There’s a news story out of Bryan,Texas which attempts to explain why the Federal government raided a political meeting put on by a group of folks contemplating Texas Secession from the United States on Valentine’s Day. Police officers representing local, state and Federal agencies rounded up everyone in attendance, confiscated their cell phones, laptops or other recording devices and then fingerprinted each person. All this was done with a search warrant signed by a judge for an alleged misdemeanor committed by two of the attendees who were present at the meeting.
Tell me it isn’t just me… that this entire event come across as bizarre… to the point of making your blood pressure elevate?
After reading the article you find there was an ‘inside man’ working on behalf of law enforcement. I guess those listed as right wing terrorists, anyone who doesn’t like the way our government has been shredding the constitution; and particularly how quickly the Obama administration is destroying what’s left of America’s foundations…, those kind of right wing terrorists require an undercover cop attending political meetings to make sure…to make sure of what exactly?
The misdemeanor crime requiring 20 armed peace officers you ask? …A ‘Fake’ court summons issued by two individuals who have no authority to have folks appear before a judge who isn’t recognized as a judge in Texas or any other state.
‘“You can’t just let people go around filing false documents to judges trying to make them appear in front of courts that aren’t even real courts,” Hierholzer, who led the operation, told the Houston Chronicle.”
For some reason I found myself checking a map of Texas. Bryan is not too far from Waco…remembering a different show of force wherein the Federal government decided to overplay their hand.
Vivid memories; images of buildings being burned to the ground, women and children in that compound being consumed by flames and all because the government wanted to serve a warrant that could easily have been carried out some other way. The Federal government wanted a show of force; well, they got one.
I guess when you have the power of the Federal government to intimidate and run rough shod over small groups of people then it doesn’t matter if they have constitutional protection or not.
“The pretext of the raid was that two individuals from the group had reportedly sent out ‘simulated court documents’ — summonses for a judge and a banker to appear before the Republic of Texas to discuss the matter of a foreclosure. These ‘simulated documents’ were rejected and the authorities decided to react with a ‘show of force’ – 20 officers and an extremely broad search warrant.”
So twenty law enforcement officers were needed to…were needed to what? I’m still trying to figure out why twenty law enforcement officers were needed. I’m a retired police officer and this stinks to high heaven. There’s the right to peacefully assemble which apparently didn’t apply to these citizens.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Then there was the matter of searching everyone, not just the two specifically named, and confiscating cell phones, laptops and other recording devices to be searched for content. Exactly who raised their arm to the square and swore out the warrant and what kind of judge would sign a ‘shot gun’ warrant, one that lacked specifics and clearly violated the Forth Amendment of everyone who had their electronic device ‘temporarily detained and searched’ for the purpose of obtaining information?
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (emphasis added)
Which is worse, a fake summons issued by someone who lacks authority to demand anyone appear before a court that doesn’t exist or a real warrant signed by a Federal judge giving law enforcement officers permission to violate the law of the land and intimidate citizens into submission? (hint: you shouldn’t need to flip a coin on this)
I should know better but keep forgetting; constitutional protections as listed in the Bill of Rights are only found in history books, inalienable rights were done away with and the rule of law means absolutely nothing; forgive my inability to keep up with modern America. Live long and prosper.
The Moral Liberal’s Senior Editor, T.F. Stern, is a retired City of Houston police officer, self-employed locksmith, and gifted political and social commentator. His popular and insightful blog, T.F. Sterns Rantings, has been up and at it since January of 2005.