26 April 2014

Blaine's Bulletin: Investigating into Operation Choke Point April 25, 2014

My buddy in Missouri forwarded this; I LIKE THIS GUY.

Friday, April 25, 2014
Blaine's Bulletin
It is bad enough when the heavy hand of government uses its regulatory authority to stymie private 
industry, but these days, the federal government is going even further and using its enforcement 
authority to threaten an entire sector of our economy. This week I'll take a look at one such government 
action, one that is so nefarious, it requires a code name.   

Such is the case involving Operation Choke Point. This operation sounds like it's out of a movie, but it is 
all too real. Earlier this year I learned about this operation, in which the Federal Deposit Insurance 
Corporation loaned investigators to the Justice Department in a hostile attempt to take down 
nondepository lenders they believe have no moral right to exist. Also involved in this operation, with 
the blessing of the Obama Administration, was the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which operates 
independent of Congress and has extensively broad authority to persecute private industry. In an 
effort to drive these legally-operating, licensed and regulated lenders out of business, banking regulators, 
in cahoots with the Justice Department, are placing so much regulatory pressure on financial
institutions that nondepository lenders are eventually "choked-off" from the financial services they 
need to survive. That was the very description given by a Justice Department official on Operation 
Choke Point.
Consider that for a moment: we aren't talking about businesses that are breaking laws. We are talking
about businesses operating legally, yet our government believes it has the moral authority to try 
and shutter an entire portion of the private sector which is playing by the rules based on a moral 
assessment made by federal bureaucrats and political appointees. This sets a very dangerous 
precedent that if the government doesn't like your business, it will just apply enough regulatory 
pressure on the financial institution that serves you in order to force it to drop you as a client and 
make it impossible for you to function. Even worse, in this circumstance we have an agency 
created to preserve and promote public confidence in the U.S. financial system working with a 
Justice Department, which has at best a questionable reputation these days, running a secret war 
against this industry adds insult to injury. It is chilling to think that another Justice Department 
secret operation known as Fast and Furious led to the release of hundreds of weapons to 
criminals in Mexico and ended with the death of a border agent and Mexican nationals.
If government bureaucrats object to nondepository lenders as they have in this case, what about other 
areas of the private sector economy? Well, other "high risk" merchants and activities listed in a 
presentation given by Chief of the FDCI's Cyber-Fraud and Financial Crimes Section, Michael 
Benardo, include, for now: ammunition sales; firearms and fireworks sales; tobacco sales; and 
pharmaceutical sales.
During a recent hearing of the Financial Services Committee, I questioned FDIC Acting General 
Counsel Richard Osterman vigorously about the agency's involvement with Operation Choke Point 
and made it crystal clear the operation was a clear example of a government running out of control. 
In my opinion, after reviewing a variety of documents and speaking with bankers firsthand, we now have 
not just a shadow banking system but also a shadow regulatory system, one that is undoubtedly being 
nurtured by the White House.
While I have been unsatisfied with the responses I've received on this matter from the FDIC and 
Justice Department on this matter, many of us in Congress are working to get to the bottom of 
this operation. Both the Financial Services Committee and the House Oversight and Government 
Reform Committee are continuing to go through extensive documentation, most of which the 
Justice Department was ordered to produce by Congress, to hear firsthand accounts of regulatory 
pressure in an effort to bring the entire story of Operation Choke Point out in the open.

A government that is left unchecked results in tyranny, and as your elected representative, I cannot 
sit back and allow that to happen. There continues to be a dangerous and disturbing trend: overreach, 
covert programs and blatant mistruths from an out of control executive branch. Today it stems from 
Operation Choke Point, but we've seen it with the IRS scandal, the lies surrounding the Benghazi 
terror attacks, the aforementioned Fast and Furious program – all of which beg the question of what 
might come to light next. 

I am committed to working with my colleagues to end these abuses of the people's government. We are
in the process of connecting the dots and hope to soon have a full account of Operation Choke Point 
and the motives of the FDIC and Justice Department, as well as answers on what other federal agencies 
may be involved.

CONTACT US: As always, for those of you with Internet access, I encourage you to visit my official 
 website. For those without access to the Internet, I encourage you to call my offices in Jefferson 
City (573-635-7232) Washington, Mo. (636-239-2276), or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions 
and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube site
 Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter


Anonymous said...

Not surprising, though.

I, for one, trusted in the government too much to obey their own laws.

The scales have dropped from my eyes.



Matt said...

They can investigate all they want. But it's a waste of time and nothing good will come of it. These people are so utterly corrupt and morally destitute, that I tend to believe the mere accusation against them.

Rev. Paul said...

Guffaw, I used to think like that, too.

Matt, we're on the same page. It seems that nothing is beneath them, anymore.

Old NFO said...

Criminals investigating legal businesses... can't end well...

Rev. Paul said...

It never does, NFO.