Trump’s Rump Coverer’s Other Mission: Militarized Voter Suppression [UPDATE-3]

[NB: Updates at bottom of post. /~Rayne]

We all know Bill Barr has been hard at work covering Trump’s ass since he was sworn in February 14th last year. What a nasty Valentine’s Day present for us.

His lies have been ridiculously egregious, from the manner in which he misled the public about the findings in the Special Counsel’s Report, to his lies to broadcast media about the election.

He’s also obstructed justice by politicizing and obstructing investigations, including removal of personnel overseeing their conduct.

A particularly low point in Barr’s tenure was his deployment of federal personnel to harass and intimidate peaceful protesters so that Trump could get a photo-op, occupying a church without clerical permission so Trump could wave a Bible upside down on camera.

It’s all of a piece, and it’s getting worse.

Federal personnel without clear identification have been snatching people off the street in Portland, Oregon.

Read the entire Twitter thread. This is like Pinochet’s Carabineros de Chile and secret police, disappearing civilians. It’s not clear what has happened to these people who’ve been grabbed — they aren’t Mirandized in public view, they aren’t told why they are being dragged away.

And the state and local government didn’t ask for this federal intervention, just as Mayor Bowser didn’t ask for Barr to deploy Department of Justice personnel in Washington D.C. to ensure Trump could get his obscene photo-op.

Worse, we can’t be certain exactly who it is pulling people off the streets. It could be white nationalists in cosplay.

Why aren’t local law enforcement demanding more accountability from Barr and his Stasi?

Oregon’s Senator Ron Wyden has been asking for answers after federal employees shot unarmed peaceful protesters hitting one in the face:

This is a clear violation of citizens’ First Amendment rights. But Wyden hasn’t yet asked about these secret federal police who are acting without state or local authorization, snatching citizens off the streets.

Trump has been warning/threatening to send federal agents to cities in blue states — this is pointed politicization of law enforcement, and more since these states have not requested federal help in policing protests.

But these Stasi aren’t there to de-escalate tensions. They’re deployed instead to suppress citizens trying to exercise their right to vote, like these National Guard in Philly’s streets on primary election day:

There’s no way around it: Bill Barr is setting up a secret federal security force which may end up working like death squads targeting anyone who protests Trump or his administration, particularly citizens in cities which vote for Democrats.

The threats are getting worse, what with White House press doofus implying Chicago may be targeted next.

Mayor Lightfoot isn’t having any of it, but where is Congress?

Both houses need to address this immediately before it gets any worse. Congress needs to investigate Bill Barr’s use of armed federal personnel who are not clearly identified while policing without the request of states and cities, violating citizens’ rights in the process.

GOP senators may argue they aren’t affected but can they really afford to lose any more votes because Barr overreached and suppressed their voters, too?

There’s enough here apart from Barr’s obstruction of justice that Barr should be impeached and removed from office.


UPDATE-1 — 10:00 P.M. ET —

Which agencies? Is it just U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and Customs and Border Protection’s BORTAC or are there more involved so far? We need answers from their leadership about the lack of identification.

Portland’s mayor wants the feds out.

The federal agencies’ presence is not making things better, it’s making things worse.

Perhaps like Trump’s response to COVID-19 that’s the point: it’s about making things worse.


UPDATE-2 — 10:45 P.M. ET —

Not getting better. It looks like it’s getting rapidly worse. Somebody in DOJ or DHS want to explain why this vehicle is in Portland?


UPDATE-3 — 11:23 P.M. ET —

That’s it? That’s all DHS would provide? The utter arrogance of a department funded by our tax dollars.

Persons garbed like federal agency personnel are kidnapping American citizens off the street without any explanation and this is all the information the feds will share?

Bullshit. Unacceptable.

164 replies
  1. Molly Pitcher says:

    The Posse Comitatus Act. … “Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

    So does this apply when the military in question is unidentified ?

    And regarding the picture for this post, I now think only some of us are better than this. Obviously not the ones in charge now, nor their supporters.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Intimidation through armed, unidentified enforcers – using sanctioned but apparently unaccountable violence – is a standard tool from the How to Stage and Maintain a Coup playbook. It was taught at the School of the Americas. Techniques were also covered in the CIA’s KUBARK [interrogation] Manual, often used in Central and South America. (KUBARK was a code-name for the CIA.)

      As Alfred McCoy repeatedly warns – speaking of the American empire in the Philippines – tools honed in the enforcement and policing of empire often come home to the metropole. The trick is to recognize that’s what’s happening, so that they and those using them can be resisted.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        One of the tools in those playbooks is specifically to target the weak, especially the innocent and others who have done nothing wrong. It heightens widespread feelings of fear, futility, and powerlessness.

        The object is to persuade people to give up, drop out, accept the inevitable. Resistance is Futile. (I think they borrowed the idea from the Daleks, who came before Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide.) It’s not. It’s not easy, but it’s not.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          Behavior such as this just makes me REALLY pissed, and writing a note to remember to search for my beret. I always admired the French Resistance. I will take my inspiration from them since we are living in our version of the Vichy government.

        • e.a.f. says:

          the French resistance wasn’t as great as history would have them be.

          the U.S.A. doesn’t have a Vichy government. It has its own dictatorship, no different from Russia, China, etc. Barr/Trump are doing exactly what other dictatorships have done and its all been done with the blessing of the majority of Americans. Perhaps not overtly, but just the same. Its like that old line about, First they came for the Jews (Mexicans), then they came for the Muslims, etc. etc. At no time did I see real leadership or read mass demonstrations. Now its down to those who thought they’d never be subject to any of this type of action. Well welcome to the real world.

          If American citizens are being disappeared where is Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of the Democrats and the governors and their big spending supporters: No where. At least in Argentinia the Mothers of the Disappeared would go to the square once a week with signs to ask where their children were.

          At one point the American government was flying people out of a small southern airport to “black ops” jails in others parts of the world. It barely got noticed except for some people in the area and they protested and it did stop at that airport.

          There is nothing Barr/Trump will not do to stay where they are and turn the U.S.A. into what it has always been for some. Its just now, its going to be for everyone.

          I expect that is why some Americans want that northern border opened. They want an exit strategy because at some level, people know what is going to happen, but in the meantime they’ll think it just won’t happen to them.

          Always remember that even members of the Rothschild family went to the death camps. Putin has oligarchs thrown in jail when they defy him, the President of the Philipines has people shot and killed. Remember Argentinia and Chile. Well it is happening in the U.S.A. from what I’m reading in this article.

          All the things Trump has been doing since he came to office and gotten away with, has come to this and it will keep going. Letting COVID run wild in the U.S.A. is in fact helping Trump with his plans, as they are now being carried out.

        • MB says:

          Hell, I’d like the northern border opened for more selfish reasons – so I can visit a long-time friend who lives in B.C. I visit every year but maybe not this one? I understand the decision to consider whether or not to open the border for “non-essential” travel has been pushed to August 21. From talking to my friend, he says even inter-province travel within Canada is difficult and restricted now.

