Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Is Our Government “At War” With Us?

 

Provocative question of the day: Is our government “at war” with us? This question is ambiguous and this post can go a lot of different ways, so let me be clear in what context I am using “government,” “war” and “us”:

  1. Government = government power and authority by whomever is permitted to employ it without pushback and limits by persons ostensibly holding power over those persons.
  2. War = an overwhelming level of physical coercion and threat consistent with subjugation either temporarily or permanently.
  3. Us = citizens who may or may not be completely compliant with the complex set of laws in our country but who do not represent a reasonable threat of violent response to a government demand for compliance.

The question is stimulated by the circumstances of Roger Stone’s arrest yesterday under the authority of the Special Counsel. Like the Manafort arrest that preceded it, there was no obvious reason to send in a SWAT team conducting a pre-dawn raid. Both men had been cooperating with the Special Counsel through attorneys. Both men assert that they would have been happy to surrender peaceably with their attorneys. In the case of Stone, a judge released him immediately on a personal bond, something that would never be done with a violent criminal and flight risk.

Sadly, these instances are not isolated. Recall the “rescue” of Elian Gonzales by the Clinton administration directed SWAT team. In that instance there is no doubt there would have been resistance by the people where he lived, but would it have been violent? Could not beefy US Marshals with ordinary side-arms not been sufficient?

Ruby Ridge seems like a similar tragedy, but at least there was an arguable potential for violence against lightly-armed officers.

And then there are instances of mistaken raids and “swattings” that have resulted in injury or death. These incidents underscore how dangerous military tactics can be. Not just to the targets of the raid but to the raiders as well.

So why are these tactics employed in circumstances where the same objective could have been achieved through lesser means? Is it simply an intimidation tactic; an important reminder that each an every citizen is subject to the power of their government? (Note the presence of CNN to broadcast the power of the government.)

Does that thought give you a feeling of security? It shouldn’t. These tactics are not suppressing violence in Chicago. In the case of Stone, they are a response to alleged “process crimes” impacting the task of the Special Counsel to discover….what exactly?

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  1. OldPhil Coolidge

    Was watching an interview last night with an ex-FBI guy who was on the Unabomber task force. The “team” sent in to arrest him at his mountain cabin consisted of one forest ranger and two agents dressed to look like mining company employees. This was a guy who had killed and maimed multiple people.

    And then there are instances of mistaken raids and “swattings” that have resulted in injury or death.

    I still remember the optometrist shot and killed by a Virginia SWAT team because he was betting on football games.

    https://reason.com/archives/2011/01/17/justice-for-sal

    • #1
    • January 26, 2019, at 10:24 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  2. Bob Thompson Member

    There’s much more going on that will support the raising of the question asked in the OP. Why do we have a Special Counsel in place operating without limit and causing all inquiries into any behaviors by law enforcement or intelligence agencies during the Obama Administration and subsequently to be shrouded in secrecy?

    The link is attributable to @civilwestman.

    They Thought They Were Free – The Germans 1933 – 1945

    • #2
    • January 26, 2019, at 10:25 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  3. JoelB Member

    Government power must always be checked if freedom is to be maintained. The temptation to abuse power is always great. The balances of the Constitution are dynamic and must be worked every day if they are to remain meaningful. Information must get out to the people and the Press must be free. The present situation seems to be becoming more unbalanced and unchecked as time goes on.

    Short answer – Yes.

    • #3
    • January 26, 2019, at 10:35 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  4. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I wonder where acting AG Whitaker is? Wouldn’t he have had to approve this assault style arrest? I understand Christopher Wray has turned into a slimy worm of a Director who needs to be fired as soon as William Barr becomes the AG. But Whitaker was supposed to be solid. Barr is supposed to be solid. Is anyone in D.C. solid…really?

    • #4
    • January 26, 2019, at 10:54 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  5. Bob Thompson Member

    cdor (View Comment):

    I wonder where acting AG Whitaker is? Wouldn’t he have had to approve this assault style arrest? I understand Christopher Wray has turned into a slimy worm of a Director who needs to be fired as soon as William Barr becomes the AG. But Whitaker was supposed to be solid. Barr is supposed to be solid. Is anyone in D.C. solid…really?

