Report from the Floor of Hell

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    by E. Michael Jones, The Unz Review:

    Since the publication of Brendan Whitaker’s article on the Mark Houck trial and my article on how I ended up on the FBI hit list for traditional Catholics in the March issue of Culture Wars, both stories have not only taken on legs; they have merged into a narrative that made national news after it became the basis of Senate hearings on prosecutorial bias in the Justice Department.

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    In his interrogation of Attorney General Merrick Garland, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas stated that “You agree with Roe v. Wade. You disagree with the Dobbs decision”[1] was the fundamental principle which determined how the law was going to be enforced under Garland’s leadership at the Justice Department. Garland was clearly embarrassed by the charge but unable to refute the claim leveled by Cruz that the protesters demonstrating in front of the homes of the justices who voted in favor of the Dobbs decision would not be prosecuted, even though they clearly broke federal law because, as Cruz put it, the Justice Department decided “that this law doesn’t apply to harassing justices for an opinion [Garland’s lawyers] don’t like.” Cruz tried in vain to get Garland to answer a simple yes or no to his question, “Have you brought a single case against these protesters?”[2]

    After failing to get a simple yes or no answer, Cruz brought up the case of Mark Houck, in which between 20 and 30 armed FBI officers showed up at this Catholic prolifer’s home with drawn guns in a predawn raid which both endangered and terrorized Houck’s entire family. After Garland repeatedly refused to answer Cruz’s question about “How do you decide which statutes you enforce and which statutes you don’t,” Cruz said.

    “We’ve also seen violent attacks on pregnancy centers by left wing groups There have been attacks all over the country, and yet the Department of Justice had not brought these violent criminals to justice. Contrast that to Mark Houck. If you’re a prolife activist, what can you expect? Well in this instance, according to Mr. Houck’s wife, two dozen agents clad in body armor and ballistic helmets and shields and a battering ram showed up at his house pointing rifles at his family Why do you send two dozen agents in body armor to arrest a sidewalk counselor who happens to be prolife when you don’t dedicate resources to prosecute people who are violently firebombing crisis pregnancy centers?”[3]

    After Cruz’s time ran out, Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri continued his line of questioning by bringing up the leaked memo from the FBI field office in Richmond, Virginia, which “advocated the use of trip wire and source development against traditionalist Catholics, including those who favor the Latin Mass. Attorney General are you cultivating sources and spies in Latin Mass parishes and other Catholic parishes around the country?”[4]

    Garland: I saw the document you sent. It was appalling. I am in complete agreement with you. I understand that the FBI has withdrawn it. And is now looking into how this could have happened.

    Hawley: How did it happen?

    Garland: That’s what they are looking into. But I’m totally in agreement with you.

    Hawley: I’ll tell you how it happened. This memorandum which is supposed to be intelligence cites extensively the Southern Poverty Law Center which identifies these groups as hate groups. Is this how the FBI under your direction and leadership does intelligence, they look at left wing advocacy groups to target Catholics? Is this what’s going on? It clearly is. How is this happening?

    Both Cruz and Hawley were exasperated by Garland’s refusal to answer their questions. “You don’t know the specifics of anything it seems,” Hawley said, “but on your watch the Justice Department is targeting Catholics, targeting people of faith, and I’ll just tell you this is a disgrace.”

    Instead of calling him a disgrace and badgering Garland in vain on the number of agents he deployed in Catholic parishes, Hawley should have brought up the most significant development in the abortion struggle since the overthrow of Roe v. Wade by reminding Garland that 400 Jewish organizations have claimed that abortion is a fundamental Jewish value.

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