DHS Goes Full Gestapo In Response To Ongoing Protests In Oregon

from the kidnapping-our-way-out-of-the-current-crisis dept

Looks like we finally have some secret police to call our own. Ongoing protests stemming from a Minnesota police officer's brutal killing of an unarmed Black man have provoked a federal response. In some cases, the National Guard has been called in to quell the more violent and destructive aspects of some demonstrations. Others -- like the 50+ days of continuous protests in Portland, Oregon -- have been greeted with something far more frightening.

Jonathan Levinson and Conrad Wilson of Oregon Public Broadcasting were the first to break the news of unidentified federal officers yanking people off the street into unmarked vehicles and disappearing them for a few hours of interrogation.

In the early hours of July 15, after a night spent protesting at the Multnomah County Justice Center and Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, Mark Pettibone and his friend Conner O’Shea decided to head home.

[...]

A block west of Chapman Square, Pettibone and O’Shea bumped into a group of people who warned them that people in camouflage were driving around the area in unmarked minivans grabbing people off the street.

“So that was terrifying to hear,” Pettibone said.

They had barely made it half a block when an unmarked minivan pulled up in front of them.

“I see guys in camo,” O’Shea said. “Four or five of them pop out, open the door and it was just like, ‘Oh shit. I don’t know who you are or what you want with us.’”

Pettibone was grabbed by the unidentified officers, who wore nothing indicating which branch of the federal government they worked for, and shoved into a van with his hat pulled down over his eyes. He was taken to the federal courthouse (something he wasn't aware of until he was released), patted down, photographed, and had his belongings searched. After all of this, he was put into a cell where he was finally read his Miranda rights. He refused to talk to the officers and they released him about 90 minutes later. At no point was he told what he had been detained for, nor was he given any paperwork documenting his detainment.

No one appears to know for sure which branch of the federal government is taking people off the street and detaining them without probable cause. The officers performing these sweeps use unmarked vehicles and dress in camouflage uniforms that contain no identfying info that might indicate what agency they work for.

The federal government has deployed a mixture of federal agencies to cities with ongoing protests, including the US Marshals Service, CBP, ICE, and Bureau of Prisons riot officers. Presumably the DEA is in the mix as well, since it invited itself along for this anti-free-speech ride.

The DHS -- speaking through its acting secretary -- says this is justified.

The city of Portland has been under siege for 47 straight days by a violent mob while local political leaders refuse to restore order to protect their city. Each night, lawless anarchists destroy and desecrate property, including the federal courthouse, and attack the brave law enforcement officers protecting it.  

A federal courthouse is a symbol of justice - to attack it is to attack America. Instead of addressing violent criminals in their communities, local and state leaders are instead focusing on placing blame on law enforcement and requesting fewer officers in their community. This failed response has only emboldened the violent mob as it escalates violence day after day.

A long list of supposed atrocities committed by protesters follows. Most of the list details graffiti, along with low-level vandalism targeting cameras and police barriers. Also listed are activities like trespassing, doxing federal officers, and deploying laser pointers. Secretary Chad Wolf universally describes the protesters as "violent anarchists," even though there's no evidence linking protesters to coordinated activities by anarchists groups. Setting off fireworks and clashing with riot police are normal behavior during protests, but Wolf's narrative portrays these as acts of war in a clash local law enforcement agencies are losing.

Wolf says he's going to take this local action nationwide. Protesters in other cities will soon be experiencing the federal government's Stasi-esque bypassing of niceties like the need to establish probable cause before shoving people into unmarked vans and dragging them away for questioning.

With as much lawbreaking is going on, we're seeking to prosecute as many people as are breaking the law as it relates to federal jurisdiction. That's not always happening with respect to local jurisdiction and local offenses. But, you know, this is a posture we intend to continue not just in Portland but in any of the facilities that we're responsible for around the country.

The Oregon state Department of Justice has already filed a lawsuit against the federal government for its actions. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum issued this statement a few days after OPB broke the news.

I share the concerns of our state and local leaders -- and our Oregon U.S. Senators and certain Congressional representatives -- that the current escalation of fear and violence in downtown Portland is being driven by federal law enforcement tactics that are entirely unnecessary and out of character with the Oregon way. These tactics must stop. They not only make it impossible for people to assert their First Amendment rights to protest peacefully. They also create a more volatile situation on our streets.

TL;DR: the federal government's secret police are rioting.

Other civic leaders in Oregon feel the same way.

The mayor of Portland demanded Friday that President Donald Trump remove militarized federal agents he deployed to the city after some detained people on streets far from federal property they were sent to protect.

“Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said at a news conference.

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown said Trump is looking for a confrontation in the hopes of winning political points elsewhere and to serve as a distraction from the coronavirus pandemic, which is causing spiking numbers of infections in Oregon and the nation.

If Trump and Republicans don't like Governor Brown politicizing the federal response to protests, they should take a long look at their own motivations first.

If you can't read/see the tweet, it says:

Flanked by AG Barr, Pres says he's planning announcement next week on Federal action to quell violence in cities, citing Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago. He says some cities "are like war zones," and makes it partisan, saying they're run by "liberal, left-wing Democrats."

The only agency that's confirmed its presence in Portland is the CBP.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokeswoman said on Friday agents had been deployed to Portland to support a newly launched U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unit, tasked with enforcing last month’s executive order from Republican President Donald Trump to protect federal monuments and buildings.

But the DHS claims officers have not been rolling up on people in unmarked vans and dragging them to unknown locations for questioning.

A senior DHS official said officers arrested people for assaulting federal officers and vandalizing federal property, but did not provide specific cases. The official, who requested anonymity to discuss the issue, rejected the idea anyone was arrested without good cause.

“Federal officials don’t go around arresting people for no reason,” the official said. “This isn’t communist China.”

No. It's not. But that's what's happening. And it's being done with the blessing of the "law and order" president who has spent more time bashing people engaged in First Amendment activity than condemning the actions of the law enforcement officers who triggered these ongoing demonstrations. You don't have to be a Communist to enact a police state. Fascists like police states, too.

Let's step away from the secret police tactics that everyone -- including the agency overseeing the secret police -- agrees shouldn't be happening here and look at why federal agents and officers might be wandering the streets in gear that doesn't clearly indicate their agency affiliation.

It's all about dodging accountability. If arrestees and detainees don't know who's tossing them into unmarked vans, they're going to have a much more difficult time suing them for violating their rights. Sure, you can sue Does and unknown agencies but without more, it's going to be tough to keep the lawsuit alive. Detainees are being released without paperwork, ensuring there are no links between the officers doing the detaining and the rights violations they're inevitably going to be sued over.

The lack of identifying insignias makes it impossible for onlookers to testify to more than the fact that they same someone toss a Portland resident into an unmarked van and drive away. This testimony would be mostly useless in a kidnapping investigation. It's even less useful in federal lawsuits where officers and their agencies are already given a great deal of deference on top of the qualified immunity escape hatch.

But there's more to it than lawsuits. This is truly frightening even for those not being disappeared. Friends and family members who witness this happening (or are informed of it by witnesses) don't know who took the resident off the streets or who to contact to see if they can provide bail money or a ride home or even check on their well being.

Cops have been limiting personal accountability since the protests began by covering their badge numbers and removing other identifying information. The federal government's insertion of a melange of federal agencies into the mix muddies the water further, making it almost impossible for citizens to know who's coming after them or for what reason. Officers can stop people momentarily with reasonable suspicion but it requires probable cause to take them off the street and detain them for questioning. None of that appears to be in play, no matter what the DHS Secretary says. If the federal agents were so sure about the "rightness" of their actions, they wouldn't be afraid to wear agency insignias and/or identify themselves when detaining people.

This is nothing more than federal-level intimidation tacitly approved by this administration -- one that feels any local agency not actively brutalizing protesters has lost control of the situation. And the agencies involved are doing everything they can to ensure they and their officers will get away with it.

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Filed Under: cbp, chad wolf, dhs, fascism, free speech, graffiti, invasion, oregon, portland, protests, vandalism


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  • identicon
    The_LAW, 20 Jul 2020 @ 9:56am

    "With as much lawbreaking is going on, we're seeking to prosecute as many people as are breaking the law as it relates to federal jurisdiction."

    I'm totaly in favour, you can find some people fitting that description at

    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, D.C

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:10am

    Fuck Trump

    Trump has gone way too far now. It's as if he's trying to create a violent reaction by escalating this imaginary war between law enforcement and the populace. If he succeeds in declaring martial law that will be his means of staying in office long past his expiration date and naming himself the Emperor of America. Someone needs to stop this asshole by any means necessary.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:28am

      Re: Fuck Trump

      It's as if he's trying to create a violent reaction by escalating this imaginary war between law enforcement and the populace.

      Not only that, Trump is determined to paint a target on all democrats for being anti American, and anti law and order. He wants to blame them for disorder, and use secret police tactics to cement his rule. It could get really nasty if he loses the election.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:50am

        Re: Re: Fuck Trump

        It could get really nasty if [Trump] loses the election.

        Nothing compared to how nasty it could get if he wins.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 2:03pm

      Re: Fuck Trump

      Fact is, there are plenty of people willing to follow "Trump's orders" (pretty sure actual orders on tactics and such originate in other agencies), and in fact, were probably just waiting for an excuse. For years. Sure, there are always a few who are "just following orders", but there are way too many people who are down for doing this.

      To me it looks like the Feds are trying to feed the boogaloo.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 1:25am

        Re: Re: Fuck Trump

        "To me it looks like the Feds are trying to feed the boogaloo."

        It became pretty clear pretty early this year the administration - i.e. Trump and his house-trained yes-men - are looking for ANY excuse to dust off the insurrection act and make the case the US is in a state of armed revolution.

        And if they can't swing that under present conditions they need to provoke one into existence. I can't interpret what I'm seeing any differently.

        Honestly, their main problem with this might be that the only pseudo-organized factions in favor of an uprising also happen to be very solidly pro-trump. Not that this will deter the prez given that if that step is taken that'll be it for the concept of elections.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ryuugami, 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:17am

    "How do we handle protests against police brutality and unaccountability?"
    "Threaten to kill the protesters and send secret police in unmarked vans to kidnap them!"

    You gotta hand it to Trump -- in any situation, he and his cadre consistently manage to find the one approach that is guaranteed to make it worse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:54am

      Re:

      You gotta hand it to Trump -- in any situation, he and his cadre consistently manage to find the one approach that is guaranteed to make it worse.

