Doug Casey on Asset Seizures

by Doug Casey, Casey Research:

Justin’s note: Jeff Sessions wants to steal your property.

Sessions is the U.S. Attorney General. Since taking office in February, he’s done all sorts of idiotic things. He’s threatened to crack down on the legal marijuana market. He’s attacked gay rights.

And now, he wants to amp up asset seizures.

This is when the government takes money and property from people. You don’t even need to be convicted of a crime.

It’s a disturbing development, to say the least. That’s why I called Doug Casey as soon as I heard about it…

Justin: Doug, what do you think of Sessions’ latest “bright” idea?

Doug: Well, let me preface this by saying Sessions was a disastrous choice for Attorney General. He’s done nothing in his life but be a lawyer, a prosecutor, and a politician. He has no experience—and therefore probably no inclination or even ability—to produce things of tangible value.

But we almost always get undesirables as the AG. They’re hatchet men, meant to prosecute “the enemy,” taking their pick of the hundreds of thousands of laws and regulations on the books to do so. Look at some of the recent AGs—Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder, Alberto Gonzales, John Ashcroft, Janet Reno. All of them would have been willing and obedient lapdogs to Stalin or Beria. A certain personality type is suited for the job.

Sessions is a rabid drug warrior, even against something as useful and benign as hemp, or marijuana. He’s a busybody who feels no guilt or remorse at enforcing laws that have destroyed the lives of tens of millions. I don't know if he's stupid, bent, thoughtless, paranoid or what his problem might be. Maybe he’s afraid that if pot wasn’t illegal he’d become a dope fiend himself. But the proper direction, the objective, is to legalize all drugs. Not amp the drug war up another notch, as he wants to do.

And not only does he want to amp up the drug war, but he wants to increase the State’s ability to confiscate citizens’ property—especially cash—on even suspicion of breaking a law.

In the meantime he's not doing anything to investigate the people in Hillary’s camp for all kinds of apparent illegality. In fact, now that Trump's in office, what ever happened to his promise of a real investigation of what really happened to things like Building 7 on 9/11? Or the strange deaths that seem to have surrounded the Clinton clan for decades?

So far the man seems all negatives no positives. He’s just another Deep State actor who’s climbed the political ladder a little higher. These guys all protect each other.

But increasingly many of Trump’s choices are disastrous, like his National Security Advisor McMaster and White House Chief of Staff Kelly. And wormtongues Ivanka and Jared Kushner. This is perhaps an inevitable problem when a President is just a pragmatist with no philosophical core. Although, I hasten to add, having no core may be better than having a rotten core, like Obama and others in the recent past.

Justin: Not to mention, asset seizures don’t work. Over the past decade, the federal government has seized more than $28 billion. But that’s done absolutely nothing to deter crime.

So, why would Sessions double down on this failed policy? Is he clueless? Or is the government just that desperate?

Doug: Good question. Well, I’ve already speculated on some possible aspects of Session’s character that might partially explain this. But all the repressive aspects of government—civil forfeitures are just one—have been growing and compounding for years. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s the natural progression of all living organisms. They all want to grow, exert more control on their environments, and become more powerful. The problem is that government has unusual powers, and no longer seems to have many limits. So you can expect this trend to accelerate.

I saw the other day the government steals more from the American people through confiscations than is lost outright to robberies and muggings. It’s been reported that in 2015 civil forfeitures exceeded the amount stolen by all robbers. It’s quite amazing and disturbing. There are at least two reasons things are deteriorating.

Number one, as a general rule, police are no longer trained as “peace officers.” They’re trained to be, and view themselves, as “law enforcement officers.” This is a very different thing. The police are a bigger threat to your property and your liberty, not to mention your life, than actual criminals. Number two, these governments are all bankrupt. They're looking for revenue wherever they can get it. Predators are most dangerous when they’re hungry.

The police are the ones that actually make it happen, and they have a vested interest in doing the wrong thing. Whenever a police department confiscates things under these laws, they get to keep some percentage. It varies, but can be 10, 20, 30, 50 percent of what's confiscated, and they love it because the money goes to the local police department in question. They can use it for buying fun cop toys, or for buying further educational benefits, or whatever, for themselves. So, they're profiting from this stuff as directly as the criminals do that steal things from citizens. It's a total disaster.

And remember, the Attorney General is the country’s top law enforcement officer.

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