American Stasi By Josh Hammer for Jewish World Review
Monday’s shocking images of police sirens blaring outside Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump’s magnificent Palm Beach, Florida, estate, will not soon be forgotten.
Much has already been said and written about the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago that precipitated those sirens: “outrageous,” “unprecedented,” a “crossing of the Rubicon” moment. Regrettably, all of that is true. The siccing of the national law enforcement apparatus to execute a pre-dawn raid on a top partisan rival — especially when that rival is the head of state’s predecessor and perhaps-likely future opponent — is a contemptible act of raw political bloodlust. It is an act far more befitting a crumbling hellhole like Venezuela, or a third-world country in sub-Saharan Africa, than it is the land that was to be, per Benjamin Franklin’s alleged quip, “a republic, if you can keep it.”
America, it seems, won the Cold War only to see its own federal law enforcement/national security apparatus morph into a version of the old East German Stasi — and barely three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, to boot.
Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Thursday press conference, remarkably defensive and defiant in tone, did not dispel any concerns or assuage any critics. (Those critics, incidentally, include even former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.) The scuttlebutt is that Trump was hoarding deeply secretive, classified information deep in the bowels of Mar-a-Lago, in violation of the Presidential Records Act. But the back-and-forth between the National Archives and Trump’s personal legal team surrounding the boxes of material, entirely routine for an ex-president when it comes to things like establishing a presidential library, was by all accounts unfolding amicably: A subpoena was issued this spring, Trump’s lawyers were cooperative and archivists had already recalled 15 boxes earlier this year.