Institutional memory is a collective set of facts, concepts, experiences and know-how held by a group of people. As it transcends the individual, it requires the ongoing transmission of these memories between members of this group. Elements of institutional memory may be found in corporations, professional groups, government bodies, religious groups, academic collaborations, and by extension in entire cultures. Institutional memory may be encouraged to preserve an ideology or way of work in such a group. Conversely, institutional memory may be ingrained to the point that it becomes hard to challenge if something is found to contradict that which was previously thought to have been correct. Institutional memory may have influence on organizational identity, choice of individuals, and actions of the individuals interacting with the institution. -- Wikipedia.
I was talking over the current situation in Washington state with a friend yesterday, specifically this gem of a comment found at the SPLC website:
My friend at the USMS tells me that they have clear pictures of every swingin' Richard that entered the plaza carrying a weapon, and that arrests pursuant to 18 U.S.C ss 900 will be made in the near future on an individual basis to protect the public and the arresting officers. Sounds like a sensible plan to me.
My comment at the time was "Of course, the One Hundred Heads Life and Casualty Company has a group policy on all members of Liberty for All. So I guess anytime the United States Marshal's Service feels froggy. . ."
The problem, we agreed, is that those of us who were in the liberty movement in the 90s have, collectively, a much longer and thus better institutional memory than the United States Marshal's Service. As the citation above makes plain, institutional memory can save, or destroy, an organization. The problem is that most USMS (and FBI, and ATF, and, most especially DHS) employees date their own memories (and their agencies' institutional memories) from 11 September 2001. Subsequent to that, most of them probably got a little experience in Iraq and Afghanistan with the beating up on the Hadjis and then came home to apply the same techniques in the by now long-militarized federal law enforcement. (Note the tricks related by Anthony Bosworth after his "rendition" in this radio interview.)
Oh, the Marshals may vaguely remember their agency's sanitized version of the death of US Marshal Degan at the beginning of the Weaver Siege, but they have no memory of the rise of the militia movement and the cold war we waged with the their masters the Clintonistas for the rest of the decade. The reinvigoration of that movement, the voluntary arming of a much greater number of citizens responding to Obama administration depredations, the rise of the We Will Not Comply movement and the implications that has -- all these things are not viewed in the context that knowledge of the 90s provides, if they are considered at all.
Oh, the response of the armed citizenry at Bundy Ranch got their attention briefly. But no one fired at Bundy Ranch. The feds wisely backed down. However, what is threatened in the above comment at the SPLC, if we take him at his word that this reflects USMS intentions, will initiate another Bundy Ranch -- only with bullets this time. That is not a threat. It is a dispassionate observation based upon a study of history and our own institutional memory, which includes a much more perfect understanding of the federal militarized police establishment than they have of us. (You must also credit the disinformation of the SPLC as a contributing factor in that as well, for the FedGov parrots their line at the highest levels.)
My fervent wish is that some adults in the room at the middle-management levels of the USMS recall now from the dim recesses of their memories and inform both their superiors and their subordinates that they may be working from defective institutional memory and thus taking decisions based upon false assumptions. For a raid (or raids) on Anthony Bosworth and the other activists of Liberty for All, based upon a federal judge's chapped ass caused by the defiance of her edict which is, at best, dubious in law, could certainly touch off a much greater response on the part of an outraged armed citizenry than anyone now receiving a federal paycheck would expect -- and not just in Washington state. It doesn't take a crystal ball to see that, just an operational and accurate institutional memory.