Militarization of Police

Secret Service Asked CBP for Helicopters and Spy Planes in Response to White House Protesters

The Secret Service wanted the helicopter to deploy a "fast ropes" commando team if necessary.

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The Secret Service asked Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for a Black Hawk helicopter and surveillance aircraft in response to protests outside the White House, according to documents obtained by American Oversight, a government watchdog group.

Kimberly Cheatle, assistant director for the Secret Service's Office of Protective Operations, wrote to CBP acting commissioner Mark Morgan asking for assistance in a June 5 letter, obtained by American Oversight and first reported by The Washington Post. Cheatle requested surveillance aircraft to monitor protesters outside the White House and a Black Hawk helicopter that could be used to rapidly deploy a "fast rope" tactical team if needed.

The request came a week after violent clashes between large crowds of Black Lives Matter protesters and federal and local law enforcement near the White House, which led the Secret Service to rush President Donald Trump to an underground bunker.

"Due to the significant and unprecedented events occurring in the National Capital Region, the U.S. Secret Service is requesting the support from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations," Cheatle wrote. "CBP's participation in the operational security plan is vital."

The Post reported that the Secret Service later decided that the helicopter wouldn't be needed, but CBP did provide the agency with live footage from a surveillance plane monitoring protests in D.C.

The letter further documents the federal response to widespread protests and unrest throughout the country following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. Multiple federal agencies deployed surveillance aircraft to monitor protests and riots. CBP deployed a surveillance drone over Minneapolis. The FBI flew aircraft equipped with infrared and electro-optical cameras—and possibly equipment known as 'dirtboxes,' which can collect cell phone location data—over Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas.

Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown was on the ground when a National Guard helicopter hovered dangerously low over protesters in D.C. as a "show of force." The D.C. National Guard is now investigating the incident.

Austin Evers, American Oversight's executive director, told the Post that the letter is "further evidence that the Trump administration sees First Amendment activities as a siege and our fellow citizens as combatants."

The Secret Service has suffered several embarrassing White House breaches over the past decade, and it was caught off guard by the intensity of the protests. However, the Trump administration's response to the George Floyd protests—using anonymous federal law enforcement officers, snatching protesters off the street in unmarked vans, and using spy planes—has also showed the militarization and mission creep at the Department of Homeland Security, and why there were legitimate concerns over creating DHS in the first place.

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  1. American Oversight are democrat operatives. Reason is not credible when it quotes them.

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  2. The Secret Service wanted the helicopter to deploy a “fast ropes” commando team if necessary.

    Oh, that would be hilarious. Given that if the SS *had* a fast-rope commando team trained to deploy this way they would have had, by definition, the helicopter to go with it.

    Instead they’re going to stick some SS dudes into a helo – that may or may not have a crew trained in supporting fast-rope insertions – and hope for the best?

    1. The whole story smacks of some gayop to catfish some media bobbleheads for lulz.

      1. I would have thought the SS CounterAssault Team would have organically, all of the goodies they’d need in that line? If they needed more ass than that, they’d be hitting up the FBI at Quantico or the Marines. I would be very surprised if they didn’t already cross train with HMX-1, who would be handling whatever helo needs the SS SAIC (or whatever they call him/her) determined were necessary.

        If only because they shared the same radio fills.

        1. The “muscle car” team was an ad hoc contingent drawn from special agents working at a local Secret Service office, as opposed to those regularly assigned to protective duties. They were instructed, in the event of an attack against the convoy, to lay-down a barrage of suppressive fire against the source of the attack

          I can not believe they ever considered this to be a good idea.

          Special agents assigned to Hawkeye were implicated in the Summit of the Americas prostitution scandal in 2012

          The Secret Service are just a bunch of muppets.

          1. That’s darkly hilarious. I guess we should be glad a car didn’t backfire near them, or something.

            “Suppressing fire!!!” Who knew Archer was so prescient?

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          2. Just more government jackboots who want to dress up like a commando and tell people they are dangerous, but for some obscure reason decided not to join the military and actually go to war. I mean, they’ve only had 19 years of opportunity.

