Sunday, May 18, 2008
Texas Child Grab: Possession Is The Entire "Law"
Ready to kill for the State: A sniper takes aim at unarmed parents at the YFZ Ranch, prepared to kill any who resist as their children are stolen by lying, corrupt strangers.
"The important thing to understand," insists former Texas judge Scott McCown, referring to the status hearings for the abducted FLDS children that begin on May 19, "is this ... is not an opportunity to re-litigate the removal [of the children]. The child has already been removed, so this is about where to go from here. What's the plan?"
McCown's comment, of course, is a variation on a standard statist trope, the rapist's argument from inevitability: Look, it's going to happen anyway, so just lie down and enjoy it -- and once the deed is done, there's no point "re-litigating" the matter.
I grant that Mr. McCown, as a former judge, is most likely someone indoctrinated from an early age to believe that the point of the legal system is to validate the wisdom of the State, as opposed to punishing the guilty and vindicating the rights of the innocent. And he must have forgotten a useful rule of evidence: It is the guilty, rather than the innocent, who want to change the subject or stop the inquiry once inconvenient facts begin to materialize. That would explain the eagerness of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to foreclose a critical examination of the process that led to the criminal abduction of over 460 children.
And so, once again, apologists for the child-snatchers are taking refuge in the rapist's defense: It happened, it's over, just get over it and move on. (And, by the way, you better put some ice on that. )
The chief difference between common rape and the crime committed by the Texas CPS against the mothers and children of YFZ Ranch, of course, is that what was taken in this instance can, should, and must be returned. There was no legal reason to take the children in the first place, and there is abundant, uncontested evidence that the entire operation to seize the children was carried out in patent, palpable bad faith.
I am aware that what follows will avail nothing in dealing with the criminals who run the "justice" and child "protection" systems in Texas. Their contempt for the law is self-evident and apparently incurable. So why do I even bother to set out the facts, and expatiate on the law, given that those who stole these innocent children aren't concerned about either?
To put the matter simply:
If this crime proceeds unpunished -- as appears likely -- and if it spawns copycat crimes elsewhere -- which, once again, is a reasonable surmise -- the next such attempt will lead to bloodshed. And if that's the only option left to innocent parents trying to keep their children from the hands of State-employed criminals, I devoutly (albeit unrealistically) hope that a jury can be found that will vote for acquittal on the grounds of self-defense.
In anticipation of such a tragic but perhaps inevitable contingency, I think it's necessary to present the facts about the seizure of the FLDS children before a candid world.
Both child "protection" and law enforcement personnel knew that they had no probable cause to conduct a search of the YFZ Ranch. They knew this before they obtained the first search warrant, let alone the second one.
The critical facts, drawn from relevant legal filings and sworn testimony -- most of it offered by the child-nappers -- are presented in a 75-page petition for a writ of habeas corpus (.pdf) filed on behalf of Amy Marie Dockstader, Natalie Joanne Keate, Britton Bauer Keate, Jameson Rand Keate, and Marreta Keate, as well as their fathers, James Dockstader, Rulon Keate and LeLand Keate.
Each of the fathers lives "in a monogamous relationship with [his] wife (who was of age at the time of their marriage), and their children in single family, stand-alone, separate residences located on the YFZ Ranch property," reports the petition. "There was no evidence nor allegation of physical or sexual abuse of any of these children."
And this is where things would end with respect to those families, were the Texas CPS governed by constitutional law and the Anglo-Saxon legal tradition. But that agency, like its counterparts elsewhere in this once-free country, subscribes to a degenerate form of collectivism akin to the family law theories espoused by Soviet psychologist A.S. Makarenko.
Please indulge me in a brief but necessary digression.
Makarenko's The Collective Family: A Handbook for Russian Parents, was the child-rearing bible of Stalin's Russia. It was also a seminal work for many Western social activists during the 1950s and 1960s, when the pestilential Child "Protection" bureaucracy was gestating in the womb of the Regime. (Makarenko's influence on those who created our nation's child "protection" system was attested by Russian expatriate Urie Bronfenbrenner, a key architect of the Head Start program.)
The purpose of the family, Makarenko wrote, was to raise the State's children to be good collectivists: "We are living on the summit of the greatest pass in history, our day has seen the beginning of a new order in human relations, a new morality, a new law, the foundation of which is the victorious idea of human solidarity.... In our country he alone is a man of worth whose needs and desires are the needs and desires of a collectivist. Our family offers rich soil for the cultivation of such collectivism."
