This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 1, 2020:
After another night of riots that have spread across the nation, on Sunday Attorney General William Barr issued a statement urging state and local governments to increase pressure against Antifa “and other similar groups.”
With the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful and legitimate protests have been hijacked by violent radical elements. Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate, violent, and extremist agenda.
It is time to stop watching the violence and to confront and stop it. The continued violence and destruction of property endangers the lives and livelihoods of others, and interferes with the rights of peaceful protestors, as well as all other citizens….
Preventing reconciliation and driving us apart is the goal of these radical groups, and we cannot let them succeed.
It is the responsibility of state and local leaders to ensure that adequate law enforcement resources, including the National Guard where necessary, are deployed on the streets to reestablish law and order. We saw this finally happen in Minneapolis last night, and it worked.
Barr has plenty of resources available, including “our existing network of 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF).… The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups … will be treated accordingly.”
The threat is real, said Dan Bongino on Fox & Friends on Sunday. A former NYPD officer and Secret Service agent, Bongino has friends inside law enforcement who have confirmed to him that “known Antifa leadership is … organizing” the riots. Said Bongino, “This is not some run-of-the-mill criminality by people who have nothing to do on a Saturday night.… This is a sophisticated insurrection-type attack.”
Columninst and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy thinks Barr has all the tools he needs in stemming the violence and ending the insurrection. Wrote McCarthy for Fox News:
I’ve investigated and prosecuted terrorists — jihadists who adhered to foreign terrorist organizations but operated domestically.… I can tell you that the laws we already have are more than adequate to the task.
There is no need for new laws. Calls to enact them are either ill-conceived or the usual case of preening politicians sensing the need to look like they’re doing something in response to a crisis.
Would McCarthy be referring to the Tweets from President Trump? On Saturday the president tweeted, “Crossing State lines to incite violence is a FEDERAL CRIME! Liberal Governors and Mayors must get MUCH tougher or the Federal Government will step in and do what has to be done, and that includes using the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests. Thank you!”
This was followed by a second Tweet by the president on Sunday: “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.”
Except that he can’t, says McCarthy. Such an action “would permit the surveillance of Americans in the absence of probable cause.”
According to President Trump and his most ardent supporters, he is a “disruptor” here to shake up established Washington ways.
Nevertheless, in announcing that he will “designate” Antifa, the far-left radical movement, as a terrorist organization, he is pulling a page from the Swamp’s playbook.
It is political rhetoric portrayed as legally significant action to bring to heel an array of sociopaths that, to be sure, are playing their now familiar instigator’s role in the rioting that roils American cities.
[The president’s] purported designation would be pointless, in that the means of taking aggressive enforcement action against Antifa, and against domestic terrorism generally, are plentiful and ready to hand.
The president’s move would also be legally invalid because, under federal law and for very sound reasons, [that] designation is available only for foreign terrorist organizations.
Antifa is a domestic enterprise.