Department of Justice undeterred in appealing on behalf of Operation Choke Point

posted at 9:21 pm on June 3, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

As Ed noted last week in regard to the Obama Justice Department’s ultra-bizarre and super-shady Operation Choke Point — an ATF scheme in which the feds tried to cut off what they deemed to be, ahem, objectionable enterprises’ access to banking services — it sure seems like a really great way to set up a system that will eventually ripen with corruption and abuse. The fact that two federal judges have recently recognized it as such, however, is not a deterrent for the ATF:

Two federal judges have ruled that widely used sting operations designed to ensnare suspects with the promise of a huge payday for robbing an imaginary drug stash house are so “outrageous” that they are also unconstitutional. One judge said the charges were so unfair that he threw them out after three suspects already pleaded guilty.

Each of the men admitted to charges that would put them in prison for seven years or more. But instead of sending them there, U.S. District Court Judge Manuel Real declared that federal agents had “created the fictitious crime from whole cloth” and that their conduct was unconstitutional. Then he dismissed the charges and ordered that all three be set free. …

Another judge there, Otis Wright, dismissed a similar case in March, concluding in a scathing order that a “reverse-sting operation like this one transcends the bounds of due process and makes the Government the oppressor of its people.”

The Justice Department has appealed both decisions.

Nor, I imagine, will the Justice Department be deterred by the House vote last week to stop all federal funding for Operation Choke Point, nor by the House Oversight Committee’s official complaints that the whole thing is pretty much a sham:

The Justice Department’s “Operation Choke Point” is so flagrantly illegal it cannot continue in any form under the law, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Charman Darrell Issa’s staff said in a new report, setting up a constitutional confrontation between the legislative and executive branches of the federal government.

“In light of the Department’s obligation to act within the bounds of the law, and its avowed commitment not to ‘discourage or inhibit’ the lawful conduct of honest merchants, it is necessary to disavow and dismantle Operation Choke Point,” the report said. …

DOJ has said the program is targeted at fraud, but the oversight committee report provided evidence the program was “was created by the Justice Department to ‘choke out’ companies the Administration considers a ‘high risk’ or otherwise objectionable, despite the fact that they are legal businesses.”

I might be a little more inclined to give the Justice Department the benefit of the doubt on this one if they didn’t already have another bizarre, completely ineffective, and ultimately deadly operation targeting perfectly legal gun shops under their belt. As it stands, I’m not.


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This is why the ATF must be abolished.

William Eaton on June 3, 2014 at 9:31 PM

This is so damn blatantly illegal it’s not funny…full steam ahead.

AUINSC on June 3, 2014 at 9:32 PM

makes the Government the oppressor of its people.”

The Justice Department has appealed both decisions.

Well, of course, this administration appealed both decisions.

‘After we win this election, it’s our turn. Payback time. Everyone not with us is against us and they better be ready because we don’t forget. The ones who helped us will be rewarded, the ones who opposed us will get what they deserve. There is going to be hell to pay. Congress won’t be a problem for us this time. No election to worry about after this is over and we have two judges ready to go.’

- Valerie Jarrett

Resist We Much on June 3, 2014 at 9:36 PM

If Obama hated America and wanted to destroy her, what would he do differently?

307wolverine on June 3, 2014 at 9:37 PM

I might be a little more inclined to give the Justice Department the benefit of the doubt on this one if…..

Sorry Erika. Unlawful is unlawful. The degree is not related to the number of times they try to pull this crap.

DaveDief on June 3, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Holder vows to fight domestic extremistsWhy am I not surprised?

Obama is fighting us, in every way, violating any law he chooses to. We, however, are Suspected of, Maybe, Possibly viloating some vague law, somewhere, and should be Persecuted.

Anyone seeing a pattern, here?

New Black Panthers, case dropped after a guilty plea. Rancher in Nevada? BLM Swat Team.

Who’s the racist, eh, Mr. Holder?

Why does my “government” hate me? Because I’m White? RACIST! Because I pay a LOT of taxes and want to pay less? EXTREMEIST!

Who is John Galt on June 3, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Is this Choke Point crap the pretext the commies will use to seize our 401Ks?

8 weight on June 3, 2014 at 9:44 PM

Isn’t this called fascism?

wolly4321 on June 3, 2014 at 9:45 PM

wolly4321, why yes, yes it is. And it’s no longer the velvet glove.

rbj on June 3, 2014 at 9:50 PM

ATF has been a law unto itself since Nixon created it. GWB mistakenly thought transferring it from Treasury to Justice would make it more accountable. Not one of his smarter moves.

