Drudge has this highlighted in red, and I’m pretty sure that the color choice will be appropriate, because this tape of a supposed military arrest at the G-20 protests has every indication of being a hoax — or more accurately, a piece of performance art. We’re getting several e-mails about it now, wondering if this is an indication that the Pentagon or the Department of Homeland Security is about to open the FEMA political-dissent camps. Take a look:
First, let’s break down what we see here. Three men drive up in a sedan, dressed in fatigues, grab someone off the street, and stuffs him in their car. An unmarked sedan? And why pull the one protester out of the crowd? What possible good would that have done? Had the authorities wanted to start arresting people, there are hundreds of regular police officers on the streets available to “grab” people committing actual violent acts, not just yelling on the street.
This looks to me like a staged piece of performance art. Fatigues can be bought easily, as can combat boots. This scene only makes sense as a way to inflame the protesters by attempting to heighten their paranoia, which (given the usual suspects who show up for these anti-globalization protests) requires a rather significant effort to cross their normal paranoia threshold.
I have a request for comment from the White House, and I’ll let you know what I hear. Until then, Drudge red-headline or no, you can color me very skeptical.
Update: Read through the comments, where Hot Air readers are picking apart the poor staging. Note that the three men have two different kinds of fatigues, including a type no longer in use. One of them has tan work boots rather than combat boots. None of them have duty belts or sidearms, and they make no attempt to handcuff the protester before putting him in the back of the car. Oh, and that unmarked car has Pennsylvania plates, not DC or government plates.
It’s a hoax. Comment of the day (so far) comes from MikeinBA:
The same people that think 9/11 WAS staged, think this WASN’T staged.
Update II: Bob Owens believes this was an arrest by police officers and that it wasn’t staged, but is also not military. The orange tip on the weapon held by a police officer in the background indicates a load of non-lethal ammunition. Bob may well be right, but wouldn’t police have handcuffed the guy before throwing him into the back seat — especially if he was resisting? I’m still skeptical.
Update III: Further evidence supporting Bob’s contention that it’s neither a hoax nor a military intrusion on civilian matters (via HA reader Dan):
Click on the image to see the full picture. Notice both the brown shoes on the camo-dressed cop to the left and the unmarked sedans in the background. Not sure if this is the same unit with the same suspect detained, but it does appear to match the earlier scene. I’m thinking that Bob’s got it right.
Update IV: Stephen Gutowski gets confirmation from the G-20 Joint Information Center that the men clad in camouflage fatigues are police officers, and that the man was arrested for vandalism.