Re: “Homeland Security making plans to deploy some 150 agents in Chicago this week” (Chicago Tribune, July 20):

The very name “Homeland Security” has always invoked visions of Nazi storm troopers. This image will be reinforced if you watch videos recorded recently in Portland, Oregon. Heavily armed men who do not speak and refuse to identify themselves grab people off city streets and spirit them away in unmarked black vans. They do not explain who they are, what infraction was committed, or what justification they have for kidnapping citizens. They shot one peaceful protestor in the face, shattering his skull. Neither the mayor of Portland nor the governor of Oregon asked for this invasion of federal troops. These secret commandos were reportedly re-assigned from ICE, Customs and Border Patrol, or even DEA. The mayor of Portland asked them to leave and said they are exacerbating the violence in a difficult situation. Some Portland citizens are additionally concerned that this “official” kidnapping paves the way for vigilantes, such as the “Proud Boys” in Portland, to branch out into their own anonymous kidnapping. In the new Trump anarchy, anyone can kidnap anyone else while protected by the presumption they are federal troops.

Now Trump wants to send his personal secret armed forces to Chicago. This is clearly a political stunt, intended to excite his base and insult the country’s leading Democrats. However, it is far more sinister than that because the invasion of American cities and states by uninvited federal troops has never occurred in this country. But it did occur in Nazi Germany, and it happens in other dictatorships. 

In his desperation, the most despised president in U.S. history has adopted a truly horrendous path.

Tom DeCoursey

Oak Park

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