American Stasi

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Do you get mail? Of course, you do. You have a mailbox for your house, apartment, or condo, or you have a post office box. Everybody gets mail. But does everybody get their mail monitored? Well, if you’re a Second Amendment supporter or you don’t like Joe Biden, you may have somebody watching your mailbox.

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The Washington Times noted that Patrick Eddington of the Cato Institute obtained redacted documents showing that U.S. Postal Service inspectors monitored the mail of some American citizens. The impetus for the move? These people were gun rights activists and had issues with the election of Joe Biden. The office spied on gun activists who attended a gathering in Richmond, Va.,  what the Times calls “far-right” groups who went to D.C. after Biden’s election, and even those who gathered to protest the shooting of Breonna Taylor. This particular operation also included digital surveillance through the Internet Covert Operations Program. The documents Eddington obtained showed that the operation in question ran from September 2020 to April 2021. There were disclaimers on the reports that stated that the surveillance was not intended to infringe on anyone’s rights but to give law enforcement intel about potential violent or criminal activity. The post office inspector general said that the moves were outside the scope of law enforcement and may not have had legal approval. The inspectors disagreed. In the interim, the Postal Service has agreed to a full review and to make sure that future surveillance is properly authorized.

We need postal inspectors. Back in the wild west days of the internet, I covered cases in which postal inspectors played key roles in intercepting child pornography and working with local law enforcement to lock up offenders. But the gun-rights activists and politically active Americans who were recently monitored were not doing anything illegal. Distasteful to some, but not illegal.

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Then there is the issue of the FBI raiding a business in Beverly Hills. Agents had a warrant because there was cause to believe that there was criminal activity going on, specifically drug trafficking and money laundering. But while agents were on-scene, they also broke into safety deposit boxes belonging to customers and seized the assets and money inside. The FBI maintains that everything was above-board, but the Post Millennial has information that the judge who issued the warrant was misled. Specifically, the warrant did not show that the agents intended to permanently confiscate everything in boxes that contained at least $5,000 in assets.

To learn more about the most recent and most damaging incident, please read Paul Bolyard’s THIS IS NOT THE AMERICA I KNOW: Dozens of FBI Agents Raid Home of Catholic Pro-Life Activist as Children Scream in Terror.

So why the seemingly never-ending parade of abuses of power? Why is the government doling out $5,000 worth of punishment for $5.00 “crimes?” As a former Leftist, I think I can shed some light on that.

Some of the people behind this are true believers. They see America as a cancer-ridden body that can only be saved by surgically removing multiple tumors, full-body radiation, and chemotherapy. Yes, it will be frightening, painful, and traumatic for you, but it is necessary. Trust us, when it is all over and we have ravaged and re-made the body, things will be better. Eventually. We promise.

Some just enjoy power and privilege, and people like Trump and even you represent a threat to that power, privilege, and especially money. These people have a lot on the line, and they need a pretty big hammer to protect themselves. And they are supported by various hangers-on who are still hoping for their invite to the after-party in Aspen.

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And then there are those who are so ensconced in their closed universe that they have no concept of reality, and who genuinely feel like victims. And victims, of course, feel justified in doing anything they can to save themselves. Here is a case in point:

You may remember the government shutdown in 2013. During that time, the federal hissy-fit included keeping drivers from seeing Mount Rushmore.

 

When the shutdown began, I was approached by an acquaintance who worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She was absolutely livid and shaking with anger that she was being put on temporary leave, never mind the fact that she would be given back pay when things re-opened. She utterly disregarded the fact that people in her community were being forced into actual, permanent unemployment with no back-pay, because of the way the Obama administration had played havoc with the oil and gas industry. These people included a family in her church that had to move because the husband lost his job and they were facing foreclosure. In her mind, she, as a selfless public servant (with a great salary and a guaranteed retirement) should never be inconvenienced in such a way. How dare Republicans do such a thing by not cooperating with Democrats? She demanded I run some sort of op-ed she was clutching. I took the piece of paper but didn’t rise to the defense of her and her agency.

So ambition, mixed with indignation, ego, and a healthy dose of paranoia will allow things to happen in a country whose inhabitants could never have imagined such a situation just three years ago. If you are one of those people and are reading this, is what you are doing worth the price of your soul? Do you really think that you are “protecting democracy” by doing the things that totalitarians do? Or are you just telling yourself that you are only following orders to protect your pension? How many lives need to be wrecked for you to keep a pension? How much money will let you sleep at night? If you can’t or won’t answer those questions, then you are on your way to joining a long list of people whom history has come to despise.

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No, we aren’t East Germany, Communist China, or Russia — yet. But we seem to be headed in that direction at an amazing speed.

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