Secret police are tools used by cowards. They are a tool of intimidation. When law enforcement hides its face there is no accountability for its actions. Armed combatants wearing camouflage, body armor, and riot gear have appeared in Washington D.C. and Portland, Oregon.

Courtesy Associated Press

Police officers were not created to be political weapons. The motto of law enforcement was founded on the idea of “protect and serve” the public. When elected leaders use sworn officers the law to commit biased detainment of its citizens the rule of law is corrupted. The result is tyranny and persecution.

Dictatorships around the world have used these tactics to destroy free speech. In Russia, the FSB operatives in unmarked cars remove dissidents from their homes to silence all voices of opposition to the ruling administration. Iraq and Iran have employed religious zealots who beat and murder anyone caught disobeying religious laws.

“One of the consequences of the Iranian revolution has been an explosion of history. A country once known only from British consular reports and intrepid travelogues is now awash with historical documents, letters, diaries, grainy video, weblogs, and secret police files of questionable authenticity.”

~ James Buchan

In Germany, the ruling Nazi Party conducted raids on the homes of influential figures who were not afraid, to tell the truth. The Protective Squad (Schutzstaffel) or SS began as a private guard of Adolf Hitler and other leaders in his party. They were identified by the black t-shirts they wore. Eventually, their role expanded.

Image: Adolf Hitler and the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, walking past a guard of honor in Nuremberg, September 1935
SS head Heinrich Himmler and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in Nuremberg in September 1935.ullstein bild Dtl. / Getty Images

Political opponents, trade union leaders, and vocal opponents were arrested in the dark of night. Those who were not killed were imprisoned and the Nazi Party became the only political party. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the SS became an auxiliary of the police force on February 28, 1933. Six days later the SS were given unlimited power to arrest and imprison without a trial or judicial oversight.

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) 

Secret police have been used by ancient nations like Sparta, Venice, and in more modern times by the Czars of Russia, and states like China and Iran.

In the recent HBO series Watchmen, police officers are attacked in their homes during the night. The response by police is to cover their faces and hide their identity. By the end of the season, it is revealed that the attack was staged to give the police chief authorization to make officers anonymous. The result is tumult and discord.

The United Staes has lost its moral authority. The decision to use officers from prisons and deploy them as anonymous enforcers in Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon is an act of fear. Police officers are not under attack. Their colleagues have been caught on video taking the lives of black citizens, like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

Public outcry has been peaceful. Supporters of the Black Lives Matters movement and other peaceful organizations have not attacked or taken the lives of officers in response to these deaths. Protesters have responded by publicly demanding accountability. The response was been violent aggression and intimidation. Protesters have been arrested and thrown into unmarked cars, held without cause, and give no documentation following their unlawful detainment.

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler has demanded the removal of the federal troops. Portland Fire and Rescue has not and will not allow the use of its stations by federal agents.

Attacks on protesters have included tear gas and projectiles. The result has been hospitalizations and “A direct threat to our democracy,” according to Wheeler. In other cases mothers have surrounded protesters in attempt to offer protection.

America was founded on the idea that oppression is wrong and should be overthrown. It was the foundation of the Revolutionary War and a pillar of the constitution. Secret police are an attack on the democracy, history, and cornerstone of the United States. If this dangerous threat is not stopped, America’s democracy will fall to tyranny.

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