”The government,” wrote 50-year-old Denise Simon, “is too big to fight.” With those words, in a note to her 17-year-old son, Adam, she explained why she was committing suicide (via carbon monoxide) three days after 10 visibly armed IRS agents in bulletproof vests had stormed her home on Nov. 6, 2007, in search of evidence of tax evasion. Her 10-year-old daughter, Rachel, was there with Simon when the agents stormed in.John's money quote was a different paragraph, describing how such unlikely agencies as the Railroad Retirement Board have their own armed agents. I'd rather emphasize this paragraph:
Agents in some of these entities seem prone to ostentatious shows of force or to sending in armed FBI personnel on unnecessary occasions. There was the November 1997 raid on the Massachusetts pollution-control-technology company owned by James M. Knott Sr., in which 21 EPA agents, many armed, swooped in to collect “discharge” readings - and then falsified the results. Similarly, an April 29, 1998, New York Times story reported that “three businessmen told the Senate Finance Committee today of Internal Revenue Service agents who, with guns drawn, broke down doors, terrified workers and forced teenage girls to change clothes in front of male agents in raids at the men’s homes and businesses.”and I remember writing about this when it happened:
Consider also the case, now infamous, of inventor Krister Evertson. On May 27, 2004, Mr. Evertson was preparing in Wasilla, Alaska, for a private gold-mining expedition to raise more funds for his research into clean-energy fuel cells. Federal agents in two black sport utility vehicles, waving assault rifles, forced his car off the road. Manhandling him as if he were a terrorist, they arrested, interrogated and jailed him. For what? Putting the wrong shipping label - with the correct instructions, mind you, but still the wrong label - on a box of raw sodium that he sold on eBay.I see two root cause problems. First, the over growth of the Fed.gov hydra along with an unending supply of militarized police forces and Second, overcriminalization - or, as I've said many times, we need to throw out around 75% of the CFR.
The Heritage Foundation, (disclaimer: I'm a member, and the extent of that is to having paid "dues" for a couple of years) has produced a book and (had?) a blog called One Nation Under Arrest. The book is subtitled "How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty".
Heritage fellow Jack Park kicks off the series today. He relates how George Norris, a 67-year-old husband and grandfather, ended up spending almost two years in federal prison. Some of Norris’s paperwork for his home-based orchid business did not meet all of the technical requirements of an international treaty. None of his orchids were illegal to import, possess, or sell, but that did not stop the government from prosecuting and imprisoning him.A couple of days ago, Mike over at Sipsey Street said, "Sooner or later, some Federal DOE thugs are going to get killed doing this, and, I have to tell you, I won't shed a frigging tear for their corpses."
This was obviously about the DoE SWAT Team invading a California home. Originally reported as being for defaulted student loans, that was later changed to a fraud investigation. I don't care.
The fracking Department of Education shouldn't have a SWAT Team. They shouldn't be running any sort of warrants, let alone no-knock warrants. I don't care if they were there for some sort of fraud and not because she was behind in her loans. This is a white collar crime with a person that could have been dealt with in a hundred other ways. The tiniest bit of intelligence effort would have revealed she doesn't even live there. Instead, they break in like they're trying to take down Pablo Escobar's cocaine cartel. This. Must. Stop.