          I think there was a bit of a flurry in 2016 after Trump was elected of some Americans heading over the border for asylum (or a longing to become an expat) or whatever. It ain’t like the old days when Vietnam draft dodgers got more-or-less welcomed when they showed up…

        • Tom says:

          Also heard that in the UK signs stating “Americans must be accompanied by an adult” have become popular.

        • e.a.f. says:

          Canadians simply do not want Americans in Canada now because of COVID. Over 80% of us want that border kept closed. On Vancouver island, we had no COVID a month ago, then we had two cases, no cases and two weeks ago, two cases. Americans will come into Canada and bring COVID with them and they aren’t following the rules up here either. Two groups have already been fined over a $1K each for failing to adhere to the rules. People who are “travelling through” to Alaska are winding up in the Rockies–little side trip. Many of us want those travelling through banned also.

          Large areas of our country are the traditional lands of the Indigenous people. The Indigenous People do not want non band members going through their lands. they don’t do well with COVID. One band on the west coast voted to expel all those who did not live permanently on the reserve off the land, even if they were band members. People here remember how small pox killed almost whole bands. COVID could do the same. Americans don’t get to decide that we in Canada ought to die so they can enjoy themselves.

          COVID has remained less of a problem in Canada because we had rules and they were followed. Our stores have social distancing in place. Stores have security at the door to ensure people use masks, hand sanitizer, and the number of people are kept down to the acceptable number in the store at any given time.

          I don’t see it changing any time soon for Americans. Some in the tourist industry in Canada would like the border opened so they can make money. Me not so much. Canada survived the dirty 30s. In the 1970s in B.C. when the lumber industry went down unemployment was officially 15% in some areas and but actually closer to 30%. I can remember a time when the praires were in such bad shape students were permitted to pay their university fees in wheat (yes that was in the latter part of the last century), Ontario went through a bad patch with the original free trade deal and so did Quebec. We got through all of these economic downturns. However, if you die, you aren’t ever going to come back.

          Our provincial Chief Medical officers and Dr. Tan, the National chief medical officer have done a great job educating all of us of the dangers. Yes young people aren’t as good at keeping to the social distancing rules, but they’re young.

          I don’t want Americans in Canada because some of us could die. The Americans may believe they can travel where they want and do what they want as they believe it is their god given right. Canadians believe they have the god given right to live without being infected by COVID brought here by americans.

          Some of us may also still be a tad “upset” about how Canadians were treated after 911. We know Trump has referred to our steel industry as a risk to American national security. Well Canadians consider Americans a big risk to our national health and health care system.

          Now given the nature of the subject of this article, I do expect AMericans will be coming to apply for political refugee status and I don’t have a problem with that, as long as they adhere to our rules and leave their guns in the U.S.A.

          Yes Canada accepted American draft dodgers. I know a couple. Canada’s gain. However, they didn’t come with a disease which could kill. Political refugees who come into our country are going to find they are going to have to undergo the 14 day islolation, but so are Canadians coming home from other countries.

          If people start to disappear from the streets of America, yes, we are going to have to accept American political refugee. I’m O.K. with that, but there will be a system in place to deal with that and the 14 day isolation period.

          Many in b.c. are not keen on having Albertans coming into the province. Some who work in Alberta and live in B.c. have vehicles with /Alberta plates on them and some of them have been vandalised. I’m not happy about that at all. However its a clear indication, with Alberta having a higher rate of COVID, THEY AREN’T welcome even at home.

        • Nathanael says:

          FWIW, the Native American nations in the US are also closing their borders to keep Covid-19 out.

          And Hawaii was the first state to close its borders for the same reason (though it’s partly open again now, and yes, it’s easy for Hawaii).

          The thing about the US is we do have subnational governments, and they’re realizing their power.

          This is how the USSR collapsed, and the US’s state governments are more powerful than the USSR’s were

    • Tadc says:

      What are the odds those goons are staying at Sondlands hotels in Portland?
      What are the odds this is being debuted in Portland as a favor to him? He must be making a mint off this.

  2. Rayne says:

    I want to know what happened to the persons dragged off the street in Portland.

    Local police are doing something as bad or worse in Tampa; just read they are tracking down protest leaders and arresting them, fining them thousands of dollars which might make them ineligible to vote based on today’s SCOTUS decision.

    Call your representative and senators and ask them to launch an investigation into Bill Barr’s abuse of office deploying federal personnel to harass peaceful protesters and citizens on the street.

    Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121 or use

    • mospeck says:

      yes I will. And I think a lot of the joes i know will. Monday morning even going to call Audrey’s office

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As you say, this is not a one-off. It is programmatic and in preparation for a larger roll-out. This is also a loyalty test for local police and political officials. It pits them against the law and authorities they owe formal allegiance too – not to mention their own friends and neighbors. Division personified.

    It would be unwise for House and Senate leaders, individual congresscritters, and state and local officials to wait to protest this. The election is less than four months away. Nor will this Trumpist Praetorian Guard be withdrawn after the election. If Trump claims a win, he will immediately start meting out retribution to the insufficiently loyal. If he loses, that’s when the gloves come off, because he can’t leave the Oval Office and count on keeping his status, money, businesses, and personal liberty intact.

    • Nathanael says:

      Worth noting that the Portland government, the MultnomahCounty sherriff and government, and the Oregon state government have made it very clear that they’re against Trump’s thugs. They also owe formal allegiance to Oregon and the Constitution, not to Trump or his thugs, who have no legal authority over them.

      In other words, they passed the test. It was stupid of Trump to try to roll this out in a state which hates him. I would have expected him to try it in Georgia or Florida or Arizona.

      Trump will lose; he’s too unpopular to win. Very few of the governors are willing to steal for him and most of those are in states he would win anyway. When he loses, if he claims a win or claims he can stay in office, Biden is already prepared for him to attempt election theft and will not concede. The majority of governors will demand Biden’s inauguration. We might have a civil war between two competing Presidents, but there is no way Trump stays in office unchallenged. And we already know what the career military brass thinks of Trump — they hate him.

      No, he’s going to leave. The question is how messy it will be.

  4. Nehoa says:

    The Governor of Oregon and the Mayor of Portland need to nip this in the bud. Arrest these people for impersonating law enforcement officials. If some federal agency steps up to take responsibility tell them very publicly to go back to their barracks. You are absolutely right that this an attempt to set up Trump’s secret police.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Not so fast. If these masked men are employees of armed federal agencies, there’s a facial reason for them to be in Portland, supposedly protecting federal property. The feds usual trump locals. If that’s not sufficient, the feds usually trot out the big stick – funding – bypassing entirely the walk softly bit. This is another situation where placing FedSoc cuckoos in the federal judiciary’s nests pays big dividends – because that’s where formal complaints have to go.

