Battle Flags, Etc.

Armed and dangerous
Federal agencies expanding use of firepower

August 15, 1997
Related Items
Which major agencies carry firearms
Where the increases have occurred
32 federal agencies packing heat

By Sarah Foster
1997, WorldNetDaily.com

Transforming police into the teeth of tyranny: police badge transforming
into UN (United Nations) flag.

During the late morning of January 14, 1997, 20 heavily armed federal agents and local sheriff's deputies descended from a military helicopter onto rocky Santa Cruz Island off the California coast. As snipers moved into position along the ridge tops to secure the perimeter of the attack area, other agents staged dynamic entries into the buildings -- rousting 15-year-old Crystal Graybeel who was sleeping late in her cabin.

"They started screaming, 'Put your hands where we can see them.' They unzipped my sleeping bag. I had to get face down on the floor and they handcuffed me," the teenager said. She recalled the intruders wore ski masks and carried machine guns. They kept her handcuffed for two hours.

The target of the raid? A 6,500-acre bow-and-arrow hunting ranch, the last bastion of private property on the island. The raid resulted in three arrests -- volunteer Rick Berg, 35, and caretakers Dave Mills, 34, and Brian Krantz, 33 -- on suspicion of robbing Chumash Indian graves and taking human remains and artifacts, charges they denied.

The agency responsible for all this was not the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, nor the FBI, nor any other agency typically associated with such "dynamic entries." This raid was the work of the National Park Service.

Surprised? So were local residents. Though no lives were lost, the raid inspired a firestorm of protest. "It saddens me that the Park Service has resorted to Ruby Ridge tactics," said Marla Daily, president of the Santa Cruz Island Foundation, referring to the September 1992 standoff between the FBI and Randy Weaver that resulted in the death of Weaver's wife. "This incident clearly crosses the line," Daily said.

If the use of the Park Service in commando-style operations seems strange, it shouldn't. At a time when elected legislative bodies from city councils to Congress -- have been passing laws that restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms, federal agencies within the executive branch have been quietly authorizing dramatically increased numbers of armed personnel -- often heavily armed with military-style assault weapons.

Today, there are nearly 60,000 federal agents trained and authorized to enforce the over 3,000 criminal laws Congress has passed over the years, plus the hundreds of thousands of regulations which now carry criminal penalties.

"Good grief, that's a standing army," said Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America. "It's outrageous."

According to a recent report from the General Accounting Office, as of last September, the number of law enforcement personnel stood at just under 50,000 -- distributed through 45 agencies -- an increase of about 12,000 agents in 10 years with 2,436 added in 1996 alone. These are full-time agents, authorized to execute searches, make arrests, and/or carry firearms "if necessary."

But that number is not complete. When some 7,145 Customs inspectors and 317 Customs Department pilots are added -- all of whom have the above listed law enforcement powers -- the total is pushing 60,000. Why doesn't the GAO count them? Not because they aren't armed and dangerous, but because they have different retirement benefits.

Also, a GAO staff consultant explained that the report doesn't include contract personnel or personnel from agencies with less than 25 officials in law enforcement -- which is why some agencies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for example, aren't on the list.

The recent GAO report is the third and final in a series requested by Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Florida, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Crime, to gather information on agencies charged with investigating violations of federal law.

An earlier report, released last year and presenting figures through Sept. 30, 1995, dealt with the 13 biggest agencies -- those with 700 or more investigative personnel. Not surprisingly, the FBI topped the list with over 10,000 agents, followed by the INS, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Marshalls Service -- all in the Department of Justice. Treasury agencies follow -- the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Secret Service, Customs, BATF and the Postal Inspection Service. Then the National Park Service, U.S. Capitol Police, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security in the State Department.

Some key findings of that report:

* Ten of the 13 agencies employ over 90 percent of all law enforcement investigative personnel: 38,739.

* Between the end of fiscal years 1987 and 1995, there was a 19 percent increase in law enforcement personnel in the 13 agencies.

* As of Sept. 30, 1995, the 13 agencies employed about 42,000 investigative agents. A year later, according to the recent GAO report, it was over 45,000. The pace shows no sign of slackening.

The final report deals with the 32 agencies that employ about 9 percent of the law enforcement personnel. It's among these 32 that you'll find the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training, the Bureau of Land Management's Law Enforcement division and other law enforcement bodies not usually traditionally with guns.

Yet, the proliferation of firearms is even greater in these agencies: from a total of 2,471 law enforcement employees in 1987 to 4,204 as of Sept. 30 last year, a 70 percent increase.

But beyond the flat figures loom questions of how agencies are using, or abusing, the powers they have in everyday law enforcement. Sting operations and other entrapment tactics, hidden-camera surveillance, phone tapping -- these have become commonplace practices in the name of investigation. So, too, has the use of dynamic entry teams -- the kind witnessed at Waco and Ruby Ridge.

