In June 2006, the New York Times, over strident pleas not to from the Bush 43 administration, published details of how counterterrorism officials were “tracing transactions of people suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda by reviewing records from the nerve center of the global banking industry.” According to the administration, the program had “helped in the capture of the most wanted Qaeda figure in Southeast Asia.” Other outlets like the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, which were apparently on the brink of breaking what the Times reported first, also chipped in with their own supplements. The stories received prominent network TV coverage, and reinforced the image of the Bush administration as secretive and far less than transparent....
Well, yah--because as far as the GWB ops went, 'secretive' was--arguably--a national security imperative.
But just like with the "Patriot Act", good intentions are easily corrupted, especially when corrupt people are regnant. Not by co-incidence, sloppy Congressional law-writing in combination with the Congressional habit of turning all decisionmaking over to the Agencies and Bureaus will invariably result in Bad Things--specifically, Totalitarianism.
...why has the press been barely interested in a far more troubling development, namely Eric Holder’s U.S. Department of Justice using pressure on the financial system to conduct “a massive government overreach into private businesses that are operating within the law,” which has been going on for at least a year? Welcome to “Operation Choke Point.”
The Press never got off its knees in the last 6 years, that's why.
(Quoting American Banker):
On March 20, 2013, federal prosecutor Michael Bresnick gave a little-noticed speech to the Exchequer Club in Washington in which he said that that (the) Justice Department planned to crack down on banks that allowed online scammers to access the payments system. “Sadly, what we’ve seen is that too many banks allow payment processors to continue to maintain accounts within their institutions, despite the presence of glaring red flags indicative of fraud,” said Bresnick,
So far, not all bad. 'Scammers' are evil, right? Your Granny (and your kids) can be ripped off.
...In recent months, Operation Choke Point has increasingly become a political football. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who chairs the House Oversight Committee, wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder in January, requesting a slew of documents and suggesting that the probe was a veiled effort to eliminate even legal online lending. Around the same time, an anonymous online campaign, “Stop the Choke,” sought to persuade conservative lawmakers to attack Justice’s investigation. Then in February, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, and 12 other congressional Democrats wrote to Holder urging the Justice Department not to cave in the face of Republican opposition....
DOJ is essentially employing a variant of the tactics former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer used against mutual fund companies last decade: threatening to smear them in the business community and otherwise make their lives miserable unless they settle....
...There are two problems with this position....
The first is that DOJ doesn’t have the constitutional authority to go after businesses whose illegality has not been established by threatening their bank and financial services providers with legal sanctions and regulatory harassment if they don’t participate in the persecution. There are these things called laws which must be passed to declare certain financial practices and contracts illegal. That hasn’t happened. Short of that, there at least need to be court rulings having the same effect. There is apparently no evidence that DOJ has involved the courts at all.
Yup. This is now. Granted, "the law" never had a close nexus with Obozism/Holderism. And sure enough, when corrupt people get their hands on 'good intentions,' things go directly to Totalitarianism.
(Now quoting Cryptocoin, with link to FDIC website embedded.)
The DOJ is targeting 30 high-risk industries, as labeled by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in 2011, in a report titled “Managing Risks in Third-Party Payment Processor Relationships.”
The FDIC’s list of 30 high-risk merchant categories that are currently being pursued by the DOJ.
Ammunition SalesThe red-highlighted items are not necessarily "illegal" businesses. Some may be extremely distasteful, some are abusive, and certainly, every one of the operations on this list (red OR blue) could be run by criminals. But that's not the point.
Cable Box De-scramblers
Credit Card Schemes
Credit Repair Services
Debt Consolidation Scams
Get Rich Products
Mailing Lists/Personal Info
Money Transfer Networks
Now quoting "Techdirt":
Let’s not mince words: a program that was built upon the goals of stopping financial fraud has devolved into a massive government overreach into private businesses that are operating within the law. … The intention of the government, it would seem, is to make the banks unwilling to deal with the government harassment and simply cut anyone in those industries off from the financial institutions. Nobody is happy about this....
The federal government is lording over legal industries operating within their respective states’ laws and single-handedly directing banking institutions to cut their legs out from beneath them. … It represents a violation of a free and legal marketplace by a government that has as much moral authority as can fit in a thimble.
… This should be terrifying to business owners in every industry. Sure, this time they’re going after some companies that you may not like, be they porn, or payday lenders, or people making racist materials, tobacco, or fireworks. But if those industries are operating within the law, they have the right to exist. The law is the only measure by which the DOJ should be invoking banking policy....
It's not a stretch to say that within 2 years, you will be paying cash-only for guns and ammo--assuming you can find a retailer that's still operating.
So who gives a s*&^ about the Second Amendment (or the Fourth, or Fifth)? Not Obozo/Holder.