      So, it takes guts, evidence, and preparation – and those take time – and widespread political backing. The latter is where civilians come in.

      • Nehoa says:

        I respectfully would note that the point of what I am recommending is to shine a big bright light on what is happening so that the public can be aroused early in the process, and to force non-federal law enforcement to follow the local chain of command.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I agree with the idea. But the process is harder than you describe. State and local officials have a mountain to climb before they can, “force non-federal law enforcement to follow the local chain of command.”

        • Nehoa says:

          I don’t think a Governor or a Mayor would have a very high mountain to climb in telling their appointed law enforcement/NG leaders to obey their orders or to find a new job. I have had 30 years of experience at a high level in state government. It is not much more complicated than that.

        • Nathanael says:

          State and local officials can simply flat out arrest federal “law enforcement” for breaking the law. There is jack and shit Trump can do about it other than huff and puff.

          I’ll note that Colorado threatened exactly this against the DEA a few years ago — following them around and arresting them if they so much as jaywalked — and the DEA basically left the state.

      • Rayne says:

        This is not one of your better comments.
        1) We don’t see anything in videos of what are believed to be federal personnel in Portland indicating they are protecting federal property;
        2) There’s zero excuse for federal personnel not to wear readily visible identifying logos, or to declare what agency they are with when confronting people;
        3) There’s already been a lawsuit about the Trump administration cutting off funding to sanctuary cities — the feds can’t do that.

        ACLU and other civil rights groups need to step in, investigate, and sue the fuck out of the Department of Justice for violating citizens’ civil rights. We need to fund them and push them to that end, and we need to push our representatives to do their damned jobs.

        • Raven Eye says:

          One of the things that bugs me is that Barr is plunging deeper and deeper into broader areas of federal policy — across many areas that are outside DOJ’s lane. He really is a sick and evil man.

        • Rayne says:

          I think he’s found he can’t get cooperation from the military so he’s pulling from every department under DOJ purview like Bureau of Prisons, and from DHS as well. It’s a gross misuse of resources and abuse of power.

          What we need to know rather urgently is how many federal personnel can he deploy across the country to harass citizens during the remaining primary elections and the general election in November. How many people will we be paying to suppress our votes? And is this a secondary reason why some states are slashing the number of polling places — so Barr’s Stasi have fewer places to cover in November?

        • Nathanael says:

          It’s pretty normal for the corrupt thugs in power to summon paramilitaries because the regular military won’t cooperate with them. Happened during the coup against Gorbachev which led to the fall of the USSR, if you remember. My father says the paramilitaries are more loyal to the authoritarians than the regular military ever is. The fact is that even the paramilitaries are looking pretty hostile to Trump — US Marshalls (who have already committed some unjustifiable attacks against protesters) were quick to say “this wasn’t us” about the kidnapping, for example. The FBI hates Trump with a passion. Even the DEA won’t cooperate, and you’ll note ATF is nowhere to be seen. Resorting to Border Patrol and Bureau of Prisons is digging pretty deep to try to find paramilitaries.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Per my comment to Nehoa, I share the concern, but you have to consider the process. Being right and being able to prove it – and being able to stop executive overreach – are not the same thing.

          These actions are nearly unprecedented in modern America. You’d have to go back to J. Edgar for this kind of abuse, and I think Trump’s abuses are more systemic and dangerous. The stakes for Trump are existential and he has his own pet Attorney General doing his dirty work. FCS, he threatened the life of his nephew, by withdrawing promised financial support, when challenged about a disputed will.

          Suits by state officials and public interest groups like the ACLU are and good and necessary moves. They need evidence and arguments to overcome broad grants of federal authority and presumptions of regularity – to prove that these actions are egregious overreach. They also need time and disinterested federal courts, because FedSoc appointees will not be lining up to curtail presidential or federal authority. Let’s do it, but et’s be aware of how high the hurdles are.

        • Rayne says:

          I don’t think any of the civil rights groups who are handling cases like this are unaware of what they are facing. And going up against a FedSoc-picked Trump judge is no excuse for failing to sue for violations of civil rights.

          You’re flirting with “don’t do it if it’s too difficult.”

        • Nehoa says:

          Dear eoh, like many other readers, I greatly value your comments. This though, is not a legal/process issue. This is the Act II (Act I in DC on June 1) of a coup being orchestrated by AG Barr. Need to take action now to draw the lines, secure the troops you have under your command, and to mobilize the populace.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Of course it’s a legal process. It’s also a political and a social process. As for flirting, hardly. It would be stupid not to prepare for what to do. As with any pilot, preparation starts by evaluating where you are, what your resources and condition really are, and what you face.

        • Nehoa says:

          No. It is not a process. It is about power. I am familiar with life or death power. I am saying this is such a moment. Not where I live. I could deal with that. I have dealt with that. I can not intervene on the Mainland.
          This is a coup in motion. Democratic officials need to respond to a coup in motion. Treat it is a life or death issue. Have you killed anybody to stay alive? To protect freedom? I have, and I know many who have. Step up!

        • e.a.f. says:

          That is the problem as I see it. americans aren’t going to step up as long as they think they won’t be impacted. They didn’t get out in force with all the other things Trump did, so this time Trump knows he can get away with what Barr is doing on his behalf. (when I say getting out in force, I mean large protests of 250K or more. That is what we used to get for an anti nuke rally in Vancouver back in the day)

        • Nathanael says:

          You haven’t kept up to date with the numerical counts. There were over 1 Million in Philadelphia’s BLM protest alone.

        • e.a.f. says:

          I’m aware of the large rallies in large cities. We do get American t.v. However, there isnt’ a lot of that going on or perhaps the American media isn’t covering it. these protests in the U.S.A. don’t appear to be all over the place, which they ought to be.

        • Nehoa says:

          Trump and Barr are counting on people like you who believe in process. They game it. It is really about the ability to kill enemies. We need to have the ability to kill (I am not a death penalty advocate) or imprison those who have abused the system. Seriously, you are why we lose the war.

        • Nathanael says:

          A thousand-man black militia, very well regulated, marched at Stone Mountain. That’s new! I think we’re going to win. You’re absolutely right, we need people who are willing to use force.

        • vvv says:

          Stop it – just STFU with the calls to violence, that is not us, it is not good, and it is not acceptable.

        • e.a.f. says:

          I agree with vvv, violence isnt’ going to work. all that will happen is people will be killed and they won’t be those working for the American government but actual day to day citizens, like moms and dads, etc.

          Governments have militaries which have very large guns. they can kill a lot of people very quickly. its a mugs game if you think violence will work.

          When the Marchers marched to be able to vote, they did the right thing, that marched, they were beaten but did not fight back. When the American public saw it, it was more than most could stomach. That is why they were successful.

