The government’s abduction of Cheyenne Irish just hours after her birth 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.
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.
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.
"Community policing"; below, more of the same.
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.
“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 thatthe 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.
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.
With the news breaking today that “Obama suggests value-added tax may be an option,” many of my fellow libertarians are going to pat themselves on the back while (cynically) claiming that the President has broken yet another campaign promise and is, therefore, a liar. They’re wrong, of course. Politicians don’t lie. They speak precisely. Libertarians need to pay closer attention to what politicians actually say instead of misinterpreting what was said. Remember too that all language is metaphorical and definitions can vary for any word. Here’s master-linguist William Jefferson Clinton explaining it much more concisely than I:
Eat your heart out, Derrida.
Libertarians will tell you that Obama made a firm pledge not to raise taxes on any family making less than $250,000 per year. This is false. Here is the actual video:
He chose his words precisely.
Transcription: “And I can make a firm pledge: under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase, not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”
Let’s take a look at the language there: “He can make a pledge” that no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.” Note that he didn’t make a pledge; rather, he said he can make a pledge. Simple statement of fact. I believe him. It’s not difficult to make a pledge. All he has to do is say, “I pledge…” followed by the pledge. He didn’t say that. If that’s not enough to settle the issue for you, he said “no family”. Well, what’s a family? Don’t even try to define family. I could present you with 40 different definitions for family off the top of my head. It’s impossible, therefore, precisely to know whom he was referring to in this non-pledge. Not convinced yet? Well, he said “making less than $250,000 a year.” But, see, my father (a brilliant economist) taught me when I was a child that it’s imprecise to talk about “making money”. You know who makes money? The Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing and other counterfeiters. What productive people do is “earn money”. Understand the difference? Finally, the non-defined families which counterfeit “less than $250,000 a year” that he’s describing in his non-pledge won’t “see” any form of tax increase. They might “experience” it. They’ll certainly pay it. They just won’t “see” it.
Bill Clinton has recently implied that modern Tea Party activists are all potential Timothy McVeighs: Former President Bill Clinton on Friday said that “legitimate” comparisons can be drawn between today’s grass-roots anger and resentment toward the government and the right-wing extremism that bubbled up prior to the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City [...]