David Kopel, director of the free-market Independence Institute in Golden, Colorado, is an outspoken critic of the usurpation of local and state police authority by the federal government and the growing use of violence in law enforcement. According to Kopel, the FBI has 56 SWAT teams that "specialize in confrontation rather than investigation, even though investigation is, after all, the very purpose of the bureau."

"Whereas (J. Edgar) Hoover's agents wore suits and typically had a background in law or accounting, SWAT teams wear camouflage or black ninja clothing and come from a military background," he said. "They are trained killers, not trained investigators."

Even worse, other agencies are trying to match "FBI swashbucklers." BATF, DEA, U.S. Marshalls Service, even the National Park Service and Department of Health and Human Services -- all have their own SWAT teams.

Contacted by telephone, Kopel said he was "not shocked " at the growing size of the community of federal law enforcement personnel as reported by the GAO, "in light of the trends over the past 20 years." "Of course," he added, "it would have astonished and frightened the authors of our Constitution."

"There's a continuing imperative (for an agency) to get power, and they'll come back again and again until they get it," says Eric Sterling, president of the Washington-based Criminal Justice Policy Foundation and a counsel for the House Judiciary Committee in the 1980s. Sterling, who describes himself as a liberal, is particularly alarmed by the arming of agencies with military weapons, such as machine-guns.

"The machine-gun is an indiscriminate weapon, and is singularly inappropriate for the FBI and other agencies," he said. "Its use by a government agency is a horrifying prospect."

In full agreement is Greg Lojein, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. He deplores not only the expansion of the federal law enforcement, but the lack of constraining mechanisms.

"Local police are subjected to review (by civilian boards), but not federal agents," he noted. "When the Department of Justice investigates (an agency incident), the results are not nearly as trustworthy as when an independent entity investigates. Just ask Richard Jewell about this."

Lojein called attention not only to the procurement of military weapons themselves, but to the acquisition of heavy equipment such as military helicopters and tanks as well -- "heavy equipment," he said, "more characteristic of war than of law enforcement."

"The last thing people want to see is a tank on a city street," he said. "That's what you expect to see in Bosnia, but not in Boston."

Kopel sees the federalization of law enforcement and the growth of the FBI as parts of a larger effort to establish a national police force. He cites in particular the involvement of the FBI in local law enforcement. "Besides traffic tickets, there aren't many crimes where the FBI isn't involved in the prosecution," he said.

Eventually, he predicts, federal law enforcement agencies will be merged --beginning by moving the Treasury agencies under the control of the Justice Department, as Al Gore has recommended. "But a separation of powers is at least a small check on the movement towards total police power consolidation and keeps them from going completely overboard," said Kopel.

Others are concerned that the militarization of the federal government has already gone too far -- that once-benign agencies have been given incentives to become armed and dangerous.

The raid at Santa Cruz, for instance, wasn't the first for the Park Service. It wasn't even the most horrific in terms of outcome. Just one month after the Weaver debacle at Ruby Ridge, Malibu millionaire Donald Scott was gunned down in his home in a mid-morning assault involving 14 agencies, including NASA, Immigration and Naturalization Services and the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. The alleged reason for the attack was that Scott was suspected of growing marijuana. None was found. There, as at Santa Cruz Island, the lead agency was the NPS; and there, too, the real reason was to acquire Scott's estate for the Park Service.

At Santa Cruz, the National Park Service had been trying to obtain the 6,500-acre ranch -- which covers 10 percent of the island. The Nature Conservancy owns the other 90 percent. The three arrests occurred as the National Park Service had obtained orders from Congress to seize the ranch.

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Armed and dangerous: Federal agencies expanding use of firepower
Clinton's militarization of the government, by Joseph Farah
FEMA Joins The Club Of Jackboots: Clearwater County raid
Federal Agencies: Heavily Armed and Dangerous, from Heads Up
Drug fighters discuss an Interpol of the Americas
Property seizures: Legalized larceny posing as forfeiture


Battle Flags, Etc.

Clinton's militarization of the government

by Joseph Farah. 15 Aug 97

Transforming police into the teeth of tyranny: police badge transforming into UN (United Nations) flag.

-------------------------------------------------------

It's no wonder so many citizens in the West are seeing black helicopters and United Nations plots behind every federal government initiative. It's no wonder Mel Gibson's "Conspiracy Theory" is No. 1 at the box office. We're not paranoid. They really are after us.

Who's "they"? What am I talking about? The last couple of years has witnessed the biggest arms buildup in the history of the federal government. No, I don't mean the Defense Department budget is growing. Far from it. That would actually be Constitutional. It might even make sense.

No. The kind of arms that are proliferating in Washington these days are the kind pointed at our own civilian population and carried by a growing number of federal police forces with ever-larger budgets and ever-deadlier arsenals.

