Echoing our observation from earlier in the week, Chicago Daily Herald columnist Mike Jackson is wondering aloud why the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) was so adamantly opposed to a new federal law combating animal-rights terrorism:

[I]t’s interesting to see the PCRM – a group that denies any affiliation with HSUS or PETA while accepting monetary support from both – lead a protest to organize animal-rights opposition. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, incidentally, does not abridge the rights of free speech, assembly or peaceful protest.

On that last point, even PETA now agrees. After sending bulk e-mail “alerts” complaining that the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) “would make nonviolent tactics illegal” and could be used to prosecute participants in “peaceful boycotts,” the animal rights group has changed its tune. In an e-mail Wednesday to a private mailing list, PETA vice president Bruce Friedrich acknowledged:

[The] AETA will not stop legal boycotts, protests at restaurants and fur stores, and the like. It says explicitly that such activities are not illegal.