The arrest itself is what is most interesting to me. Here is a man accused on procedural crimes, non-violent, "white collar" crimes to use the old lingo. He is represented by an attorney and the Feds know who his attorney is. The Feds don't contact his attorney and tell him to have Stone appear, which he would have done without hesitation. No, instead they conduct a pre-dawn raid. With CNN conveniently present. Over two dozen agents decked out in full tactical gear. Guns drawn, including rifles. The sort of tactical gear you would expect to see in a raid on a biker clubhouse or a crackhouse, where you might expect to encounter violent resistance.
|He looks awfully dangerous.|
There are two possible things going on here.
One, this is just another example of law enforcement overusing their tactical gear. They tend to gear up and kick down doors. I get why, after you kick down a door once and get shot at, you will be a lot more cautious and better to use overwhelming force if you can, but I also believe quite strongly that kicking down doors in the middle of the night is a great way for people to get shot accidentally. If someone kicks in my door and comes charging into my house in the dark, I am far more likely to be prepared to use deadly force to defend my family than I am if a cop shows up in daylight and knocks on the door. In the dark of night I can't assume someone kicking in my door is a cop but I can assume that there is a real potential threat and respond accordingly. I understand you can't knock politely in the daytime in a lot of situations but I also am not convinced you need to pull out the SWAT team every time.
Two, and more likely, this was intended as an overt threat, a message to anyone that challenges the Deep State. The message was clear: We can send the FBI with guns drawn to your house, bang on the door and do it all in front of controlled media CNN. Even if you are completely innocent, there is something very damning about the FBI banging on your door with guns drawn. Another important point: when a someone, anyone whether civilian or cop, has their gun drawn, the chances of an accidental shooting go up enormously. People don't generally get shot by someone with their gun holstered. What if someone had walked out of a dark room in Stone's house and startled an agent with a loaded gun in their hand? That is how accidents happen and in a situation where there is no credible threat from a man who is presumed innocent until proven guilty there is no excuse for escalating the danger of an accidental shooting. But the message? That came through loud and clear. If you are a prominent figure you have to choose sides: either you are against Trump or you are against the Deep State. There is no neutral ground and the Deep State has the power of endless investigation and the very real threat of dozens of LEOs in tactical gear with guns drawn knocking on your door in the predawn hours with the "media" on hand to record it all. A gun drawn is an overt threat that the one holding it is prepared to use it.
We are seeing a slow but steady escalation. The Russia investigation has been going on for two years with zero evidence of collusion. At this rate it is quite likely the "investigation" will still be going on election day 2020. It isn't really about finding anything damning at this point, if there was something there we would have heard about it already. It is just about keeping the public perception that were there is smoke, there must be fire. So the Deep State sends in the armed agents and conducts a media circus event to make their point.
Roger Stone seems like a dirtbag and political shyster of the worst kind. He might be guilty of some non-violent procedural crimes, including the same crime President Bill Clinton was guilty of, impeached but remained President. But a dangerous criminal worthy of a guns drawn raid with over two dozen agents? Please. It was a message and nothing else. I am generally a supporter of law enforcement but if things go sour as I expect, it won't be Eric Swalwell and Michael Bloomberg coming for your guns, it will be LEOs wearing tactical gear with guns out kicking in your door. At some point tens of millions of us are going to be faced with a very difficult choice and most of us will choose to declare "I will not comply". Then we will see where the law enforcement community stands.