          When you look back when student integrated into Alabama schools, universities. It looked very bad for the government when what were essentially children were going to be attacked and had to be protected by the federal government.

          With open carry in a number of American states, it will be a blood bath. Race riots are not nice

      • Raven Eye says:

        Mayor Wheeler needs to get the city attorney and Public Works Bureaus to identify and mark the limits of the federal property that these federal officers are “protecting”. Paint and concrete barricades would help ease the confusion that seems to be plaguing those officers and their leadership. If they are detaining people in Portland the U.S. Attorney needs a visit by the Police Bureau and the Multnomah County District Attorney.

        • e.a.f. says:

          The U.S. Attorney needs a visit……..

          No they need the Mayor, city council, the gov. and about 200K citizens to show up and demand the release of those “arrested”. If they don’t do that, it will continue. Now that maybe what Barr wants so they can bring in “whatever” to militarise those cities, but if citizens take this laying down, along with COVID you aren’t going to have a country any more.

      • bmaz says:

        Standardly that would be FPS though. Who can tell anymore, but this looks different than regular FPS, more akin to what Barr did in DC. Honestly, who knows at this point, but a lot of excellent questions abound.

        • Raven Eye says:

          From years back I remember FPS officers as being mostly door shakers and manning a post at federal office buildings. But I’m pretty sure that they’ve been ramping up their “capabilities” since moving into DHS. These days you’d never know, just by looking at them on the job, which ones have details to special units.

        • Raven Eye says:

          From a piece in the Washington Post:

          “In one photo, an officer’s uniform reads “Homeland Security Rapid Protection Force,” which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service. It’s supposed to protect federal property. Another photo appeared to show Customs and Border Protection officers.

          On Friday, both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and CBP confirmed that they have officers on the ground in Portland.”

      • P J Evans says:

        They aren’t protecting federal property. Not when they’re out on the streets grabbing people.

        • Ken Scott says:

          If I was the mayor, I would be ordering my police department to set up a no man’s land between the “Federal Buildings” where the goons are supposed to be and the protesters. I would let both sides know and if the goons came out to go after the protesters I would have them arrested. As the mayor, my job is to protect my citizens, regardless of the behavior of the federal government. As someone said up thread, “Lock them up and see what agency comes a knockin’.” Then inform the state’s reps and senators and the news media. Expose them now.

  5. John Lehman says:

    Posted on previous thread

    Sickening video. Victim was standing in a public park (Chapman Square) across from the Federal Courthouse. Required emergency facial reconstruction surgery. 27 years old. Don’t know his current status. Do know he was shot by one of the Federal agents Trump was bragging about sending to Portland. Which agency the the shooter was from, don’t know, but do know ICE agents were among the Federal agents guarding the Federal Courthouse.

    From Portland

    • Chris.EL says:

      Plan … the injured demonstrator sues an unknown John Doe (et al.) for injuries STAT! As case proceeds identities (and the surrounding agencies and events) should be revealed

    • Raven says:

      The Federal Protective Service (FPS) falls under DHS — one of the 20+ agencies/functions that were squished together to form DHS. That gives Trump and Barr a pretty slick vector by which to slide goons into the midst of cities and counties.

    • Rayne says:

      This is such bullshit:

      PORTLAND, Ore. — Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf is in Portland, KGW News confirmed Thursday afternoon.

      The purpose and schedule of Sec. Wolf’s visit remains unknown, but he sent out a news release Thursday morning condemning “rampant, long-lasting violence” in Portland, complete with a timeline alleging violence by anarchists on Portland streets.

      “This siege can end if state and local officials decide to take appropriate action instead of refusing to enforce the law. DHS will not abdicate its solemn duty to protect federal facilities and those within them. Again, I reiterate the Department’s offer to assist local and state leaders to bring an end to the violence perpetuated by anarchists,” Wolf said.

      Around the same time Thursday, Portland police cleared dozens of protesters from Chapman Square Park and Lownsdale Square Park, and have put up fencing. Police say nine people were arrested.

      Federal personnel are being deployed to police non-federal property.

      “rampant, long-lasting violence” is bollocks. Where are all the injured people whose lives have been disrupted by these protests which are exercises of First Amendment rights?

      The violence is police violence, excessive use of force.

      • P J Evans says:

        Funny – all the violence I’ve heard about has been by the feds, the cops, and the RW “militias”.

      • General Sternwood says:

        So what happened with that person on the bike? (Helmets, people — especially if you’re going to be riding in a country with fascist secret police!) This is going to be a matter of competing narratives — with resources one could have people with cameras outside federal properties, and track where people are taken.

        Impeaching Barr should really become a front burner issue.

        • Rayne says:

          It was local police who took down the biker and arrested him, as far as I can tell. But the PPD is wholly enabled by the support provided by DOJ+DHS — they’re acting with impunity even on camera.

          Portland’s local government needs to find a way to rein in PPD which has been at the root of the ongoing protests.

          And of course, impeach and remove Barr for a dozen or more reasons all adding up to abuse of office and malfeasance.

        • Rayne says:

          I think we need to watch how we phrase things — I’m sure you mean “remove from office via impeachment” but other observers might not.

        • P J Evans says:

          I don’t want any of them dead. Not before they’re tried for their crimes. I think Wolf is being told what he can do by someone who is willing to break laws.
          And I hope none of the protesters are killed.
          Did you see the video of the Navy engineer – he’s an Annapolis graduate, and was in their Corps of Engineers, so technically not a Seabee – who was beaten and teargassed, and didn’t run or fall. Broken hand, though: they were trying very hard to take him down.

  6. Eureka says:

    To the big picture, I’d add the recent revival and display of the federal death penalty (two executions this week, the first in 17 years IIRC), and the use of federal charges against rioters (including in Philadelphia*).

    In contrast to the Portland example, the National Guard was requested by Gov. Wolf (due to the May 30, 31 looting and rioting) and their assignments coordinated with local officials. However as you note, their and local LE’s presence around the City Hall ballot drop box(es) had a chilling effect that officials failed to take into account, and is something that they should be — but hopefully do not have cause to be — mindful about in the future. Especially with the extensive associations between local LE and both organized and ‘everyday’/matter-of-fact racists who enjoy wielding weaponry, threats and acts of violence, and other means of intimidation (e.g. Fishtown, South Philly as linked previously; Proud Boys at the FOP Lodge 5 for Pence’s visit last week, etc.).


    Re the Pence visit, where reporters left for their own safety after the Proud Boys threatened them:

      • Eureka says:

        … so perhaps as with being a behind-the-scenes helping hand to Trump with the Mueller investigation, it is also with the 2020 election that Barr is the New Manafort. Those mail-in ballots can’t corrupt (their reputations) themselves, ya know.