      "The one approach" sounds like there is a set of possibilities to choose from. But more often than not, what Trump chooses to do is not an option anybody would consider possible before he does it.

      He does not as much "find" an approach that is guaranteed to make it worse, he invents it.

      Pardons for all, let'er rip.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:07am

        Donald Trump doesn’t invent approaches to make things worse. He steals them from other, more competent, less riddled-with-dementia authoritarians and claims them as his own.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          David, 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:42pm

          Re:

          I am not sure "more competent" plays much into it. I mean, those wet dream talks are not usually intentioned to be implemented.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 2:11pm

          Re:

          Dunno. This strikes me as giving Trump too much credit. He probably takes them from movies... Or maybe comic books

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Samuel Abram (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 3:52pm

            Re: Re:

            If Trumpy takes his authoritarian cues from comic books, it's from genocidal Super Villains such as Thanos and the Red Skull. Though to be perfectly frank, President Trump seems more like a comic-book Supervillain than freaking Magneto in my view; at least Magneto could arouse empathy from human beings, and not just deplorable ghouls as Trump does.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:14pm

              Re: Re: Re:

              It's been dormant for a little while, but there's a Twitter account that takes actual Trump quotes and inserts them into comic book villain panels, usually Red Skull. It's rather disconcerting how often they seem indistinguishable from the original character.

              https://twitter.com/presvillain?lang=en

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 1:30am

                Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Mark Hamill recorded quite a few of Trump's more inflammatory speeches - in the joker voice. Once I heard a few of those recordings I realized why Trump does what he does - he's been channeling the Clown Prince of Crime since day one in office.

                Go to youtube and try to find mark hamill reading donald trump's tweets.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Samuel Abram (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 9:44am

                Re: Re: Re: Re:

                That's exactly what I was referring to. Not only do I follow that twitter account, but I support their Patreon.

                The only positive aspect I could foresee in four(?) more years of President Trumpy is more ammo for President Supervillain.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Jul 2020 @ 12:41am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  The problem is the visuals and the narrative. Yeah, Trump can shoot off lines which should make him a dead ringer for Red Skull or Joker...
                  ...but then imagine either of those two spending most of their energy going off on whiny rants about how it's everyone else's fault they suck and fail.

                  And the way Trump has kept trying to make best buddies with actually successful dictators and bad guys in the world just adds another layer of pathetic to that cake, giving him the appearance of the quintessential minion looking up to the genuine Bid Bad.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:07am

      Re:

      The beatings (and abductions) will continue until morale improves (and the protests cease).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TripMN, 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      I think we had a revolution about something like this before.

      To quote King George in Hamilton -
      "I will kill your friends and families to remind you of my love."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 7:37pm

        Re: Re:

        I think a more appropriate line from that musical would be:

        So he's doubled the size of the government
        Wasn't the trouble with much of our previous government size?
        Look in his eyes
        See how he lies
        Follow the scent of his enterprise

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Paul Gregory (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:23am

    These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

    If there were reasonable articulable suspicions that a crime had been committed, was being, or was about to be committed, and they had general descriptions that the suspects, and the people who were in the vicinity met those general descriptions, doesn't that meet all the constitutional requirements for the investigative detentions?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:29am

      Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

      doesn't that meet all the constitutional requirements for the investigative detentions?

      One might expect that "meeting the requirement for a an investigative detention" would also include knowing who is detaining you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Paul Gregory (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:52am

        Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

        Are you sure? Can you point to that in a statute, or affirmed decision?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:00am

          Re: Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

          Let's start with the 4th amendment.

          If the person making the arrest refuses to identify himself/herself, under what authority are they doing so?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            icon
            Paul Gregory (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:01pm

            Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

            If the FBI is arresting a bank robber in the act of robbing a bank, and the bank robber says to the FBI - "Hey - IDENTIFY YOURSELF" and the FBI doesn't identify, does that arrest somehow become unlawful? And, further, these are Investigative detentions, weren't they?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              TripMN, 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:15pm

              Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

              Investigative detention without probable cause and jurisdiction is kidnapping. If these are federal agents making arrests outside of federal jurisdiction and without request from local law enforcement (therefore deputizing them and expanding the scope of their limited jurisdiction), then they probably don't have standing to make the arrest.

              The fact that they are doing this without any markings to indicate that they are anything other than Brown Shirts in camouflage jumpsuits is very troubling.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                icon
                Paul Gregory (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:28pm

                Re: Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

                TripMN, don't you mean "Reasonable Articulable Suspicion"? Probable Cause is required for an arrest. RAS is a lower threshold to cross.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:30pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't the

                  What about jurisdiction? You conveniently failed to mention it...

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2020 @ 9:24am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't the

                  Did you miss the part where they were thrown in jail for over an hour? Kind of sounds like they were arrested to me.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:21pm

              Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

              Can we establish how much further you want to move the goalposts before continuing this thread?

              So the FBI arrests someone - that's a big step up from what's in the article, where there's no identifying who is arresting someone and no paperwork trail.

              You keep using the phrase "investigative detention" like it makes a difference. Under who's authority are they investigating and detaining the person? The DEA? ICE? CBP?

              Or are you one of those types who will just go in a van with anybody?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 4:34pm

                Re: Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

                Only with promises of candy or claims that a forced ride is oerfectly legal.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 9:47pm

                Re: Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

                The way I see is that if that person hasn't identified themselves, and they are grabbing me by force, who is to tell me that they aren't trying to kidnap me?

                Because, you know, are the holy words "FBI/Police/DEA/DHS... you're under arrest!" so holy that other kind of criminals won't use them like backdoors to encryption?

                You know the worst part? That if someone resisted such an arrest, there would be a judge who would gladly pin "resisting arrest" to the long list of charges they'd make up.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:26pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't the

                  Things are like that in the US at the moment. Similarly, you have the right to defend yourself against any intruder into your home. But, if the intruder is a police officer who chose not to identify themselves, any attempt by you or someone in your home to defend yourself is immediately punishable by death.

                  What's sad, is that I'm thinking of at least 2 examples of the above, and there's way more than 2 examples.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:22pm

              Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

              Isn't this part of the reason why they usually wear jackets that say "FBI" in big letters on them, because without them things got messy?

              I could be wrong, but I seem to recall that the reason that policy was introduced among non-police law enforcement agencies was to avoid confusion about who was doing what.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:30am

      Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

      doesn't that meet all the constitutional requirements for the investigative detentions?

      Yes, but that risks an immediate and all out attack by the all the law enforcement people in the area.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Paul Gregory (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:53am

        Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

        How so?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:07am

          Re: Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

          Remind me again why the current protests are taking place?

          The excuse:-
          "On information received, we believed some of our number were being kidnapped, placing their lives in danger".

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:09am

      doesn't that meet all the constitutional requirements for the investigative detentions?

      If the point was to investigate the people being detained? Maybe. But that wasn’t the point of these detentions; anyone capable of performing basic acts of logic can see that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:24am

        Re:

        With no identification of the people, or even organization doing the detention and no paperwork at all, I highly doubt that these detentions pass the 5th (or 14th?) ammendment's due process requirement. So no, I very much doubt that these are constitutional acts.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Paul Gregory (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:04pm

        Re:

        If the act of whisking the detainee off the street is to PREVENT violence, which would surely happen if the officers stayed with the detainees ON the street, then doesn't that pass constitutional muster?

        Further, how do you know what the point of these detentions were? Do you have an inside source you haven't mentioned? Certainly there has been no confirmation from the government agencies...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:14pm

          Re: Re:

          Are you telling us that you think these Federal Officers are members of the Pre-Crime unit? The stories are about them taking peaceful protesters off the street. None that I have read have said anything about them about to become violent or commit a crime. How would anyone know? Investigate what, something the Fed thought they were about to do? Think probable cause, there doesn't seem to be any.

          That tells us a lot about where you are coming from. Go back.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:16pm

          If the act of whisking the detainee off the street is to PREVENT violence, which would surely happen if the officers stayed with the detainees ON the street, then doesn't that pass constitutional muster?

          No.

          how do you know what the point of these detentions were?

          When agents of the American military roaming around in unmarked uniforms kidnap an American citizen off the streets, put that citizen into an unmarked vehicle, and spend God-knows-how-long driving that citizen around and doing God-knows-what to them in what is essentially a mobile blacksite, I’m as certain as I can possibly be that the point of the detention isn’t to ask the detainee a few questions.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:30pm

            Re:

            I'm old enough to remember things like this being used as the reason why the US was mired in wars against communism. Now, the same Americans who would support anything Reagan did to defeat the USSR for this reason are now making excuses for it happening on their own soil. Sad.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          bob, 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:17pm

          Re: Re:

          If there hasn't been any confirmation that a government agency is doing this then that means non-authorized people are physically kidnapping you. Vigilantism is illegal last I checked because only the government was given authority to detain someone. So why aren't you mad that the people in the van are breaking the law?

          If people defend themselves by attacking and killing one of the people in the van it would be completly justified because without identification the people kidnapping you have no authority to take anyone.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:28pm

          Re: Re:

          Further, how do you know what the point of these detentions were?

          Well, if there was paperwork or an agency to ask, we might know...

          Certainly there has been no confirmation from the government agencies...

          Is this you finally understanding the problem? How do you know they're government agencies?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 9:49am

          Re: Re:

          If the act of whisking the detainee off the street is to PREVENT violence, which would surely happen if the officers stayed with the detainees ON the street, then doesn't that pass constitutional muster?

          The constitution details what the government is allowed to do. Anything not explicitly permitted by the constitution (or indirectly, by a statute which is enacted under powers granted by the constitution), the federal government is not permitted to do. So even without getting into violations of things the government is specifically forbidden from doing (which there are plenty of here), I'm not aware of any constitutional provision permitting federal agents to detain innocent people in order to prevent them from committing a crime. Are you?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Paul Gregory (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 11:16am

            Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

            Everyone is innocent until convicted. Yes?
            Does that mean no one can be detained or arrested (because they are innocent)? No?

            They had RAS (there is absolutely no question about that - they ALREADY WITNESSED FELONIES) and they had someone who they believed committed one of those crimes, I an pretty sure that this qualifies as an investigative detention.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 11:37am

              Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

              So what was the problem with officers identifying themselves in that case?

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                icon
                Paul Gregory (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 11:50am

                Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

                They are not required to. If they were required to identify themselves, you know, like legally, for a detention, they would have.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2020 @ 12:06pm

                  Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

                  They are not required to.

