How did you decide, a priori, that the midnight crowd was somehow the enemy you label “liberal"? And, you do realize that “liberal” isn’t a political identity or ideology, right?
"Liberal" just makes you appear biased in the same weak-minded way that has caught so many other people in a cult of alt-reality. Immigrants are invading. Covid is Chinese bioterrorism. George Soros runs the world. The election was stolen. Conservative media is suppressed. These are just embarrassing displays of my-beliefs-are-my-facts , I’m-too-busy-to-read stubborn ignorance.
It’s not good for your credibility as a journalist or author. Instead of “liberals”, maybe try “enraged citizens” or “an unknown mix of violent, anti-government protesters”. After all, these could have been simply Oregon Libertarians, who dislike Trump’s autocratic attempts just as much as the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party!
Also, let’s consider their case. There was no particular reason to deploy a ragtag group of borrowed CBP agents to act as police in Portland. None at all. Yes, they have the right, if there’s a need. But was there? Why? Why not St. Louis? Pittsburgh? Orlando? There were protests in those cities too. Why would DHS pro-actively send faux police to Portland of all places, before there was trouble? Are the federal buildings there special in some way? Does Portland have a reputation for protests turning into riots?
The truth, which I hope you won’t deny, is that simply by showing up, DHS created this conflict. If they simply hadn’t come, the federal buildings might have been fine (or maybe not; of course, neither of us can really know).
Trump (or Barr) asked DHS to deploy force to Portland in order to create a situation. He wanted the response he got, and if it hadn’t happened quickly enough, he would have seeded it with some fisticuffs. He wanted images and video of "Democrats” chucking things at police-like people, on national TV. That was what he got, and it benefitted him. He manipulated, and it worked. I imagine Fox News reporters even got special early notice of what was going to happen.
My truth is this: Mr. Floyd was murdered. People protested in many cities. Our would-be fascist dictator did what he always does. He got the conservative media to redirect public attention onto BLM (racism in general) and Democrats (the protests). He failed to use the tragic event to say/do something meaningful about America’s ridiculous problems with police unions and unqualified immunity from prosecution. Why do police get a near total immunity on their use of deadly force while at work? It’s not fair. Millions of Americans in public and private employment have no such protections relative to the worst screwups they might commit, some of which are equally deadly. It’s a travesty.
Trump took an event that begged for responsible leadership, and was a great unifying opportunity, and he exploited it for personal gain. He asked himself how it could benefit him politically. Somebody said “Law and order, baby! Bring out the troops. Show off some violence. Then point the finger at the Democrats.”
This is the truth, to me. It is just part of the whole true story, because Democrats chucking bottles at DHS is also likely true, in a literal sense; it’s just not the big-picture truth. Trump used DHS to start a fight in Portland, to aid his propaganda war. That’s the bigger picture. He put everyone, on both sides, in harm’s way, unnecessarily, for personal benefit.