Biden has appointed Tracy Stone-Manning to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the federal agency charged with controlling the use of nearly 250 million acres of federal land and resources. The ground under BLM oversight affects almost all aspects of many Western U.S. industries and jobs.
Stone-Manning became involved with the leftist eco-terrorist organization “Earth First!” while a graduate student at the University of Montana. Earth First! Formed the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), which the FBI later described as a “serious terrorist threat” in the early 2000s.
Earth First! and ELF have had direct connections to global ecological terrorist activities. They have endorsed or organized attacks in Chile, Germany, and the U.S. since the 1980s.
In graduate school, Stone-Manning’s thesis described a human child as an “environmental hazard” and related families with more than two children as “environmentally irresponsible.” She described livestock grazing on federal land as “destroying the West.” She has since worked for organizations opposing energy infrastructure, including oil drilling and pipelines.
Aside from her past association with radical and terrorist organizations, Stone-Manning’s nomination is facing strong opposition due to her ties to a 1989 tree-spiking plot. Tree spiking is a violent act of eco-terrorism that damages saws and causes significant injury to tree harvesters and mill workers.
In return for sworn statements that she retyped and sent an anonymous letter to the U.S. Forest Service, she received immunity from prosecution. She claimed to have written the letter on behalf of her former roommate to warn the government. The letter provided details about the plot, including driving 500 pounds of metal spikes 8 to 10 inches long into trees in an Idaho forest.
In the initial round of written answers in response to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s nomination questions, Stone-Manning denied that she had ever been the target of a criminal investigation. Then, she said she had no personal knowledge of any tree-spiking plot in her lifetime in response to follow-up questions.
Two of the guys convicted in a three conspiracy have now said that the objective and detail of the story Stone-Manning understood in advance. Fox News has also reported that she promoted a festival in 1989 that included a “tree-spiking contest.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has urged Biden to withdraw Stone-Manning’s nomination, as has every Republican member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
It seems highly unlikely that the Biden administration could have been unaware of the significant problems that Stone-Manning’s nomination is presenting. The administration’s persistence in sticking by the candidate, so far, is an indication of the radical underpinnings of the administration’s advisors.