                  And am I required to just go blindly with someone who I can't identify?

                  Didn't you learn "stranger danger" as a child?

                  Or even better - would you tell your kids this kind of thing is OK?

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                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 10:31pm

                    Re: Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

                    You're being abducted off the street by unidentified strangers for no given reason to be transported to an unknown location for an unspecified amount of time, and any attempt to fight back could get you legally murdered. What could possibly be the problem with this? /s

                    As I've said before, I'm old enough to remember the US fighting multiple wars against countries expressly because they did this sort of thing.

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                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 10:27pm

                  Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

                  ...and again, you're too dumb to understand the many, many problems with this.

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                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Jul 2020 @ 12:48am

                  Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

                  "They are not required to. If they were required to identify themselves, you know, like legally, for a detention, they would have."

                  We'll take note that you'll be teaching your children that if a strange man in a coat drags them into an unmarked van and drives off they shouldn't make a fuss because it's probably a federal agent with due cause.

                  Now, in the real world where the rest of us live a person who refuses to identify himself, trying to abduct you under duress, and refuses to inform you of who they are and what they want with you is by every definition a kidnapper.

                  Did you grow up in a nation where it's somehow acceptable to get the treatment above, then be held in an undisclosed location and subsequently released without ever receiving any information what they held you for? If so I'm happy you got out of NK or Soviet Russia in time.

                  But last I checked that shit should not fly in the US.

                  Then again why do I even bother. When US news agencies twittered the preamble to the US constitution the pro-trump brigade started railing about how the news were against the president. It tells us all we need to know about you people.

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                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 22 Jul 2020 @ 7:34am

                  Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

                  They are not required to. If they were required to identify themselves, you know, like legally, for a detention, they would have.

                  You're actually saying that what the police did must be legal since the police did it, and they cannot break the law. That didn't work for Nixon, and it doesn't work here.

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                  • icon
                    Uriel-238 (profile), 22 Jul 2020 @ 12:40pm

                    The lord's guards cannot break the law

                    This is a problem way older than that, in which laws were made and broken at the whims of liege lords and enforced on the peons by (drunken) yeomen. The whole point of making a system that wasn't a stratified feudal hierarchy and upheld a single code of law for everyone was our inability to resist abusing power.

                    Today, abuses manifest abundantly wherever power is consolidated, including law enforcement, state officials, plutocrats and corporate upper management.

                    (Marx said this is why Communism is the next step, but we still don't know how to get there.)

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                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Jul 2020 @ 3:19am

                      Re: The lord's guards cannot break the law

                      "Marx said this is why Communism is the next step, but we still don't know how to get there."

                      Nor would we want to. Communism is the optimal, perfectionist approach to the division of wealth and labor - which makes it the shoe-in option as soon as we find a population consisting of people all functioning in a distinctly non-human way of machine-like perfection.

                      "Communism" is how a well programmed computer allocates resources like RAM and CPU cycles. Actual people can't function that way.

                      Personally I'd settle for a primarily capitalist society where government actually fulfills it's role as arbiter and the tax money goes to the shared infrastructure and services everyone needs.

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                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 23 Jul 2020 @ 3:35am

                        Re: Re: The lord's guards cannot break the law

                        ""Communism" is how a well programmed computer allocates resources like RAM and CPU cycles. Actual people can't function that way"

                        Yes, the reason why any attempt to implement communism in the real world fails so badly is human nature. It's great in theory, but once you start inserting things like greed, the corruption of power and bigotry into the mix things get messy very quickly.

                        "Personally I'd settle for a primarily capitalist society where government actually fulfills it's role as arbiter and the tax money goes to the shared infrastructure and services everyone needs."

                        In other words, democracy kept in check with socialism. The hybrid system proven to work best in the real world so far, although the exact mix is something that will always be fought over.

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                        • icon
                          Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Jul 2020 @ 11:44am

                          Broken by Human Nature

                          The thing is, any ideological framework is going to be broken by human nature. The US is a living example of the failures of capitalism and representative democracy failing.

                          These are all basic models that have to be tweaked and balanced to accommodate for human nature. So while I have no preference for communism, I don't think it is entirely devoid of useful ideas.

                          The problem remains that we can only reset a civilization after a successful penetration through conflict and strife as we wrest power from those who attained it over the rest of us.

                          How do we fix this? How do we make a system in which reformation doesn't end the usual bloodbath? How do we make a system in which a reboot doesn't come with a cost so dear that we're willing to tolerate a return to feudalism or fascism rather than reform? US democracy isn't it, neither are any of the democracies in position today.

                          There's also the possibility that the human ape just can't feasibly organize that well, that our chances of a global egalitarian society are the same as a band of chimpanzees developing advanced banking. Our susceptibility to demagogy and personal greed may be a great filter that keeps us from colonizing into space.

                          I hope not though.

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                          • icon
                            Upstream (profile), 23 Jul 2020 @ 12:34pm

                            Re: Broken by Human Nature

                            Yes, as long as bad people get in power, all the best systems and checks and balances are meaningless. How to keep the bad, evil, corrupt power freaks out? Good question. It appears no one has found a good answer so far. All we can do is keep trying. Trying = hope. Quit trying = all is lost.

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                          • icon
                            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Jul 2020 @ 5:45am

                            Re: Broken by Human Nature

                            "The US is a living example of the failures of capitalism and representative democracy failing."

                            Actually I'd argue that the primary problem with the US is that it has never really had a functioning capitalist economy. Can you recall, at any point, any single era in the US where the "market" hasn't been dominated by pseudo-feudal or monopolist structures?

                            Meanwhile in europe capitalism works because the government arbitrates and administers the core rules every corporation has to work with. Even China is more capitalist than the US. By far.

                            Adam Smith always assumes that the market will be one where the market forces are free to act. This is manifestly not the case in a market where a few actors use superior leverage to run smaller competitors off the market altogether or are free to extort the consumer with natural monopolies.

                            "I don't think it is entirely devoid of useful ideas."

                            It's not. Marx was in many ways a visionary and a genius. His analysis of kapitalism - Das Kapital - is still, today, used in political science and economy classes. The problem only came when Marx decided to push for a better way - which conveniently ignored all the frailties of the human condition.

                            Several european hybrid styles of government use a communist approach to handling infrastructure and environmental protections, for instance, while still running a healthy marketplace on every service which doesn't hold a natural monopoly. This mixed approach is what is normally understood as socialism. Ironically the US is riddled with socialist subsidies of this kind covering market shortfalls.

                            "...that our chances of a global egalitarian society are the same as a band of chimpanzees developing advanced banking."

                            The main issue is that although we've developed abstract thinking our reactions to perceived threats and incentives are still on par with the chimp. We're hideously shortsighted, impulse-driven, and are all too willing to overlook long-term consequences in favor of short-term gain. If humans were able to plan for where they wanted to be 30 years down the line some 90% of our problems would vanish.

                            "Our susceptibility to demagogy and personal greed may be a great filter that keeps us from colonizing into space."

                            I can honestly say that I think an actually advanced civilization noticing a swarm of inherently self-destructive sentient vermin like humanity trying to claw itself out of its gravity well might just react by sending a few dinosaur killers along for good and valid reason. As a species we act with all the rationality of a rat swarm.

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                      • icon
                        nasch (profile), 23 Jul 2020 @ 7:31am

                        Re: Re: The lord's guards cannot break the law

                        which makes it the shoe-in option

                        That's "shoo-in".

                        https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/shoo-in

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2020 @ 6:36pm

                  Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

                  They are not required to.

                  Or. Rev. Stat. § 133.245 disagrees.

                  (1) A federal officer may arrest a person:
                  (a) For any crime committed in the federal officer's presence if the federal officer has probable cause to believe the person committed the crime.
                  (b) For any felony or Class A misdemeanor if the federal officer has probable cause to believe the person committed the crime.
                  ...
                  (2) The federal officer shall inform the person to be arrested of the federal officer's authority and reason for the arrest.

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            • icon
              nasch (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 11:39am

              Re: Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

              Yeah what he said. If this was totally above board, why would they not 1) identify themselves and 2) provide some paperwork about the detention?

              They had RAS (there is absolutely no question about that - they ALREADY WITNESSED FELONIES)

              They saw these specific people committing felonies? Or they saw someone committing felonies?

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              • icon
                Uriel-238 (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 11:48am

                Seeing a felony in progress

                One of the rumors is they were targeting people dressed in black, but the navy guy who was beaten up just came out to offer a reasonable voice. They just started clubbing him and and then pepper sprayed him in the face.

                He was hospitalized for broken bones. According to him, they were picking on people at random and weren't using any visible strategy.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 1:42am

      Re: These were Investigative detentions, weren't they?

      "...doesn't that meet all the constitutional requirements for the investigative detentions?"

      Not really, no.

      Generally speaking, in every country, but notably so the US, a failure by law enforcement to identify themselves provides legal reason for citizens to defend themselves.
      Secondly, any arrest made without levying some form of charge or suspicion is not a legal arrest - it's just kidnapping.

      And this remains true no matter what form of reasonable suspicion the law enforcement officer can levy.

      This is why the first words out of a law enforcement officer's mouth when acting is "Police/FBI! You're under arrest!", combined with a clearly visible uniform.

      What the DHS just did is forbidden in the constitution of many nations, including that of the US and Germany - in the latter with the justification that anonymous unfounded arrests without legal counsel or explained charges are the way of the Gestapo and not that of an enlightened nation.

      Are you seriously trying to defend secret arrests on top of the secret tribunals allowed for under the patriot act? In the US?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:31am

    We spent 8 long years hearing about overreach, Obama stealing your freedoms, and so on and so forth.

    Then a guy comes along, literally does this, and the same people cheer.

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    • identicon
      Not THAT AC, 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:36am

      Re:

      No - Obama was threatening my freedoms. Trump is threatening yours, and I don't care about you ...

      /S
      (Arrrghh that I need to put that)

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:03pm

      Re:

      No worries, I distinctly remember an AC a while back saying that it was vital that they have their guns to keep an abusive government in check, I'm sure now that the government is kidnapping people off the streets in unmarked vehicles and out of uniform government agents they will sure to join in on the protests, rather than show that they are quite happy with some types of abusive governments and it was all hot air.

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Jul 2020 @ 6:46am

        Re: Re:

        "No worries, I distinctly remember an AC a while back saying that it was vital that they have their guns to keep an abusive government in check..."

