Marcus Ranum asks a really good question: who are all these mysterious masked strangers dressed in black armor who show up at the best of the federal government to crush protests? It’s not the lone ranger. They seem to appear out of an undocumented pool of semi-professional thugs. That suggests an answer.
I’ve been puzzled by the fact that nobody seems to be talking about where these “federal troops” have come from.
They’re not well-trained and they’re not particularly brave, but they have spiffy gear that someone bought them from an online Tactical(tm) store. They’re fond of hitting people, especially people who can’t defend themselves. They act like they’re an occupying force; Amerikkka come to the inner city to bust some heads. Sound familiar?
Where has Trump friend Erik Prince been, lately? Because the smell of Blackwater is wafting all around; it’s unmistakable.
Could our government be hiring mercenaries to put down citizens who don’t like injustice? As Marcus suggests, there is a good opportunity for journalistic investigation here.
Here’s how they operate: four thugs abruptly attack a 14 year old girl in Eugene, Oregon.
She is 14 years old.
— Brynn (@pcbrynn) July 27, 2020
I guess she was a dangerous threat.
The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs) says
Reports I’ve seen from Portland suggest that it’s a mix of multiple groups, including both Blackwater and actual government employees. (Specifically mentioned was border patrol.) But this is just stuff I’m seeing from anonymous people on the Internet who claim to be there — they have pictures but even that doesn’t mean much these days.
@ The Vicar: Being open to revision, but for now that makes sense. Both types of employees do have a history of thuggery. The border patrol had been expanded without vetting, and its been known for some time that the quality of person in that job has gone even further down.
Note “best” vice “behest” in title.
This “right to bear arms” thing is defended, in part, as protection against government overreach, isn’t it? How’s that working out?
Machiavelli famously wrote that a healthy and virtuous republic used citizen soldiers for its security needs, because they would be motivated by love of their people and a stake in their society to defend it. A tyrannical regime, however, used mercenaries, because it had to buy people’s loyalty and goodwill among the subject people was generally in very short supply.
The good news is that the sort of tyrant who has to resort to such measures generally doesn’t last very long.
#4, THANK YOU!!! I was wondering when someone was going to point out that the “armed militias eager to fight the gouvernment to defend freedoms” don’t seem to be doing squat here. This is literally the scenario they’ve been going on about for a long while now as to why they need their weapons.
Well there’s the gouvernment abusing you…go ahead and do something with your precious gun! You’ve literally been asking for it!
Were those Feds? They could well have been local Eugene police. I wouldn’t put it past them. Here’s a couple of significant data points on the EPD. They are nothing more than two-bit thugs here, and I have zero faith that anything substantive has changed since these cases.
Oh, lookie here. No, the Eugene police have not changed one goddamn bit. The force is still full of rapists. This is my surprised face. :/
Sorry for spamming the comm box PZ. The URL for that post says the officer resigned, but the article says he hasn’t been identified because there were no charges against him, so I have no idea if the claim of his resignation is true. The pigs lie all the time, so I assume they’re lying here too.
@7: The local news last night reported them as Eugene city cops, with the chief of police going on camera to defend the use of four cops to arrest her on the grounds that they thought she might have been throwing rocks.
Note that that wasn’t “she was throwing rocks,” it was “she might have been throwing rocks.”
She was apparently released into the custody of her parents, who are wondering exactly why it took the city of Eugene four police officers to subdue one teenage girl in a world that isn’t directed by Joss Whedon.
More never ending blowback from Bush’s war on the Middle East…
Can’t find the source now, but yeah, they’re hiring the usual suspects plus some you probably haven’t heard of. Not particularly surprising considering $$$$$ + privatizing dogma + military industrial complex –> attracts merchants of death and death cults like flies.
It’s all laid out there. With Trump the bar has hit the ground. Let’s hope the Repubs never get a chance to install a fascist with actual cunning, competence and charisma.
