Donald Trump can’t send the military to attack protesters in any state without the governor’s permission, so instead he’s got troops attacking protesters in Washington DC, which has no governor. The thing is, it’s difficult to figure out just who these “troops” are on the streets of DC – and the whole thing may be uglier than we thought.
Mother Jones reporter Dan Friedman noted that the “troops” stationed around the city are in military-style gear, but they lack any sort of insignia. If they were from any U.S. military branch, or from the National Guard, or from any police force, they’d bear the insignia from that group. When Friedman asked them who they’re with, their answer was the “Department of Justice.”
To be clear, there’s no such thing as a Department of Justice police force or military force. Instead, this appears to be some kind of private quasi-military contractor hired by the Department of Justice to patrol the streets of Washington DC. Various people on social media have noted that the troops in the photo posted by Friedman are wearing uniforms that are highly similar to that of Blackwater, the private military contracting firm run by Erik Prince, the brother of Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education.
Whether these troops are from Blackwater or some other non-government contractor, this whole thing keeps getting uglier by the minute. The Department of Justice doesn’t have the legal authority to send quasi-government troops into the streets like this. And if there weren’t something corrupt going on here, the identity of these troops wouldn’t be such a secret.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report