    We don’t know…do we?

    • #5
    • January 26, 2019, at 11:11 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Barfly Member

    War on drugs, war on poverty, war on crime – none of those are real war either but they’ve become part of the common vocabulary. I suppose it’s come to mean a state in which anything you do to your enemy is acceptable, even encouraged, because the stakes are greater than any action however reprehensible. 

    I wouldn’t quite say it’s “government” either – it’s the adolescent children who’ve taken over government, the clique-y front row middlewit kids. But that’s a distinction without a difference.

    Yes – a significant part of our government is at war with you, me and people like us.

    • #6
    • January 26, 2019, at 11:38 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  7. Sweezle Member

    It feels like the unelected judiciary, bureaucrats and lobbyists are at war with “us” most of the time. Maybe I expect too much.

    • #7
    • January 26, 2019, at 1:24 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I think so. Mueller’s team is using nothing short of Gestapo techniques and it shouldn’t be a surprise. If you read “Licensed to Lie” by Sidney Powell, it is clear that this has been going on for a long time. Unfortunately, the book stops before the current Mueller investigation, but many of the same people – in particular, Weissman – are described in detail. It is clear to me that Mueller ( and probably Rosenstein) put together a team of thugs.

     

    https://www.amazon.com/Licensed-Lie-Exposing-Corruption-Department-ebook/dp/B00KQ5EDA2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1548541485&sr=1-1&keywords=license+to+lie

    • #8
    • January 26, 2019, at 2:29 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  9. DonG (Biden is compromised) Coolidge

    Let’s not forget the aggressive methods used to arrest of the Branch Davidians.

     

    But the biggest usurpation is the NSA spying on citizens. 

    • #9
    • January 26, 2019, at 4:23 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  10. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Government is the excuse / justification for the elite to exercise power against those less powerful. It is done in such a way to leave no doubt how little power their victims have, how easily that they can be imprisoned or killed.

    In the case of Stone and other Trump associates, they are being schooled that while technically they hold power via an election in actuality that does not matter. The Democrats hold the high cards and may take everything from any of them at any time for the flimsiest of excuses. People are being locked up for years because of how emails are being interpreted out of context or because some government form may be missing. All because Orange Man Bad that the elites do not feel should be POTUS since non elites elected him.

    • #10
    • January 26, 2019, at 5:00 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  11. Jim George Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    There’s much more going on that will support the raising of the question asked in the OP. Why do we have a Special Counsel in place operating without limit and causing all inquiries into any behaviors by law enforcement or intelligence agencies during the Obama Administration and subsequently to be shrouded in secrecy?

    The linked is attributable to @civilwestman.

    They Thought They Were Free – The Germans 1933 – 1945

    I have just read this piece– thank you for bringing it to our attention. It is one of the most eerily frightening parallel to some of the Gestapo tactics of the Mueller team I have yet seen. This is a genuine menace growing right in plain sight in our society and I’m going to begin writing, which does no good at all, our Representatives and Senators, and then calling them incessantly to demand that they do whatever they can in their power to bringhalt to this out of control Gestapo regime growing like a horrible infection right in the middle of our government. 

    I urge all to read that excerpt from one who watched the cancer of Nazism grow in his own country; see if you don’t think, like I did, it has very direct echos of what is happening in our very own country. 

    • #11
    • January 26, 2019, at 6:31 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  12. The Reticulator Member

    Rodin: Does that thought give you a feeling of security? It shouldn’t. These tactics are not suppressing violence in Chicago. In the case of Stone, they are a response to alleged “process crimes” impacting the task of the Special Counsel to discover….what exactly?

    The process is the punishment.

    Don’t forget the 2011 raid on the Gibson Guitar Company, btw. Maybe the government does that when it has a weak case, to get the cooperative news media to drum up some sentiment against the accused. 

    • #12
    • January 26, 2019, at 10:09 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  13. Flicker Coolidge

    Politics is downhill from culture. (Andrew Breitbart)

    Law enforcement is downhill from politics. (Jack Dunphy, heavily paraphrased)

    And yes, the process is the punishment.

    In other words, law enforcement is now enforcing the culture through extrajudicial means.

