|The Regime's youngest political prisoner.|
"Happy birthday. You're property of the State."
This is the message that was given to Cheyenne Irish, the newborn daughter of New Hampshire residents Jonathan Irish and Stephanie Taylor, who was literally stolen from her parents hours after her birth on October 6.
While there are reportedly some "very serious" criminal allegations involved in this matter, the focal point of the case should be this: Among the reasons cited by New Hampshire's child "protection" directorate as supposed justification for the seizure of Cheyenne was the fact that "Mr. Irish associated with a militia known as the, [sic] `Oath Keepers,' and had purchased several different types of weapons including a rifle, handgun and taser."
"Whether or not the charges against Mr. Irish are true, this action is entirely unconstitutional and represents a very dangerous precedent," Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, a practicing defense attorney, pointed out to Pro Libertate. "Using this man's political views and alleged affiliations to define parental suitability in any way is entirely illegitimate, and a direct threat to the rights of parents who are political activists of any kind."
This is hardly the first time law enforcement officials and social workers have cited "political extremism" to justify severe and extra-constitutional sanctions against people who have not been convicted of an actual crime.
Just a few months ago, police in Salem County, Massachusetts arrested an innocent man named Gregory Girard on palpably fraudulent criminal charges because his wife -- acting as a dutiful collectivist drone -- reported that he had developed "extremist" political views.
Those unsanctioned opinions, coupled with legal firearms purchases, led to Girard's arrest and detention as a "danger to the community" -- but he was never formally charged or prosecuted. He was simply taken into Soviet-style administrative detention while the local members of Lavrenti Beria's fraternity -- that is, the county prosecutor and judge -- tried to devise a criminal charge to justify his imprisonment.
|Political Prisoner Gregory Girard|
After Girard spent four months in jail without a criminal charge, his case was eventually "dismissed without a finding." He was designated a "ward of the court," compelled to undergo routine psychiatric evaluation and treatment, and notified that he could be arrested and subjected to indefinite detention at any time such action was deemed suitable by his persecutors.
This was done to Girard because he was classified to be what law enforcement organs in the Soviet Union called a "socially dangerous person." This same calculus appears to have been used to justify the government kidnapping of Cheyenne Irish -- a much graver crime, given that it involved not merely the seizure of a man's means of self-defense, but of his newborn child.
Cheyenne "wasn't even 16 hours old when they came in and stole her from us," reports her father Jonathan. The head of security at Concord Hospital "had a nurse come in while Cheyenne was sleeping [who] lied to us that they just wanted to take her to the nursery to see the doctor to be discharged. Even though I said NO to have the doctor come in the room they took her anyway.... I followed [them] out to the nursery because I didn't want my daughter out of my sight, as we were walking out I saw several gentlemen wearing suits with detective badges and my gut just started wrenching."
"They rushed her into the nursery and locked her in," Jonathan continues. "[W]hile I was talking to one of the other nurses the head of security comes up behind me, grabs my arm and starts walking me down the hall saying `you need to keep an open mind, you need to just hear them out' and he just kept repeating himself ignoring my questions as to who `they' were."
|Cheyenne, shortly before her abduction.|
How typical of an agent of government aggression to be accusing the victim of "intolerance" even as the crime is in progress. This little touch is a variation on the police tactic of bellowing "Stop resisting!" to a helpless victim at the bottom of a thugswarm.
"When he got me in Stephanie's hospital room and sat me down on the couch the police department and DCYF [Division of Children, Youth and Family services -- that is, the child-snatcher apparat] showed up. Three uniformed patrol officers and 3-4 detectives with 2 DCYF social workers walked in the room.... [One] of the patrolmen asked if he could pat me down. I said NO, not giving my consent.... The officer grabbed my wrist, bent it behind my back and stood me up and proceeded to pat me down anyway."
After seizing a pocketknife and cigarette lighter and asking if Jonathan had "any other weapons" -- officer safety uber alles, you know -- the childnappers "gave us a fabricated affidavit ... telling us they were taking custody of our newborn daughter."
Jonathan was then informed that he would be shadowed, Stasi-style, by a "security officer." When contacted by Pro Libertate at approximately 3:45 MST on October 8, Mr. Irish was being forced to leave the Concord Hospital parking lot pursuant to a "notice" he had been sent by the local police.
"I received a phone call a while ago telling me to go to a website" -- that is, a Facebook page -- "where a group of people had taken it on themselves to organize a protest and rally," Irish recounted to Pro Libertate. "I was then sent a document by the Concord Police that said I wouldn't be allowed to go inside the hospital, or even be in the parking lot, unless it involved a medical emergency, otherwise it would be considered `criminal trespass.'"
