Another Bill Barr homage to his only client:
Attorney General William P. Barr sought to dissociate himself Friday from police’s move earlier this week to push back a crowd of largely peaceful demonstrators using horses and gas, claiming that he did not give the “tactical” order for law enforcement on the scene to move in.
The Associated Press reported that Barr told the news organization that the move against the protesters — which has been widely condemned — was already in process when he was spotted at the scene near the White House early Monday evening conferring with law enforcement on the ground.
“I’m not involved in giving tactical commands like that,” Barr told the Associated Press. “I was frustrated and I was also worried that as the crowd grew, it was going to be harder and harder to do. So my attitude was get it done, but I didn’t say, ‘Go do it.’ ”
“I didn’t order the violent dispersal of an entirely lawful and peaceful protest so that Donald Trump could quizzically fondle a bible in front of cameras, I just made it clear that I wanted it to happen and approved of it happening.”
As Paul says, there is something significant in the fact that he feels the need to bullshit about it rather than proudly claiming ownership for the Code Red.
In related news, let’s be clear about the force Barr thinks should be unleashed on peaceful protestors:
Chief among the weapons police have deployed to quell demonstrations are rubber bullets, a shorthand description of projectiles designed to deliver a knock-down blow without actually penetrating a person’s body. Frequent descriptions of these rounds as “nonlethal” are misleading: Rubber bullets are infamous for inflicting serious injuries. They even cause death.
On May 31, a protesting grandmother struck with a rubber bullet between her eyes in La Mesa, California, landed in the intensive care unit. In Austin, a teenage boy has spent days being treated after a rubber bullet whacked him in the head. A freelancer photographer was permanently blinded in one eye while covering street protests in Minneapolis. The list of victims injured with rubber bullets during the last week of widespread protest goes on.
The violent crowd-control tactics have elicited widespread condemnation as a breach of international standards governing human rights and the use of force. “These are the kinds of violations that we’ve seen lately in places like Iraq and Iran,” said Brian Castner, a senior crisis advisor and weapons expert with Amnesty International who’s been monitoring the use of less-lethal arms. “Speaking personally as an American, it’s particularly distressing to see this in your own country.”
Castner said that among the most common impact munitions he’s seen are sponge rounds, a form of lightweight, high-speed projectile whose name derives from the spongy tip that sits atop its plastic base. They are fired using 40mm launchers that can also shoot bean-bag rounds and tear gas canisters, which have also featured prominently in recent clashes.
“I think what happens is that police departments are quick to use these weapons because they feel like they’re safe,” Castner said. “But they’re not safe, and officers need to practice more restraint.”