U.S. Attorney General William Barr gave congressional Democrats a much-deserved dressing down for endlessly excusing the orgy of violence in cities across America that has followed the wrongful death of George Floyd in Minneapolis May 25 at the hands of police.
The Democratic Party officially endorsed Black Lives Matter in 2015 and has all but endorsed Antifa, the purported anti-fascists who embrace fascistic tactics in the name of combating fascism, a term they define promiscuously. President Donald Trump has vowed to designate Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization.
Even the increasingly anti-American radicals at the New York Times, which gave birth to the hateful propaganda campaign known as the 1619 Project, have been forced to admit that many police have been injured in the violent nightly demonstrations that have raged for months.
In a court filing July 22, the U.S. attorney’s office in Oregon disclosed that 28 federal law enforcement officers had been injured as of that date during the civil unrest in Portland. Another court filing said there are now 114 federal law enforcement officers in Portland, brought in from federal agencies such as Customs and Border Protection and the Federal Protective Service. Local police said separately that 59 officers had been injured.
The deployment of federal agents to Portland began on the Fourth of July weekend. Reportedly, the crowds of angry subversives have since swelled from the hundreds to the thousands, as the radicals viewed the federal presence aimed at protecting federal property as a kind of invasion on their home turf.
Industrial-grade mortar fireworks have reportedly been fired at police officers and federal agents, and on July 27 a bomb was detonated at the federal courthouse in Portland.
“The most serious injury to an officer to date occurred when a protester wielding a two-pound sledgehammer struck an officer in the head and shoulder when the officer tried to prevent the protester from breaking down a door to the Hatfield Courthouse,” according to the filing. Among other injuries were “broken bones, hearing damage, eye damage, a dislocated shoulder, sprains, strains, and contusions.”
In daily briefings, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has reported that its agents have been burned by fireworks and a “caustic substance.”
During his testimony, Barr zeroed in on the recent violent attacks by Antifa and Black Lives Matter supporters on the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, a hotbed of radical activity. Democrats won’t criticize the violence because their America-hating base supports it as a way of undermining President Trump.
Democrats, he told the Democrat-run House Judiciary Committee July 28, have refused to condemn the various assaults on the courthouse and on police guarding it. And they have also accused President Trump of sending federal police to Portland as agents provocateurs and an invading federal army. They claim that Trump is using federal agents as props to assist him in his ongoing bid for reelection.
They are echoing Sixties counterculture legal icon William Kunstler, who infamously said the police can be “an army of occupation” in the inner-city. Some of the more unhinged critics have even recently accused the federal personnel of kidnapping peaceful protesters off the streets and whisking them away to secret prisons.
“What makes me concerned for the country is, this is the first time in my memory that the leaders of one of our great two political parties, the Democratic Party, are not coming out and condemning mob violence and the attack on federal courts,” Barr said at the hearing, as reported by Tyler O’Neil at PJMedia.
“Why can’t we just say violence against federal courts has to stop? Could we hear something like that?”
The federal government is required to defend U.S. government property such as the Portland courthouse, Barr said. It has a duty to protect “federal property, and specifically U.S. courthouses, which are the heart of federal property in all 93 jurisdictions in the United States. And we have the obligation to protect federal courts.”
“Federal courts are under attack. Since when is it okay to burn down a federal court?” Barr asked. “If someone went down the street to the [E. Barrett] Prettyman Court here, that beautiful courthouse we have right at the bottom of the hill, and started breaking windows and firing industrial-grade fireworks in to start a fire, throw kerosene balloons in and start fires in the court, is that okay?”
“Is that okay, now?” Barr asked. “No, U.S. marshals have a duty to stop that and defend the courthouse and that’s what we are doing in Portland. We are at the courthouse, defending the courthouse, we’re not out looking for trouble.”
At the hearing, U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, an Ohio Republican, listed some of the weapons the rioters have used to attack the courthouse and federal officers: “rifles, explosives, knives, saws, sledgehammers, tasers, slingshots, rocks, bricks, lasers …”
“You have missed some things but that’s a good list,” Barr answered.
He added, “powerful slingshots with ball bearings” and the use of “lasers to blind the marshals.” He also said rioters have started fires at the courthouse and “when the marshals come out to try to deal with the fire, they’re assaulted.”
Some protesters have been peaceful, but “the particular violent opportunists who are involved here get into these crowds and engage in very violent activity and hijack it.”
“Police casualties far exceed anything on the civilian side,” Barr added.
Barr’s testimony came the day after U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Texas Republican, went on Fox News Channel to accuse Democrats of providing cover for the violent protesters.
“Whether it is sugarcoating their behavior as mostly peaceful or [House Judiciary Committee Chairman] Jerry Nadler saying Antifa is a myth. Remember [U.S. Rep.] Eric Swalwell said he’s never heard of antifa. Remember the governor of Washington refused to even acknowledge that CHAZ [occupation in Seattle] existed at first. There’s a pattern here.”
“And here’s another thing,” he said. “You look at words from [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi. What did she say? She says, you know, this is all Trump’s fault. If we were in power, none of this left-wing terrorism would be happening right now.”
The last part of Pelosi’s statement is true.
This article by Matthew Vadum appeared July 29, 2020, at FrontPageMag.