ATF would rather attack firearms manufacturers than go after actual criminals, and attack law-abiding gun owners than prosecute the actual lawbreakers.

The agency suffers from an institutional hatred of firearms in civilian hands, and possessing that particular mental aberration seems to be the only actual qualification for ATF to hand someone a badge and a gun. They certainly aren’t being graded on Constitutional law, and their actual knowledge of firearms borders on the abysmal.

People forget that ATF stands for Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Among other things, they still collect the taxes on alcohol and tobacco products, even though Federal law expressly prohibits a law-enforcement agency (Which ATF now is officially, since being transferred from Treasury to DoJ) also acting as a revenue-collecting agency (which was why ATF was part of Treasury to begin with).

ATF began during Prohibition as the agency charged with enforcing same. Before Nixon elevated it to Bureau status in 1971, there was talk of abolishing it and transferring its various functions to FDA (alcohol and tobacco) and ICC and FBI (ICC would collect taxes on gun sales, FBI would handle the purely legal side).

I thought then that that made more sense. I still do.

The next President (assuming it isn’t Hillary!!, a noted frothing-at-the-mouth hater of the Second Amendment) should do exactly that.

It’s not that ATF has outlived its usefulness. It never really had a useful function to begin with. As a revenue agency it has always been largely ineffective. Its only real function is to terrorize law-abiding citizens into not possessing firearms. Criminals, it doesn’t give a damn about.

A federal agency, whose main purpose is to terrorize those who pay its agents’ salaries, should never have been created to begin with.

The fact that it routinely breaks the law and dares anyone to try to do anything about it is just more proof of the same.

clear ether

eon

eon on June 3, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Department of Justice undeterred in appealing on behalf of Operation Choke Point

…all the Departments are buying themselves guns and ammo like nobody’s business…why should we worry?

KOOLAID2 on June 3, 2014 at 9:57 PM

Issa is on this. Like white on rice! Like flies on poop! Like…ahhh forget it.

Bishop on June 3, 2014 at 10:04 PM

Is this what its like to live in Chicago? Even thugs like Capone had more class then these a_sholes.

44Magnum on June 3, 2014 at 10:09 PM

When the chips are down it’s time to double-down. The guiding principle of this administration if it has any principles.

tdarrington on June 3, 2014 at 10:10 PM

None of this would be happening if the Republicans were not so weak, incompetent, and cowardly.

No Chop Charlie on June 3, 2014 at 10:16 PM

All alphabet agencies should be abolished. They are leading us down a path to bloodshed.

Steroids are a huge problem in these agencies. So is ” Navy Seal Syndrome ”

All three letter agencies are enemies of the American People. Stalin, Hitler and Putin could only dream of having so many stormtroopers with their boots on the necks of the people.

Test them for roids, take away their charge account at the Delta Force store.

Civilized people don’t throw grenades into cribs.

Exninja on June 3, 2014 at 10:17 PM

‘After we win this election, it’s our turn. Payback time. Everyone not with us is against us and they better be ready because we don’t forget. The ones who helped us will be rewarded, the ones who opposed us will get what they deserve. There is going to be hell to pay. Congress won’t be a problem for us this time. No election to worry about after this is over and we have two judges ready to go.’

- Valerie Jarrett

Remember these words, b1tch.

Looking forward to watching you eat them.

Midas on June 3, 2014 at 10:22 PM

Is this what its like to live in Chicago? Even thugs like Capone had more class then these a_sholes.

44Magnum on June 3, 2014 at 10:09 PM


What?
You’ve never known someone who FLED Chicago?

You really need to broaden your circle of acquaintenances.

You are free to hold ANY political perspective you want in Chicago … provided you don’t talk to anyone about it if it disagrees in any way, shape or form with the Machine.

None of this would be happening if the Republicans were not so weak, incompetent, and cowardly. CORRUPT.

No Chop Charlie on June 3, 2014 at 10:16 PM


FIFY

PolAgnostic on June 3, 2014 at 10:26 PM

I might be a little more inclined to give the Justice Department the benefit of the doubt on this one if they didn’t already have another bizarre, completely ineffective, and ultimately deadly operation targeting perfectly legal gun shops under their belt.

This is a totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL program that will NEVER survive ANY legal challenge.

DUE PROCESS is being completely set aside by justice department officials. EVERY one of the people involved must be IMMEDIATLY REMOVED from office for their UNCONSTITUTIONAL activities!!