            Just a bunch of cry bully cowards who want a nice pension, societal respect, and benefits, but don’t want to actually let haji shoot at them.

            I think these long wars have actually gutted local and federal police of good men. A brave and conscientious patriot who wants to put their life in harm’s way for their country would be obviously drawn to the military at war, leaving only the cowardly pretenders in the police.

            Whereas in the cold war days someone was more likely to see action in police service rather than in the military, so the effect may have been reversed, with more good guys going to police and more posers joining the military. Just a thought.

  3. The D.C. National Guard

    What the ever-loving fuck is this mickey mouse bullshit?

    . . . the Commanding General of the D.C. National Guard is subordinate solely to the President of the United States.

    . . .

    The D.C. National Guard is the only National Guard unit, out of all of the 54 states and territories, which reports only to the President.

    This authority to activate the D.C. National Guard has been delegated, by the President, to the Secretary of Defense and further delegated to the Secretary of the Army.

    Doesn’t sound like he reports to the President of the US. Sounds like he reports to the Secretary of the Army now.

    1. Also, ‘further delegated approving authority’. That’s not something you can do. You can only delegate – the person you delegate to can not then pass the buck off to one of his juniors.

      1. The D.C. National Guard also retains the mission as protector of the District of Columbia.

        . . . retains the mission *of* protector of . . .

        Writes like you need someone who understands English to do up your blurbs.

        1. Sadly, they are stuck with college graduates . . .

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    2. Yeah! This is an outrage!

      The National Guard reports to the governor! Always, the governor….

      Now, who is the governor of the District of Columbia?

      1. Certainly not the Secretary of the Army.

  4. “dangerously” low…

  5. No need for helicopters; a line of bayonets has always worked.

      1. Militia do not have bayonets.

  6. All they need is a determined cohort of Americans believing that “leftists” are an existential threat, and not just people who want to raise capital gains taxes a little, and libertarianism activates “government force is authorized now” mode. Oh it already happened and freedom is dead.

    1. As long as you allowed to post here, freedom is not dead.
      You contradict your premise with each comment.

    2. Everyone knows the road to prosperity and freedom is paved with new and moar taxez.

      1. Every “useful idiot” anyways. 🙂

    3. Well, you really are an existential threat, Tony.

    4. So, Floyd dies of health conditions + the restraint used while resisting arrest = raise capital gains tax…

      The BLM motive just couldn’t possibly be any louder… STEAL THOSE PEOPLES MONEY FOR US BECAUSE WE GOT MOB POWER NOW….

      Hey, hand over your wallet, credit cards and bank account or we’ll terrorize you!!! (EXACTLY; minus the 3rd party (gov) power house of pointing guns at the robbed)

      1. …and the funniest part; if all these mob-criminals were out flipping burgers with as much time and effort as they put into STEALING they probably would be more wealthy at the end of the day as well as actually adding VALUE to society instead of a Butt-stain.

  7. Next thing you know, the Secret Service will want to start carrying guns! And you know what they do with guns? They shoot people.

    I don’t know what the world’s coming to when the Secret Service is doing everything and anything they can to protect the White House and the President from the kind of “protesters” that have been burning Minneapolis, Portland, and Chicago down, but I know that if Joe Biden is elected president, there won’t be any Secret Service agents carrying guns.

    They want to carry guns to shoot people!

    No way Joe Biden would put up with that.

    1. P.S. I understand that some Secret Service agents sport these:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_P90

      That’s gotta be the coolest gun, right?

      The ammo is expensive as hell for civilians, but 50 round magazine in an SBR? Yeah, that’s the gun you want if some TNT belt strapped nutjob comes charging across the White House lawn.

      1. Its actually not *that* expensive – roughly on par with hollowpoints. Its just there isn’t inexpensive ‘practice’ rounds available.

        And with the recent ammo shortages, even 9×19 is coming in around the same price. The difference being that you can actually get 5.7×28.

