Donald Trump has reportedly authorized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct surveillance against American citizens for the protection of racist statues, according to a memo obtained by Lawfare blog.
DHS has unleashed unidentified federal police in Portland, where peaceful protesters are being illegally kidnapped and detained despite not committing any crimes.
It’s an activity that has drawn significant backlash across the country, including from Tom Ridge, the first DHS secretary after the agency was created less than two decades ago.
Trump has been particularly obsessed with protecting racist Confederate statues and monuments from being torn down in the midst of protests against racial injustice and police brutality. So, in addition to sending his unidentified personal militia to brutalize protesters, Trump has authorized DHS to conduct surveillance against Americans as well.
According to Lawfare:
The document, titled ‘Job Aid: DHS Office of Intelligence & Analysis (I&A) Activities in Furtherance of Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, Statues, and Combatting Recent Criminal Violence,’ is not classified. Its three pages each bear the heading ‘UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY.’ But it clearly indicates that at least parts of the intelligence community are being tasked with monitoring and collecting information on some protest activities.”
The memo itself states:
This job aid supplements standing guidance on I&A’s conduct of intelligence activities and further informs personnel collecting and reporting on various activities in the context of elevated threats targeting monuments, memorials, and statues; law enforcement officers, facilities, and resources; and other government facilities. It is specific to expanded intelligence activities necessary to mitigate the significant threat to homeland security articulated in the President’s executive order of June 26, 2020.”
Apparently, this includes gathering information on protesters via their social media accounts, which appears to be related to an executive order Trump signed earlier this year giving Attorney General Bill Barr and the FTC the ability to monitor social media accounts.
This kind of government activity, especially in defense of racist statues that should be torn down, violates the privacy of Americans and represents yet another step in Trump’s march to create a fascist regime with himself at the head of it. This memo even authorizes such surveillance to protect statues that are not even on federal property. That’s clearly an overreach.
Trump is abusing his power and stepping on the constitutional rights of Americans. He must be stopped at all costs. Because while the memo says that there must be a “reasonable belief” that a statue will be torn down or vandalized, Trump’s goons have zero “reasonable belief” that peaceful protesters are committing crimes, yet they are still being kidnapped and detained without cause. Besides, when have Trump or his cronies actually obeyed legal guidelines and constitutional principles?
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