In 1996, alone, at least 2,439 new federal cops were authorized to carry firearms. As a result of that record one-year surge, there are nearly 60,000 armed federal agents representing departments as diverse as the FBI, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Post Office.

The Environmental Protection Agency? That's right. I suspect, most Americans would be shocked to learn that agents of the EPA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Army Corps of Engineers are actually packing heat. Has the protection of spotted owls and kangaroo rats become a matter of life and death? Why do EPA agents need to be armed? Well, if you were in the business of seizing people's personal property in the name of endangered species, you might want to be carrying, too. But, is it wise policy? Is it in the spirit of the Constitution? Where do we draw the line?

A few months ago, Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt tried to arm the Bureau of Land Management, thus forming yet another division of enviro-cops. Only a flurry of controversy sparked by one man, Tom McDonnell of the American Sheep Industry Association, temporarily stalled the move.

Ironically, in justifying its need to carry weapons and exert police authority over its 268 million acres of land in the western states, the BLM had cited the long and growing list of other federal agencies -- like the EPA and Fish and Wildlife -- with criminal law enforcement powers. Following such logic, I figure, it's only a matter of time before officials at the National Endowment for the Arts are authorized to carry guns. Art cops -- is it any harder to believe than enviro-cops?

But the arms proliferation at the federal government level is no joke. Innocent people are dying because of it. Lots more are living in fear of their own government and its virtual standing army of 60,000. Where is the American Civil Liberties Union when you need them?

The founders of this country never envisioned the need for a federal police force. They saw the inherent dangers in such ideas. Recent leaders, like Bill Clinton and George Bush who have overseen this domestic arms buildup, seem to think there are no limits to federal authority, nor government intrusion into our daily lives.

Most of the growth is not, ironically, in the large, traditional agencies such as the FBI. Rather, it is among the agencies you would never guess have anything to do with guns. The ranks of armed enviro-cops, for instance, have soared from 2,471 in 1987 to 4,204 as of last September -- a 70 percent increase. Do you feel safer now?

Experts who have been watching such developments over the last few years say all this is leading one place -- to the establishment of a genuine national police force. You can see it in the way the FBI now routinely interferes in local law enforcement affairs. You can also see it in the plans of big-government architects like Vice President Al Gore, who has urged that Treasury Department police agencies -- such as the Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms -- be placed under the control of the Justice Department.

I've got a better idea. Let's disband BATF. That would be a good start. Then Congress should take a look at this whole issue and re-evaluate the police powers of every single federal agency.

Before our legislators pass one more law restricting the right of law-abiding citizens to carry firearms, much tighter controls need to be placed on the proliferation of guns in government. That would be meaningful gun control -- and Constitutional, too.

-------------------------------------------------------
Joseph Farah is editor of WorldNetDaily and executive director of the Western Journalism Center, an independent group of investigative reporters.

c1997, Western Journalism Center

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Armed and dangerous: Federal agencies expanding use of firepower
Clinton's militarization of the government, by Joseph Farah
FEMA Joins The Club Of Jackboots: Clearwater County raid
Federal Agencies: Heavily Armed and Dangerous, from Heads Up
Drug fighters discuss an Interpol of the Americas
Property seizures: Legalized larceny posing as forfeiture


Battle Flags, Etc.

FEMA Joins The Club Of Jackboots: Carry Out
Gestapo Raid on Clearwater County Flood Control Office.

IF THE JACKBOOT FITS...
JON E. DOUGHERTY: USA FEATURES MEDIA CO.

Transforming police into the teeth of tyranny: police badge transforming into UN (United Nations) flag.

AUGUST 5, 97---A few years ago, Wayne LaPierre, Executive Director of the National Rifle Association, was crucified by liberal and socialist apologists when he characterized agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as "jackbooted thugs" for a series of heavy-handed and abusive law enforcement tactics, not the least of which was the Waco debacle. So "outrageous" was the claim that lifetime member and former president George Bush--a neocon socialist from way back--resigned in protest, even though it didn't help his re-election bid very much against the untouchable [and indictable] Bill Clinton.

Now comes another horror story out of the bowels of Idaho [sound familiar?]; not of the Ruby Ridge type, but certainly conjuring the same level of federal law agency arrogance. Under the guise of improper use of federal funds, armed, vested and jackbooted agents of the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] raided the Clearwater County Flood Control Command Center in the townlet of Orofino. That's right; FEMA. Say what?

According to published reports, the agent in charge [AIC] was very well practiced in obfuscation, presenting a warrant to County Commissioner Bud Bonner that listed no items to be seized, no reason for the search, and the word "sealed" handwritten in one corner. In essence, the warrant was blank [though it did contain a judge's signature] and the AIC did not explain why FEMA was there or what laws the county had broken.

