Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Green, and other House GOPers, Seek to Defund Police

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 30, 2021

Banana Republicans are 100% pure hypocrites.

Matt Gaetz

Marjorie Taylor Greene

Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz (CD-1) and a group of other House Republicans on Friday, 30 April 2021 introduced legislation to defund the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, a law enforcement and investigative arm of U.S. Postal Service.

The legislation, “H.R.2921 – To prohibit funds from being used to implement the Internet Covert Operations Program under the United States Postal Inspection Service, and for other purposes,” was in response to a March bulletin distributed by the Postal Service’s Inspection Service’s Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP), and reported by Yahoo News earlier this month. The bulletin cited the Postal Inspection Service’s concerns about potential “significant” likely violent protests planned for March 20 based upon “online inflammatory material,” and possible threats to the integrity and security of the U.S. Mail System, in conjunction with posts on radical right-wing social media platforms Parler and Telegram.

American intelligence agencies have debriefed Congress and issued reports about the serious threat to national security posed by domestic terrorists, particularly White supremacists, neo-Nazis and other racist groups such as Proud Boys, and others, following their concerted attack upon Congress on January 6, 2021 as they were performing their Constitutionally-mandated duties by certifying election results. Those groups, and others sympathetic with them, primarily used the radical right-wing social media platforms Parler and Telegram to coordinate their efforts, and attack.

Louie Gohmert-TX 1

Paul Gosar

“iCOP analysts are currently monitoring these social media channels for any potential threats stemming from the scheduled protests and will disseminate intelligence updates if needed,” the agency wrote in the bulletin.

The new bill backed by almost a dozen House Republicans would prohibit Federal funds from being used for law enforcement efforts like iCOP. The legislation’s text accuses the organization of being “politically motivated in its target,” and the USPS of “operating a clandestine domestic surveillance program of Americans’ social media activity.”

Scott Perry

Andy Biggs

Gaetz said in a statement Friday that “the Postal Service should deliver the mail on time and on budget.”

“They shouldn’t have a covert surveillance program to monitor social media political behavior, protected by our cherished Constitution,” he said. “As the dangers of government surveillance and targeting become ever the more clear, especially to conservatives, Congress must immediately abolish this program.”

Greg Steube

Ken Buck

Other bill sponsors include Republican Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene-GA 14, Paul Gosar-AZ 4, Louie Gohmert-TX 1, Andy Biggs-AZ 5, Scott Perry-PA 10, Greg Steube-FL 17, Ken Buck-CO 4, Tim Burchett-TN 2, and Thomas Massie-KY 4.

Gaetz — who is currently under Federal investigation by the Justice Department in connection with sex trafficking allegations — along with several of the co-sponsors, have accounts on Parler, a social media platform popular with right-wing extremists, which was removed from Google’s and Apple’s app stores in the wake of the Trump-led January 6 insurrection and attack upon the U.S. Congress at the Capitol building due to concerns of the apps facilitating terrorist activities, and restored the Paler app earlier this month.

Thomas Massie

Tim Burchett

A spokesperson for the Postal Service pushed back against Republican concerns, noting in a statement provided to The Hill on Friday that the agency “occasionally reviews publicly available information in order to assess potential safety or security threats to Postal Service employees, facilities, operations and infrastructure.”

The spokesperson wrote that,

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is the primary law enforcement, crime prevention, and security arm of the U.S. Postal Service. As such, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has federal law enforcement officers, Postal Inspectors, who enforce approximately 200 federal laws to achieve the agency’s mission: Protect the U.S. Postal Service and its employees, infrastructure, and customers; enforce the laws that defend the nation’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use; and ensure public trust in the mail.”

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service also employs uniformed Postal Police Officers who are assigned to protect select postal facilities, including postal employees, postal assets, and U.S. mail, at those facilities,” the spokesperson added.

Yahoo News reported separately that the Postal Service briefed members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on iCOP surveillance concerns earlier this week.

The briefing was the result of a request in a letter sent to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy last week by more than 30 House Republicans, including Gaetz and committee ranking Republican member James Comer-KY 1, listing concerns around iCOP.

“The United States is not lacking in its availability of intelligence agencies, and it should be left to those professionals to engage in this sort of behavior, if it is even necessary at all,” the House Republicans wrote. “Truly, it is baffling why America’s postal service would be involved in this kind of coordinated, intensive review of its citizens’ online activity.”

Gaetz, House Republicans Introduce Bill To Defund Postal Service Covert Operations Program


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