Why Biden Cannot Trust Federal Law Enforcement Leaders
There are times in our lives that we will never forget. Memories that are more than just images in our minds. I’m speaking of those that bring back smells, sounds, feelings and deep emotional connections. Sometimes those memories are tied to national moments and they become collective memories like the shooting of JFK or 9/11. These shared catastrophic moments often result in calls of national unity from our leaders as they should.
Personally, I am deeply traumatized by what I witnessed this week. And though we all witnessed the Trump Insurrection attack on our nation’s capitol on January 6th, this moment of sedition will not be one of those unifying moments, nor should it be. We were not attacked from an outside group or foreign nation or a natural disaster. We were attacked by our own people, by the men and women who we see on a daily basis, by those we see when we walk our dogs, shop in our stores and worship in our churches. Some of these insurgents were political leaders, law enforcement, teachers, doctors and lawyers who live in our communities. People who stated they wanted to hang the vice-president and shoot the speaker of the House.
What concerns me the most about this coup wasn’t what was done or said in our capitol on that day. No, what worries me the most is what was not said, what was not done.
After 9/11, the government responded by creating DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and combining a large number of federal law enforcement agencies under one department with the goal of protecting the country from other attacks. This organizational move was not meant to address foreign threats only, but domestic as well. In years since then, agencies have begged and pleaded for more money and resources, less regulations and oversight and more power stating that if they did not get it, they could not protect us. Congress has been more than willing to give it to them as no one wanted to seem like they were anti-law enforcement.
We saw the end result of this national security gluttonous frenzy when CBP (Customs and Border Protection) and the Border Patrol began separating families and developed the dangerous Migrant Protection Protocols forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico all in the name of national security. We saw it when law enforcement responded to public protests against police brutality with more police brutality, surveillance and arrests. We saw it when ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raided a Georgia chicken production plant with agents repelling out of helicopters while carrying assault rifles. We saw it when ICE, CBP, Border Patrol, US Marshals, Bureau of Prisons and others gassed peaceful protestors outside of the White House so that Trump could have a picture taken of himself holding a Bible. We saw how quickly the feds responded to a few incidents of vandalism during the protests in Portland, Oregon.
So, why didn’t these agencies respond on January 6th?
Some have said that the Capitol Police were required to request help and denied it even when it was offered. That explains why they were not initially present, though I think that is a ridiculous statement seeing as how the other agencies responded in the past. But let’s assume that is the case, that they needed an invite. Why did they not respond during the hours-long attack once it was under way?
There is no need for an engraved invitation to stop an attack on the Capitol. This was the entire point of 9/11. When an attack is under way, you respond. It doesn’t matter what agency you are with. If you have law enforcement training or first responder training and you were in the area that day, you should have responded. Period. CBP and Border Patrol maintain law enforcement staff in DC as do all the other agencies. Where were they? Where were all the heroes who love to come swooping in to save the day?
In June of 2020, during the protests by Black Lives Matter and others, CBP released this statement:
Where is a statement regarding the breaching of the Capitol Building of last week? Where are the statements that Chief Rodney Scott and his chiefs often made about denouncing violent protests now that Trump’s traitors trashed Congress? Where are all the statements about protecting federal property and the rule of law? Where is the action?
They’re not making any statements and apparently not going to react because they actually support this insurrection. They support the violent and lawless overthrow of the American government because Democrats have been elected by the will of the people to lead the House, the Senate and the White House. Law Enforcement is fine with the destruction of federal property as long as their guy wins, and that means by any means. They will greet their Dear Leader this week when he comes down to the border instead of obeying their oaths and the law by arresting him for leading an insurrection.
This is my major concern: the lawlessness and blatant nonfeasance of our federal law enforcement agencies on January 6th and since.
The fact that the hundreds, if not thousands, of federal officers stationed in DC did not put down whatever it was they were doing in that moment and respond to the Capitol tells me they were ordered to stand down. Policy is to respond in the face of such an attack, not to sit and wait for orders. Even if it did require an order to respond, it is now Sunday and I still see no response or denunciation from these law enforcement leaders.
When Biden takes the presidential oath on January 20th, can he rely on the heads of these federal agencies to follow their oath, to protect the country and the Constitution against foreign and domestic enemies? No, he clearly cannot. Already, CBP is starting to claim that “caravans” of migrants are heading to the border. I have no doubt that if these officials remain in power, they will manufacture another crisis like they did under Trump. Only this time, it will not be used to help the sitting president politically. They will create a crisis on the border and then claim that Biden is weak. I have already started receiving reports from attorneys stating their asylum clients are being told by CBP to return on January 21st to be let into the country. Below is just one example.
Biden and Harris will be taking control of our government soon. They must be aware of what they are facing, that they will have to fight an insurrection with many (not all) in law enforcement supporting the coup. It is imperative that they select strong, independent leaders from outside of these agencies. People who have proven their commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law in the past. People who are willing to quickly look into their forces and purge them of anyone with ties to white supremacy or the overthrow of the US government. I recommend James Thomsheck as head of CBP and James Wong as head of the Border Patrol. They know the corruption and threat these agencies present and are strong enough to do the job.
It will be a while before we look back on this time as an era that helped unify the country against its actual enemies, against white supremacy. Until then, calls for unity should be ignored. There should be no comfort for those not willing to denounce the violence we saw that day.
There is no negotiating with terrorists.