        As to the “rigged election/ poll watchers” gambit, I have other 2016 Trump campaign statements about their tactics and goals in mind (also linked prior), but see Marcy’s post on Manafort’s MO:

        Paul Manafort’s Modus Operandi: Accuse the Female Politician of Crimes She Didn’t Commit, Then Dodge Sanctions

        which could be updated for 2020 to say ~ ‘Accuse Biden(and his)’s son of crimes he didn’t commit, keep Trump in office to dodge charges’… etc. — and heavy on the ‘etc.’: the Bill Barr version — at turns Trump’s personal lawyer and campaign manager — has already proved to be a much more involved, detailed sequel.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Thanks, Eureka, for bringing Barr’s exhumation of the federal death penalty into this discussion. While it may not seem germaine, its re-normalization lurks beneath this conversation as with others about perversions of justice. Barr has revivified its ghastly presence with the Machiavellian touch of choosing white men to start, as if to pre-empt arguments about racial disparities. I am personally obsessed with the question of how a self-professed uber-Catholic justifies deliberately taking human life, almost as if there were no Commandments at all. “We owe it to the victims, and the victims’ families,” he said. Many of those family members have begged for the executions not to proceed. Barr has a higher purpose, however, and we are only now glimpsing its outlines.

        • puzzled scottish person says:

          ‘Thou shalt not kill’ always struck me as one of the more straightforward biblical statements.

          But then somebody told me that, in context, it meant, thou shalt not kill the faithful. Because the non-faithful are not real people.


          I have been trying, so far without success*, to find an article I read recently about why evangelicals are willing to stand by this walking embodiment of the seven deadly sins.

          The gist of it, if I recall correctly, was that they had signed up to the Gospel of the Sainted John Wayne. That’s their gospel: Toxic masculinity is sanctified and holy.

          * I thought it might be Politico, or New York Magazine, but I’m beginning to think I dreamt it.
          Help, anyone?

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          I’ve read so many such pieces, with arguments like “God will send the unlikeliest messenger,” but most recent was about how the Prosperity Gospel movement had paved the way. Contrary to the 400-year-old “indwelling Grace” beliefs of the Mayflower Puritans, this system holds the opposite: God will shower His grace on you in material form! Look at this Trump–surely God must approve of him. Also, send Paula White money so she can reinforce this message.

        • P J Evans says:

          It takes the Calvinist views on “the elect” and says that they get rewarded in *this* world with riches. Calvin would be preaching against these people. (I had a great-grandfather who was a Calvinist Presbyterian. I’ve heard stories about him doing things that shocked the other elders, but his reasons were solid.)

        • John Lehman says:

          Time for irony:
          Mark Hatfield, as in “Mark Hatfield Federal Courthouse”, ground zero of the Portland demonstrations, was a rare bird, a Republican Baptist Christian pacifist who was against the Vietnam War. His pacifism was rooted in a West Virginia Baptist background. Him being a descendant the infamous Hatfield clan (Hatfields and McCoys feud). The family lore and the scares from that violence, no doubt contributed to his personal embrace of Christian pacifism.

          The post Civil War Hatfield and McCoy feud, by the way, though sparked by a broken bargain between the two families became a conflagration because one family had fought for the Union and the other for the Confederacy.
          Isn’t it strange that, in a sense, we’re still fighting the Civil War.
          From the Secession to BLM it’s all been about the battle for Human Rights, the oneness of us all.

        • puzzled scottish person says:

          A little late, perhaps, but if anyone’s interested, I slept on it and remembered that it was a Vox article. An interview with Kristin Kobes du Mez about ‘Jesus and John Wayne’.

          Here’s a link if that’s okay (I put a couple of spaces in if not):
          h ttps://www.v

  7. klynn says:

    Aren’t the torture docs in Portland? Wonder if any of their techniques are being deployed as an experiment on peaceful civilians?

  8. Raven Eye says:

    I sent emails to both of my Oregon senators. I included links to the KGW-TV story and to this thread.

    An odd thing about this situation is that the Oregon woods are literally crawling with all kinds of nutters; white power, states’ rights, anti-federal, open carry, militia, Oath Keepers (and probably the Promise Keepers from the Simpsons), give-us-back-our-lands-that-we-stole-from-Native-Americans (and the water too, while you’re at it), Neo-Nazis, plain vanilla (not chocolate) fascists, etc., etc. Had Obama tried a stunt like this, there would be serious worries about an armed action against the feds (as opposed to the regular run of bombs, shootings, take-overs).

  9. P J Evans says:

    It reminds me of Doctorow’s “Little Brother”, where the feds take over San Francisco after an alleged terrorist incident.

  10. skua says:

    I’d be less worried if this was being livestreamed on Fox or OAN by embedded proto-fascist enablers.
    That would make it “manufactured for Trump’s base”.

    Without current bugles and Hannity-blather it appears possibly the start of something planned to be bigger. Which makes it probably more significant.

    • P J Evans says:

      They’re trying out “taking over violence-ridden cities” – you know, the ones in blue states or with mayors who aren’t Trumpistas.

      • MB says:

        If I’m not mistaken, this has kind of already been tried in Flint MI, right? Didn’t the governor appoint an “emergency manager” to take over city government in 2014 during a municipal financial crisis? In fact I think there was a series of state-appointed “emergency managers” during those years. Not an exact analogy, I know, but having a city’s local governance overruled like this is resonant.

  11. pablo says:

    Well, with no House oversite, what do we expect.
    After the election is stolen, it’s too late.

    • Rayne says:

      You need to ask yourself if you’re going out on your knees or on your feet.

      Personally I’m done with the defeatist talk. A majority didn’t vote for Trump; that majority has only grown over the last four years.

      • BobCon says:

        You are right, and a big piece of making sure Trump and Barr don’t win is making the price is too high for people to support them.

        I think defeatists tend to wildly over simplify the cards that can be played against these people and the weakness of their hand (at least the sincere defeatists, and not the numerous trolls).

        In poker terms, it is becoming clear that Trump and Barr are engaging in a strategy of bluffing, raising the stakes, and hoping the other side folds. The problem is, more and more people can see their cards.

        It’s nerve wracking, there is always a chance for a fluke, but it is essential that Democrats don’t fold, and they take these guys to the cleaners.

        • P J Evans says:

          It’s Trmp’s main strategy, and has been since he was young. He’s now playing at a level where he can’t be bailed out easily.

  12. Tom says:

    On April 18-19 of this year in the province of Nova Scotia, mass murderer Gabriel Wortman shot and killed 22 people and set 16 fires in various locations. As stated in Wikipedia: “For part of the thirteen-hour crime spree, Wortman impersonated a police officer by driving a replica police car and wearing a police uniform.” If Wortman had been living in the U.S., all he would have needed was a DIY “Police” costume and a plain old SUV.

    I wonder how many of those people who object so vociferously to the idea of mandated facial coverings are okay with Oberstgruppenfatass Barr’s Gestapo tactics.

