Monday, April 21, 2014

Private armies

I do not know if Cliven Bundy is in the right, though it is trivially obvious that the BLM indulged in horrifying overkill. That this sort of intimidation is what you expect from despots and not from servants of the people is also obvious, and others have dwelt on it at length elsewhere. The country was designed on the assumption that you can’t trust the powers that be to keep within bounds; that they would always try to accumulate greater and greater power. This incident fits that pattern as we watch nearly every agency assemble its own private army.

But why is the administration allowing it? I understand appeal of having your own armed forces to cut through red tape and enforce bureaucratic rules as though infractions were crimes.

But hasn’t it occurred to anybody that these federal armies aren’t going to be coordinated, and that down the road there are going to be conflicts? We have enough trouble trying to get the Army, Navy, and Air Force to fight the same enemy in wartime, and they have the same mission. As the agency leaders become more accustomed to using their private armies, they are going to step on each other’s toes. Who gets to seize the property of people accused of making meth on federal property—the BLM or the DEA?

Whoever gets there first with the biggest group of fighters.

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