        True enough though. If the feds come to their door they'll start shouting and shooting. Up until that point though, they don't really care if the feds level the city they live in with the ground.

        You are mistaking their statement that they are armed so they can resist the government for a statement that they give a rat's ass about what the government does to everyone else.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 22 Jul 2020 @ 11:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Fair enough, it does make a lot more sense when you narrow the scope of those claims to 'government abuse that I personally experience, because fuck everyone else so long as I'm okay.'

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          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 22 Jul 2020 @ 12:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            My understanding would be the next step for a community militia (not the state National Guard) would be to engage in mischief which is to say behind-the-lines sabotage, harassment, petty warfare, PSYOPS, even interdiction... all the stuff guerilla forces do that standing regimes like to (often wrongly) call terrorism.

            The gun in this case is not a direct tool for the operations themselves, but as a weapon to help get out of a scrape when the operation goes sour.

            While it's possible to stand against a SWAT raid, to protect one's home, successes are rare, and failures often escalate to all the inhabitants getting killed. But our constitutional framers were very familiar with the usefulness of guerilla tactics, above, and a militia organized well enough to actually pull it off.

            I wouldn't count on our louder NRA members to assemble into such a militia, but some will listen to vets, and we have some militias that are in various stages of preparedness, often frightened of enemies they don't understand (e.g. liberals, globalists, communists, illegal aliens, extraterrestrial aliens).

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Jul 2020 @ 5:51am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "My understanding would be the next step for a community militia (not the state National Guard) would be to engage in mischief which is to say behind-the-lines sabotage, harassment, petty warfare, PSYOPS, even interdiction..."

              Already happening. We already have confirmation that a number of white supremacist - or, as they like to call themselves, alt-right organizations pretending to be antifan activists planning violence on social media - and getting caught by police with molotovs, trying to mix into BLM marches.

              I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a number of them taking the opportunity to abduct a few black people for a proper lynching under the pretense of being DHS agents, just to really stir the pot.

              I admit to being charitable in assuming the DHS agents and the white supremacists in the above scenario will be different people.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:32pm

      Re:

      There's a phrase that keeps coming up about the current Republican party, especially Trump - "every accusation is a confession". When they're accusing others of doing something, it's usually a sign that one of them is actually doing it or planning to in the near future.

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Jul 2020 @ 3:26am

        Re: Re:

        "There's a phrase that keeps coming up about the current Republican party, especially Trump - "every accusation is a confession"."

        Shifting the blame is a very old bit of political subterfuge, extensively recorded in old roman and greek memoirs. It's the chosen method of a veteran thief in danger of getting caught immediately pointing their finger and loudly proclaim "Look! They stole the MacGuffin!" in the hope that they'll be able to make off with the goods in the resulting mess.

        Or in the case of the body politic, make sure to blame your adversaries for your own messes in the past, present and future.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:36am

    I hope someone has the guts to be picked up by one of these vans with multiple cameras live streaming, and put the occupants under citizens' arrest for breaking the law. It would be interesting to see the reactions of the occupants, being formally notified that they are breaking federal and state law, and are to turn themselves in to the city police immediately.

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    • icon
      Paul Gregory (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:56am

      Citizens arrest?

      Good luck with that... Not only will this person lose, but, there would be liability for filing a false statement.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 2:08pm

        Re: Citizens arrest?

        What false statement

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 2:17pm

        Re: Citizens arrest?

        Announcing your status as police - or failing to - has been a factor in a number of fatal no-knock warrant entries. The home owner assumes rightly that it is a home invasion. Someone in the house dies (sometimes but not often an officer). Body cameras or the homeowner's surveillance system prove the officers did not announce themselves. Breonna Tayler, Duncan Lemp, more.

        I know of nothing that would make "being grabbed by thugs in camo gear" anything other than a kidnapping until they identify themselves. And until that "identify" point, a citizen's arrest and the consequent defending of the person being kidnapped is still justifiable.

        The prosecutor would still throw the case out, of course, through intimidation, ennui, or insufficient evidence. But you're much more likely to force identification out of the putative kidnappers. ... for whatever good you can do with that.

        How does "filing a false statement" come in to it?

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          icon
          Paul Gregory (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 4:37pm

          Re: Re: Citizens arrest?

          My understanding, from the video's I have seen, is that the word POLICE is plainly visible on their uniforms. Is that not the case? My understanding again, is that this is the minimum requirement for identification as a police officer (with perhaps a badge displayed after an arrest has been affected). My understanding is that the FBI, DHS, CBP, and most federal agencies, do not have identifying numbers on their badges. But again, under powers granted federal agencies post 9/11, you can be snatched off the street, thrown into a dark hole, no habeas corpus, until you rot, under a Presidential declaration of terrorism. Even a sealed Executive Order, which you never get to see. My advice, is not to be anywhere near people who are destroying, or are attempting to destroy, federal buildings.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 4:51pm

            And what happens when these unmarked, untagged, unidentified federal law enforcement officials start rounding up people who aren’t “near people who are destroying, or are attempting to destroy, federal buildings”? What will you do to defend these tactics when they’re being carried out against peaceful protesters whose only crime is criticizing the government?

            You might want to read “Who Are Those Guys?” from the blog The Weekly Sift, then reëxamine how you feel about whether this motley crew of federal agents — agents who, in the grand scheme of things, answer only to the authority of the sitting president of the United States — should have the right to kidnap people off the street and keep them in mobile blacksites for hours at a time. If you can still defend and justify what is the closest thing to military action against American citizens on American soil that most people have ever seen in their lifetime, I don’t know what else to tell except “pray to whatever God you chose that they never have cause to think you’re in need of ‘detention’ ”.

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          • icon
            Toom1275 (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 7:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Citizens arrest?

            My understanding, from the video's I have seen, is that the word POLICE is plainly visible on their uniforms. Is that not the case?

            You can also buy "Police" patches for your own halloween costumes quite easily on the internet.

            My advice, is not to be anywhere near people who are destroying, or are attempting to destroy, federal buildings.

            Do you have any advice that isn't moronic?

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 8:52pm

              You can also buy "Police" patches for your own halloween costumes quite easily on the internet.

              And therein lies one of the biggest fears about this whole situation: What happens when no one can tell the difference between unmarked federal agents and civilians cosplaying as unmarked federal agents and both groups start snatching up American citizens from the streets?

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:35pm

                Re:

                Same as happens now when someone decides to do a no-knock raid. You have to make a split second decision whether to defend yourself, and the police can happily kill you without consequences if you made the wrong choice.

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  • icon
    virusdetected (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:47am

    A clever end run around posse comitatus...

    With "acting field general" Wolf leading the charge.

    Posse comitatus ((18 U.S.C. § 1385) applies to the Army and Air Force and limits the powers of the federal government in the use of federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the United States. At the time was it was enacted (1878) no one could have imagined that the U.S. would have law enforcement officers equipped (but not trained) like soldiers. It's difficult to imagine now, frightening, and seemingly intended to reinforce a false narrative about "violent anarchists."

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 10:59am

    re:

    If your home was under attack from a mob, and the local police refused to do anything about it, I bet you would want the feds to come in and protect you. The local authorities should do their jobs and stop the riots. If they can't do it, then they can't complain when someone else does it for them.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:05am

      Re: re:

      I'd still want them to do it legally. I wouldn't want police to show up hours later and randomly arrest anyone they thought was in the mob without reason.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:12am

      Re: re:

      If they can't do it, then they can't complain when someone else does it for them.

      Tell me, are we going to look back on this stupidity as a good idea once random groups of citizens (perhaps Antifa because it makes conservatives empty their bowels faster than a gallon of liquified ex-lax) also start arming themselves, driving around in vans and randomly grabbing Blue Lives Matter protesters, for example and taking them away?

      That's what I'm waiting for because that's when the real comedy starts.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:18am

        I think you have more to worry about on the “kidnap people in broad daylight” side of things from the 2A militias who love carrying around their guns in public and dressing in unmarked military fatigues than you ever will from an antifascist. Like, that kind of tactic is actually, factually, literally what antifascists fight to stop/prevent from happening.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:14am

      Re: re:

      Every deployment of tear gas against unarmed protestors, every beating delivered, every protestor abducted, only ensures that the protests will go on.

      If they wanted the protests to end, the feds would pack up and leave town. Or, at the very least, stop behaving violently.

      Therefore, that's not what the feds want.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 8:59pm

        Re: Re: re:

        Yep, exactly.

        This is his dress rehearsal for November, when he will use his secret police to repress voting in democratic strongholds.

        The one he really wants, and he has already mentioned it, is Milwaukee, as Wisconsin is a swing state, and is an absolute must win for him.

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    • identicon
      Mike, 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:18am

      Re: re:

      Protests != "The Riots"

      A competent leader would only send feds in to protect the protesters (especially if the protests are against overly aggressive policing), not to black bag them.

      I suppose another valid reason to send in federal agents is if the state/city leadership asked for help.

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    • icon
      steell (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:37am

      Re: re:

      I think you would be more at home in China or some other authoritarian state, in this country the Feds can only enforce Fed Law not local laws.

      Also, you would lose your bet, Me and mine will protect ourselves, I'll call the local cops to pick up the bodies afterwards

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    • identicon
      David, 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:49pm

      Re: re:

      If they can't do it, then they can't complain when someone else does it for them.

      Sure sounds like a return to lynching.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 2:10pm

      Re: re:

      These are mostly protests. "Riots" are localized and generally the result of police behavior.

      If they can't do it, then they can't complain when someone else does it for them.

      Uh, they sure as fuck can.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 2:20pm

      "If your home was under attack from a mob"

      That's what happened, more or less, except the attacking mob was the police. And that was a clarion call to the militia.

      And then the feds came and supported the first mob against the militia.

      Wait...didn't we see this before way back in the 18th century? Didn't someone pen a strongly worded letter about it?

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      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 3:58pm

        Re: "If your home was under attack from a mob"

        A propos of your link, remember on July 4, 2017, when the NPR twitter account live-tweeted the Declaration of Independence and the Trumpkin snowflakes were so offended that they thought it was referring to Trump?

        When you can't tell the difference between the sitting POTUS and King George III, maybe-just maybe-the POTUS is unamerican.

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    • icon
      BernardoVerda (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 2:37pm

      Re: re:

      Nice story bro -- but let's stick to actual facts here, mmm'kay?

