Does the war on terror now include a federal war on unlawful Star Wars downloads?

United States law enforcement agents raided a series of servers allegedly hosting file-sharing servers. Operation D-Elite targeted sites supporting files using the BitTorrent protocol, focusing especially on the EliteTtorrents site. “Torrents” make files available in many small sections, which increases uploading and downloading speeds.
The action follows a well-publicized complaint by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who criticized the wide availability of torrent versions of the new Star Wars movie.

According to Wired News, the Department of Homeland Security was the force behind the copyright raids:

ICE, the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, spearheaded the investigation because of its international scope.
The raids came less than a week after the Motion Picture Association of America publicly slammed BitTorrent for accelerating the spread of a pirated copy of Revenge of the Sith. According to the government, the third Star Wars prequel was available through more than six hours before it was first shown in theaters, and was downloaded more than 10,000 times in the next 24 hours. A Google cache of the site’s front page taken May 19, the day the film was released, shows administrators complaining that the site was creaking under the load of the sudden influx of Star Wars fans, and requesting donations to help fund a server upgrade. granted users varying levels of access depending on how much of their bandwidth they shared with other downloaders, with generous uploaders getting first crack at newly released content.
The Justice Department wouldn’t comment on how officials zeroed in on Elitetorrent’s biggest players, but ICE’s Sevel credited the MPAA, which somehow got a line on the site’s server logs.
“The MPAA provided us with information that led us to the logs and data for the servers … the logs for the users as well as the uploads and downloads,” said Sevel. The organization did not just provide a list of IP addresses of file swappers — which is easy to get on any peer-to-peer network — but found some of “the actual records from the server,” Sevel said.

There’s much more at BitTorrent News. And I really hope the hyperbolic rhetoric is just hyperbole, because despite my penchant for morbid sarcasm and sometimes bitter satire, I’m trying — hard — not to be an alarmist about this.
But I find myself forced to ask whether the federal government really believes such bullshit should be in any way a part of the war on terrorism.
I hope not, because I don’t want to have to rethink my support for the war.
(No word on whether the Patriot Act might be applied…..)
MORE: It’s worse than I thought. Via Glenn Reynolds, I found this trumped up nonsense on stilts, which would be comical except that certain poseurs are pretending to take it seriously:

Counterfeit DVDs and cigarettes may be funding terrorists.
That’s what the Senate Homeland Security committee heard Wednesday from John Stedman, a lieutenant in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who’s responsible for an eight-person team of intellectual property (IPR) investigators.
“Some associates of terrorist groups may be involved in IPR crime,” Stedman said. “During the course of our investigations, we have encountered suspects who have shown great affinity for Hezbollah and its leadership.”
Even though Stedman’s evidence is circumstantial, his testimony comes as Congress is expected to consider new copyright legislation this year. An invocation of terrorism, the trump card of modern American politics, could ease the passage of the next major expansion of copyright powers.

Sheesh. I’ve seen plenty of political hackery, but none crasser than this.
Why be in such a frantic hurry to get rid of freedom, anyway?
(You’d almost think they were afraid that pretty soon there won’t be any more!)
Today, DVDs and cigarettes.
If we’re not careful, the supporters of Hezbollah will go into in the oil business!