        1. I thought you needed to be LE to get the really hot stuff from FN? Although, there are alternative sources (E.g., https://eliteammunition.com/5-7x28mm-c53491304 whenever it’s in stock again.) for what they claim is pretty quick stuff. ‘Pretty quick’ is also pretty good at zipping through armor.

          2,200 out of the 5.7 pistol would be interesting. And the PS90 is about as easy as a M1 Carbine for teaching people how to shoot. Staple-gun trigger nothwithstanding.

      2. That’s gotta be the coolest gun, right?

        That depends on your definition of cool. Setting manufacturing and function aside a bit (I freely admit that FN is a better manufacturer than Kel-Tec), I think the Kel-Tec RDB-S is way cooler.

        Getting into the ‘a bit’ of function, I think the 5.7 round and the interchangeability between a pistol and a submachine gun makes sense for a personal defense force. For pretty much anyone else, I think the separate 9mm and 5.56 makes more sense. Even if it’s a way less ‘cool’ AR-style pistol in either caliber.

    2. This is so much more explosive, important, and hard hitting than Klinesmith pleading guilty to falsifying FISA warrants. Or Schrage detailing how Halper and cohorts went after Carter Page. Or how Biden suggested going after FLynn with the Logan Act

      SECRET SERVICE PREPARES TO PROTECT POTUS FROM MOB is such a bigger story than OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, FBI RESISTANCE, AND FOREIGN UNDERWORLD TYPES CONSPIRE TO OVERTHROW DULY ELECTED PRESIDENTZ

      1. Well, one of these stories actually happened, and the other is hyperbole and “alternative facts”.

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  9. A story of people doing their job spun to a political view point. There is far more pertinent criticism of DHS than this Boy Scout story lacking in erotic details.

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  12. “The request came a week after violent clashes between large crowds of Black Lives Matter protesters and federal and local law enforcement near the White House, which led the Secret Service to rush President Donald Trump to an underground bunker.”

    “Austin Evers, American Oversight’s executive director, told the Post that the letter is “further evidence that the Trump administration sees First Amendment activities as a siege and our fellow citizens as combatants.””

    So violent clashes with police, arson, property damage, and looting are 1st Amendment activities.

    Vote Democrat to get more of this.

    1. I don’t know if this article was intended to be sarcastic, but it makes the American Oversight Committee look bad when they express huge concerns about militaristic defense of the White House while listing a bunch of very good reasons why such a defense is necessary.

  13. Why would this surprise anyone? If you have a mass protest in front of the white house, that would an excellent way for an assassin (not someone even associated with the protesters) to use the protest as cover.

    Has anyone at Reason ever been near or in a crowd where the President has spoken? I was in a crowd in the 1990s listening to Clinton speak, and I saw black-clad snipers perched on various buildings around the area. It never occurred to me to think about how nefarious and awful it was that the President was deploying such militaristic tactics…

  14. Yet another leftist article from Reason. Excellent, looking to data/information from American Oversight, an organization full of former Obama staffers including the clown who is executive director, Austin Evers, who served as Senior Counsel in the U.S. State Department under Obama.

    “If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism.” – Thomas Sowell

  15. Well, AO’s secondary goal is “to generate anti-Trump media coverage.”. So this article fits that nicely.

    If I was a journalist, I would use the magic of the internet to see if the primary source for my proposed article was an agenda-driven political organization.

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  17. I’m ok with the SS preplanning for scenarios – what do we expect them to do?

    I’m not ok with stingrays, but spy planes are cool. But infrared is bad – they can see through your house while you’re boning your wife. Seems a little intrusive.

    And we need to start electing our fbi leaders now that they’ve come out as a politically oriented agency. And the cia needs oversight. This is all too much for me, I’m just gonna ex patriate.

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  20. Ohhhh; This is why Democrats wanted to turn D.C. into a State – so they could elect a liberal governor that would allow the mob to take over D.C. by pitchforks.

    Let’s see here in the Constitution something about terrorizing “Federal” land will have to be dealt by “Federal” police??

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