    • Rayne says:

      I have wondered if Wortman’s spree was a proof of concept. Although Americans may now be more skeptical of persons dressed like law enforcement than several months ago.

      • robin says:

        I always thought the rampage in Las Vegas in 2017 was also a proof of concept demonstration but not for the feds but for nutter right wing types. The shooter lived in Bundyland but have seen no investigation of a connection to the sovereign citizen/white power movement, which my gut says is definitely there.

        • bmaz says:

          Seriously? Where in the world do you come up with this, and who in the world are you? You just magically appeared with this nonsense?

          If you have even one iota of evidence, put it up. I do my best to be informed and do not think you have squat; in fact, pretty sure of it.

      • greengiant says:

        One person who chortles with joy talking about how many will die in the civil war is one too many. I suspect there are millions of them with warm homes in police and prison guards. I don’t know what to do about it.
        One lightbulb went on in 2017 when someone talked about armed millions marching on Washington if there was an attempt to remove Trump.

        • P J Evans says:

          And yet every time they have a demonstration it’s dozens, or maybe a few hundred. They seem to think that shouting loudly means they have more people behind them.

    • Rugger9 says:

      As for the last statement, remember that in the eyes of the MAGA tribe the people getting roughed up are the “wrong” people and naturally deserve it. Therefore the RWNJ base loves it, just like how many of the RW evangelical hypocrites believe in condign punishment of sinners.

      • Tom says:

        Trump sometimes refers to the corona-virus as “the plague”, by which I’ve always assumed he was referring to the Black Death of the mid-14th century, though that may be giving him credit for more historical knowledge than he actually has. But your reference to “evangelical hypocrites” now makes me wonder whether Trump is thinking of the Biblical Plagues of Egypt in the Book of Exodus. If so, and given the fact that the pandemic is hitting minority populations especially hard, perhaps Trump is hinting to evangelicals that the covid-19 virus is God’s judgement on certain darker skinned people and that it would be unwise to interfere with the unfolding of the Almighty’s plan; hence, the lack of a national strategy for dealing with the pandemic. Or maybe I’m just the last person to have figured this out.

        • robin says:

          As soon as the news came out that brown and black people were doing most of the dying, Republican ruled states started screaming about opening up. Low effort genocide is what they expected; I think some were stupid enough to think their white, rural cousins were nearly immune to the virus. Looks like they were wrong tho

        • P J Evans says:

          I doubt that Trmp has read the bible since he was a kid. He’d be getting this from Pence and the preachers who have been using him to knock down the wall between church and state.

  13. drouse says:

    Hey everybody, not everything is gloom, doom and bad news. I just heard that due to problems with their Phase III trial, the Zombie apocalypse is being forced to push back their release indefinitely.

  14. Vicks says:

    Really basic questions
    Since this is the United States, I am guessing Americans have rights that can be exercised when during non-wartime they are approached, questioned or grabbed by someone in a soldier costume.
    Am I the only one unclear of what those rights are?
    As a public service, the media should be covering both the mystery of these intimidating figures roaming our streets, and our rights when interacting with armed militia types who’s motives are unknown.
    In the meantime congress needs to shut this shit down immediately.
    Protection of federal property may be a complicated issue, but IMHO If there is a loophole that allows groups to intimidate the public under secret provisions you don’t need a crystal ball to see that loophole needs to be closed in bi-partisan fashion immediately.

    • Rugger9 says:

      As far as I have seen reported, martial law has not been declared / invoked so all Constitutional rights still apply, i.e. probable cause, identifying the arresting party, access to a lawyer, speedy trial, etc. which does not appear to be happening in Portland. Otherwise, it’s really kidnapping.

      IIRC, PPD (or it might have been OR State Police) was also busted not long ago for tipping off the RW allies to enforcement actions, so there is a lot of rot to clean out.

  15. Sandwichman says:

    WaPo: “Legal scholars are questioning whether the detentions in Oregon are constitutional.”

    Democracy dies in normalizing obfuscation.

  16. klynn says:

    CDC Dashboard…
    Anyone have any good resources on this story? While I get that the hope had been to update the system somehow over the last 4 years, this was rolled out oddly and without transparency.

    Caputo being mad by the disclaimer from CDC about not posting 3rd party data — the CDC is correct taking that stance.

    What do we know about the private contractor?

    Are we able to FOIA a private contractor for the US Gov?

    Does moving this under HHS reduce the transparency of data?

    The Dashboard, while restored, will not be updated moving forward.

  17. quebecois says:

    Barr’s arrival has hastened the rise of fascism in the States.

    This is merely a dress rehearsal for what is coming. The goal is chaos.

    Do they hold elections while chaos overwhelms a country?

  18. greengiant says:

    Re Tampa, so that is one reason they gave 72 felony trespass charges in Kentucky. In Portland, all DHS has is ” violent anarchist graffiti” as if stringing three words together has any other meaning than a hateful political mantra. I wonder how Wolf’s pep talk to the troops in Portland went over. How many of them believe in this Hannity swill. The portland police bureau is all in for police violence. They have quite a history of it. The police union in Portland is right out of #45s playbook. Their contract requires no action can be taken that might “embarrass” an officer.

    Thinking there will be another 190 days of protests in Portland for BLM and against police violence, militarization of the police, and of course #45.

    Where is the ACLU and so on this? Won’t the governor and next president be doing some pardons and clearing of arrest records?.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      From a rhetoric perspective, the war is all about conflating graffiti with “violence.” Which is, needless to say, one more racist dogwhistle being shared with the help of our tax dollars.

      • Tom says:

        Or perhaps DHS will appeal to the old “broken window” theory of law enforcement; i.e., if they don’t deal promptly with the graffiti on statues, it will only encourage more serious criminal behaviour.

    • DrFunguy says:

      I think, as many have pointed out, that’s a feature not a bug.
      Give bugaloo and militia types cover to spread the terror.
      Keep people away from the polls _and_ maybe off a few BLMers; twofer!
      Alsotoo maintain plausible deniability for federales to black site folks and spread the terror when so inclined. “Not us, musta been those impersonators”…
      Once you have conditioned people to accept unmarked vans with armed goons seizing folks on the street, all kinds of possibilities open up.

  19. DM says:

    The tweet re the armored fighting vehicle is suspect. That photo was not taken across the street from the PDX Bureau of Transportation.

    More likely that is an Army asset being ferried between bases. The DOJ has plenty of MRAPs, not sure why they’d opt for an Army vehicle but ya never know these days.

  20. mass interest says:

    Does anyone here know why most mainstream outlets haven’t published about this?

    Are they so cowed by the administration that they’re holding back?

    Truly puzzled here.

    • Rayne says:

      Do your homework before complaining here. If you checked Google News for “Portland Oregon protest federal” yesterday afternoon before you commented here you would have found the biggest outlets had published something. Even more have published and the big ones have now posted follow-up stories.

