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By Cheryl Chumley
November 19, 2014

Question: What do the U.S. Agriculture Department, the Internal Revenue Service and the Supreme Court of the United States have in common?

Answer: They all employ specially trained agents to conduct secret investigations against the American people, to root out suspicious activities and alleged illegal actions.

Move over FBI. It's the new face of U.S. government – one of suspicion and accusatioon where tax-paid officials feel empowered enough to conduct surveillance on unsuspecting Americans absent any warrant. And it's just such cart-before-the-horse type of people policing that reeks of curious constitutional interpretation -- that sets up the government as the power and the public as the suspicious subject. Due process? Innocent until proven guilty?

Forget about all that.

This is what the New York Times found: More than 40 different government agencies now employ officers who act like businessmen and businesswomen, welfare recipients, political agitators and activists – even physicians and members of the clergy. These officials are tasked with seeking out illegalities, irregularities and outright acts of wrongdoing among the American people.

"At the Supreme Court," for example, the newspaper wrote, "small teams of undercover officers dress as students at large demonstrations outside the courthouse and join the protests to look for suspicious activity. … At the Internaal Revenue Service, dozens of undercover agents chase suspected tax evaders worldwide by posing as tax preparers, accountants, drug dealers or yacht buyers."

And at the U.S.D.A., 100-plus specially trained agents reportedly adopt the personas of food stamp recipients and fan out to community stores across the nation, checking on shopkeepers, cashiers and clerks to make sure they're not giving out benefits when benefits shouldn't be given.

One could perhaps make the case that it's heartening to see the federal government take a strong stand for the little guy – for the taxpayer – and against corruption and thievery. But one shouldn't.

That's because the idea of the government serving as a no-nonsense, zero-tolerance enforcer of law is fox-watching-the-henhouse logic. In other words, the federal government is hardly the arbiter of truth, justice and the American way, and it certainly has enough of its own internal scandals, corruptions and taxpayer wastes to investigate to keep it busy, well into the coming decades. Still, hypocrisy is hardly the only problem with this emerging trend of federal policing.

What about civil liberties? What about the unfairness of entrapment?

What about the unseemly aspect of agencies like the IRS and Supreme Court sending out trained minions to scour the streets, eavesdrop on conversations -- even set the stage for crimes to occur? If safety and security is the ultimate goal line, then perhaps the goal posts need to be moved.

Remember, this is the same government that put the kibosh on FBI agents conducting undercover and surveillance operations in mosques, after the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, teamed with the American Civil Liberties Union and threatened to sue. The two groups alleged the FBI violated the rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by sending in undercover agents to monitor activities and check for terror ties within the mosque.

The ACLU and offended Muslims alleged the same in New York – that civil rrights were violated -- when the city's police department labeled mosques as terrorist organizations and sent in undercover officers to conduct secret surveillance and root out intelligence that would actually help stop attacks on U.S. soil.

In both cases, Muslims and their advocates were shocked – Shocked! – that those of Islam faith were being watcheed for terrorism ties. The FBI hasn't been allowed to conduct any mosque operations without first obtaining permission from the Justice Department's Sensitive Operations Review Committee. And in New York, outraged Muslims who saw their initial suit against the city dismissed have filed an appeal, and are turning up the heat on Mayor Bill de Blasio to put a halt to the practice voluntarily.

Apparently, Americans of faiths other than Islam aren't entitled to the same sorts of civil rights or constitutional protections.

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Look at some of these ongoing operations: One agency used underage decoy hirelings to try and buy alcohol and cigarettes from local convenience stores, the New York Times found. Other operations at the Department of Education and the Office of Inspector General use secret agents to ferret out fraud. And the powers-that-be at the Medicare offices train some of their employees to pose as patients and go forth into the hospitals, clinics and health care facilities of the nation to weed out financial finagling and deceptions. Other federal agencies that have their own P.I.-like teams: the Small Business Administration, NASA and the Smithsonian, the New York Times reported.

Big Brotherish? Without a doubt. Creepy? You bet – and go ahead add in un-American, Gestapo-ishh, police state-like politicking, while you're at it.

We have been warned: Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither. Those who rely on government, not God, as the provider are only a few short years from enslavement.

© 2014 Cheryl Chumley - All Rights Reserved

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Cheryl K. Chumley is the author of "Police State USA: How Orwell's Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality," and an award-winning journalist who currently writes for The Washington Times.




One could perhaps make the case that it's heartening to see the federal government take a strong stand for the little guy – for the taxpayer – and against corruption and thievery. But one shouldn't.