The incident left employees stunned and in tears, and Ron Clay, the mayor of Orofino--whose documents were also seized in similar fashion--angry and resentful. Explaining that all county records are public and can be viewed easily by anyone at any time, Clay denounced the raid as a "storm trooper tactic." Commissioner Bonner, not prone to the "beliefs and methods of constitutionalists and militia groups," said "they [the FEMA agents] did exactly what" those groups have "accused them of doing." So in other words, thanks to the idiocy and blatant unlawfulness of these agents' actions, the federal government has succeeded in creating more people who will most likely be cynical and resentful of all federal agencies from now on.

And you thought the Nazi ideal of government died with Adolph Hitler.

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution says, in part, "...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." While there may have been "probable cause" for the search, it was not listed on the warrant, and there was no description of what agents were looking for or even where they were supposed to search. That, according to the handwriting on the document, was 'sealed.'

There seems to be no limit to the power the federal government is trying to assume over local and state government, as well as the people of this nation. The Constitution sure as hell doesn't prevent these kinds of abuses anymore because you can't find a majority of politicians and federal judges who aren't in the favor or pocket of each other to enforce it. Despite this fact, still there are people who have the audacity and male reproductive organs to claim that it is men like LaPierre are provocative, rebellious and anti-American. Were it not for the few true patriots who still have the guts to call things like they seem them--and draw the ire of the socialists for doing so--most people would probably never even hear of these kinds of obvious abuses.

Enough. It's time for some answers to some hard questions. For example, we could start with this one: Why are there armed and jackbooted FEMA agents in the first place? Or BATF agents? Or IRS, Postal Service, or Bureau of Land Management agents? Didn't Congress create the FBI for the purposes of domestic law enforcement?

Furthermore, what kind of lunatic authorizes these tactics? Knowing politicians, there is no way a mid- to upper-level supervisor is making these kinds of decisions without some sort of policy--written or unwritten--authorized from the highest sources giving them permission to do so. If a politician is one thing, he is predictably weak-willed and squeamish when it comes to making decisions that could endanger his position.

It's also reasonable to ask why is there no outcry from the so-called Justice Department over these obvious abuses of the Constitution? Were they not created to ensure that federal departments, officials and employees practiced the letter of the Constitution?

President Bill Clinton can find the time to play golf, fly all over the world, and make apologies for crimes no one alive has commited, but he can't find the time--or the wherewithal--to chastize these agencies and prompt Congress to action over these violations of the law. But then, what could we expect from the consummate socialist?

This kind of repressive action by a government has traditionally been taken only by those who fear losing control over their population. That very concept is anathema to US government, since America was born out of a desire to be free from the constraints and lethality of omnipresent government control. Freedom and individuality are enemies of socialism, and if there are true believers in our system of government who don't recognize this behavior as what it is--state-sponsored socialism--then they'd better get a turn-of-the-century history book and do some reading. It will have to be that old; all of the new history books are revisionist pieces of trash.

The innocence of the Clearwater County officials before being proven guilty is supposed to be a given under our system of law. In no way does this kind alleged breach of the law justify the tactics used by FEMA--or any government agency, for that matter. Were it not for the fact that taxpayer money was involved, the federal government would have no justification--and thus, no reason--to be in Clearwater County to begin with. If that fact alone isn't a reason to support only those politicians who are fanatical about reducing the size and power of this government, then there is no good reason.

As a nation, we may still be some time away from repeating the days of 1861, but if this kind of thick-headed, jackbooted behavior by federal agents doesn't stop, that day will no doubt come again. Then the whole country loses. ***

=============================

Jon Dougherty is the associate producer of The Derry Brownfield Show, and
editor in chief of the internet e-zine USA Journal Online, a conservative
opinion journal located at
http://www.derrybrownfield.com/usajournal/index.html.
Associate Producer; The Derry Brownfield Show
Editor in chief; USA Journal Online
Co-host; JD Live!
USA Features Media Company

-!-

###

TOWN OFFICIALS INCREDULOUS OVER OROFINO HIT!

WINDS RELEASE http://www.thewinds.org/index.html

On the morning of Friday, July 18, agents from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wearing bulletproof vests and accompanied by two State Police officers, entered the Idaho Clearwater County Flood Control Command Center, located near the small central Idaho town of Orofino. When they departed, they took with them two large vans and a sports utility vehicle loaded with county records and left behind stunned and confused office personnel, some of whom were in tears, said Clearwater County Commissioner, Bud Bonner.

Confronting the federal agents, Commissioner Bonner demanded of the agent in charge what they wanted. He was simply informed that they would not tell him. Pressing further Bonner said, "Well, let me see the search warrant, that'll tell me." To the commissioner's surprise, except for the signature of the issuing judge, the affiant (person requesting the warrant) and the handwritten word "sealed" in the upper right hand corner, the warrant was blank. Bonner thought this strange since the fourth article of amendment to the U.S. Constitution says, "...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." The WINDS obtained a copy of the warrant and the only description on the document is the location of the county's Flood Control Command Center. No mention, whatever, is made of the reason ("probable cause") or description of items to be seized.

