Saturday, January 19, 2013

Put Not Your Trust In Federalized Sheriffs

He sold his soul at a steep discount: Richard Rich (l.) displays the badge he earned through collaboration.

“You look depressed.”

“I was lamenting. I’ve lost my innocence.”

“You lost that some time ago. If you've only just noticed, it can't have been very important to you.”

Exchange between Thomas Cromwell -- the Machiavellian Lord Chancellor of England -- and Richard Rich, an ambitious functionary who had sold his soul in a buyer’s market, from A Man for All Seasons.

“I will not enforce an unconstitutional law against any citizen of Smith County,” insisted Sheriff Larry Smith. The sheriff wants his constituents to believe that he would refuse to participate in a federally mandated gun grab, or permit one to be carried out by federal officials within his jurisdiction. Yet ten days before Smith offered that assurance, his office had taken part in an early-morning SWAT rampage throughout East Texas in which 73 warrants were served as part of the federal government’s patently unconstitutional war on drugs.

During a December 2011 campaign debate, Smith said that he wanted to “invest more resources” – that is, redirect wealth plundered from the productive – into a “Drug Task Force,” and insisted that under his administration the Sheriff’s Office would embrace a “Task Force mentality” in dealing with law enforcement issues. 

The problem with the mindset Sheriff Smith was extoling should become obvious once it’s understood that the German term for “task force” is einsatzgruppe. By their actions many multi-jurisdictional task forces in contemporary America are increasingly faithful to their historic pedigree

Smith’s devotion to narcotics task forces might be the residue of his early law enforcement career, which included two years as a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration – an agency that could be considered the mentally deficient stepchild of the CIA, which is the world’s largest narcotics syndicate. 

Twenty years ago, an ATF einsatzgruppe launched a murderous raid against an isolated religious group at Mt. Carmel outside Waco. The warrant they were enforcing was clotted with falsehoods. The investigation that produced it was haphazard. Its target, Vernon Howell -- aka David Koresh -- was suspected of trivial violations of federal firearms regulations, and had indicated his eagerness to cooperate with ATF investigators to clear the record. 

If an arrest were to be carried out – and one was neither necessary, nor justified – it could have been performed during one of Koresh’s frequent solitary jogging expeditions, or one of his routine visits to town. Instead, the ATF – seeking a dramatic, high-profile enforcement action to generate headlines for the scandal-plagued agency – staged a paramilitary assault on the religious sanctuary. They did so even though the raiders had lost the element of surprise, and when they arrived at Mt. Carmel they opened fire on the building despite the fact that an unarmed Koresh had confronted the stormtroopers with his hands up, pleading for them not to shoot.

Four ATF agents were killed during that Sunday morning raid. Their deaths were utterly unnecessary, and entirely well-deserved: They were attempting to murder innocent people, and the would-be victims acted within their rights in using deadly force to defend their homes against that assault. The criminal clique that had sent the ATF to attack the Davidians sent a larger contingent to lay siege to their residence, and eventually arranged for the holocaust that annihilated 76 people, including seventeen small children.

Like most gun owners in Eastern Texas, Smith can remember where he was the morning of April 19, 1993, when the Mt. Carmel refuge went up in flames. He was on the scene as an agent of the ATF, which he had joined in 1989. Smith believes that the initial ATF raid on the Davidians was justified, and that the entire operation was at least a partial success. It’s doubtful that his assessment is shared by many gun owners in his jurisdiction.

Larry Smith is among dozens of sheriffs who have gone on record in opposition to the Obama administration’s impending firearms restrictions. All of them have promised to intervene to protect their counties from federal tyranny. And all of them are active collaborators in the same.

Kieran Donahue was sworn in as the new Sheriff of Canyon County, Idaho    on January 14. Three days later he joined the ranks of “refusenik sheriffs” by promising not to implement any federal gun policy at odds with his responsibility to “uphold the Constitution.”

Unfortunately, that resolute statement of principled defiance was fatally undermined when Donahue – in the same press conference -- expressed his willingness to continue his office’s collaboration in the federal “war on drugs” and displayed his indecent eagerness to accept new federal subsidies to deploy deputies to guard public schools as soon as the funds are available.

