Mike Whitney / CounterPunch – 2005-05-21 08:43:12
The Secret Raids of Alberto Gonzales
Operation Falcon: 10,000 Swept Up
Mike Whitney / CounterPunch
(May 18, 2005) — There’s only one way to make sure that the machinery of state-terror is operating at maximum efficiency; flip on the switch and let ‘er rip. That was the thinking behind last month’s massive roundup of 10,000 American citizens in what was aptly-christened Operation Falcon.
Operation Falcon was a massive clandestine dragnet that involved hundreds of state, federal and local law-enforcement agencies during the week of April 4 to April 10, 2005. It was the largest criminal-sweep in the nation’s history and was the brainchild of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his counterpart in the US Marshal’s office, (Director) Ben Reyna.
The secret-raids “produced the largest number of arrests ever recorded during a single initiative,” Reyna boasted.
The details are mind-boggling. Over 960 agencies (state, local and federal) were directly involved acting on 13,800 felony warrants and spending nearly $900,000 on the operation. As the conservative Washington Times noted, “The sweep was a virtual clearinghouse for warrants on drug, gang, gun and sex-offender suspects nationwide.”
It’s clear that the Marshal’s office knew where the vast majority of the suspects were or they never would have had such stunning success rounding them up; which, of course, begs the question, “Why did they wait to apprehend ‘alleged’ murderers, when they already knew where they were hiding?”
According to the press releases, which celebrated the dazzling display of law enforcement, the raids netted “162 accused or convicted of murder, 638 wanted for armed robbery, 553 wanted for rape or sexual assault, 154 gang members and 106 unregistered sex offenders.” (CNN)
Okay, that’s roughly 1,000 criminals; what about the other 9,000? Traffic tickets, late child-support payments, jay-walking???
“We’re really amazed. We had no idea we’d apprehend more than 10,000 bad guys,” said one federal law enforcement official who asked not to be identified. “We didn’t know what to expect, but the response from law enforcement personnel everywhere was truly amazing.” (CNN)
Massive Roundup a Test for Handling Political Opposition
The media’s approbation does little to disguise the real purpose of Operation Falcon. (which is an acronym for “Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally.”)
The Bush administration is sharpening its talons for the inevitable difficulties it expects to face as a result of its disastrous policies. With each regressive initiative, the governing cabal seems to get increasingly paranoid, anticipating an outburst of public rage. Now, they’re orchestrating massive round-ups of minor crooks to make sure that every cog and gear in the apparatus of state repression is lubricated and ready to go.
Rest assured that Attorney General Gonzales has absolutely no interest in the petty offenders that were netted in this extraordinary crackdown. His action is just another indication that the noose is tightening around the neck of the American public and that the Bush team is fully prepared for any unpleasant eventualities. They want to make sure that everyone knows that they’re ready when it’s time to thin out the ranks of mutinous citizens.
(Note: To date, the US Marshal’s office has issued no public statement to the press as to whether the 10,000 people arrested in operation Falcon have been processed or released.)
Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.