Attorney General Bill Barr figures that he can destroy Black Lives Matter by equating them to "anti-government extremists" like the white supremacist Boogaloo movement, justifying overwhelming force to stop protests and arrest dozens, maybe hundreds as "terrorists".
Attorney General William P. Barr on Friday directed the formation of a task force that will be dedicated to countering “anti-government extremists,” escalating federal law enforcement’s response to the violence that has sometimes marked nationwide protests against police brutality and racism, according to a memo obtained by The Washington Post.
In the memo, Barr wrote that amid peaceful demonstrations, anti-government extremists had “engaged in indefensible acts of violence designed to undermine public order.”
“Among other lawless conduct, these extremists have violently attacked police officers and other government officials, destroyed public and private property, and threatened innocent people,” Barr wrote in a directive to all the Justice Department’s law enforcement components and U.S. attorneys. “Although these extremists profess a variety of ideologies, they are united in their opposition to the core constitutional values of a democratic society governed by law. . . . Some pretend to profess a message of freedom and progress, but they are in fact forces of anarchy, destruction, and coercion.”
Barr’s memo said that, in the past month, the Justice Department had disrupted extremists “of all persuasions,” and he singled out two: “those who support the ‘Boogaloo,’ ” a radical right-wing group whose adherents openly anticipate civil war, and “those who self identify as Antifa,” a far-left-leaning ideology that encompasses communists, socialists and anarchists.
“Some of these violent extremists, moreover, may be fortified by foreign entities seeking to sow chaos and disorder in our country,” Barr wrote, though he offered no specifics.
Barr has previously warned of a “witch’s brew” of extremist groups taking advantage of the protests to incite mayhem, and he has singled out in particular antifa, which President Trump also has sought to blame for violence at demonstrations. That has drawn some criticism, because of more than 120 people the department has charged federally with protest related crimes, none has been alleged to have ties to an organized antifa group, according to public summaries of the cases.
The vast majority of those charged seem to be individual actors intent on sowing chaos. And they represent a minuscule fraction of the thousands who have peacefully protested police violence and racism throughout the country.
According to Barr’s memo, the task force will be led by Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, and Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas, and it will include representatives from the FBI and federal prosecutor shops across the country. Barr wrote that it would develop information about “extremist individuals, networks, and movements” and share that data with local law enforcement. The group will also provide training and resources to local authorities to help prosecute anti-government extremists, Barr wrote.
“The ultimate goal of the task force will be not only to enable prosecutions of extremists who engage in violence, but to understand these groups well enough that we can stop such violence before it occurs and ultimately eliminate it as a threat to public safety and the rule of law,” Barr wrote.
It's that last paragraph that gives away the game. If Barr truly meant this in regard to the Boogaloo movement, then I'd actually be impressed. But by creating the false equivalency to Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters being just as "extremist" he is opening the door for treating protesters as terrorists at the federal level.
What the Trump regime wants to do is to turn America against the protests. It's worked every time before, but so far this time it hasn't. Barr is hoping that mass arrests covering the news will make America forget about mass deaths from COVID-19.
It won't work, but he can cause a lot of grief in the meantime.