Operation FALCON and the looming police state
Published on Wednesday, February 28, 2007.
By Mike Whitney
On 29 June 1934, Chancellor Adolph Hitler, accompanied by the Schutzstaffel (SS), arrived at Wiesse, where he personally arrested the leader of the Strum Abteilung (SA), Ernnst Roehm.
During the next 24 hours 200 other senior SA officers were arrested on the way to Wiesse. Many were shot as soon as they were captured but Hitler decided to pardon Roehm because of his past service to the movement. However, after much pressure from Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler, Hitler agreed that Roehm should die. At first Hitler insisted that Roehm should be allowed to commit suicide but, when he refused, Roehm was shot by two SS men. (Spartacus.schoolnet.co)
Later, Hitler delivered a speech at the Reichstag in which he justified the murders of his rivals saying, “If anyone reproaches me and asks why I did not resort to the regular courts of justice, then all I can say is this: In this hour I was responsible for the fate of the German people, and thereby I became the supreme judge of the German people. It was no secret that this time the revolution would have to be bloody; when we spoke of it we called it ‘The Night of the Long Knives.’ Everyone must know for all future time that if he raises his hand to strike the State, then certain death is his lot.”
The Night of the Long Knives is seen by many as the turning point where Hitler made it clear that he was above the law and the supreme leader of the German people.
Operation FALCON: Blueprint for removing dissidents and political rivals
The Bush administration has carried out three massive sweeps in the last two years, rolling up more than 30,000 minor crooks and criminals, without as much as a whimper of protest from the public.
Operation FALCON is the clearest indication yet that the Bush administration is fine-tuning its shock troops so it can roll up tens of thousands of people at a moment’s notice and toss them into the newly-built Halliburton detention centers. This should be a red flag for anyone who cares at all about human rights, civil liberties, or simply saving his own skin.
Operation FALCON was allegedly the brainchild of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his counterpart in the US Marshal’s office, director Ben Reyna. But its roots go much deeper into the nexus of right-wing Washington think tanks where fantasies of autocratic government have a long history. The name, FALCON, is an acronym for “Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally.” It relates to the more than 960 state, local and federal agencies which are directly involved in the administration’s expansive criminal dragnets.
Typically, law enforcement agencies are protective of their own turf and wary of outside intervention. The FALCON program overrides these concerns by streamlining the information sharing processes and setting up a chain of command structure that radiates from the Justice Department. This removes many of the traditional obstacles to agency interfacing. It also relocates the levers of power to Washington, where thy can be manned by members of the Bush administration.
Dictatorships require strong centralized authority and the FALCON program is a logical corollary of that ambition. It creates new inroads for Bush to assume greater control over the nationwide police-state apparatus. That alone should be sufficient reason for alarm.
The first Operation FALCON took place during the week of April 4 to April 10, 2005. According to the US Marshal’s official website, “The emphasis centered on gang related crimes, homicides, crimes involving use of a weapon, crimes against children and the elderly, crimes involving sexual assaults, organized crime and drug related fugitives, and other crimes of violence.” More than 10,000 criminal suspects were arrested in a matter of days. It was the largest criminal sweep in the nation’s history and, according to U.S. Marshall chief Ben Reyna, “produced the largest number of arrests ever recorded during a single initiative.” The Washington Times noted, “The sweep was a virtual clearinghouse for warrants on drug, gang, gun and sex-offender suspects nationwide.”
The emphasis was clearly on quantity not quality.
Still, this doesn’t explain why state and federal agencies had to be integrated with local law enforcement simply to carry out routine police work.
Read the rest here.