tivates our agents to protect the law-abiding citizens of this Nationrnagainst those who choose to live by another standard.”rnNo doubt there are many ATF cases in which really dangerousrncriminals are storing, smuggling, or selling weapons illegally,rnand no doubt in such cases busting down doors in the middlernof the night, pushing people to the floor with guns at theirrnheads, and even shouting intimidating warnings in colorful languagernare appropriate tactics. But in not a single one of the casesrnrecounted here was there any reason to believe that this wasrnthe kind of suspect the ATF or other federal agents had to face.rnNot a single one of them had any record of violence or lawbreaking,rnand the crimes they were alleged to have committedrnwere not even violent offenses. Police officers investigating arnmurder suspect do not make use of these tactics, unless theyrnhave strong reason to believe the suspect is ready and willing tornshoot them on sight.rnWhat is distinctive about most if not all of these cases isrnthat they were carried out against the very “law-abiding”rncitizens the ATF claims to have a mission to protect, andrnthey are citizens who have no experience of law enforcement atrnany level precisely because they are law-abiding. In the NRArnvideo, Louis Katona best describes the attitude of most suchrnMiddle Americans: “The ATF needs to go after criminals. Yournknow, the honest citizens—they know where he is, so they gornafter him.”rnWhat he is describing is what I have called “anarcho-tyranny,”rna distinctively new form of government in which the governmentrnis either unable or unwilling to apprehend and punishrncriminals, so it therefore criminalizes the innocent and cracksrndown on them. I have never heard of an ATF raid on an urbanrngang, although the stockpiling of weapons by such gangs isrncommonly known. Gangs might shoot back, you see, so it’srnmuch safer to go after the Katonas, the Lamplughs, thernMuellers. And if you’re wrong, and the bums you consulted asrn”informants” turn out to have lied to get money or cop a plea,rnyou can always apologize. And if you don’t apologize, you canrnalways have Mr. Hynes or some other vassal of the federalrnleviathan write a letter and intone about your mission to protectrnthe law-abiding.rnAlmost all of the cases discussed here have been the subjectrnof public accounts in local newspapers, and some of the victimsrnhave even testified before Congress. Others have launched civilrnsuits against the ATF or similar agencies, some of which are inrnprogress now. And organizations like those that sent the letterrnto President Clinton have taken up the causes of those whornhave suffered at the hands of the federal state. Yet, despiternthese forms of redress, the abuses continue, as the Mueller casernlast year shows, and the American public as a whole is not awarernof the abuses, let alone their systemic nature. Neither the Presidentrnnor Congress, nor any major candidate in the nationalrnelection last year, discussed these cases or addressed the trendrnthey indicate toward the evolution of a national police state, inrnwhich law enforcement is able to violate the rights of innocentrnparties with impunity, nor has any major news media outlet discussedrnthese cases as a whole.rnThe evolution of a police state may not be the intention ofrneither the agencies involved or of the political leaders who ignorernand at least tacitly condone what is certainly a repeatedrnand may be a regular pattern of federal law enforcement behavior,rnbut that evolution is nonetheless real, and the brutalityrnof the ATF and its sister agencies is only one part of it. Otherrnelements in the construction of the coming police state includernthe demonization of privately owned firearms and their owners,rnthe enactment of gun control legislation in the Brady Act, thernoutlawing of sales of semiautomatic weapons in 1994, and anrnincreasing push for the outright prohibition of handguns; thernattempts to enact “counterterrorism” legislation plainly directedrnagainst citizens’ militias and domestic right-wing radicalism;rnthe use by the FBI and ATF of intrusive surveillance and investigativerntechniques against militias and similar groups in the aftermathrnof the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995; the use of entrapmentrnby these agencies to engineer violations of federal lawrnon the part of the groups they are spying on; the media-concoctedrnhysteria about “church-burnings” last summer, whichrnresulted in a new federal law making the arson of any church forrnany reason a federal offense; efforts to expand federal policernpowers, place more police officers on the street through federalrnlegislation, and augment the powers and resources of the FBIrn(including wiretapping authority); more demands for the revivalrnand further escalation of the “drug war” of the 1980’s byrnRepublicans like Bob Dole and William Bennett; and thernwhole trend toward the nationalization of law enforcement inrnthe name of a “war on crime.” The fear and hatred of crimernand criminals by the right and the fear and hatred of the rightrnby the left serve to enlist both sides of the conventional politicalrnspectrum in promoting the new police state. The avoidancernof publicity about the abuses of the federal police agenciesrntends, over time, to normalize such behavior in the minds ofrncitizens, to legitimize it, and to render it a routine part of governmentrnfunctions.rnGiven the likelihood of increasing alienation and politicalrnradicalization in the United States in the coming years underrnthe impact of uncontrolled immigration, the economic erosionrnof the middle class, increasingly continuous military involvementrnabroad, and rising ethnic and racial conflict, the rulingrnclass of the managerial regime may find that a police state is thernonly means of control it has left. Its ideological defenses ofrnboth liberalism and mainstream conservatism no longer seemrnto bind the Middle American subjects of the regime to it, andrnthe emergence of a militant (and occasionally extralegal) PopulistrnRight that rejects the legitimacy of the federal governmentrnand even, sometimes, of the political unity of the nation-staternis certainly perceived as a direct threat by the ruling class and itsrnapologists. The regime can expect to continue to manipulate,rnbuy off, and entertain most Americans with what remains of itsrncorporate economy, government benefits, and its managed culturernof sitcoms and amusement parks, but for some citizens,rnthese manipulative controls will not work, and sterner measuresrnwill be needed to keep the regime intact and the class that runsrnit in power.rnThe emerging police state, then, for all its swagger about thern”war on drugs” and keeping us safe from “those who choose tornlive by another standard,” has nothing to do with maintainingrnorder and punishing real criminals but everything to do withrnthe systematic repression of those Middle Americans who expressrndisenchantment with the new order and who organize orrnrepresent points of resistance to it. It may be too eady as yet forrnthe secret police forces and paramilitary units of the regime torneradicate organized Middle American resistance carte blanche,rnbut what those forces already arc doing and have done to uncountedrninnocent victims suggests that they are only just warmingrnup to their final solution.rnFEBRUARY 1997/15rnrnrn