My uncle has a country place that no one knows about
He says it used to be a farm before the Motor Law
Now on Sundays I elude the Eyes, and hop the turbine freight
To far outside the wire where my white-haired uncle waits
—Rush, Red Barchetta
I was walking from the parking garage to my office this morning, and I saw something I’d never seen before: I was passed by a white SUV sporting a law enforcement blue/red emergency light rack, and labeled “Police” in big bold letters. That in itself wasn’t unusual, except that it wasn’t a Houston Police vehicle. Nor was it a Harris County Sheriff’s vehicle, nor that of our state highway patrol. Hell, it wasn’t even a Texas Ranger.
No, if you read the finer print on the side, you learned that this “Police” was part of something called the “Federal Protective Service,” which apparently emanates from the Department of Homeland Security.
Federal cops. Armed federal cops. Patrolling our streets. In broad daylight.
Anyone else seem to recall the inherent dangers in the crown stationing armed patrols in and among the general populace with no specific external threat?
Recall Boston, March 1770, and Kent State University, May 1970.
Now, if there’s some kind of national security threat they’re after, that’s very interesting because no one has said boo about anything specific. As noted above, we already have several local law enforcement agencies on patrol and protecting us from ordinary day-to-day crime. Which begs the question: what the hell is this federal police force doing?
Then I open the news and it gets beyond disturbing. Turns out this armed federal police force was rolled out yesterday to “monitor” Tea Party protests at IRS offices in places like St. Louis, Los Angeles, Fort Wayne, and Florida. In LA, protesters were actually told they weren’t allowed on federal property. I’m sorry, I thought the federal government worked for the People, and any property it has it acquired with money it confiscated from the People, which means federal property is the People’s property.
I can see why the government would be concerned. After all, it’s well known that Tea Party groups are prone to violent riots, rapes, vandalism, crapping on police cars, and generally trashing whatever public venue they use to assemble . . . oh, wait, that was Occupy Wall Street, which the Administration not only didn’t send federal cops to “monitor,” (read: intimidate) but actually openly supported. Never mind that the IRS already has its own armed agents, presumably those cities, like Houston, have their own state and local law enforcement agencies.
If you can’t see the pattern developing here, then you are being willfully blind. As I’ve covered previously, DHS has been stockpiling literally billions of rounds of ammunition, along with what the administration and the Left insist are military-only weapons, assault vehicles, body armor, and pre-fab roadway checkpoints. All with no legitimate explanation.
This is not an organization equipping itself to detect and prevent or respond to terrorism, but for riot control. And not only does the Tea Party movement have no history of violence, but the movement at its fundamental core is dedicated to trying to save this country from itself; yet in the irony of ironies, it is against them that DHS is called out. Yesterday’s deployment makes clear that the government does not intend to use DHS to protect us from outside terror attack, but to protect itself from us.
It doesn’t stop there.
The Tea Party protests were, of course, backlash against the metastasizing scandal of the IRS selectively targeting Tea Party and other groups potentially hostile to the federal government and this administration in particular. Groups with conservative-sounding names were delayed or denied certification for tax-exempt nonprofit status—effectively preventing these grass-roots organizations from coming into full existence, beginning at exactly the time they were showing signs of making a difference in the 2010 election cycle—while groups with progressive or liberal-sounding names sailed through. Say what you want about how high up the chain responsibility for this goes—although it’s more than interesting that IRS chief Lois Lerner has taken the Fifth and refused to testify to Congress, and the IRS is refusing to comply with Congressional requests for documents—somebody in this Administration elected to use the force of federal government to attempt to intimidate political opponents into silence.
And it doesn’t stop there, either. Turns out even the sycophant press isn’t safe.
Under the guise of investigating a leak in the interest of national security, the Department of Justice secretly seized phone records at the Associated Press; this after AP held a story at the administration’s request based on security concerns, then ran it after being told the security concern had passed. The Administration had asked that AP continue to hold the story so that Obama could announce it first, a request the AP declined. Several reporters at FoxNews have been under DOJ surveillance, and DOJ has been hacking others’ computers. In other words, the DOJ that didn’t have time to prosecute the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation even though the intimidating activity was caught on tape has been spying on journalists who are either hostile to, or who manage to offend, the Obama Administration.
Maybe these are unrelated, isolated incidents. Maybe these are inconsequential, coincidental acts by low-level rogue employees. Maybe I’m wearing a tinfoil hat and Santa Clause isn’t real. But this chain of events is increasingly displaying a consistent pattern that suggests an extremely dangerous bigger picture: you cross or even question this Administration, and somehow, some way, you are going to feel the instruments of the federal bureaucracy wielded as weapons against you.
- Start with a President who is ideologically predisposed to view the power and role of the federal government, and the executive branch in particular, as being unlimited. This President has already repeatedly demonstrated a willingness, even a zeal, for acting by unilateral fiat and ignoring the Constitution.
- This President comes from the world of Chicago politics, where corruption, intimidation, and even violence have long been a core part of the fabric. This President won every election he had run prior to entering the White House by using surrogates to smear or intimidate out of the race all opposition.
- This President ran for office on a campaign of “fundamentally changing America” (notice he was very careful never to say how it would be fundamentally changed). At the same time, he advocated the creation of an armed security force apart from, but “just as powerful as,” the military. Once he took office, his Department of Homeland Security began expanding and stockpiling vast amounts of military hardware and munitions; meanwhile he has been dismantling a military whose membership is overwhelmingly opposed to him politically, and pursuing avenues for limiting, if not eliminating, private citizens’ access to weapons.
- Now the IRS—which now refuses to answer questions or produce documents on the subject—selectively investigates and stalls the creation of groups that politically oppose the President. When those groups protest after the targeting becomes public, this heavily armed paramilitary branch of DHS is deployed against them.
- And now the DOJ—which refuses to answer questions or permit an external investigation of itself—secretly engages in surveillance of journalists who are potential enemies of the Adminstration.
The story would seem perfectly natural if it were somewhere else and we changed the name from Obama to Abbas, or Chavez, or Castro. But this is here, and now, and it’s affecting us. And that’s scary, particularly from a President that warns young college graduates not to listen to “voices” that warn against the tyranny of our form of self-government.
But the fear of those of us who shout these warnings isn’t of the tyranny of self-rule—self-rule is what we desperately cling to; it’s of the tyranny of Obama (or whoever) rule to which we object. And that is the point that’s getting lost.