N.Y. Post: Biden’s Big Brother teams are now watching what you BUY — hope you pay in cash

Americans are familiar with the Miranda warning, notifying arrestees that anything they say can be used against them. But the Biden administration secretly created a new tripwire: Anything you purchase can be used against you.  

And if you didn’t want to be categorized as a “lone wolf” potential terrorist, you never should have bought that Bass Pro hat.

In the last century, the feds were spooked by people who bought “The Anarchist Cookbook” (1971), full of bad advice on bombmaking that led hippies to blow themselves up. Nowadays, the feds are targeting people who purchase Bibles and “other media containing extremist views,” per the House Judiciary Committee.

After the Jan. 6 Capitol clash, the Biden administration vastly expanded federal surveillance of average Americans. The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) stretched its “suspicious behavior” definition, warning banks to track “‘extremism’ indicators that include ‘transportation charges, such as bus tickets, rental cars, or plane tickets, for travel to areas with no apparent purpose,’ or ‘the purchase of books (including religious texts),’ ” the House committee reported.

If you bought a gun or ammo since 2021, Team Biden bureaucrats may have automatically classified you as a “potential active shooter.” Or maybe your purchases triggered “Lone Actor/Homegrown Violent Extremism Indicators.”

The feds also warn of “Lone Wolves.” How does a “Lone Actor” become a “Lone Wolf”? Is this only a problem during full moons?

FinCEN encouraged banks to use terms including “TRUMP” and “MAGA” for “identifying transactions on behalf of federal law enforcement,” the House Judiciary Committee reports. Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) complained: “This kind of pervasive financial surveillance . . . raises serious doubts about FinCEN’s respect for fundamental civil liberties.”  Jordan, who is doing excellent work exposing federal abuses, is now the frontrunner for this year’s “Understatement of the Year Award.”

Much of the absurdity begins with entitling federal bureaucrats to arbitrarily define “extremism.” In Washington, anyone who doesn’t worship government is considered an extremist. Why else would the official trigger list include people who shopped at Cabela’s or Dick’s Sporting Goods?

The latest revelations are another leap toward total financial surveillance. Prudent citizens should react to this news as if they saw a convicted burglar prowling outside their house taking photographs. Federal financial agencies have a record of secretly conspiring to cripple or destroy individuals or industries they despise. Bureaucrats have vast discretion, which they have not hesitated to abuse.

During the Obama administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Justice Department launched Operation Choke Point to destroy financial access for porn stars, coin dealers, online tobacco companies and other targets. The FDIC told banks to “‘prohibit’ payment processing for firearms merchants” and described “loans to firearms dealers as ‘undesirable,’” according to a 2014 congressional report. Legions of gun stores and firearms companies had their bank accounts frozen or terminated as a result. American Bankers Association President Frank Keating complained: “The government is compelling banks to deny service to unpopular but perfectly legal industries by threatening penalties.” The Trump administration ended this bureaucratic witch hunt.

To recognize the perils Americans face, look north and flip the calendar page. The Canadian government used emergency decrees to freeze the bank accounts of anyone suspected of being tied to COVID “Freedom Convoy” protests in 2022. Arbitrary dictates sufficed to financially cripple truckers and anyone else who refused to kowtow to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The latest revelations bolster suspicions that the United States is becoming a kleptocracy. Federal regulators were hot to track down any picayune purchase by two-bit Trump supporters at the same time that they ignored $10 million in wire transfers from squirrely foreigners to Biden-family bank accounts. While FinCEN fretted about sales of Goretex camouflage vests, the feds foot-dragged regarding alleged bribes (including gold bars) received by the chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

The House Judiciary Committee is also probing FBI vacuuming.  Rep. Jordan is seeking sworn testimony about the FBI’s “mass accumulation and use of Americans’ private information without legal process.” Jordan complained that the FBI “prepared an official report that broadly characterized certain political beliefs as indicative of domestic violent extremism.”

Will Team Biden try to make scoffing at politicians a federal offense?

It would be folly to expect the feds to be reasonable after their crazy surveillance schemes are exposed. Will we ever learn how far the Biden “Trivial Pursuit on Amphetamines” game has gone in stockpiling data on private citizens?

PS: You did pay cash for this newspaper, right?

James Bovard is the author of the new book “Last Rights: The Death of American Liberty.”


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