Is it still government overreach regardless of the politics of those involved?

So here’s a thought experiment. It seems that what’s reportedly going on in Portland is precisely the kind of overreach by the federal government that is warned about regularly on this site, and it would be interesting to have some reflection (civil, of course…) on a couple of questions:

  1. Do our views of government actions depend on our sympathy for the politics of those who are impacted? Imagine this was the response to pro-2A protesters; would we feel any different?

  2. For someone who is responsibly carrying, what are the possible responses should a group of armed men in camouflage jump out of an unmarked van and approach them without identifying themselves? How easy would it be for this to spiral out of control?

  3. Is it possible that these actions are driven by politics, and directed more to voters in Florida or Michigan than they are about actions in Portland? Since all the authorities in Oregon (governor, mayor, senators, even the chief of police) suggest that these federal forces are only escalating tensions and have asked them to leave, what does this suggest for the principle local governance?

I really am asking these questions sincerely. I know the politics of USCCA members stretch across the spectrum, and I learn a lot here, especially from those whose views are different than mine.

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My thoughts, on this. Federal Law Enforcement has some fairly stringent hurdles to overcome. So I am going to say they have probably done their due diligence. So I would video the arrest, and get the tag of the vehicle, and try to get the arrestee’s name. That way there would be solid independently verifiable information available for the defense or prosecutor.

As to your thought exercises,

  1. I don’t think my views change much whomever it is protestor anti 2A or pro 2A.

  2. Extremely easy.

  3. No disrespect but I think Washington(the State) and Oregon has abdicated it’s role on upholding the rule of law.
    I do not like the idea of federal agents being on the streets in my town, and yes this could be a ploy for political points.

Edited to correct state. As pointed out by @CascadiaNow

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We still have Habeas Corpus in this country. I can imagine, they are being charged federally with Crossing State Lines to Foment a Riot. I dont think the Constitution stipulates what kind of vehicle the arresting authority should drive or what clothes they should wear, as long as federal agents identify themselves to the person they arrest at the time of arrest - the law is satisfied.
The optics of unmarked cars is not good for PR, or getting a jury to convict. Remember NBC show To Catch a Predator? I could not decide who was creepier -the perverts they arrested or the people who pretended to be kids online, or the camera crew.

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Unfortunately there is a suspension clause in the constitution.
Article I, Section 9, Clause 2

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I live 17 miles West of Portland (where the nightly riots are taking place). Yes, riots, not peaceful protests. The local and State dictators are allowing these rioters complete control; defund law and order, etc. These rioters want complete communism…they have stated that clearly.

We can debate all day under who’s (FBI’s, Patriot Act) definition of Terrorism or Domestic Terrorism this insurrection falls under, but make no mistake…what is taking place here in Portland is NOT peaceful protesting. It is an outright attempt to overthrow our Constitution. If ever Federal Government Law Enforcement involvement should be embraced by all Constitutionalists, it’s now.

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I will start by saying I am viewing this news with a very skeptical eye. I’m not saying the gubment doesn’t sometimes do some downright bananas stuff… but the story of the Feds driving around jumping out of an unmarked van and kidnapping people just sounds beyond absurd. There was video running around early in the protests of “cops” setting fire to their own vehicle and it turned out they weren’t cops. This story sounds like that. Usually when the Feds come get you, it is more like this story where the FBI tracked down someone and showed up on their doorstep a week later.

There is no benefit to them driving around and grabbing random people. And how do these people know its “the Feds” kidnapping them, if they have no markings and do not announce themselves? My BS meter is overloaded.

Having said that… Gubment has done crazier things, so… :rofl:

To answer your questions…

Do our views of government actions depend on our sympathy for the politics of those who are impacted? Imagine this was the response to pro-2A protesters; would we feel any different?..

Nope. What the gubment does today to Party X, they may do tomorrow to Party Z.

For someone who is responsibly carrying, what are the possible responses should a group of armed men in camouflage jump out of an unmarked van and approach them without identifying themselves? How easy would it be for this to spiral out of control?

It would 100% spiral out of control. This is somewhat similar to what happens if SWAT kicks in your door at 2am because they think you are a running a crack house. See the Breonna Taylor incident for how well that goes for everyone involved.

Is it possible that these actions are driven by politics, and directed more to voters in Florida or Michigan than they are about actions in Portland? Since all the authorities in Oregon (governor, mayor, senators, even the chief of police) suggest that these federal forces are only escalating tensions and have asked them to leave, what does this suggest for the principle local governance?

This assumes that these are in fact Federal agents. Which is really a stretch, IMO. But lets say they are… What lines are they crossing? If it is a federal crime, the federal agents have jurisdiction. If its not a federal crime, then they have no jurisdiction. There is so little evidence in this story its hard to say whether or not they overstepped their bounds. If you take the story at face value, then grabbing folks off the street is an overreach for any law enforcement let alone the federal level

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The memes are good.