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  • icon
    Celyxise (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:04am

    2nd Amendment

    Where are all the 2nd amendment people when we need them? The government is literally picking people off the street in unmarked gear. Isn't the whole point of the 2nd that the populace can protect itself from it's government if necessary?

    Police would either be forced to identify themselves as such, or face the consequence of being anonymous kidnappers in the presence of armed citizens.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:15am

      Oh, the 2A militias and such care about tyranny and dictators…when they’re the ones who feel threatened. When the tyranny happens to other people — when the dictator targets the people those militias see as “the enemy” or the “Repugnant Cultural Other”? Militias hear you; militias don’t care. They’re not concerned with what happens under a tyranny from which they’re exempt.

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    • identicon
      Pixelation, 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:35am

      Re: 2nd Amendment

      Next up...

      "Well your honor, I thought it was Antifa grabbing me off the street, so I shot them, I was afraid for my life."

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      icon
      Koby (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:42am

      Re: 2nd Amendment

      Where are all the 2nd amendment people when we need them?

      An interesting conundrum: left wingers want to outlaw firearms, but then complain when the right wing 2nd amendment crowd doesn't stick up for them. Left wingers might choose to arm themselves for future conflicts, but of course that would then go against their own values.

      Perhaps you the enemy of your enemy isn't automatically your friend.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:03pm

        left wingers want to outlaw firearms

        Flag on the play — bullshit conclusion, 15 yard penalty, turnover on downs.

        You may have some “left-wingers” who want to “outlaw firearms”. But you’ll probably find far more who are okay with the idea of Americans having access to guns in a controlled way. Limits on the number of guns someone can own, limits on the kinds of guns someone can buy, requirements for licenses to legally carry a gun, restrictions on who can legally own a gun (e.g., “no domestic abusers”) — all reasonable avenues for gun control that can be debated without going into “tHeY wAnT tO tAkE mUh GuNs!” territory.

        That you assume calls for gun control equal “take all the guns!” is either a genuine fault in your thinking or a disingenuous load of bullshit designed to troll people. Which one is it for you, Mr. “I refuse to say whether the law should force Twitter to host Klan propaganda”?

        complain when the right wing 2nd amendment crowd doesn't stick up for them

        Yeah, and there’s a reason for that: Said 2A crowd loves to talk a big game about standing up to tyranny and preventing dictators from rising to power and whatnot. But what happens when “their side” imposes the tyranny, when “their guy” becomes the dictator? They cheer it on.

        How many “MUH GUN RIGHTS, MUH SECOND AMENDMENT” people do you think are marching with people protesting police violence? Because I would bet that the number is low, if not altogether zero. They don’t care if the cops start beating up on “the enemy”. They don’t care about fascism, about tyranny and dictators, until they feel that they’re the targets.

        2A militias who don’t want to be called on their hypocrisy might want to consider not being hypocrites. Standing by and watching literal Gestapo tactics being used against their fellow citizens makes them hypocrites. Protesting facemask mandates by storming state capitols with their guns out instead of marching on the front lines of protests against state-sanctioned police violence makes them hypocrites. If they don’t want their cowardice called out, I can think of a simple solution to help them avoid being called cowards.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 2:40pm

          The big US gun convo

          To be fair, the most news media and op-ed media positions regarding guns rights / gun control feature the extremes. Either ban all guns! or I will open carry while drunk and you can't stop me! and both of these extremes believe, curiously that the second amendment extends to actually inflicting or threatening violence.

          As a result it's really easy for anyone with opinions to point to the radical opposition position as a convenient strawman.

          I'm pretty sure most of us want gun ownership to come with a requirement of an adult attitude regarding those owned weapons (also recognizing that murder with a gun is still murder and a capital offense). Much of the challenge is working out when individuals are at risk of not being adult about their gun, such as when it becomes too convenient a suicide method, and then enshrining these nuances into law.

          Law is often not very nuanced.

          If someone is compelled to exercise his (her) right to bear arms with appropriate safety and restraint, he should be welcome to military weapons including bombs and artillery (not that the ordinary civilian would have much use for either). But the problem is getting the entire country to agree what those levels of safety and restraint are, and how to enforce them.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:44pm

          Re:

          What's fun about Koby's tiny little mind is that not only can he not grasp the actual words said by the "left" nor the complexities of the arguments being made in reality, he'd probably be that first to decry protestors in Portland for actually arming themselves in the way his right-wing fantasies says that his friends do.

          His government is deploying tear gas on peaceful protests that get in the way of Trump's photo ops and kidnapping citizens off the streets. Either he's fine with tyranny, or he still doesn't have the balls to fight it with all those weapons he claims his friends have to fight it. Cowards, or fascists?

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      • icon
        Celyxise (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:38pm

        Re: Re: 2nd Amendment

        Let's just ignore your assumptions and straw men for a minute and address the part where you think you are being clever:

        Perhaps you the enemy of your enemy isn't automatically your friend.

        Care to elaborate who these "enemies" in your mind are?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 5:30pm

        Re: Re: 2nd Amendment

        "I'm not a right-winger," lisped Koby, "But I sure as heck will act passively aggressively for their sake if their honor might be impugned."

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:41pm

        Re: Re: 2nd Amendment

        You know, the real world is a widely documented place that is full of nuance and complexities your simplistic mind has not grasped yet. Stop believing in fairy tales.

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 2:07am

        Re: Re: 2nd Amendment

        "An interesting conundrum: left wingers want to outlaw firearms, but then complain when the right wing 2nd amendment crowd doesn't stick up for them."

        That whoosh! you may have heard was the argument flying right over your head.

        It's not that left-wingers look for the gun crowd to defend them. It's that the one, ubiquitously used argument the gun crowd has been hauling out every time the 2nd amendment has been attacked - with religious zeal - has been the constitutional argument that the citizenry needs to be armed to defend itself against abusive government.

        Hence why so many left-wingers are now looking for the litmus test of that argument. Where are all the gun nuts claiming they needed their guns to protect themselves from the government? Apparently all at home hugging their guns while the unarmed citizens are in the streets catching the rubber bullets and inhaling the pepper spray.

        Maybe it's just me not being an american and having little skin in the debate...but I personally realized long ago that where the left wing believes in a united citizenry and assumes people will flock to causes, most of the pro-2A crowd is individualist to the point that if the US ever did go full dictatorship the gun nuts would all just be ten thousand families all bunkering down individually to be picked off or ignored at leisure.

        What every left-winger or normal old school conservative fails to grasp at all is that most of the guys clinging to their guns don't give two hoots about "society" as a whole. As long as no one comes for their guns and they're left alone they don't give a shit if the government were to round up and executes everyone else. The literal embodiment of "Fuck you, got mine".

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2020 @ 6:39am

          Re: Re: Re: 2nd Amendment

          I fear you are being over-generous to the "2A crowd". I've seen plenty enough examples of such types will to die (or rather, kill) to protect the precious 2nd amendment rights but who pretty much spit on other constitutional rights (Due process? Who needs it? Permanent copyright? What's the problem?). They aren't just focused on only themselves and to hell with society, they're also focused on their guns, and to hell with the rest of the constitution. And even on guns, they're more concerned with their own paranoid delusions (we have a right to guns so that we can defend ourselves) than what the constitution actually says. Oh, and they also tend to be "constitutional literalists" who reject all legal precedent that doesn't agree with their narrow prejudices.

          That may be overly broad, there are plenty of gun huggers who transcend that description. But then again, there are plenty who don't.

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Jul 2020 @ 12:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 2nd Amendment

            "That may be overly broad, there are plenty of gun huggers who transcend that description. But then again, there are plenty who don't."

            I think it's the other way around, really. If you happen to be the sort of fellow who has no principles other than "Me First. Fuck anyone else" projection alone will make those sad sacks assume everyone else is as massive a douche as they are.

            And so they hug guns because since they themselves have neither conscience, principles or morals they assume the same of everyone else.

            I'm actually far more OK with someone who hugs his guns just because, well, he likes guns. Rather than the guy who earnestly believes, with all his heart, that he needs guns because unless he can deter with violence his neighbors will come and eat his children - because that's what he himself would do, if he was feeling peckish and could get away with it.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:09pm

      Re: 2nd Amendment

      Where are all the 2nd amendment people when we need them?

      On the sidelines cheering the government on and exposing that they're nothing more than hypocritical blowhards, because the government's power is being used against The Other and that's never an abuse of power in the mind of those sorts of people.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 2:14pm

        Re: Re: 2nd Amendment

        Except for the subgroup ironically cheering on both sides, hoping for a civil war. They want to step in and eliminate the current government, and all the black people, brown people... anyone who isn't their fave.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 12:00pm

          Boogaloo boys

          The people hoping for a civil war remind me a bit of the phenomenon with unseasoned soldiers, eager to get on the front line, taste war and get their first kill.

          Commonly the sentiment doesn't last past the first encounter with live hostiles who shoot back.

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 2:25am

        Re: Re: 2nd Amendment

        "...because the government's power is being used against The Other and that's never an abuse of power in the mind of those sorts of people."

        That's giving a bit too much credit. Quite a lot of the divide in understanding here comes from the background assumption and values. Here, let me illustrate;

        Left-winger, old school conservative, liberal, and the generally educated: "This overreach by the government is dangerous and infringes on core principles the founding fathers/human rights decided must not be infringed for good and valid reason. Lest we forget what happens when they first come for the <minority you do not represent yourself> and where that logic ends."

        Individualistic gun rights advocate, libertarian, neo-conservative, and all the general bigots: "I don't give a rat's ass about black guys, women, gays, mexicans, jews, asians or that bastard Fred who owns the local drugstore. They're not me. They're not my kin or family. For all I care the government can haul'em all off and drop'em in a deep hole. Fuck'em. If some federal puke shows up at my door to take my guns or put cuffs on me I'll put a hole in his head, but until that happens I don't care if they napalm the friggin' city."

        A few of them might indeed be cheering. Some might be drooling because the KKK finally gets official recognition again or they smell promise in the political wind that the reich (or the south) may rise again. But to a great many of the most avid gun nuts, "society" is what happens to other people they don't really care about to begin with. Why would they be out there bearing arms in favor of someone else?

        They keep saying it and no one really listens. When the 2A crowd demonstrates they're out there defending their rights. Their rights. Not someone else's. THAT is the fundamental cognitive divide between the current left wing and the current right wing.