When Bonner again asked what the purpose of the raid was, the agent indicated that the information was "sealed." Again upon pressing the issue, Bonner was told by the agent who filed for the search warrant that the original document read, "Reasonable cause has been presented that a crime has been committed against the government of the United States."

According to an article in the Washington newspaper, The Spokesman-Review, there is "a grand jury investigation under way, apparently into county handling of money it received from FEMA."

Clearwater County and the city of Orofino suffered extensive damage in the fall flooding and had applied to FEMA for, and received a portion of, reimbursement for the rebuilding of the county's infrastructure.

Commissioner Bonner admitted to considerable anger over the incident. "Those records are open to anyone, anytime to examine," Bonner said. Good people, he added, who are just doing their jobs were frightened and confused. "You can go to anybody's bookkeeping system and find a mistake or a fault, but you don't send a hit squad....The Assessor and Clerk Auditor," he continued, "were both in tears and that upsets you to see good, honest people that have tried their best to make this thing work, in tears."

Orofino city mayor, Roy Clay, whose records were also seized in the raid, affirmed Commissioner Bonner's claim stating that, "Those records are public." He told The WINDS that he didn't have a problem with their examination of them. "That's what audits are for," he said. "But this storm trooper tactic, like somebody's a crook--I don't approve of that."

"To me it was a slap in the face," Bonner said, "that they were afraid that we were going to shoot them or resist...all they had to do was ask." When he inquired of them why they felt the need for bulletproof vests, the agents refused to respond. Bonner said that he felt that they were of the mind set that they were entering the wilderness of Idaho--Ruby Ridge country--and, hence, their paranoid behavior. Even though Commissioner Bonner states that he does not agree with the philosophy or methods of the militias or far right patriot groups,"They," he observed of the FEMA agents, "did exactly what the constitutionalists, the militia people are accusing them of doing....This is more than Clearwater County, it's more than the State of Idaho [this] goes right back to Janet Reno and Bill Clinton."

Having been in law enforcement as a police officer and police chief for thirty years before becoming commissioner for Clearwater County Bonner said, "I'm an old man and I've never been arrested in my life and I would sure hate to be arrested by FEMA for my first time."

When approached for comment, an official in FEMA's Inspector General's office, the department conducting the raid on Clearwater County, would say only that it is agency policy that, "In any search warrant or arrest situation [FEMA] agents will wear protective vests." When asked if there is no differentiation made between governmental agencies (state, county or municipal) and groups that are reportedly violent in nature, like militias or paramilitary organizations, the official's abrupt response was that he was "...not going to go any further in discussing the policy." This entire incident raises the ominous specter of a federal government that has taken an adversarial posture toward the states, as if they were rivals for power or even outright enemies.

Ten days after the flooding in February of last year, FEMA responded to the county's request for assistance and told them to repair their infrastructure and return it to county standards. Commissioner Bonner

asked for written codes and guidelines for record keeping and procedures by which to comply with FEMA requirements. He was told that there is no such documentation. "Six months later, I asked the same question," Bonner said, "and they were saying, `You're not playing by the rules'...and to this day they have not produced one written instruction. We started the game," he added, "and then they made up the rules as they went along."

Mayor Clay told The WINDS that he also "pointedly asked" for any documentation FEMA had that would guide them through the unfamiliar territory of the appropriation of government funds and, as did Commissioner Bonner, he received nothing. For a bureaucracy that runs on paperwork that defines the minutest requirements and procedures, this seems to raise considerably more questions than it answers--such as: to what purpose is FEMA's lack of specific, written guidelines in the use of disaster funding and record keeping? Do they intentionally create situations whereby they can maintain the leverage of intimidation over states and counties, illustrating to all the consequences of departing from the will of the federal government--even if that will is not revealed?

"States have certain rights," Commissioner Bonner expressed, "that are being abridged by the federal government right now." Before Clearwater County ever again applies to FEMA for any kind of relief, he said, "I think we'll take a hard look at other sources."

In response to their methods of procuring the county's and city's records, Mayor Clay also strongly stated, along with Bonner, that all their records were open and could be inspected at any time by anyone. The Mayor said that those files are their means to prove to FEMA that they qualify for disaster reimbursement. "Why would we hide something," Clay asked rhetorically, "that we need them to pay on? Does that make sense?"

At this time, neither the mayor of Orofino, Idaho nor the commissioner for Clearwater County knows why they were treated as they were or what the Grand Jury is investigating.

FEMA's action will potentially cause severe fiscal problems for Clearwater County which, to date, has spent, at FEMA's instruction, $1.1 million more than they have received in reimbursement for disaster relief. Commissioner Bonner expressed concern over the considerable tax burden that this would lay upon a county with a population of only 9,500 people if they do not receive what FEMA has promised.

