All this activity takes on a more sinister aspect against the background of one of the statements of Barack Obama during last year's election campaign that got remarkably little attention in the media. He suggested the creation of a federal police force, comparable in size to the military.
Why such an organization? For what purpose?
Since there are state and local police forces all across the country, an FBI to investigate federal crimes and a Department of Justice to prosecute those who commit them, as well as a Defense Department with military forces, just what role would a federal police force play?
Maybe it was just one of those bright ideas that gets floated during an election campaign. Yet there was no grassroots demand for any such federal police nor any media clamor for it, so there was not even any political reason to suggest such a thing.
What would be different about a new federal police force, as compared to existing law enforcement and military forces? It would be a creation of the Obama administration, run by people appointed from top to bottom by that administration -- and without the conflicting loyalties of those steeped in existing military traditions and law enforcement traditions.
In short, a federal police force could become President Obama's personal domestic political army, his own storm troopers.
Perhaps there will never be such a federal police force. But the targeting of individuals and groups who believe in some of the fundamental values on which this country was founded, and people who have demonstrated their patriotism by volunteering for military service, suggests that this potential for political abuse is worth watching, as Obama tries to remake America to fit his vision.