Wendy Olson, the official assigned by the regime to act as the federal regime’s legal sub-commissarina for Idaho, has said that her office will fully comply with new federal firearms mandates. She pointedly noted that the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office – like most others in the country – has officers who are cross-deputized to serve on federal einsatzgruppen. During last year’s campaign the future sheriff proudly boasted of his work as an “undercover officer” with the FBI-supervised METRO Violent Crime and Gang Task Force.

“In these changing and difficult economic times it is a great benefit to have all law enforcement agencies working together in order to share costs and resources,” insisted Donahue. Those words will almost certainly come back to haunt Canyon County gun owners when – not “if” – the Feds make it clear that they are willing to “share resources” only with sheriff’s offices who are on board with the gun grab.

Donahue insisted on playing coy about the fact that he’s for sale. Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims was shameless. She told the local ABC affiliate that while she will not enforce unconstitutional gun laws, she also “backs the added funding for local law enforcement, especially in schools.” 

Her office has a huge budget, a small but significant portion of which is derived from proceeds seized through a federally supervised “asset forfeiture” program.

In 2009, Mims was the “local” face that was pasted onto the Obama administration’s “Operation Save Our Sierra” marijuana crack-down, which was personally supervised by federal Drug War Commissar Gil Kerlikowske. This campaign involved 300 personnel from local, state, and federal agencies – including military pilots that flew Black Hawk helicopters over targeted areas. The manpower and hardware were deployed in a mission best described as militarized horticulture. It’s quite easy to see how the personnel and assets used against “illegal” plants could be employed to confiscate “illegal” firearms in the future. 
Sheriff Mims heroically subdues a violent plant.

A few years ago, when Mims and her department faced a $4 million budget deficit, the Fresno County commission had to scrounge up $10.6 million in plundered funds to prevent layoffs in the Sheriff’s Office. That money most likely won’t be available next time Sheriff Mims wants to avoid handing pink slips to her deputies. It’s quite easy to imagine a scenario in which her federal supervisors will introduce her to a new variety of alchemy -- converting confiscated “illegal” firearms into federal subsidies. 

Four sheriffs in Oregon have announced their opposition to the renewed campaign to disarm citizens. Among them is Sheriff Brian Wolfe of Malheur County (who, in the interests of full disclosure, is a childhood friend). In a letter to Vice President Biden, Sheriff Wolfe declared: “I believe that the Constitution stands above all laws and executive orders of this Country. I want to be very clear that no one employed on our team at the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office will enforce or support any laws or executive orders that are not consistent with the Constitution of this great land.” 

If only those inspiring words were consonant with Sheriff Wolfe’s actions. Like every other sheriff in the country, Brian Wolfe violates the Constitution on a routine basis. 

Last August, the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department casually announced that it had found several small marijuana gardens during a two-week aerial surveillance operation conducted with the help of the National Guard.

Acting as the department’s official stenographer, the Argus Observer newspaper reported that Sheriff Brian Wolfe will now “contact property owners and acquire search warrants if needed.” Warrants would not be necessary, Wolfe observed, if the property owners consented to the searches. The Sheriff pointed out that the plants may be part of legal medicinal marijuana operations, or could have been planted without the owner’s knowledge or consent.

At this point an actual journalist would have asked Wolfe why his office was conducting warrantless aerial searches of private property without probable cause. After all, the Sheriff has admitted that none of the property owners was a criminal suspect.

The Malheur County Sheriff’s Department spends part of each summer arresting marijuana plants – that is, dispatching its SWAT team to barren locations in rural Oregon to clear out patches of marijuana.

Sheriff Wolfe insists this is necessary to “protect the public,” which is more acutely threatened by the unconstitutional, paramilitary operations of his own department. Wolfe’s department spends a great deal of time seizing contraband and prosecuting people who possess it. That experience will prove quite useful when – once again, not “if” – the Feds decide to treat legally owned firearms as illicit contraband. 

There isn’t a single county sheriff’s office in the country that hasn’t compromised itself by accepting federal funds, and collaborating in unconstitutional federal enforcement operations.  They’ve long since lost their innocence, but are pretending that they’ve just noticed that fact.