There is no ‘middle ground’!

Freddy on June 3, 2014 at 10:34 PM

The ghetto-ization of Sleazy Eric Holder’s JustUs Department continues.

Just like Janet Reno’s massacre of the Branch Davidian’s and the Atlanta stun grenade into the crib we are supposed to accept the conditioning for increased violence and espionage against The Serfs for our own good.

viking01 on June 3, 2014 at 10:45 PM

… one less apostrophe

viking01 on June 3, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Just to be clear, this is only the beginning. They are already doing the same thing to Colorado pot shops, porn stars, and payday lenders as well. They still have three years left with which to destroy the vestiges of the free market. Not sure what will be next, but my guess is that before they are done they are going to use those same tactics to “regulate” conservative talk radio and the conservative blogoshere out of business.

http://www.ImperfectAmerica.com

Barack Obama, Free Speech and Operation Choke Point… you’d better watch out, you might be next!

imperfectamerica on June 3, 2014 at 10:52 PM

So when is Eric Holder going to do the PERP WALK?

GarandFan on June 3, 2014 at 10:54 PM

Erika, I don’t believe these two cases are related to Operation Choke Point. These cases are more along the lines of the massive overreach of the storefront operations that were so poorly run and wound up indicting only the mentally handicapped young men the agents were exploiting all along.

In these cases the the agents crossed the line between a lawful sting of suspects pre-disposed to commit a crime, and entrapment where persons with no predisposition to commit crime are entrapped because the government, the DOJ and the ATF, fabricated a fictitious crime from whole cloth for the sole purpose of entrapping the defendants.

In other words, these are further examples of ATF agents and DOJ lawyers wasting resources fabricating crime scenarios to entrap people who have no criminal intent rather than investigating real crimes and pursuing actual criminals.

You may recall a similar scenario led to murders on Ruby Ridge.

novaculus on June 3, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Remember these words, b1tch.

Looking forward to watching you eat them.

Midas on June 3, 2014 at 10:22 PM

Link? I really want one, to spam EVERYWHERE.

This is the perfect description of what is happening…the Commie Prophet, if you will, the Prediction of Overthow by the left.

And so far, it’s becoming reality.

Who is John Galt on June 3, 2014 at 11:15 PM

So what’s the problem?

In 2017, just apply Operation Chokepoint to deny anyone who donates to Democrats the ability to open a bank account.

malclave on June 3, 2014 at 11:32 PM

Steroids are a huge problem in these agencies. So is ” Navy Seal Syndrome ”All three letter agencies are enemies of the American People. Stalin, Hitler and Putin could only dream of having so many stormtroopers with their boots on the necks of the people.Test them for roids, take away their charge account at the Delta Force store.Civilized people don’t throw grenades into cribs.
Exninja on June 3, 2014 at 10:17 PM

This.

AH_C on June 3, 2014 at 11:50 PM

The pacification of the indigenous population must be completed.

kurtzz3 on June 4, 2014 at 2:29 AM

I might be a little more inclined to give the Justice Department the benefit of the doubt….

Sorry, but I don’t. Maybe if this were done 20 years ago under GWH Bush, when I was still naive. But not now.

Its only real function is to terrorize law-abiding citizens into not possessing firearms.

eon on June 3, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Well, now, I’m going to disagree there. It also functions to terrorize otherwise law-abiding citizens into not making their own hooch.

GWB on June 4, 2014 at 9:18 AM

So what’s the problem?

In 2017, just apply Operation Chokepoint to deny anyone who donates to Democrats the ability to open a bank account.

malclave on June 3, 2014 at 11:32 PM

Don’t forget Murder Incorporated and any abortionist.

slickwillie2001 on June 4, 2014 at 11:36 AM

The word is ‘Judenboycott’, kids.
It’s 1933 again!

Tard on June 4, 2014 at 12:00 PM

This is a totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL program that will NEVER survive ANY legal challenge.

DUE PROCESS is being completely set aside by justice department officials. EVERY one of the people involved must be IMMEDIATLY REMOVED from office for their UNCONSTITUTIONAL activities!!

There is no ‘middle ground’!

Freddy on June 3, 2014 at 10:34 PM

Sadly, this is what we thought about ObamaCare. Unfortunately, I have lost most of my faith in the Court of Final Error.

Lammo on June 4, 2014 at 2:39 PM

It’s going to be great when the Republicans use operation choke point to shut down the abortion industry and more.

RJL on June 4, 2014 at 10:33 PM