Irish refers to Cheyenne's mother, Stephanie Taylor, as his fiancee. The affidavit mentions that the couple had been under DCYF scrutiny "for approximately 21 months ... in a case involving two children of Stephanie Taylor; neglect petitions were filed on January 7, 2009 and a Termination of Parental Rights trial was recently concluded as to these two children...."
For reasons not specified in the document, Irish was "ordered to attend Ending the Violence with Scott Hampton; however, to date, has not completed this program." (Remember this point; we'll return to it anon.) The police complain that they have "responded to multiple calls" involving Irish and firearms, which resulted in "a pending charge for possession of a concealed weapon without a permit." It was in the context of that trivial paperwork matter that the affidavit mentioned Irish's "association" with the Oath Keepers, which was misrepresented in the affidavit as a "militia."
The Oath Keepers is an organization of current and retired law enforcement and military personnel who have pledged not to carry out patently unconstitutional orders. The group's founder, Stewart Rhodes, emphasizes that it encourages lawful, peaceful non-cooperation, rather than armed insurrection, as a way of interposing against the all-encompassing criminal assault by the Regime against individual rights.
Had an Oath Keeper been present at Concord Hospital on October 6, he would have refused to be party to the criminal abduction of Cheyenne Irish.
The "association" referred to in that document consists of occasional involvement by Irish and his fiancee in an on-line discussion group involving the Oath Keepers. Mentioning this tenuous connection served the immediate interests of the child abduction bureaucracy, since it created a caricature of the father as a potentially dangerous "extremist." But it also serves the long-term interest of the Homeland Security bureaucracy by using Jonathan Irish as an indispensable defendant in a potentially precedent-setting case.
"I know practically nothing about Jonathan Irish," Stewart Rhodes of the Oath Keepers told Pro Libertate. "Whatever we learn about his problems, the real question is this: Why was such prominent mention made of his political beliefs and supposed affiliations?"
If Mr. Irish is a legitimate criminal suspect -- as opposed to a troubled parent who is considered a political criminal -- why wasn't he taken into custody? Why was he left relatively free, while his newborn daughter was wrenched from her mother and father through deliberate deception and the threat of lethal force?
The Oath Keepers have been targeted by the so-called Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an immensely profitable leftist "watchdog" group run by the degenerate fraud named Morris Dees. Through an illicit relationship with law enforcement agencies, both federal and local, the SPLC has become deeply involved in an effort to indoctrinate police (as well as educators and social workers) regarding the ubiquitous menace of "anti-government extremism." Rhodes points out that the SPLC, a nominally private group that is unaccountable to the public, is a member of the "Homeland Security Advisory Council" (HSAC) which published a report on domestic "radicalization" and "extremism" last Spring.
A work in progress, the HSAC describes itself as striving to prevent "violent crime that is motivated by extreme ideological beliefs" through "threat mitigation" and "community policing." That last term of art came into vogue during the early part of Bill Clinton's first term: Washington began to lavish funding on states and municipalities for the purpose of integrating the police with the social services bureaucracy, the better to create a seamless web from which no family could escape.
Before she presided over the Holocaust at Mt. Carmel as the federal Attorney General, Janet Reno was a forceful advocate of "community policing" in order to draw recalcitrant parents into the suffocating embrace of the omniprovident Nanny State.
"Community policing"; below, more of the same.
"They sit behind doors and they glare out at officialdom in whatever its form -- a building inspector, a Housing and Urban Development manager, a police officer -- and they don't believe that person," complained Reno in a 1993 speech to the Police Foundation. "They won't come out. They won't bring their child to the clinic ... because they are suspicious and unbelieving that government really cares."
That speech, incidentally, was given on April 9, 1993 -- just ten days before the government Reno served so eagerly displayed its "caring" nature by immolating the children of the Branch Davidian community.
Reno, according to a Los Angeles Times summary, urged that local governments assemble teams of "community-friendly, highly respected police officers, social workers, public health nurses, [and] community organizers" to pry open the doors of people burdened with a healthy mistrust of the congealed mass of corruption called government.
The group that carried out the abduction of Cheyenne Irish is a perfect example of a Reno-style "community policing" strike force in action.
Among the reasons cited for seizing Cheyenne was Scott Irish's refusal to attend a seminar taught by Dr. Scott Hampton, Director of an organization called Ending The Violence. Hampton and his organization offer "training and consultation ... to child protective workers, probation and parole officers, judges, attorneys, medical professionals, clergy, teachers, and law enforcement" as well as offering "expert witness testimony in both civil and criminal cases." Hampton has conducted hundreds of workshops and seminars throughout North America and Europe, and is past President of the National Supervised Visitation Network.