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  • icon
    JoeDetroit (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:43am

    The real reason for this

    The real reason for these tactics is not to protect property & quell violence. Quite the opposite. This is planned & designed (not by Orange Face) to escalate the violence. They need the riots to return & get crazier so they can claim only by voting for the oranged faced man can we have law & order.

    The truth is just the opposite. Removing that buffoon from office would likely quiet things down quite a bit.

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    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:00pm

      Re: The real reason for this

      That quiet may depend upon whether he actually goes, assuming he loses both the popular and Electoral College votes. Apparently he won't commit:

      "President Trump won't agree to accept 2020 election results as Biden leads in polls — 'I have to see'"

      If he does not in fact step down after losing, things will get a whole lot messier. The first question in my mind, will the military follow their commitment to uphold the constitution rather than follow the orders from the (then) ex Commander in Chief

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:12pm

      Donald Trump can’t point to a stronger economy as a reason for his reëlection; COVID-19 wiped out in a couple of months all the gains he achieved over three years. He can’t point to any legislative or policy wins; he didn’t get rid of Obamacare and the courts have consistently (thought not totally) smacked down his worst policies. He can’t point to anything positive he’s done for the country as a whole because he’s spent the past three-plus years dividing and enraging Americans. And then there’s the COVID response, which basically boils down to “some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make”.

      All Trump has left is fear: the fear of the “other” coming into the country to take jobs or spread diseases, the fear of the “rioter” coming in to destroy buildings and hurt people, the fear of “liberals” trying to “destroy traditions and heritage” like Confederate statues and the Washington NFL team’s racist nickname. He has to make people feel afraid — to make them feel like only he can quell those fears by way of the tactics being used in Portland — because nothing else is working and he has no other choice.

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      • identicon
        David, 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:55pm

        Re:

        Donald Trump can’t point to a stronger economy as a reason for his reëlection; COVID-19 wiped out in a couple of months all the gains he achieved over three years. He can’t point to any legislative or policy wins; he didn’t get rid of Obamacare and the courts have consistently (thought not totally) smacked down his worst policies.

        Well, but it's the fault of the Chinese and the radically left liberals and Obama and the corrupt courts. He is not at fault for all of that ruining his prospects at the ballot box, and so it is only fair if he refuses to step down after losing the election.

        The most fraudulent election in history, if he has his way. Jimmy Crow is doing overtime.

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      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 8:06pm

        Re:

        Technically:

        a) the gains under Trump's tenure were from the momentum of Obama's efforts being bigger than the damage Trump was inflicting.

        b) While the pandemic was always going to hammer the economy no matter what, Trump is certainly holds responsibility for making the pandemic, and its hit on the economy, much worse than it could have been.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:52pm

        Re:

        "COVID-19 wiped out in a couple of months all the gains he achieved over three years"

        There is a very good argument, factually supported, that all of those gains were due to Obama's policies that were enacted to recover from the pervious recession. There's a similar argument that Trump's actions during office, ranging from not filling vital roles (or filling them with know-nothing sychophants) tax cuts for the rich and weakening or dismantling of social and security programs (including the pandemic response team) have made things far, far worse since the pandemic hit than they would have been otherwise.

        I'm just hoping that the recent Fox interview where he was actually challenged with facts is a sign of the future. Let him say whatever he wants - but let nobody hold back in their debunking of his claims, or holding him accountable. If the media can give Trump half as much crap for actual violations of civil rights, breaking the rule of law and actively killing Americans as they did when Obama chose the wrong lettuce or mustard, this should be an easy battle to fight. Here's hoping you guys get somewhere iwith that.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 2:33am

          Re: Re:

          "There is a very good argument, factually supported, that all of those gains were due to Obama's policies that were enacted to recover from the pervious recession."

          The lag time between a sitting president's actions in office and the results emerging in the economy is still something going right over the heads of the short-sighted sheep. Ironically Trump's time in office will screw the US for at least a decade. Whoever is taking over once he's gone not only has their work cut out for them but will also look like a total loser as every sector of the country undercut or strip-mined by the orange clown collapses on their watch.

          And you can wager whatever you like that the GOP will eagerly push for the next "strong man" to deal with the fallout the last, probably democrat president failed to fix.

          I guess the next few generations will have to start learning mandarin and russian if they want to get by in the global community. The US is dead set on riding the death spiral all the way down.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2020 @ 9:21am

            Re: Re: Re:

            Whoever is taking over once he's gone not only has their work cut out for them but will also look like a total loser as every sector of the country undercut or strip-mined by the orange clown collapses on their watch.
            And you can wager whatever you like that the GOP will eagerly push for the next "strong man" to deal with the fallout the last, probably democrat president failed to fix.

            If Trump and/or the GOP were smarter, they'd take full advantage of this. Have Trump not seek re-election and have the GOP put up some sacrificial lamb for re-election. Democrats win. The economic impact of Trump's clear-cutting and strip-mining tactics for short-term gain during his term begin to come to pass.

            The next election, Trump comes back and says "See what happened when I left office? Re-elect me, and let me do whatever I want this time."

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 11:45am

              "See what happened when I left office?"

              If Trump is still around after a Biden win, he'll be able to do that anyway, or Ivanka can run in his stead. Biden is promising a back to normal administration not massively reform so that doesn't happen again meaning we're doomed for it to happen again.

              This is why I wonder if it's better in the long run if Trump stays in power. (I don't know. I only know Biden is setting them up for another Mussolini run, only with more stormtroopers.) Trump has already worked a lot to dissolve the mortar between the states and the federal government. If he completes the process, we might be able to reduce the actual power of the federal government to only a vestigial service.

              There are many potential flashpoints, from Trump sending in military forces to seize power in the states (which can only go shades of horribly) to the police departments and DoJ capitalizing on their current power of force, or taking power when they are defunded. But historical revolutions seem to be a lot of process with flashpoints of violence. We just write our musicals about the latter.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Jul 2020 @ 1:08am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "If Trump and/or the GOP were smarter, they'd take full advantage of this."

              You mean if Trump was wont to act out of political acumen rather than impulse-driven avarice?

              I've said it before - for some 40 years Trump has been a septic tank bottle rocket. He's held aloft by a steady stream of bullshit which makes it impossible for detractors to deal with him. The moronic bullshit he pulled last week? Yeah, people forgot about it instantly because he keeps pumping out MORE. By the time the Mueller probe was off the ground every headline about it had to run the full story because no one remembered what it was about any longer.
              It's as if Eddie Murphy was fast talking someone but instead of words he was using political clusterfucks.

              If Trump ever actually stops and waits he's done for.

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Jul 2020 @ 2:30am

                If Trump ever actually stops and waits he's done for.

                To wit: His response to COVID-19. He waited for the thing to blow over and now he’s fucked because he allowed 140,000-plus Americans to die.

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                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Jul 2020 @ 7:11am

                  Re:

                  "He waited for the thing to blow over and now he’s fucked because he allowed 140,000-plus Americans to die."

                  Well, If he'd started running with the "Chinese bioweapon" shtick first thing in january he could have closed the US down and spent the rest of the time until now whining about one invented bogeyman after the other.

                  But that's not really my point. Trump manages to routinely say and do ten things every day which would have a Clinton, Obama or Bush impeached if they said any one of those things. But because he just won't stop bullshitting he's more or less normalized that state of affairs where, when you listen to him speak you realize he starts meandering off almost immediately, then says one thing you spend half a minute going "He did NOT just say that?" - and then he hits you with the next statement you'll get shocked over. He'll accuse the NYT of high treason on Twitter, imply the Black Lives Matter movement is run by a terrorist organization in a press statement that same day, have his press secretary come out with murky allegations the chinese are behind covid, and then, when people start reacting, make a claim about ingesting bleach to cure oneself of infection.

                  Should anyone's attention wander towards actually fact-checking any of his garbage he'll just, oh, announce the formation of a Space-based branch of the USD military. Anything to take the public attention away from actually sanity-checking any single item on his fast-talk shit list.

                  If he ever stops spouting shocking, inflammatory, controversial or infectious nonsense people will actually have the time to think about what he's actually saying. His entire career has been like that - one 40 year long continuous fast-talk act.

                  Hence my claim - that he's being held aloft on the steady stream of his own bullshit and if he ever shuts up for long enough or runs out of steam, that'll be it for him. And he's assisted in keeping that stream going by the way whatever boils over from a stormfront echo chamber or breitbart forum inspires him with endless bullshit material courtesy of OANN and Fox.

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                  • icon
                    BernardoVerda (profile), 23 Jul 2020 @ 5:59pm

                    Re: Re:

                    As Bannon expressed it:
                    "flood the zone with sh*t"

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                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Jul 2020 @ 6:00am

                      Re: Re: Re:

                      Yup. The way fast talk works is that you never let your opponent react or counter. If you have to let them speak feed them whatever bullshit you think will throw them off. When they try to reply move the goalposts all the way to another planet and kick off with a red herring.

                      Look at the Trump vs Hillary debate way back when. Trump's talking points were sheer nonsense, freeform imagination, and completely irrelevant to any topic at hand. But he presented his bullshit lookinbg confident and suave while all his opponents just couldn't stop looking frustrated and disbelieving.

                      Few people ever remember the exact topics of verbal debate. The optics though? He swamped the media with him looking confident and everyone else looking poleaxed.

                      So yea. Flood the zone with shit. Then be the only one who looks like he isn't standing knee-deep in it and you'll be the one people will listen to.

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                      • icon
                        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Jul 2020 @ 6:03am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Addendum;

                        The real scary part? Trump's good at short-term trolling but it's pretty clear he runs out of steam quick when people are too persistent in following up on him. His tactics were developed exclusively to grift his way through short-term contracts and pyramid schemes.

                        If he'd been as good at it as Hitler the US would be in real trouble.

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                        • icon
                          Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Jul 2020 @ 1:06pm

                          A demagogue as good as Hitler

                          I think it's one of the reasons we may be in a better position if Trump stayed in power rather than handing over to Biden who still wants to go back to the Obama old days. (Remember here on Techdirt for fretting about all these rings of doom falling into the wrong hands.)

                          A reprieve without much effort toward fixing the endemic problems is only going to give the fascists time to rally and find a smarter team of leaders who recognize dangerous dissidents early and quietly tank their careers.

                          Trump is a known, overt, obvious evil, and organizations towards real reform rally well while he is a visible threat.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 26 Jul 2020 @ 1:41pm

                            Re: A demagogue as good as Hitler

                            That would all be very comforting to the people who died under a second Trump term.