"Somebody get this skeevy collectivist's clammy hands off of me!" Something to that effect seems to be going through the head of the little girl on the left as she's made to pose in the arms of Urie Bronfenbrenner, an apostle of collectivist child-rearing.
Accordingly, the Soviet family was not a "closed-in," autonomous entity, like the "bouregois" family; it was "an organic part of Soviet society," subject to intimate and constant regulation in the interests of "society." To this end it was necessary to discredit the authority of the father in the home: Makarenko identified the traditional patriarch as an "odious figure" - "Master, overseer, teacher, judge and sometimes executioner" -- even as he extolled the supposed mercies of a State headed by the uber-benevolent father figure named Joseph Stalin.
Da, Commissarina: Texas CPS Child-grabber Angie Voss
The collectivist order described by Makarenko is very different from a communal arrangement like that of the FLDS at the YFZ Ranch. In seeking to justify seizing the FLDS children, CPS Commissarina Angie Voss emphasized that she was told by church members that "they are one big family, one large community, and they have the same belief system." This is true, quite common among small religious groups, and entirely benign.
However, Voss and her legal cohorts have used this affinity to justify treating the YFZ population as one literal family: In this way, any evidence of abuse can be used to incriminate everybody in that population, toward the end of breaking up this natural, private collective and bringing it under the plenary power of the coercive collective that employs Voss and her henchmen. This is collective punishment, carried out for collectivist ends.
From that perspective, it doesn't matter whether a given family is headed by a monogamous husband and lives in an independent dwelling. The State has decreed that they are part of a rogue group that must be assimilated into the larger national Collective. And since the State now has possession of the children, the law doesn't matter, because it can now use the children as blackmail leverage against the parents -- something that is already underway.
In the Anglo-Saxon legal tradition, as distinct from the post-Marxist collectivism that informs that Child "welfare" system, the government has to justify its intrusion into the sanctity of the home. This is why the Fourth Amendment (and its equivalent in every state constitution, including that of Texas), defines the non-negotiable probable cause requirement in terms of "particular" places to be searched and "persons or things to be seized."
Where the April 3 raid on the YFZ Ranch is concerned, the initial warrant referred to the much-discussed "Sarah Jessup Barlow," a supposedly abused polygamous "child bride" who had purportedly been impregnated by an abusive middle-aged man identified as Dale Barlow. The entire purpose of that initial search was to find Sarah and take her into custody, and to find the 49-year-old Mr. Barlow and place him under arrest.
However, as the habeas corpus petition points out:
"The [child `protection'] Agency's pre-raid investigation determined that the accused 49-year-old man was an Arizona resident, under supervision on probation by an Arizona probation officer who resided in Arizona. Before execution of the warrant, Sheriff Doran was also advised that Dale Barlow was in Arizona and not within the [FLDS] Community. In fact, Sheriff [David] Doran spoke to Mr. Barlow in Arizona by cell phone and, after confirming his identity, Barlow told the Sheriff that he did not know any Sarah Jessup and had never been to the yearning [sic] for Zion Community nor to Texas for some twenty years. The Agency was also advised that there was no Sarah living in the Ranch." (Emphasis added.)
The assumption behind the initial raid was that Mr. Barlow -- and he alone -- posed "an immediate risk to physical or sexual abuse of a child." But even before the first search warrant was executed, Sheriff Doran and his associates in the Texas Rangers "had been apprised, and [had] even verified, that the only person these officers alleged to be suspected of criminal activity ... was not located on the premises, or even in the State of Texas."
What of the "victim," the much-abused Sarah Jessup Barlow? It is now well known that the woman claiming to be Sarah is disturbed 33-year-old woman from Colorado Springs named Rozita Swinton, who is in the habit of making false abuse reports to police agencies across the country. (.pdf)
Those calls were made by telephones with a 719 area code. When Swinton made those calls on March 29 and March 30, Texas officials who followed up "were immediately advised that one of these telephone numbers was associated with an individual who had made numerous `false reports of sexual abuse to police agencies' in the Colorado Springs area." (Note carefully the word "immediately.") In fact, she was linked to false allegations of abuse to more than ten police departments, from Monroe, Washington to Ft. Meyers, Florida.