      A better question is how much air time is this story getting on broadcast news media — much more specific, addressing reach to persons who are not necessarily online.

  21. viget says:


    Comment eaten by “sudden” shutdown of the website.

    Check out this link.

    Then consider that Oxford is AstraZeneca’s vaccine. It doesn’t work.

    Finally, BARDA has a $1B deal to buy 300 mil doses for the US. Same BARDA that employed Rick Bright, who was pushed out right before the deal.

    Oh, and Russia is making a deal with AZ too according to R(ussia)euters.

      • Nathanael says:

        Cloudflare went down. Cause not identified, people are wildly speculating.

        Twitter was attacked by a Russian non-government hacker mafia recently who were showing off (I suspect it was a message to Putin).

        Russian hacker mafias have the best hackers in the world, so I tend to expect it’s them whenever anything particularly impressive happens. Could just be an accident though.

  22. John Paul Jones says:

    Lawfare just put up an article on the Portland arrests:

    And Oregon news sources say this has captured the attention of the national media (??), but they also make it fairly clear that the Governor of Oregon is doing diddly about this, leaving it to private litigation via the ACLU and others.

    This sucks. It looks like one of those bad movies of the week from the late 60s where fascism takes over America.

    • P J Evans says:

      I understand the governor and the mayor both asked that the feds withdraw, and were told that it wasn’t going to happen.

      • Nathanael says:

        So kick them out. The governor has authority.

        Kate Brown is perhaps a bit too milquetoast for this. You can bet Andrew Cuomo would have kicked them out — for all his flaws, he ain’t milquetoast. State Lege here in NY came within two votes of cutting the power off to ICE back during the first Muslim ban. It would pass today.

        • skua says:

          There are nations where generals and govenors are limited in the (legal) orders they will issue by the uncertainty they have about their subordinates actioning some orders.

          It could be that the Oregon govenor now has similar doubts.
          Authority non-disregarded is authority retained. And what govenor wants to lose authority?

  23. Valley girl says:

    Nothing not already covered here, but a youtube if you want to send around. (there is one horffic vid I hadn’t seen)
    h ttps://

    • Valley girl says:

      btw, the youtube above is commentary from David Doel, Canadian independent commentator. He’s had lots on police brutality, including scenes from Canada.

  24. civil says:

    They were arrested by CBP:
    That article also has a copy of an internal CBP memo.
    Useful discussion from Steve Vladeck:
    US Attorney in Oregon, Billy Williams: “Based on news accounts circulating that allege federal law enforcement detained two protesters without probable cause, I have requested the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General to open a separate investigation directed specifically at the actions of DHS personnel.”

    • civil says:

      Sorry, I didn’t notice until too late (after reloading the page) that others had already noted the second and third links.

      P J Evans noted that the Oregon A.G. has filed a lawsuit. Here’s a bit more info. The suit is “in federal court against the United States Department of Homeland Security, the United States Marshals Service, the United States Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Protection Service and their agents alleging they have engaged in unlawful law enforcement in violation of the civil rights of Oregonians by seizing and detaining them without probable cause. The lawsuit will be followed by a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) regarding the forcible detainment of an Oregon resident, Mark Pettibone. If granted, the TRO would immediately stop federal authorities from unlawfully detaining Oregonians. …”

    • Eureka says:

      …and bless the Good Trouble of the living as you Rest In Power…


      His last tweets, July 7th and July 10th (the last opposing Trump admin’s planned changes to student visas):

      John Lewis: “59 years ago today I was released from Parchman Farm Penitentiary after being arrested in Jackson, MS for using a so-called “white” restroom during the Freedom Rides of 1961. [photo of his mugshot]”

      John Lewis: “As many universities plan for online or hybrid learning this fall, this needlessly punitive proposal puts international students at risk of illness or deportation if they continue their education in the United States. [link to his house doc]”

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        A giant of the Civil Rights movement has left us. We have an obligation to continue his fight.

        • Eureka says:

          …and we have so much work to do.

          It reminds me of an Irish blessing that says ~~ may there always be work for you(r hands) to do

          which can seem in ways like a curse (where is one’s slothful rest?).

          The occasion of John Lewis’ death is as good as any to take stock of who we are, what each stand for.

  25. Nehoa says:

    I just wanted to say that in reading today’s news, it seems as though the Governor and Mayor (and Sen. Wyden) have stepped up appropriately. But where is OR’s other Senator? OR Congresspersons? Fellow (Dem) Governors? I will be contacting mine, but this is a multi-state issue. Like I said, nip this in the bud.

    • P J Evans says:

      The Oregon AG has filed a suit against the government.
      Everyone is going to have to step up. Cooch insists they’re going to take this nationwide, because apparently Trmp has all of his minions convinced there’s major rioting in all the big cities.

  26. Ruthie says:

    Chris Hayes spoke about this on his show last night – I think it was the lead story. He was obviously outraged, and took it quite seriously. This morning I went to WaPo online, and had to scroll halfway down the page to find this article: “Portland officials decry aggressive tactics of federal agents in their city”. The article didn’t mention the similar use of goons at the DC protests. And that headline… holy crap. I’d post the link, but I couldn’t figure out how to remove tracking.

    • P J Evans says:

      Yeah, WaPo’s URLs are awful.
      The Portland story got to AP, so now it really is everywhere: even the BBC has it.

  27. DrFunguy says:

    So it seem to be continuing.
    Saw several FB posts via friends of friends (I know, I wish there was more corroboration) such as the following:
    “So my good friend’s coworker was one of the people who was kidnapped by federal officers yesterday. She was biking home from a beer bar on Hawthorne bridge, thrown into an unmarked van by men in camo (no badges, no identifying marks) and detained at the Justice Center overnight. They weren’t at or near protests, weren’t carrying signs or weapons. She said there were many people detained with her who needed medical attention from injuries suffered at the hands of authorities. This is really serious. This is the stuff of authoritarianism, it shouldn’t be happening in a free democratic society.”

    “I had 3 friends picked up- one got transported to Sheridan [Federal Minimum Security, a couple of hours from Portland], outside of PDX jurisdiction. One has a broken ankle from being hit with a baton repeatedly- all for the crime of filming. The Feds just made an army of protestors overnight…. #LittleBeirut”

    • Stephen Calhoun says:

      What you have shared taken on its own terms is egregious and deserves some deep digging. Corroboration is key to stitching together the actual course of events, and, for establishing actionable culpability.

      As many have by now suggested, Trump may be aiming to expand this precedent to other blue cities for the sake of re-centering his campaign on ‘law and order’ (while equating cosmopolitan violence with Joe Biden having gone ‘far far left.’)

  28. Raven Eye says:

    One of the items in the Lawfare Blog previously cited in this topic ( struck a chord.