What has been brought to view about this federal agency by the Orofino incident is apparently only the tip of an iceberg. Created by President Carter under Executive Order #12148, FEMA's legal authorization is under Title 2, United States Code, Section 5121 called, "The Stafford Act." In a previous article, subtitled, "FEMA, The Velvet Hammer", The WINDS presented substantiated facts on the enormous power that this agency possesses. During our investigations into FEMA's virtual dictatorial authority during any declared national emergency, this office obtained a considerable quantity of information that, even though each item was received from more than one source, was deemed unusable because this reporter was unable to thoroughly corroborate the original sources. In light of the clearly heavy-handed approach and assumption of dominance that FEMA has taken, the rumors and allegations appear considerably more plausible.

To many Americans various assertions of governmental crimes and conspiracies may seem imaginary. While most government workers see their own function as genuinely and sincerely protective of human rights, there are times when it is brought to one's attention that things are no longer as they have previously appeared. The Orofino raid has become one of those times. It may be only a short while until these matters will be seen in the light of a different and more accurate reality. Perhaps all who heretofore have summarily dismissed such ideas are in for a considerable surprise.

The WINDS contacted FEMA's Director of Communications, Morrie Goodman, to present his agency's official response to those allegations and rumors. Mr. Goodman allowed only the mention of two of them before interrupting with, "That's enough. What I have to say is good for all of it," and issued a denial. "These things come probably from the same people who swear they've been visited by aliens....We go on with our important work for disasters, and that's about as much credence as we give it."

Does this allow for the question as to whether this "important work for disasters" by the agency tasked with the welfare of American citizens during times of emergency is not now evolving into a system of creating "disasters" rather than merely responding to them?

Are FEMA's actions in Clearwater County only a small but portentous sign of the emergence of a very large beast? Is Orofino only a beginning?

---

Recommended reading: "FEMA - The Secret Government" by Harry V. Martin

Home Ordering Email Articles US state historical int'l poles, etc



Armed and dangerous: Federal agencies expanding use of firepower
Clinton's militarization of the government, by Joseph Farah
FEMA Joins The Club Of Jackboots: Clearwater County raid
Federal Agencies: Heavily Armed and Dangerous, from Heads Up
Drug fighters discuss an Interpol of the Americas
Property seizures: Legalized larceny posing as forfeiture


Battle Flags, Etc.

Federal Agencies: Heavily Armed and Dangerous

DISARM REGULATORS
Heads Up
A Weekly edition of News from around our country
August 15, 1997 #48
by: Doug Fiedor fiedor19@eos.net
----------------------------------------------------------
Previous Editions at: http://mmc.cns.net/headsup.html
----------------------------------------------------------

Transforming police into the teeth of tyranny: police badge transforming into UN (United Nations) flag.

When an old friend, who is a career federal bureaucrat above the "GS" level, called one afternoon last week to chit-chat, I should have realized there may have also been an ulterior motive. He was, after all, calling from work. About ten minutes into the conversation he asked why this publication is so hard on the people working for the federal regulatory agencies.

'Because they are there, and should not be,' I wanted to answer. But I did not. Instead, I played the game, began my own opening gambit, and turned it around so he was on the defensive.

How many search warrants did your agency serve these past few weeks?" I eventually asked.

A few," he reluctantly answered.

How many with guns drawn and agents looking and acting like a SWAT team?" I then inquired.

That is for the protection of the agents. . . . . ." he tried to jive me.

Uh huh. Sure.

Lately, even FEMA and EPA started doing that. Where once, regulators came in dressed in normal business attire, now they bring a "team" wearing bullet proof vests and brandishing military-style guns.

Reports are that a FEMA team "raided" a county flood management office recently, vested and guns at the ready. They even brought along a search warrant. Except that the only thing on the warrant was the judges signature and the word "sealed." They confiscated box- loads of public documents -- documents that were always available for anyone in the world to walk in and read. And, of course, they terrified (or is it terrorized?) the staff working the office in the process.

Same with the EPA. Nowadays, if they visit a business suspected of spilling hazardous materials, they often bring along a SWAT team and act like they're going after a gang of armed bank robbers. Just a few years ago, that type of thing was handled by one man carrying nothing more ominous than a notebook.

This is called lack of respect. It's the "them" against "us" mentality. Each year, the federal government ramps-up the aggression level. Today, many federal regulators act like they have absolutely no respect for the American public. Sure, they are not all like that -- yet. But, how many of these reports do we need before we voters start putting pressure on elected officials to get them stopped?

IRS used a SWAT team to "take over" a day care center, kids and all. FDA brought along a SWAT team to "raid" a vitamin store. The BLM brought an armed posse to confront two hunters. Fish and Wildlife delivered a SWAT team by armed military choppers. Yet, in none of these cases was any wrongdoing ever proven.