Nothing in the U.S. Constitution authorizes the Feds to prohibit the consumption of narcotics or any other substance. Indeed, last time the Feds undertook a campaign of national prohibition, they had to change the Constitution in order to do so. Unless they’re investigating charges of treason or counterfeiting, sheriffs should not collaborate with the Feds – and in such circumstances the Feds themselves should be treated as the primary suspects.

If you take the nickel, you take the noose. If a sheriff’s office receives so much as a farthing of federal funding, it will be subject to federal mandates. That principle was underscored about seven years ago in the case of Josh Wolf, a 24-year-old video blogger imprisoned for refusing to turn over a portion of footage he shot of tumultuous street protests during the G-8 summit in San Francisco. 

The Feds claim that Wolf, who spent two-thirds of a year in prison on civil contempt charges, possessed footage of a police car being set on fire. Wolf maintained that he didn’t have the material the Feds were after, and that under California's very liberal journalist shield law, he wasn’t required to turn over his confidential, unpublished material. A Federal District Court Judge ignored Wolf's argument and incarcerated him in a detention center in Dublin, California for contempt.

The alleged assault on a San Francisco police car would be a municipal matter, and the California shield law is obviously a question of state law. Why was this dealt with in a federal court?

As Time magazine pointed out: "The Feds say they have jurisdiction over the case because the police car is partly U.S. government property since the SFPD receives federal anti-terrorism money."

Note well that the Feds didn’t claim that the regime paid for the specific cars that were reportedly destroyed, only that the police department had been subsumed into the federal law enforcement apparatus because it had received some quantity of Homeland Security funding.

What this means, in principle, is that any police agency that receives a dime of federal Homeland Security money is effectively an appendage of the Department of Homeland Security (or, to use the appropriate German expression, the Heimatsicherheitsdienst).

This is obviously true of municipal police departments, which are innately illegitimate paramilitary bodies in no way accountable to the public they supposedly serve. We’re invited to believe that local elected sheriffs are different – at least where the incipient gun grab is concerned. 

The ranks of the refuseniks will continue to expand, and they will feed gun owners a steady diet of bold talk about their willingness to interpose on behalf of their constituents if the Feds come for their guns. Some of them may be sincerely committed to do so. But until they stop actively collaborating in existing federal abuses, why should we assume they would be willing to take the side of the public against the Feds when the Regime decides to come for our guns?

(My thanks to reader  Chris Sullivan, who caught the original error in the epigram at the beginning of this essay.)

By way of illustration... 

... we see the following act of felonious assault and kidnapping by Citrus County, Florida Deputy Sheriff Andy Cox, who threatens to murder innocent, law-abiding gun owner. It took less than two seconds for this this cretinous, foul-mouthed tax-feeder to drop the pose of superficial geniality. His first instinct, on learning that this harmless man was armed, was to threaten to murder him, because he had been indoctrinated in the belief that Mundanes simply cannot be permitted to bear arms.

When assessing the credibility of "constitutional sheriffs" as protectors of the right to bear arms, bear in mind that sheriffs are politicians and administrators; the patrol officers in their departments are people like Andy Cox. 

 Dear friends: I'm often asked, "Are you working?"
"I'm working all the time," is my reply, "but it's the earning part of the equation I find elusive."
Our bank account is running dry, and I'm desperately trying to find some way to replenish it. If you can help out, we would be deeply grateful. Thank you so much!

Dum spiro, pugno!


Puck T. Smith said...

Thanks for posting this, Will. I'll have to admit that I've gotten caught up in the lionizing of the sudden crop of "patriot" sheriffs popping up lately. This is a well needed reality check.

Anonymous said...

Waco, Texas was the epiphany that startled me out of my
drug induced complacency. I was mentally raped by the
establishment and I still carry the scars.

We Libertarians will get the last word on this subject
but unfortunately those words will be "I told you so."

By the time Bubba realizes that his drug-war crusade is
only a ruse, it will be too late.

Daniel 5:25
And this is the writing that was written, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.

Anonymous said...

As for Mims handing pink slips to her deputies, Fresno has tons of cash and other assets, meaning that they're far from broke. People should demand that ALL cities and counties publicly submit their CAFRs to independent audits, so that people can see just how insanely they're being ripped off.