    The government has turned to swatting its own citizens. Not responding to violence with SWAT teams, but swatting them as a matter of psychological humiliation, intimidation, and coercion. Can RICO laws be applied to federal agencies?

    • #13
    • January 27, 2019, at 12:49 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  14. Flicker Coolidge

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Rodin: Does that thought give you a feeling of security? It shouldn’t. These tactics are not suppressing violence in Chicago. In the case of Stone, they are a response to alleged “process crimes” impacting the task of the Special Counsel to discover….what exactly?

    The process is the punishment.

    Don’t forget the 2011 raid on the Gibson Guitar Company, btw. Maybe the government does that when it has a weak case, to get the cooperative news media to drum up some sentiment against the accused.

    Gibson, not Martin? No matter, they both got the same wood from the same sources with the same paperwork, one was confiscated, the other was ignored.

    • #14
    • January 27, 2019, at 12:52 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  15. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Gibson, not Martin? No matter, the both got the same wood from the same sources with the same paperwork, one was confiscated, the other was ignored.

    If I remember correctly, one was an Obama supporter and one wasn’t.

    • #15
    • January 27, 2019, at 5:29 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  16. Flicker Coolidge

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Gibson, not Martin? No matter, the both got the same wood from the same sources with the same paperwork, one was confiscated, the other was ignored.

    If I remember correctly, one was an Obama supporter and one wasn’t.

    Yes, and Reticulator is probably right that it was Gibson. I own a Martin so I’m biased in their favor. For the 0bama supporter they looked the other way. And for the Republican donor, they confiscated all their dried tropical specialty woods because they could.

    • #16
    • January 27, 2019, at 5:46 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  17. Stad Thatcher

    Slap a “QED” at the end of your post and you’re done . . .

    • #17
    • January 27, 2019, at 5:49 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor

    The whole Stone incident was both ridiculous and frightening. What were they trying to prove? Was it a message to intimidate all of us, to warn us that any of us could do just about anything and be militarily accosted in the early hours of the morning because we’re on the “wrong side” of politics?

    Maybe Mueller thought he was sending this message. In my opinion, the message that he sent is that he’s a fool and and a tyrant. Good for him.

    • #18
    • January 27, 2019, at 8:01 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  19. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    Lawfare.

    • #19
    • January 27, 2019, at 10:14 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  20. Unsk Member

    The answer is unfortunately yes and it is not just by law enforcement.

    Did you ever ask yourself why is it that the latest crazy political correct authoritarian crusade is almost always adopted by government in short due course even though it wantonly violates enumerable Constitutional rights of you and me? The answer of course is the men and women in the black robes of our Judiciary want it that way even though they have no jurisdiction or right or even tiny morsel of a power granted to them under the Constitution at all to rule that way.

    Almost a hundred years ago the boys of the Frankfurt school descended upon on our shores aiding the already entrenched Progressives like Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Dewey, to tear down our Constitutional Republic and replace it with some sort of Marxist dictatorship by the “elites” more to their liking. And boy howdy have they succeeded!

    From a school system whose primary aim seems to be to brainwash all our young into little Progressive drone puppets who will be triggered by the latest Progressive talking point to a regulatory system that wants to regulate your every move based upon the latest Politically Correct craze, the Left has weaponized almost all of government to conduct an insidious war against the common people of America , any shred of common sense that supports our Constitutional Republic and indeed the American way of life.

    • #20
    • January 27, 2019, at 10:35 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  21. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    Rodin: So why are these tactics employed in circumstances where the same objective could have been achieved through lesser means? Is it simply an intimidation tactic; an important reminder that each an every citizen is subject to the power of their government? (Note the presence of CNN to broadcast the power of the government.)

    Yes.

    • #21
    • January 27, 2019, at 11:00 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  22. I Walton Member

    I think you are all right. So then what? I’d say start with the schools, free them from central controls, wherever we can, they can be liberated beginning with states that can see clearly enough to free themselves from Federal subsidies. Simultaneously push to end the Muller interrogation. It’s out of control and pushing always toward centralized power. Half the public pretends that it’s unbiased and professional, it very clearly isn’t. The anti Trump folks think it’s about Trump. It isn’t, it’s about the left and Trump’s intended or accidental attack on the left. If Trump is defeated next year, it’s over folks.

