by Frank Holmes, reporter
Newly revealed records show that Joe Biden has just targeted his political enemies with the most beloved U.S. government agency: the Postal Service.
If you protested or even posted a comment on your private social media account with the word “protest” in it, the USPS may have pried into it.
The mailmen’s secret program — then known as the Internet Covert Operations Program, or iCOP — reportedly had investigators spy on American citizens who support former President Donald Trump, support the Second Amendment or oppose police brutality, the records show.
A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Patrick Eddington, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, revealed the full extent of the shocking operation.
Even though the Post Office turned over only heavily redacted documents — and they only cover the few months between September 2020 and April 2021 — they’re damning.
They show that the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) set up fake social media profiles, combed through multiple platforms, and used facial recognition software and movement-tracking programs to spy on people—actions the government itself later admitted were illegal.
The USPIS, which is supposed to look for mail fraud, did “proactive searches” of all the posts on multiple social media platforms that contained such words as “protest,” “attack,” or “destroy.” They looked for “inflammatory” posts that they could “disseminate” to other intelligence agencies—even though U.S. law bars international intelligence agencies from spying on American citizens.
The investigators’ searches “did not include any terms related to the mail, postal crimes, or security of postal facilities or personnel,” according to an official inspector general’s report on the shady surveillance.
Everything they did “exceeded the Postal Inspection Service’s law enforcement authority,” the government watchdog concluded.
In other words, neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night will protect your privacy from the post office’s spies.
But then, if you read this column, you already knew that. The Horn News told you about the Post Office’s controversial iCOP program in April 2021. Documents referenced by The Horn revealed that iCOP “monitored significant activity regarding planned protests occurring internationally and domestically” by trolling online platforms including Facebook, Parler, and Telegram.
The new documents obtained by Eddington tell us exactly who they targeted: mostly conservative Republicans.
The USPIS investigated people involved in the “Million MAGA March” scheduled for November 14, 2020—and another pro-Trump event scheduled for Joe Biden’s inauguration in January 2021—supposedly because the Trump supporters would slow down traffic.
But one of the documents shows that the operation branded Trump supporters as extremists. “Right Wing Extremist Website Organizing Violent Action on Inauguration Day,” warned an intelligence summary among the papers… which said breaking up an inauguration rally for Trump probably prevented another riot similar to January 6.
USPIS also spied on people attending “peaceful” protests supporting the right to keep and bear arms in Richmond, Virginia, in January 2021, as well as a Louisville protest over the shooting of Breonna Taylor.
The IG says that agents destroyed the records of their snooping, violating laws about records retention—so there’s no way to know all the facts about the extent of their spying.
The Postal Service reacted to the criticism mainly by changing the name of iCOP to the “Analytics Team” and promising a full review by tomorrow, September 30.
The iCOP program may have a new name, but it’s up to the same old tricks. The “Analytics Team” described itself in a slide presentation by saying it “specializes in providing actionable intelligence through cryptocurrency tracking, open source intelligence and social media analysis, geospatial mapping, and data visualization, and USPS backend and network data exploitation.”
That’s a fancy way of saying they’re still spying on Americans.
If that’s too complicated, the Post Office came out and confessed to the conservative Washington Times that “the U.S. Postal Inspection Service occasionally reviews publicly available information”… but only “to assess potential safety or security threats to Postal Service employees, facilities, operations and infrastructure.”
Thanks to the IG report, we know that’s a lie.
Despite all the evidence—what’s left of it—the USPIS insists that it did nothing wrong. “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service disagrees with the overarching conclusion of the” inspector general’s report that the social media spying “exceeded its authority and conducted improper intelligence searches,” the USPIS told the left-wing website Vice News. “The activities conducted by the Postal Inspection Service were within its legal authority as set forth by federal statutes and case law.”
Case law? That’s just how the Biden administration claimed it had the legal authority to stop all rent payments, and to sneak around pro-life laws in red states. But multiple courts ruled that the Biden administration didn’t have the authority it claimed. Can the “Analytics Team” possibly be far behind?
At least one good thing came out of the reporting: After The Horn’s story, the USPIS’s lawyer told his agents to stop searching for online results for the word “protest,” in order to “protect people’s constitutional rights.”
It’s nice that the agency considered people’s First Amendment rights; better late than never. But no honorable government would have infringed on the American people’s liberties in the first place.
“We need a fresh, holistic Congressional investigation into the scale and consequences of these surveillance abuses,” said Eddington last week.
Once that investigation is complete, Republicans must have the guts to hold Biden and his Deep State allies accountable for their attempt to turn our constitutional republic into a high-tech dictatorship.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”