Sorry to get a little off the subject, but everybody needs to know about this "government" robbery.

kirk said...

most sheriff's are elected.

could it be that the politicians we refer to as 'sheriff' recognize the sleeping giant is awakening and want to be, as they are now, on the side of power and are thus saying what is attributed to them?

trust no one with a costume, badge and gun...they do what they do because they LIKE it.

MoT said...

That you once again show the APC from my former home town just raised my blood pressure. Sheriff offices do indeed suckle the teat of the Feds and if they were sincere in defending the Constitution and taking a principled stand against tyranny then they would once and for all put a stop to the so-called "war-on-drugs". But seeing as the majority of them are addicted to Uncle Sams "smack" I don't know how this will ever peacefully change.

Chris Sullivan said...

I think the exchange is between Richard Rich and Thomas Cromwell. The greatest movie ever put on film, at least the Paul Schofield version is.

Anonymous said...

Will, I was just thinking about this very subject a few days ago. All of these sheriffs claim they will not enforce any of Obama's unconstitutional gun laws or executive orders. My question to them is are we to be at the mercy of what they interpret to be unconstitutional? And why are they currently enforcing all of the unconstitutional gun laws already on the books? Are they going to change their tune when the feds threaten to cut off all of their toy and play money unless they submit to Dear Leader's wishes? These sheriffs need to consider these questions seriously. We have heard them speak. Now we will watch what they do. Most people I know are tired of the never ending erosion of our natural rights and are ready to take a stand on this issue. Most LEO's make a decent living these days. Where this issue is concerned, they need to decide if that paycheck is worth what it will cost them if they choose incorrectly.


Puck T. Smith said...

Will, I have dropped this article on a few pro-sheriff posts on Facebook. Some people don't want to hear it. I actually had someone say "How is Waco relevant? That was the ATF."

If I might paraphrase Dath Vader, the wool is thick with this one.

MoT said...

At anonymouse @10:04pm

The only piece of paper LEO's of any corrupt color accept as "gospel" is their paycheck. Everything else is just for show.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Grigg,

You say: "[T]he Drug Enforcement Administration – an agency that could be considered the mentally deficient stepchild of the CIA, which is the world’s largest narcotics syndicate."

Well said, Mr. Grigg. 90% of the world's opium is produced in Afghanistan, a totally landlocked country occupied by 150,000 US troops, where no plane can land or take off without the knowledge and approval of the occupying US Reichssicherheitsdienst and its commanding Obersturmfuhrer.

Yet, 99% of the heroin (refined opium) coming into the USA originates in Colombia, which grows NO opium poppies. HOW then does the opium get from Afghanistan to Colombia to be refined into heroin? We are talking many tons - not amounts that can fit in someone's carry-on luggage. It takes entire planes to transport that much opium.

Answer: A certain cabal of criminals inside the CIA who are facilitating the drug trade into this country in collaboration with the drug cartels. Ever heard of those unmarked CIA planes used to "render" innocent people to other countries for torture?

What is the perfect crime? One that nobody knows has been committed. The culture of secrecy in the CIA is the perfect venue for vile crimes of the most heinous description.

There is also more to the Justice Department's gun-runing to the Mexican drug cartels than meets the eye. Everyone in America does as they are told by the CIA - even the President.

You said well, Mr. Grigg. You could also say that the entire US government itself is the biggest crime syndicate in the world. Of course, one could say that most governments are crime syndicates - this one is just the biggest and most profitable.

And "Law Enforcement" in the USA is merely the strong arm of the criminal cabal. The ignorant public are its innocent victims. That's why they want to disarm us - so that when we wake up to reality, we will be helpless to resist.

Anonymous said...

All true. But if we start devouring our own and ESPECIALLY those who are publiclly stepping over a very big line to come to our side, we will NOT be victorious.
I will embrace ANY who have the conviction to come away from the fascists.

Anonymous said...

You might be better served trying to recruit LE than drive them into Obama's arms.

Exactly what are you trying to accomplish?

Anonymous said...

Just to pick nits - The Cylon in charge at the level of controlling air traffic for the country/region would be more like Obergruppenfuehrer or Oberstgruppenfuehrer. Obersturmfuehrer would be a senior lieutenant. No disagreement with the comparison to the SS and SD.