Most importantly, he is an unabashed proponent of totalitarian attitude reconstruction, the sort of social engineer C.S. Lewis referred to as an "official straightener." Although he eagerly cites the work of "tolerance" peddlers such as Morris Dees, Hampton believes that tolerance is inadequate. Unlike those who believe that only God has jurisdiction over the inner life of human beings, Hampton -- like others who would use the power of the State to tear windows into men's souls -- maintains that the government literally must reprogram the inner life of people who hold "bigoted" beliefs.
"Tolerance does not require that you give up your hatred. It just tells you how to act when you hate. Not good enough," sniffs Hampton in his new book Tolerant Oppression. "It is time that we teach people how not to hate." What this requires, of course, is court-ordered reconstruction of individual attitudes using whatever leverage may be necessary -- apparently up to and including child abduction.
The kidnapping of Cheyenne Irish on her birthday bears more than a passing resemblance to a November 2008 incident in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The newborn daughter of Cirila Baltazar Cruz, who was born at Pascagoula's Singing River Hospital, was abducted through deception and coercion by hospital officials and social workers. The child was placed in the custody of two attorneys who practiced "family law" before the same judge who approved the hasty transfer of custody.
Like Jonathan Irish, Baltazar Cruz was deemed an unsuitable parent on the basis of unproven allegations. An employee at a local Chinese restaurant, she had reportedly come to the United States as an illegal immigrant, and was accused of "trading sex for housing." Her immigration status would not justify the seizure of her child, and the prostitution charge was never investigated. Nevertheless, it took more than a year and a half for Baltazar Cruz -- working with a self-described "public interest law firm" -- to regain custody of her stolen child.
A federal lawsuit filed against the hospital and others responsible for this atrocity correctly condemns the "unconstitutional actions" of those who abducted Baltazar Cruz's child. Their unconscionable acts inflicted severe emotional and physical harm on the bereaved mother, alienated the newborn from parental affection, and "substantially interfered with [their] constitutionally protected right to family integrity," the lawsuit observes.
Exactly the same case can be made on behalf of Jonathan Irish, Stephanie Taylor, and their daughter Cheyenne. It's not likely, however, that the legal activist group that defended the parental rights of Cirila Baltazar Cruz -- the Southern Poverty Law Center -- will volunteer its services on behalf of Cheyenne and her parents, given that organization's distant but substantive role in the crime that was committed against them.
File this one under "The default setting is overkill":
"FBI bomb-sniffing dogs were at Concord Hospital on Friday after demonstrations gathered to protest a newborn being removed from her mother's care by the state. The hospital said there was no threat made, but it was taking precautions in part to reassure staff and patients.... The FBI left the hospital without finding anything threatening...."
No overt or tacit threat was made, yet the Feds were called in to treat this as a potential terrorist situation. That's SPLC-style "political profiling" at work.
Note the cringing euphemism employed here to describe what provoked the protest: The child was "removed from her mother's care by the state," the most delicate description I can imagine of kidnapping a newborn from her mother at gunpoint.
The domestic situation behind all of this is a mess. As noted above, Mr. Irish and his still-married "fiancee" have some baggage. The State insists that he's an abuser and she's a victim; they both stoutly deny the charges, and he's not being treated like a criminal suspect. Furthermore, their landlord maintains that Mr. Irish is "a very honorable person who loves his country. And I've watched the state and the police systematically hammer him."
As with the mass seizure of children from the FLDS polygamist enclave a couple of years ago, this case seems like a perfect illustration of H.L. Mencken's maxim that "the trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all."
Second Update --
This video was shot shortly before Jonathan Irish and his fiancee were evicted from the parking lot at Concord Hospital (which was just a few minutes before I contacted him on Friday, October 8):
Third update --
Looking into some additional details in the Cheyenne Irish case, I'm struck by the fact that the overt act of "neglect" supposedly committed by her mother, Stephanie Taylor, was giving birth to the child.
This would mean the only way she could have avoided being charged with "neglect" at this point would have been to abort the baby.
Granted, there is a backstory here -- a very confusing and troubling one. As noted above, Mr. Irish and his still-married "fiance" have plenty of problems, some of which are, to some extent, of their own creation. We're still left to deal with the fact that the State claims the authority to seize a child who is a victim of "neglect" by virtue of being born -- and that those responsible for that act defended it, in part, by referring to the political views of the child's biological father.
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Dum spiro, pugno!