I must add the following comment to this post: Blogger is refusing to allow me to post the picture of these thugs standing on the steps of the Lincoln Monument. You can go to the Daily Kos article about it to see it in all its glory. I have had repeated problems with Blogger the last few days in getting it to display my posts, something I have never had happen in my twelve year history with them. I don't want to be paranoid about this, but it has happened a lot lately.
Note: You may see a similar photo now at the Washington Post, in an above the fold article, titled "The dystopian Lincoln Memorial photo raises a grim question: Will they protect us, or will they shoot us?" The Washington Post is currently the most trustworthy and serious news outlet in the United States. It is now asking if Donald Trump is going to turn US troops on the American people. Had enough yet, or are you still worried about that black kid in Santa Monica that stole a pair of sneakers?
In what I regard as one of the most ominous actions in Trump's attempt to seize total control of the government, this is happening now, as reported at Daily Kos:
"...a rogue force of armed unmarked militia has been patrolling Washington, D.C. for days.
The militia members, likely numbering in the hundreds if not thousands, have been photographed guarding the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and on Wednesday were seen forming a perimeter outside the White House, as if it were under siege."
May I add here that the term "guarding" seems pretty strange to me. "Occupying" or "seizing" might be more appropriate.
"Members of the unmarked force usually won't identify themselves at all, but on one occasion claimed they were working on behalf of the "Department of Justice." It seems only fitting that the nation's top law enforcement official, Attorney General William Barr, would deploy an unidentified armed force to do his bidding, though it remains unclear exactly who these forces are answering to...they won't identify themselves, and all insignias and name plates have been removed."
Please note that not only are they in totally unmarked uniforms, but they all have their faces covered too. This is a mob of hundreds of uniformed thugs of absolutely unknown origin, acting in league with the President of the United States, to threaten our own people.
If you wish, you could tell me how this is not an act of fascism, but you would have trouble convincing me or any other halfway sentient person. So, here it is, folks, the Trump war on the American people, now moving into the combat phase.
There is no way in the English language, I believe, to state how abominable and unforgivable this is. And yet it is happening in America. And don't even try to tell anyone that this display of hundreds or thousands of enemies of freedom was assembled in the few days since the current round of protests started. This was obviously planned well in advance, by people who have been just waiting for an opportunity to unleash this horror on the country.
Is it too much to demand to know who these people are, and who sent them into the streets?
An addendum to the above: On the very real possibility that these are American troops or "law enforcement" agents in unmarked uniforms, I want to clarify the legal status of this behavior, which is unfortunately uncertain. The Geneva Conventions require that combat troops wear the uniforms of their countries, but say nothing about what insignia must be there for their clothes to constitute a uniform. This became an issue most recently in the Russian aggression against Ukraine, where many Russian troops wore unmarked uniforms. Some experts insist that this renders them liable to be treated as mercenaries, or unlawful combatants, but others disagree. I just wanted to add this note so the abomination we are witnessing does not become sidetracked in arguments about this issue. What is going on may very well be the most unforgivable assault on American freedom by our own government in the entire history of this country, regardless of what patches the perpetrators are wearing. Let us not lose sight of that fact.
Update: Again, from Daily Kos (where would we be without them?):
"Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake published the Trump/Pence campaign’s latest "FOR PATRIOTS ONLY" email. In it, the campaign says it is assembling a "Trump Army." It is unconcerned with subtlety, directly extending Trump's own calls for, as he put it, "Second Amendment" responses to Americans protesting police violence. The "President," you see, is raising a brownshirt army:
"The President wants YOU and every other member of our exclusive Trump Army to have something to identify yourselves with, and to let everyone know that YOU are the President's first line of defense when it comes to fighting off the Liberal MOB."
Sorry, but when the leader of a party begins the raising of a private "army" and threatening to use it to wreak violence on his opponents, there is only one comparison: This is an almost line by line replay of Adolf Hitler and the Stormtroopers. And anyone that thinks that this obvious comparison somehow violates "Godwin's law," or is out of bounds is a fool.