Saturday, July 18, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 124: Abuse of Power: Trump's Political Theatre in Portland

Dear Diary,                              
According to Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Washington Post, federal law enforcement officials responding to protests in Portland, have in recent days been unlawfully detaining people in unmarked cars. 

These "officials" - which turned out to be goons working for the Department of Homeland Security's Custom's and Border Protection - are wearing camo outfits with no identifying patches on them and are armed with assault rifles. They've been driving around in unmarked rented minivans and arresting people indiscriminately for several days.

Trump wanted a diversion from his sinking polls by playing Mr. Law and Order by ostensibly protecting federal property (a courthouse). Numerous media and first-hand reports have documented the goons grabbing people off the street who were no where near the courthouse and were not engaged in criminal activity.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Gov. Kate Brown, and Oregon's congressional delegation were pretty clear they did not want Trump's "Help" in dealing with the protestors. In particular they said the feds were not welcome.

Wheeler said that the federal officers had brought only violence and "life-threatening tactics" to Portland streets, and "we do not need or want their help."

Gov. Brown told Trump and his minions that they should remove "all federal officers from our streets" and criticized Trump's "political theatre" and "blatant abuse of power" in Portland.

State Sen. Ron Wyden echoed that critique in a Twitter post yesterday:

"A peaceful protestor in Portland was shot in the head by one of Trump's secret police. Now Trump and HHS Director Chad Wolf are weaponizing the DHS as their own occupying army to provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media."
This is all scary stuff
It's another Trump diversion utilizing federal forces to crack down on lawful protests. We've seen Trump's secret police before in Washington DC when he wanted a photo op. Armed men in camos with no patches.

How terrifying for American citizens who are watching Trump turn federal agencies against them in a blatant assault on their civil liberties.

Trump has turned our republic into a Theatre of the Absurd by catering to authoritarians and alt-right supporters. He doesn't want his reality show presidency to end... ever.

Quote for the Day; "The highest mode of corruption is the abuse of power." - Auliq Ice

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