Marty said...

great blog- I've been googling the refuseniks names and typing 'marijuana' after to demonstrate to people how much these sheriff's are 'protecting' us.
you did a much more thorough and eloquent job, Will.

William N. Grigg said...

You might be better served trying to recruit LE than drive them into Obama's arms.Exactly what are you trying to accomplish?

My chief objective in writing this essay is to make it clear that to the extent sheriffs are accepting federal funds, they are already in "Obama's arms" -- or at least at the end of his leash. That fact exists, and it won't go away if we pretend that it doesn't.

Anonymous said...

donna from ND-

Our county commissioners increased the Sheriff's Dept. 2013 budget several 100,000 dollars for a county with less than 4,000 population, mostly farmers & small town folk. According to the 'proposed' budget the sheriff needs two additional deputies, new computer equipment capable of geographic surveillance link-up, new squad cars, and a $100,000 upgrade to our one-room county 'prison' housed within the court house. This county is at a 200 mile distance from the Bakken Oil Field and I'm not aware of any dramatic increase in overall crime. However, I did observe an apparent 'test flight' of a drone through our valley less than a month ago. Seemed like the operator wasn't too assured of the controls. There are but TWO families in this valley, ourselves on 1700 acres of pastured horses, sheep, & cattle, and our neighbors 1 1/2 mile across the creek who run a dairy & a few range cows on their 1500 acres.

Our property taxes have increased once again, but I'm sure bleeding us will not warrant any 'influence' over departmental decisions. We were told to "shut-up or be thrown out" by the CC Chairman,'Pork'(real nickname) Lawler' at the county property tax 'Hearing' in October when we asked specific questions regarding the 'proposed' increases.

As a kid, I loved the Richard Greene "Robin Hood" series. Watching them now, I realize the profound influence those 1/2 hour stories had on my view of 'authority'! Trouble is...there's no Sherwood Forest to provide refuge and base of operations.

Paul Bonneau said...

Thanks for bringing this up, William.

We can expect that cops respond to incentives just like the rest of us, and that they are generally not particularly principled individuals, again like most of us. When it comes to "free" federal money, they will whore themselves out. When it comes to themselves or their minions actually risking being shot by irate gun owners, they become a bit more reluctant. Oh, and the chiefs are politicians too, with all that implies.

Bottom line, while their position on guns is not consistent with what they do otherwise, there may actually be something there...

Anonymous said...

"Four ATF officers were killed during that Sunday morning raid...their victims acted within their rights in using deadly force."

I agree that the deaths were well deserved (and I disagree with drugwarrant that such people are "victims" of the drug war.)
But I'm not sure the four guys were killed by the now-victims.
Wasn't another theory that they were killed by fellow officers?

P.S. I read about Waco back in '93. I remember reading that the survivors were convicted of shooting, even as the court acknowledged that it was self-defense.


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Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Grigg i have been following you for a few years now. thanks for all the info you provide. I would like to donate to you. Do you have a P.O. Box i can send it to? I dont like doing the electronic thing.

William N. Grigg said...

Anonymous -- I really appreciate this, and I understand your reservations about PayPal. Drop me a note -- WNGrigg[at]msn[dot]com -- and I'll provide the information. Thanks so much.

Dan Clem said...

I live in Houston, TX and just saw a perfect example of this. Harris County Sheriff, Adrian Garcia, hasn't made any statements on protecting gun rights for the public, but he just stated that armed teachers in the classroom are a "bad idea." He claims that his deputies would have a hard time distinguishing between a malicious shooter and an armed teacher.

By the time the deputies get there, it will be over and the teacher would have set the gun down, so it would really be no problem. Our Sheriff would rather more kids die while waiting for the cops than see his deputies have a hard time. He obviously doesn't care about us or our children. Glad I didn't vote for him.

Anonymous said...

So these poseur sheriffs are just putting on a show? That is ok appearance is everything. Beyonce the magnificent was actually singing the other day at the immaculation of Imam Hussein and he loves this country. They could just get some blue helmets or Won Dum Sumbitch down at the Chinee free trade zone to do the confiscation comrades. This is the great leap forward that low information voters wanted so I hope it all works out for them. We wouldn't want to disturb their delusions or comfort.

