Donald Trump says he will send “a surge” of federal agents to US cities in an anti-crime crackdown dubbed ‘Operation Legend.‘ Many fear election year ‘clampdown.’
By Ricky Telemundo
The last time we heard of a ‘surge’ was with John McCain’s plan to dramatically increase troop levels in Iraq. Such language has never been used when describing forces deployed against U.S. citizens. Needless to say, this is unprecedented.
Speaking from the White House, Trump claimed he had “no choice” but to deploy hundreds of federal agents to the city of Chicago as well as two other Democratic-run cities, Albuquerque and Kansas City. Federal officers were deployed to Portland, Oregon weeks ago. The deployment has had an inverse effect and exacerbated already boiling tensions between protestors and the police. Much of the nation has feared this move for months as it positions Trump to stranglehold U.S. cities in the event of a disputed election. Deploying forces to major cities within a nation often precedes martial law or the subversion of rule of law.
US Attorney General William Barr joined Trump at the announcement. Barr said he was preparing to send about 200 federal agents to Kansas City, Missouri. President Trump is adopting a law-and-order posture as he faces a tough re-election campaign in November.
Trump is using gun violence spikes in New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago and Milwaukee as justification for the deployment of these forces. Last night, federal agents deployed tear gas, pepper balls and flashbangs at protests in Portland in what has been 54 consecutive nights of protests. Reports of unidentified federal agents randomly kidnapping citizens off the streets in unmarked cars have been made by local media.
Legal analysts disagree as to the legality of federal deployment against U.S. citizens yet the Trump administration cites precedent in the Obama authorized NDAA11.