    • #22
    • January 27, 2019, at 11:19 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  23. MarciN Member

    Jim George (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    There’s much more going on that will support the raising of the question asked in the OP. Why do we have a Special Counsel in place operating without limit and causing all inquiries into any behaviors by law enforcement or intelligence agencies during the Obama Administration and subsequently to be shrouded in secrecy?

    The linked is attributable to @civilwestman.

    They Thought They Were Free – The Germans 1933 – 1945

    I have just read this piece– thank you for bringing it to our attention. It is one of the most eerily frightening parallel to some of the Gestapo tactics of the Mueller team I have yet seen. This is a genuine menace growing right in plain sight in our society and I’m going to begin writing, which does no good at all, our Representatives and Senators, and then calling them incessantly to demand that they do whatever they can in their power to bringhalt to this out of control Gestapo regime growing like a horrible infection right in the middle of our government.

    I urge all to read that excerpt from one who watched the cancer of Nazism grow in his own country; see if you don’t think, like I did, it has very direct echos of what is happening in our very own country.

    I agree that people need to read this excerpt.

    The problem that I see right now is that the country seems to be pretty evenly divided, and each side is accusing the other of being Nazi-like. Thus the impasse.

    One thing that would help enormously is to stop using the “top secret” and “classified” seals of secrecy on our government’s activities. The Sunshine and Open Meeting laws that exist in most states have done wonders in helping states address corruption and power overreach. It would do the same on a national level. The threat against us from our own government working under a shroud of secrecy is far greater than any terrorist or enemy state threat. And let’s be clear here, what’s the first thing the government will do when it realizes it is facing an actual threat: it will call us. It will want our time, our money, and our lives. To convince us of the necessity for that, they’ll end up telling us about the threat anyway. I think government can’t be trusted to act in secret.

    Also, we have to commit to placing the truth above all else in our values. I think that is what Jordan Peterson has been trying to get at. It is what Socrates was trying to say. Without our highest value being truth, we are lost as a society.

    If seeking and finding the truth were our highest value, Mueller would have packed his bags eighteen months ago. He would have been lauded for discovering and announcing the truth rather than being lauded for handing out supenas and life-wrecking charges and indictments.

    • #23
    • January 27, 2019, at 11:29 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. Rightfromthestart Coolidge

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Government is the excuse / justification for the elite to exercise power against those less powerful. It is done in such a way to leave no doubt how little power their victims have, how easily that they can be imprisoned or killed.

    In the case of Stone and other Trump associates, they are being schooled that while technically they hold power via an election in actuality that does not matter. The Democrats hold the high cards and may take everything from any of them at any time for the flimsiest of excuses. People are being locked up for years because of how emails are being interpreted out of context or because some government form may be missing. All because Orange Man Bad that the elites do not feel should be POTUS since non elites elected him.

    As Mark Steyn says, when Republicans win they are in office, when Democrats win they are in POWER. 

    • #24
    • January 27, 2019, at 11:47 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  25. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    There’s much more going on that will support the raising of the question asked in the OP. Why do we have a Special Counsel in place operating without limit and causing all inquiries into any behaviors by law enforcement or intelligence agencies during the Obama Administration and subsequently to be shrouded in secrecy?

    The link is attributable to @civilwestman.

    They Thought They Were Free – The Germans 1933 – 1945

    I believe the man who is being quoted in your link above was also the man who ended up helping dozens of Jewish people and dissidents escape.

    I found this paragraph note worthy, especially in light of a 20 second commercial being run on Cable TV:

    “You will understand me when I say that my Middle High German was my life. It was all I cared about. I was a scholar, a specialist. Then, suddenly, I was plunged into all the new activity, as the university was drawn into the new situation; meetings, conferences, interviews, ceremonies, and, above all, papers to be filled out, reports, bibliographies, lists, questionnaires. And on top of that were the demands in the community, the things in which one had to, was ‘expected to’ participate that had not been there or had not been important before. It was all rigmarole, of course, but it consumed all one’s energies, coming on top of the work one really wanted to do. You can see how easy it was, then, not to think about fundamental things. One had no time.”

