Discredit, disrupt, and destroy. That is how the government plans to get rid of activists and dissidents who stand in its way.
This has always been the modus operandi of the FBI (more aptly referred to as the Federal Bureau of Intimidation): muzzle anti-government sentiment, harass activists, and terrorize Americans into compliance.
Indeed, the FBI has a long history of persecuting, prosecuting and generally harassing activists, politicians, and cultural figures.
Back in the 1950s and ‘60s, the FBI’s targets were civil rights activists, those suspected of having Communist ties, and anti-war activists. In more recent decades, the FBI has expanded its reach to target so-called domestic extremists, environmental activists, and those who oppose the police state.
Back in 2019, President Trump promised to give the FBI “whatever they need” to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism, without any apparent thought for the Constitution’s prohibitions on such overreach.
That misguided pledge sheds a curious light on the FBI’s latest nationwide spree of SWAT team raids, surveillance, disinformation campaigns, fear-mongering, paranoia, and strong-arm tactics.
For instance, just before dawn on Jan. 25, 2019, the FBI sent 29 heavily armed agents in 17 vehicles to carry out a SWAT-style raid on the Florida home of Roger Stone, one of President Trump’s longtime supporters. Stone, charged with a political crime, was taken away in handcuffs.
In March 2021, under the pretext of carrying out an inventory of U.S. Private Vaults, FBI agents raided 1400 safe deposit boxes in Beverly Hills, seizing “more than $86 million in cash as well as gold, jewelry, and other valuables from property owners who were suspected of no crimes.”
In April 2021, FBI agents raided Rudy Giuliani’s home and office, seizing 18 electronic devices. More than a year later, Giuliani has yet to be charged with any crimes.
In June 2022, Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official under the Trump Administration, was led out of his home in pajamas while federal law enforcement officials raided his home.
In the summer of 2022, FBI agents wearing tactical gear including body armor, helmets and camouflage uniforms and carrying rifles raided multiple homes throughout Little Rock, Ark., including a judge’s home.
In August 2022, more than a dozen FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago, the winter home of Donald Trump.
And in September 2022, 25 to 30 armed FBI agents raided the home of an anti-abortion activist, pointing guns at the family and terrorizing the man’s wife and seven children.
Politics aside, the message is clear: this is how the government will deal with anyone who challenges its authority.