Self-identified “progressive Democrats” refused to stand up to Party leaders over their funding of Trump’s use of secret police against activists.
By Progress New York Staff
Last week, political commentator Jimmy Dore slammed Congressional Democrats during an episode of his popular YouTube show for signaling procedural moves that appeared to support the full-funding of controversial operations of Federal law enforcement at a time when Government Agents associated with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were caught on video wearing unidentified uniforms, driving unmarked vehicles, and making questionable arrests of protesters in Portland, Ore. Mr. Dore singled out U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY 14) and other members of “the Squad,” in particular, for failing to stand-up to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA 12), who appeared to be moving legislation to fund the operations of the top Federal law enforcement agency without any restrictions on or prohibitions against law enforcement officers wearing no names, identification, or badges from making arrests and holding activists in unmarked vehicles, according to a report.
For the last two weeks, tensions in Portland have led to escalations in clashes between police and anti-racism protesters, resulting in the use of tear gas and other demonstrative uses of force by law enforcement against the protesters, including the use of no-identification, no-marking arrests. Billy Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the district of Oregon, issued a statement, acknowledging, in part, at least one investigation into the conduct by Homeland Security Agents, and calling for at least a new one. Referring to the Government Agents, U.S. Attorney Williams said, in his statement, in part, “In limited instances, their conduct has been questioned and the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General appropriately opened an investigation into the use of less lethal ammunition directed at a protestor last week,” adding that, “Based on news accounts circulating that allege [F]ederal law enforcement detained two protestors without probable cause, I have requested the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General to open a separate investigation directed specifically at the actions of DHS personnel.”
Despite the objections by U.S. Attorney Williams against Homeland Security activities in Portland, Progress New York has reported that whenever Federal law enforcement officials commence a criminal investigation that may involve issues of national security, the Federal Agents consult the local U.S. Attorney’s Office so that oversight can ensure that “public confidence is maintained,” according to the Attorney General’s Guidelines on Domestic FBI Operations. But such guidelines only apply to Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It’s not known why U.S. Attorney Williams made no public statement about the possibility of the absence of guidelines or regulations on Homeland Security personnel that would require consultation or coördination with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices. As previously reported by the precursor to Progress New York, the Federal Government has appeared to have given itself authority to criminalise civilian activities protected by the First Amendment based on biases against certain political ideologies. For this report, a media request addressed to Kevin Sonoff, a public affairs officer serving the office of U.S. Attorney Williams, was not immediately answered.
With the Nation in turmoil, AOC focused on an attack on her identity, which supporters predicted she would use to fundraise.
All eyes amongst the political left in the United States have rightly focused on the Squad, the informal name given to a new crop of self-identified progressive legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives. These members of Congress have self-styled themselves as leaders of a new political revolution to make the Democratic Party more accountable to the Nation’s citizens. However, political commentators and critics, like Mr. Dore, have found members of the Squad, including U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, wanting over their lack of courage to speak truth to how Democratic leadership, notably House Speaker Pelosi, have acted to enable the extremist political agenda of the main opposition political party.
As anti-racism protesters have met with State-sanctioned violence by law enforcement agencies across the Nation from Homeland Security to local police departments, U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has limited her actions to issuing statements denouncing secret police or proposing legislation that would require Federal Agents to wear identification. But these actions have deliberately stopped short of defunding activities deemed unconstitutional by groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, which described the controversial acts by Government Agents from Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice as “actions of a tyrant,” in reference to President Donald Trump (R).
The failure by U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to stand up against alleged Government-sactioned terror against activists also extends to the New York Police Department. One day after U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez jointly announced her proposed identification requirement legislation, local police answerable to Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) cleared out an activist encampment in City Hall Park in a pre-dawn raid, according to a report moved by Gothamist. And on Tuesday, NYPD Agents admitted to rendering an activist into an unmarked vehicle, sending political and legal shockwaves throughout New York City. For the law enforcement actions against activists in Portland near one coast to those in City Hall Park on the other, the Squad member failed to demand a withholding of taxpayer money from unconstitutional interference in the rights of citizens to assemble.
For this report, the press office of U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez did not answer a media request. Instead, last week, U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez made a public showing of outrage at being called a sexist pejorative by a member of the minor political party in the lower chamber of the U.S. Congress, according to media reports. According to at least one supporter of U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman legislator was encouraged to use the sexist episode as an opportunity for a fundraising drive to finance her various political committees and those of others, too.
- EDITORIAL : To restore faith in Government, U.S. Attorneys must shine a light of transparency on the NYPD [Progress New York]
- Top Federal attorney in charge of enforcing First Amendment rights and civil liberties ducks responsibility over deliberate NYPD arrests of legal observers [Progress New York]
- Anti-racism protesters reportedly beaten at Cadman Plaza, near the office of Brooklyn U.S. Attorney [Progress New York]
- Federal guidelines for the prosecution of activists appear to reconstruct a legal framework lost under the Smith Act [Progress Queens]
I never spoke to Rep. Yoho before he decided to accost me on the steps of the nation’s Capitol yesterday.
Believe it or not, I usually get along fine w/ my GOP colleagues. We know how to check our legislative sparring at the committee door.
But hey, “b*tches” get stuff done. 🤷🏽♀️ https://t.co/WlG3xccwR7
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 21, 2020