The Grauniad had a long-ish story on some of gestapo in Portland, ‘These are his people’: inside the elite border patrol unit Trump sent to Portland: “Bortac, a quasi-militarised outfit equivalent to the Navy Seals, has been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan”.
Also in the Grauniad, Oil giants help fund powerful police groups in top US cities: “Investigation portrays fossil fuel industry as common enemy in struggle for racial and environmental justice in America”.
@ Artor, # 7: You could be right about them being local thugs rather than Blackwater. Blackwater typically recruits from Special Ops and Special Forces-the thugs in the video look like they haven’t been properly trained. Watch the slovenly way that one guy is holding a baton-incompetent.
I could be wrong, but one of the guys holding down the 14 year old girl looks like he’s trying to dry hump her.
Ray Ceeya says
Blackwater. In my industry “blackwater” a euphemism for wastewater that contains human fecal matter. As opposed to graywater which is still nasty but no human waste. Seems appropriate.
It’s real simple.
She was easy to take down, being a 14 year girl.
If they tried to take down an adult, it would be much harder and they might even have to make an effort.
the thing about mercenaries is they do not really have loyalty not being true believers they are for the most part in it for the money, when the money runs out so do they. The way agent orange is managing the economy and his own party that does not look all that stable either.
blackwater = sewer seems true enough, just another form of graft
Classic predator behavior. She was separated from the herd. It looks like a scene from the Serengeti.
Pierce R. Butler says
eddavies @ # 4 & mamba @ # 6: This “right to bear arms” thing is defended, in part, as protection against government overreach … the “armed militias eager to fight the gouvernment to defend freedoms” don’t seem to be doing squat here.
Just wait till some neonazi puts on a BLM t-shirt and shoots a fed. Expect a lot of memorable protest funerals.
It’s already happened.
Some boogaloo guy in the army, shot and killed a federal marshal in Oakland during a BLM protest and wounded another one.
When the Santa Cruz cops tried to arrest him, he shot two more and killed one.
The white supremacists have infiltrated BLM protests in many places such as Minneapolis.
@19: Why would a Neo-nazi shoot a Fed? They’re on the same side.
The “We need arms to defend us from tyranny!” idea was disproven by the fate of North America’s indigenous population in the 19th Century. They were involved in armed uprisings against the removal of their rights and conquest of their lands, and lost. The gun crowd will point at Afghanistan, but all that armed citizens resulted in was decades of civil war and the imposition of authoritarian governments.
@21, Teh boogaloo nutters are trying to start a 2nd civil war — which they call teh— and apparently tend loonibertarian (albeit they are a mixed bag of nuts) and are known to say, e.g., (the loon mentioned in @20 cited precisely that). Broadly, whilst some are indeed nazis, they really, desperately, want a chance to play a real-life Rambo. The impression I have is they don’t give a feck who gets shot as long as teh starts. (Also, there has been at least one incident where some armed nutters wore BLM T-shirts but were very much not BLM — don’t know if they were bogaloons or not — in an effort to get genuine BLM protestors blamed; from memory, they were stoopid enough to threaten some
(Apologies for the lack of references, the above has been gleaned from multiple sources plus snippets I may or may not be remembering correctly.)
@ stroppy, # 18: Predators, yes-except they went after their own species. That makes them cannibals.
Pierce R. Butler says
‘Umbrella man’ who sparked Minneapolis riots identified as racist biker gang member
Provocateurs gonna provoke.
@24 These assholes would probably be flattered to be compared to lions.
But, FWIW, lion prides are violently territorial, and adult male lions will also kill lion cubs that are not their own.
“NRA Accidentally Forgets To Rise Up Against Tyrannical Government”
Gregory Greenwood says
Casual state violence violence like this, masked government thugs with no badges and no identifying credentials of any kind rounding up dissenters on the streets and bundling them into unmarked vehicles – these are not the marks of a healthy democracy.