Totally impeachable Attorney General William Barr’s Department of Justice has reportedly authorized the wholesale surveillance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of Black Lives Matter protesters. In a memorandum acquired by BuzzFeedNews, the attorney general has authorized the DEA to carry out surveillance of Americans connected with George Floyd and Breonna Taylor protests, as well as to “perform such other law enforcement duties as the Attorney General may designate.”
According to BuzzFeed News, Barr’s close confidant and acting administrator of the DEA wrote the memo, in which he lays out why the DEA should be allowed to infringe upon Americans’ First Amendment rights: “In order for DEA to assist to the maximum extent possible in the federal law enforcement response to protests which devolve into violations of federal law, DEA requests that it be designated to enforce any federal crime committed as a result of protests over the death of George Floyd. DEA requests this authority on a nationwide basis for a period of fourteen days.”
This means that on top of potentially illegally wiretapping and visually surveilling Americans, the DEA would also potentially have the unchecked power to make arrests and conduct interviews or interrogations of U.S. citizens under this new order. The DEA officially declined to comment on the story.
However, BuzzFeed reports that anonymous sources from inside of the DEA told the media outlet that they were “troubled” by the potential overreach on the part of the executive branch of the government, and the very real possibility that Barr and others would abuse this power. Attorney General Barr and President Trump have begun pushing forward the evidence-free storyline that escalating violence, looting, and fires connected with nationwide peaceful protests are being perpetrated by “far left” antifa groups.
Most telling here is that the top law enforcement officer in the land and the president of the United States have mustered all of their attention and force toward an unproven conspiracy theory as opposed to dealing with the source of the peaceful protests themselves. The call for racial justice and law enforcement accountability in the deaths of Black citizens like George Floyd remain ignored by Trump and Barr’s scapegoat tactics. BuzzFeed was not able to confirm whether or not other law enforcement agencies like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms had been granted similar superpowers.
Once again, the anti-stay-at-home order Second Amendment patriots and the Don’t Tread on Me crowd continue to remain conspicuously silent in the face of real government civil rights and liberties abuses.