    The ad I mention concerns a new program that is to be introduced into our public schools. It is labelled “Speak Truth to Power” and I assume what it is about is a specially designed program devoted to letting students know they can be rude to any teachers whose behavior or remarks can be construed to be racist or misogynistic, et al.

    Any person who has dealt with offspring going through that teenaged routine of “I can’t take out the garbage tonight even though it is my turn. I mean, I would do it, except you have been so tyrannical lately, Mom!” realizes the inherent flaw in this program…

    So through this program, we might be able to watch our schools all deteriorate into clones of the Evergreen College or University-styled school of antagonistic and threatening students, who let any perceived micro aggression push them over the top. I also suspect that perhaps the aggrieved students will be told to report the names of teachers who are guilty of the perceived micro aggressions.

    • #25
    • January 27, 2019, at 12:37 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  26. Unsk Member

    Walton: “I’d say start with the schools, free them from central controls, wherever we can, they can be liberated beginning with states that can see clearly enough to free themselves from Federal subsidies.”

    I think part of the problem is that this brainwashing by the Left has been going for so long that 90+% of your teachers and administrators everywhere are Progressives who think there is only one true way-theirs. So liberating from Federal mandates and central controls will only fix a small part of the problem.

    That said, however there is a right to “equal protection ” enshrined in the Constitution for all state governmental activities. So both sides should be heard by our students in both public schools and state financed in some way Universities (90+% of all universities) including religious, moral and political issues, which is clearly not happening now. In fact all those teachers indoctrinating students in Leftist bullcrap now are violating their students rights and are in fact criminals who should be charged and prosecuted. 

    • #26
    • January 27, 2019, at 12:38 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  27. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    Conservatives need to start the same long march through the institutions that the left managed. It’s going to be harder, because you’d be attacking enemy strongholds, but it needs to be done.

    As for the schools, start with the textbooks. Whoever controls the textbooks controls education.

     

    • #27
    • January 27, 2019, at 12:53 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  28. Stad Thatcher

    Unless there was evidence Stone would respond in a violent fashion, they could have surrounded his house (at a reasonable time in the morning), telephoned him and told him they were going to arrest him, then give him 10 minutes to come out peacefully. Or, they could tell him to call his lawyer, and they’d meet at the office to pick him up.

    No. Nighttime raids are designed to intimidate the suspect and foment public opinion against the accused. These raids also unnecessarily put law enforcement officers at risk, body armor notwithstanding, because even a normal person might snap and fire back when his door is broken down . . .

    • #28
    • January 27, 2019, at 1:09 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  29. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    MarciN (View Comment):
    [W]e have to commit to placing the truth above all else in our values. I think that is what Jordan Peterson has been trying to get at. It is what Socrates was trying to say. Without our highest value being truth, we are lost as a society.

    We seem to have become a less truthful society. Political correctness is the tell. Some think its OK to promote deceit in the name of “eradicating” hateful speech. It’s not. As Jordan Peterson has said, “You don’t eliminate anything, you just drive it underground. Better to have it out in the open where you can see it.”

    • #29
    • January 27, 2019, at 2:12 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  30. philo Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    [W]e have to commit to placing the truth above all else in our values. I think that is what Jordan Peterson has been trying to get at. It is what Socrates was trying to say. Without our highest value being truth, we are lost as a society.

    We seem to have become a less truthful society. Political correctness is the tell. Some think its OK to promote deceit in the name of “eradicating” hateful speech. It’s not. As Jordan Peterson has said, “You don’t eliminate anything, you just drive it underground. Better to have it out in the open where you can see it.”

    Reminds me of a favorite passage…in large part because I like quoting (and typing the name) Gertrude Himmelfarb…but also because it happens to be true:

    As liberty of thought is absolute, so is liberty of speech, which is “inseparable” from liberty of thought. Liberty of speech, moreover, is essential not only for its own sake but for the sake of truth, which requires absolute liberty for the utterance of unpopular and even demonstrably false opinions. Indeed, false or unpopular opinions are so important to truth that they should be encouraged and disseminated by “devil’s advocates” if necessary, for only by the “collision of adverse opinions” can the most certain of truths survive as live truth rather than “dead dogma.” – Page 78

    • #30
    • January 27, 2019, at 2:45 PM PST
    • 5 likes

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