Anonymous said...

"Sheriff Mims heroically subdues a violent plant."

oh man, that was funny!!!


little dynamo said...


oinkety oinkety oink

Pimp Daddy Juicy Cheeks said...

Good article overall, but one point you make used the rhetorical figure of an astute journalist asking about overhead surveillance being unconstitutional: It is not unconstitutional to make optical contact with a surface. Search and seizure case law is pretty established on this point, since Knotts and recently reiterated under Jones. The English doctrine of "The eye, by the laws of England, cannot be guilty of a trespass," is the primary doctrine that infuses this side of search law: we don't outlaw a cop's visual contact with a surface any more than we do of a citizen's. So aerial overflights are okay, under our interpretations of the Fourth Amendment, if it is reasonable to expect overhead flights because overhead flights of a commercial nature already exist, under Florida v. Riley. (or at least, so goes the interpretation of "reasonable expectation of privacy," contextualized for the new technologies).

MoT said...

Joshua, by that reasoning if a drone hovers right outside your window, or along the property line, and zooms in without "touching" the surface of the ground, and they "suspect" you of ANYTHING (and when hasn't a cop not abused any tools they acquire) then they'll use that surveillance as yet another excuse to kick in your door. I'm sick and tired of all the tortured legal gymnastics used against the citizenry to bludgeon us, once again, with the constant drumbeat of totalitarian diktats. Reasonable? Reasonable to WHOM? Who else but Leviathan and it's goose-stepping minions and lick spittle apologists.

Anonymous said...

Some of my favorite bloggers turn out to be those apologists, too.

Grits for Breakfast writes a good, if jargonesque, blog about the legal system. (I forget his real name) I was surprised when he said exactly what Adrian Garcia said about guns in classrooms.
His take is that the children are so dumb they'll play around with it and get shot.


Grigg, I didn't think you would read thru comments and I wanted to suggest two items on surveillance and/or ticket cameras.

William N. Grigg said...

Mr. Lava -- I do read through the comments, and I received your e-mail regarding surveillance. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

What it boils down to is us against them. If you think for one minute that police will be on your side just keep those blinders on..

Anonymous said...

Couple of things I have noticed from the comments. It really does not matter if a Sheriff makes a statement, because many on here think they are all going to be gun-grabbers in the end. Another, somehow taking grant money makes them part of the problem, even if it is money for school security. Sorry, but who is that? You mean I cant stand for the Second and not take tax money being returned to the local area. If some of you think that no one in your local county should take federal tax money then all of your cities and county governments would be broke in weeks. I understand some on here are very anti-government to the point that you just distrust everyone, but lets not be over the top. As for tying drugs to the right to bear arms...thats a hard battle to try and win. Sorry but most people that support the 2nd are not going to also their sheriffs to not enforce drug laws. One is in the constitution and the other is not. In the end, if it came down to it, the military and law enforcement will both have people split on the issue just as the publc is. The lines will be drawn and some will be willing to cross over to fight for thir rights. But in the end, taking grant money back from the government for services to provide does not mean you wont draw the line when it comes to gun laws.

Anonymous said...

I do find it offensive that your general assumption is that all officers and deputies are like the nimrod in the video and should be regarded as so. To say that is to say all gun owners are like the kid in Conn. or that all pro-Second people are like the Unabomber. Sorry but trying to paint all officer/deputies as bad because of the actions of others is juvenile and hurts your claims.

William N. Grigg said...

All police officers are agents of state-authorized violence. They are indoctrinated to treat all citizens as a threat to "Officer Safety," which they are taught to perceive as the most important consideration in all interactions with the public.

It doesn't matter whether they are "good" or "bad"; the point is that each of them is a threat and should be perceived as such.

On the subject of over-broad characterizations, it should be pointed out that neither of the examples you cite helps your case.

Adam Lanza was not a gun owner; he stole firearms that belonged to his mother. Nor is there so much as a particle of evidence that Ted Kaczynski, whose preferred weapon was an improvised bomb, was an advocate of the Second Amendment. These may seem like tiny nits at which to pick, but let the record reflect that you're the one accusing other people of trafficking in lazy stereotypes.