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These are painfully hilarious (with the emphasis on painful :joy:). Thanks for sharing!

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Fair on all counts, @Zavier_D. Well, except one. Your notes on Washington may be fair, but Portland is still in Oregon :grinning:

While we in the Pacific Northwest like to think beyond borders, I’d rather let Seattle deal with its own problems…

Hmmm… Federal Agents rolling up “peaceful” protestors… I’m certain those “peaceful” protestors wouldn’t try murdering federal law enforcement officers or destroying federal property.

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There is nothing peaceful about what’s going on. And I guarantee they aren’t grabbing random people… the cities are becoming war zones and it needs to stop…

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Not 100%. The Patriot Act provides a means for our federal government to detain without anyone knowing, for as long as they want, and without a need to bring the detainee before a judge.

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Here are all of the federal crimes that DHS lists in Portland since May 29. Out of 52 listed, 18 are graffiti, 17 are property damage, 4 are miscellaneous (animal seed (?), lasers). Eight are attacks on federal officers, mostly trying to prevent arrests, and, while not trying to minimize the seriousness of those at all, one does wonder about the response. Also, I note that according to DHS, ALL of these were carried out by “violent anarchists.” Not sure how they know that, but a suspicious mind might suspect that the label might well have the Patriot Act or the suspension clause in mind.

Thanks for pointing those out.

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Dang, @Harvey, I forgot you like to insist on trivialities like “facts” and “evidence.” I thought we had agreed that ire and derision were enough to carry the day when discussing complex issues online… :joy:

So I’m really trying to dig through the muck to find out what the feds are doing in Portland. While people keep talking about vans, plural, and plucking people, plural, off the streets, all reports seem to point to one documented case, the one mentioned in the OPB report. There is a video of Mark Pettibone being taken into an unmarked by officers in camouflage, with the word Police the only identifying marking. He was not Mirandized until later, nor told what the charges were against him. Later, the Customs and Border Protection owned up that they had taken someone thinking he was someone who had damaged property, but that it was a case of mis-identification.

In any event, I’m with you that folks being taken in vans is probably not as widespread as its being played, but I still worry that federal law enforcement, generally untrained in deescalation and crowd control, are being brought in and exacerbating the situation, possibly to make political points. I’m also worried that the entire political aparatus of Portland and Oregon, including the local police, have asked them to leave and they’re not. Again, whatever one thinks of Oregon politics, if it happens there, it does not stop there.

I’ll keep digging, and see if I can’t find more “evidence” one way or the other.

Always good to engage, and stay safe!

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Hey @Patrick47 – nice to meet a fellow Oregonian!

It’s funny – we must live less than 100 miles from each other, yet our views of the same events are so different. I suppose that’s not rare in this day and age – everyone takes in current events through their own lenses.

Still, my point about Portland was not about the politics there, but rather about the relationship between the federal and local governments. Take any state, State X, say, where the entire political apparatus of the state – the mayors, the governor, the senators, even the chief of police – all suggest that federal forces are making a situation worse, that they are not trained for the job at hand, and would they please not deploy. If it were a state where you agreed more with the politics, would you feel differently? That’s the point I was try to make, and I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Be well, stay safe, and go Beavs!

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I dunno that it is Gov’t over reach. The case of Mr. Pettibone may have been a simple case of miss-identification. For the other folks who evidently have not been identified publicly I would submit that there is more than likely plenty of documentary evidence that they were involved in attacking/defacing federal property. The concept of “snatch and grab” is not new and is practiced by LEO all over the country for potentially dangerous suspects. Kicking in a door is in general the last thing you want to do unless there is a real reason to go NOW. Unmarked cars, well the “Enterprise” meme above is actually very true and is also a common tactic and mini vans are perfect for that kind of operation, easy in, easy out, lots of room, VERY non tactical. The fact that they are targeting individuals not currently involved in a riot is a sound tactic as well.

It wouldn’t surprise me that this is occurring in cities all across the country that have had violent protests against federal property. If it takes some of the bad actors off the street and puts a little fear into the Anarchists, I’m good with that. As far as the political points part, if it was for political gain the Feds & Prez would have names faces and charges all over twitter and the Lame Stream Media would be screaming. This just looks like good police work so far.

Cheers,

Craig6

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@CascadiaNow

Sorry I meant to say Portland, Oregon. Freudian Slip perhaps. Had been reading a post from this site about how it was not protests but full on riots going on nightly

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Seems like a bunch of happy-go-lucky kids having some innocent fun during their summer of love. Sorry, I probably plagiarized some words from the Seattle Mayor. No anarchy here folks, nothing to see, please move along. Those mean federal employees should just let the fun-seekers burn down federal property and assault LE at will. They are just acting out on their wounded emotions and all will settle down soon (after elections).

I’m not buying that load of animal excrement. Depending on how much marijuana they smoke, folks will believe about anything.

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Roger…That

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Not a shot at you @CascadiaNow. But this has been going on close to 50+ days now.

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