The problem is, neither was any of these agencies punished for use of excessive force (or stupidity!). Clearly, these people are out of control.

It's our fault, too. These are, after all, public servants. Therefore, we can, with a little effort, have them fired. Federal agencies like FEMA, EPA, BLM and OSHA do not need guns. There are only a few real federal police agencies: Marshals, DEA, FBI and BATF immediately come to mind. These other agencies are only regulatory and tax collection agencies.

Worse yet, for the most part, these armed regulators are people with no firearms training. Police academies last at least ten or twelve weeks. Many of the armed federal bureaucrats confronting American citizens do not even have ten or twelve minutes firearms or police training. In fact, some of them never even had a firearms safety course. Yet, in some cases, they're carrying fully automatic weapons. This is not good!

For the safety of the American public, all federal regulatory agencies should be completely disarmed.

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Armed and dangerous: Federal agencies expanding use of firepower
Clinton's militarization of the government, by Joseph Farah
FEMA Joins The Club Of Jackboots: Clearwater County raid
Federal Agencies: Heavily Armed and Dangerous, from Heads Up
Drug fighters discuss an Interpol of the Americas
Property seizures: Legalized larceny posing as forfeiture


Battle Flags, Etc.

Wire: Drug fighters discuss an Interpol of the Americas

8-21-97.

Transforming police into the teeth of tyranny: police badgetransforming into UN (United Nations) flag.

By Misti Lee CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (Reuter) - A Western Hemisphere law enforcement agency resembling Interpol could give the war against international drug trafficking a major boost, officials said Thursday.

About 300 senior and middle-ranking officials from seven countries, including the United States, discussed the idea of an international drug agency at a 10-day conference that ended Thursday at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base.

The gathering included ambassadors, ministers of justice and attorneys general from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Venezuela and the United States. Government representatives from Argentina, Brazil and Chile attended as observers.

The most crucial element in the war on drugs is an accurate and reliable exchange of information between agencies, said Lt. Gen. Charles Wilhelm, commanding general of the U.S. Marine Forces Atlantic.

``We've been addressing what information to share, who to share it with, where the various information centers will be and how will we move the information from point to point,'' Wilhelm said.

An intergovernmental agency, possibly located in Miami, could aid the drug fight by improving the flow of information between the United States and South America, officials said.

In theory, the organization could be akin to Interpol, the international police agency, and include representatives from member countries.

Already, concerned nations in the Americas have negotiated an anti-drug strategy based on shared responsibility and have discussed academic and training programs for drug law enforcement personnel.

``It's almost one of the healthiest changes over the last several years ... this mutual realization that, indeed, this is a global problem,'' Bob Brown, an official with the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, said.

In the United States alone, the cost of drug abuse and its consequences, including rises in crime and in health care expenses, is estimated at $67 billion a year, Brown said. Americans feed the demand for drugs by paying nearly $50 billion a year for illegal drugs, he said. ``That fuels not only misery in our own country but the corruption and violence we see in neighboring countries throughout the hemisphere,'' he said.

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Armed and dangerous: Federal agencies expanding use of firepower
Clinton's militarization of the government, by Joseph Farah
FEMA Joins The Club Of Jackboots: Clearwater County raid
Federal Agencies: Heavily Armed and Dangerous, from Heads Up
Drug fighters discuss an Interpol of the Americas
Property seizures: Legalized larceny posing as forfeiture


Battle Flags, Etc.

Property seizures (forfeiture)

PAUL CRAIG Roberts. 9-15-96.
Legalized larceny posing as forfeiture

Transforming police into the teeth of tyranny: police badge transforming into UN (United Nations) flag.

The Supreme Court seems to think that anything is permissible in the name of fighting crime. On June 24, 1996, United States vs. Ursery, the court ruled that civil punishments in addition to criminal punishments do not constitute double jeopardy. The court could have avoided such a dangerous ruling by studying Pulitzer Prize-winner Leonard W. Levy's new book, "A License to Steal: The Forfeiture of Property."

Asset forfeitures came to prominence in the war against drugs. They have not dented drug use but they have made thieves out of law enforcement officers. Mr. Levy recounts how Suffolk County, N.Y. district attorney James M. Catterson, drives a "swanky BMW as his official car instead of a county car." The luxury import was part of $3 million of property seized by Mr. Catterson.

Somerset County, N.J., prosecutor Nicholas L. Bissell used $6,OOO of seized funds "for a corporate membership in a private tennis and health club for the benefit of hunch can be used to establish probable cause. That done, the burden of proof shifts to the owner of the property or its claimant who must establish by a preponderance of evidence that the property was unconnected to a crime. In effect, he must prove the innocence of his property." This is often difficult, because 9O percent of the money in circulation tests positive for cocaine. Any police dog can sniff almost anyone's wallet and wag its tail to establish probable cause.