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                            • icon
                              Uriel-238 (profile), 26 Jul 2020 @ 6:07pm

                              Comfort to the people who die

                              Firstly, I'm annoyed that you imply that dead people can have feelings and opinions without functional neurons. Naturalistically, they can't. But this is not relevant to the point you seem to be trying to make.

                              If you're trying to say a Biden administration might save lives (say from COVID-19) that a Trump administration would not, I'll conceded that this is probably true.

                              But only at the cost of even more lives in 2024 or 2028 when the regime flips again and nothing has been done to stop the police state or the neofeudal order.

                              I think that when we voted Reagan into power because Carter was too squishy and too much of a people's president, that was when we decided we gave no fucks about lives. I wasn't yet old enough to vote, and yet the Democratic Party shifted far right, just slightly less right than the post-Southern-Strategy GOP.

                              I've been voting for lesser evils all my life. Lesser evils still kill people, just slightly different ones than the other guy.

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                              • icon
                                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 2:51am

                                Re: Comfort to the people who die

                                "Lesser evils still kill people, just slightly different ones than the other guy."

                                And worse by far, often pave the way for a far greater threat. German politics see-sawed back and forth like a drunk old man during the period between world war 1 and 2 with the citizenry steadily losing faith in the political system completely after ever more inept and/or corrupt chancellors kept replacing each other, finally culminating in the "strong" option of Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorf und von Hindenburg - classic old prussian nobility and war hero in way over his head trying to run a country in crisis.

                                When it became obvious that for all his posturing nothing would change for the better...that's when the small minority of citizens still bothering to vote ushered in the real strongman. Hitler.

                                The US is in several fundamental dire straits; the loss of manufacturing base, and thus jobs, ongoing since the 70's, deep and abiding political polarization which by now can be summarized as the educated versus the willfully ignorant, a deep split between authority and the citizenry as a whole, and a deep sense of disillusionment about a nation which no longer has moral ground to stand on facing the rest of the world.

                                It's not as crippled as Germany post-WW1, but the general sense of slowly sliding from the position of top dog is there, as is the increasing sense of voter apathy compounded by a fundamentally broken electoral system.

                                Trump isn't Hitler. Biden, however, will make for a fine Hindenburg.

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                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 24 Jul 2020 @ 6:38am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "But he presented his bullshit lookinbg confident and suave"

                        Erm, you and I might have different definitions of the word "suave".

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2020 @ 6:18am

          Re: Re:

          The economic expansion had already been in progress half a decade or so when Trump gained the oval office. To be fair, the rate of growth did roughly double when the republican tax cuts were enacted (and they were republican, not Trumpian, tax cuts, all he did was sign the paper), but that always looked irresponsible, like throwing fire-starter on an already blazing fire.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            TripMN, 21 Jul 2020 @ 9:28am

            Re: Re: Re:

            They were also helped along by deregulation making it cheaper/easier for big business to thrive. Remember folks, these are the people/corporations that sans regulation would be exploiting child labor, burning holes in the ozone, clear-cutting and strip-mining everything, and dumping all of the toxic chemicals/pollutants in the drinking water.

            The fact that some regulations were put in place that increased costs so they couldn't just do bad things because "for profits" and now those regulations/costs have been pulled way back means the rich get richer and most of our children are inheriting a massive debt AND a heavily polluted country.

            Ugh!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:06pm

    What if...

    What if many of the people being rounded up are getting their paycheck for stirring up violence?...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:12pm

      The Plaintiff's failure to cite the substance of their claims, as is required for those claims to be taken seriously, compels dismissal.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:13pm

      Re: What if...

      And what if the people 'rounding them up' just wanted to double-check their date of births for surprise birthday parties they plan on hosting for them? I mean, that's just as likely as your idea.

      Yeah, other people can play the 'what if with absurd possibilities' game too.

      This is brute force intimidation tactics, nothing less.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:27pm

        Re: Re: What if...

        I wouldn't put it past some anarchistic group(s) to have people out there stirring the pot (so to speak) and creating havoc. However I doubt they are getting paid as where would they get the bucks? Maybe there is some pool of money to cover expenses, but money is too easily tracked these days for there to be something like a gofundme campaign or a not-for-profit organization.

        Now if the Feds were there with some evidence, some leads, some clue as to who those anarchist activists were and went after them, then they wouldn't be holding these fishing expeditions by rolling up whomever they come across and doing 'investigative detentions' (right) as suggested above.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: What if...

          "I wouldn't put it past some anarchistic group(s) to have people out there stirring the pot (so to speak) and creating havoc."

          As mentioned before, they have been - they're just employed by the police or federal government, not whatever half-assed conspiracy theory was being suggested.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Jul 2020 @ 6:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What if...

            "As mentioned before, they have been - they're just employed by the police or federal government, not whatever half-assed conspiracy theory was being suggested."

            Not entirely true. At least one white supremacy group tried their hand at being angry antifa activists planning violent action online and a few got caught trying to sneak into protest marches with firebombs.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:32pm

      Re: What if...

      I don't think they were rounding up cops.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:49pm

      Paychecks

      I'm pretty sure it's the stormtroopers in camo-armor who are getting the paychecks. Probably fat ones.

      That raises a real question: Who's paying for the jackboots? According to the DHS, they're CBP units acting way out of jurisdiction on illegal orders.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      BernardoVerda (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 2:55pm

      Re: What if...

      What if Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria really does have a basement, and the pizzeria is really a secret pedophile ring operated by agents of the New World Order?

      What if the alien Lizard people are actually wearing human-skin suits and masquerading as Democrat politicians -- and George Soros is really the Lizard Lords' front-line commander in the field?

      Once you start asking such incredibly insightful and penetrating questions, you could end up uncovering almost anything, no matter how cleverly disguised under the camouflage of mere, mundane reality...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Jul 2020 @ 7:08pm

        Re: Re: What if...

        There was evidence they were tunneling under a house to another other house's basement. You are either ignorant or covering up for those eating kids' body parts.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 2:40am

      Re: What if...

      "What if many of the people being rounded up are getting their paycheck for stirring up violence?..."

      It's not improbable that the DHS were given marching orders and a quota to find at least a dozen "Antifan terrorists" by any means necessary and are desperately kidnapping random people to see if they can make some shit stick on enough of them to merit meeting the orders from on high.

      But you can bet your life that an hour after being hauled into the black unmarked van every aspect of their lives had been turned inside out and scanned by officers eager and keen to swoop down on ANY possibility that your hypothesis might be merited.

      And failed, as the people were then released.

      So no, all evidence points to random kidnapping by authorities, without any actual cause or suspicion, in a way which in any other civilized nation would have the DHS agents in court unsuccessfully defending themselves. There's a VERY good reason that every arrest must be made with the officer telling the suspect what they are suspected of.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:19pm

    tagging,

    Taking persons off the streets and adding pictures and data to Collections that already have..
    Similar to what was happening in California and Made up gang members.
    Makes those groups seem Bigger, and you can Blame them easily.
    Love the idea of pointing fingers, reminds me of being a young boy..
    She did it, I didnt spit on the window.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    z! (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:22pm

    Abductions?

    It's no stretch to call someone being hustled into an unmarked van by unidentified people an abduction. Since that's illegal (and unlawful), I'd fully expect the "Law and Order" types to want to the bottom of what happened, and as quickly as possible.

    Since I also don't see that happening, they must not really care about Law or Order.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:58pm

      Re: Abductions?

      Oh, you misunderstand. It is the good unmarked vans by good unidentified people, so there is nothing to be seen here, citizen.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 2:18pm

      Re: Abductions?

      In other situations, you can bet the locals would be duking it out with the feds over jurisdiction and actions taken, not just a state AG.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Upstream (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:25pm

    Coup, anyone?

    A federal courthouse is a symbol of justice

    No, quite the contrary. Federal courthouses have become symbols of injustice and authoritarian over-reach. Some might even say tyranny. Acts of grafitti and minor vandalism may not be the right way to protest, but they certainly do not warrant being "disappeared" by anonymous government goons, even if temporarily. The protests are all about the lack of accountability of out-of-control "law enforcement" systems. These tactics are indeed an escalation of the situation, and in a seriously bad way.

    We may all be witnessing the beginnings of the last phase of an attempt at a literal coup. Phase one may have started around June 16, 2015. At some point early in his presidency, Trump said something about " If I run for re-election." Some people paid attention to what that might mean. Many did not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:46pm

      "Acts of grafitti and minor vandalism"

      Acts of graffiti and minor vandalism are the early steps towards razing official buildings and major vandalism. Graffiti from protests against Rome are visible today on their remains.

      When the people protest against unchanging tyranny, law no longer applies and only personal ethics and frontier justice / jungle law define what is the right way to protest.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:40pm

    Looks like we finally have some secret police to call our own.

    To be fair, the FBI have been acting secret police (id est. agencies that engage in covert operations against a government's political opponents and dissidents.) The FBI's participation in COINTELPRO is from 1956 forward, possibly into the 21st century. COINTELPRO acts against lawful dissent including the Civil Rights Movement towards the preservation of current administrations.

    The COINTELPRO projects are not exactly legal but, eh, law doesn't mean much to law enforcement departments and services in the United States.

    The DHS troops in Portland (actual units borrowed from the CBP) are essentially Sturmabteilung or Schutzstaffel, general-purpose unit that are loyal to a specific administration rather than to the nation and its constitution, who have been sent in to openly attack dissenters. (This is to say that like ICE, the CBP also serves as mercenaries or all-purpose units when someone needs a law enforcement presence for purposes outside the official jurisdiction of known departments, such as raiding Kim Dotcom's home in New Zealand for copyright infringement.)

    Trump is being super sloppy about it, and the phone-video-to-internet channel which will vector footage of brutality by unidentified officers is going to spark sympathy for the Portlanders being attacked. But this may drive the US to address the depth to which our alleged democracy acts more like an imperialist dictatorship without rule of law.

    COINTELPRO is unrelated to COIN and not to be confused with the methods of the latter. COIN is about the de-escalation of unrest to prevent it from becoming an active militarized front against the administration with the support of the people. COIN experts across history suggest sending in the jackbooted thugs is a really bad idea and only escalates the discontent towards violent reprisal.

