In 1999, Marie Mason, 46, long time environmental activist and community organizer, participated in setting fires at Michigan State University. She and her ex-husband Frank Ambrose, 33, used gasoline to burn down the Agriculture Hall at MSU. Mason in court papers admitted to being part of ELF.
In the case in which she pled guilty, she and Frank Ambrose broke into the MSU Agriculture Hall, pouring gasoline on papers, computers and the floor. Ambrose ignited the gasoline causing the gas fumes to explode setting Mason's hair on fire.
The fire destroyed records related to the government's $2 million support for the research. In the end, Frank Ambrose, who admitted to several arsons claimed by the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), did act as an informant in the case and provided a wealth of information to prosecutors.
"There was no intention to harm any living thing," Mason's defense attorney, John Minock, said in an interview. "They didn't intend to cause an explosion. They just wanted to damage some paper."
They did not intend to harm any living thing... What would have changed anything if they had killed someone? They did not intend to cause an explosion, it just happened all by itself... They were using gasoline. It is public knowledge that gasoline fumes are explosive. Everything happened exactly how they wanted except for Marie Mason scorching her hair.
Two other people were involved too. Stephanie Lynne Futz, and Aren Burthwick both accepted plea agreements on charges of failing to report the MSU arson to the proper authorities.
There was no intention of harming any living thing except for the plants that burned in the firebombing. How many times do we hear that plants and trees are living things?
Environmentalist crying for dead trees in a forest
When they set the fire, the fumes from the gasoline exploded and burned Mason's hair. Stephanie Lynne Futz helped cut Mason's scorched hair after the arson.
Marie Mason appeared in federal court in Grand Rapids to plead guilty to conspiracy and arson charges, including an incident that destroyed logging equipment in northern Michigan a day after the MSU fire. In her plea agreement, Mason also admits involvement in 12 other acts with property damage pegged at more than $2.5 million, this includes the destruction of four homes under construction in Washtenaw and Macomb counties and an attempted arson at an Ice Mountain bottled water pumping station in Mecosta County, all in 2003.
Unfortunately, Marie Mason will not be charged with those incidents, because of the terms of her plea agreement.
To make matters worse, we have an Animal Rights attorney that sides with the actions of the criminal and against the rule of law. An attorney is suppose to defend the criminal, not advocate and support the illegal actions that define the person as a criminal.
"I state with unequivocal confidence and knowledge that Marie has been absolutely stalwart in her commitment to not cooperate with the government, and to do no act that would damage the larger environmental movement in any way."
-- Lauren Regan of Eugene's Civil Liberties Defense Center, addressing the facts of Marie Mason's plea agreement
This is why people do not like lawyers, especially Liberal lawyers like Lauren Regan. Clearly, this is what she represents. Let us as a society protect the criminal element. Let us as a society keep the criminals out of prison and on the streets so they can burn down whatever they want because they feel good committing terrorist acts and other so-called "non-violent" direct actions in the name of the environmentalist movement. Allowing environmentalists to live and operate outside the law without question is acceptable, but everyone else must stay well within the law as whatever laws we do not like do not apply to us anyway.
Lawyers are supposed to support the law, not the actions of Terrorists that seek to break the law and deal out justice as they see fit, yet it appears that is exactly what Lauren Regan is doing. What else are we to infer from her statement?
What if someone wanted to destroy some paperwork and documents in Lauren Regan's office at the Civil Liberties Defense Center and therefore proceeded to firebomb the CLDC to make a point such as saving the environment? Would Attorney Lauren Regan support this action - this "Direct Action"?
Marie Mason has a website not surprisingly called Free Marie Mason. Here she states that she is "a long time environmental and social justice activist and loving mother of two." That is very interesting. The factual nature of this statement did not stop her from committing a minimum of 13 felonies that she has admitted to committing. The website is not on the internet for that purpose. The purpose is to present her case as though she is innocent of all charges and the government is on a "Witch Hunt", which is nonsense. From the environmental movement, the real criminals are the informants and anyone that helped the FBI or any other of the Law Enforcement agencies investigating the numerous arsons.
Look at the definition of "Witch Hunt".
Witch Hunt - an intensive effort to discover and expose disloyalty, subversion, dishonesty, or the like, usually based on slight, doubtful, or irrelevant evidence.
There are mountains of evidence against her. Then there is the confession and admission of guilt contained within her plea agreement. The Environmentalist would have you believe that the government has no right to pursue anyone in the Environmental Movement because everything they do is legal because of their motives and to stop them is unethical. It is not a "Witch Hunt" if it is true.
"Marie’s case is one of the latest developments in what many have dubbed the "Green Scare", a recent wave of government repression aimed at disrupting and discrediting grassroots environmental activism and criminalizing dissent."