    “In June, the attorney general pointed to a host of agencies and authorities in a letter responding to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. In his words,

    ‘We have deployed personnel from the major law enforcement components of the Department of Justice, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”); the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”); and the U.S. Marshals Service (“USMS”). Each of those agencies acts within the scope of its federal authorities, and where useful and appropriate, we have assigned additional duties to the agencies to assist in the enforcement of federal law. For instance, we have assigned additional law enforcement responsibility to DEA under 21 U.S.C. § 878(a)(5), and USMS has deputized officers from the Department of Homeland Security and from BOP, including its Special Operations Response Teams, to assist in the enforcement of federal law. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 561,566.’”

    Trump’s “Executive Order on Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence” establishes the Attorney General as, essentially, the Commanding General.

    “Sec. 3. Enforcing Laws Prohibiting the Desecration of Public Monuments, the Vandalism of Government Property, and Recent Acts of Violence. (a) The Attorney General shall prioritize within the Department of Justice the investigation and prosecution of matters described in subsections 2(a), (b), and (c) of this order. The Attorney General shall take all appropriate enforcement action against individuals and organizations found to have violated Federal law through these investigations.

    “(b) The Attorney General shall, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, work with State and local law enforcement authorities and Federal agencies to ensure the Federal Government appropriately provides information and assistance to State and local law enforcement authorities in connection with their investigations or prosecutions for the desecration of monuments, memorials, and statues, regardless of whether such structures are situated on Federal property. “


    • Raven Eye says:


      The AG is already written into some of the U.S. Code defining the law enforcement and investigatory authorities of the federal departments and executive agencies. In the present case, it looks like he can pretty much direct any federal law enforcement agency in carrying out whatever he, as AG, decides as necessary. He could co-opt an agency as big as the Coast Guard (14 USC  522, 523, 525) or a capability as small as the BLM Law Enforcement Ranger (an authority the current director of BLM is seeking to undercut) who lives a couple of blocks away from me.

      Expanding the authority of federal law enforcement agencies during and emergency is not unusual, nor necessarily inappropriate. Following Hurricane Hugo, the AG granted the FBI, USMS, and USCG authority to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Civil unrest was ongoing in the Virgin Islands with members of the Virgin Islands police and National Guard reported to be participating. But this was in the context of the President having declared an emergency for the hurricane and the special situation of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Further, President George H.W. Bush invoked the Insurrection Act and there were considerable DoD resources deployed. Trump’s E.O. does not contain the words “emergency”, “state of”, or “declaration”.

      — On the legal side, somebody needs to challenge the E.O. in court – and fast.

      — On the Congressional side, the AG is actively reprogramming federal resources from the functions they were originally appropriated for.

      You should read the Trump’s E.O., if you haven’t already. It reeks of Barr, and is absolutely chilling:

      Traditional Republicans, the ones I remember when I was growing up, would be marching on the White House with pitchforks and torches protesting this gross overreach of federal power.

      • P J Evans says:

        The laws protecting federal monuments have been there for years. The monuments he’s whining about are state and city. But he thinks he owns everything now.

      • greengiant says:

        Clearing the street by Lafayette park with the prison riot squad, national guard, police from Virginia, etc could only be done in D.C.
        Imagine any other city or state where #45 called another state’s national guard in.
        This executive order now allows Barr and 45 to use as well agencies under DHS to provide the manpower. All, all, all for politics. The US attorney in Oregon has asked what is going on? So who does #45 expect to prosecute those arrested for federal crimes? How long will people be detained, when will they be arraigned?
        Question for bmaz or popehat. When do these kidnappings become false arrests. Already reports of people being kidnapped while returning from an evening out. So far only a handful of people brought in by US marshals have been booked at the county jail for Oregon violations.

  29. greengiant says:

    This mornings lede, fire set in Portland Police Association building. Stone must be celebrating, There are often real troublemakers whom some actors are all too willing to not interfere with in order to get the “press” that is good for them. Videos of fires, breaking car windshields and looting seem to be favorites.
    One on the scene observer notes that police were not to be seen downtown, but were in large numbers at the police union.

  30. John Lehman says:


    Lindsey Smith (she/her) (@LindseyPSmith7) Tweeted:
    A crowd of about 400 has now occupied both SW 3rd and SW Main.

    The moms are chanting, “Feds stay clear! Moms are here!” at the federal courthouse.

    All three fences are still up.

  31. DrFunguy says:

    Tangentially related to the Portland situation.
    Curious what folks think of this effort by a county DA in New Mexico to restrict cosplaying militia types from intimidating demonstrators.
    Not sure it can work (1st Amendment?) and ambivalent if it should.
    On the one hand I strongly support the right to peaceful assembly, even by those with whom I disagree. On the other hand, if you are armed and wearing uniforms its seems:
    a. designed to intimidate others from exercising their rights
    b. likely to create confusion as to whom has actual enforcement authority…

    “Calling it the first lawsuit of its kind in the United States, Bernalillo County District Attorney Raúl Torrez announced Monday his office is suing to stop the New Mexico Civil Guard private militia from usurping the state’s military and law enforcement authorities.”

  32. John Lehman says:

    Does anyone else suspect that this whole Portland situation is a “Potemkin Village of violence” staged by political skull drudgery? Seems obvious here on the ground. Wouldn’t photos and videos of oversized military vehicles cruising Portland make the world think what a huge rebellion these “Portland Moms” are fomenting.

    Look who Digby mentions as joining the schemings. “Good old John Yoo.”

    • DrFunguy says:

      The feds provoke and incite violence to help with ‘law and order’ election. Empower cosplaying militia types to impersonate police (who knew it could be so easy!). Maybe a few of ‘those people’ get blown away as collateral…
      Plus, dry run for bigger presence during the election.
      Glad my state is all by mail (not that it matters to me personally, I vote absentee from Canada).

  33. Marinela says:

    I’ve been thinking about the unmarked vans. The local authorities could simply stop the vans that are unmarked as traffic violations, and arrest them if they are not cooperating with enforcing of the laws.

    How it is possible they are able to roam the streets driving in unmarked vans?

    If I drive with a broken light on my car I get stopped by the cops.

    • puzzled scottish person says:

      I confess to having little knowledge of applicable laws here but if the States tell the Feds to ‘get-to-f**k outta here’ and the Feds refuse, what happens? Do the ‘second amendment people’ militias turn up and tell Trump’s stormtroopers to go home or what?

    • Raven Eye says:

      By “unmarked” it means that there are no “Police” markings, distinctive paint jobs, special lights, etc.

      It is reported that these are rental vehicles. If so, they would have normal state license plates. If the feds got vehicles from the GSA motor pool, they would have typically have plates identifying them as “U.S. Government” and an agency code or a code identifying the class of vehicle. GSA could rent or lease vehicles from commercial vendors that would carry state registration and plates. Also, some unmarked federal law enforcement agencies use vehicles with state license plates.

      It is likely that the feds want to use commercial rentals so that they cannot be immediately identified as federal government vehicles through their license plates.

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