Regular readers know I don't go for conspiracy theories. But give me three instances of the powers that be portraying anti-Keystone XL activists as terrorists, and I can't help thinking we face an orchestrated corporate PR campaign.

First public officials in the Black Hills publicly portray opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline as terrorists in a fictional scenario completely unnecessary to their emergency drill.

Then well-connected journalist Bob Mercer defends that propaganda by pointing to "people in the guerilla fatigues with masks" who stood in silent protest at a State Department hearing on the pipeline in Pierre. Mercer makes no mention if the intimidation factor of burly union reps bused in from other states to the September 2011 Pierre hearing wearing t-shirts declaring their support for Keystone XL.

Now Bold Nebraska finds TransCanada documents showing that the pipeline company is waging a PR campaign to make state and local law enforcement officials view Keystone XL protestors as a terrorist threat:

TransCanada, the Canadian corporation behind the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, is providing security briefings to Nebraska authorities warning them to look into the application of "anti-terrorism laws" on people who oppose the pipeline despite the fact that no Nebraskan has committed a crime in the state in their efforts to stop the pipeline.

Bold Nebraska obtained TransCanada documents from the Nebraska State Patrol through a Freedom of Information Act request and was alarmed to discover what they describe as efforts to build distrust between Nebraska police and citizens who have organized to oppose the pipeline which threatens their air, land and water.

...The preponderance of opposition in the state has come from farmers and ranchers, whose threat level TransCanada describes as "low" while calling them "abusive and aggresive." In the presentations, dated December of 2012 but presented last month in Nebraska, TransCanada warns authorities that actions in Texas and by Anonymous could be coming to Nebraska and are "potential security concerns." They warn authorities to prepare for coming incidences of property destruction and "monkeywrenching." No such incidents have occurred in Nebraska to date [Mark Hefflinger, "TransCanada Calls Nebraska Ranchers Aggressive and Abusive, Talks of Terrorism," BoldNebraska.com, 2013.06.11].

Bold Nebraska posts TransCanada's offending anti-American propaganda for you to read and judge for yourself. But it seems the only real violence happening anywhere along the Keystone XL construction route down south is police roughing up protesters.

TransCanada uses our courts to take our property rights. Now they try to co-opt our police to take away our rights to assemble, protest, and petition. And those corporate-state tactics intimidate some people less than a couple hippies in Army jackets.