By "many", they mean by Environmentalists that do not want to face the consequences of their actions. They are trying to equate the so-called "Green Scare" with the well-known "Red Scare" periods after WWI and WWII. It is not the same, there is a difference. During the "Red Scare" made famous by Senator Joe McCarthy, baseless accusations and innuendo without any evidence destroyed lives and careers. Here, we have convictions based on actions and admissions of guilt. Marie Mason and all the others that try to hide behind this "Green Scare" label actually committed the crimes they were found guilty of and other crimes they admitted to later. In fact, you can read all about it in her Plea Agreement.
"We believe wholeheartedly in the principle of non-cooperation."
Judge Paul L. Maloney, would you please give these people what they want - Life Sentences. They are not going to cooperate thereby proving that they are not remorseful over the crimes they have committed and the people they have hurt. In fact, they are proud of what they have done, they are proud of the crimes they have committed, and they believe fully that they are in the right and should continue to commit these terrorist acts. What is going to stop them? Putting them in prison will stop them. Trusting them on their word that they will not support or commit these acts of Terrorism in the future is not enough. They have already stated they are not willing to cooperate.
Until we start getting serious about these terrorists, the actions of these people are just going to continue until someone is seriously injured or killed. Arson is a serious crime as are the rest of the crimes that these "Environmentalists" feel entitled to commit to make a point. Marie Mason is just another criminal that thinks she is above the law.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
Updated 06 February 2009
On 05 February 2009, Marie Mason, the woman who set MSU's Agriculture Hall on fire on New Year's Eve, 1999, received her sentence of 21 years and 10 months from Chief U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney. Mason was also ordered to pay $4.1 million in restitution to the school. Judge Maloney also ordered that Mason remain on supervised release for life upon completion of her prison sentence.
She is 47 years old now and she should get out of prison when she is 69 years old. She got exactly what she deserved. When she gets out, her kids will be grown. This should be a lesson for other environmental terrorists. The question that should be asked is this - Was the arson and making the political statement in the name of the ELF worth the price that is now to be paid?
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
Updated 19 February 2012
When someone is sentenced to prison, it is hoped they will take the time to reflect on their lives and actions and make the necessary rehabilitative changes that will allow them not to make the same mistakes again when released. One fact is clear as indicated by her writings on her website supportmariemason.org that is run by friends and supporters. She is still a danger to the general population of honest, hardworking citizens. She was not imprisoned for her political beliefs as her self-proclaimed "political prisoner" status attempts to indicate. She is in prison because she is a criminal - a convicted Arsonist, plain and simple and she is where she belongs because of her criminal actions.
Marie Mason's friends and supporters actually betray her with their support. Their acceptance of the "political prisoner" characterization allows Mason to maintain the idea that the laws prohibiting arson should not apply to her and therefore will never let her accept the truth - she committed a crime. The silhouette of "political prisoner" impersonates the fallacy that she did nothing wrong - that she is in prison only because of her anarchist political beliefs. Aside of her selfish political beliefs that she should be exempt from laws she dislikes, this is a falsehood. She is not in prison for anything other than the crimes she admitted to. Until she comprehends this fact and continues to maintain the illusion that she is a "political prisoner", she will never change. In her mind and clinging to the title of "political prisoner", she will always be oppressed and wrongfully imprisoned. She will never be free to accept responsibility for her actions.
How does she answer her grandchildren's question when they say they want to burn down the neighbor's house because they got into a fight with the neighbor's kids? Is hatred of another human being justification enough? Until Mason realizes that she is not a "political prisoner", she will always cling to the lie that she is.
On 26 January 2012, Marie Mason turns 50 years old. If we can all just take a few minutes to send a card or write a letter detailing why she is not a hero, but instead a criminal that is serving time in prison where she belongs for crimes she committed of her own free will, perhaps she will one day accept that what she did wrong.
Marie Jeanette Mason
Federal Medical Center
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127
Letters from people that detest the crime(s) that landed her in prison might actually be the only thing that actually shows her what she did was wrong. At the moment, she considers herself a "political prisoner", an idea reinforced by her friends and supporters - an idea that keeps hidden the truth about her crimes. She does not seem to understand that she is actually guilty of committing arson at Michigan State University - a crime that she pled guilty to in court. Of course being an activist, she believes that any laws that get in her way, are political in nature i.e. the "political prisoner" label, and should not apply to her lifestyle.
She is not in prison for thinking a certain way or holding ideas contrary to everyone else. She is in prison for Arson, a crime which she committed with Frank Ambrose and subsequently pled guilty. In no way does this make her a political prisoner. It makes her a criminal.