Monday, May 12, 2014

The real threat from 'Operation Chokepoint'

Fellow blogger Claire Wolfe has written an excellent article summarizing the very real dangers posed by the government's 'Operation Choke Point', which should concern all those who value their civil liberties and constitutional freedoms.  Here's a brief excerpt.

It was announced as an operation to prevent fraudsters from getting into innocent people's bank accounts. What could be more noble? What could possibly go wrong?

Maybe that's why, when Operation Choke Point first became public in March 2013, everybody from the mainstream media to the most eagle-eyed freedom bloggers basically ignored it.

As it turns out there's nothing noble about it and a lot is already going wrong. As usual with these secretive federal programs, we may not learn for years how much evil has already been done under the pretense of good. One thing we can be sure of: if these tactics aren't halted, they'll grow inexorably and will end up threatening not only our gun rights and our freedom, but the very concept of a society based on fairplay and honest dealings.

. . .

It turns out that Operation Choke Point has already identified some 30 target business types with the aim of shutting an unknown number of businesses in these categories completely out of the U.S. banking and payments systems.

Some of the targeted fields contain honest businesses while still having reputations for harboring fraudsters: dating services, money-transfer operations, telemarketing, and "get-rich" products, for instance.

Others were obviously targeted because some moralizer or safety Nazi doesn't approve: online gambling, fireworks sales, pharmaceutical sales, head shops, businesses selling racist materials, and of course porn. (One liberty-loving former call girl, Maggie McNeill), has already spoken out articulately.

Some choices were ominously political -- and that's where we come in. The targeted businesses include -- you won't be surprised -- firearms dealers and ammunition vendors.

Yes, the federal government, it appears, wants to put pressure on corporations to force gun-related businesses out of U.S. banking and payment systems. That means no bank accounts. It may mean no business loans. No ability to process credit and debit card payments. Severely reduced ability to order parts or inventory, rent or buy shop space or manufacturing space, pay bills, pay employees, or execute the thousand other things businesses must do everyday to continue running. In short, the federal government is targeting entire industries for destruction.

Operation Choke Point aims to put a choke hold around the necks of perfectly innocent businesses, business owners, employees -- and customers.

Worse, it aims to do so not by attacking the businesses (which, of course, the ATF has been doing all along). That would be observable and bring loud outcrys. Instead, it threatens and punishes financial instutions that dare to do business with these perfectly legal companies.

There's more at the link.  Very important reading, IMHO - and something we need to work through our elected representatives to overturn as quickly as possible.



NotClauswitz said...

I like Clair Wolf's work, and this thing is a burning pig on wheels that needs a stake in its heart.

Inconsiderate Bastard said...

I agree, drive a stake through its heart, burn the remains and scatter the ashes. Once again, government - our government - is the enemy of the citizens.

The larger issue here, though, is innoculating ourselves against anything like this in the future. The technique, having been discovered, will be used again, by whomever holds the reins, against whomever that group dislikes. Human nature 101, assisted by the natural corruption endemic to large government.

The firearm industry, notably decentralized among fiercely independent organizations, needs to establish its own economic niche: own its own bank, or a large enough piece of an existing lower or middle tier national bank, that there is sufficient economic mass to exert sufficient control over the actions of that bank to resist the fed dot gov.

If the Wall Streeters can figure out how to take over banks, so can we. Consider it the fifth box: economic independence.