So at the time of the original assault on the YFZ Ranch, Sheriff Doran and the CPS knew that the alleged abuser wouldn't be found therein. Yet they conducted that home invasion anyway. They also sought a second affidavit from Judge Barbara Walther -- who issued it with blithe indifference -- without informing Walther the alleged abuser had an air-tight alibi: He was in Arizona, under the constant surveillance of his probation officer.
Just as significantly, the CPS had enlisted the aid of the Midland Sheriff Department's SWAT team to raid the YFZ Ranch after it was clear that Mr. Barlow wasn't there, and that there would be no violent resistance to the CPS invasion of the commune.
The CPS had already written a narrative, and it was sticking to its script. According to a legal brief filed on behalf of the Agency, once Comrade Voss and her 12-member CPS raiding party had defiled the YFZ Ranch, "The Department's investigation was thwarted due to misinformation about the identities of the girls.... Ms. Voss indicated that she believed she was encountering a `brick wall' because some girls were saying that they were going to plead `the Fifth' and not answer questions."
This storyline -- "Polygamous Cult Covers Up Abuse of Hapless Child Bride" -- was fed into the organ of mass dishonesty called the mainstream media within hours of the raid at the Ranch. This was done by people who knew that the residents of that community couldn't "cooperate" in the search for Sarah Barlow, because she didn't exist.
Furthermore, the testimonies offered by mental health workers who attended the mothers and children in various detention facilities after the raid flatly contradict Voss's statements that the FLDS women and girls refused to cooperate. These workers -- who, unlike Voss and her comrades, have no reason to shade or misrepresent the truth -- emphasized that although the briefings they received from the CPS told them that the FLDS women would "plead the Fifth" (as if that were somehow impermissible), the captive women were very polite and cooperative. In fact, according to these disinterested witnesses, it was the CPS who routinely lied to and misled the FLDS women, rather than the reverse.
A portrait in serene suffering: One need not respect the FLDS community's teachings (I certainly do not) in order to admire the character many of them have displayed in the face of aggressive evil.
But the CPS stuck to its storyline. Those people knew that by the time the truth was available, the public wouldn't be interested in it.
And the children would be in their hands.
This is a case in which possession is the entire "law."
To the child snatchers, the only "law" that matters here is the power that flows from the barrel of a gun. Look at the photograph at the top of this essay: It documents the murderous intent behind this premeditated crime. That individual was prepared to murder, in cold blood, any parent who raised a hand to rescue his child.
The individual behind the sights of that rifle lent his potentially lethal services to a knot of criminals who violated the law flagrantly, deliberately, knowingly, and with calculated malice. They did so for reasons rooted in ideology and, quite possibly, simple statist greed.
What recourse do parents have, if their children can be seized from them through culpable fraud and the threat of lethal force -- and the law is of no avail?
Are parents simply required to submit, because the agency that has stolen their children is not disposed to "re-litigate" the issue, once it has full possession of the children? That's the "wisdom" offered by the Texas legal system.
Consider Judge Walther's glib response to an objection raised by one attorney during the cattle-call status hearing. When an attorney trying to represent one of the FLDS mothers protested that the women were being "detained" at the local sports coliseum his objection prompted Walther to extrude the following Orwellian soliloquy:
"I want to make one thing very, very clear. There is no mother at the coliseum or at the Wells Fargo [detention area] that is an adult that everyone agrees is an adult that is detained. They are free to go. The [Child "protection"] Department has said that they [the mothers] may stay and provide care for their children, should they choose. So your client, the mothers, are not being held by this Court."
That is to say: The mothers were perfectly free to leave their children in the hands of people who had invaded their homes through malevolent guile and taken the youngsters away amid threats of lethal force. As the attorney incredulously replied to Judge Walther: "I'm supposed to tell the mother of [a] two-year-old she's free to go, [but] the two-year-old gets to stay[?] That's detention, Your Honor."
To which Walther offered the snide reply:
"[I]f you want to take the position that these women are being held by the Court, I want you to go tell them that they can leave. If they want to stay, they're going to have to sign something saying that they want to stay."
So now the mothers would be required to ask the State's kind permission to remain captive with their children -- until, that is, Walther issued an order sending the children away.
This is a bit like requiring a victim to write a thank-you note to her rapist, and perhaps send him flowers as well.
Dum spiro, pugno!