    (The inability of a regime to resist the urge to send in jackbooted thugs to attack protests is one of the reasons that peaceful protests work. When the state tolerates protesters and meets violence with measured, proportional response, protests tend to serve as activism rallies, more fun for all, but less politically effective. Police-involved riot-control violence drives the sympathy of the people and the movement towards legislation to stop that nonsense...or riots to burn down precincts when legislation is unlikely.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 12:55pm

    Remember recent history

    Not long ago, when unidentified stormtroopers popped out of unmarked vans to abduct Americans and take them away to undisclosed detention, they were being extraordinarily rendered for some Enhanced interrogation.

    So, frankly, we have a tuckfun of cause to resist law enforcement who fail to identify themselves or follow arrest protocols.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 1:07pm

    Someone's getting desperate...

    I can't tell which is more likely or worse at this point, that Trump and company are getting increasingly anxious that the peons are still protesting abuse of power even after those in power have looked into considering maybe throwing them some crumbs to shut them up at some point down the line and so they are scrambling to try to crush the protests by any means they can think of, or that this is designed to inflame things for political points and/or as a distraction by getting people rightly even more pissed off.

    Whatever the case nice of the goons in charge to demonstrate once again why it's vital that they get the boot come the next election by showing yet again that there is no low they will not sink to to get their way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 2:24pm

    Pettibone was grabbed by the unidentified officers, [...] He refused to talk to the officers and they released him about 90 minutes later.

    First thing I would do when I could, is take my phone to a specialist to search for installed spyware and do a full forensic examination. Sure bet that if it wasn't locked - and probably if it had- it had been snooped.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 2:53pm

    Federal Response / National Guard

    It's also worth noting that state National Guard forces are controlled by the governor of the state, and not by federal government.

    That is, unless it is deployed as a reserve force for the US Army, at which point it's not supposed to be active on US soil. The White House may try this, but it'll be a morale drain on the units and the US Army in general. Historically, armies sent to attack the people of their own nation are known to mutiny and join the Rebel Alliance.

    So most likely, if the Oregon National Guard or the Illinois National Guard are deployed, it might be to defend the people of those states against the unmarked DHS stormtroopers who are behaving like foreign garrison troopers. As Trump has been setting the stage for open state-vs-federation conflict, this could get very interesting very fast.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 4:06pm

      Re: Federal Response / National Guard

      Perhaps Eric Prince has lent the federal gov't a some people.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 4:22pm

      Re: Federal Response / National Guard

      Positioning the National Guard against Federal Stormtroopers; I think that has more in common with the actual text of the second amendment (especially the "well-regulated militia" part) than authoritarian bootlickers cosplaying as military troops only fighting tyranny when it's the other party in power.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      anonymous coward, 21 Jul 2020 @ 11:12am

      Re: Federal Response / National Guard

      I've been wondering, what if the Mayor of Chicago ordered the Chicago PD to arrest anyone wearing Police gear without displaying identification, and charging anyone who abducts a protestor with kidnapping. This could be interesting.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 20 Jul 2020 @ 3:54pm

    There's nothing about gestapo tactics that can frighten Americans... make us angry, yes... frighten us, no.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jul 2020 @ 9:21pm

      Re:

      If my Mom had been taken down (God rest her soul) forcibly and choked nearly to death by these thugs, I think she would have been afraid. When this asshole in a swat uniform choked me forcing my blood backwards into my brain while another butts me in the forehead with an automatic m16 while another handcuffed me and a forth held his 40cal sidearm to my head all while I was peacefully surrendering on my kitchen floor for a lie my ex girlfriend had her gf corroberate falsely, You better fucking believe I was mad.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 4:04pm

    Coup

    All part of the upcoming coup by DHS.
    in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jul 2020 @ 4:57pm

    As Trump continues to sink in the polls, more and more pundits raise the question: How will he try to cheat in the election? (The question “Will he try to cheat?” has already been answered. That’s what he was impeached for.) Various voter suppression schemes are brewing, and some are already working. Many of us are hard at work imagining scenarios where some combination of Covid-19 and voting by mail create new vote-stealing or vote-suppressing opportunities.

    The true nightmare scenario is if he loses the election but refuses to leave office. Or perhaps he constructs some elaborate conspiracy theory in which the outcome of the election is doubtful, and decides to hang on until the doubt can be resolved to his satisfaction, which it never will be. Obviously, he can’t succeed in that plan entirely on his own, and different scenarios require different accomplices: Republicans in Congress, the Supreme Court, and so on.

    If any of those play out (and I’m far from convinced they would) we could find ourselves in a true third-world-country situation, where the last line of defense is that the People refuse to accept a stolen election and take to the streets. In a typical third-world situation, the next question is: What does the Army do? An election-stealing President can often survive if the Army is willing to sweep into the major cities and put down protests.

    One reason I have not worried too much about these scenarios is that I don’t think our Army would do that. The traditions of non-interference in the political process go all the way back to George Washington, and are very strong.

    But Portland raises an additional question: What do the Little Green Men do? Could Trump really call his Praetorian Guard into the streets against the American people?

    That too is being tested in Portland.

    (Source)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2020 @ 4:54am

      Re:

      Could Trump really call his Praetorian Guard into the streets against the American people?

      He has promised to do just that in states and cities with a democratic government, but nor with a republican government. Using the protests to take over in areas ruled by the other party is telling of his real objectives, a one party state with him as the monarch.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 6:00pm

    The solution is simple yet terrifying, either the governor orders police to arrest all unidentified people wearing camo and police gear until they stop showing up, or the people will need to arm themselves and start to shoot those unmarked assholes in self defense. As long as they wear no identifying marks nor badges and police uniforms as well as continue to blatantly violate your constitutional rights without any paperwork or accountability they are not to be considered cops at all. They are potentially no more than criminals disguised as paramilitary and those don't have any right to kidnap you off the street.

    Anyone in those units should know that they are forfeiting any legal protections they enjoy by going unmarked without badges and IDs for the sake of supporting the racist agenda of the president. Someone is bound to freak out and kill the people in one of those vans for fear of getting shot and no court will be able to convict him for defending himself in such a situation. Here is the issue, there is no legal obligation for citizens to not shoot at unidentified agressors in the off chance turn out to be police, that's what the uniform and badge are for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2020 @ 8:31pm

    fake article

    go back dummy now and watch teh real video where antifa idiots tried to break into a federal court side entrance and the feds inside wearing there hazmat gear arrested them you also can see one of the idiots trying to hit the cop with a hammer

    they showed great restraint in not just shooting the lot of the morons
    this post will be censored but screen shot

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bruce C., 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:18pm

    Who are these guys?

    So if no federal agency admits to sweeping folks off the streets of Portland, what evidence do we have that it's the feds? Camo gear, riot gear and labels saying "POLICE" aren't the sole province of CBP. Heck, it could be a militia playing vigiliante, though I doubt it. Does anyone have license plate scans or video showing license tag of the unmarked vehicles in question?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 12:03am

      it could be a militia playing vigiliante, though I doubt it

      I wouldn’t put it out of the realm of the impossible if these tactics from the feds continue.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        TripMN, 21 Jul 2020 @ 5:46am

        Re:

        I think the only real evidence of it being Feds (according to the news reports) is the people who were abducted figured out upon release that they were being held in the federal courthouse. If it isn't the feds, then the abductors are working with/for the feds?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 2:22am

    Just Speculating

    What would happen if someone who was grabbed and eventually dumped into a cell at the Federal courthouse refused to leave until he had his paperwork concerning the detention?

    I mean, it would be hard to charge him with trespass where the anonymous green guys brought him in and dumped him into a cell. He obviously could not have gotten there on his own, and it might take some explaining as to how he could be trespassing when he was dumped there by someone with apparent authority to enter dragging him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 3:00am

      Re: Just Speculating

      "What would happen if someone who was grabbed and eventually dumped into a cell at the Federal courthouse refused to leave until he had his paperwork concerning the detention?"

      They copy-paste the initial coroner's report on George Floyd's death and apply it to the suspects unfortunate demise while in custody?

      I'm pretty sure that in a nation where there is a non-zero chance of a policeman murdering you, slowly, in broad daylight, you may, for good reason, not be inclined to press the anonymous people who dragged you off in an unmarked van without explanation to make the choice between the minor inconvenience of filling out the paperwork about your incidental death and the possibly quite significant inconvenience of having to provide you the proper documentation of their own "Ooops".

      "I mean, it would be hard to charge him with trespass where the anonymous green guys brought him in and dumped him into a cell."

      In this, the best of all possible worlds, my dear Tartúffe...

      Seriously? You realize where, exactly, the bar of standard sits, right? It is, today, in the US, barely possible to prosecute a police officer when that officer slowly murders a man in broad daylight. For an imprisoned person to be retroactively reclassified as a violent offender where the officers involved "feared for their lives" is not, alas, even improbable any longer.

      Sure, he might get lucky. But he'd need the ésprit de corps of a willing martyr to even try going down that road, I think.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Not THAT AC, 21 Jul 2020 @ 3:51am

        Re: Re: Just Speculating

        Followed by: "Video of groups of (North) American mothers holding up pictures of their disappeared children in 5 … 4 …"

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 11:52am

      Re: Just Speculating

      What would happen if someone who was grabbed and eventually dumped into a cell at the Federal courthouse refused to leave until he had his paperwork concerning the detention?

      At best, they would be forcibly thrown out of the building.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2020 @ 1:29am

      Re: Just Speculating

      Shot while attempting to break into a federal courthouse's cells in a misguided attempt to rescue nonexistent prisoners, probably.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2020 @ 1:07pm

    Spin til you drop

    “Federal officials don’t go around arresting people for no reason,”
    No, but they do apparently kidnap folks... without being read Miranda rights prior to detainment; I call it kidnapping.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bergman (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 5:37pm

    An arrest without probable cause is a federal crime in itself

    TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 241

    If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same;... They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 21 Jul 2020 @ 7:45pm

      Written laws

      Yeah, it's too bad we don't enforce laws on members of law enforcement, even when we have video of them gunning people down in cold blood.

      By comparison, extraordinary rendition is a civil infraction.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 22 Jul 2020 @ 7:33am

        Re: Written laws

        Police supporters claim that police can't do their jobs without being able to ignore certain laws, so they aren't punished for doing things regular citizens would be.

        The thing is, that law I cited is impossible for a private citizen to violate - ONLY government officials can violate it. If government officials are exempted from it, then it becomes absolutely meaningless since it would apply to no one at all.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jul 2020 @ 9:28pm

      Re: An arrest without probable cause is a federal crime in itsel

      Talk to OJ about that title 18.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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