Glenn Greenwald tells a harrowing tale of police-state tactics in Minneapolis, with armed security forces conducting Baghdad-like raids on the houses of activists, terrorizing many and arresting some for thought crimes -- such as "planning to cause a riot" -- and other bogus charges. The sweeps -- guided and aided by the federal government -- are designed to "ensure domestic tranquility" during the imminent Republican convention in the city. As Greenwald points out, not one of those who were shackled, arrested and hauled out at gunpoint had committed any crime whatsoever. Heinous indeed, and entirely worthy of the anger that Greenwald marshals in his reports from the scene. But we must disagree with him on one crucial point: his repeated declaration that these incidents are "extraordinary." On the contrary, there is nothing at all remarkable about them. They are all of a piece with the similar tactics employed to cleanse the city of Denver of any unseemly expressions of old-fashioned, long-gone American liberties during the Democratic convention, where any protests that escaped the grotesque official "cage" set aside for them were strangled by militarized police and mass arrests. Such tactics are not confined to major political events with "national security" implications -- i.e., the presence of afflatus-bloated muckity-mucks who must be spared the slightest confrontation with their crimes and complicities. They are now simply part and parcel of modern American society. Greenwald might be mistaken in regarding the Minnesota Monster Mash as "extraordinary," but he is certainly correct when he notes its deeper implications: FULL ARTICLE. Massive police raids on suspected protesters in Minneapolis [updated below (with video) - Update II - Update III - Update IV] Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than "fire code violations," and early this morning, the Sheriff's department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying. SOURCE. Guilty of planning protests? Federal government involved in raids on protesters As the police attacks on protesters in Minnesota continue -- see this video of the police swarming a bus transporting members of Earth Justice, seizing the bus and leaving the group members stranded on the side of the highway -- it appears increasingly clear that it is the Federal Government that is directing this intimidation campaign. Minnesota Public Radio reported yesterday that "the searches were led by the Ramsey County Sheriff's office. Deputies coordinated searches with the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation." Today's Star Tribune added that the raids were specifically "aided by informants planted in protest groups." Back in May, Marcy Wheeler presciently noted that the Minneapolis Joint Terrorist Task Force -- an inter-agency group of federal, state and local law enforcement led by the FBI -- was actively recruiting Minneapolis residents to serve as plants, to infiltrate "vegan groups" and other left-wing activist groups and report back to the Task Force about what they were doing. There seems to be little doubt that it was this domestic spying by the Federal Government that led to the excessive and truly despicable home assaults by the police yesterday. SOURCE. Citizen Spies? Planting informants? COINTELPRO. A Nation on the Edge of the Final Descent (IV): A Country Ready to Follow Orders -- Even into Hell The tasering of Andrew Meyer became and remained a major news story for at least a week after it occurred. I didn't attempt to follow all the commentary; it would have been impossible for anyone to do so -- there was simply too much of it. But I tried to listen to and read a representative sampling of opinion, across the political spectrum. (Since I can't afford and thus don't have television, my listening was confined to radio.) As I showed in Part III, two primary themes announced themselves, regardless of whether a person identified himself as conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat: the axiomatic assumption that the authorities are almost always right in whatever they do, and the uniform insistence that the authorities must always be obeyed. <snip> Rhodes noted that many others characterized Meyer as rude and obnoxious, and they considered him to be only a troublemaker and rabble rouser, someone who was "looking for trouble" and was "asking for it." To all this, Rhodes responded: No, I would say he is informed. She went on to say that given what has been transpiring in the United States for the last several years, and what continues to transpire today (none of which has been altered or even slowed down in any significant way by the Democrats whose virtues Rhodes still attempts to sell her listeners on), people who are informed tend to be agitated. Before you go on and on about Randi Rhodes being a liberal or this, that or the other. Just read the article. Then... Be good citizens. Follow orders. Hail Victory!