What You Should Know About The Unidentified Secret Police Reports: Reportedly It’s Border Patrol
The problem is not people seeing justice if they commit crimes, but the federal encroachment, without permission, and without transparency, used the apprehend Americans flies in the face of freedom.
Edited: Reportedly, it’s border patrol.
By Ken Klippenstein | An internal memo obtained exclusively by The Nation details a coordinated program of domestic counterinsurgency.
Defense One delivers news, breaking analysis, and ideas on the topics and trends that are defining the future of U.S. defense and national security.
Homeland Security has sent police to apparently snatch people off the streets in Portland, Oregon
— a city where crime “has been LOWER than average over the past several weeks,” Fordham University Law Professor John Pfaff tweeted Thursday evening after looking at DHS statistics for Stumptown.
What DHS says is going on:
“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,” the department’s Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said Thursday.
“Each night, lawless anarchists destroy and desecrate property, including the federal courthouse, and attack the brave law enforcement officers protecting it.” As of July 7, the costs to the city were nearly $300,000, according to the Oregonian, with some “$4.8 million in property damage to businesses.”
Context: “Nightly protests have seized Portland’s downtown streets since George Floyd’s death
in Minneapolis in late May,” the Washington Post reports. “For more than six weeks, Portland police have clashed with left-leaning protesters speaking out against racism and police brutality. Tear gas has choked hundreds in the city, both protesters and other residents caught in the crossfire. Protesters have spray-painted anti-police messages on the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center, which serves as the local jail and a police headquarters.”
That brings us to about a week ago, when
“Trump sent federal officers to the city, allegedly to quell violence.” The Associated Press has more on that decision here. On Wednesday, the president claimed “they called us in”; state and local leaders say that’s a lie.
No evidence exists showing anyone summoned them.
For the record,
“over half the acts cited by DHS [on Thursday] are graffiti,” and “graffiti isn’t a violent crime,” Pfaff writes.
The latest worrisome trend: “Federal Law Enforcement Use Unmarked Vehicles To Grab Protesters Off Portland Streets,”
Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Thursday. And the practice has been ongoing since at least July 13. “Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation of why they are being arrested, and driving off,” OPB reports.
Some of the same units that roughed up peaceful protesters in front of the White House are now deployed to Portland.
That includes the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and Customs and Border Protection’s BORTAC.
Bigger picture: This all follows President Trump’s June 23 tweet
“authorizing the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S.”
Anatomy of a street-snatching:
One of the people seemingly kidnapped by police was reportedly put in a jail cell and asked “if he wanted to waive his rights and answer some questions, but [he] declined and said he wanted a lawyer.” What happened next? “The interview was terminated, and about 90 minutes later he was released. He said he did not receive any paperwork, citation or record of his arrest,” OPB reports.
OPB has several good questions of police that have, to Defense One’s knowledge, yet to be answered:
- What is the legal justification for making arrests away from federal property?
- What is the legal justification for searching people who are not taking part in criminal activity?
- Why are federal officers using civilian vehicles and taking people away in them?
- Are the arrests federal officers make legal under the constitution? If so, how?
The view from Democratic Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden:
“Trump and Chad Wolf are weaponizing the DHS as their own occupying army to provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media.”
In a statement on Thursday, Brown said DHS Wolf is on a “mission to provoke confrontation for political purposes.” Also, “This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety. The President is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government.”
Here are three Fox News headlines on the latest developments out of Portland:
- “Portland protesters flood police precinct, chant about burning it down”
- “Hannity slams Portland’s leaders for letting city be ‘ripped apart’ by ‘malicious so-called anarchists’”
- “Portland cop slams hypocrisy of Black Lives Matter protesters for having fewer minorities than police”
How have other Oregon leaders responded?
Stumptown’s ABC affiliate KATU2 rounds up a bevy of unwelcome responses to DHS’s actions — from the Portland mayor to regional sheriffs — here.
Other contextual commentaries
Bill Kristol, a notable Republican who has warned against Trump’s disregard for democracy, highlighted a dissonant approach from Governors. We should also note that the President encouraged protestors against lawful public health orders.
A growing number of Republicans have ceased to back the President’s extraordinary and disquieting behavior. Several officials have confirmed he has infrequent briefings on threats and matters of national security, especially for that office. The most famous group, founded by Republican George Conway who is married to Kellyanne Conway, has responded already.
These were part of a pattern of behavior that made containing the virus much more difficult, and it will probably take exponentially more lives and plunge us into long-term economic depression if we cannot control it.
At least two journalists lost an eye, and a video journalist who spoke with me following an alleged attack on peaceful protestors said:
“They knew it was us. We identified ourselves as press and we work with the local police a lot.
These were people we were friendly with and who knew us. I’m not sure I will ever be the same. I feel dramatic saying that, but I don’t know that I will.”
— Ohio Video journalist commenting after being tear gassed
He shared that one of the tear gas cans hit him before falling on the ground. The video journalist nearly lost consciousness and was carried away by colleagues also there for the press. Excessive use of force is beyond dispute and corroborated by lengthy video, not abridged into clips that can be misleading.
Unlike public health orders which the constitution and the founding fathers supported because they wrote it in the time of a pandemic, this truly violates personal freedom and liberty. There is no place for this in our country.
Bad actors have fabricated statements not supported by later video footage. The power of federal authorities is such that civilians could rightly suspect they might have no recourse if accused.
General Milley Congressional Testimony from July 9, 2020, clashed when the White House decided to have a press briefing at the same time.
“The United States military comes from the people of our nation, and we remain dedicated to the Constitution,” he said. “We will never turn our back on that document. We swore an oath of allegiance — at the cost of our lives — to an idea embedded within that document, and we will always protect it.”
“I continually assessed and advised that it was not necessary to employ active duty troops in response to the civil unrest occurring in our nation.”
“There is no place in our armed forces for manifestations or symbols of racism, bias or discrimination,” during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee this afternoon.