Because law enforcement officers have been given a financial stake in seized property, raising cash becomes more important than catching criminals. Mr. Levy quotes one Justice Department official: "Increasingly, you're seeing supervisors of cases saying, 'Well, what can we seize?' when they're trying to decide what to investigate.... They're paying more attention to the revenues they can get . ..and it's skewing the cases they get involved in."

THESIS: Because law enforcement officers have been given a firm stake in seized property, raising cash becomes more important than catching criminals.

Donald A. Regan of Montvale, N.J., made the mistake of giving a lift to an individual who had cocaine in his possession. Mr. Regan and his passenger were arrested, but the charges against him were dropped when the passenger swore to his innocence. But the police decided to keep Mr. Regan's car as an "instrumentality" of crime.

Forfeiture powers have made police officers more corrupt than the Sheriff of Nottingham. Mr. Levy reports that police focus on cars with cash, not on cars with caches of drugs. "The purpose is to hunt for cash." In Volusia County, Fla., police have confiscated $8 million in cash from southbound drivers on Interstate 95, because the police presume that cash indicates a desire to purchase drugs.

After Hurricane Hugo, Selena Washington and Willie Jones drove south on I-95 to get construction materials to repair her damaged home. Being black, they fit a "drug carrier profile" and were stopped. The police officer took $19,OOO from Mrs. Washington's purse, alleging that it was drug money. Without even taking her name, he drove off with his loot.

Mrs. Washington hired an attorney who advised her to share her money with the police because of the legal futility of her position. A deal was struck, and the sheriff kept $4,OOO.

In order to seize property, the government not only doesn't need to establish guilt, but also doesn't need any facts. As Mr. Levy states, "Hearsay, circumstantial evidence, and anything more than a Supreme Court not only turned a blind eye to'injustice, but also to the corrupt influence of asset seizures on police and prosecutors. Under this ruling, a person can prevail against a government prosecutor in a criminal trial, only to have the prosecutor seize the person's property in a "civil forfeiture."

Justice John Paul Stevens dissented, noting that asset forfeitures increasingly lack any semblance of proportionality to the offense. Guy Jerome Ursery had his house seized because police found a few marijuana seeds, stems and stalks--no growing plants--on his property. No evidence existed that Mr. Ursery's house was bought with the proceeds of drug money.

To bolster its claim that the seizure of Mr. Ursery's house did not constitute punishment, the court's majority relied on ancient cases involving the seizure of pirate ships. "Notably," Justice Stevens said, "none of those early cases involved the forfeiture of a home as a form of punishment for misconduct that occurred therein. Consider how drastic the remedy would have been if Congress in 1931 had authorized the forfeiture of every home in which alcoholic beverages were consumed." The Rehnquist court would have blessed such a constitutional violation.

Paul Craig Roberts is a columnist for The Washington Times and is nationally syndicated.

http://www.washtimes.com
Timely commentary from the Zychik Chronicles:
From: Joe Zychik jzychik@pacificnet.net
---------------

The dollar in your pocket can put you in jail:

(A&E) Over the weekend, Investigate Reports did a special on the horrors and evils of asset forfeiture. Sulfur County, Louisiana has confiscated over $1 million during routine traffic stops. Their cops drive around in new cars and they've built a new police station and impound facility with the money. The sheriff of Sulfur County admits that officers confiscate money on the basis of their "feelings." Remember Mark Fuhrman saying that police work should be done on the basis of feelings? Well, just in case you're getting the feeling that the cops are beginning to sound like Nazis, not to worry. The Sulfur County cops use science to confirm their feelings. In many cases before the KKKops in Sulfur County confiscate your money, they'll have their dog give it the sniff test to see if it's been tainted by cocaine. So, Investigate Reports submitted 13 twenty dollar bills from supermarkets, ATM machines, etc. Just for fun, the sheriff was asked to submit one from his billfold.

Yes, yes, yes - his bill tested positive for cocaine! So did 11 others out of the thirteen. Said Investigative Reports, "It's estimated that up to 75% of the cash in circulation is tainted by cocaine." In other words, if you get stopped by the police, there's at least a 75% chance that they can arrest you and/or confiscate all your cash on the assumption that you are a drug dealer.

Joe Zychik Editor, The Zychik Chronicle -------
Posted daily Mon-Fri after 3 pm PST at http://www.pacificnet.net/~jzychik
To receive the ZC, free, contact: jzychik@pacificnet.net


Home Ordering Email Articles US state historical int'l poles, etc Waco pics



Armed and dangerous: Federal agencies expanding use of firepower
Clinton's militarization of the government, by Joseph Farah
FEMA Joins The Club Of Jackboots: Clearwater County raid
Federal Agencies: Heavily Armed and Dangerous, from Heads Up
Drug fighters discuss an Interpol of the Americas
Property seizures: Legalized larceny posing as forfeiture